If 25-year-old games are this much enjoyable, how about making a brand-new Cruis n arcade game? I kinda liked Cruis n 4-Ever cause it was like the 4th game in the trilogy. They are the owners of the Cruis n IP, so it was a genuine honour to get their self-confidence to establish the video game on the Switch. Even on Cruis n USA the video game dev team was just five people! I keep in mind back in the day working on Cruis n USA and testing was like, “Did the game crash?
We d like to thank Eugene for making the effort to speak to us. Cruis n Blast gets here on Nintendo Switch on 14th September.
Image: Raw ThrillsThe news that game title Cruis n Blast is headed to Switch came as an enjoyable surprise previously this year.
The latest in the long-running Cruis n series– which began life in 90s arcades with Cruis n USA before making the leap over to the N64– this neon-coloured racer guarantees to deliver a high-octane arcade experience on Nintendos hybrid system, and comes thanks to Raw Thrills, the studio developed by industry legend Eugene Jarvis, the driving force (no pun intended) on the original Cruis n USA.
Jarvis should need no introduction; his computer game credits consist of some of the most influential arcade hits of all time, such as Defender, Stargate, Robotron: 2084, Smash Television and NARC. We were fortunate enough to speak with Jarvis about Cruis n Blast, dealing with Nintendo and his glittering career. Delight in.
Nintendo Life: Can you provide us a little background regarding how Cruis n Blast happened? What made you decide to create a brand-new entry in the series back in 2017?
Eugene Jarvis: I have a classic video and pinball arcade in my basement and every time we have a celebration, when the kids see the old Cruis n motorists theyre like maniacs on them for hours. If 25-year-old video games are this much enjoyable, how about making a brand-new Cruis n arcade video game?
Some of the group was appropriately skeptical about how such an ancient title might be pertinent in our crazy new fast-forward age of gaming. When we first played the new signature tune, they couldnt stop laughing and after that dancing to the outrageous retro disco vibe. Then there was the problem of what to call the game. Cruis n for a Bruis n? There were a great deal of prospects. I kinda liked Cruis n 4-Ever cause it resembled the fourth video game in the trilogy. So we made a bunch of wheels with fours in them for the logo design, but something simply wasnt right.
After what looked like months of dumb names, we developed Cruis n Blast. I loved that “Blast” is both an explosion – this was the very first Cruis n game to have a turbo-boost function, which we call “Blast” – and also since we wished to record the casual enjoyable driving vibe of Cruis n (having a “Blast”!).
Now that I think of it, we actually need tove put an exclamation point at the end! Theres constantly next time …
How hands-on was Nintendo with this release? Did it provide any feedback or recommendations during advancement, or were you given total flexibility?
Nintendo truly was excellent. They are the owners of the Cruis n IP, so it was a genuine honour to get their self-confidence to develop the game on the Switch. Being game designers, we really understood really little about the Switch, and John Vignocchi and the Nintendo of America third-party team really helped us out every action of the way. They offered us great deals of feedback and suggestions on how to take the arcade game core and stuff it with lots more gameplay and material that the console crowd demands. They generally turned us loose to make the finest Switch video game possible.
Image: Raw Thrills
Nintendo famously censored Cruis n USA on the N64 – has there been any threat of a repeat of that for the Switch variation of Cruis n Blast?
Yeah, we had some edgy “humorous” material back in the day! This time around Nintendo actually offered us a freedom.
Did you deal with any issues when it came to fitting an expensive arcade video game into a fairly underpowered portable system like the Switch?
The job truly started out as a type of “what if” joke of the ridiculousness of attempting to stuff a high-end arcade piece into the Switch. I indicate, wheres the Nvidia 32-gigapixel graphics card and 5GHz CPU? But to tell the fact, we were truly surprised at the frame rate and graphics quality, even when blown up on a big living room LED flat screen.
Not to say that it was a walk in the park. I think our artists and coders had a lot of time on their hands throughout the pandemic to tweak the code and graphics and frame rate to the max. When you cant go anywhere or do anything– work can be incredibly intriguing. To get the results and shaders looking cool particularly took a lots of blood, sweat and tears. This was our game and we couldnt blame another person for a crappy port.
What makes the Switch variation of Cruis n Blast superior to the game original? Have you made any tweaks or enhancements for this edition?
Console and arcade experiences have a lot in typical, but since house players have the time to actually max out a game quickly, you need megatons of material. In short, its a whole lotta Cruis n going on!
The game variation was updated after launch with new cars; do you plan to do a similar technique with the Switch port through DLC?
Were hoping that the player need will be there so we can crank out some more special Cruis n material for the Switch. Theres a lot of dream vehicles and tracks that the artists desire to bring to life.
Whats the future of the Cruis n series beyond Blast? Do you have strategies for more games?
Weve been tossing around some ideas– something Ive been tossing around is to remaster the timeless game Cruis n trilogy particularly for the Switch, up-resing the material to full HD and strong 60Hz frame rate! And I believe some of the very best ideas originate from the Cruis n gamers out there. We eagerly anticipate striking all the socials on release date – Twitter, Insta, YouTube and TikTok – to see what Cruis n memes are trending!
Your profession in video games will be the envy of numerous; what do you make from modern-day video games advancement? Do you believe theres space for old-school experiences like the Cruis n series in 2021?
Its crazy but I started doing game video games back at Atari in the 70s – 44 years earlier! It seems like about 5 or 6 life times on the journey from Pong to Mario to Fortnite to who understands what. From 8-bit to gigabits, its been a trip.
Image: Raw Thrills
I really enjoyed the dev procedure back in the 8-bit period when I was coding, doing pixel art and sounds on Defender and Robotron. It was simply 2 or three geeked out kids on a game, and management practically left us alone due to the fact that they had no idea what we were doing! Somehow it was simply magic. Even on Cruis n USA the video game dev team was only 5 people! Over the years its become more and more like a huge Hollywood offer with big groups, lighting artists, animators, character riggers, texture folks, sound devs, music composers, ecological artists, level designers, character designers, art directors, tech leads, developers, unique result developers, game testers and producers everywhere you turn around! And the games today are amazing– 1000x much better than I couldve dreamed back in the day.
Simply when you state old-school video games and small groups are dead and whatever must have a $100 million budget plan – out of nowhere comes an enormous game like Flappy Bird or Candy Crush and makes anyone with a budget over $10,000 look foolish! And the longer Ive been in the games biz, the more I realize the only thing I have actually learned is that I do not know s ** t!
I believe among the huge consider the success of the Nintendo Switch is that it truly captures the arcade style– the immediacy and accessible design of play that is truly enjoyable for all. I believe the old school game spirit is alive and well – not just in the physical games of the world, however inside every Nintendo Switch gamer!
Whats it resembled dealing with Nintendo again, and would Raw Thrills ever produce a game which is special to consoles, instead of for arcades?
Its truly been a delight working with Nintendo once again. I remember back in the day working on Cruis n USA and screening was like, “Did the video game crash? Now game complexity and quality are through the roofing system and things are much more serious.
Weve been committed to making fantastic arcade video games for the last 20 years at Raw Thrills, and were now one of the leading video arcade makers in the world! And guess what– Cruis n Blast arcade is still one of our top sellers around the world.
Part of pushing the envelope is continuously exploring new things, and Cruis n Blast for the Switch is a method of seeing and stretching if we can bring something old/new to the console scene. Im hoping the gamers truly get excited about playing Cruis n Blast for the Switch.