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Driver 3 Aims For Filmed Car Chase Nirvana

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the rinse-and-repeat-several-million-times dept.

PlayStation (Games) 25

Thanks to UGO.com for their interview with Martin Edmondson about Atari's Driver 3, the PlayStation 2 driving sequel due in early 2004. He explains the point of the game: "Driver was always about the most realistic car chases possible on a computer or console and Driver 3 is very much true to that... So you can set up your car chases and then have all the cameras positioned as you choose... it should look like a car chase movie, and that's the whole point behind Driver." But the developers of the previous Driver titles and Stuntman shy away from certain comparisons: "The thing is, we're not trying to do Vice City. Driver actually started the whole city, car-chase environment, so it'd be a big mistake to say, 'Let's do [all the GTA features], instead.'"

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Ramblings, perhaps (1)

acxr is wasted (653126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802955)

I think Atari may be missing the boat with this one. Car chases are always fun, but not when constrained to the context of a movie set. Why not make a car chase game in which the goal is to outrun the cops, catch the criminal, maybe even cover the footage. Just because it's cops and robbers doesn't mean that they're trying to do GTA. Vice City is nice, but the city is far too small to have any really descent car chases. A huge drivable is something Atari ought to be spending it's resources on.

Re:Ramblings, perhaps (3, Informative)

pcbob (67069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803001)

Did you read the article? It says they have >150 miles of major roads + who knows how many aleys and such. So you can select "take a ride", get cops on your tail, and have a huge chase. I think regular misions can be big chases as well. And with 3 cities this is huge - it says in the article modeling eat up the most budget.

Re:Ramblings, perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6803020)

Did you read the article? ...

You must be new here.
Welcome.

--
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Re:Ramblings, perhaps (1)

Ceyan (668082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804430)

They aren't constrainted within the context of a movie set. Re-read the interview. For one thing they specifically say that it isn't like Stuntman, which is a game with car chases in a movie style format.

What they are doing with Driver is to make a game that takes driving games away from the "official" track, and away from the open-ended courses in games like Midnight City, yet still retaining the fun, and focus, of the driving aspect.

And last but not least, they plan to implement stuff like outrun the cops, but that isn't their only focus.

Movie cities? (2, Interesting)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803096)

I'm surprised with their picks of cities. Why? Well, if they're going to go for the whole car-chase movie feel, you'd think they would pick cities that have had a lot of action and car-chase movies in. They already covered Miami (Driver, and upcoming in Driver 3), San Fransisco (Driver), and New York (Driver 2), so that should have narrowed it down a bit. If I got to pick a city, these are what I would narrow it down from:

Portland, Oregon: Yeah, I'm biased, I was born at and grew up in the Elliot and West Slope neighborhoods. But it frequently is used for movie shoots. [ohsu.edu] Antitrust [imdb.com] was filmed and set in Portland and featured a car chase across town from someplace downtown eastside to a TV studio located where Raleigh Hills Elementary School is in real life (not sure what building they used for the movie, but it's nothing anywhere along Schools Ferry Road where the chase ended in the movie). More recently, The Hunted [imdb.com] had a long chase all over downtown (with some movie magic to make geography more convienent), culminating in a fight on the roof of a TriMet MAX [trimet.org] train (never mind that in real life, the train doesn't spend what seems like 30 miles on the Hawthorne Bridge (it goes about four blocks across the Steel Bridge and there haven't been tracks on the Hawthorne Bridge since Portland Traction went out of business decades ago), and that the overhead lines make standing on the roof of a moving train impossible).

Vancouver, British Columbia: The most generic American city on the planet. Most action movies you see set in American cities are filmed in Vancouver, anymore. Along Came a Spider [imdb.com] was filmed in Vancouver, with some stock footage used between scenes to make it look more like Washington, DC. But watch the scenery: The street signs are uniquely Canadian, and you can spot more Vancouver, BC landmarks in the movie than Washington, DC landmarks. And Washington, DC doesn't have that many Douglas Fir trees. A couple decent car chases in that movie. It's also a favorite city to film Jackie Chan movies.

