Interview with Lead Designer of Gear.Club Unlimited 2, Yannick Berthier

Gear.Club Unlimited came out last year on Nintendo Switch with a goal of bringing a strong racer to a Nintendo platform. We thought they did a great job for their first outing. (Check out our review here.)

Its sequel, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 will launch on December 4, 2018, and will feature 51 cars and over 250 races over 1800 miles of track.

As we await the game’s release date, we got a chance to interview Yannick Berthier, Lead designer for Gear.Club Unlimited 2 at Eden Games Studio.

Yannick Berthier, Lead designer for Gear Club Unlimited 2, at Eden Games Studio.

NintendoFuse: What did you learn when developing the first Gear.Club game that you utilized when making the sequel?

Yannick Berthier: Gear.Club Unlimited was our first experience on Nintendo Switch, during which we learned a lot! We received very good feedback from players, which encouraged us to continue down this path with Gear.Club Unlimited 2.

The production stage was longer, giving us more time to overhaul our graphics engine to improve the global render. We completely redesigned all of the environments using our new in-house graphics engine, which offers far greater realism. The cars benefit from this improvement too.

We also worked on the physics engine to offer more realism: cars drift, and they all behave differently, each having its own feel.

We now have more than 50 cars (including, for the first time in the Gear.Club franchise, Porsche), a new game mode – Last Man Standing – and new championships with several challenges.

With all these elements combined, we offer a far superior racing experience.

NF: Is there any criticism you heard about the first game that helped shape the second? If so, what did you address?

YB: Definitely! Players are always looking for more depth in the gameplay experience, providing more control and subtlety behind the wheel.

One of their main requests was to have longer races. I think they will be delighted to see that we listened to them and to discover the 1800 miles of roads available in Gear.Club Unlimited 2. We have new environments, new game modes, and more competitive championships. I am sure they will love our new sticker editor to customize their cars!

NF: Is there anything that you would have loved to do in Gear Club Unlimited or Unlimited 2 that you didn’t get to do?

YB: Sadly, there are some car models and brands that we would love to see in Gear.Club Unlimited 2 which are not.

Those contracts can take years, and unfortunately, they didn’t make it into the game, for now.

NF: Did you encounter any challenges when developing for the Switch hardware? 

YB: The Nintendo Switch is, of course, a specific console that requires specific work.

We took special care to maintain balance between all the possibilities offered by this device. For example, between a highly skilled driver using a Pro Controller and a player using a single Joy-Con.

With the first Gear.Club Unlimited, we explored opportunities offered by the Nintendo Switch, and today, we are able to create huge tracks and races for up to 12 opponents with the best possible resolution.

NF: What has been your greatest inspirations when developing this series?

YB: Racing games are our DNA for more than 20 years now, and we must have one of the biggest collections of racing games around in our studio. We are big fans of Forza Horizon and Project Cars. We are constantly striving to bring this experience to Nintendo players.

NF: What has it been like working with Nintendo?

YB: Nintendo has supported us since the very beginning of our adventure on the Nintendo Switch.

It was a real honor for us to be present at their official booths at Paris Games Week and Madrid Games Week this year!

NF: If Nintendo assigned you to work on one of their franchises, which would you love to develop?

YB: Obviously, Mario Kart!

We would love to bring our car-physics expertise into those super-fun karts. Having the ability to give that precise driving experience such a great universe would be stimulating!

NF: What are the chances of seeing a third game in the Gear.Club franchise on Switch?

YB: We would love to! But for now, we are focusing on Gear.Club Unlimited 2, we still have some work to do to offer the best experience to our community.

We want to thank Yannick Berthier for taking the time for this interview. Again, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 will be available for Nintendo Switch both physically and digitally in all regions on December 4, 2018. The game is also rated E for Everyone, PEGI 3, and USK 0, so the whole family can take their turn.

If you missed our announcement post, which includes the trailer and full list of cars in the game, click here to read it now.