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Free Realms Developer Blog

In Free Realms, players are free to do or be anything: Fight like a ninja, cook a tasty meal, raise a pet, battle goblins, set out on epic quests or connect with friends through a safe, social networking site.

Author: FreeRealms

HELLO & "Speedway Thunder" Game Update!

Posted by FreeRealms Tuesday July 21 2009 at 6:21PM
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HELLO! Welcome to the first development blog update from the team working on Free Realms over here at Sony Online Entertainment’s San Diego studio. The purpose of this blog is to keep you informed of all the fun and cool things we are creating for Free Realms. Here you will get perspective on development from designers, artists, producers and many others behind the scenes at SOE. So, I guess we might as well just jump right into it…

There are a lot of minigames in Free Realms, but the two I've been most excited about since pre-launch are definitely Kart Racing and Demolition Derby. So, for me, the upcoming game update, Speedway Thunder (scheduled to go live this week), is something I've been looking forward to for well over a year.

This update adds the integral piece that I've been waiting for... Progression. The Kart Racer and Demo Derby Driver jobs will be able to level up through quest lines and their individual activities.

The quest lines are unique in that the races and derbies that are part of the line are hand tailored to be part of the story. You will race and demolish the karts of the characters you are interacting with. You will build rivalries and then smash your competition, if you have the skill.

To augment your racing and destruction skills we've added a variety of parts to customize your vehicles. All you need to do to get a boost is acquire the parts and install them in the garage. Not only will your karts get faster and turn better, but you can make them look even more awesome with decals and other sweet visual parts.

In addition to adding parts, a garage, and progression we've added two new tracks for racing. You will be able to speed through the Memorial Caverns and test out your new wheels on the beach in Seaside. The Seaside track is my favorite of all the tracks. The technique to get onto the secret shortcut will throw you for a loop, so watch out!

This barely scratches the surface of the new Racing and Demo Derby features, especially the kart customization. I'm really excited to race against other players with tricked out karts and see the new times set on the leaderboards. Maybe I'll even be able to win a race now that I can upgrade my engine.

Overall, I'm really proud of the update. A lot of designers, coders, artists and testers put a ton of hard work into taking Racing and Demo Derby to the next level, especially our team at Big Bang Entertainment in Phoenix. In fact, Jeremy at BBE has put in so much work play testing and tuning the new tracks that he beat my best time on the Seaside track one handed while not really paying attention to where his kart was going.

I hope all the Racers and Wreckers have as much fun leveling up, upgrading their karts and taking them to the road as I've had play testing the update. See you in game!

Luke Sigmund
Systems Design Lead
Free Realms