Boston! (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804771)

I'd like to see them attempt Boston as a city for GTA4. Imagine being able to wander around the ratmaze of streets and Big Dig pits... oh, and actually being able to mow down all the fscking Red Sox fans clutting Park Street, packing themselves onto the Green Line 'D' train because they either can't read the big signs or don't believe you can really get to Fenway Park without getting off at the 'Fenway' T stop...

It's OK, the red mist is clearing now.

Re:Movie cities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6811979)

How about Chicago? That car chase under the El train tracks in "The French Connection" was classic.

Re:Movie cities? (1)

Flingles (698457) | more than 11 years ago | (#6812181)

Strange that Canada is more American than America :)

This is a very cool series. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6803151)

Driver 1 was excellent. Driver 2 might have been good... but I thought it was impossibly difficult! It seemingly started at the insane difficulty level that the first game finished at (and yes, I did eventually manage to complete the first Driver game).

Here's hoping that 3 manages to recognise and learn from their mistakes / fumblings and lives up to it's potential to outdo Vice City. Those early screenshots look gorgeous - their realism makes VC look like a cartoon in comparison. I guess after shoe-horning Driver into the Playstation 1, they should be very savvy when it comes to making the most of the Playstation 2.

(And I think it's silly to ignore everything that GTA3 / Vice City did - yes, they should make their own path - but they should also be very aware of the competition when it comes to attracting players to their game).

Re:This is a very cool series. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6803191)

i think the main problem that Driver 2 suffered from on the PSX was the graphics were too demanding on the machine, and times the game would stutter too much and jerk around.

Re:This is a very cool series. (1)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803407)

Those early screenshots look gorgeous - their realism makes VC look like a cartoon in comparison.

Too bad the PS2 graphics mean the XBOX port will look like crap. I really wish companies would start with the XBOX then downgrade for the PS2. Incidentally, the screen shots look a lot like Need for Speed.

Realistic car chases - my arse (2, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803177)

Realistic car chases usually last about 3 minutes and for the most part are deadly boring and end unspectacularly.

Realistic to the computer game world seems to mean something totally unreal.

"That looks so realistic", people say about events they have never actually witnessed.

Re:Realistic car chases - my arse (1)

neostorm (462848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803218)

Excelent point. They should restate that as "realistic movie car chases".

Anyone who would dispute this only need look to the OJ simpson car chase footage. Not the most riveting vehiclular performance. ;)

My favourite gripe in movies is people being shot (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803364)

You get a baddie being sprayed by an Uzi and he stays stood there twisting and turning while round after round of lead is pumped into him at 6 miles a second.

Or when someone landing on you from above instantly incapacitates you.

Re:Realistic car chases - my arse (2, Interesting)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803569)

No way! The only car case I have actually witnessed with my own eyes (not on TV) was pretty darn spectacular. First about three cop cars go tearing thorugh the saturday high-street traffic on both sides of the road, then a helicopter turns up, and then this beat-up old eighties nissan (the bad guys) comes screeching through the traffic with one side all dented in and steam pouring out from under the bonnet, sees the cars ahead, bumps over the central divider, tries a U-ey, sees the other cars coming up, backs up, takes a turning, screeches off...

Two important points:

1. It was a lot slower than you see in films, because this was in London on a Saturday morning, i.e. a lot of traffic, whereas in films all the traffic seems to miraculously melt away as soon as the chase starts.

2. People in other cars / crossing the road were very eager to get out of the way of the bad guys, more so than getting out of the way of the police, probably because the police are marginally less likely to be cracked-up lunatics willing to indiscriminately spray bystanders with automatic gunfire*. Marginally.

Anyway, it was really cool, and it made me think that movie car chases would actually be *more* exciting if they were slower, but there was more traffic. But it was exciting. It really made my weekend. So I don't know what you're talking about.

*yeah, I know in England we don't have as much firepower per head of population as the US, but professional criminals these days are generally pretty heavily armed.

Re:Realistic car chases - my arse (1)

flikx (191915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6805783)

Speak for yourself. Last time I was in a car chase, it was pretty damn exciting. Driving my '74 Dart with a 383, I'd say that I open the throttle about 75% of the time when I get lit up by a cop. In real life, they usually will not chase you through a red light. In other words, the chase is over almost immediately. Every now and then, I get a cop with a bit more ambition, but putting my car up against a city cruiser with a V6, I generally outrun them within a block or two.

