Lug-nut-challenged, crazy couch game that happens to also be the most realistic TD/2D racer to date. Stop driving tiny cars that just pivot on center. Drive tiny cars that actually steer and crash like a car.
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Release Date:
Mar 4, 2019

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We need everybody's help. Our "Wacky Wodifiers" and "Leader Lamifiers" are a risky mechanic to add to a game and we need help tuning them... or just figuring out if they are a good idea or not.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“12 months.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“More tracks. More "Wacky Wodifiers" and "Leader Lamifiers" to enhance party play. AI feasibility testing (thus, include AI cars if they test well -- the plan is to build AIs with personality and not just cars that go for the win). Endurance racing. Probably at least one more minigame. High scores database for single-player and co-op play. Final polish work such as smoke and dust, filling in missing animations, character development, and continued physics tweaking.

Also of note, as a primarily multiplayer game, we have not given much attention to single-player interest yet. We hope to at least add some interesting leaderboards for single players to chase (and hope to make those global as well). The minigames are clearly targeted at team play and we currently do not have plans to add any single-player minigames (but we aren't against such minigames either). Thus, for single players, the current minigames only serve as a skid pad for learning the car and maybe as a sketch pad with your skidmarks.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“See the Features list under "About this Game" for more details of what has already been built -- or, download the free demo which we are providing before the first early-access release and which we will continue to keep up to date. We currently have 4 tracks of the intended 24 tracks. Some of the more difficult game modifiers planned will take some time to build. AI work on the NPC cars has yet to be started (which will hopefully improve both the single-player and multi-player experience). The art and menus are ready for early access but will continue to evolve.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, we plan to gradually raise the price as we ship new content and features.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Because we feel we are launching into some new and risky mechanics of party play, we will be looking for regular feedback as to what does and does not work well. Thus, we are genuinely interested in listening to the community and plan to respond to all constructive feedback either directly in online conversation or by making it obvious we are listening with the changes seen in regular updates.”
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March 8

So, where is the A.I.?

Anyone who has read the how-to-play notes, and played GRITS Racing for more than a few minutes, hopefully understands that this game is not just another top-down, shared-screen racing game with canned mechanics.

It's not easy finding depth in shared-screen multiplayer games. There are easily more than 100 top-down racing games that came before GRITS Racing. Many of them also shared-screen. Thus, the basic design for GRITS Racing started with an intent to search for depth in places not yet seen in shared-screen racers. As a result, we don't use any canned mechanics found in many shovelware racing games (other than a lap counter and clock to trigger the win condition).

Yes, we use a game engine to handle the graphics and platform porting. We also use a physics engine, audio engine, and gamepad package, to handle other high- and low-level things we don't need to reinvent. This gives us the maximum amount of time to focus on building original mechanics for things like how the car moves and handles, and how to interact with the environment. I chose 2D instead of 3D because in 2D I can put about 4 times the number of physics objects on screen at the same processing impact. This added depth of physics interactions outweighed anything 3D might have given us -- particularly at such small scale. I basically traded vehicle rollovers for more track objects and debris. Furthermore, if I really don't need that many more physics objects, I can divert some of that power to other things such as a wider range of game modifiers, special effects, and more interesting AI.

So, that is where the AI is at. The original plans for the AI calls for AI cars that do more than just chase waypoints around the track like most racing games do. And I'm not talking about building more strategic AIs either. The more advanced racing games have that already... and, well, advanced racing strategies is not what GRITS Racing is about. No, the original game design called for AIs with 4 to 6 different personalities -- and not necessarily racing personalities either. That will take some significant time to build.

Thus, we made the decision to release GRITS Racing before the AI was built. That has proven to be a mistake because the lack of AI is not making a good first impression when players test the game alone. Thus, this "racing" game is now in a Catch-22 position. Do I release an update sooner with simple AI? Or, do I wait until the AI itself can make a good first impression when the AI features are finally announced and released? It seems I should maybe go the simple AI route but the problem there is that it will create false expectations and maybe even upset a few when the AI behavior changes completely. I will likely look for some middle ground as I dig into the AI capabilities more, and start with semi-interesting AIs that I then improve as we push towards the full release. We'll see where it goes.

