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Baja Big Air Game Goes Full Throttle F84 Games teams up with BCII and SCORE International to develop a new, challenging game By Dan Sanchez Not since Ivan Ironman Stewart’s Super Off-Road arcade game in 1989, has there been a game that has captured the thrill and excitement of Baja off-road racing than Baja Big Air. A collaboration between SCORE International, BCII, and F84 Games, Baja Big Air was designed to capture what’s cool about Baja racing, but in an action-packed and fun way that both hardcore gamers and off-road fans would enjoy. “Baja Big Air came about through a series of relationships,” said F84 Games CEO Jeff Hardy. “I was introduced to Baja by Brentwood Communication International CEO Bud Brutsman, who took me down to Baja and I experienced one of the SCORE races. I am an automotive enthusiast and am always looking for things that play into our team’s sensibilities, so watching the action and energy of the racing that goes on there got me hooked.” F84 Games is a well-established and independent game developer who has worked with Disney, Warner Brothers, Mattel, and others to create games as a media platform. Since the company’s inception in 2000, it has developed more than 400 games across several platforms for its clients and partners. “We had been looking to create a Baja game for quite some time and bring SCORE into the mobile gaming market,” said Brutsman. “The emerging mobile game market is accessible to everyone, and it was a great platform to promote the SCORE brand. We looked for the best partner to build a mobile game and we found F84 Games had the right experience to do it. I introduced them to Baja, put their team in a truck, and they quickly grasped and understood the Baja racing scene.” Designing BaJa Big Air In creating Baja Big Air, F84 Games lead designer Matt Vroman saw the challenges of racing in Baja and adapted those into the game. “We took the elements of off-road racing that are the most fun, and put that into a mobile hand-held experience,” said Vroman. “From the starting line to the finish line, we added the high-speed and jumps, but also looked at what happens when the truck takes damage or if a tire blows out. We even added flips and huge air jumps that add points.” The game allows players to pick and customize a Trophy Truck with more than 1000 combinations of paint jobs, body styles, decals, and tires. Then players can get behind the wheel and take on the SCORE Baja 1000, mile by mile. Upon gaining points, players can also upgrade components to improve the speed and capabilities of their Trophy Truck. The challenges come in avoiding obstacles and taking big jumps, all while fending off legendary Baja racers such as Tavo Vildosola, Shelby Reid, Casey Currie, Alan Ampudia, and many others. “Our game has 10-drivers and teams,” said Vroman. “Players who are SCORE fans will see how much it aligns with what Baja racing is all about. I had the chance to meet many racers and admired the fact that everyone is down-to-earth and that there is such a wide range of diversity in the sport, from multi-generational racing families to guys in a garage that can turn a wrench.” While Baja Big Air will definitely please seasoned SCORE fans with vehicles and racers they’re familiar with, Vroman points out that in order for the game to be additionally successful, it must also appeal to a much wider audience. “In designing a game like this, we walked the line between appealing to off-road enthusiasts as well as to the mass market of gamers,” he said. “Casual players who are not invested in Baja racing have to enjoy playing the game as well, and that’s how they can also be introduced to the sport and spread the SCORE brand.” According to Hardy, the goal is also to ultimately get players to become enthusiastic about the game, connect with friends and generate more hype about it. To do this, players can connect on Facebook and access in-game leaderboards to compare themselves against friends and other players globally. Players can also race in multiplayer mode and compete in various challenges. There are also ways to unlock additional awards such as rare Trophy Truck customizations. “We’ve redesigned this game three times to continue tuning it,” said Vroman. “Our process is like building an off-road truck. You build one, race it, find out what happens, then tune it and rebuild it again. We take player feedback and add to the game. We’re excited about where it’s at now, but there are more changes and updates to come.” According to Hardy, Baja Big Air will also add and update various SCORE Baja courses this year to continue to add excitement and promote new aspects of the game. “At the 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, for example, we will be adding an update for this race to the game,” says Hardy. “We want to continue the experience and add more courses around each race. We have the ambition to evolve the relationship we have with SCORE and build added value.” “What I like about Baja Big Air is that it is so adaptable,” says Brutsman. “It allows us to promote all SCORE races and there are additional sponsors coming in like Raceline Wheels, King Shocks and more. The promotion is endless and will have a global reach. There are groups of racers and fans who came into SCORE Baja racing from playing Ivan Ironman Stewart’s Super Off-Road game and watching the first Dust To Glory movie. In this same way, we’re reaching out to a new generation of people who will play Baja Big Air and will want to someday try racing in Baja.” Baja Big Air is the Official Game of SCORE International and is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. SJ

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