A Grand Prix Tycoon

Grand Prix Tycoon

As a game reviewer, some of my least favorite games to cover are the many and varied Tycoon titles. Trust me, I’ve covered quite a few in my day. I approach every one with an open mind, but every time find myself playing some awfully boring game that tasks me with raking in tons of cash performing some menial tasks that attempt to represent what should be an at least mildly interesting job. So, it’s with some trepidation that I bring the announcement of a new one: Grand Prix Tycoon.

As you would expect, this one covers the world of grand prix racing. Not Formula One racing, mind you, because a certain major corporation has the rights all locked up. No, this is a much more inclusive and less official grand prix racing tycoon game, where you’ll be tasked with operating one or more teams in the ultimate goal of making some bucks. It’s a multiplayer game, so you’ll be competing against other gamers through what can only be called a rather stale looking online interface, pictured here. Granted, management games are rarely anything to get excited about when it comes to graphics, but to be blunt I’ve used tax filing software with visuals that looked more racy than these.

Grand Prix Tycoon

As of now there’s no release date for the game, so no word on when this one will be coming. But, you can follow along with the game’s development at its official developer blog, and eagerly await the next batch of screens at the official site.

Grand Prix Tycoon

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

6 Comments

  1. Suggestions? There’s only so much to be done with what is essentally text. Would saturating the interface with images be better and if so… would it be acceptable to include graphics that seemed garish next to the rest of the content?

    Of course there’s the additional development time of making such images. We can’t use F1 content, so we’d have to model our own cars in-house. Whilst we’re certainly capable of that, it would take a long time and add absolutely nothing to the gameplay.

    It should also be borne in mind the game can be played on anything, even a mobile phone with nothing but a 2.9k modem and a text-only browser which limits just what can be implemented.

    We’re open to suggestions, but we would never compromise the usability or reliability of the game for the purpose of shiny presentation.

  2. I agree, usability should certainly not be compromised and being a developer I know that development time is a resource that can only be stretched too far. And, it’s great that the game will be playable on phones. However, that’s small solace to the gamer sitting at home with his 22” LCD who will never try the game on a mobile and is sick of looking at a monochrome interface. Ideally the game would look great in both places.

    Look at Google’s GMail service. It’s certainly not graphics heavy yet looks great on a PC or a smartphone because they took the time to work up separate interfaces for different device capabilities. Check out the various graphs available via their Analytics service. They’re simple, but look clean and polished.

    I agree that you can’t spend all your time generating graphics, but IMHO even management games should in some way make you feel like you’re involved in the sport and not just looking at text and charts. I’m sure you’ve looked at Football Manager and the related products there. All do a great job of presenting a very nicely polished interface that’s simple yet makes you think football (or soccer in my case). Obviously that’s a thick client game and a very different beast from your web-based interface, plus we could get back to the developer resources question, but I think there’s room to take some inspiration there.

    Anyhow, I certainly didn’t mean to sound disparaging in my post, and I’d love to cover your game going forward when you have something playable.

  3. Thanks. We’ll try to put the feedback to use as best we can. I’m sure there’s room for improvement without compromising what we already have. Sorry if I sounded defensive, I genuinely did want some suggestions 🙂

    Danny

  4. Someone should tell them how to take screenshots, hehe.

    It seems like Sony lost their license, but there isn’t anything official. I am pretty sure they had a 5 year deal, so there is still time for them to make another game.

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