IncGamers catches up with Harvey Parker, lead artist on Moto GP 09/10 to discuss how the game has been created using real Moto GP technology and know-how, and input from the teams.How was the working relationship with the MotoGP guys in developing the new 09/10 game?We’ve got a great relationship with DORNA, the guys that organise and run the sport (the licensors). They send us through helpful information, often quite sensitive, for example we get the details of the construction work here early (points at the Silverstone track).
How were the tracks mapped in the game?We use everything we can possibly get our hands on! DORNA send us survey data, telemetry information from bikes so we can see the length of the track. Undulation wise, we basically visit all the circuits, we take thousands of photos.For example, Silverstone is new to the season, but we’ve already done an extensive reference gathering trip here, even though we know everything is going to change. We know what those changes are going to be, so it gives us a head start. As soon as this work is finished, we’ll come back and re-shoot it, again thousands of photos. Something that we’ve been pushing for and looking to establish going forward is laser scanning, with the data at 3mm accuracy, incredibly accurate! That’s the ultimate goal.
Real and virtual bumps..i.e realistic textures?Bumps are picked up in the game…the level of detail and the limits of what we can do are driven from the technology of the consoles. We’ve only got a certain amount of memory that we can put into it at any one time. Every lump and bump is recognised by us, we could model that, but we do have to generalise too. All the undulation is spot on, the camber is spot on and I think it’s a testament to us that the riders actually use the games as a training tools.We went into one of the pit garages, (we are always in and out of pit garages!) the Promaxx?? Ducati team Moto GP team, and we were talking to one of their telemetry engineers, who hits eject on his laptop and out pops MotoGP ’07 – it was pretty cool finding out that he used it for his undulation.It’s a bit of a 2-way process, the more information we get from them, the better it is for us, and then they use it too, so it’s pretty cool!
Going into the future, have you got any plans on including pigmented reality into the game? Some of the guys are working on it for the F1 game at the moment, so potentially you’ll be able to ride along side Jenson Button next season!Yeah, that all looks phenomenal! With the laser scanning stuff we’ve been keeping an eye on that in the studio for a good 18 months or so. We discovered that other studios were looking at it also, and have been developing it and I do think it is really exciting. But, it did ruffle a few feathers in our studio when we found out. I think it’s all going to be about the implementation. It looks very impressive. I think it is the future, but how successful it is right now is questionable. It reminds of virtual reality when that first came out…everybody thought it was going to be huge, but in practice it turned out to make people feel a bit nauseous and didn’t quite work.
So how did you model the bikes in the game?
We considered scanning, but one of the problems we have is the secretive and exclusive nature of these bikes. We are dealing with prototypes and highly secretive prototypes. The art team get a window on that. I’ve just organised the trips for this year, we just got the announcement of when we can do an organised photo session. It’s very much driven by them rather than us.
We introduced the laser scanning concept to DORMA, promoting the idea that it could help them with their pre-visualisations of the circuit for people online to look at, and they we’re interested also and they are participating in the funding for it, which is fantastic for a video game to pioneer that…Brilliant! For now though, it is all done by photography, and we have superb bike artist/modellers who can recreate that, so getting in a laser scanner would be luxurious, but it’s not necessary for us to do it. Considering for the amount of disruption it would cause the sport…we would probably be laughed at!We’ve kind of gone for a more of a art direction driven product, rather than just pure reality. The core fan base is there, and what we are trying to do is put it along side your ‘Shifts’ and similar racing titles, which have an arcade feel to them. MotoGP used to have a very dry sim feel and we have tried illuminate that.
Game modes?We’ve got more game modes than ever before, which are a lot deeper than ever before. The arcade games are great for when your just getting back from the pub, or whatever! There’s also a pinball machine type points system, so your constantly occurring points…which makes it fun and rewarding!
There’s also a 20 bike multiplayer and online Moto GP career mode, which is a lot deeper than other games.