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NFS C: Q&A with Steve Anthony, Part 2 Monday, 30.10.2006
NFS CarbonToday the second part of the Q&A with Line Producer Steve Anthony has been published. This time he talks about the game and its optimizations of Need for Speed Carbon:

Community Team: In the demo, the frame rate felt slow and the game lacked a sense of speed. Will this change when the game is released?

Steve Anthony: The framerate issues that some users have commented on have been addressed for the final product. Typically our optimization only takes place once all the content is in place and locked. At that point we target both the code and the environments for optimizations. The tricky part about demos is that we are usually about half way through the optimizations by the time we release them. Early reports from all the review code that has gone out to the press is that there are no framerate concerns to report.

Certainly for sense of speed the same holds true. We tuned the visuals right up until the final moment we could before we stopped.

CT: Autosculpt is cool, but feels slow and unresponsive. Will this be improved upon in the full version of the game?

SA: Again the optimizations that were done to both the autosculpt system and the vector vinyl system didn't take place until after the demo had shipped. We felt that it was more important to get the feature into the hands of the fans so that they could experience the power of autosculpt, than to hold it back by several weeks until the optimizations had taken place.

CT: Why can't we race in the day, or better yet, both day and night?

We made the choice early on based on the premise of the game that a night environment better suited what we were going after. Certainly daytime racing between crews does take place but the majority of it happens after the city goes to sleep. And with Canyon racing there is nothing more dangerous than tearing down these winding mountain roads when you can only see 10 feet in front of the car.

CT: Will Carbon have content available after the game is released?

SA: Need for Speed Carbon will have a selection of premium unlockable and exclusively unlockable content available at launch and more content will be made available in the weeks and months following launch.


Tomorrow (Tuesday) the third part will be available.

» Official Need for Speed Carbon Website
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NFS C: First Demo Add-On Mod Monday, 30.10.2006
NFS CarbonIt didn't take long and the first mod for the demo of Need for Speed Carbon is out. It is made - how could it be different - by Arushan, who already provided us with several helpful tools for the other NFS titles.

This Add-On contains these main three features:

1. Allows you to select a few new cars (most of them being MAZDA SPEED 3s)

Some cars will be autoscultable, some won't. Some will have engine sounds, others won't. Some will have NOS/Speedbreaker, and some won't. Remember that these cars were never meant to be user playable

2. Allows you to skip all the movies / loading screens on startup.

3. Allows you to run the demo in a 'window'.

Also note that you must be running the EU version of the demo. I haven't tested this with the US version.

Download Here, read the readme.txt for more information on installation/configuration. Source code is included for those who are interested.

Have fun until the full game comes out :)

» NFS C: Demo Files
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NFS C: 4 new Videos Sunday, 29.10.2006
NFS CarbonGametrailers.com published four new Need for Speed Carbon videos:

Meet The Crew Part #2
San Juan
Canyons
Silverton

» NFS Carbon @ Gametrailers
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NFS C: IGN Reviews, Videos and Screenshots Saturday, 28.10.2006
NFS CarbonIGN published much new material about Need for Speed Carbon.
They wroteReviews for the PC, PS2, GC, Xbox and Xbox360-Version of NFS Carbon which do not differ in the texts but have different ratings:

IGN Overall Ratings:
PC - 8.2 Pts
PS2 - 7.8 Pts
GC - 7.8 Pts
Xbox - 7.8 Pts
Xbox360 - 8.2 Pts


PC Review
Playstation2 Review
Gamecube Review
Xbox Review
Xbox360 Review

Additionally IGN made a video review of the Xbox360 Version of Need for Speed Carbon:

Xbox360 Video Review

And last but not least there are the first screenshots of the Wii-Version of Need for Speed Carbon:

Wii Screenshots

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Info: NFS-Planet.cz Competition Saturday, 28.10.2006
Our czech part of NFS-Planet is currently running a competition - until 2006-11-08. All you have to do is answering three simple questions about Need for Speed. Presuming you can speak czech. ;)

You can win a copy of Need for Speed Carbon, 5 T-Shirts, 5 caps and 5 key fobs.

» NFSPlanet.cz
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NFS C: Q&A with Steve Anthony Saturday, 28.10.2006
NFS CarbonOn the official website of Need for Speed Carbon a first part of a Q&A with Steve Anthony has been published. In this parts the Line Producer talks about the cars, its handling and physics.

CT: How is car handling different in Carbon than it was in Most Wanted?

