By Team SimRacingWorld
5 March 2002
Q: It has been a short time between the GP3 and GP4 releases compared to the launch timing between the previous GP titles. Can you tell us why this is? A:
A:The way the GP series has been produced has evolved along with the product itself. Nowadays we put a lot more resources behind the development of each product, which means we can produce new, improved versions with current season data in a much shorter timescale and on different platforms.
Specifically talking about GP3 and GP4, it has helped that the work is now split between Geoff's company Simergy (concentrating on the Simulation, Gameplay and AI) and the internal group here at MicroProse. Also, much of the work you see in GP4 was already in progress before GP3 was finished!
Q: Have professionals from F1 helped you in the GP development? A:
A:Over the past three years we have enjoyed a very close relationship with the Arrows Formula One team. The details of their help for the game will remain a tightly guarded secret.
Q: Will the graphic engine use some 2D elements just like in GP3? A:
A:Yes and no. Some areas of the tracks need to use 2D elements either for aesthetics or for speed. Large tree lines are a good example of this.
The 2D sprite characters from the previous games (pit crew and marshalls), have been brought to life with the use of fully animated (using motion capture techniques) 3D characters. Now when you pull into the pits for that vital change of the front nose cone, you can see your whole pit-crew spring into life to get you back in the race as quick as they can.
Q: What will be the other differences in the graphics? A:
A:There have been a number of changes that have contributed to the improved look of the game. Firstly, we have created a completely new graphics engine. The new engine utilises the full power of Direct X and the video card hardware and has enabled us to include more details within the tracks and the cars.
Secondly we have used the literally thousands of photographs we have taken at each of the circuits during the race weekends for reference when creating the models and textures. This has contributed to the realism of the game.
Thirdly, getting the in-game lighting and reflections to behave near to as it does in real life is a difficult but rewarding process. Under the close watchful eye of Geoff, we have spent an age getting the in-game lighting to do just that.
Q: Contrary to GP3 will it be possible to go faster than 25im/s animation? A:
Q: Which Formula 1 season will be recreated in the game? A:
A:The game will recreate the 2001 Championship Season in all it's detail. 17 tracks. 11 teams. 22 drivers.
For the first time the tracks have been created using GPS data to ensure the accuracy of every bend, every camber and every run-off.
Q: What on-line possibilities will there be? A:
A:None. Unfortunately, our Official Formula One license forbids online gameplay.
Q: Will a career mode be integrated? A:
A:No, not in GP4.
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