Turbo Golf Racing Interview: Dev Believes Game Pass Release Was A Major Boost

"We’ve benefited a lot from being included in Game Pass."

Story Highlights

  • Turbo Golf Racing is a vehicular golf racing video game.
  • It was released over two years ago and became a massive release for Hugecalf Studios.
  • We interviewed Liam Nougher, Producer at Hugecalf Studios, over an email Q&A session.

Turbo Golf Racing is the second overall title and the first self-published game from the European indie video game developers Hugecalf Studios, released in 2022. It is the developer’s most ambitious project to date, and thanks to its launch on Xbox Game Pass, the title saw over one million players just during its early launch.

The game has seen many changes during its two-year early access and was finally released earlier this year. To learn more about the development process since its initial launch and the impact subscription services, like Game Pass, have made on Turbo Golf Racing, we spoke with the developers at Hugecalf Studios over an email interview.

Turbo Golf Racing
Turbo Golf Racing Was Released Over Two Years Ago In Early Access – Image Credits: Hugecalf Studios
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Turbo Golf Racing?

Liam: Hugecalf Studios started work on Turbo Golf Racing in 2019. Over the 5 years, the company grew from a team of 3 to a team of 14, releasing Turbo Golf Racing in Early Access in August 2022 and later fully releasing the game in April 2024.

After being in early access for over a year, the game has finally launched into v1.0. Could you tell us about the feedback you received during the early access period and how that shaped the new things or changes that came with v1.0?

Liam: Turbo Golf Racing saw over 1 million players through Early Access, many of whom joined the Discord community, contributing feedback and suggestions to improve the game. Across 11 patches, we added many requested features, including garage load-outs, a new golf mode, ranked play, and custom games. Through analytics, we highlighted flaws in player onboarding, which led us to improve our tutorial and implement objectives for new players to complete.

Your first game, When Ski Lifts Go Wrong, was published by Curve Games, but Turbo Golf Racing is a self-published title. What were the reasons you decided to go in that direction, and could you tell us how that has helped with the development?

Liam: Self-publishing was not an easy decision; it came with a lot of work, but we knew our talented team at Hugecalf had the skills to take on publishing duties. Through self-publishing, we’ve managed to retain creative control and remain flexible regarding development goals.

Turbo Golf Racing
Turbo Golf Racing Is Available On Xbox Game Pass – Image Credits: Hugecalf Studios
Jonny Hughes once quoted that this game was something that the studio had always dreamed of making. Is the game, in its current state, close to how you envisioned it back then? If not, what are some of the things you decided to change?

Liam: We’re extremely proud of Turbo Golf Racing; the game has been a much larger project than our first title, When Ski Lifts Go Wrong, and has exceeded our expectations mechanically and aesthetically. Early on in development, we made some key design decisions to limit player collisions; if we were to create Turbo Golf Racing 2, we’d love to explore including player collisions in the game.

Now that the game is finally out of early access, what is your strategy for releasing new updates? Is there a roadmap for how frequently we may see new levels, courses, or game modes?

Liam: As we have through Early Access, we’ll continue to listen to community feedback. Currently, we’re focused on addressing any crashes or bugs players are experiencing within our 1.0 update. Any future seasons would typically contain 10 new levels, 40 new seasonal rewards, and potential new game modes, missions, and features.

Despite its unique aspects, Turbo Golf Racing has been compared with titles like Rocket League. Now, with how one of the biggest competitors has lost a big portion of its once prosperous community, do you think Turbo Golf Racing has a big chance of being even more successful?

Liam: We believe Turbo Golf Racing is a great game in its own right. Despite the obvious similarities to Rocket League, Turbo Golf Racing plays more similarly to Mario Kart or Golf With Your Friends. We hope Turbo Golf Racing’s success is due to its being a great game rather than another game’s downfall.

Turbo Golf Racing
Turbo Golf Racing Was A Massive Hit For The Studio – Image Credits: Hugecalf Studios
Turbo Golf Racing was released in early access on Xbox Game Pass. How has that helped with the game's initial success? Could you give us some rough statistics for player distribution across each platform?

Liam: Xbox Game Pass attracted a lot of Game Preview players to our title, many of whom provided great insight into how we could improve the game.

Speaking of Game Pass, when do you think it is a good idea for indie developers to release their games on Xbox's subscription service? And how good is it really for indie games?

Liam: We’ve benefited a lot from being included in Game Pass. Outside of the subscription, we’ve received dash support, offered a Game Pass Perk, and been featured across Xbox Game Pass socials to promote Turbo Golf Racing. The surge of players Game Pass generated was integral to improving Turbo Golf Racing during Game Preview.

Do you have any plans to release the game on PlayStation Plus eventually?

Liam: We’re open to eventually releasing Turbo Golf Racing on PlayStation Plus once our Xbox Game Pass duration expires.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.

Liam: We’d just like to say thank you to everyone who’s supported us through our Early Access journey and those who continue to support us now. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working in Turbo Golf Racing and are excited for what’s to come.

YouTube video

Turbo Golf Racing is a vehicular golf racing video game by Hugecalf Studios that was released in early access on August 4, 2022, on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It saw a full release on April 4, 2024, on the same platforms alongside PlayStation 5. We thank the developers at Hugecalf Studios for taking the time to answer our questions. 

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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