Pedestrians and tourists, take cover as the streets are about to get even more reckless! Jump into the cab and rush all around to pick up the craziest of customers, and drop them off as fast as you can. With Taxi Chaos we want to bring a throwback to a classic and almost forgotten arcade racing genre in video game history to PlayStation 4.
Traffic rushing down the streets, pedestrians crossing the sidewalks and passengers of all kinds eagerly waiting for you to pick them up. Welcome to New Yellow City, a town where everybody has too many places to be, but never enough time to get there. The team has done everything within its power to create the perfect arcade city.
Just like the classics, the gameplay in Taxi Chaos is centered around picking up passengers and bringing them to their destination of choice. Navigate through crowded streets, dodge pedestrians and power through the park to discover the fastest way to drop them off. To bring something new, we’ve also given players the ability to defy gravity and even jump over rooftops. The main challenge is to find the best shortcuts all around town, to get even faster and prevent time from running out.
Designing New Yellow City
Before the team started on the city design, we all asked ourselves: “What would be the best city to take as an inspiration for this spiritual successor?” It didn’t take long before the iconic taxi capitol New York City rose up as the obvious winner. We always begin by researching iconic key locations and city plans to decide what should be included. Simultaneously, we dive into similar titles for inspiration – in this case the classic taxi games.
We first wanted to divide the city into two parts: one main island and a smaller island connected with two bridges. The goal for this was to make the player really think about what passengers they wanted to pick up based on their destination, as taking a trip across the bridge could endanger your time limit. Next, the idea was born to extend the bridges in a giant highway that would enclose the entire city. It would be hard to enter, but easy to jump down from. Ultimately, we let go of both ideas to focus on something new: a jumping taxi.
1: The original plan for the level design, 2: The final city map for New Yellow City
As we started focusing on the main island, a few things became very important to us. First we wanted to bring that NYC feeling to the city, by including iconic landmarks but giving them an unique little twist. Players will be able to visit Freedom Park, Aeonian Square, Memorial Park and many other places (three guesses what their inspiration was). Next, we wanted to make sure the line of sight between them would be clear, so players can easily find them and learn the different routes throughout the city.
The next step was to add secondary roads to give players the opportunity to take even more risk and find unique and insane shortcuts. When the foundation was set, we started experimenting with the jump mechanic, as what’s crazier than riding on top of buildings? We added ramps, low buildings you can directly jump on and various roofs you can traverse. Taxi driving will never be the same again. Curious where some good shortcuts are? Keep an eye out for green scaffolding on buildings, there might be a crazy opportunity there.
Passengers with a personality
Of course, just driving and jumping around is not all there is to New Yellow City. Just like it’s inspiration, it’s filled with unique citizens each with their own story. To bring the city to life, we decided to give all of them an unique voice and dialogue. There are also various special passengers you can pick up multiple times, to get to know them a little bit better each time you meet them. You can pick up a hipster, plumber, rockstar and many others. Make sure you visit each rooftop, as you never know who you’ll meet.
We all hope you’ll join us on a cab ride of a lifetime as Taxi Chaos rushes to PS4 tomorrow.