Burnout 3: Takedown released for the PlayStation 2 all the way back in 2004, but the PlayStation.Blog has run a feature breaking down the inspirations for the Alpine track. Created by Chris Walley, the Alpine track has some unusual origins to read about. It’s also an interesting look into how game development was a different beast over a decade ago.
The original inspiration for the track was a taxi driver’s wife going into labor:
…it was inspired by a taxi journey director of design Alex Ward took to Munich’s airport while promoting Burnout 2. Just after setting off, the driver took a call and learned his wife was in labour. “I said, ‘But I need to get to the airport!’ And he said, ‘If I drive really really fast, could you put your seatbelt on? This is going to be a hot diesel drive.’ He floored it.”
When they arrived at the terminal, the driver refused payment and wheel-span away. It was enough to make Ward, who co-runs Danger Zonedeveloper Three Fields Entertainment, really want Burnout 3 to have an autobahn.
There’s also how the developers used some visual tricks to make Burnout 3 feel really fast:
“The tracks are built around how the cars slide,” says Ward. “A bad racing game is one where you bounce around the walls all the time, so we had to get the sliding right and once you’ve got a handle on that you can make nice tracks. They have to be really wide, much wider than real life. You can’t dance through the traffic or light up the boost and chain it. You need a lot of space.”
“But when you make things twice as big, suddenly you lose the speed, so we had to make the cars twice as fast,” says Walley.
That wasn’t the only fix. The roadsides are also thick with detail – lampposts, trees, billboards and buildings – so they flash by, and the team also made the camera wide-angled. This has the effect of increasing the sense of movement in your peripheral vision while making things in the centre of the view appear smaller and rush towards you faster. And when you boost, the view gets even wider. “Boosting doesn’t add that much speed, only 10% or something, but it doesn’t feel like it, it feels like you’re going another 50 per cent faster,” says Walley, busting your understanding of the whole game.
There is a lot more of the breakdown Burnout 3’s Alpine track over at the PlayStation.Blog.
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