Excalibur Games opens up about new Steam Greenlight title Jalopy
What if you were to modernize a game like Oregon Trail, add all the modern gaming amenities like vehicle customization with strategic decision making, and then set it in a period of civil unrest? You would have a game like the indie title Jalopy; which will be available for early access on April 22nd.
The setting for this game is during the period directly after the fall of the Berlin wall. Players will take the role of a young man who inherits his uncle's disheveled car and embarks on an adventure across the Eastern Bloc to help him achieve his dream of returning to his homeland, passing through countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey.
We recently had an opportunity to speak with the developers of Jalopy and ask them some more questions about their game.
Gameskinny: Jalopy's story and setting are pretty unique in modern gaming. Was the choice for the Eastern Bloc as the location for the game, or the time period the game is set in based on anyone at the company's personal experiences?
Excalibur Games: Personally, I’m intrigued by the time because it was a period of great change politically. The game is set between the fall of the Berlin wall and German reunification. These events sparked an echo of reform throughout the Fraternal Socialist States of the time. If one looks at that period you’ll see all sorts of shifts in history, from the onset of the Velvet Revolution to the whisper of unrest within Yugoslavia. The narrative of the game isn’t greatly focused on the political change. It’s more of a personal insight into how this political shift influenced the people experiencing it in that time, what they chose to do when presented with a new world opening up before them.
GS: The game's namesake car, the Laika 601 Deluxe seems to be inspired by the Trabant 601 Deluxe from East Germany. Why did you pick this car in particular?
EG: The old East German “trabbie” is a fairly iconic symbol of this former socialist system and the stylizing in Jalopy requires an old extinct model of vehicle to capture the essence of the game. The story line centers on a road trip being made in a car hardly capable of tackling such a journey and a big part of the Jalopy gaming experience is the economy mode where you must scavenge or buy parts to keep your car roadworthy. It just wouldn’t work the same for an E-Class Merc!
For those of us old enough to remember the fall of the wall or perhaps even visit, the only cars on the road in the eastern section of Berlin and the former DDR as a whole were Trabants. This is our homage to it!
GS: 3. Finally, does your company have any plans for downloadable content down the road, such as new routes to travel, new car upgrades, or new pit stops to make along the way?
EG: The release in April is in to the Steam Early Access program so there’s a way to go before the game is complete anyway. We like the idea of releasing into Early Access first so the community can have a say in how the game develops. The plan for the Early Access development is to expand the routes to include 1990’s interpretations of Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey. From this core we plan to build on using feedback from the community but replace the Laika 601 Deluxe? Well we don’t think so!
I recently had a chance to try the game out, and as someone who isn't a car enthusiast, I was pleasantly surprised. If you're interested in our review of Jalopy to see more in game action, click here.
With it's vehicle customization, open world freedom and the random generation allowing for different choices in each playthrough, it's easy to see why the game was so quickly greenlit. The community seems to agree, with Jalopy previously being one of Steam Greenlight's top 8 games to follow. This game has all the things that would make it very attractive for streamers as well, due to its random nature and inherent challenge. With an official date set, you can jump into the world of Jalopy on April 22nd. and push your very own hunk of junk across the Eastern Bloc soon.