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SCi Speaks Up About Carmageddon 3 (that's right),Cheats, Apple, and T2 Steering Wheels
April 27th

Randy: Wow, after last weeks Carmageddon 2 article, the feedback has been really overwhelming.

Gary: I'll say, And who knew how many T2 steering wheels were out there?

Randy: Yeah, one tiny comment at the end of the review generated enough mail to line the cat box for a year.

(A hollow coconut sound is heard from the side of Randy's head)

Randy: Ouch! What was that for?

Gary: Randy's just joking, folks! We really do read ALL of our mail. In fact, we don't even have a cat!

(Meowing in the background)

Randy: So we figured we had better get on the horn and give the good folks at SCi a call and pass on some questions from our readers, instead of just making up stuff like we usually do.

Gary: Good point. I was running out of fake stuff to say.

Randy: We were fortunate enough to get to talk with SCi's PR guru, David Ratcliffe. Due to the fact that we're transcribing this interview from our handwritten notes, we'll be paraphrasing a good bit here. But remember: no made up stuff this time.

Idiots: First of all, David, thanks from the entire Mac community for the awesome products, Carmageddon and Carmageddon 2. These games are truly stunning.

David: Thanks, we are very proud of the Carmageddon series and very happy it's sold so well.

Idiots: Given the success of the first Carmageddon game, did you guys find it hard to top yourself with this sequel?

David: Yes and no. Anytime you have a success like Carmageddon it's going to be hard to create something that people will accept as better. But while we were developing Carmageddon 1 there were lots of things we wanted to do with the game. You always say "Wouldn't it be great if you could do this…" But eventually you have to send in the final disk for GM and you just have to let the ideas wait until the next time around.

Idiots: So most of these improvements were things you wanted to do in C1, but just ran out of time?

David: It was not really so much a matter of running out of time. It's always like that in the life of a game's development. Once a game is released you start to think of ways that you could have expanded the game play. Things you would like to add, and so forth. So C2 was our chance to put in those features.

Idiots: One of the big changes in C2 are the missions. Why missions?

David: Yes, those were very divisive. When we were coming up with ideas for expanding game play in C2, we wanted a way to add variety to the experience. Carmageddon 1 was just sort of straight forward driving, and that was fun but some of the feedback we were getting on C1 indicated that many players felt there times in the game (C1) that they wanted more direction. So the missions were a way to give the player a goal and some direction in the game, and add variety to the overall experience.

Idiots: Some of the letters we received about our review of C2 indicated that some people didn't like the missions. To quote one reader: "I can't believe SCi destroyed a great game with those #$&^@ missions. Being stuck in one mission is supposed to be fun?!?"

David: Well, we had some similar letters. It's been really an either-or kind of thing. About half of our letters were from people who love the mission idea and half from people who absolutely hated them. I think in retrospect we might have put in a way for people to bypass the missions if they choose. A choice to either play sort of straight Carmageddon, as in the first game, or play it with the missions.

Idiots: We think that if you played C1 winning races by going through all of the checkpoints, you have an advantage in the missions in C2. However, a lot of people didn't hone their driving skills in C1, and focused on smashing opponents to progress. Are there any cheats you can pass on to our readers to help them through the missions?

David: Sure, I can pass on a few. While there are cheats in the game, as a rule we try to release them out to the public slowly. However, we are realizing that with the missions we may need to leak some hints a bit more quickly. So I will email you some cheats which you can pass onto your readers.

Idiots: Fantastic! You heard it here first, folks!

David, what are you most proud of in C2?

David: Boy, that's a hard one. I think most of all, it has to be the physics. When people play the game they only see surface changes to the game but we really did so much to the physics engine under the hood. Things like pivoted joints and pedestrians that are controlled by the physics engine. Before, as you know, the peds were just 2D sprites in a animated track. Now they are physical entities that are controlled by the physics of the game. For instance, now you can just nick a pedestrian and send them flying into a lamppost and watch them slide down it.

We have always been proud of the physics engine in the game. I think we have the best driving physics in the industry. Not necessarily the most realistic, but the most fun to drive.

Idiots: The Idiots agree as well! As Mac gamers, we want to ask you a question that sprang up in a suprising number of letters we received about the ThrustMaster T2 steering wheel.

Randy was so hopped up about Carmageddon 2 that he went out and bought a Thrustmaster T2 set up from Small Dog Electronics. Unfortunately, we then discovered that Carmageddon 2 does not support the T2. Since the Thrustmaster T2 is currently the only steering wheel setup available for the Mac, we think it would be great if there was a patch for C2 so that we could use this wheel. (Logitech and Thrustmaster both have USB wheels available, but they do not have Mac drivers, yet.)

Is there any chance of you guys writing a patch for the T2 wheel or USB devices?

David: Driver support was a real issue with the Mac version mainly because of Apple. Right in the middle of development for C2 the iMac sprang up. It was equipped with USB ports but Apple could not finalize their USB drivers. Then we had issues with the ATI drivers that kept changing, but we were able to resolve them. Finally, it wasn't until about a week before we were set to release C2 before Apple delivered its USB drivers to us. By then it was a little too late to incorporate them into the game.

But we are always releasing updates and patches, so it's not impossible that USB support could be forthcoming.

Idiots: So how about the T2 steering wheel?

David: With Mac games, it is very hard to get any statistical data about players' needs. We get most of our Mac feedback from registered users. If we assess there is a big enough need and it's cost effective we would consider writing a patch.

Idiots: (Schweet! Randy begins jumping up and down.) So should gamers who want T2 this patch email you directly as the lead PR person?

David: (laughing) Please, God, no! They should direct their request to [email protected].

Idiots: OK, now for our final questions. We have heard rumors that Carmageddon 3 will be developed by a different company who will have to build a new physics engine from the ground up. Is that true?

David: Absolutely not. We will be creating a Carmageddon 3 right here at SCi. In fact, the working title is TDR 2000. It's a play on The Death Race 2000, but that is rather a mouthful to say, so we've just been calling it TDR 2000.

Idiots: Any hints as to what will be different in C3?

David: One thing we are really working hard on is to make the environment more interactive. We got some of that in C2 with the ability to drive through buildings and break things. But in C3, for example, there will be things like drawbridges that raise and lower. If a player gets to a bridge while it's up, they are in real trouble. Or they may get to it while it's going up and be able to power through it and jump across. Another example is construction cranes with huge wrecking balls on them. The player will be able to move the cranes and drop the weights on opponents and crush them.

We really want to make the game's environment come alive and make a more immersive experience.

Idiots: Awesome! (A high five and giggling is heard over the phone.) David, thanks so much for your time and the great products. Good luck to SCi in the future.

David: Our pleasure and have fun in the killing streets. Cheers.

Randy: Well that was some good info. I hope our readers take the time and voice their need for USB and T2 drivers. (Especially T2 drivers.)

Gary: And we'll say it once again. Register your Carmageddon 2 game today! As David said, most of their Mac gamer research comes right from the mouths of registered owners. You can make a difference. Let's let them know Mac users play games too!

Randy: Hey, Gary, you know what time it is?

Gary: It's KILLIN' TIME!!

Randy: Let's get behind that wheel, or rather the keyboard (at least for now) and smear some bodies. Let's try the alien pedestrians patch from SCi's site. David said it kicks ass.

Gary: Man… Carmageddon 3… I can't wait. It's gonna be amazing…

Randy: Dude, didn't we just go through months of waiting for C2? Here we go again, folks.

Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.

The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.

You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .

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