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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > March 2019 (#28) > Rallyman GT

Rallyman GT

Jean-Christophe Bouvier’s Rallyman was the racing game nobody wanted. Then it became a cult hit. Now it’s back with a full-throttle sequel that puts the spin into spin-off


Growing up, Jean-Christophe Bouvier wouldn’t have called himself an avid gamer; his knowledge of board games stretched little beyond Risk, Monopoly and Cluedo. But there was one game in his collection that managed to rev up the then-teenager’s true passion for motorsport: Formula Dé, the 1991 Formula One-themed title about managing your car’s speed around a looping racetrack.

“I enjoyed the game a lot, as I thought it really conveyed the sensation of racing,” Bouvier says. “I played for many hours and introduced a lot of car-loving friends to it.”

His imagination sparked, Bouvier began to envision a game that combined the exciting pace and challenge of Formula Dé’s gameplay with his preferred motorsport of rallying.

“It was my passion for rally racing that led me to create the game, not a passion for gaming, which only came much later,” he reflects.

Bouvier began by listing the elements that set off-road driving apart from the sticky flat tarmac and circuit-based jostling of track racing: skidding, jumping, responding to co-driver notes, shaving seconds between stages. Over several years, he laboriously searched for ways to capture the unique feel of rallying in a game.

“My solutions were very complicated at the beginning, and it made the turns far too long,” he says. “It was sucking all the fun out of it; I was having to anticipate braking 15 spaces before the corners, which did not give me that exciting feeling of braking at the last minute! It also drastically lengthened the track parts, which made making them modular far more difficult.”

Rather than being about going as fast as possible, Bouvier’s rallying game put the management of risk in its headlights. Retaining control and knowing when to hold back to avoid losing valuable time were key; Bouvier allowed players to end their movement whenever they wanted to avoid taking potentially catastrophic risks, aiming to achieve the fastest time over three stages

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About Tabletop Gaming

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