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NFS C: Q&A with the producers Thursday, 30.11.2006
NFS CarbonIn collaboration with the Xbox Community Network (XCN) we can present you an exclusive Q&A with Mat Thomas and Kristian von Fersen, the producers of Need for Speed Carbon!
They talk about the Xbox360 version of the game, and besides the usual feature-descriptions you can also get some fresh information about future Need for Speed titles:

Why is there still no (or hardly any) damage to models in NFS Carbon?

We are always respectful to our car manufacturers, and we have built great relationships with them over the years. We are always in contact with the manufacturers during the development process to ensure where we want to take their vehicles is in line with their expectations. The key thing to remember is that developing a game where the player can literally drive the car wherever they want in an open world up against other racers and cops means we have to remain respectful to the manufacturers. We are always looking at how we can improve the damage in the game, but we are aware of the car manufacturers and the gameplay impacts this has.

Most Wanted took place in daylight, Carbon at night...what can we expect for the next NFS?

Each year we spend a lot of time working out what time of day is best suited to Need For Speed. The time of day will come together with the main game design, so right now this is still under consideration. Watch this space!

What can we expect in the future on the marketplace, will there be new content e.g. new cars?

Stay tuned for more news about marketplace items in the New Year!

What can you tell us about the multiplayer-mode in NFS Carbon? Will there be a team feature?

Players will have the ability to play against each other in split-screen in all the various Quick Race modes.

Most of the Xbox 360 gamers are really concerned about the fact that they have to pay for download content, which other versions (current gen) have already on the disc for free. are you trying to find out how much players are willing to pay for stuff like that? or do we have to pay the full price for incomplete EA-games an Xbox 360 in the future?

Downloadable content is a key element going forward for EA. For Need For Speed Carbon, we are providing two elements - we are providing new content in the form of vehicles and also the ability for the player to purchase the top end cars from the start so they can progress through the career faster. We are well aware that games are getting bigger and this year we made a decision to make sure our gameplay experience was tight and fun. Being able to download the high end vehicles off the bat allows the player who doesn't have 30 hours to commit to a game to experience the same top end fun that a dedicated Need For Speed fan will through gameplay. It is up to the player to decide what they want and the online element of Need For Speed Carbon simply offers the player more choice. Any content that is unlockable on the Xbox 360 is also unlockable on the Xbox. The only difference between the two is that you have the ability to purchase that content, should you choose to do so, on the Xbox 360. It is completely up to the player as to whether or not they want to spend the time to unlock something or whether they choose to get access to something sooner by purchasing it online for the Xbox 360.

Why should we buy Need for Speed Carbon? Which are the most significant enhancements in comparison to Need for Speed Most Wanted?

There are probably three key new areas that I think fans of the franchise will find very exciting. The first is our new mode, Canyon Duel, where you and an opponent are going head to head in the ultimate game of cat and mouse. The first run has you following the opponent’s car trying to stay as close as you can without going over the edge or slamming into the cliff face. The closer you are, the more points you accumulate. On the second run the roles are reversed and he is chasing you eating away at your score – make it down to the bottom in one piece with points left and you have proved your mettle. Second, our physics has been a big focus this time around. Last year we had feedback from fans of the franchise that they were looking for more differentiation between the car classes and we have taken it to heart this year. Fans will immediate feel a difference in the handling, acceleration and driving techniques the moment they try out a car from each of the different car classes – Tuner, Exotic and Muscle. Finally, the territory acquisition meta game experience will offer fans a whole new way to play through the game.

What new online game modes can we look forward to seeing in the game?

Carbon’s online feature set is much broader and deeper than anything we’ve done before on a Need for Speed game. For Most Wanted last year we had 3 online multiplayer modes. This year we’ve added to that and included a great deal more . In or out of the main career all of our race modes can be played online. There are 4 game modes that you can compete in online multiplayer racing: Circuit, Sprint, Speedtrap and Canyon Duel. Those races that aren’t multiplayer will track your best times and scores on the Online Leaderboards. In addition, we also have to Online exclusive modes -- Pursuit Tag and Pursuit Knockout. We are tracking and displaying your statistics for every race, track, game mode and free roam event you participate in during the game. We’ve added Online Co-operative Challenge Series events where you can race with up to 3 friends in any of 4 challenges and complete the Challenge together

How many cars are there to choose from?

