The Art of Less is More

So what exactly is Sumi-e and what is it doing in a drifting game? The connection between a minimal art style and a driving technique may not be immediately obvious.


Sumi-e is a timeless brush paint technique rooted in zen. At its core, su-me-eh is about achieving maximum effect with minimal means.

Capturing the essence of the subject is the goal. In other words, less is more. Empty space is just as valuable as filled space. Through Sumi-e, understatement carries its own elegance.

Let’s take a look at the dotted line between Sumi-e and The Art of Driving.

Key takeaways from the Sumi-e art form that is part of the Drift Sumi-e (DS) philosophy:

  • Zen. Nature may be the best example of this feeling of connectedness. Take one look at any DS course and you’ll immediately see the pervasive influence nature plays.
  • Open Road Motif. Throughout the game experience, we’re incorporating this idea of stepping into your car, rolling down the window, “unplugging” from distractions and taking a journey.

  • Drifting is a driving art form and is not to be confused with racing. It’s not about who gets there first, but, rather, graceful slides and car angles that allow the car to be seen in a very beautiful way.
  • Parked Garage. Sit the car and admire the flow of flush, clean lines.

  • Signing your artwork. Traditionally, a red stamp is used to sign or “anchor” a piece of art, which is why you see a stamp signing mechanic to signify “mastering your art.”
  • Finally, like its artistic inspiration, the gameplay design looks simple at first glance, but is subtly complex and something to master. Like many things, the more you practice, the better your experience, the better your skill. DS is subtle in its approach, but offers more when you look beyond its surface thanks to a reward system and an always something new feel.

How we plan on expanding on Drift Sumi-e – a preview of updates and other good stuff. Your constructive feedback helps us continue to push the envelope:

  • More Environments. We’ll save some room for surprise, but we’re expanding on the anywhere-in-the-world theme for upcoming backgrounds.
  • General Flow Improvements. From a usability perspective, we’ve taken to heart all the great suggestions on how you’d like DS to more smoothly transition – in-game and around-game.
  • Cars. You may have seen the real-life DS cars. We’ve also been busy at work on new in-game cars to get behind the wheel in.
  • Sound. An upgrade in this area is in development designed to make the experience feel more immersive. Get those headphones ready.
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