Interview: Test Drive Unlimited 2’s Alain Jarniou answers your questions

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 13:52 GMT


Test Drive Unlimited 2 is hot. It’s hot today. It’s hot because it’s being shown in Spain at a Namco event and a lot of you really want to play it.

It’s hot because it’s to include 600km of new roads on Hawaii as well as having a whole new island in Ibiza. It’s hot because you’ll be able to get out of the car and talk to other players. It’s hot because it has a fucking yacht you can put a car in. Hot.

We asked you for questions to ask the dev team today, and Johnny’s just done the job. Hit the link. Answering is director Alain Jarniou from Eden Studios.

VG247: The first one’s from lindblum_resident. Is the game’s soundtrack going to be influenced by location? For instance, will Ibiza have dance music?

Alain Jarniou: Yeah, exactly. We have a radio station called Ariba on Ibiza, and on Hawaii it’s called Kaluha Radio. So yes, we have something that’s more Hawaiian, and Hawaiian’s more American. On Ibiza it’s more like techno, dance music.

Just to clarify, you were in the demo yesterday?

Alain Jarniou: Yeah.

I heard REDACTED playing in the background? And REDACTED?

Alain Jarniou: Those tracks are not signed yet. The music is still in negotiations. We have some tracks, but not all the tracks we’re using in there. We’re still waiting for signing.

Another question from a reader. This one’s from Ruckus. He says the first TDU had bikes, so he’s asking if there’s going to be bikes in the sequel.

Alain Jarniou: Yeah, there will be bikes in TDU2, but not for the day one version. As we said in the demo yesterday, we completely remade the car handling, because we were not 100 percent pleased with the first one. We have many, many questions about the fact that it’s not arcade or not a simulation. So we decided to start from the beginning, and we now have a new handling for the cars, and we want to, of course, [do the same] for the bikes. We need some time to make it.

G1GAHURTZ asks if wheel support has been improved. He says that when you’re using the 360 wireless racing wheel it’s hard to keep the car in a straight line in the first game.

Alain Jarniou: Yeah, definitely, yeah. The team is working on it and we have serious people on it. It will be better.

He also says you should turn up the sensitivity on the onboard FPS camera.

Alain Jarniou: We’ve done a retake on the cameras, because cameras are very important for the handling feeling and driving experience. So yes, we’ve retuned that.

Gon asks how much DLC support there’ll be for the game.

Alain Jarniou: We mainly redesigned the game engine to support any updates, any DLC. We’ll have cars, the same as the first one, but we can have new game modes and things like that. It’s very large.

dfar80 asks if NPC passengers reward you much better than just coupons for shops?

Alain Jarniou: Yes.

FearNo1 asks if the game will ship with Arcade and Hardcore driving modes.

Alain Jarniou: No. This time we don’t want the dynamics of the car handling to be classified in one category. It’s easy to learn, hard to master. You know that principal? Some cars are quite picky to drive, and some cars are very easy. You have this kind of difficulty aspect on the cars. The hardcore aspects will be possible in the fact that you can choose your driving “helps”. But there’s no “hardcore” or “normal” game.

It was confirmed yesterday that Hawaii will be in the game as well. Need4SpeedX asks if any more islands will be added as DLC.

Alain Jarniou: It’s something that’s possible. Honestly, it’s a huge [amount of] work to make a new island, so we will see what the community [does]. If people like Test Drive and plays, and we have a lot of feedback saying people want a new island, that’s definitely possible.

Various readers have asked if there’ll be custom soundtrack support for the game. The 360 version had it last time. Do you have plans for the same for all three platforms this time?

Alain Jarniou: Yes. It’s more of a technical matter.

I’m going to ask you for more clarification on the yacht. Truth be told, that came as a bit of a shock to me. I didn’t expect to see a yacht. Can you clarify why that’s in the game? Will you be able to sail around in it?

Alain Jarniou: The yacht is what we imagine is the top-end house in Test Drive. You know that you have to go to the airport to travel between the islands? You can also travel between the two on your yacht. So yes, it’s another way to change between the islands.

Another one from dfar80. You said yesterday that you can get out of the car and have a social experience. To what extent does that addition impact the game in single-player?

Alain Jarniou: You can only get out of car in specific places. You can’t get out of the car everywhere. When you’re driving and free-riding with other players, you can’t go outside the cars, because of the problems we get with people crashing into other people, and so on. So when you’re at home in your garage, or when you’re at the start line of a race, instead of having a menu and a lobby, you have literally a place where you can speak with other friends, and so on. But you’re in a bubble: trolls can’t come through and crash into people.

Final question, this one from poultee: will there be a demo?

Alain Jarniou: Right now, the plan is to have an open beta of TDU2. The difficulty of having a demo for a game like this is the fact it’s a huge island, and a huge amount of data. It’s not the best way to show the game. So yeah, for now the plan’s an open beta.

Any platforms for the beta?

Alain Jarniou: For now it’s more a matter of technical aspects, so I can’t really answer the question. We’ll communicate on this soon.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is out this fall for 360, PS3 and PC.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.