Drift21 Interview: CEO of ECC Games, Piotr Watrucki

Drift21 Interview

At the start of this month, we provided a schedule of games that would release in May 2020. One of the racing simulation games we were really excited about was Drift21. The game trailer looked exciting. Furthermore, with Drift21 Early Access, there’s the joy of being part of the development process as a game player. With this in mind, we reached out to ECC Games for a Drift21 Interview.

Fortunately, we’ve had the absolute pleasure to virtually sit down and ask the CEO of ECC Games some questions for our Drift21 Interview.

Drift21 Interview

Drift21 Interview | AIR Entertainment

How long have you been working on Drift21?

We have been working on the game for over three years. However, it is important to understand that everything starts with drawing up ideas, first prototypes, etc. Over time, the work has accelerated.

In addition, we had to build a team of specialists – programmers, graphic designers, designers. People who will understand the specifics of racing games.

Was there any specific inspiration for the game? It feels almost like some old Need For Speed games we’ve enjoyed in the past.

The biggest inspiration is life. We are passionate about automotive and car sports. We have our own drifting team and from our experience we know how much time and effort it costs to build your own car for drifting and then to improve it.

Of course, we also play a lot of video games. We have noticed that elements related to the actual work on the car are either omitted or done by changing parameters with sliders. We really want to try and innovate that aspect.

How much research do you do for in-game elements, like car parts, performance, and drift mechanics?

It took us a lot of time to collect documentation, but we also used the knowledge and experience of real drivers and drifting mechanics. One of our consultants is Pawel Grosz, vice-champion of Polish drifting series Drift Open.

Thanks to the cooperation with Drift Open we could also watch the mechanics during their work on cars and consult them.

What inspired you to let games build a car from scratch? It’s one of the main aspects we love in the game.

We wanted to show the real life of a drifting driver, who is often a mechanic in addition to driving cars. In fact, you often spend more time in your garage modifying your car than sitting at the wheel. We are sure that this is also an interesting aspect for many people and the opportunity to build your dream drift car on your own will give many gamers a lot of satisfaction.

The game features 3 cars and 3 tracks in Early Access. How many cars and tracks do you anticipate we’ll see at full launch?

We are not ready to reveal all the details now, but, certainly, over time the game will receive more car models from current and new manufacturers. New tracks will also be added. The game will be developed through and past the Early Access period. There will also be new game modes.

Is there an estimated release date yet for the full launch?

The Early Access phase will certainly last several months. We don’t have a fixed date here. We want to leave Early Access when we think that most of the problems are solved. In addition, we work closely with the players and listen to their suggestions about what should come up in the game. Closing the Early Access stage will not be the end of the game support. DRIFT21 is a long term project!

Do you have a development roadmap available for readers to see?

Such a roadmap is being created, but first we have to analyze the first information that comes to us after the start of the Early Access. Definitely in the next weeks you can expect more cars and courses, the number of which will be successively increased.

Will Drift21 feature an online multiplayer component?

Of course! This is the most impressive and most rewarding thing to do is to ride in a group. The multiplayer mode will appear later in the Early Access phase. We want to fine-tune the network code, because precision is crucial in drifting and we can’t afford to let the drivers collide through no fault of their own.

At the moment, we drift alone on the track. Will any future updates see Drift competitions with AI drivers?

We are currently focusing on bug fixing and working on the multiplayer aspects. We do not exclude this possibility in the future. Developing good AI is a time-consuming process.

On which platforms are you aiming to release the full Drift21 game?

We’re still busy exploring the possibilities at the moment. We will update you and our gamers in time to come.

Drift21 Early Access Gamer Diaries

As we’ve been involved since the launch of Drift21 Early Access, we want to start publishing gamer diaries for the racing simulation game. You can see these are weekly Previews. These will lead up to the ultimate Drift21 review when the game is fully released. For now, here are the key game features thus far.

  • Car tuning garage with over 750 parts, including over 300 decals, and extensive paint shop mode.
  • Three exciting licensed cars to choose from. 
  • Three tracks available – EBISU Driftland, EBISU School and EBISU Minami. 
  • A training mode that allows you to practice your drifting skills. 
  • More than 20 challenges in various game modes including Time Attack, Solo Run and Free Ride.  
  • Steering wheel support for Thrustmaster, Fanatec and Logitech. 

You can obtain Drift21 Early Access on Steam.

We will issue a full review when the game launches. Until then, feel free to read some of our other articles.

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