No promises on specific AI features yet. The interesting AI hopes may prove to be a dud in testing.
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March 4

Early Access Finally Released on Steam

After much ado — that is, after weeks of battling off the crazed, fried-grits-eating hordes trying to climb over the barbed wire around our highly-secure #gamedev complex, trying to get their hands on an alpha version of our game — after months of 3 a.m. pushes to get just one more feature completed — after years of living small in an apartment not much bigger than a refrigerator box — GRITS Racing is finally seeing an early-access launch at an early-access price.

To be clear about the current state and future of GRITS Racing:

The current alpha version is very solid on the core game mechanics. It is light, however, on content, animation, sound FX, and other polish. Namely, only 4 of the planned 24 tracks are built thus far (fan art will be considered to help this along — contact us for details). It is also light on single-player features at the moment. Namely, the AI cars and the leaderboards are lacking on that front.

The plan is to build GRITS Racing into a solid, medium-sized indie game worth about twice the current price, and to launch on consoles as well. How quickly any of that happens will depend on interest in the game from the fans. If Matt can continue working full time on the game... he will. (Same as he has been for the last year and a half.) Ideally, version 1.0 might be ready for launch in 12 months or less. More likely, however, Matt will need to halt progress here and there to find other income, and this, of course, will slow progress. Thus, we shall see, and will continue to hope for the best progress on GRITS Racing.

Also of note is that Steam is proving hard to work with when it comes to games supporting more than four gamepads on Windows (Mac is fine and Windows without Steam running is fine). Thus, it will likely take time to work out the ideal controller code for Steam and Windows. They have yet to answer our questions as to why they don't allow the developers full control of their Windows controller shims and what the best practice might be to for asking users to turn them off. How is it that they believe they know how to manage the controllers better than the game's developers — especially when their method is limited to four controllers? We're dumbfounded. Anyhow, see the readme for information on how to make sure the shims are off and you should be good for up to 8 players on Windows.

Thank you for reading about our ambitious launch. Now, if you will, grab some friends and frenemies, a fistful of gamepads, and take GRITS Racing for a spin (either the free demo or the early-access version).
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About This Game

Strap on your dandy Tesla Shield and hop in your “Billy Bub” jalopy!

GRITS Racing is an 8-player party game featuring chaotic party mechanics and cars that steer and crash similar to a real car. This is the most realistic top-down 2D racer ever... and then we smashed it up into a bizarre party game to appeal to more than just racing fans. We provide a physics playground with sim-like cars, minimal rules (at the start), and you decide what to do with it. Good luck keeping your wheels on!


Old school gets a new-school makeover with more damageable physics objects than you can shake a two-dimensional polygon at. And, oh, the skids marks! Did we mention the oddly-satisfying skid marks that dirty up the track like never before? And the dirt doesn't end there. With debris everywhere from lost wheels, broken cars, various track objects, and up to 8 players on one screen generally making a mess of it all, just getting to the finish line can be a friend-testing brawl of gasoline-fueled tenacity.

Welcome to the petrolpunk world of Globetrotter Racing where it's 1975, The Great War was the only great war, microelectronics do not exist... probably because no one cared about going small after Nikola Tesla and his research institute learned to harness the power of lightning—to put it simply—and invented the Tesla Shield™ for use in automotive safety and generalized pedestrian protection (GPP).

GRITS Racing is a game for the whole family and if somebody isn't laughing, giggling, snickering, or snorting most of the game... we aren't doing our job correctly. We get it, not all players will choose to race—so we've given them other ways to be part of the environment (for better or for worse).


Realistic 2D car physics:

  • These 2D cars actually steer via the wheels! (Unlike nearly all games in this category, which just pivot their cars on center.) You may not see a difference, but take a car for a spin and you will feel it. Quite possibly more realistic than a multiplayer couch game needs to be.
  • Car body and wheels modeled as individual physics objects (with proprietary physics code)
  • 4-wheel drive
  • 4-wheel steering (rear steering tapers off at speed)
  • 4-speed transmission (plus reverse) modeled on a torque curve
  • 430 ft-lbs (582 N-m) of engine torque (subject to change)
  • Hand brake on the rear wheels
  • Breakable wheel fasteners! (What is it like to drive on 3 wheels and 1 stub? How about 1 wheel and 3 stubs?)

