Genre: Action Driving Game
Release Date: 8 November 1998   Players: 1 - 6

Developer Interview

Q. Who are you?
A. Mat Sullivan. I am Development Manager for Stainless Software.
Prior to that I spent 4 years working at Bullfrog Productions.
Q. Who are the Carmageddon 2 team?
A. Lead Programmer - Patrick Buckland
Lead Artist - Neil Barnden
Development Manager - Mat Sullivan
Plus Stainless internal artistic and programming teams.

What platforms are Carmageddon 2 being released on?
A. Carma 2 will be Win95/Mac/N64/Playstation. An N64 version of Carmageddon 2 is being worked on. It will support all the add-ons like rumble and jolt packs.

There is also a Playstation version of Carmageddon in production.
Things are progressing well. The first track has been completed and cars are now driving around it.
Q. Is Carmageddon 2 going to have new graphical effects such as Gouraud shading and real 3D pedestrians?
A. Carma 2 has new graphical effects like real time lighting, shading effects, etc. The 3d pedestrians are nearly finished now and are looking excellent! All the people will be part of the physics environment, which will enable us to create spectacular crashes, and remove arms, legs, heads, etc. in a shower of blood.

There will be a version with aliens instead of people for the different countries that won’t let adults decide for themselves. The aliens will work in the same way, they just appear graphically different.

Is Carma 2 going to improve its cities?

A lot of work is going into the environments to provide more depth. Civilian cars will stop at cross roads, traffic lights, etc. The civilian cars will damage just as realistically as the cars in the race. People will have a purpose in the world and will try to achieve this rather than following pre-set paths as in Carmageddon 1.

All the A.I. has been improved so cars develop better tactics and civilians try to avoid the carnage.

Q. Will you be able to damage the environment?
A. Everything in the environment will be smashable. The cars, windows, bill boards, lamp posts, mail boxes, trees, etc. We even have trees dropping leaves when they are hit and glass flying out from windows as your car crashes through.

Is there going to be any improvement to the single player game?
A. Each level will have a mission you can do. The missions will be kept simple and the freedom to explore element will remain. This will make it a more engrossing single player game.
Q. Are there going to be new cars?
A. Yes. All the cars are being designed. Some of the favourite cars from Carmageddon will be putting in an appearance, but they will be heavily modified. There will be a much greater variety of cars with the emphasis on driveability. Some of the crazy vehicles include an ice-cream van, a plane with no wings, a combine harvester (which leaves pedestrians in bloody bailed cubes), and a camper van with tank tracks.

Are the cars in Carma 2 going to have realistic damage?
A. Tyres fall off cars along with lots of other parts including all body panels, roofs, licence plates, etc. Basically it will fall apart into as many sections as the model is designed in. You can even tear cars in two and bend them into crazy shapes. Cars can be destroyed to such a degree that the engine can be smashed from the frame of the car and knocked down the street.
Q. Will it support 3D cards via "native" or D3D support?
A. All common PC 3d cards will be supported because it will be Direct 3d compatible. More advanced graphical features will be available if the individual card supports them.
Q. Will there be a software version?
A. There will be a software version, which runs in 320x200-screen resolution, which will not need a 3d card.
Q. What is the minimum spec for the game?
A. PC - 16meg ram, P166, 4 speed CD
Q. Will there be TCP/IP support for Internet gaming?
A. Yes
Q. Will there be modem support?
A. Yes
Q. Who wrote Carmageddon 1 & 2?
A. Stainless Software

Who published Carmageddon 1?
A. SCi

Has Carmageddon won any awards?
A. Carmageddon has won awards all over the world. The main ones are PC Zone game of the year and driving game of the year. Power Unlimited Game award for BEST PC GAME OF 1997. "Best 3D Game" in Russia, and Best Racing Game in Computer Games strategy plus.
Q. What is needed to make a game successful?
A. A good idea, a bunch of people who really care and a great environment to work in. Everyone at Stainless is great at what they do but we have turned down technically able candidates at interviews because they didn’t have the right attitude to their games. Its not a 9 to 5 business, you have to love it or the hours drive you crazy. As for the content of a good game, gameplay is everything, a game can have the most amazing graphics in the world but you will be bored of it within the day if its not a fun game.
Q. While making Carmageddon, did you have a feeling that you were making an award-winning action game of ’97?
A. We hoped, as every developer does, that our game would be popular. I had my suspicion after there was 5 million downloads of the demo. Everyone in the office was playing Carmageddon networked till the early hours of the morning every night. We still play Carmageddon networked now.
Carmageddon 2 is happening in very much the same way, we were playing till 2 am last night.
Q. What particular games (among those already released) are successful from your point of view. Why? Do these games deserve such success?
A. Some games are obviously successful with games players, like Quake 2, Red Alert, etc. I think they do deserve the success they have achieved because they are good games. I play both of them myself regularly. Other games like Gran Tourismo looks graphically stunning but it’s still basically Ridge Racer with nicer graphics and I don’t care how much people hype it.

