How The Grand Tour Game puts fun first
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As much as the angry world of Reddit, YouTube comments and The Internet In General would try to tell you otherwise, the fact that humans all like different things is absolutely fantastic. I, for example, enjoy travelling around Europe on motorbikes that seem to give most other people haemorrhoids after 10 miles. Other people take perverse delight in putting pineapple on pizza, and then of course you have folk who wear socks with sandals. We all like different things.
The gaming world is no different. Not everyone wants to devote every waking moment levelling up their wizard in Diablo, or building an inescapable swimming pool complex in The Sims.
We all game for different reasons, then. But look closely and you’ll find a common thread among the best games of all time. Look at the likes of Mario Kart, Street Fighter, Doom and Sonic – they’re all games anyone could pick up and enjoy. You don’t need a degree in physics or the mouse-and-keyboard twitch skills of a pro gamer to get something out of them.
And that level of accessibility is exactly what The Grand Tour Game is shooting for. And not just because it’d be funny to see your nan sideswiping your dad while shouting Clarksonesque threats after your Sunday lunch.
Games put a smile on your face
Craig Sullivan, Creative Director for The Grand Tour Game is a little philosophical about putting fun into games. “The world isn’t always a fun place, and I know that I play video games for entertainment, and I play video games to smile,” he explains.
“As game designers we’re here to make people smile and our job is ultimately to give video games to people and then say ‘go have some fun with this.’”
And judging by people who’ve played The Grand Tour Game on the show floor at the LA Motor Show, it’s a philosophy that’s paying off.
“I watch new players with our game and within a minute or two they’re having fun with the handling, are doing some drifts and are smiling,” says Craig.
As you’d expect from a game featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, The Grand Tour Game isn’t a particularly serious experience. And the Amazon Game Studio team has put a lot of effort into making it a game anyone can pick up and play.
“We’re not making a simulation,” says Craig. “Other games do that and they do it very well. We don’t need to be a super-technical simulation. We want to appeal to a very broad audience, we want a bunch of people to be able to play through an episode.
“If a player’s never played a video game before or if they’re video game veterans, we want them to have fun with it. It’s easy to pick up, hard to master, and there’s a lot of depth in there.”
Humour at the core
While Craig’s been concerned with making the game great fun to play, Senior Producer Brian Lindley has been using his experience on games such as Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare to ensure the Grand Tour humour permeates the game.
“The Grand Tour vibe is as much about the hosts and their banter and back-and-forth as the fact that they’re reviewing and experiencing all these amazing vehicles. But at the end of the day they don’t take themselves very seriously. So we try to apply that sense of irreverence to our game.”
“It’s what sets us apart from other driving games – we’re not a serious experience, but we’re definitely serious about making something that’s a fun game and really high quality. It’s really about capturing the irreverence of the brand, and laughing along with the hosts and feeling part of the show.”
Not long until you can have fun
The Grand Tour Game comes out on 15 January 2019. Can’t wait? Check The Grand Tour Game Tribe for more behind-the-scenes interview about the game.