With less than one month away until the release of Project CARS the team here at 24-7gamer (@247_gamer) arranged for TURN (@TURN_media) to ask the game’s Creative Director Andy Tudor (@realandytudor) some questions about one of the most anticipated racing title. Andy Tudor is a videogame designer of over 14 years having worked on notable racing franchises Need For Speed and Test Drive, and cult TV phenomena 24 and The Walking Dead. He is currently Creative Director at Slightly Mad Studios developing upcoming AAA crowd-funded title Project CARS.
TURN Thanks for taking some time to sit and talk with us, and a big thanks to 24-7 Gamer for setting this up. Let’s get right into it. In the recent Career detail video, a selectable car number feature is shown. How does this feature translate to multiplayer? Is it only limited to 99? or is there a potential for that to go to 999 or even 9999?
Andy Tudor That’s specific to your career mode and relates to the way media and fans refer to you (ie.. “Car number 55 took the win at Watkins Glen this past weekend…”)
TURN That’s a pretty cool feature. Hopefully we can see a little bit of that bleed over into multiplayer. Perhaps it doesn’t even have to match up with the number in the fixed liveries, if nothing else, it could show up as a number inside the tracking dots on the live track map during the race. We will also be looking forward to some update that allows for layering of shapes to create liveries so that the cars can be numbered anything.
TURN – How important is organized racing to you and Project CARS? E-sports are beginning to take off as legitimate sports, live streaming already has taken off. Is this something that Project Cars could see itself lending support to?
Andy Tudor – So I regularly stream myself in games like League Of Legends or Minecraft, or doing live DJ sets. And we’re well aware of how the PC sim racing scene and console racing teams like to run their yearly leagues. So combine that with the ability to Twitch stream from the game and a few stepping stones we’ve already identified, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that one day Project CARS could enter into the world of eSport through the gradual inclusion of spectator/director/commentator features, ranked ladders, and scheduled play times.
TURN – It appears Project CARS has done an amazing job with circuits. Any plans for adding major point to point tracks, like Goodwood, Pikes Peak, or any stages of the WRC?
Andy Tudor – There’ll be more info on how Project CARS is going to expand over time coming soon, but I won’t get your hopes up for rally right now. We made a clear decision with Project CARS to concentrate on ‘tarmac’-based racing whereas ‘loose surface’-based racing is something that would require significant focus and resources if we wanted to do something innovative and breath-taking as we always do.
TURN – Fair enough, staying focused on what you do best now, with an eye on where you could go in the future. This may start to get into the folder marked “Stuff I Can’t Talk About”, but we feel compelled to ask: What manufacturer licenses can we expect to see coming to Project CARS via future DLC? Ferrari? Mazda? Lamborghini? Nissan?
Andy Tudor – Ha, again you’ll have to wait and see but I can think of at least a few right away.
TURN – Well, we had to try. It’s no secret that we are planning to build a an audience to watch our official series, but we are not the only ones interested in watching races we aren’t racing in. Is there a “race director” view for spectators showing them an overall race order, splits, gaps and other live race data? While we are on the subject of spectators, what control over cameras will spectators have?
Andy Tudor – There are in-game Monitor and Spectate features, yes. So you can follow individual cars, change between onboard and broadcast cameras, bring up the race map, telemetry, and timings. As I mentioned above, the next phase would be to allow you to simply watch a race without participating in it, then to provide more features around ‘broadcasting’ what you’re watching, and ultimately socializing whilst watching and listening to a variety of audio sources including commentary. Baby steps though!
TURN – Curious that you mention that the ‘next’ step will be allowing us to watch a race without participating. We’ll assume for now you mean spectate without consuming a driver slot in the lobby, which is incredibly exciting. Switching gears a bit, there are several different types of motorsport represented in the game, but what class of motorsport are you most excited is a part of Project CARS?
Andy Tudor – LMP1 by far. They’re incredibly fast, they’re incredibly beautiful, and the stamina and fitness needed to race them in endurance events is incredible also. We’re one of the only games ever to have the Le Mans 24H license, we have Le Mans-winning drivers playing the game, and it really showcases our dynamic time of day and pit stop features. So if there were ever a motorsport truly representative of how we’ve continued to advance and innovate beyond our previous games it’s this.
TURN – LMP1 and endurance racing in general is incredibly exciting to watch and race in, we agree. What about lobby settings and grids; how specific can you get with lobby settings? For example, in the event that qualifying doesn’t take place directly before the race in the same session…can you change the order of the drivers on the grid manually so that they can match a prior qualifying period, or reflect grid penalties?
Andy Tudor – There’s no manual re-ordering of the grid, no, but it’s certainly a question that has come up before so it’s something we could potentially look at based on feedback from the community
TURN – That’s not a deal breaker, most of our series will use a formation lap to set the grid order properly anyway, but we will certainly be looking out for any updates that give us the ability to manually reorder the starting grid. We’ve seen that Project Cars is going to make use of peer-to-peer connections and hosts for custom race lobbies, yet there are inherent disadvantages to this when considering something highly organized and more serious than simply hopping into a lobby with your mates. Is there a possibility of pursuing a rent-a-server model, similar to what EA does in the Battlefield series. Dedicated servers aren’t free, but those that take sim racing seriously are likely to find the benefits to outweigh the costs.
Andy Tudor – Dedicated servers will be coming around launch