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Kart Racers - Designing Fun for Everyone ~ Design Doc

Published on Oct 4, 2018 119,133 views

Kart racers have such a wide appeal compared to most other genres. What do they do to draw in such a large audience? Let's look at the tools used by Mario Kart, Sonic All-Stars, Crash Team Racing and Diddy Kong Racing to appeal to so many people.

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  • Bayu Swatama
    Bayu Swatama 7 months ago "The Sonic & SEGA & All-Star & Racing & Transform & Knuckle" That joke never died, i guess
  • Rainpooper
    Rainpooper 7 months ago Bayu Swatama At least this guy is using it in a context where it’s actually kind of funny and doesn’t just scream „& Knuckles“ in the comment sections of unrelated videos.
  • ikagura
    ikagura 7 months ago This joke should never die
  • AceRay 24
    AceRay 24 7 months ago This joke stays and never leave
  • Jim Bim Bum
    Jim Bim Bum 7 months ago The Android version isn't updated anymore even though nowadays phones should be able to handle it very easily :/
  • iPeteEE
    iPeteEE 7 months ago Just ad 06’ at the end of the title, and you’re good!
  • Ragnarok
    Ragnarok 7 months ago Legends never die.
  • shadow0416
    shadow0416 6 months ago featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series!
  • NarcissBlue
    NarcissBlue 4 months ago I cracked up when I read this rofl, I love this meme.
  • Gizensha Fox
    Gizensha Fox 7 months ago There's one aspect of item design that you didn't bring up - skill (rather than item) based countering, such as how in Double-dash and DS a correctly timed mini-turbo could dodge the blue shell.
  • Randy Shackleford
    Randy Shackleford 7 months ago I liked blue shell dodging better in double dash, because the timing was a 1 frame window. So while it's possible to dodge , it's EXTREMELY hard to do consistently, especially with how loose the handling is in that game. In DS, it's laughable how easy it is to dodge blue shell, which makes first place absolutely untouchable if they can also snake (which is also simplified from double dash). I love both games though!
  • Jason Blalock
    Jason Blalock 7 months ago (edited) MK7 makes things REALLY interesting because everyone can see what items everyone else was holding. Back before the online became a swamp of hackers, there were entire metas just revolving around what happens once a blue shell enters play. Like, it became viable (but not 100% reliable) to deliberately dive down a pit just after the shell was fired, so that -- hopefully -- the #2 player ends up in first just in time to take the hit. Then you get fished out, hit the boost landing, and sail back by them.
  • VGF80
    VGF80 7 months ago I think those are just exploits that the developers might have missed.
  • DDD
    DDD 7 months ago You can still dodge a blue shell via mushroom in mk8d
  • Tom Crawley
    Tom Crawley 7 months ago In Mario Kart Wii, you can destroy a red shell against a flat wall if you drift to it and immediately drift away. It's really hard to do but extremely rewarding if you do it consistently. In MK8, it's nearly impossible to dodge them without an item.
  • Ashlynn Anderson
    Ashlynn Anderson 6 months ago @Tom Crawley that's one of my favorite mechanics in MKWii, the loose red shell tracking that lets you manipulate them just a bit at a higher skill level like the video says, MKWii is a bit too hectic at times, but there were a couple nice things like that which just never saw the light of day in other mario kart games That said, the POW blocks suck either you don't know how to dodge them and they kick your ass, or you know how to counter them and they actually become interesting. A prompt that says "Shake!" would be really useful there, because once you know how to counter them, when one pops up you actually have to think about how you're driving since it makes you glide in the direction of your momentum in a completely straight line for a bit and can really disrupt the race, plus if you're too in the middle of something to shake your wiimote you get hit by the more powerful uncountered POW block :)
  • Fish
    Fish 7 months ago Did you imply Garfield Kart Racing™ was bad?
  • KholdKhaos64 Ray
    KholdKhaos64 Ray 7 months ago I appreciate the acknowledgment of Snowboard Kids and Sonic & All-stars Racing Transformed. Those games definitely deserve it. Especially Sonic
  • Stephen O'Brien
    Stephen O'Brien 7 months ago I think S&ASRT is better than MK8, in almost every way. It's definitely underrated.
  • Design Doc
    Design Doc 7 months ago (edited) I think Transformed is the best single player Kart Racer out there. 90% of the tracks are great (The returning retro courses got a slight downgrade compared to the original Sonic All Stars), tons of content, lots of unlocks. It's a good campaign to chip away at. I think the online multiplayer falters a bit compared to Mario Kart. Online lobbies are clunky, races take a bit too long to start, and I think runaway victories are too common with veterans often being ahead by at least a quarter of the track. You can still get into online races now (on PC at least) but it's kind of sparse and after revisiting it last month, I think there's a reason (beyond general marketing) for why the online player base for it fell off faster than Mario Kart or Modnation Racers.