Steve Anthony: We've spent a lot of time this year making sure that the cars felt different from one another. The major difference obviously is felt when you compare the handling between all the different classes. All of the muscle cars feel completely different to drive than the tuners for instance. Within each class, you can also feel more subtle differences between some of the cars depending on whether it's a classic muscle car, or whether the car is lighter or heavier than another.

Overall, I think that players will notice a much more realistic experience based on the different performance levels of the cars. For instance, it makes sense that a car such as the Mazda RX8 can't keep up with a car like a Lamborghini Murciélago and vice versa. As players progress through the game, they'll reach certain points where the car they're driving just can't quite compete with the competition and they'll have to head to the car lot to make a step up in performance. I think this is a key difference from Most Wanted where you could, through the use of upgrades, make a low end car that could compete with some of the fastest cars in the game.

CT: How have the drifting physics and handling changed from Most Wanted to Carbon?

SA: The drifting physics and handling have been totally revamped for Carbon. Our number one goal throughout development was to focus on the speed of drift. In the past, drifting in racing games has felt quite sluggish and didn't capture the insane speeds which you see in some of the pro drift competitions. We've focused on speed so much that we've tied point scoring to it. Keeping up a consistently high speed is the key to getting huge drift scores.

In addition to the regular drift tracks which take place on closed circuits, players will also have a chance to try their skill at the challenging Canyon Drifts. These drifts take place on narrow mountain roads and have the added risk of being able to break through the barriers and fall off the track. The handling on these roads is pretty similar to regular drifts but you'll have to really learn how to control your car to avoid hitting the walls or going off the road. These are by far my favorite drifts in the game. It's a very satisfying feeling when you can make it to the bottom of the track without having touched a single wall.

CT: What was the process behind selecting which cars were going to be included in the game?

SA: Since our ultimate goal was to play into the real life rivalries that existed between fans of tuners, muscles and exotics, we wanted to have a broad selection that would give us a good balance across these three categories. We ended up with over 50 cars in total and I'm sure our fans are going to love the choices. There will be a lot of returning favorites as well as a ton of new introductions to the Need for Speed series. Among the Development team here, the loyalties are pretty divided. A lot of people are huge fans of the classic muscle cars and love the acceleration and drifts they can get out of them. Others are a little more traditional in their driving and are fairly evenly divided among Exotics and Tuners. I find that I have a couple of favorite cars from each class that I like to drive. It's a challenge to master each of the three car classes because they definitely require different driving styles to win.

CT: How do the different car classes factor into the game and how I play (ie are certain cars more suited to certain race modes)?

SA: The cars in the game have been divided into three groups: Tuners, Muscles and Exotics. Each class feels very different to drive and has its own strengths and weaknesses. It's very apparent when driving the same track with a car from each class that each car will require you to drive a little differently to be competitive. Tuners are all around performers and their strength is handling. Muscles on the other hand lose out in the handling department but certainly make up for it with their raw acceleration. Finally, Exotics have a clear top speed advantage over the other two classes. So, just by looking at these different strengths, it's easy to see how certain types of cars will be well suited for different types of tracks.

The Career Mode in Carbon is very much geared towards the battles between the three car classes. Palmont city is divided into a number of major territories and each is controlled by a major crew aligned with one of the three classes. It will be up to you to pick where you begin and start to challenge for territory. You have to make it through the bosses of each of these crews before you can start challenging for control of the city. Anyone up for a real challenge will want to start a career with each of the car classes and spend the time to master them all.

CT: Am I locked into driving one particular car class?

SA: Absolutely not. While you choose to align yourself with a certain car class at the start of the game, this by no means limits you to driving cars only of that class. It's more of an allegiance that you choose which weights the unlocks and car selection toward that class during the career. In addition all of the Challenge Series events will put you in a variety of different cars so you really need to get a feel for all three classes in order to finish every event. The Reward Card is also full of tasks which will require the player to try out a few different classes.


» Officia website of Need for Speed Carbon
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NFS C: Channel M Partners with Need for Speed Saturday, 28.10.2006
NFS CarbonElectronic Arts is making a marketing partnership with Mazda:

October 26, 2006 - David Teichner, Chief Executive Officer of Channel M, the largest non-traditional media company in the world and leading provider of retail marketing services, announced today that the new MAZDASPEED3 will be part of a unique marketing program involving the much anticipated Electronic Arts video game Need for Speed™ Carbon , available in stores across North America on November 1.

Challenged by Mazda's marketing team to develop a fully integrated campaign, Channel M worked with all parties to create what is an extremely powerful and comprehensive campaign involving a sponsor and a videogame company. The MAZDASPEED3 will be integrated into the upcoming Need for Speed Carbon game and Channel M is spearheading a campaign to drive sales in GameStop and EB Games stores nationwide.

