Grand Prix Legends Interview
SGN recently did an interview with Matt Sentell , who's the Director/Designer of Grand Prix Legends and currently Creative Director at Papyrus.
SGN: 1. What was your role on Grand Prix Legends (GPL)?
Matt: I was the Director and lead Designer (along with David Kaemmer).
SGN: 2. What prior projects have the GPL team worked on, both for Papyrus and elsewhere??
Matt: David Kaemmer was a co-founder of Papyrus and developed Indianapolis 500: The Simulation, IndyCar Racing, NASCAR Racing, and IndyCar Racing II (DOS). Several members of the GPL team, including myself, worked on NASCAR Racing and IndyCar Racing II, but there are a fair number of new faces as well.
SGN: 3. How long did the development of GPL take?
Matt: David's research into the physics model began in 1995, so it was roughly three years, but a full year of that was R&D of the physics alone.
SGN: 4. The re-creations of the various courses seems incredibly authentic. How many of the courses were your development team able to drive (even in their newer versions, like the 'Ring)?
Matt: We were able to drive on, or were driven around, all of the European tracks, as well as Mosport in Canada and Watkins Glen here in the U.S. The Nurburgring ride was memorable - a Porsche 911 Turbo piloted by a professional rally driver.
SGN: 5. It seems like you secured most of the important licenses for the era. Still, how frustrating is it not to be able to get Cooper and Honda for manufacturers? Is the game developed as though you'll receive the license, and then these items either end up on the "cutting room floor" or renamed to fictional companies?
Matt: Licensing is always frustrating because of the uncertainty. It can take a long time to work through a licensing deal and, as you suggest, this means that we're sometimes forced to develop assets that might not be used in the final product. We managed to avoid having that occur with any major assets in GPL, largely because our licensing department came through with the critical properties.