DiRT Rally Interview

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PS Nation was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to have a quick chat with Paul Coleman, Chief Game Designer at Codemasters about the upcoming DiRT Rally on PlayStation 4. So take a look and find out what unexpected game influenced them, the chances of you playing DiRT Rally in PlayStation VR, and a few more juicy bits of information.

Paul, how did you get into the role of Chief Game Designer?
It has been a long road that started back in 1998 when I first played the original Colin McRae Rally at university. I found out that Codemasters was 15 miles away and I decided to change my career path to get into games. I started at Codemasters back in 2003 as a Quality Assurance technician and I have been designing rally games since 2006.

What is your favourite location to race in-game?
It’s a bit of an unfair question as I love them all because they all have their own challenges and character but if you are forcing me to pick one then it has to be Wales as it is the closest to the stages I have co driven on in real life.

DiRT Rally has been on Steam for a while now, how has it evolved and has the community helped in any way?
So we had a pretty decent idea of what we wanted the game to be and how we wanted it to grow in Early Access. In fact the guys at Steam asked us to create a Roadmap that detailed all the content that we were planning to include in the game. The main reason we went into Early Access however was to get the fan’s feedback on how the game felt. They had been asking for something more authentic, something more real and while we felt the prototype we had delivered on that, we needed to get it in their hands to validate it. They loved what we initially provided them with but with their help we continued to develop the game all the way until it’s full release in December.

dirt-rally-packshot-ukHave any other recent games influenced you and the team, and how?
Hah! It might not be the answer you are expecting but a few of us on the team have played a lot of Destiny over the last year or so, so we dropped a few hat tips to those guys in the game. In terms of rally games we are well aware of the big hitters in the genre but many of those came about over 7 years ago so we really had to set out to take things to the next level ourselves.

Will there be support for racing wheels?
Absolutely, we’ve completely reworked our force feedback based on the feedback of our PC community and it was imperative that we brought those learnings back into the console game. We support all the wheels from the main manufacturers that have been designed to work with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

How about PlayStation VR support, is it something you would consider? (My new ‘Had to ask’ question)
Well, we are already supporting VR on the PC version so I’d say we are in a pretty decent position to support PlayStation VR if the opportunity arises. VR works exceptionally well with rally and I think it makes sense to consider it.

Will there be a Vita version? (seems to be the most popular question for any game)
So we support remote play on the Vita but we have no plans for a Vita version at the moment.

How will Codemasters support DiRT Rally after its release?
We are planning to support all formats equally to ensure parity across all platforms. In terms of additional content we have always said that we needed to get the console version out there and see how it performs before we make any big decisions.

Will there be a demo?
Currently there are no plans for a demo but that might change. There are so many new and very cool ways in which you can get players to sample content now that a demo may not be the best method to do this.

One way is by watching the PS Nation YouTube and Twitch channels for streams of this game and many others.

With a plethora of racing games under the Codemasters belt, is it not tempting to venture onto the dizzying heights of a platforming game? (Make another Dizzy game)
We’ve been tempted a number of times in recent years and while some of those ventures have been fun they haven’t necessarily hit the targets that the business has expected from them. Racing is our strongest hand and I think it makes sense for us to double down on that for the time being.

DiRT Rally is now available on Steam and will be powersliding onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC (DVD) on April 5th 2016.

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