Cars Lightning Speed

Cars Lightning Speed is a fast paced racing game designed and developed by Playerthree for Disney Pixar Cars®. Lightning Speed lets you play as a new rookie racing car competing in a new cup series around the world against some of your favourite Cars® characters, such as Carla Veloso, Max Schnell, Francesco Bernoulli to name but a few. Lightning McQueen himself is on hand to be your buddy and guide you through the game.

Players can choose from five different car models and then select your colour, decals and race specific kits to give yourself the best look and the best chance of winning the race series. Players can select single races or series races in varying levels of difficulty.

The action itself is a clever mix of 2D art and 3D perspective, similar to arcade classics such as Outrun and Pole Position, but of course using polished Cars style assets.

From a development perspective this was an exciting challenge for us. We have worked on many racing games before but for this project we needed to get even better speed and performance from mobile and desktop so developed the engine from the ground up in HTML5, Pixi.js and Spine for vehicle animations. As true 3D assets could not be used, we had to have two separate systems to construct the cars used in the garage and in the race itself. Regardless of the colour and decals used in the garage, the same car has to be seen during the race.

The solution was a complex mix of different layers and masks to build up each car as if it were pre-rendered that way from the start. The opponents are built in a similar way.

The racing itself takes place over three Cars® inspired settings. Porto Corsa in italy, Radiator Springs in the USA, Alpine racing in Germany, Neon Tokyo in Japan and dense Amazon Jungles of Brazil. Each setting has a large set of assets to render and we designed and built the 20 different race tracks using our own customer Unity track editor.

Finally, along-side the expected racing sound effects we also commissioned 6 different original soundtracks for the game and individual countries you must race through.