  • KholdKhaos64 Ray
    KholdKhaos64 Ray 7 months ago (edited) @Design Doc All of those are fair criticisms of the game (even though I do love it for the skill it rewards I can see why newcomers would not want to come back) Maybe if they gave the game Team Sonic Racing's team based Racing options along with single Racing options, do you think it would keep newcomers coming back?
  • MagcargoMan
    MagcargoMan 7 months ago +Design Doc Transformed is certainly a high-quality game, but in terms of tracks/kart handling I think I preferred the first Sonic and SEGA game more. In Transformed there's a lot more long stretches of road compared to the first game and I find that the vehicles are harder to handle around corners.
  • Leo Vuitton
    Leo Vuitton 7 months ago Sonic isnt very good
  • Leo Vuitton
    Leo Vuitton 7 months ago @Stephen O'Brien lol ur wrong buddy
  • SunaArashi
    SunaArashi 7 months ago Kinda wish he mentioned Modnation Racers though. They had some pretty good ideas. I liked how drifting and doing tricks stores your boost into a bar instead of boosting you instantly. You can choose to use your boost bar for either a shield or boost, which adds a layer of choice and decision making.
  • Sr DeSilva
    Sr DeSilva 7 months ago (edited) i own both of em and i rather play mario kart 8. i enjoy the environment and characters better on mario kart 8. Mario kart games are the king of kart racing for a reason.
  • Elijah Toombs
    Elijah Toombs 7 months ago (edited) @Leo Vuitton have you played a sonic game
  • Leo Vuitton
    Leo Vuitton 7 months ago @Elijah Toombs yes they all suck
  • The Bomberman Fanboy
    The Bomberman Fanboy 7 months ago @Leo Vuitton hater/troll detected
  • Elijah Toombs
    Elijah Toombs 7 months ago @The Bomberman Fanboy yep
  • Elijah Toombs
    Elijah Toombs 7 months ago @Leo Vuitton lol i doubt youve played all of them
  • SrFrancium
    SrFrancium 6 months ago Snow board kids had amazing items, miss that game
  • Bullshit Man
    Bullshit Man 6 months ago I like the original much better than transformed.
  • Gero
    Gero 7 months ago That snowboard kids music at the beginning... I hear you.
  • Design Doc
    Design Doc 7 months ago We really wanted to talk about it but felt that we couldn't fit it in without going off on a tangent. We'll touch on it one day though. Those first two SBK are STILL good. The DS game is the worst.
  • Gero
    Gero 7 months ago @Design Doc I'm very ready to talk about the lifts in that game and HO BOY. I remember being so excited hearing about the DS game. I never got it, and I guess I'm glad I didn't.
  • Design Doc
    Design Doc 7 months ago The only good thing about that game is that Jack Frost from SMT is playable.
  • Mecha Shoujo
    Mecha Shoujo 7 months ago Can't wait!
  • greg nubody
    greg nubody 7 months ago Love snowboard kids, I'd watch that video. Maybe work in beetle adventure racing or vigilante 8, nobody seems to remember those
  • RaycerkGamer
    RaycerkGamer 7 months ago What you said about Crash Team Racing is so true, glad you mentioned it. In my opinion, is the only kart racing game that gives to the pros something fun and not luck based. Is just an amazing game.
  • Tom Crawley
    Tom Crawley 7 months ago The skill cap for CTR is actually insanely high
  • Canalbiruta
    Canalbiruta 6 months ago One other game that is very deep (not much as ctr) is sonic and allstars trasformed. If you learn how to use the boost in that game, even itens can't keep up with you.
  • Xeni
    Xeni 7 months ago Sneaky! I was thinking, "I wonder if he'll reference ModNation Racers", and the song at the end got me.
  • C.T.A.
    C.T.A. 7 months ago (edited) I think he should have talked about it because it's in my opinion one of the best Kart Racing games of all time. It did everything absolutely right.
  • Meowium99
    Meowium99 7 months ago @C.T.A. and it had a level editor!
  • NedVedSed
    NedVedSed 7 months ago It has one problem... It's a PS3 exclusive!!!!
  • Meowium99
    Meowium99 7 months ago IT waS oN tHe PsViTa ToO unCULTURed swINe
  • Ann7
    Ann7 7 months ago Rip modnation...
