Rallisport Challenge 2 - Digital Illusions
We sit down with Digital Illusions' David Bridgham, Program Manager about their upcoming sequel called Rallisport Challenge 2.
Q: The first game was a hit. What new features are we expecting to see in this game?
A: There are lots of exciting new things in RSC2. We’re part of the XSN, we have full Live support, we have cooler car damage (Lots cooler!), more cars and tracks, Night racing, Crossover tracks, and lots more…..
Q: What are you planning to do for this game in aspect of game play? In the last game, the physics of the cars felt a bit unrealistic. Will you be going for more of a simulator this time?
A: We’ve spent a lot of time tweaking the car control so that it has the right mix of playability and realism. We model pretty much everything in physics that anyone could want in a 4-wheeled car simulation, and we make it so anyone can play and have fun with this realism.
Q: What kind of difficulty level will the player experience in RalliSport Challenge2?
A: The game is going to have difficulty levels that allow the complete novice to have a great time, and difficulty levels that challenge the most hardcore racer. We’re working on making this progression smooth so you don’t run into any “Cliffs” in the difficulty curve. We’re working very hard on getting this right.
Q: How will the single player career mode function in this game? Will there be any multiplayer options?
A: Careers have what we call “Career Events”. A single event has multiple races each. Careers have varying numbers of these Career Events depending on the difficulty that was selected. There is a lot of racing to be done in the career modes. We have many multiplayer options, from allowing players to race with any car on any track, to forcing players to drive in the cockpit view if that’s what the host wants to force . . . It’s all in there.
Q: What kind of game modes will be incorporated in this edition?
A: Time Attack, Single Race, Career, Live Time Attack, Live Single Race (2-16 players), and XSN Online games.
Q: Is this a Live enabled game? If so, what will we get to do on Live? Will future downloadable content be available? How about scorecards?
A: Of course! This game was built from the ground up to be a premier Live title. You’ll get to race with up to 16 players online and post times to try to be the best in the world. We’re also a part of the XSN. This means that you’ll be able to play online supported tournaments, something that no other racing title supports. There are leaderboards for every type of race that is in RSC2.
Q: The first game had a wide selection of cars. Will the selection of vehicles be increased this time around?
A: We have about twice as many cars as the original, including some surprises.
Q: Will there be more customizations for the cars than in the first one? What new ways will players be able to customize their vehicles?
A: We allow a lot more tuning of the cars than we had before. You can now change things like Toe-in and Toe-out settings, not to mention the ability change the settings for just about everything on your suspension. There is a whole lot that we’re putting in there to tweak. If tweaking your car seems too complicated, we give you a good car that you can win with without needing to tune it. If you tune it though, you’ll find ways to make it even faster.
Q: Any changes or improvements to the car damage models?
A: This is one of the coolest things about this game. The car damage modeling is, in my humble opinion, the best ever seen in a racing game. Not just the best seen in other rally games, but the best seen in any racing game.
Q: The cars had sponsor decals, has that changed? Can new sponsors be added?
A: Since we are using real rally cars, we also have sponsor decals on the cars. These cannot be changed by the user.
Q: How about the environments in RalliSport Challenge 2, what improvement where made there?
A: The new environments look fantastic. We have night racing now that looks simply amazing. The lighting that was so cool in the first game has been hugely improved. There are many more trackside objects, including spectators that are improved. Let me say that the new tracks look like Rallisport Challenge times 2. Simply amazing.
Q: Where any new track terrains made?
A: Every track in the game is a new track. There are over 90 of them, so expect to see LOTS of new stuff.
Q: Is there any interaction with the terrain? Like things that you damage will be damaged the second time you go by?
A: You can knock bushes, signs, and small trees down. You can leave really detailed skidmarks on the tracks. You can knock down cones and some signs. You can damage large signs and fences. All of this is persistent. You leave your mark on the track and it stays that way for the duration of the race that you’re in.
Q: Will a track editor be included?
A: Because of how detailed the tracks are, this has proven to be impossible. Sorry.
Q: Does this game incorporate surround sound?
A: We fully support Dolby 5.1 surround sound. I’ve talked a lot about how great the graphics are in this game, but the sound is just as good.
Q: Will custom soundtracks or track selections be included?
A: You can create custom soundtracks from any music you’ve ripped to your Xbox.
Q: Will your new game support HDTV resolutions, if so which ones?
A: We support 480p and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. Some elements of the game have been specially optimized to take advantage of this as well. If you have a good TV, the game is going to look even better.
Q: Are you pleased with the overall way the game is turning out?
A: I am ecstatic with how good this game is turning out. It looks and sounds amazing. It is mad fun to play in any mode, especially Live and XSN.
Q: Tell us, how long did this sequel take to go from design to production?
A: Dice started on this game as soon as the first one was done. This comes out to about 2 years, give or take a few months.
Q: Did the designers seek outside sources to see that the driving portions where realistic enough?
A: Yes. I can’t really talk about this yet, but we did use people with professional Rally experience to help with this game.
Q: How about the AI of computer controlled opponents? How real will their actions and responses be? Meaning, if you bump them, will they seek retribution, or will they just ignore you and continue to drive the invisible line?
A: The AI is really coming together. When they are driving down the track, they drive like a real person would, including making mistakes. The AI is always trying to block or run you off of the road. They can be brutal at the higher difficulties. The AI is really a huge part of what makes this game so much fun.
On behalf of the staff and all the Xbox addicts and Xboxaddict.com, I would like to thank the developers at Digital Illusions and their publisher, Microsoft for taking the time to answer these questions about their latest game: RalliSport Challenge 2.