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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Heavier Rain

    - staff

  • Tim Dernick, Windy City Streets

    Chicago is a city of gluttony. From late night restaurants with some of the best food to strips of bars that stay open until the sun comes up, a person can lose themselves on the streets of the windy city. But for some, the excitement of late nights and partying isn't enough. For people like Max Caselle, the drugs don't come in bags, they come in tanks filled with nitrous and under the hoods of cars that are as fast as they are loud.

    The game is "Windy City Streets," and it's a journey into underground street racing. Max is an up and comer in the racing scene. Your job is to give him a name for himself. Using the heavy rain engine, you take Max to some of the most dangerous, dark alleys in Chicago to deal with people who control the city from behind the scenes.

    Every decision made and friend gained determines where Max ends up. Do you make friends with the more legitimate business men in the racing world and make your money in a respectable fashion? Or do you go straight for the easy money and deal behind closed doors with criminals that would make your grandmother's skin crawl? The choice is yours, and your only limitation is your moral conscious. The only ending is the one the player makes for themselves, and every action, every choice, has a consequence.

    The play style set up by heavy rain fits perfectly into the dynamic sport of street racing. Instead of controlling your car from a third person backseat view with a the joystick for steering and the right bumper for gas, the player is behind the wheel of the car controlling everything from the steering wheel and stick shift to the tunes playing on the radio.

    A sharp turn is either successfully navigated with the right combination of buttons, or the car crashes into the wall and the player prepares for impact. Head to head with an opponent, the right combination of buttons will allow the player to gain that extra inch that finishes the race, the wrong leads him to a close second. You aren't playing a driving simulator, you are driving, and every moment counts. There is no restart race, if the player loses, better luck next time.

    But the excitement of racing is only part of the big picture that is "Windy City Streets." The interactive quick time events that take place during the races extend into interactions with people. Discussions, decisions, fights, and purchases for your vehicle are all handled under the same system that was seen in heavy rain. Want cheaper car parts, make a friend with a store owner via conversation, do a few favors, or beat him up and make him give you those parts. Just remember, your actions have consequences, and just because the Max is the main player in the game, doesn't mean his story has a happy ending.


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