We had a 10 hour long stressing law suit with car industry giant Chevr... hrm [silence] damn, wrong file! [continued silence] ugh let me rephrase that... [over-exagerated smile - grabs the other paper off his desk]
Last week, we had a nice relaxing chat with Mark Wayland. «Eh? Mark who?» I hear you say, so let me introduce him to you. Mark Wayland is one of the lead programmers at Torus Games. The Melbourne-based Australian game development company that’s behind the the latest carmageddon incarnation: TDR2000. We kindly asked him some rather interesting questions and we truely hope you will think the same about his answers ;) Cheers!
X-Ray: Purely hypothetical: If you were given unlimited time and total freedom during the development of TDR2000, what would have turned out different?
- Gameplay: We would've spent more time tuning and tweaking till things were 'perfect'.
- Graphic Issues: We would have liked to have better car shadows, better lighting, more realistic looking blood etc. but there just wasn't the time.
- Optimizations: I'm an optimization freak and consequently never satisfied with average performance, but there just wasn't the time to completely optimize all the systems.
- Bug hunting: I don't think we did a bad job here, but more couldn't hurt.
- Advertised features: There just wasn't the time to put all of the initially specified features into the game. We had to prioritise features, so unfortunately some of the less important ones had to be dropped.
X-Ray: Shame. What was the hardest part in the development process?
Mark: Getting up in the morning. Seriously, it's all hard work otherwise everyone would be doing game development.
X-Ray: I imagine so! How was the atmosphere at the Torus offices?
Mark: Roughly 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and the rest ... flatulence, bad breath, foot odour. But mostly breathable ;)
Actually, I don't want to brag, but we really are one big team. Eveyone got on really well. Even during crunch time (the entire project), the atmosphere here is better than at any of my previous places of employment.
X-Ray: LOL, no need for gas-masks then? J/K ;) Anyway, where did the Torus team get it's inspiration from to create TDR2000?
Mark: SCi pretty much drove the content of TDR2000. We also had a few big Carma1 and Carma2 fans on the project :)
X-Ray: I see. How do you like the concept of carmageddon? (compared to other car/"racing games") What, according to you, sets it apart from them?
Mark: You hit things with your car and they die. Cool ;)
Actually, I think the physics and collision sets the Carmageddon series apart from most other games. In my opinion, in all 3 games, I think the physics and collision is more advanced than nearly all other games.
X-Ray: What are your views on the previous carmageddon games, where do they stand [now] to TDR2000?
Mark: All the games themselves are impressive technical achievements. The graphics are dated (of course), but they're still fun to play.
X-Ray: I feel i have to agree there. What is your (personal) favourite way to play the game? Killing all peds, wasting all opponents or doing your laps? A bit of everything perhaps?
Mark: Wasting opponents without a doubt. A lot of other people here like to complete laps with the odd masachist or two liking to kill all peds.
X-Ray: Muguhuhahaha, sorry got carried away! What do you play most: single player or multi player?
Mark: Me - I play single player more, having mostly worked on the renderer and replay systems. Most of the other guys enjoy the multiplayer game and play it quite frequently.
X-Ray: Cool, what type of cars do you prefer and why:
- real life cars,
- fantasy cars or
- monstrous killing machines?
Mark: I like 'em all, as long as they're drivable. I kinda like the look of the massive Mine Truck (and it's immense size) but it's not entirely practical for racing :)
X-Ray: Yup, the least you could say about it ;) Now, same for environments, i believe there are 3 major carmageddon style environments we’ve seen throughout the series, which one do you prefer and why:
- regular (working) cities/airfields and that sort of stuff,
- outdoor/nature scenes or
- post-apocalyptic/demolished cities and nuclear-style complexes?
Mark: I must admit, I'm getting pretty tired of games in general using post-apocalyptic settings... I'd like to see more sunny, outdoor levels but that's just me...
X-Ray: Great, personally I prefer the cities/airfields, or otherwise the hilly outdoor nature environments ;) Anyway, something completely different now. How do you like the fan scene and in particular the "editing scene"? Are they regarded as a threat or a supportive community?
Mark: The carmageddon editing and fan scene has given longevity to the series. You'd be silly to think that it presents a threat based on that argument, wouldn't you? The answer is, of course, supportive.
We all look forward to seeing what you guys will come up with! Carma fans never cease to amaze me...
It really is a good feeling to get such passionate feedback on a game that you pretty much sunk 18 months of your life into...
X-Ray: I see, that’s an answer, that, of course, we too are satisfied with ;) and glad to hear! Mark, thanks again for taking some time answering our pesky lil questions! We’d like to wish you and the whole team the best for any future projects, we’ll be looking forward to them.