Role: Solo project / research | Platform: PC | Genre: Racer | Engine: Unity | 2022

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CyberDrome_2085 is a prototype that I created after an analysis of Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour core loop (please see Fig.2). As I was in the midst of my analysis, I thought it would be an interesting to design a prototype based on mechanics from classic anti gravity racers such as wipE′out″ and combine it with Mario Kart Tour’s core loop. In addition, it would also help me explore and further understand the design behind the game.

CyberDrome_2085 Core loop

  • Players race around a track and compete to earn points
  • Points are based on:
    • Base points (BP) – Pre-race selections e.g. choice of track, character and racer
    • Action Points (AP) – Performing actions during gameplay e.g. jumps, turbo pads entered and credits collected
  • At the end of the race BP and AP are added together for a total points score for that race

Due to scope and time restraints base points are awarded slightly differently in CyberDrome_2085 than Mario Kart Tour. Although the position of the player is tracked, for this version, I decided not to add points based on the players position again due to scope and time restraints. The prototype could be extended to include points for players positions, lap times and overall time for example.

Software & Attribution

Level design and asset creation

I created the prototype track using Probuilder, a modular race kit and some custom pieces built in Maya and based it upon some classic race tracks. Photoshop was used to create the 2D assets and stock models were used for the character and racer models.

Mario Kart Tour Analysis / Observations

Core Game loop

  • Players race around a track and compete to earn points through placement and performing actions
  • Points are broken down into three categories:
    • Placement in race (e.g. 1st = 2050 points, 2nd = 1085 points, 3rd = 928 points)
    • Bonus points (Actions performed in race e.g. jump boost, turbos, land a hit)
    • Base points ( Base attributes for any given character, kart and glider)
    • Players also loose or gain experience points (Player level) depending on their finishing position in the race
  • Each course has its own favored and favorite selection of drivers, karts and gliders. If players use these they earn more base points during a race
    • Favored – allows 2 items lots
    • Favorite – allows 3 items slots – can activate “frenzy” – boosts bonus points
  • Bonus actions, performed during a race, increase bonus points awarded during a race – Jump boosts, collecting gold, landing a hit with a weapon.
  • Combos – performing multiple bonus actions in a row produce combos within a predetermined time frame
    • Combos slightly increase bonus points earned
    • Time to string combos together can be extended by using favored / favorite gliders – making it easier to accumulate higher amount of combos thus increasing bonus points
  • Seasonal content / Tours
  • Gold pass
  • Cups are locked until players complete the first cup

Mind Mapping

Fig.1 – Mind mapping Mario Kart Tour

Core Loop

Fig.2 – Mario Kart Tour – Core loop

Designing for meaningfulness – Player freedom and prototyping exploration mechanics

Greetings, I thought I’d give a quick update on the development of Los and go over some of my thinking…