Some of you may have already cast your eyes over my review of SBK Team Manager on Mobile devices but here is an insight behind the scenes of the game from the Creative Director and CEO of Pixel Racers Emmanuel Floret
I caught up with him about the origins of SBK Team Manager, game development and potential for whats next for the game.
TGA: You used to work for Ubisoft as a developer, what prompted you to start your own company and create games?
Emmanuel: Discussion with friend and saying what would you like to make as a video game, I’d like to make a racing game with bikes. But I’m too old to be racing bikes so maybe as I’m old enough to be a manager,, you know what i should make a bike manager game, i looked on google play store and it struck me there aren’t any, I have to do it, i need a challenge.
TGA: How long have you been a SBK fan?
Emmanuel: 18 years
TGA: Why did you choose SBK over the popular Motogp?
Emmanuel: I actually have more knowledge of Moto GP and initially the game was Moto Team Manager.
So we had fake names, but as we were sourcing funding and when i met Digital tales, I knew they were making the SBK games, I talked to them about my idea and they were interested in expanding their franchise. They contacted me a year later, and we were progressing and they offered me the license for SBK.
TGA: Did you get to work with teams or riders during the making of the game?
Emmanuel: Unfortunately not
TGA: How long did it take to develop the game?
Emmanuel: Idea in Jan 2016, but it was just an idea then without full time work on it. Ubi were not interested in the game after presenting to them. I left in October 2016 then with prototype, at GDC 2017 I found funding, it was June 2017 for this version of the game.
TGA: What was the biggest challenge during the games creation?
Emmanuel: 2 challenges, funding because in Canada the motorcycle industry is hard to find funding for. The other part was making it for mobile, I previously worked on PC games mostly, so working with Andorid and IOS was challenging.
TGA: Did you think of adding additional setup or more detailed setup options?
Emmanuel: On mobile i wanted it to be simple and straightforward. I wasn’t willing to go into that detail as that’s not the role of the team manager.
I was watching Moto 3 and the manager decided to work on race pace instead of qualifying, and that the kind of decisions I wanted to emulate in the game. I didn’t want the player to have to work out the chain springs and forks, I didn’t want the player to feel like a mechanic
TGA: Why is the game only 4 seasons long?
Emmanuel: I didn’t want the game to be a 50 hr to beat it, i wanted it to be a quick game to pick up and play then put down if needed. Everything in the game was budget related and we are a small team so didn’t have the funding to do it bigger. And we can’t change the roster during the season that we didn’t have the license for so racing against the same teams for 10 seasons would be boring.
So I made it shorter so you can change teams have quicker cycles.
TGA: Why does it stop after you win?
Emmanuel: There is no challenge left, I understand you’d like to beat everyone and get first in qualifying so nothing left but you can change team and do it with them.
TGA: Micro transactions make up lots of developers profits these days but you opted to include them yet still charge for the game itself, why is this?
Emmanuel: I’m not a big fan of free to play, first is that it conveys wrong message that everything is free, 2nd usually make it so developers get players to carry on playing needing to buy the in-game transaction. Basically you don’t need micro transactions but if you’d like to support us further than you can but if not you don’t need to.
TGA: Are there any plans to make a PC version with more detail?
Emmanuel: I would love to do so, but it depends if we sell enough and have enough interest in it. I have great ideas to steer the genre if we can make it.
I have great ideas and hopefully investors hear about it and we can do something in the near future.
TGA: Can we expect to see another SBK team manager in 2019?
Emmanuel: The goal is to update this game. We will update the roster, bikes, and tracks for the next two seasons, as it’s part of our contract with Dorna and Digital Tales.
We would also like to add more features. However, we need to sell enough copies to have the budget to implement those features.
We would like to thank Emmanuel for his time and wish him and his team all the best success for the game.
We strongly urge you to go and check it our on one of the links below
Check out our review of SBK Team manager here
SBK Team Manager is available for iOS devices on the App Store® http://bit.ly/SBKTeamMan_iOS and for Android devices on Google Play™ (http://bit.ly/SBKTeamMan_And) at a promotional launch price of 2.29 Euros for a limited period of time.