Q : Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation
SM : My name is Steve Myers and I am a producer on NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.
Q : What series will be added to NASCAR 2003? (Busch series, etc) Or will it be just your standard NASCAR racing simulator?
SM : We will be modeling the Winston Cup Series in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.
Q : How many tracks will there be?
SM : There will be 26 tracks.
Q : Will they all be modeled after the actual NASCAR tracks?
SM : We will have every track that’s run in Winston Cup, plus a 3-mile long 36-degree banked fantasy track.
Q : How many cars will be available to you?
SM : At this point in time, it’s hard to say. One downside of having a product that is released before the actual NASCAR® season starts, is that paint schemes and contractual issues are often in flux right down to the wire. As always, our goal is to have a full field of licensed cars.
Q : Will you be able to fine tune the cars, replace parts, and buy better parts?
SM : We will have essentially the same functionality in the Garage as we have had in our past two products. However, one major difference will be that due to our improved physics model, changes in the Garage will more accurately affect how the car behaves on the track. In fact, the physics model is so accurate now that we can plug in a real-life Winston Cup Car setup, and the car will behave just as it would in real life.
Q : What sort of damage system will there be in NASCAR 2003?
SM : At this time we are still tweaking our damage model. Visually not much will change from NR2002, but we plan on making sure that the NR2003 damage model more accurately represents the penalties that would result from contact with walls and other cars in the real world.
Q : Will you be able to create custom paint jobs?
SM : We will once again be providing an in-game paintkit along with the ability to import car skins from third party art applications.
Q : Will you be able to run over other racers pit crews?
SM : No, and quite frankly this is something we would never want to see in our Sim.
Q : What graphics engine did you use? Licensed or home grown?
SM : 100% Papyrus Racing Games.
Q : What will the system requirements be for NASCAR 2003?
SM : At this point it looks like the minimum and recommended specs will be the same as for NR2002. The minimum is a P2-450 with 64 megs of RAM and a 16MB Direct3D-compatible video card. The recommended system is a P3-800, 128 megs of RAM, and a 32MB D3D or Open GL video card.
Q : How many camera views are you planning to have?
SM : We will have five camera views available when driving -- cockpit, roof, front bumper, chase and far chase. For replays we will be including all driving cameras plus TV1, TV2, spectator, helicopter, pit1 and pit2 camera views.
Q : How many single player modes will there be? I.e. Custom, Championship, etc…
SM : NR2003 will feature three Single Player modes -- Testing, Single Race, and Championship Season.
Q : What kind of internet games are in NASCAR 2003 multiplayer? Will NASCAR 2003 use any kind of multiplayer launch pad like Game spy? And what multiplayer standard will you use, like TCP/IP etc?
SM : We will once again have the fantastic support of Sierra’s Multiplayer Services in NR2003. Every person that purchases NR2003 will have access to our free multiplayer matching service, Sierra.com, which will allow him or her to quickly find and join races. We are also planning on hosting at least a dozen “Papyrus Open” servers that will be piped directly into a major internet backbone and should provide lag-free gaming. We are also happy to announce that we have added a new voting system that will give players the ability to vote to eject grief players, change tracks, and more. We also have added several new functions for league administrators. We will also allow direct connect via TCP/IP, and LAN play via the TCP/IP or IPX protocols.
Q : How many cars does each singple player map support and can you have them all run at once? How many cars can you have in a multiplayer game?
SM : NR2003 will allow players to race against a full field of 42 other cars providing that the selected track has 43 pit stalls.
Q : Are you planning to have an editor available for the user to make their own maps, tracks, cars etc?
SM : NR2003 will not ship with a track editor. However, our track format has essentially stayed the same since NR2002, so the editors that the community has created should work with this release.
Q : Since the AI adapts to your racing style, will there be any kind of difficulty settings for how well the AI adapts?
SM : We have made some impressive improvements in our AI for NR2003, and the adaptive AI is one of the highlights. Basically, when you enable this feature you will start your single race campaign with the AI set at 70%. Every time you complete a race on a given track, the system will evaluate your performance and automatically set the AI to a level comparable to the speeds you were able to achieve. Once you have run a race at each track you will be able to run a Championship Season with ratings that should make you competitive at each track throughout the season, regardless of your skill level at each track.
Q : Are you planning to have any kind of real time weather effects? Or will it be random as you travel from track to track?
SM : When realistic weather is selected, the temperature should be in the approximate range of what it actually was at the given track in the 2002 season. One new feature we have NR2003 will have dynamic wind and temperature changes. This means the temperature and wind direction can, and very likely will, change throughout a given session. We have tied the animated flags into the wind system, so the player should be able to tell if the wind direction has changed just by looking up at the flags.
Q : What will make NASCAR® 2003 stand out from the rest, besides the obvious improved graphics?
SM : Besides the many graphical improvements, we have formed key technical partnerships with both Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Jasper Motorsports. They have helped us enhance what was already an industry leading physics model to a level that we feel will be unmatched for years to come. Another great new feature that we are very excited about is the addition of a realistic bump map at each of the tracks. We were able to determine where the real-life bumps and dips are at each track, and model them onto their virtual counterparts. This will truly provide our customers an unprecedented level of realism and immersion.
Q : Will we see a demo available prior to the game appearing on in stores?
SM : There will be a demo, but it will be post-release.
Q : Anything you would like to add? A punch line to make people excited about NASCAR® Racing 2003
SM : At Papyrus Racing Games, we are very excited to once again raise the bar for PC racing simulations with NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season. We truly believe that it will serve as the industry benchmark for years to come. I hope everyone enjoys playing this sim as much as we have enjoyed creating it.
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