Flash! WTR Programmer Gives Details!
What's he got to say?
By The ProgrammerFebruary 2, 1997
Hello Jaguar users,
With luck World Tour Racing will be released in March
by Telegames. The game was originally completed 12 months
ago, but the release vanished with the demise of Atari.
Information about the product is quite scarce, so I
would like to clarify a few things.
The game IS polygon based, the project was originally
conceived as Virtua Racing on the Jag, but as the project
progressed that look became dated and we received pressure
to include heavy texture mapping. The game does contain some
texture mapping, but also includes lots of tricks involving
scaled sprites and bitmaps to make the screen look detailed
and interesting, without anywhere near the same speed hit.
It's not 30fps but it is a lot faster than Checkered Flag.
World Tour Racing was in development for almost 2 years
whilst I worked at a company in Greenwich London. Since than
I've moved on and now work at another company, but I'm
currently helping to resolve a few technical issues so that
the game can be published. I had to fire up a dev-kit for
the first time in almost a year a few weeks ago to supply
the screen shots which are now on the Telegames web site.
I'm grateful to Telegames for releasing the game, as
I and the rest of the team that worked on it were proud of
the product and how well it played and looked when it was
finished. The fact that it didn't go onto the shelves was a
bit of a kick in the teeth.
The game has 16 tracks, 12 of which are based on real
F1 tracks from around the world, and 4 fantasy tracks which
we made up (I wanted pyramids in the game and Egypt doesn't have any racing tracks, so what the heck).
It has 10 cars in each race, at one point the game had
as few as 6, it was part of the process of tweaking the game
play so that you were always racing against someone. 10 cars
worked well in the final product. The fact that you never
really raced against anyone in CF was probably the worst
thing about the game.
The Jaglink is not supported, 2 player mode is via a
split screen. What resolution does it run at? Erm.. most of
them, this would probably take me quite a while to answer,
due to a technique I used to to maintain acceptable frame
rates at all times. instead I'll just point out that Doom is
the lowest resolution game on the Jag, only 160 horizontal
pixels, and I'm higher than that at all times.
The music was produced by the same musician who did
the music for that French skiing game that I can never
remember the name of. It's CD audio throughout and I was very
happy with it, but you'll have to decide for yourself.
The early mock up pictures of the racing game had
nothing at all to do with WTR, it didn't exist back than.
The company where I developed the game was producing Brutal
Sports Football at the time (the programmer who converted
that game wrote the first level of Die Hard Trilogy on the
Well done whoever it was that said that the in cockpit
camera seems slightly higher than the drivers head, it is, by
about 20cm. Very few people noticed in testing and it does
make quite a big difference to the games playability. You can
set the camera to lots of different position, you can even
race via the TV cameras if you really want to.
World Tour Racing was not a Domark project, and as a
publisher I don't think they ever released any Jaguar
software. As a side note, I now work for Eidos Interactive
which owns Domark Software.
Sorry about the Checkered Flag spelling, but did you
know that European and Americans pronounce Jaguar
differently, we say Jag-u-ar, you say Jag-war.
Yes, the tracks do have tunnels and dips and bridges,
it doesn't wildly undulate, which is mostly due to the
nature of the real world tracks and the type of racing.
The computer cars do race against one another and have
quite complicated AI. The car AI was originally developed on
another machine before the Jaguar project began, so it was
adjusted, refined and playtested over a considerable length
Yes the game does vary the resolution. It doesn't quite do it on-the-fly in the sense that it changes whilst
your racing around a track, but it does change from section
to section and track to track. It even changes res when the
game is paused.
If things are flying past at high speed you can get
away with lower res as the eye doesn't notice that sort of
detail. Speed is all important in a racing game. I did at
one point experiment with an engine that changed the base
res on a frame by frame basis, but that makes simple things
like screen overlays stupidly complicated.
The car is highly configurable, there is a workshop
during qualifying which you can jump into at any time and
adjust all the usual stuff. It has a fairly complicated
vector force model driving the physics of the car, with a
set of interpreter blocks put in to make it a fun game to
play. Sliding is an important part of the game, simply
because most testers found it a lot of fun.