  • Jamasta Hubbs
    Jamasta Hubbs 2 weeks ago Right. I like how he used their menu music at the end but didn't mention them lol
  • A.C. Dragonlover
    A.C. Dragonlover 7 months ago I also liked how in CTR, getting 10 Wumpa Fruit gave you an upgraded item, too. It gave more incentive to target Wumpa Fruit and really changed how the track played out the later in the race it was. Going from TNT that can be shaken off to Nitro crates that blow up on contact is a small change that impacts the gameplay in big ways.
  • ManaBanana
    ManaBanana 7 months ago Considering the modnation music at the end, I'm surprised you didn't bring it up since it does the diddy kong racing item level up system better. For those unaware, modnation racers also has an item system where there's only 4 items but they can be leveled up to level 3, and the leveled up versions are SIGNIFICANTLY better. For example a level 1 rocket is just a straight shot, a level 2 rocket fires 3 homing rockets at the guy in front of you, and a level 3 rocket fires like 20 homing rockets at everyone in front of you. This isn't even mentioning how every single weapon and weapon level can also be used as a mine if you're in the lead
  • Link&Watch .9
    Link&Watch .9 7 months ago Wait what's this modnation you are talking about? I'm interested to know
  • ManaBanana
    ManaBanana 7 months ago Modnation Racers, it released a couple years after Little Big Planet on the PS3 and followed the same general design principles where you could basically make whatever you wanted. tracks, karts, and drivers were all massively customizable. It's my favorite kart racer of all time because of all the good memories I have and also it's well thought out game design concepts
  • brana1646
    brana1646 7 months ago Dude modnation is the best cart racer of all time. So much freedom! 1. Course maker. Download karts and courses for free. 2. Items r powerful but balanced. I love how boost maxed out leaves a wormhole where a skilled chaser can sneak through. 3. Tapping x after a drift to stabilize your kart and to immediately cancel Into another drift. 4. So many other reasons to type out alone. I wish it would come back for PS4.
  • Link&Watch .9
    Link&Watch .9 7 months ago @ManaBanana Holy crap!!! A friend was telling me yesterday about this racing game that he used to play in which you could customize everything and download created characters but he didn't remember the name, and now the day after i read your comment! @_@
  • Toby Hendricks
    Toby Hendricks 7 months ago I'm still waiting for it to make a comeback. But San Diego studio decided to make drawn to death instead :/ They had something really special there. I can't express how much I love that game.
  • Petteri Kippo
    Petteri Kippo 7 months ago Also the shield mechanic works so well, because you can either try to zoom ahead or be protected from 1-2 attacks. It is truly a great cart racer
  • suprakirby
    suprakirby 7 months ago I loved that game. Too bad it didn't have a sequel on the PS4
  • suprakirby
    suprakirby 7 months ago Or the Lvl 3 thunderbolt. The whole sky lit up in PURPLE with thunderstorms. So epic.
  • Toby Hendricks
    Toby Hendricks 7 months ago @suprakirby with all the memory on that thing, tracks could've been even crazier
  • SunaArashi
    SunaArashi 7 months ago Not to mention how your boost is stored in a bar, which you can use either to boost or as a shield.
  • SunaArashi
    SunaArashi 7 months ago Seriously, Modnation is one of my favorite Kart racers, next to Crash Team Racing of course.
  • TerrorOfTalos
    TerrorOfTalos 7 months ago @Link&Watch .9 Modnation racers is underrated as fuck
  • Patrik Kozjak-Lesički
    Patrik Kozjak-Lesički 7 months ago CTR is still the best cart racer as far as I'm concerned!
  • Ajit 'I have a micropenis' Pai
    Ajit 'I have a micropenis' Pai 6 months ago And it always will be!
  • Golden Skeleton
    Golden Skeleton 7 months ago Great video. I think it's also interesting to talk about Sonic riders and how that game changed some of the basics ideas of a kart race to be something unique. I disagree that mario kart has a better items than Sonic and all star racing transformed because a skillful player in SASRT can avoid any items making the system fair and competitive.
  • T&C Gaming Times
    T&C Gaming Times 7 months ago Totally here for the CTR love!... ...& Knuckles
  • Gulf Giggle Animations
    Gulf Giggle Animations 7 months ago I feel like good track design is the same as good level design in general. Consistent theming that alters mechanics. Just look at Mount Wario in Mario Kart 8. In every lap there’s like, 3 different mechanics. They squeezed out every bit of potential that the theme of “Snowy Mountain” had for a Mario Kart track. Also, I never liked how they removed the wiggle boost mechanic ever since Wii. Yeah, it needed a nerf to prevent a serpentine meta, but now every turn is just that much more safe. Risk vs reward mechanics should be added, not removed!