Back in May game developer Eutechnyx revealed in partnership with publisher Activision that they would be developing the next game to the extremely popular NASCAR The Game Series in the form of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. Bringing the ultimate NASCAR experience to console players with officially licensed drivers, teams, cars and 23 officially licensed racetracks.
However this wasn’t enough information for us as we decided to interview Kenton Fletcher, Designer at Eutechnyx on the finer details of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line and what we can expect from Inside Line over the previous NASCAR titles. Check out all of the questions below.
Sim News Daily:Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Let start: How realistic do you feel the car handling and AI are in NASCAR the Game: Inside Line? Have any of the NASCAR drivers been working closely to bring the level of realism closer to what they experience?
Kenton Fletcher:We’ve updated the AI significantly since NTG11. It’s highly competitive and will definitely give the player a run for their money. Per track, each A.I. driver is modeled on their real life counterpart so the likes of Ambrose will be super quick at Sonoma and Johnson will dominate at Dover.
We’ve supplied several drivers with builds of the game and we’re getting their feedback all the time. There’s some fierce rivalry on the leader boards right now between the devs and drivers…
SND: How detailed can we expect to take a cars setup? Will your average gamer have the ability to tune a race winning car while satisfying the needs and desire of the real gear heads?
KF: Our tuning system is hopefully broad enough to appeal to players regardless of their level of experience. We’ve tried to make the system friendly enough to encourage players to experiment with new setups and try out different ideas with our Track Testing area. We’ve also included a range of tuning setups based on the real setups of the top NASCAR drivers for the player to unlock.
SND: Previous titles have focused solely on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; will we see any further series included in Inside Line?
KF: We’d love to look at the possibility of including other series in the future, but our immediate focus has been on creating the best Sprint Cup experience we could. The company gained a lot of valuable experience and feedback after the first game, and this has been our chance to listen to the fans and hopefully deliver the game they’ve asked for.
SND: What would you say makes NASCAR the Game: Inside Line stand out from the NASCAR titles produced in previous year?
KF: The main focus for us was taking the lessons from our first game and really pushing the boundaries to try and create something really special. Creating games for one of the world’s biggest sports is a pretty huge responsibility, but we have a studio full of incredibly passionate racing fans and I think that shows through in the new title.
SND: Drive for the Cover has been a big feature since the announcement of the game, what is Drive for the Cover all about? With this can we expect it to bring anything new to the gameplay experience?
KF: Drive for the Cover is a campaign we’ve been running to pick a driver for the cover of the new game. NASCAR fans are famously loyal to their favourite drivers, and the fan vote concept is something that plays an important role in the sport. We felt it would be a great way to engage with fans and give them a way to influence the game. If you haven’t yet, you can go to NASCARTheGame.com/vote to vote.
SND: As seen in the previous titles the career mode was a large feature of the game, is the main focus still on this area and what new features can we expect?
KF: Career mode has been a huge focus for us this time around, and we’ve invested a lot of energy in trying to provide a much longer and more rounded experience. The player starts as a rookie in their first NASCAR season, and must work their way to the top, earning new sponsors and purchasing upgrades for their car along the way.
SND: Have any significant changes been made to the tracks featured in the title? Can we expect to see any new tracks this time around?
KF: Our artists have been working hard to update each track to be as close to the real thing as possible, and we have the full lineup of Sprint Cup tracks in game. We’ve also been getting some great feedback on the FOX Sports ‘Lap Around’ videos which have provided fans with a sneak peek of each in game track.
SND: Much of today’s racing and competition on all of the platforms takes place online in fierce battles between friends and strangers, what can we expect from multiplayer this time around?
KF: Online plays a huge part in modern gaming and NASCAR The Game has a large following of fans running their own tournaments and seasons. We’ve worked especially hard to ensure that the online experience is as smooth and polished as possible to support that growing community and we believe that the result reflects that. We’ve been seeing some great side by side racing in our daily tests and if the rivalries we’ve been enjoying in the studio are anything to go by, the fans should be in for some wild rides.
SND: Will we finally see the NASCAR series makes its way onto PC? Is there any release date set yet?
KF: We’re looking at a PC skew but currently we have nothing to announce.
SND: Any last words you would like to say to the readers?
KF: We’d just like to say thanks to those readers who are already a part of the NASCAR The Game community and invite any other NASCAR fans to come along and check out the latest news and discussion on the new game at the new NTG website. We think the new game is something pretty special, and with regular feedback from the community we’d like to make it even better.