Buggy Game | An Indie Simcade


Racing games don’t always need to come from large development teams with even larger budgets. There are some gems to be had from indie studios.

If you aren't aware of the term, an indie studio means that they are independent. They do not work with larger studios and generally consist of a few people.

Overview

Buggy Game is a retro-themed simcade racer. It's small in scope, intended as a quick fix when you feel that racing itch, but don't have the time or energy for the real thing. Despite it’s looks, yes this is indeed a simcade! Any confusion about this would be understandable as everything you see breathes arcade. This game does have driving physics that could prove difficult for casual gamers.

This is a really fun and rewarding game to play. If you’re a fan of 80s retro style games, then Buggy Game could be just the game for you.

RaceDepartment managed to get a copy of the Beta version of this game and we were blown away by the gameplay. Initially it is hard to wrap your head around, that there’s no simple arcade physics going on here and that these cars need to be driven in a realistic manner.

When testing, the game immediately recognised the connected Xbox controller and with a few clicks we were away! The AI is extremely fast and it took a little practice to get up to speed, and even when you get the hang of Buggy Game the AI is still very challenging.

The graphics and music feel very retro, but the gameplay feels way more advanced than anything played back in the day. We had a lot of fun playing with the traction control, brake balance, and differential settings.

Excluding time trials, the tracks are procedurally generated (an algorithm that generates a track based on certain criteria, as opposed to creating tracks manually). There are 5 different tracks that are generated using different criteria, so an arctic world will have different characteristics to a Savanna world.

Unfortunately there’s no multiplayer side to the game, but Bazkie has put a lot of effort into the programming of the AI.

The Developer

The developer of the game goes by the name Bazkie, who started developing games from the age of 12 years. He states that the great thing about making games is that it is so broad; you get to program, draw, make music, and design gameplay. This passion for game development stayed as a hobby until 2008, when Bazkie programmed his own multi-threaded game engine. A few years later, he used this game engine to create a football game.


Several years were spent on this project, but alas the project was too big for one person.

Bazkie then developed another football game called Ballsy! World Cup 2020 a 2D sprite game, utilizing the Unity game engine. Marketing for this game was non-existent, though Bazkie considers it a success as it is on Steam with 100% positive reviews - albeit with just 20 reviews.

While Bazkie’s main passion is football, his second love is sim racing.

“The great thing about sim racing is that it is so physical, engrossing, you need 100% concentration”

Development

When the development of Buggy Game started, Bazkie didn’t have a game in mind or if he was even going to make a game. All he knew is that he needed to make a car simulation and became obsessed with the project. Once the complex programming had been sorted, Bazkie made the decision to make a game and chose to stick with the 2D pixels as it’s a lot simpler than 3D.

Here’s a link to the development playlist on YouTube, for those of you who are interested in the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Believe it or not Buggy Game supports steering wheels, though it is best played with a gamepad. If you decide to play with a gamepad, this game utilizes the analog triggers so that players have complete control over throttle and braking inputs.

Buggy Game is quick to fire up, from starting the game to driving can take as little as 10 seconds. It’s a great game to play whilst sitting on the couch, whilst still retaining the sim racing vibe.

As you play through you unlock car setups that all have their own personality. You can adjust some of the setups, adjusting the differential and brake balance to your taste. The cars that are unlocked later in the game are harder to drive, testing your driving skills further with each car. The tyre model includes a friction circle, so you cannot have full lateral and forward grip at the same time. Being sensitive on the throttle takes skill and you can even trail brake in Buggy Game!

When Bazkie was developing this game, he mostly used rear wheel drive setups. When he added his first front-wheel drive car, it immediately felt like a FWD car. For example, you can open the throttle to straighten the car, which is the opposite of RWD cars.

Availability

Buggy Game will be available on 09/03/2022 in the Steam store for $3.99 / £2.89 / €3.29, and it'll run on Windows and Linux.


There’s also plans to confirm Steam Deck compatibility shortly.

Buggy Game is an extremely fun and addictive game, that is perfect to play whilst sitting on the couch.
About author
Damian Reed
PC geek, gamer, content creator, and passionate sim racer.
I live life a 1/4 mile at a time, it takes me ages to get anywhere!

Comments

There is also "Sunday Rivals" US football game, made by one person. Really great, on Unity as well. Players look arcadish, but dynamic lighting, customization etc... are gorgeous.
 
LoL this Football game looks like one of the older Pro Evolution Soccer titles.
It was exactly that, an attempt at an improved PES6 :) (I still play PES6 regularly to this very day..)

Peppelino:

I am mostly impressed of that guy Bazkie, and he's success with the things that he love. Kept doing it for quite a long time now, means true dedication.
Thanks :) It's hard work but also a dream job.
 
Last edited:
Premium
It was exactly that, an attempt at an improved PES6 :) (I still play PES6 regularly to this very day..)
Cool. Before i more and more moved to serious sim racing i was an PES addict. Back than i organised some pes-tournaments in my home town :inlove:
PES 6 is legendary, maybe best football game ever made.
 
To be honest, "Burnin Rubber", a game from 1983 looks more fun to me...
What a young boy I was then. And enjoyed that game so much!
This reminded me also right away about Burnin Rubber. Oh boy those hours and hours with that game. First plays when was around 6-7 years old.. First times was able to play something where you can crash, other option was to play with toy cars. That was our Destruction Derbys back then. From Burnin Rubber to Wreckfest and BeamNG's etc and everything between. Crashing has developed a bit.. Ohh bugger.
 
Premium
I get that "Buggy" as a noun refers to the main vehicle type in this game, but considering what "Buggy" as an adjective typically refers to in software in general but games most notably, the title is a bit unfortunate.
 
I get that "Buggy" as a noun refers to the main vehicle type in this game, but considering what "Buggy" as an adjective typically refers to in software in general but games most notably, the title is a bit unfortunate.
I believe that's the whole idea of the title, the name was not an accident.
 

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