Components of Channel M's unique campaign include; heavy Mazda in-game exposure, an in-store Need for Speed Carbon pre-order campaign in GameStop and EB Games stores providing consumers the opportunity to win great prizes including a MAZDASPEED3 car. In addition, there will be month long mall events in 16 markets where a car will be on display and consumers can compete in an organized tournament to win tickets to attend a party and compete in a final championship tournament in Las Vegas , where the winner will drive off in a new MAZDASPEED3 . For contest rules please consult www.mazdaspeed3.com

In-store and online media will support the program including custom spots and content to air on Channel M's original hosted TV programs broadcast on GameStop and EB Games in-store TV networks nationwide, custom branded retail bags with artwork of the game and car, retail bag inserts, signage and online exposure. Channel M will also be filming some of the events and will be providing that video with other EA-generated in-game assets to be hosted on Mazda's website for consumers to view.

David Teichner , CEO for Channel M stated, “Never has a campaign featured so many consumer touch points as this one. With significant in-game placement, in-store media, sweepstakes, cars in malls, tournaments in malls and a final event in Vegas, this is the most comprehensive videogame integration campaign yet created. I am thrilled that my team at Channel M has the opportunity to put this program together from its inception to execution. It's a huge win for everyone involved and is truly a historic marketing campaign putting together four great names with our company, Mazda, GameStop, EB Games and EA.”

“The 263-hp, 155-mph MAZDASPEED3 kicks asphalt and takes names, and Need for Speed Carbon is the perfect way for us to bring this exciting new vehicle to market in an all-new way,” said Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager for Mazda North American Operations. “We already attract one of the youngest new-car buyers in the industry, and with the assistance of EA, Channel M and GameStop, we intend to continue that trend.”

“We're excited to be a part of this unique promotion and thrilled to bring the MAZDASPEED3 to the Need for Speed franchise,” said Craig Rechenmacher, Senior Director of Marketing at EA. “Partnering with Channel M and GameStop will provide the perfect venue to showcase Need for Speed Carbon on the next generation platforms.”

“This relationship strategically leverages the physical store and online reach of the company's 3,600 U.S. GameStop and EB Games stores, while providing an exciting new opportunity to reach gaming enthusiasts nationwide,” indicated Jack Beuttell , Senior Vice President of Marketing, GameStop Corp.

The all-new MAZDASPEED3 is one of the quickest and fastest front-wheel drive cars in the world. Based on the MAZDA 3 5-door, the MAZDASPEED3 is a lightweight car with a big engine. It comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and a high performance MZR 2.3-liter direct-injected four-cylinder turbo engine producing 263-horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque. All this power results in a 0-60 mph time well under six-seconds and pushes the MAZDASPEED3 to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.


» www.mazdaspeed3.com
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NFS C: Demo released! Friday, 27.10.2006
NFS CarbonIt took EA a long time, but finally it is here: the Demo von Need for Speed Carbon!

On the following page you can find the download link and a frequent updated mirrorlist:

UPDATE:
As it seems there are some difficulties with the download from EA. We hope we can provide more mirrors soon.

» NFS C: Demo
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NFS C: No stand-alone LAN mode? Friday, 27.10.2006
NFS CarbonThe onlinemode of Need for Speed Carbon offers many new modes but singleplayer and multiplayer over LAN may have become less important in this release.

As it seems there won't be a splitscreen mode and not even a LAN mode! You'll need a broadband internet connection and an account at EA Online. Only with this matchup-service you'll be able to search for other players.

The singleplayer mode doesn't seem to be very exciting either: Our colleagues at Cynamite.de played a testversion of Need for Speed Carbon for 6 hours and already finished 65% in the story-mode. The story should be a bit confusing, so that it doesn't really motivate the player. But they find the cars and their different styles much more exciting.

According to Cynamite.de NFS Carbon is less fun than its predecessor Most Wanted. Main reason: The exciting pursuits with the police are significantly decreased. They are not longer than three minutes and are more disturbing routine. The new canyon races, where you can fall from the cliffs, cannot make this even.

We'll see whether this is true, or Cynamite just didn't like the game for whatever reasons...
We hope we can get more information about the LAN mode soon.

» Cynamite.de (German) (Source)
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NFS C: 11 new Screenshots Friday, 27.10.2006
NFS CarbonThe onlinemagazine Worthplaying published 11 new screenshots of Need for Speed Carbon.
Who still can't get enough of it: go get 'em there:

» Screenshots @ Worthplaying
» NFS C: Screenshots
» NFSUnlimited (Source)
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