Interview: Stéphane, Game Director

As an indie dev, deadlines and crunches sometimes prevent us from taking a step back from tasks. So, we thought we’d sit down with team members and have them share their experience on making LTR, from a more personal perspective.

Stéphane Surget

What does your job entails to?

I feel like a craftsman, creating something from scratch. Thinking of it, it started when I was twelve. I fell deep into video games precisely when I started a free trial of “Game factory”.

It was exciting to have the freedom of building my own games, I never stopped.

What I like in my function is that I get to work with everyone on the team.

I spend most of my time programming on Unity. I’m in charge of the technical choices. And everything I deliver in regards to programming has to be in line with the art team and game design team. I make technically possible what was imagined by the creative team.

What makes you tick in making LTR?

My favourite moments are when we run playtests.

Seeing the players’ interaction and how it evolves from build to build is exciting. It’s a privilege to make something that people can relate to and make their own. It’s amazing to see what was intended to work out quite well.

Tell us about your biggest challenge on Light Trail Rush.

Early on, we had to find solutions for the environment and the gameplay which are procedurally generated. We had many questions in regards to performance and optimisation.

I watched many Unite conferences which gave us many ideas on mesh generation. I learned a lot on optimisation. LTR has a lot of 3D artwork, to be embedded, the code has to be performant.

The IA part was more complex than in conventional racing games. In LTR, the Tracer creates the track in real time. In the absence of a predefined circuit, the IA has to learn how to behave and drive on any given situation in real time.

We tested using Deep Learning, but we ruled it out, the results were not satisfactory. We ended up coding an in-house solution giving us a lot of freedom for adding and making needed changes according to the gameplay. We liked the flexibility of this in-house solution.

What’s your experience of the game LTR.

I love playing the Tracer especially with the new gameplay we’ve recently added. As a Tracer the gameplay is completely different from the Chasers.

Of course, it’s fun to design the most difficult tracks and trick your opponents into crashing. It’s even more exciting to drill your way into asteroids and earning points in the process.

Tell us a secret about yourself that your team members don’t know.

In my free time, I paint miniatures from wargames. It’s a bit like in LTR, which features a garage where players can ‘pimp their ride’.

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