Ben has given you guys some insight about the new NASCAR video game being made by Eutechnyx. Well, in this exclusive interview with Stock Car Spin, Ed Martin, who is the Executive VP of Eutechnyx, greatfully answered some of our questions, and gives us the insight on the new, and upcoming NASCAR game being released this month! Thank you Ed for taking the time to do the interview with us!
Brandon Butler: What made NTG a much more difficult game to create than some of your previous titles like Ferrari Challenge?
Ed Martin: Hands down is was getting 43 cars on the track. What makes NASCAR special is the bumper to bumper pack racing at 200mph, and capturing that on a game console is no easy task. From a development standpoint, at any given time when you’re on an oval track, you could be seeing all 43 cars, all with their own AI and physic mechanics. So getting all of that to function, look good, and run smooth was one of our biggest hurdles. But at this point with the game just about out the door, I think I can safely say we succeeded in recreating the NASCAR experience.
Brandon Butler: I’ve read about the damage model, as well as see some footage of the damage model in use. Can you guys do in-depth about how the damage will work in the game?
Ed Martin: With the help of the NASCAR R&D Center and the teams, we have accurately recreated all aspects of the real race cars – from the inside out. And we’ve built an unprecedented progressive-dynamic damage system where literally every aspect of the car can be damaged in real-time. So every bump, every scrape, every crash is unique and accurate – and REALLY cool looking! The sheet metal tears, bends and can even come off and become debris on the track – just like the real thing. And as your car takes damage, it will impact the handling and performance – again, just like the real thing. But we are a game, so we give the user the ability to have the damage be cosmetic only (so it looks cool but doesn’t impact performance) or you can turn it off completely. Several of the teams have asked if we could do the same thing for them on the real cars!
Brandon Butler: Can you tell us some details on the in-game paint booth?
Ed Martin: The team spent a lot of time giving users the ability to design their own cars. Anything you can imagine can be done, from painting pixel by pixel to simply applying logos and sponsor stickers. Players can go in and alter the look of their cars however they like. The paint kit looks more like PhotoShop than it does a normal modification system in a game. But the real NASCAR cars are extremely detailed and fans want that level of authenticity. Now they have it.
Brandon Butler: I will say that more than the majority of players go for the online portion of NASCAR titles. What have you guys done to make the online feature in NTG something that NASCAR fans will enjoy?
Ed Martin: Eutechnyx has been making nothing but motorsports games for over 20 years – and we’ve been on the forefront of online play since it became possible. So we’ve started with a really robust platform. On both PSN and Xbox Live, fans will be able to enjoy up to 16 player races. Also, we’ve brought back 2-player split screen – something that has been mysteriously absent from previous NASCAR games.
Brandon Butler: As all NASCAR fans know, the best setups help win races, what are the types of things on the car that we the player, can change around?
Ed Martin: Short answer, everything. We come with default set-ups for each track, but players can go in the garage and change the car set ups. They can save them per track as well. They can also change them on the fly when their cars come into to pit stops during the race. After doing some practice laps you can change your car set-up to be tighter or looser, along with other adjustments. Additionally there are general set-up options that can be tinkered with as well that affect the auto assists on braking and steering. Basically, anything that Chad Knaus can do back at he Hendrick Motorsports shop can be done in the garage in our game. And anything he can do during a pit stop can be done at the track in our game.
Brandon Butler: People have been telling you guys about how NASCAR 09 was a horrible game, due to the glitches, and bugs in the game. EA Sports really did a poor job responding to the community when issues with NASCAR 09 came about. What will the approach be when a major bug arises, and how will you respond to the community when something like that happens (online, or offline)?
Ed Martin: Anyone who knows Eutechnyx knows that we have a long history of being very pen and involved online with our fans. That input has helped us deign the game and it sure won’t stop once we get it into fans’ hands. We have a very active community at NASCARTheGame.com and we’re always discussing future features and gameplay options there. So I’d suggest start there and likely you’ll find answers and get responses from the dev team. We’ve also brought on Richard Towler, the NASCAR iRacing champion, and he’s been advising us for a couple months now. He’s been great to get feedback from and our goal is to ship something all fans will enjoy without bugs.
Brandon Butler: Can you guys tell us some stuff about how celebrations work after you win a race?
Ed Martin: Well, it all starts with the burnout. You get to smoke out your tires and rip up the infield grass. And the better you do, the more NXP points we give you – so even the celebrations become part of the game. We’ve made accurate 3D models of every driver in the game. So after the burnout, the animated model gets out of the car and celebrates with the fans – you might even catch them doing a back flip off the car.
Brandon Butler: I have read recently that there were two NEW FEATURES that were added to the game during the extra month (when you delayed the game). When will you guys reveal those two new features?
Brandon Butler: Last question. The game looks absolutely amazing, and we cannot wait for it to be released, so when will the game hit shelves so our readers can scramble to the store, and buy it?
Ed Martin: Tuesday, March 29 for 360 and PS3 and April 12 for Wii!
Check back to Stock Car Spin, as we are going to review NASCAR The Game 2011 the week of release!