New DriveClub Information Reveals Evolution’s Incredible Effort And Obsession
DriveClub has not managed to capture many of us yet, and part of the reason is due to the numerous delays and lack of information surrounding the game. It was initially meant to be a launch title for the PS4 that would be offered for free on PS Plus, but that didn’t quite work out and at one point in March we even heard that the game was going back to the drawing board.
However the silence has been broken and Edge Online has recently interviewed Evolution Studios regarding the progress of DriveClub. The things you’ll hear in this interview will definitely make you appreciate the game and the developer team behind it, even if you’re not interested in DriveClub. I have great admiration for genuine passion, and I love to see it. And it absolutely seems as though Evolution has tons of love for their title.
Firstly let’s get the boring thing out of the way that every gamer for some reason has to fuss over. The game will run in 1080p on PS4, but at 30fps rather than the desired 60fps, which is much more fluid. Evolution had hoped to reach 60fps for DriveClub initially, but during development and after the sheer amount of detail the studio poured into the game, it seems that had to be sacrificed. It seems odd because you’d think that a racing title all about precision and sharp turns would make great use of 60fps, but Evolution has said that it was worth it to sacrifice frame rate for the sake of fidelity.
“I absolutely think so,” DriveClub game director and former design director Paul Rustchynsky told Edge Online. “I suspect a lot of people think we may have compromised the gameplay experience by choosing 30fps, but we’ve spent a huge amount of time minimising the latency between the pad and what happens inside the game so you never feel disconnected, and you never feel like you’re getting a sub-par experience.
“It’s a balance, because you can only do so much on any platform – PS4 has been fantastic to work with and we’ve done a good job of pushing it. It’s always a tradeoff, ultimately, and I think we’ve made the right choices to make the best driving game we could have made.” The payoff, according to Rustchynsky, is extraordinary audio and visual fidelity, as well as a slick interface which will support the core social experience of DriveClub.
Edge Online reports that Evolution has an obsessive attention to detail with DriveClub based on the current build. Every car in the game has been meticulously modelled with each featuring bespoke seating positions and custom entry and hand animations for male and female drivers. It allegedly took the team around seven months to assemble each 260,000-polygon in-game model, and all were given several layers of paint shaders after, from carbon fibre where applicable to gloss coat.
While some would definitely raise eyebrows over the exorbitant and obviously time intensive and costly dedication to visuals and rendering carbon-fibre weave, the result is that any exposed carbon is identical to what you’d find on the real car itself.
What’s more impressive is the audio of DriveClub, which has been given the same love and dedication. Throughout the game’s development Evolution has managed to get its hands on every car featured in DriveClub, capturing the sound of each engine with 18 mics or more. In-game this is replicated through 90 samples per car and some granular synthesis. So, if you’re rotating the camera around your cars to check them out in a non-sexual manner, you’ll get to hear the exhaust note at the back as well as the rush of air from the vents at the front.
Edge Online was given a demonstration by audio director Alan McDermott, who revved the engine of a real Ferrari 458 numerous times and then played the equivalent in-game audio of the same sound, and the comparison was apparently remarkable. As a fun fact, McDermott told Edge that, after hearing Evolution’s work, both Mercedes and BMW requested the studio’s recordings to replace their own sound libraries.
Basically in terms of audio, DriveClub is without equal.
“I’m fighting now to get it so that in the race, music’s off by default,” says Rustchynsky, laughing. “The music is the car engine; that’s what you want to hear. And the sound’s going to improve by the time players get their hands on the game as well, [since] we’re just finishing hooking up the drive train so that you get the oscillation as you switch between the gears. It sounds great, especially in cars like the [open-top] BAC Mono, where it’s a very direct noise from the engine.”
This is not the first time we’ve heard of the kind of effort Evolution has put into DriveClub. At the beginning of this month we heard that the game uses NASA data for realism.
DriveClub will be out exclusively on PS4 on October 8. If it doesn’t get delayed again of course.