We talked with the folks at Slightly Mad Studios and came across these exciting gems on the development of Project CARS.
1. The team works remotely
Slightly Mad Studios is dispersed across the world with developers in Germany, UK, US and more:
“We work in a distributed development way. It’s pretty unique to have everyone spread out. I think we all got a bit of a shock when we first came to the company. But, it’s 2017 so it’s quite possible to work around the world with different time zones and get everything done.” – Andy Tudor (Creative Director)
2. Car companies ‘test-drive’ the cars in the game
If you’ve played Project CARS, you know they don’t take authenticity lightly, and neither do the car brands:
“We’re actually having a test session in the next week where the manufacturer is going to have their company Test Driver try out all that manufacturer’s cars in the video game and see how accurate they are. We go back and forth with every manufacturer on accuracy approval. We have to make sure the geometry and materials all look correct.” - Casey Ringley (Technical Vehicle Lead)
3. They use AutoCAD models and sometimes, full 3D scans
Talk about precision! The developers used CAD files to model the cars in the game… but not directly:
“You don’t use the CAD model directly because it never scales to what can work in a real-time game environment. We build up the models from scratch around the CAD and we use scans too. One of the companies we use for outsourcing in particular has a scanning rig that we use for older cars where CAD is not available. They track down the cars we want and do a full 3D scan.” - Casey Ringley (Technical Vehicle Lead)
4. All art assets go through 3ds Max
3ds Max is their 3D tool of choice:
“The environments and terrain in Project Cars are all created in 3ds Max, exported into our game engine and then into some other tools that we have. Then, we export individual 3D assets to dress the environments. The actual source artwork like trees, crowds and characters or any dynamic assets come from 3ds Max and then we use Photoshop for the textures. It all gets combined together and then we have some other game development tools that plug into that so we can set things like the physics and lighting.” - Mark Adams (Art Manager)
5. They sometimes get weird stipulations from car brands
Do they get strange requests from manufactures when using their brand’s car?
“We could probably just say “yes” to that one *laughs*. One of those is that we’re not allowed to discuss their strange requests, so let’s leave that as it is!” - Casey Ringley (Technical Vehicle Lead)