American McGee has taken the wraps off his latest project, a Chinese-themed "MMO-lite racing game concept" called BaiJiu Racer.
McGee, who currently resides in Shanghai, China, decided to pitch his latest videogame concept online rather than through traditional channels, saying, "I'm getting old, China is FAR from the rest of the world, and the Internet can do a lot of amazing things." The game has been in "focused pre-production" at his Spicy Horse development studio for the past three months, and McGee said he believes it will be a strong competitor in the "worldwide, lite-MMO, online racing category."
"A lot of teams dream of a Mario Kart or KartRider killer - and we think our concept goes a long ways towards being a viable contender," McGee wrote on his blog. "For one, it's the first Chinese cart racing game developed with an authentic and original Chinese art style, set in real-world locations, and featuring some of the funkiest racing vehicle designs the world has ever seen (inspiration coming from actual Chinese vehicles). We're focusing on semi-realistic (and fun) physics-based racing dynamic, going light on the power-ups, and throwing in a lot of visual action."
Among the key features of the game are a distinctive art style built around "a timeless portrayal of everyday Chinese people and locations," skill-based core gameplay rather than a heavy reliance on power-ups, strong narrative backbone and emotional drama and "track locations that reveal a China few foreigners have seen." Chinese publisher ICEE has already secured the rights to the game in China, but McGee is still looking for a publisher to handle the game in the rest of the world.
To learn more about BaiJiu Racer, check out the announcement on American McGee's blog or have a look at his YouTube channel, where he's posted a trailer showing the game's visual style and early gameplay elements.