Re:Realistic car chases - my arse (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6805885)

the chase is over almost immediately.
I generally outrun them within a block or two.

well, that supports my hypothesis that they are over in 3 minutes and end unspectacularly

If the developer is that excited... (2, Funny)

Chartreuse_Zergling+ (699170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803286)

>>UGO: Could you talk a bit about one specific mission that sets Driver 3 apart from the other driving games out there?

>>ME: I guess so.

>>UGO: Do you want people to buy this game?

>>ME: I guess so.

...

>>ME: And then he goes to a place in Turkey called Instanbul...

>>UGO: Not Constantinople?!

Vice City was the first GTA, not. (2, Informative)

Dodger_ (51556) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803904)

"The thing is, we're not trying to do Vice City. Driver actually started the whole city, car-chase environment, so it'd be a big mistake to say, 'Let's do [all the GTA features], instead.'"

Hello! McFly! Driver wasn't first at anything. Carmageddon came before Driver and did whole city car-chase environments. Grand Theft Auto(the original) came before Driver and did WHOLE(wow those were big cities) city car-chase environments. And before these was Test Drive, which did city/city limits car-chase environments with the police chasing you. These games did exist before the Playstation 2 and Grand Theft Auto 3. I love how developers get selective memory when hyping up their new shovelware game.

Re:Vice City was the first GTA, not. (1)

dswensen (252552) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804052)

Yeah and, they were all predated by Digital Derby [ggdb.com] . Bunch of Johnny-come-latelies.

Re:Vice City was the first GTA, not. (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804085)

Indeed. MobyGames [mobygaes.com] shows the original Grand Theft Auto [mobygames.com] as coming out in 1997 (same year as Carmegeddon [mobygames.com] ), two years before Driver [mobygames.com] .

Re:Vice City was the first GTA, not. (2, Insightful)

Ceyan (668082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804479)

Are you people brain dead or something? Carmageddon and Test Drive (mentioned by one of the other people who replied) are NOT similar to Driver.

Carmageddon is more or less a destruction derby with goals in a city enviroment.

Test Drive is a typical open-ended course racing games in a city.

The original GTA is however, a valid point to consider. Although you seem to be forgetting the that the original GTA was 2D and Driver is 3D, which makes a big difference.

Driver is a storyline based mission-set game. It is NOT a racing game! You simply do the missions, by majority, in a car as opposed to on foot or something else...

Re:Vice City was the first GTA, not. (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 11 years ago | (#6805372)

I only played a bit with Driver for the PSX, but it wasn't all that fun. Compared to GTA, it was crap. Maybe 'realistic crap', but crap. I think GTA finds the sweet spot of physics realistic enough to feel "movie real" (and throw in a lot of minigames and sidequests, all based on that engine).

The GBC Driver was kind of fun.

Driver Problems (3, Insightful)

Kyouryuu (685884) | more than 11 years ago | (#6805944)

To me, Driver was always a great premise for a game. Throw the player into a gigantic city with realistic traffic intersections and conditions, and outrun the cops.

But that's typically where my enjoyment of the game ended. Why? So many special tricks and manuevers exist in Driver that are mandatory to your success.

I think that the ultimate car chase game would take the very basic controls of The Need for Speed III (steer, accelerate, brake, and handbrake), the modes of NFS3 (outrun, be the cops, etc), and stick it in a massive, non-linear city environment as opposed to a linear track. Give the player very basic controls and let them mix and match them to concoct their own tricks, rather than putting them through a long tutorial on different turning degrees, premade "macros," and other nonsense. I heard that the Game Boy Advance version had simplistic A + B controls and it got by just fine.

In short, Driver was often too complex for its own good (tying in to what Carmack said about modern games a few days ago). This is a driving game and, as such, the controls need to be as simplistic as possible. Let the physics engine handle the results.

It's good to see them admit it (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 11 years ago | (#6810525)

I've insisted for years that GTA3 ripped of Driver and Driver 2. GTA 1 + 2 lacked a lot of things, although I still enjoy them.
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