Q : What vehicles can be found in The Godfather?
JW : We concentrated on four main classes of vehicles that would be appropriate for the period with variants among each class - sporty passenger cars, four-door sedans, commercial pick-ups, and industrial delivery trucks.
Q : What’s the one thing we need to know about each vehicle?
JW : Each class has a set of discrete advantages and disadvantages depending on the task at hand. Since we're using a full Havok simulation for our vehicle physics, each feels distinctly different depending on it basic stats - wheel base, acceleration curve, wheel friction, and mass. For example while the sportier coupes and roadsters have quicker acceleration and top speed, they require more finesse and driver attention to navigate tight turns at high speeds, and can't sustain nearly as much damage.
Q : What type of research went into not only the selection of vehicles, but the look, feel, and handle?
JW : Our artists did a fantastic job researching period vehicles and creating iconic versions that feel perfect for the Godfather fiction. Special attention went into making sure that vehicles from the movies like the Corleone limos and police cruisers were accurately replicated. Beyond aesthetics though we really concentrated on making the vehicles each feel distinct yet fun to drive. Since virtually none of our players will have ever driven anything even close to our timeframe - the mid 1940's - we focused on getting the feel right without being obsessed with maintaining authentic performance. For example, while it isn't completely realistic for a 40's sedan to be able to powerslide through a crowd of pedestrians after hopping a curb while staying on the road and in one piece, it's still an awful lot of fun to pull off. Still I don't think any players will play the game and come away thinking that any of the vehicles don't feel right at home in the world of the Godfather.
Q : Which car is best-suited for sustaining an attack? Running from the cops?
JW : In our focus testing we've found that different players gravitate towards different vehicles depending on their driving style of choice. Experienced racing game fans for instance generally prefer the roadsters, which while fast are less forgiving. Weaving in and out of traffic at high speed requires a good deal of attention, and a head-on collision at an inopportune moment can mean the difference between escape, arrest, or death. Many players actually prefer heavier vehicles like the pickups and delivery trucks for defending themselves however. A heavier vehicle not only can absorb more damage from ramming attacks and firearms, but it is much easier to force off attackers into oncoming traffic, and simply bulldoze through roadblocks or tight situations.
Q : Do you have a favorite? Why?
JW : My favorite is the good old classic 4-door sedan. I find it's the perfect balance for my style of driving. It's got a good top speed, corners fairly well, can take a beating, and can hold it's own just fine nudging a cop into the nearest parked car.
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