Q&As// SEGA Driving Studio Director: Guy Wilday

That's 17 times more detail

Posted 18 Apr 2007 17:41 by
Companies:
Games: SEGA Rally
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?

Guy Wilday:: 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.


SPOnG: What kinds of race modes will be on offer in SEGA Rally?

Guy Wilday:: We?re still fine tuning these at the moment.

SPOnG: What range of cars will be on offer in SEGA Rally, and will there be any licensed cars or brands?

Guy Wilday:: 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].


SPOnG: 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?

Guy Wilday:: 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?

Guy Wilday:: 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.
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Companies:
Games: SEGA Rally

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Comments

RiseFromYourGrave 26 Apr 2007 21:38
1/4
the track deformation, complete with water placement is sweet. they may overdo it, but done properly, it should become standard!

ive been beaten by primary school kids on art of fighting in jilly's in manchester. i was on some s**t
The Absinthe Review Network 29 Apr 2007 13:03
2/4
Ah, when I heard the first details of this new Sega Rally it made me so nostalgic that I busted out the ol Saturn and ran a couple races of Daytona USA, complete with official Sega racing wheel.:) By that time I couldn't help myself and ended-up playing Darius Gaiden and Virtua Fighter Remix...couldn't find my copy of Sega Rally, though!
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Roareye Black 12 May 2007 11:08
3/4
I've downloaded the demo of Forza 2, but was left feeling it lacked. It had a similar graphical ability to PGR3, except it had better vehicle damage, and played much the same. Add to this the lack of frentic action throughout and I found the game a little tedius.

I love PGR3, but I only really play it in the summer cos it's a great chill-out title. Stick some urban music, or techno or rock on your hard drive (Cos the in-game music is s**t) and play away. Unfortunately that left me gagging during winter.

I got Need for Speed Carbon: Collectors Edition and had the most tremendous time a few months back. Seat-of-your-pants action, some nice features and a cool customisation mode.

However SEGA Rally is something else. It's not just got tiny little feature, it's not just PGR plus damage. Hell I wonder if PGR4 will be much improved over PGR3, I'm hoping it is (2D illusionist trees have been around since Ganbare Goeman on the N64, give it a rest already -__-) but SEGA Rally looks the real nuts. Sure it doesn't look 200% better graphically than PGR3 (That'd be hard enough to do anyway), and yes the track deformation may or may not be a huge improvement, and I can get my thrill ride from NFS:C. But it's the fact that it appears to be a racing game that grabs the best elements from these three titles and massages it with a traditional SEGA look and feel to make what looks to be the next best Racing game.

Having SEGA Rally and an official Saturn wheel on my Saturn (Obviously), I can safely say that out of all the Saturn racers I own (Andretti Racing, Daytona USA, Daytona CCE, Sega Rally, SEGA Touring Car Championship and Virtua Racing) Sega Rally was easily the most fun. Yes it was amazingly short, and the fourth secret level (Lakeside) was nails, but you could just hit "Retry" over and over and over and not get bored. I hope this game has the same element of "just one more" the original had. It sounds like they have the right idea anyway, tense bumper-to-bumper action over hyper-realism. PGR and Forza are already doing the realism thing, it's good to see SEGA sticking to it's roots to make a game that's easily more accessible.

Only one small concern is the online mode. If the game is interacting with polygons 17 times more than any other racer, will this not most likely cause a huge amount of slowdown or lag during online play as everyone's tracks will have to deform accordingly? I hope SEGA have thought of that too and are actively making a solution to what could be a huge unfortunate problem.

Roareye Black.
rgdfhgd 25 May 2007 12:47
4/4



[25 May 2007, 14:07: Message edited by 'TimSpong']A large slab of Spam related.
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