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Q&A With Xtreme Air Racing's Lead Programmer 'Jason Lescallette'

by Rainier on May 29, 2002 @ 8:22 p.m. PDT

Today we had the chance to talk with Xtreme Air Racing's Jason Lescallette, the lead programmer with Victory Simulations, the development team behind the hi-speed, no holds barred air racing game, Xtreme Air Racing. Rather short, but good ;)

Jason Lescallette Lead Programmer with Victory Simulations .. Biography

A child prodigy, Jason started at Ohio State University at age 16 and studied computer graphics. He discovered the twin worlds of computer games and 3D rendering on the Amiga when he was 13.

At college, he discovered that he really liked real-time 3D programming, and after graduating, went on to get a Masters degree, specialising in graphics

Whilst attending grad school (also at OSU) he worked on campus, most notably as a graphics programmer for the vision researchers in the psychology department. After graduating with his MS with honours, he began work at Victory Simulations.

A self-confessed nerd, Jason enjoys such traditional geek pastimes as science fiction, computer games, role-playing games, Japanese animation, and so on. When he's not engaged in such activities he prefers to be outdoors, enjoying the fine California weather (and scenery) on foot or on bicycle.

We asked Jason a few questions on the making of Xtreme Air Racing.

Question: For how long has Victory Simulations been involved in the game industry and what were the reasons for developing Xtreme Air Racing?

Lescallette : Victory Simulations has been in business since 1992. Seeing the popularity of racing games and having a strong background in flight simulation, we obtained the license from the Reno Air Racing Association and began development of the game that has been called the "World's Fastest Motorsport".

Question : How many people were involved in the development of Xtreme Air Racing and which were the functions or tasks of each member of the team?

Lescallette : At various times we have had a modeling staff of 4 artists and 6 programmers working on the program along with the producer and designer and support staff. The 3-D artist develop the models using a variety of tools such as Multigen Creator while the programmers develop Victory's proprietary Open GL graphics engine, the flight models, and other game related code.

Question : Is Xtreme Air Racing superior than other similar titles? What aspects of the game did you concentrate on during the development?

Lescallette : The game is Nascar in airplanes, only you're going three times as fast. We wanted a game that was easy to play but hard to master. It's also the only racing game where engine management is critical-you can't just go pedal to the metal the whole race. You must also manage your plane setup and go into the pits and tune your aircraft configuration for different types of tracks and also field elevations. Having Hoover's Hints where aviation legend Bob Hoover coaches you around the course in real time has proved extremely popular. Aviation announcer Gordon Bowman-Jones does the play by play that responds in real time to events in the game. You can also record your own voice and put the names of your friends in the aircraft. A rock solid multiplayer section lets you take on the deadliest, most cunning enemy of all-your best friend-in head to head play. In between races there's an air combat section where you can see how these hotrod warbirds do in a 1v1 battle.

Question: Have you created any other titles before Xtreme Air Racing?

Lescallette : XAR is the first commercial game title.

Question : What are your plans for the future? Any new projects?

Lescallette : We're very excited about Luftwaffe '46/Hitler's Revenge. You can fly for good guys--Ace Fury and the Eagle Squadron-- or Luftwaffe. It's superior numbers vs. superior technology as you get to fly some of the most exciting and exotic aircraft ever seen in a PC game-all based on actual aircraft designs. There's also a strong storyline and three "Ace Fury" novels (Juggernaut, Zero Hour, Storm over America) will be published along with the game. Check out for details.

There's also Xtreme Air Racing GOLD that will have all of the other racing classes included -Sports Biplane, Formula One, T-6, as well as some more Unlimiteds. The game includes over 100 highly detailed aircraft.

Another title in the Xtreme series is Xtreme AIR COMBAT This will be a series primer on air combat, featuring a variety of scenarios that is guaranteed to make you a Top Gun-or kill you in the process.

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