'Big Scale Racing' Developer Interview

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Aug. 21, 2002 @ 6:24 p.m. PDT

We send our dear friend Rik Teerling over at BumbleBeast some cookies as bribe for a small interview and he decided the rest of the team ought to join in and give us some smart ass answers (and they demanded milk to go with the cookies, go figure). So have a nice read and njoy the included screens. Big Scale Racing is distributed by HD Interactive in Europe and SummitSoft in the US.

1. Who has the honor to talk to us and what was your involvement in the development of Big Scale Racing?

Actually, we all have the honor to talk to you. It's the way the company works I guess. We can, because we're a relatively small company. There are 8 BumbleBeasts, of which no more than 5 are able to work in the office at the same time. We simply don't have the space ;)

2. Who came up with the idea for BSR? Is this BumbleBeast's first title? What more can we expect from BumbleBeast in the future? Will BSR be a PC only title or are there plans to port it to other platforms?

These are actually 4 questions ;) It's hard to say who "came up with the idea". It's more like "a joint effort", that involves a lot of meetings, writing, rewriting and deleting in textfiles to start with. Some of us are racing RC-cars in real life, so that has probably something to do with it.

BSR is BumbleBeast's first title, though the same team did create "RWS Control", a business to business project that focussed on world building in 3D and managing traffic in the form of thousands of small (3D) cars in a semi realistic environment.

We are currently working on "Atria Nova", a Massive Multiplayer online game, and we have some unfinished design documents that contain the promise of some pretty amazing stuff.

Currently, Big Scale Racing is a PC only title, though we're seriously considering porting it to a console (the cube with the "N" on it)

3. What graphics engine did you use? Is it an original engine or a licensed one?

The engine of Big Scale Racing is called "4Space", which is a simulation and visualisation system that is developed in-house. It takes care of the graphics, sound, dynamics, network stuff (multiplayer) to name a few. And it runs in OpenGl and Direct3D and partly under Linux. We keep adding functionality as we need it. We developed our own engine to make sure we are able to develop high standard gameplay titles now and in the future.

4. How often will you be updating your downloadable features on the net?

We're thinking at least once a month, but it also depends on the demand; we are willing to invest some more if BSR proves to be a succes.

5. What will be downloadable besides the obvious extra cars?

Tracks, gameplay elements-patches, and not too many problem-solving-patches we hope ;)

6. Will the player be able to make his own cars from scratch?

Not at the moment. In general, we wanted Big Scale Racing to be a game to PLAY. i.e. doubleclick the executable and be on the start-grid 10 seconds later. Editable content / tweaking / upgrades / damage / economy etcetera is the next step, which certainly will be included in future titles. We consider Big Scale Racing just the beginning.

7. Will the cars be upgradeable? Such as faster engines or better tires?

By winning championships, you'll earn completely new cars which are lighter, have faster engines, better tires, better suspension etcetera.

8. Does Big Scale Racing come with an editor so players will be able to build their own tracks?

Building tracks involves not only building the geometry of the tracks, but also (among other things) tweaking the Artificial Intelligence of the cars: making sure they are capable of cornering correctly. We do not want to bore the players with this. Expect an editor as soon as we think players are able to build their own tracks with good tools. Which we're very busy building, but not for Big Scale Racing.

9. Will the cars take damage or run out of battery power? Such as get dents, start smoking or respond worse depending on damage taken from crashes?

No. And above that: battery? Big Scale Racing has only gasoline engines. And before you ask: they have an unlimited amount of fuel. Our next racing title will focus on things like 'your left-front-tire is almost worn, as well as 'you are out of fuel within a minute'...

10. Can you create custom paint jobs?

You can, but it is not yet very user-friendly. We are building a dedicated editor for easy and fast paint job creating. We are planning to add this to the first updater for Big Scale Racing.

11. Are you planning to have any stages that are comparable to like a back yard/kitchen or will it be all race tracks?

You don't want to race your 1/5 scale petrol engine car in any kitchen, but a backyard or (probably better suitable) a street setting is surely something to consider.

12. Are the race tracks based on real life/existing tracks or are they all original?

Yes, all tracks but one exist in real life and are located in the Netherlands. Clubs and/or owners of these tracks were very helpful providing us with data and allowing us to take photographs and videoshots. There's one track in BSR that is not really an RC track, but based on a bicycle track (the oval Velocity). Be prepared to achieve some really high speeds on this one!

13. What is current status of the game development? Will you be able to make your launch date?

We're pretty much on schedule. Big Scale Racing is in shops in the US by now, and Europe is about to follow next month (September). Release in Japan and Australia is not too long after that.

14. Are the sounds (engine sounds, crowd cheers etc..) in Big Scale Racing authentic, taken from real tracks, or made in-house?

That depends on whatever worked best. "authentic" usually means "a lot of background noise", so we had to do some serious editing anyway. Some engine sounds are synthetic, some are real. Most other sounds are real.

15. We have seen trucks and stock cars in available screenshots, what other "type" of cars will the game feature?

Complete all the championships and you will know... ;)

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