My name is Skander Djerbi, I’m a member of I-Friqiya, a tiny indie team located in Tokyo and in charge of Fuel Overdose. In our team there is Ryo our graphic designer, Jérôme our game designer/level designer/programmer, Hideyuki our character designer while Aroun and I are the producers of the game.
To cut a long story short, we used to work for big publishers and we decided to venture into indie game development in 2010 because we thought we could bring something new to the table; what we are bringing you is Fuel Overdose.
Our ambition with this game is to bring back retro, top-down combat racing, but with a twist; that’s why we like to think of our project as a “Tactical Action-Racing” game.
We are not inventing the combat racing genre – we played most of them on consoles and PC over the past 15-20 years, and it appeared very quickly during our first meetings that there was no point trying to develop a remake of these games. But we also realized that there were some essential ingredients that we had to keep, so you will find in Fuel Overdose all the classic and upgradable weapons such as machine guns, rockets and mines.
But when you think of it, most combat racers are essentially based on these weapons, so one of our biggest challenges was to propose action game mechanics that go beyond the “shoot and drop” system. That’s how we came up with the bomb detonators and grapples. The grapple is one of my favorite items because there are many ways you can use it, and I can assure you that you will quickly find yourself trying to invent new ways to manipulate it.
With primary weapons, bomb detonators and grapples, we also added one last ingredient in our action package: it’s a whole fighting system, inspired by the beat ‘em up genre, that offers unique skills and attacks for each character.
We love combat racers for their reversals of situations, and for the special items that can change your position in a heartbeat. But sometimes we feel frustrated because we feel that the AI is cheating or because the gameplay doesn’t leave any room for meritocracy. With Fuel Overdose we are leaving no room for luck, and each decision has a real impact on your chance of success. In Fuel Overdose you will never find items that magically pop up along the road and each racer has a limited budget to load his weapons, so if you find yourself without any ammo with one lap to go, you can only blame yourself.
By putting the focus on race strategy we tried to propose a more mature game experience where your decision making process can determine your success or your failure. And this notion of strategy is present all over the game – in the berserk gauge; in the grapple that you can use in different ways; when customizing your ride; when deciding how much you want to bet for the race danger event…
In Fuel Overdose you will have to make choices and take decisions before and during the race. There are no perfect decisions but it’s important to remain consistent in your choices and priorities.
Fuel Overdose is not a combat arena game. Fuel Overdose is at its core a racing game where, most of the time, the objective is to finish the race first. I’m saying ‘most of the time’ because, as you will see in our future announcements. we also have a game mode that features other kinds of objectives.
As a racing game, the game proposes several types of vehicles and customization options so you can improve the performances and modify the driving style of your ride. Speaking of driving style, I should mention that whether you are more drift style or more grip style, even though Fuel Overdose is an arcade racer, we have focused special attention on developing a driving experience that would be both intuitive and fun.
I hope I managed to explain you what kind of game experience we are trying to create. But there are so many things I haven’t explained yet, like the game mechanics offered by the grapples, the different choices and decisions you’ll have to make, the game universe, the auction events, the characters, the vehicles, the special attacks, the game modes…. So stay tuned for future updates.
You can keep up to date with Fuel Overdose on our dev diary and follow me on Twitter @SkanderDjerbi