Is publisher’s (seller’s) success the same thing as a success with players?
A. No, definitely not. There have been plenty of examples of overhyped garbage, which have sold very well at the expense of the players. I hate this, mainly because I fall for the advertising too and waste my money like everyone else.
Q. To what extent do publishers permit the developer to express himself?
A. SCi has been great they have always whole-heartedly stood behind our and their decisions. You wouldn’t get many publishers willing to take on the British establishment -and win.
Q. Does publisher censorship exist?
A. Yes, although thankfully not for us. From day 1 SCi loved the games idea.

Did you have censorship problems only with BBFC?
A. The BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship) caused concern at the time. We thought all our hard work would be banned in the UK.
Carmageddon also ran into censorship problems in quite a few places such as Brazil and France. Germany is always over sensitive and the usual way round it is things like green blood (which we did for the UK) but they wanted even more this time. Germany ended up with robots, which in my opinion spoilt some aspects of the game.

Tell us your opinion about censorship
A. I hate censorship in all its forms. It angers me that some old beurocrat can stop me doing anything. Most people who spoke out against Carmageddon had never even played it, and have no interest in computer games, nothing makes me want to do something more than being told I cant. They don’t seem to realise that this is the kind of publicity you can’t buy, and actually helps us out a lot!

How important is the role of the script? Graphics? Sound? Anything else?

A. Everything is second place to gameplay. That’s what everyone has to get tattooed on their arm to work at Stainless. Obviously a game has to look good to get peoples attention at first but once they play it, it’s the gameplay that keeps them at the keyboard. Elements like sound and storyline will be in there but are of little importance to us.

What do you think of 3Dfx and other 3d accelerators? Do you think that games without hardware acceleration have no future?
A. I think that games using 3d accelerator cards will look a lot better but that doesn’t mean you cant make something great without one.
Carmageddon 2 will support all common accelerators but the gameplay was finished in the low-res software version.

What do you think about violence in games? From year to year games are becoming increasingly bloody, quite a few "amoral" games were released in 1997, such as, Carmageddon or Grand Theft Auto (the role of a drug dealer is by all standards amoral). What do you think about ’moral’ and ’amoral’ games?

A. People play games as a break from real life, some people would like to be bad in real life but cant for obvious reasons, a game where you play the drug dealer is n o different from watch a film where the main character is a drug dealer. Its not like GTA was realistic anyway, its great fun but I can’t see it creating armies of new drug dealers. I think if people go out and commit crimes on the strength of playing a game they are idiots and deserve a lengthy prison sentence. 99.9% of people can get absorbed by a good game and it doesn’t affect their behaviour, the other 0.01% are unstable and would still be unstable regardless of games content.

Will Carma 2 capitalise on the ideas of Carma 1, i.e. will Carma 2 show further development of the ideas expressed in Carma 1 or will there be some critical changes?

Carmageddon 2 has been designed to keep the elements of Carmageddon 1 which we felt were the most fun, however there have been some fundamental changes.

For example, missions have been added for every level to make a better single player game. We have gone to great effort to ensure that you can still have all the freedom you did in Carmageddon and the missions in no way limit or define the way you play the game.


Will there be a new or the old engine used in Carma 2?

A. The engine for Carmageddon 2 is a heavily modified version of BRender (which was the engine for Carmageddon 1). We purchased the source code so we could customise it for our needs.

How much of that success was, in your opinion, down to the marketing of the product?
A. The marketing of the product was done very well. We got lots of free publicity on the back of the BBFC and other moral watchdogs. However, I think the success of the game was down to the fact that it was fun to play.

With a title like Carmaggedon, was it important to add to the unusual content of the game by making the marketing and advertising controversial?
A. The marketing and advertising of a game are tailored to fit the content so a certain amount of controversy was to be expected with Carmageddon. I was surprised by how much fuss the game generated.

Have you actually received any complaints about the violent content of the game or about your advertising campaign?

No, but we received many complaints about changing the red blooded people into green blooded zombies for the UK version. Many Germans bought their copies of Carmageddon in other countries just to get the red blood.
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