Interviews// Ben Ward, Studio Communications of Bizarre Creations

Posted 2 Jun 2009 18:00 by
Games: Blur
SPOnG: Let’s talk about the stages. We’ve seen a few shortcuts in the main path in your presentation, where cars can cut through some traffic cones to get a lead on your rivals, but will there be any real alternative routes in the game?

Ben Ward: Absolutely. You didn’t see much in the presentation about that as we only showed Hackney (laughs) but we really wanted to put some differing paths in the tracks. We were able to do that this time because we’ve got twenty cars on the track at any one time. This game is all about having wheel-to-wheel action throughout the whole race, and if there were only four other players involved then you wouldn’t really get that feeling. The cool thing is, our multiple paths offer a good view of the rest of the action on the track as well, so you can always take note of how you are progressing on your current short cut.

SPOnG: With Metropolis Street Racer and the Project Gotham games, you guys were notorious for going around streets taking photos. Will you be going back to LA and Tokyo to do the same for Blur?

Ben Ward: The funny thing is, we keep saying that “You’ll be seeing all these new locations that you’ve never seen in a Bizarre game before” and then we throw out Tokyo, LA and London all over again (laughs)! But we’re doing new areas in these major cities, so even though we’re covering the same general ground we’ll be focusing on some real interesting places. We’ve got Hackney in there which is a bit of a left field choice but we always wanted to put it in there for some reason. We’ve also got the mountain that’s featured in Initial D in Tokyo.

The main thing is that we’re still going around these streets taking hundreds of photos, but we’re not going for an exact replication of these areas this time around. We can afford to make a few changes to specific parts of the track to make a better racing experience out of it. So, if this curb on a Tokyo track doesn’t work out, we won’t think twice about taking it out whereas with PGR we wouldn’t have done that.

An example is in the Hackney track - there’s a railway bridge with a road that dips underneath it. Which is really cool in itself, but what we did to make it better is extend the bridge part and loop it round onto the track as an alternative route. Our designers know enough about the architecture after doing it for so many years to change the locations around and still make it look great.

Thing is with Hackney, despite us changing a few bits the entire high street is still there and all the things are roughly in the same place, so unless you know every inch of the place you can still identify the location. In fact the sound guy today said to us “It’s great to see my home finally get represented in the game” and we asked him if he noticed anything different about it and he said “No”.

SPOnG: Did you ever think about a story that explains the origin of the power-ups in the game?

Ben Ward: Well, we thought about writing a story linking to the power-ups and such, but then we realised that nobody really gives a shit. Let’s be honest, anything you come up with is just going to sound cheesy and rubbish. They’re power-ups… that’s it. That’s all the explanation you really need. And luckily nobody has questioned that so far (laughs).
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Games: Blur

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