Distance Gamescom 2017 Interview
Distance is an atmospheric racing platformer. Fusing futuristic arcade racing with parkour, survive a deadly, mysterious, neon-drenched city by jumping, rotating, and flying. The roads are treacherous with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, survive to the end in the quickest time. Your car has abilities that not only allow you to drive on the track, but upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths. Take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with your friends!
The game is created by Refract.
Distance was showcased at the Indie Arena Booth as part of Gamescom 2017 and we had the chance to sit down and talk to Jordan Hemenway about both the game and the studio behind it. Jordan and his team travelled all the way from Seattle, US in order to show their game to the world and they had a lot to say about it.
Distance is still the atmospheric, racing platformer that we knew it to be and Jordan even added the “chaotic city survival” adjectives to the whole picture just to give us a more complete image for it. “We struggled a lot with trying to bring an immersive narrative for our game and we actually even saw other bigger titles, like Need for Speed, struggle with the same kind of thing too later on,” explained Jordan while talking about the single player experience. “We want the player to be fully engaged,” said Jordan.
The game revolves around you trying to race your way out of a space-station that is on Earth’s orbit. “There is a bit of a time threat,” said Jordan. Of course, next to the single player, the game has all the awesome multiplayer modes we love in racing modes and a few extra ones like a bubble mode where players chase each other in a tag-me like mode.
The game has been in Early Access for two years now but five years in development overall. “Basically, Early Access for us was somewhat a validation for all that we are doing, especially next to the kickstarter that we also ran,” Jordan told us. He also told us that the studio is always thinking how they can continue to work with the community to keep getting great feedback from them, as they succesfully have thus far.
“We actually ended up hiring three people from the community to help us finish the story mode, since they had all made amazing levels for our game through the level editor and Steam workshop,” explained Jordan. We were also told that the game has had a lot of its parts redone, especially parts of the single player story mode.
The full release of the game is to be expected for sure sometime next year and if all goes perfectly well, then even earlier if possible. The studio is also working on porting it to PlayStation 4 and that apparently will take them a bit of work since, as Jordan said, the studio took the engine and bent it in many ways in order to get various things to work in certain ways, therefore making it difficult to port all this for a console.
You can join Distance’s community Discord channel and find out what all the hype is about and why people love this game so much!