There will be over 50 cars available in the game this year. We’ve really spent a lot of time differentiating the three car classes. So much so that we’ve based part of the game around this fact and allow the player to choose their allegiance right at the start and play through the career in one of three different flows according to which class they’ve picked. Each class will have certain strengths and weaknesses that the player must balance against their driving style or car preference. There is no single class that will be consistently at the top. Given the right driver, any of the 3 classes can be equally competitive. I think Need for Speed fans will be really happy with the variety of cars we’ve chosen.

Will there be an in car view?

No, we decided not to include an in car view this year. This is something we're talking about for future Need for Speed titles.

Did you get a lot of feedback from the demo, and how did it affect the development of the game?

The feedback from the demo confirmed a lot of our own concerns and thankfully issues brought up by our fan base were always going to be addressed for the final product. We pay close attention to people's reactions to the demo to make sure what we are developing meets our consumers expectations.

How would you compare the Xbox360 version of the game to other platforms?

The Xbox360 is one of our lead platforms and along with PS3 and PC, offers the most game play features. Visually, it certainly stands out when playing the game on a HDTV.

Do you think the NFS games would be better if you had more time to develop them? Do you think that taking 2 years to develop them instead of one would improve the games in any shape or form?

Although Need for Speed has been on an annual release schedule for a number of years now, it is important to know that each game is actually in development for approximately 18-24 months, in total. We have a small team working on creative and technical R&D projects well before the majority of our team starts to work on the game. As with any game these days, the more time you have the better! We're very proud of the high quality and innovation that the Need for Speed franchise has consistently delivered year after year. It's a truly remarkable and talented team working on this franchise.

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NFS 11: Vote for the next NFS Girl! Thursday, 30.11.2006
FHMNFS Carbon just has been released, but the development of the next Need for Speed already started. The lifestylemagazine FHM teamed up with Electronic Arts and presents you 10 hot girls, which can be the next Need for Speed Girl!
Take a look at their profiles and vote for the girl you like most. The winner will be flown to the EA Studios in the USA where she will star as a in the next game of the Need for Speed series!

» Need for Speed Idol Voting @ FHM
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NFS C: New Files Thursday, 30.11.2006
NFS CarbonWe have two new files for Need for Speed Carbon for you. The first one is an Unlocker, made by Gagna 2000. This tool allows you to unlock all cars and upgrades in the Collector's Edition and you can load any savegame.
The second file is a hack by Arushan, which enables the NFS Carbon windowed mode. It was mainly made for developers of 3rd party tools, but you can use it if you have programs running in the background or if you just want to run the game on a different monitor.

» NFS C: Files
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NFS C: Wii is coming to Europe Wednesday, 29.11.2006
NFS CarbonOn December 8th Nintendo's Wii will launch in Europe and so does Need for Speed Carbon (for Wii).
Nintendo is shipping an exceptionally large number of consoles - 4 million globally by the end of 2006, the largest ever for a Nintendo console launch. Wii launched in the US on 19th November and sold over 600,000 consoles in just one week. That’s a rate of nearly one per second continuously since the launch date. The European and Japanese launches follow close behind – Europe on December 8th and Japan on December 2nd.

"We're launching a great product and we knew that demand would be high. Nintendo’s expansion of the gaming market is paying dividends and Wii really is the ‘must have’ item for Christmas. Obviously, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that everyone who wants one, gets one.", says Laurent Fischer, Marketing Director of Nintendo Europe.

To prepare you for the Wii-Launch we have a new video of NFS Carbon, where a Producer from Electronic Arts shows you the handling of the game on the new console. Additionally you can watch 17 new screens in our screenshots-section.

» NFS C: Movies
» NFS C: Screenshots
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NFS C: Custom Display Resolutions Sunday, 26.11.2006
NFS CarbonIf you tried playing Need for Speed Carbon on a Notebook or a Widescreen-Display, you discover the problem, that in Need for Speed Carbon only resolutions of the format 4:3 are possible.
A handy tool from Racer_S can help you, because with this little helper you can type in any custom resolution you want!

