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Midtown Madness (PC) Interview


6) The game is incredibly fun, but since I finished all the races in the game I've found myself playing it less often. Will you have new races for users to download soon? What about end-users creating their own races? I heard a rumor that you plan to release a race-editing tool that people will be able to download from your web site ( Is this true?

    We are going to release a tool that allows users to design their own races and let the community come up with their own races.

    Having new races would be cool, but I'm continually surprised by the depth of the existing races. Even after I finished all the races, I keep having fun in single player mode by finding new challenges. For example, after winning the Freeway Flyer in 2 minutes and 21 seconds with the Panoz Roadster, I've been trying to win it with the Freightliner.

    The challenge doesn't stop with getting first place in a race. For example, in the "Beat the Bridges" single player race, I regularly try to beat my own best time by finding a faster route through the city. And Cops & Robbers keeps on throwing that unpredictable human element at me as I encounter unknown opponents and old adversaries try new tricks.

7) If users do create their own races, how sophisticated is the artificial intelligence of the other drivers? For example, if I put a checkpoint halfway across town will some of the drivers be able to find the quickest route, or might that make the race too easy?

    The tool will allow the same level of races that shipped with the game. [In these new races,] the opponents don't figure out the shortcuts on their own. Their path is determined by a series of intersections. They figure out how to get to these intersections through traffic on their own.

8) How about new cars? One of the things I really like about the game is that the cars all feel very different from each other, both in terms of driving model and collision physics. It would be nice to drive some new cars at some point. Perhaps you could offer occasional downloads of new cars, similar to what Cavedog did with Total Annihilation...

    We will release a tool that allows the community to build their own cars. I can't discuss any plans for releasing additional cars right now (unless you buy me a beer :).

9) The Midtown Madness box says "Chicago Edition," and there appears to be menu selections in the game for specifying what city you are driving in. I've heard rumors that San Francisco and New York City Midtown Madness add-ons are in the works. Is there any truth to this? Will you be publishing new cities for the game? If so, can you give us any hints as to the locations or when they might be available?

    I can't discuss this issue right now (unless you buy me another beer).
10) What is your favorite part of Midtown Madness? What about tips or strategies for some of the trickier courses?

    We all love Cops and Robbers. Even after working on this game for a year and a half with long hours, we still play every day. One tip is that the fastest car is not often the best car to pick. With the damage modeling, you might be better off with a slower, sturdier car or truck.

    Personally, I like the physics—especially the way it changes according to weather conditions.

    I really like the freedom of driving anywhere I want in a wide open city that convincingly simulates the weather, variable traffic, pedestrians, and thousands of interactive obstacles that commonly adorn real city streets. The detail and accuracy of the city simulation encourages a "willing suspension of disbelief," in which I live out my fantasy to drive like a madman, evade cops, ram slow drivers, and smash parking meters. It occurred to me that psychologists around the world could use Midtown to cure people who suffer from road rage, replacing their anger with a very big smile!

    Cops and Robbers multiplayer games have to be my favorite, if I had to choose one thing. You just never get tired of the unbelievable situations and crashes that come up. I particularly like the Panoz Roadster and cruising with the gold, half-damaged with 3 or 4 opponents hot on your trail, knowing that you have to make a jump before you can make the delivery. Now that's a rush.

    The best tip I can give you is that almost nothing is impossible to accomplish in this game. Don't tell yourself that you can't win Freeway Flyer pro mode with the Roadster because it damages out too easily, or that the Semi could never beat the Mustangs in the second pro circuit race with the Freightliner, because you can and it can. You might even try the final pro circuit race with the BUS…see if you can beat fourth place with it against those GTs. I guarantee that one isn't easy.

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