SPOnG: SEGA Rally
has had a pedigree of making the action as realistic as possible. What lengths are you guys taking to ensure this is the case on next generation consoles?
: We talked long and hard about what we could do to set SEGA Rally
apart from its competitors, but also what would also add to the classic SEGA Rally
experience. With this in mind we locked ourselves away until we came up with something that would be realistic, add to the gameplay and couldn?t have been done on previous consoles.
That?s when we decided upon track deformation. Obviously, not the most sexy terminology, but when we?ve shown people what we?ve done it?s blown their minds. We?re not talking about pretending to deform the tracks or using the memory to remember lines drawn in the surface ? we?re talking about real track deformation. And not only that, but we?ve ensured that it adds to the gameplay and isn?t just a gimmick.
Essentially, you?ll race round the track and depending on where you drive, skid, brake, accelerate, etc, you car will create skid marks in the dirt which will form small trenches and ruts etc. These in turn will affect any car that drives over them and ultimately means that no two laps are the same.
What kinds of race modes will be on offer in SEGA Rally
: We?re still fine tuning these at the moment.
What range of cars will be on offer in SEGA Rally
, and will there be any licensed cars or brands?
: We have licensed cars; some that you would expect from a rally game, others you wouldn?t. Plus there?ll be a few surprises for players [smiles].
What kinds of locations will we be able to race on, and how many will there be? Will we see any classic courses that SEGA Rally
fans may recognise?
: Right now we?ve only shown the tropical stage to people, which we feel certainly gives off a classic SEGA Rally
feel. I cant give away too much else at this stage.
SPOnG: SEGA Rally
will feature fully reactive environments, we?re told. Can you expand on this a little bit? Does it mean real-time track deformation and mud and scratches on the cars from crashes?
: I?ve briefly mentioned the real-time track deformation info already, but I?ll try to expand upon it a little. Most games use a 1cm polygon grid to drive upon, but that was never going to work for the level of details aimed for in SEGA Rally
. Because of this, the entire drivable surface of every track within SEGA Rally
is modelled at the massively high detail of 6cm for every single polygon - that's 17 times more detail and means that each tyre of each Rally car interacts with up to 12 polygons at any time.
For every surface, there are a number of characteristics - in addition to the normal static and dynamic slip components we have modelled wear rate and how ruts form for every polygon, how the friction changes as players dig down into the surface, and the profile of the debris which tyres leave as they churn each surface up. We?re even able to model the higher grip levels expected on tarmac as traffic lays down rubber - and that means real live racing lines forming that can and must be reacted to as in a real race.
I also forgot to mention that mud will stick to cars as they go round the tracks ? different colours depending on what type of mud you?re driving on ? and when you drive through the water the mud will wash off. On top of this, when you drive through the water, as with the track deformation, your cars wheels will form trenches out of the puddles which will fill with water as you would expect in real life. Just a little touch we can add because of the power of the consoles we?re working with.