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'Lotus Challenge' (Xbox) Project Manager Interview

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Jan. 23, 2003 @ 10:32 p.m. PST

By mixing different gaming styles, camera angles, story lines and even a hint of role playing, players can choose multiple paths through the game. Five huge modes offer players a complete tour of the world of Lotus. Stunt mode takes you to the set of a Hollywood blockbuster run by a hotshot director who gives you the play-by-play of the scene he wants you to execute. A multi-player option is available for those who want to challenge others through a championship or single race. We sat down with Kuju Entertainment's Senior Project Manager Paul Chamberlain and took him aside for a few laps .. ermm questions ..

1. Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation!

Paul Chamberlain, Senior Project Manager, Kuju Entertainment

2. What kind of success do you expect from this title on the Xbox console, seeing how it has already been released on PS2 platform?

PC : We are looking at the title being a success in it’s own right on Xbox, we have done extensive work to the project to ensure that the game is not just a straight port of the original PS2 title.

3. Why did you decide to go for the Lotus license (and thus limiting yourself to ONLY Lotus cars) instead of a general racing game?

PC : The reason for going for the Lotus licence meant that we could concentrate on making the most realistic driving experience we possibly could. We were working closely with Lotus themselves and their test drivers and designers making sure that the driving experience was as real as we could possibly make it. We then wanted to concentrate on not just making another racing game but include other driving experiences making it the full package.

4. How long has the Xbox version of Lotus been in development?

PC : The game was in development for just under a year

5. What changes did you make to the games graphics engine to utilize the power of the Xbox?

PC : The Xbox version of the game has completely revamped lighting to make use of the features unique to Xbox as well as including higher resolution textures, which means most of the graphics, have been vastly improved. Also due to the increased power of the machine we also have more cars on track, making for a better and more exciting race.

6. What type of audio features does Lotus have? Did you make any changes to the audio aspect of Lotus compared to the PS2 version?

PC : The sound effects have all been improved to give a much beefier sound to the game and we now have full 3D sound.

7. Will Lotus be Xbox Live compatible? If so, what will Xbox Live contribute to the game?

PC : No, Lotus is not compatible with Xbox Live.

8. How many simultaneous players will multiplayer support/allow?

PC : The game allows for a 2 player game using both a horizontal or vertical split screen.

9. Will all the cars from the Playstation 2 version be present in the Xbox version? Are you planning to add any more/new cars to Xbox version?

PC : Yes all the cars from the PS2 version are present, plus two extra cars modeled especially for the new version.

10. How about the tracks? Will all the tracks be there plus more?

PC : For the Xbox version we have completely re-designed three of the tracks (the ones based in Japan). As well as this we have improved ALL of the other racing tracks to make for a better race.

11. Are you planning to change the controls of Lotus? Will steering be all analog?

PC : We have not changed the steering from the PS2 version. Because we think with the new steering system we have created for the game, we have made the most accurate steering system you can have using a joy pad. And yes the steering is analogue.

12. What changes to the physics model can we expect to see in the Xbox version that the Playstation 2 version was lacking?

PC : The driving model has been completely overhauled to give a better racing experience. We have also made great improvements to the computer-controlled car’s AI. All of this plus the extra cars on the track make for a more exhilarating race.

13. How realistic will the damage system be?

PC : The damage system is very realistic with the car models being damaged in an identical way to the way would be in real life, to the point you can end up losing wheels, etc if not careful. Cars will not, however, actually explode; rather they will become damaged to the point that their poor performance will not allow you to win the race.

14. How did you guys score the band Hybrid for the soundtrack of Lotus?

PC : Actually Virgin Games (the original publisher of Lotus Challenge) arranged this, so I am not too sure of the details!

15. Is Lotus ready to make is launch date on the 28th?

PC : Lotus is pretty much completed, so I’m confident that the date will be hit!

16. Finally is there anything you would like to add? Maybe something I missed?

PC : Just that our aim was to create more than just a racing game; we wanted to make an all around great driving experience. I think we’ve succeeded, and the end result is a fantastic game with tons of gameplay and value.

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