Smashing 2D barrier physics:

  • Several barrier types with different friction coefficients and bounciness
  • Not all barriers are nailed down!
  • Barriers take damage and show it

Gripping 2D surface physics:

  • Several surface types with different traction coefficients and drag coefficients
  • Dry, wet, and oily variants
  • Oil slicks appear organically when and where cars are broken apart during the race
  • Oil doesn't artificially wipe you out but only makes whichever tires touch it slick (the wipe outs are up to you)
  • Oil slickness on tires tapers off over distance
  • Skid and tire marks vary in width by direction and vary in color by surface

Mayhem Model 1-A:

  • Pancake batter!!!*
  • Pit stops to apply more pancake batter and replace missing wheels
  • Cars can be broken apart when abandoned
  • 4 cars per race (run to your trucks to launch your next car)
  • Tesla Shields™ (can't have drivers being hit and injured as they run for their next car, can we?)
  • Tesla Shields™ (worth mentioning again because the counter force can be very bad for the car that hits one)
  • Le Mans starts (well, more of a cute feature than chaos-making)
  • Not all barriers are nailed down! (wait, we said that already)
  • 8 players on one screen
  • Bubba Prizes!
  • Save and share game photos showing off the mess ya'll made of the track

Mayhem Model 1-B:

  • 4 AI cars (features to be announced when built)

Mayhem Model 2:

  • Wacky Wodifiers that ask “lucky losers” to periodically change the rules of the playground, like: • Tractor wheels • Far-out fat tires • Dualies • Area 51 Tesla Shields • Reverse-polarity Tesla Shields • Disposable cars • Dragster chutes • and many more to come
  • Leader Lamifiers that force “on-fire” players to add a rule to make things more difficult for the race leader, like: • Leader trikes • Finish-line showboating required • and more to come

Prison Dodgecar minigame:

  • Tesla Shields™​ installed on the car instead of the driver
  • Like bumper cars meets billiards

Hockey minigame (Sansstíkdisco​ in some countries):

  • Tesla Magnets™ for puck control

* The pancake batter story. Many years ago a racer was having trouble with the wheel lug nuts staying tight. So, in desperation, he was looking about his pit area for a new idea to fix it when he spied his leftover pancake batter from breakfast. He thought “It couldn't possibly be any worse, could it?” Well, actually, yes, it was worse. Much worse. But the crowd loved the results and the rest is lost in history. No one remembers for sure who this racer was but legend has it he was called Juan Tabo. Official records proving the existence of Jaun Tabo have yet to be found but this hasn't stopped governments from naming libraries and schools in his honor.

The sport, then known as Wiggle Wheel Wacing, languished in the backwoods of the Southern United States for years before Gilded-Age billionaire, Billy Bub Worcestershire, bought the rights to it and turned it into the mid-budget international sport known as Globetrotter Racing. Mr. Worcestershire had previously made his fortune with the invention and popularization of deep-fried grits biscuits and, as he stated it, “I understand food batter and believe in the future of all its lucrative properties.” Deep-fried grits also became the sport's official snack food. When the Tesla's later invented the personal plasma energy shield (PPES), or Tesla Shield™, Mr. Worcestershire incorporated these shields into Globetrotter Racing and this variant, coincidently, became known as GRITS (Globetrotter Racing Incorporated, á la Tesla Shields).

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2x Anti-aliasing
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Core i7
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 8x AA, 1920x1080 (HD), very large display
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Multiple dual-analog gamepads STRONGLY recommended!
    • OS: macOS 10.9
    • Processor: Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2x Anti-aliasing
    • Storage: 170 MB available space
    • OS: macOS 10.11
    • Processor: Core i7
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 8x AA, 1920x1080 (HD), very large display
    • Storage: 170 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Multiple dual-analog gamepads STRONGLY recommended!

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