3DA: Games that encourage community interaction usually develop a hardcore base of fans, but did you initially expect the large positive community response that the original TrackMania and its add-on received?
Florent - Nadeo: We did plan the community phenomenon: track exchange and multiplayer competition. However, the proportion and the continuity is still unbelievable today. The creativity and positive feeling is also great.
3DA: TrackMania was rare in the sense it provided fresh gameplay with minimal system requirements. Will Sunrise share this characteristic, allowing gamers on mid and even low end systems to play and enjoy the game?
Florent - Nadeo: At the company we have two programmers that use one Geforce 256 and one Intel chipset as a development computer. Our engine has four configurations, from the lowest specification to the latest.
3DA: Will there be more advanced visual options for modern systems, such as Shader Model 3.0 etc?
Florent - Nadeo: On Sunrise, bigger configuration will show visual improvments. To have the maximum of the maximum you will need the best graphic board of today. Not for small effects only either, you will really see the difference. Yes, Shader Model 3.0 enables speed improvement while keeping the best quality.
3DA: Can you further elaborate on the new game modes 'Platform' and 'Crazy'?
Florent - Nadeo: You surely know about platform games. The platform mode is quite close. You don't have a time limit, you just have to get to the end of the 'level' without falling. The more you have to respawn, the less will be your final score. If you can do the level without respawn, then you have the gold medal. The crazy mode is like mini games. You have to get to the end within a limited amount of time, but between you and the finish line, there are really crazy obstacles. You can succeed to do it once if you are lucky, maybe twice... But you will need to succeed three times in a row to get the gold medal.
3DA: How will the P2P network operate, will it be in-game, or website based?
Florent - Nadeo: The P2P is in-game. If you paint a car, draw an advertisement panel in your level or even change all the textures from the game, when someone connects, they will start to download it. Once one player has your data, then he starts to give it to other people that needs it. You can play, create and share!
3DA: Can we expect a rating/voting system from the P2P system (such as rankings for the most popular player created tracks etc), or is this system purely file exchange based?
Florent - Nadeo: The only advantage of the P2P system is that you don't have to give the address of your created items to other players. Voting systems are handled by the community. There is a nice search engine of tracks online with more than ten thousand tracks in the database! With pictures, comments, awards etc.
3DA: Is it safe to say that the inclusion of a P2P system in Sunrise was inspired by the fansites already providing a track/replay sharing service for gamers, or was this a previously planned feature that just didn't make the original versions?
Florent - Nadeo: At Nadeo, we really like this technology. P2P is something that is logical to enable players to share creations in the tens of thousands. Since it is part of the future and that we wanted to add even more creation system, we needed to start to develop this in our technology. It will probably not be the biggest feature of Sunrise, but this is a nice step for multiplayer games I think. The integrated ladder gives a lot of challenge for multiplayer.
3DA: How will the car customization work, will gamers have an in-game skin editor, or can gamers take their designs to advanced 3rd party graphics programs and import skins into the game from popular image formats?
Florent - Nadeo: It is not really customization, it is painting. You paint directly on your car into the game. You can import stickers or add text as well. It is a small 3D painting program.
3DA: What has changed in the track editor, will gamers have more blocks/options?
Florent - Nadeo: There are new type of blocks like the circuit blocks that enables gamers to design the border of the road instead of only a track, the multilap that enables loop races, the advertisement panel, the buildings etc. There is the mediatracker to create replays, intros or even in-game camera moves.
3DA: Lastly, can gamers on slower or even narrowband dialup Internet connections still expect to see enjoyable online play, like that of the original?
Florent - Nadeo: Yes, or even better ;)
Thanks to Nadeo for their time, make sure to check back regularly here at 3DAvenue as we cover more of TrackMania: Sunrise anticipating its release.