Interviewed by Dennis S.
After seeing the latest Crashday trailer (story), we have decided to hook up with the creators of the game and bug them with some questions about it and themselves. We've managed to get a lot of interesting questions answered and even get some amazing exclusive in-game screenshots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Where is the Moon Byte development studio located?
MB: We're located in Blankenburg (Harz), a small town in the center of Germany.
Can you tell us a short history of the studio and its first project, Crashday?
MB: We first started as a small hobby game-dev team some years ago with Crashday as our first project. We wanted to create a stunt racing game that mixes both "Carmageddon" and legendary "Stunts" together but also has lots of new, intuitive features. The project grew bigger and bigger and finally we decided to target the game to a commercial level.
How many development team members do you have and who funds the game development?
MB: Moon Byte still consists of only two members, those that originally founded the team.
We're also funding the game on our own until now since this is the only way that guarantees the absolute freedom of our ideas and so on.
What is the basic plot of Crashday?
MB: The player's task in Crashday is to compete with 5 other opponents in street races and battles. It's free for you to choose from several game modes that always have different aims: Wrecking your opps, doing as many stunts as you can in a certain time limit, or just driving an ordinary checkpoint race for example. In all there are lots of different things you can do.
What is the storyline of the career mode? Can you give an example of an actual game mission?
MB: First I can say that it isn't absolutely clear yet how all storymode features will be organized and that the storyline won't be major part of the game. Of course I'll explain the little story anyway ;)
While the 24 career races you're being sponsored by a videoshop owner called Gerd. He's a crazy guy that loves to record your stunt races on videos and sells them in his shop - as a reward for that you're receiving money from him or he's stealing cars, weapons or tune-ups for you. The story is mostly told by newspapers or talks with Gerd.
There aren't any real missions yet but the different game modes and maps get more and more demanding after some time. As mentioned earlier you're at all time competing with 5 other opponents (that are also buying or upgrading their cars) and the final winner of the championship mode will be the one that won most of the races.
Which features distinguish Crashday from other stunt racing games currently available on the market or in development?
MB: I think one of the biggest differences to other titles is our flexible but still easy-to-use track editor. It is only comparable to "Stunts" but in the last years I haven't noticed any similar editors. More on this later... :)
How did you manage to get such a level of realism in car damage/physics? From what we've seen in the Crashday trailer video no other game released until now has had such a great (at least visual) damage model...
MB: We're using real-time vertex deformation and automatic display of damage textures for the visual car damage. The physical damage model is still in development. Since races will mostly take up from 5 to 20 minutes and you cannot repair your vehicle in-game we have to use physical damage more sparingly than visual one. Otherwise you would soon be unable to drive your car just after some crashes (there are a lot! ;)) and that would really kill the fun of the game.
Which kinds of cars will be included in the game? What about weapons?
MB: There will be mostly sports cars (for stunts and racing), but also jeeps and vans (for wrecking) in the final game. Weapons will also be available but can be turned off for those who don't like them.
The weapons (missile and a minigun) can be bought in career mode and are especially useful in wrecking battles or in checkpoint races to shot the opponents off the road ;)
How many levels do you plan to have in the game? Where are they set?
MB: The game will feature 24 default tracks but it is assumed that the player builds most of the tracks on his own later. Each of the default tracks is built for a special game mode, e.g. special stunt parcours for the stunt mode, real-world-environments for checkpoint races or small arenas for wrecking races.
What will be the typical size of maps (in square km. or so)?
MB: A map can be made up of about 2000 tiles at max, one measuring 20x20 meters. So, typical sizes for racing areals are for example 800 x 800 meters, but it's also possible to create maps with 80 x 10.000 meters and everything between.
How hard will the game track editor be to use for newbie map makers? Is it similar to any other track editors out there? Do you plan to bundle a car editor that will allow to create new cars or at least skins for them?
MB: The track editor will be VERY easy to use, mostly because of the tile-based map structure. You'll be able to build your first tracks just after a few minutes and advanced features like custom terrain or dynamic objects are easy-to-learn, too.
As mentioned before the editor is comparable to the one of "Stunts", so everyone who liked building track with "Stunts" will also have his fun with Crashday.
There won't be any car editor directly coming with the game but after releasing the SDK tools it'll of course be possible to create own cars or even new track pieces (like jumps, loopings etc.).
Which operating systems will Crashday support? Do you have any plans to port it to console (XBOX/GameCube/PS2) later on?
MB: Currently Crashday is running on Windows systems only. Support for consoles isn't planned yet and will mostly depend on the ideas of our future publisher.
What's the current estimated release date for Crashday? Have you contacted any publishers yet?
MB: We'll probably finish the game in 2003, that's all I can say right now. We'll contact several publishers in the near future when a publishing demo is finished.
The game engine PropsFXEngine looks really cool. Do you have plans to update and release it commercially after the game is out in stores?.
MB: No, the PropsFXEngine was only built for Crashday and would be too inflexible for other games. Probably we'll develop a "reuseable" engine for our next title.
Before we say good-bye do you have any exlusive info to share with our readers?
MB: For those waiting for a playable demo I can say that it will still take some time, but there'll probably be another trailer soon, showing off some gameplay scenes. Right now check out the latest shots we exclusively made for gamershell.com! ;)
Thank you for your time, and we can't wait to play the final version of Crashday!