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Info: Holiday Friday, 22.08.2003
I will be from tomorrow until September 2nd on holidays. In this time unfortunately there won't be any news and updates, but I fetch it later. Thank you for your understanding.

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Info: Crashday Sunday, 17.08.2003
Moonbyte StudiosWho does not know it: the classic racing game 'Stunts', released 1990 by Distinctive Software. The young development team Moon Byte Studios develops at the moment the game 'Crashday', a racing game which will offer a mix of Stunts and Carmageddon.

The integrated track editor of Crashday builds the basis for all driving areas in the game. You build maps independent of any physical limits and it's up to you to decide whether you put jumps, loops, tunnels or houses onto the track.
Later with the release of the development tools it shall even be possible to externally create and hand down own custom cars and new track pieces for Crashday.

On the official website there are further information, screenshots and trailers available, which also show the editor.

The reason why Crashday is so interesting, are the many possibilities to edit the game, cars, tracks and more. This is neither in Need for Speed (in this extent) possible nor in hardly any other racing game.

» Moon Byte Studios
» Official website of Crashday
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NFS 7: Interview with Chuck Osieja Saturday, 16.08.2003
NFS UndergroundThe onlinemagazine Gamespot set up a Q&A with Chuck Osieja, the executive producer on Need for Speed Underground. On the three pages of the interview Osieja talks about Need for Speed Underground, the techniques. graphics and challenges.

So he mentions that Need for Speed Underground is built on the PS 2 Hot Pursuit 2 Engine, for not spending half the development cycle rewriting rendering code.

The amazing part of the engine that we're using to build Underground is its flexibility. The team has done a great job of creating common code that works with little or no augmentation on all the platforms. We've been very successful at having everything work on every platform.

Although all the platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, the team wanted to make sure that no platform was shortchanged because we couldn't create a specific technique on a console due to hardware limitations. I know what you're thinking--"Sure, sure, you just don't want to tell us which of your 'kids' is the ugliest." It's really not the case. Sit all four platforms side by side and you'd have a hard time telling me which is which. In our game theaters in the office, where we have all the platforms set up, you oftentimes have to try multiple controllers before you figure out which platform is showing. It's a big win for the consumer, since you usually have to sacrifice something on each platform. The first time we showed the game at E3, we were asked if it was running on an Xbox. It was actually on the PS2.

So we might are going to have a console menu on the PC, but therefore there won't be any disadvantages like in Hot Pursuit 2...

Regarding moving the releasedate, Osieja answers the following:
It has definitely been a tough dev cycle, but the support that we've gotten from the company has turned an impossible task into a very achievable goal. When we decided to move the date, it was important to everyone involved that we maintain the feature set and integrity of what we initially set out to build. EA supported us 100 percent and has removed every roadblock that might have tripped us up along the way, helping us focus on building the best Need for Speed ever.

Read the full Q&A here:

» Need for Speed Underground Q&A @ Gamespot
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EA Racing to be closed Thursday, 14.08.2003
EA Racing, the platform for online races with the games Need for Speed: High Stakes and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleasged will be closed.
Read the statement of EA Cadillac, an EA Representative:

Hey Gang,

You all know about the disk failure and subsequent recovery on the game servers. You also know that since this has happened, the EAOR web site has not been up. For the past 2 weeks, I have been working with old EA Seattle folks who still remain in the company to see what we could do. One is in Canada, another is in California when he is not in Texas or Washington. To cut to the chase, when then disk on the login died, it was also a sign that the game database had died. There was no back-up. Restoring this would mean over a week's worth of programing. Considering the lack of programmers able to do this along with other factors, the decision was made to sunset the service.

What does this mean?

Well, I've been able to get folks over here to agree that the games can remain up until October 1st. At that time (or when the servers die again) that will mark the end of client-server play with High Stakes and Porsche Unleashed. As for the web site, we'll be migrating the EAOR domain to point to the NFS franchise page. Of course, IP racing will never go away as long there are people willing to hook up but I know connecting to EA Racing lobbies in the past has meant a lot to some of you.

Lastly, we've been through a lot together with EA Racing. When the studio started working on MCO, I was obliged to help get support straightened out and a final patch (FWIW) for HS. I want to thank "Spin" for being a great point of contact for the High Stakers gang. You've all been really loyal to this game and I salute you all. As for me, I will still be around with EA working on whatever projects they have for me. I hope I can take what I've learned from your community, add it to the others I have been involved with in order to provide valuable input to a studio or production staff somewhere that will use it.

» EA Racing<br>
» Thread @ Need for Better Speed boards (Source)
» ND4SPDWorld (Source)
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NFS 7: Releasedate for Germany Wednesday, 13.08.2003
NFS UndergroundElectronic Arts Germany announced today, that Need for Speed Underground will be released on PC an consoles simultanously on 28th November 2003. The US release may will be one week earlier (11/21/03).

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NFS 7: Video on DVD of PC Games magazine Wednesday, 13.08.2003
Need for Speed UndergroundOn the DVD of the german magazine PC Games there is a short video preview of Need for Speed Underground. Apart from the new video scenes, it is quite interesting to hear, that you will become bonus points depending on what skin (race stripes) you choose.
In the video itself it should be an early PC version, which will extend with more graphic effects. What you can see is really great, but unfortunately it does neither show a damage model, nor even a some kind of collision interrogation. When a car rams another, it is like two rocks roll against each other. When the car streaks the crash barrier, there are no sparks. Hopefully this will change in the full version...

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NFS 7: New Preview Tuesday, 12.08.2003
Need for Speed UndergroundThe onlinemagazine Gamesdomain wrote a preview about the upcoming game Need for Speed Underground. Actually it does not offer any new information, but it's a nice summary for those, who might not know so much about the game.

PS: The Releasedate Section of NFS Underground is opened.

» NFS Underground Preview @ Gamesdomain
» NFS Underground Releasedates
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NFS 7: New Wallpaper Monday, 11.08.2003
Need for Speed UndergroundOur affiliate ND4SPDWorld got from EA a nice wallpaper with a "Flaggirl", which will start the races in Need for Speed Underground.

» NFS 7: Wallpaper
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NFS 7: Competition - Best 3D Model Monday, 11.08.2003
Maya"Control Freaks" makes a competition, where you can win a full version of Maya 5.0 Complete, worth more than 4000 $.

We want you to design a 3D model for a "Need For Speed Underground" "Tuner Car". Send us a copy of the model, plus 3 rendered views.

We'll pick the best 6, and send them off to Electronic Arts, who will make the final decision. All entries need to be in by 10th September . The winner recieves a full version of Maya 5.0 Complete, thanks to Alias. The 5 runners up will all receive a copy of Need For Speed Underground, when it's released in November.

The competition will be judged by tuner car guru, Craig Lieberman who was the official adviser for the Production Team on Need for Speed: Underground and Technical Advisor on the film
2Fast 2Furious.

Unfortunately it is not definitely written, that the winner car will be added in the game itself. But the chance of winning a full copy of Maya 5.0 should be enough incentive to design a 3D model.

» Competition Information
» Alias (Developer of Maya)
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NFS 7: 68 new Screenshots Monday, 11.08.2003
Need for Speed UndergroundElectronic Arts released 68 (!) new screenshots of the upcoming racing game Need for Speed Underground! You can find the pictures (34 from the PC- and PS2-version) as always in the screenshots-section:

» NFS 7: Screenshots
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