We recently had an opportunity for an exclusive interview with Nano Games in which we asked them some questions about Nano Games and their brand new title Heavy Duty Challenge. Answering our questions is Lead Designer, Łukasz Pleśniarowicz. Nano Games is a video game developer based in Krakow, Poland and they have been in the industry since 2009. They are a diverse range of video games under their belt such as Reef Shot, Citiconomy, Zamb! Redux and ZAMB! Endless Extermination. The studio is currently working on its brand new project Heavy Duty Challenge which is essentially a hardcore truck simulation game where skill and precision will ensure that you emerge on the top of the leaderboards. Heavy Duty Championship is being developed with an exclusive partnership with the Europa Truck Trial which is one of the most hardcore truck racing championships to take place in the world.
GH: Tell us a little bit about Nano Game.
LP: Nano Games is a game development studio from Krakow, Poland. We’ve been making games since 2009 and the one we’re working on right now is Heavy Duty Challenge.
GH: How would you describe Heavy Duty Challenge?
LP: Heavy Duty Challenge is an off-road truck driving game and a sports simulation. The player takes part in off-road truck driving championships and uses their skill to defeat other teams and climb to the top. It’s about powerful trucks, precision, and overcoming challenges.
GH: Heavy Duty Challenge is something completely different from any game in your catalog so far. What inspired you to develop a hardcore truck simulation game?
LP: It does stand out, though we have made a truck driving game before, a city service simulator called Cityconomy. Afterward, we knew we wanted to keep making great truck games. The inspiration for Heavy Duty Challenge came to us when we found out about Europa Truck Trial, an over 30-year-old real-life championship in which truck teams compete on obstacle courses. We went to Austria to an event, met with the organizers, and decided this was it.
GH: Simulator games are normally difficult and demand more precision and accuracy from the players. Will Heavy Duty Challenge come with some aids or assists that will make the game easier for a casual player or the focus will remain solely on hardcore simulation fans?
LP: We will introduce some features that should make the game accessible. For example, there will be difficulty settings, so easy mode will be more forgiving if you damage your truck; it will also be possible to drive in the open worlds of championship locations, just to learn how to control your vehicle – you will get points only for driving on marked sections; you will have different cameras available. Having said that, the challenge is right there in the title and it is a sports game. Hardcore simulation players can turn the HUD off and use the cabin camera exclusively – and that is fine, too.
GH: For the time being, Heavy Duty Challenge has only been announced for a PC release via Steam. Are there any plans of bringing to consoles later? If a console release is indeed planned, will Nintendo Switch a platform that you would be willing to release the title on?
LP: We are planning console releases, but this won’t be until after the PC release. It’s hard to say at this moment which consoles, I can’t promise anything right now. The Steam release is a sure thing, so we decided to start showing the game early and hoping for some feedback and help from the community with the wishlist, forums, and comments.
GH: With next-gen consoles right across the horizon, can we expect to see a more enhanced version of the game release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?
LP: The next-gen is right around the corner, so probably when we release the game on the PC in 2021, the new consoles will already be quite common. I don’t think we can ignore that with Heavy Duty Challenge.
GH: Can we expect some sort of early access beta or a demo before the full release of the title?
LP: Give us a little time, but you will be able to try Heavy Duty Challenge before the release. Right now we have a small playable version of the game, but it may require some polish and a bigger scope to show to players.
GH: With the current condition of the world when nearly all the real-life sports events have been canceled, nearly every sport has moved to the digital world of the internet. Do you think that once things return to normal in the future, will online events still play a massive role in real-life sports as they are doing today?
LP: I think people miss real-life events and will go back to attending them the moment they begin again, but online events and e-sports have been growing for quite some time and I am sure the trend won’t change. Because live events had to be postponed, Europa Truck Trial, for example, has been organizing online events during which they post materials and videos about the sport and Heavy Duty Challenge. Will this move the sport online? No. But it’s a new way to interact with it and our game will be another.
GH: Simulation games are best known to keep players occupied for hours and hours with their laid-back gameplay and time-consuming mechanics. Is Heavy Duty Challenge going to follow the same criteria or will it feature more speed-based gameplay?
LP: In Heavy Duty Challenge, you can take your time. There’s a time limit to complete each section during a championship, but the focus is on precision driving and using the power and mechanics of your truck, not on being the fastest. It is about being the best and making the fewest mistakes – you will be given penalty points during a section if you stop for too long, run over gate poles or change driving direction.
GH: We can already see MAN as one of the officially licensed trucks in the game. What other brands can we expect to see in the full release of the title?
LP: With the license from Europa Truck Trial, we will include many different brands of trucks that participate in the championship. Apart from MAN trucks, there will be Mercedes-Benz, Unimog, Ural, and others. 12 trucks will be available in the release, more will come in expansions.
GH: When can we expect more details to be revealed of Heavy Duty Challenge?
LP: We’ve been posting devlogs since the Steam store page went live and we will keep doing that until the release. So you can expect updates quite frequently.
GH: Will Heavy Duty Challenge follow the season of the original Europa Truck Trial Motorsport Championships or will the game have its own custom Career mode?
LP: There will be a Career Mode in the game, with locations based on real-life places in which ETT events are held. The player can play them at their own pace, visiting events one after another, competing with AI teams, or on leaderboards with other players. But as a next step, we are planning on expanding the game into the realm of e-sports, creating events, championships, an online league.
GH: What sort of different gameplay modes can we expect in Heavy Duty Challenge?
LP: In general, the main mode is the Career. But it is possible to take it slower and more casually, just free-riding around locations, having fun with the terrain and the trucks. Locations will also have additional Challenges and Vantage Points to discover. So I think both players who are into the competitive side and those who like to explore will find something for themselves in Heavy Duty Challenge.
Heavy Duty Challenge is slated for release on PC via Steam in Q4 2021. You can head over to Steam to check out the game, its development updates or simply to add the game to your wishlist.