Let’s start from the basics. Tell us a bit about yourself: who is Riccardo Vecchi? What are your main interests?
I’m a junior Unity Developer, I started programming with Unity in November 2019. Since then, I’ve been following a course focused on video game development – while also developing a few prototypes in Unity. This April I started working on Fury Driver: Moonwalks. My main interests are, of course, video games.
What about Fury Driver, is this your first game? How did you become a developer?
Yes, this is my first full game, the first I commercially release, because I worked only on prototypes until Fury Driver. I “became a developer” by studying in autonomy for about a year, in which I made a few prototypes and developed Fury Driver.
In this audiogame we are Vergil, an undercover cop working to arrest Mr. Sin, the major boss of Moon City, where the story is set: who is Vergil? Is he inspired by anyone, from a movie, or a book?
Vergil is a cop who returns to his hometown, Moon City, after a long time, to assist his father who still lives there. I didn’t write the story of the game – Andrea d’Angelo did, and he didn’t tell me anything in particular about Vergil, or at least Vergil’s name… The villain’s name, Sin, comes from a Sumeric deity related to the moon, hence why the game is set in “Moon City”. I guess Vergil’s name comes from a similar connection… or, perhaps, it’s just a nod to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy: as Vergil has been a guide for Dante through Hell, so does our Vergil – except that Moon City is hell and Dante is us, the player.
The game is called Fury Driver: Moonwalks. These moonwalks are unregulated car races: can you talk about them? From a developer point of view, were they difficult to design?
There are eleven races, but they’re not too complicated. They’re procedurally generated, so even if you play the same race over and over again it will always be different. Even though these races are procedurally generated, each one has a few different parameters – like how many obstacles there are, how often you have to turn… I tried to make them similar to the battles of the game. They were not difficult to design, but they sure were difficult to balance. Also making them playable and not clunky has been kind of an ordeal for me. I received positive feedback about them, it’s a big success for me!
Music and voice are extremely important in an audiogame – in this case Matthew Curtis dubbed the game and Lorenzo Venturini was the sound artist. Which features were you looking for, when choosing the voice and the music? Did you work all together?
Again, I didn’t choose who had to dub the game and who had to make the audio part – Ivan Venturi did. He’s my boss, and I think he chose Matthew for dubbing Fury Driver because he worked on A Western Drama, and that was a success. He did a very good performance there, and he has a peculiar voice. Ivan probably thought that Matthew’s voice was well suited for a game set in America, he found him to be capable of giving a Hard-boiled or Noir detective voice. Regarding Lorenzo, I think Ivan knew his work and liked it, he was confident in his abilities. Lorenzo made the soundtrack and the sound effects and they have been received very positively by the public. The three of us worked separately: first Lorenzo made the music, then I wrote the script for the game, then Matthew dubbed it (and corrected it, in case of typos or usage of words that didn’t make sense).
How about the gameplay? How does it work and how long does it last?
The gameplay is quite simple: you go around maps and interact with objects and characters to progress in the story. Occasionally you’ll have to fight or drive, instead of exploring, but most of the time you have to run away from gangsters that chase you. Fury Driver lasts about three to four hours.
Let’s talk about the community: how important is that? How much was it involved during the development?
The community has been very important from a testing standpoint: during the alpha stages of the game, we asked visually impaired players for feedback of the demos. It was illuminating, they gave a lot of interesting suggestions and most of them made it to the game. I’m not blind, so I’m very glad for their help because I might not have noticed if some things didn’t work from their perspective.
What about the title, why did you choose it?
The title was Ivan’s idea since the beginning, and has not been changed. Since some of the influences for this game were the movies Baby Driver, Pulp Fiction, Drive and Fast and Furious he wanted to give attention to the fact that this game’s focus was extreme driving.
Are you already thinking about another game? Maybe a sequel?
If all goes well a sequel will be out in January 2021. It’s about 60% done at the moment, I might make big changes to that game according to what sort of feedback Fury Driver: Moonwalks gets.