Download here:

» NFS C: Files
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NFS C: Showcase reaches 1000 entries Saturday, 25.11.2006
NFS CarbonThe showcase for NFS Underground 2 took some time, to get filled and the Most Wanted showcase was a little bit better visited, I didn't expect our Need for Speed Carbon Showcase to have so much activity: Within 10 days you uploaded more than 1200 pictures of your cars have been upload and today we unlocked the 1000th!
It was Phil1017, who had a Jaguar XK7 as the 1000th car in our showcase.

We are still working on some improvements, but it will take time, until the development is finished. Meanwhile keep uploading your cars and rate the cars you like at our showcase:

» NFS C: Showcase
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NFS C: Neil Eskuri - Artist Profile @ CGSociety Thursday, 23.11.2006
NFS CarbonThe graphic-platform CGSociety published a new feature article: an Artist Profile about Neil Eskuri, the Senior Art Director at Electronic Arts, who worked lately at Need for Speed: Carbon. He takes some time out to discuss the challenge of generating streets, cars, people, the effects, lighting and the cityscapes, all populating one of the most spectacular driving games on offer.

With all the platforms on which the game was going to be produced for, it was decided to keep the time of day at night to simplify multiple lighting scenarios. The art direction was to keep things as dark as possible and use lighting to help guide the player's eye down the tracks. Neil uses the term 'Jewels of Color' to highlight the buildings and environment with color to contrast the darker areas. They also tried to use the car's headlights to light up the road so the player would have a better sense of nighttime and speed.

NFS CarbonAs the different platform requirements were complex and the timeframe to produce the game was very tight, the EA team on NFS:Carbon was pretty big. The number was 170+ for the entire project. Neil Eskuri focused mostly on the worlds, FMV/NIS, animation and cars and had a great support team. Each of those areas had specialists. “Within worlds we have people who specialize on the road splines and side terrain to make good exciting drives,” he explains. “Also, there were those who focus on the creation of the cities and environments. For the FMV and NIS, just organizing the stage shoot was a speciality. Of course, animation is a focus for the NIS characters and police along with the in-game character cut-aways. The camera presentation also had a specialist that involved the coordination of several groups. Since the cars are the main stars in a driving game we have a whole department focused strictly on the creation of the 50+ cars in the game.”

If you are interested in graphics, this article is worth reading anyway, but I suggest everybody to read it, if you want to get more behind the scenes footage from the development of NFS Carbon.

» NFS C: Neil Eskuri Artist Profile @ CGSociety
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NFS C: Carbon Remix Contest @ Jumpcut Wednesday, 22.11.2006
JumpcutElectronic Arts is doing a Need for Speed Carbon Remix Contest in collaboration with Jumpcut, where you can win some great prizes. If you're not familiar with Jumpcut, it's a website which allows you to make online movies directly in your web browser. When entering the contest, you get a soundtrack and have to cut a music video with provided videoclips to make a remix video.

You can win the following:

1. Preis: a Visa check card in the amount of $1500
2. Preis: Logitech® G25 Racing Wheel, compatible with PS2 (Value: $150)
3. Preis: 3x Need for Speed Carbon für die Xbox360 (Value: $59)

You can find further information here:

» Carbon Remix Contest @ Jumpcut
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NFS C: Patch 1.3 released Tuesday, 21.11.2006
NFS CarbonElectronic Arts recently released a new patch for Need for Speed Carbon, which updates the game to version 1.3. If you intend to play online, you must upgrade using this patch – failure to do so will prevent you from racing online.

The patch contains the following updates:
  • Addresses issue with the online authentication screen
  • Allows for consistent use of EA Messenger
  • Updates to address a leaderboard issue during Online Pursuit Tag
  • Allows for full friend searching functionality
  • Updates to address launching issues between XP and 2K

Download here:

» NFS C: Patches
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NFS C: 2 new Tools Tuesday, 21.11.2006
NFS CarbonWe have two new handy tools for Need for Speed Carbon for you. The first one is the Savegame Selector Tool 1.0 by edasx, which fixes the savegame-problem.
Every savegame in NFS Carbon contains the CD-Key in plain text, which means that 1. this key can be extracted easily and 2. you cannot load "foreign" savegames in your own copy. This tool changes the key in your savegames to your cd-key so that you can use all savegames.

The second tool is a Physics Trainer by Racer_S, which allows you to beam yourself around the world, so that you can even get behind the barriers.

Download here:

» NFS C: Files
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