Hotshot Racing is a retro arcade racing game with a touch of modern design. It features the traditional Time Attack and Grand Prix for a single player, while up to 4 players offline and 8 players online can compete in Arcade races or more exotic game modes such as Cops & Robbers and Drive or Explode. Drift, slipstream behind your opponents and boost toward the goal!

Based on Lucky Mountain Games’ prototype Racing Apex, it was developed by Sumo Digital and published by Curve Digital (now rebranded Curve Games.


Hotshot Racing - Race Hotshot Racing - Cops intro Hotshot Racing - Cops & Robbers Hotshot Racing - 4 players splitscreen


I worked on Hotshot Racing as a Game Programmer in Sumo Digital, Nottingham studio, with a team of around 15 people. I coded in C++ with the in-house racing game engine and in C# for external tools.


Surface effects

The road is composed of different surfaces with their own properties that affect gameplay and/or visuals, such as mud slowing down cars and emitting dirt particles. The core system was already in place, but I tweaked the way surface effects worked in the engine to better fit Hotshot Racing’s design.

  • Change the list of surface effects to fit Hotshot Racing’s tracks
  • Show new FX when driving on some surfaces

Boost charge

The player can charge the car’s boost gauge by drifting or slipstreaming behind opponents. I worked on this feature together with the UI designer.

  • Implement charge boost during drift, charge cancel when hitting a wall
  • Update boost gauge HUD
  • Play SFX to feedback charge success or failure


The player can buy car parts in the shop.

  • Implement part unlock system
    • Unlock new part when player completes a challenge during the race
    • Show progress on a given challenge (e.g. 5 drifts done out of 10)
  • Implement part purchase system
  • Implement new parts notification system
  • Set up save data


I improved the tool used by designers to tweak gameplay and aesthetic parameters at runtime.

  • Improve usability (multiple tabs, parameter search, highlighting)
  • Added more controls for curve parameter tweaking


  • Improve debug menu
  • Fixe memory leaks