PCGH meets the developers of Race Driver: Grid
With a strong focus on racing itself and with its' advanced EGO engine, Codemaster Studios intends to take over the pole position on the racing genre with Race Driver: Grid.
Southam, Middle England, Warwickshire. PCGH visited the developers of the Codemaster Studios to see how the latest installment of the Race Driver series, Race Driver: Grid, is evolving. The title is expected for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in summer 2008.
We took a walk in the former cowshed where Codemaster Studios resides now. And after that guided trip, we took a look at the current work in progress with Race Driver: Grid. Codemasters is very much focused on athmosphere and on detail. The damage model is very sophisticated. It's calculated in real-time and doesn't rely on precomputed dents. So every crash is unique. Further on, the damages affect the driveability.
The environment of the courses is also very detailed. A level designer demonstrated us racetrack in the city of Milan. All buildings and other objects such as traffic lights, walls or trees have been replicated as in the real course. At the edges of the race track, there are up to 40,000 individually designed spectators. They respond to the actions of the driver, watch the cars and jump aside in the case of accidents.
In our tech talk with the technical director Bryan Marshall, we found out that Code Masters Neon engine from Colin McRae: Dirt had to be altered significantly for Race Driver: Grid. The result is the new EGO-engine, a middleware, which according to Marshall is perfect for the parallel development of a racing game for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
The renderer of EGO engine can be used with modern technologies such as HDR rendering, ambient occlusion, Parallax Mapping, and many post-processing effects such as depth of field and motion blur. A support for DirectX 10 is not yet integrated, however, and it's not planned either. Marshall: "The EGO engine is instead optimized for multi-core processors and offers a very powerful physics part that's done mostly by ourselves. Without the physic engine we couldn't do the complex damage model".
You will find pictures of our studio visit and some current screenshots of Race Driver: grid in the gallery.
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