- Black Bean Games
- Distributore Italiano
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- Tutto in Italiano
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- Dolby Surround
[EN] Rally Italian Style
WRC: Interview to Milestone's Simone Bechini.
During the second edition of IVDC (Italian Videogame Developers Conference) we had the chance to interview Simone Bechini, Deputy General Manager at Milestone. The Italian developers studio, along with the producer Black Bean Games, recently announced the new official videogame of WRC, currently in its first steps of development and due to hit the shelves in 2010.
The street date is still far away, and at the IVDC Milestone showed just a sneak preview of the game in the form of a trailer, but nonetheless our chat with Simone Bechini was absolutely interesting and enjoyable.
Nextgame.it: The experience of Milestone in the racing genre is very deep: from the first Screamer (1995) to the well know motorbike titles (SBK, MotoGP 08), and now WRC. How important is your background when you approach a new game?
Simone Bechini: It's been a long time! WRC, if you want, is a return to the past, to our origins, though Screamer Rally (the second game by Graffiti, then Milestone) was a game built on an immediate and arcade-ish approach. Today, with enthusiasm, we have the chance to develop the official game of the World Rally Championship! After years of "two-wheels" games and with our strong background in car racing games (SCAR, Evolution GT, Superstars V8 Racing), we were excited at the idea of going back "on the dirt".
Nextgame.it: Milestone is one of the few Italian developers capable to compete on the worldwide market. Would WRC contribute to reduce the creative gap between our developers and the other famous actors in the videogame industry?
Simone Bechini: We will surely try, with all our strengths: there is a lot of pride involved in our work, the pride of an Italian reality that aims to compete with the best international studios. It is that sentiment that pushes Milestone to make the best product possible.
Nextgame.it: What are the most interesting features of the game? How deep is the relationship with the WRC licensor?
Simone Bechini: Our goal is to create a game that is realistic and accessible at the same time. We don't want to take the path towards the "extreme simulator"; in that case the game would be enjoyable just by the most experts among the gamers or by the professional drivers themselves. But at the same time we are trying to stay away from the "arcade-like" style of our previous Screamer games. It is important for us to reproduce the dynamics of the vehicle and the typical behavior of the cars on different situations (asphalt, snow, ice, dirt), so that the players can feel the experience the pilots have when driving in the real World Rally Championship.
The driving model will be scalable to let every player enjoy the game: in short, we are making a game that is both realistic and accessible.
About the relationship with WRC, I can say that we will make good use of the advices given by the pilots and the different experts in every sector of the WRC world. We will try to find the right balance between the needs of the professionals and what a gamer expects when he seeks fun playing a racing game.
Nextgame.it: Need for Speed Shift and Forza Motorsports 3 can be both approached in a very-low difficulty level, where the player has really little to do. How do you feel about those choices, considering your SBK games were known to be very difficult to manage?
Simone Bechini: At Milestone our goal is to reproduce the essence of a rally race. We don't ask the player to be as good as a professional driver. We can't forget that making a game extremely realistic is not fair for the player: a pilot sit in the car counts on a series of physical feedbacks that a gamer, with just a screen and a joypad to control the game, could not count on.
Nextgame.it: What advantages and, if any, disadvantages a license like that brings to the developers' shoulders?
Simone Bechini: It is surely a fantastic opportunity to work on such an important license, with all the pressure and expectations that obviously have to be taken into account. For our part, we will do whatever is possible to replicate with the most possible attention the overall experience of the rally races.
Nextgame.it: Can you share some details with us? For example, what engine "drives" the game?
Simone Bechini: The 3D Engine we are using is the same, multiplatform, that we launched with Superbike 08. It is our proprietary engine, and we are developing new technologies to expand it during the process of the development.
Nextgame.it: Can you tell us something about the quality of the visuals? Especially in the "in-car view", the games are today more and more detailed and precise in every aspect: not only the road and the surroundings one can see through the windows, but the cockpits are quite perfect, too!
Simone Bechini: The visuals and the cameras are absolutely key factors in today's videogames, and we will take into account the huge steps that our competitors took in the recent past.
Nextgame.it: SCAR (Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo) introduced visual alteration to simulate what the driver was feeling, such as blurry vision when he was under pressure and so on. The experiment was reproduced and expanded by Need for Speed Shift, four years after. Can we say that these kind of alterations are going to become a standard in the racing genre? Do you plan to use them in your WRC game to reach the realism of the experience?
Simone Bechini: I think that the introduction of this visual effects has to be coherent with the targets that the developer sets for its game. If the game is not aimed to the pure realism, but is built freely around the driving experience, introducing these kind of effects can be a good idea and make an enjoyable difference. It is more difficult to think to those kind of handicaps in a game like WRC, where the pilot is under constant pressure from the green light tile the finish banner.