Rumble Racing Star is a Mario Kart-alike with Web3 elements, published by DeLabs Games (part of 4:33 Creative Lab) in South Korea. For a game with monetizable elements – earning and trading in-game digital assets – it’s unusually mainstream, even casual. GameDaily spoke to the company’s Head of Strategy Quinn Kwon about the company’s ambitions for the game, and its likely target audience.
GameDaily: Tell us about the game and its current timeline?
Quinn Kwon: We were looking at different racing genres and we were inspired by lawnmower racing culture. Rumble Racing Star is currently being developed by one of the creators of Crazyracing Kartrider which is one of the biggest kart racing games in Asia. It’s a funny, hilarious game with a lot of items and skills. It’s a really casual racing game.
We have a focus test coming up this week with a select number of participants and then we’re planning for a closed beta in August and then an open beta perhaps in September.
GameDaily: Can you tell us about how the game’s Web3 elements work?
Quinn Kwon: So the basic model for Rumble Racing Star is that it’s free to play. So it’s really open for everyone to come in and play. I think that stands out because a lot of Web3 games so far have been very gated where you have to own certain NFTs or you have to come in with certain tokens.
We’re going with a more hybrid approach and being more approachable to all gaming audiences. Anyone can come in, on board and enjoy the first part of the game as you would any normal game. There’s very light in-app purchases also involved.
So it’s a very welcoming game and that’s our approach to Web3 gaming as a whole. Once you’re in the game, there’s a wide array of activities that you can enjoy without even having to know anything about the Web3 aspects.
Once you reach a certain level in the game, we have a selection of karts, which are NFTs. and that represents a sort of end-content for more serious players who want to get into serious races and who are interested in upgrades. But that’s optional, and a lot of the game is really Web2.
I think that’s kind of a pretty unique approach we’re taking and what we really want to achieve here is mass adoption for Web3 which is, I know, it’s a very difficult task [laughs]. But we believe a natural progression through games – and motivating users to onboard to Web3 – is the way forward. We’ll try to guide the users as smoothly as possible onto some of the more advanced and complex Web3 aspects of the game that are for more engaged users.
It’s a PC-based game and our approach is to separate the game layer and the blockchain layers. When you log-in, it’s a normal sign-in so there are no wallets involved. You win a game and you earn digital assets and if you want to, you can turn them into NFTs and that’s when you can come to our website and there’s an easy way to organize your wallet or you can connect an existing wallet, and you can engage with upgrading and trading.
For the characters in the game, we’ve partnered with big name PFP [picture-for picture] NFT projects and they each have their own personalities and stories and we’re working with those partners to involve their communities with the game. So if you own, for example, a Goblintown NFT then you’ll be able to race with that character or you’ll unlock special features like putting that NFT on the kart’s rear flag.
GameDaily: So these NFT carts have in-game advantages?
Quinn Kwon: Yes, the upgrade system will allow for the NFT karts to reach levels that are a little bit higher than what you would only get inside the game. There’s also a boosting feature called performance kits which are consumable that you add on to your cart that can boost your speed in an individual race. And there are special features that interact with items in the game in special ways.
Of course, if you’re racing with upgraded carts, you’ll be entering different racing pools that unlock as you progress. It’s like poker – you play for higher stakes as you become better at the game, and you start playing for real tokens that you can take outside the game, instead of the in-game ‘silver’ tokens that can’t be used outside the game.
But overall it’s a very casual game. We expect people of all different ages to just be able to come in and play and enjoy. The game itself is not super difficult, but there are more hardcore hardcore modes for gamers who want that experience of testing their skills,
GameDaily: Will you have a marketplace for NFTs in the game?
Quinn Kwon: We’re not starting out with our own marketplace. We expect market trading to happen on different platforms outside the game like OpenSea. But if the need arises and a lot of users who really want that marketplace then it’s something we can add later down the line.
GameDaily: What other games do you have planned?
Quinn Kwon: We have two other games coming out. One is called Space Frontier, which is a survival and crafting RPG game, which is perfect for Web3 gaming because there are a lot of items involved – a lot of like crafting and gathering, with an active trading system. We’ll have a beta build by the end of the year. Then our third game is an anime style character collection, action RPG.
We’ll adjust the timelines on those games according to the reception we see with Rumble Racing Star. The approach we are taking is creating games for games, and not just targeted towards speculators who want to come in and earn tokens. The publishing team has a lot of experience publishing many strong games, and our developers have worked on successful games in the genres we’re focused on.