“Soon” seems to be the default date for every iOS game release announcement, and that constant holds true for Forever Drive. In a conversation over e-mail, a representative from Supermono Studios told me that the open-world-y, sandbox-y racing game is about to enter certification, which can take weeks. “We’re very close,” he said.
While I can’t get you a release date thanks to Apple’s crazy complicated and often lengthy processes, I can try to paint you an accurate word picture of the online element and how it informs everything in Forever Drive, including racing mechanic and its systems -- it's just that vital to the experience.
So, here's the deal. Forever Drive's hook is that it has a distinctive and inseparable user-creation element. Like LittleBigPlanet, creative users will be able to tap out their own levels and then share them with the game's community at large. In Forever Drive, you'll be asked to create pieces of racing tracks, which is an important distinction to make, as each piece will eventually be procedurally combined into a much bigger, but singular “mad uber-highway" in the game's fast-paced driving component dubbed "DRIVE."
Provided enough people create in the game, the track you race on could be the product of tens of thousands of user creators. I was told to think of this highway as a playlist where only the best and brightest will be added to the listing. In order to ensure the best users keep creating, Supermono plans to dish out rewards of in-game currency and unlockable items to the best creators.
“What we've tried to create is a very streamlined experience — something a little different from the "load a track, do 3 laps, stop, repeat" gameplay that's become almost universal in driving games,” he said.
“We're trying to create something that feels more like an epic journey, with that feeling of discovery and wonder you get driving fast into an unfamiliar land…”
In our original coverage I almost used the word “MMO," and I wish I would have. If Forever Drive works as well as it sounds on paper, it’ll carry a sense of persistence that we only typically see in MMOs. That's neat, man, and I can't wait to see it in action. Count me in, Supermono.