Test Drive Unlimited 2 Learner's Permit - An Introductory Q&A with Game Director Alain Jarniou

Updated Wed, Dec 29, 2010 by B. de la Durantaye

test drive unlimited 2
With a familiar level progression, loads of customization options, a challenging single-player campaign (and plenty to compete for in multiplayer), and a sandboxy world, Test Drive Unlimited 2 bears more than a striking resemblance to a traditional MMORPG. Add in 90+ driveable cars rendered in painstaking detail, realistic physics and a detailed rendering of the islands of Ibiza and Maui, and you have a whole new kind of massively multiplayer experience. Eden Games' Game Director Alain Jarniou joins us to kick the tires of this highly anticipated February 2011 title.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is it safe to say detail is a top priority in the development of Test Drive Unlimited 2?

Alain Jarniou: Definitely, firstly for the cars, we pushed the limits both for external shape precision and interiors quality. We wanted a real quality gap in terms of modeling accuracy and details (logos and lights are fully modeled for example), but also new materials and shaders for a more realistic rendering. We also worked on the environments, with more diversity for vegetation, cities and landscapes, more types of roads with a better 3D-definition for a smooth driving.

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Ten Ton Hammer: What are some examples of what you've done to make the game immersing to players?

Alain Jarniou: TDU2 is a realistic racing game with branded cars and real locations, so it was very important for us to listen to the players to learn what could reinforce immersion. That’s how big enhancements like day and night cycle and the weather obviously became priorities to develop, even if it has been a big challenge to manage a world with infinite weather/time of the day combinations. We developed new technologies, including real-time shadows cast, weather transitions and night rendering.

"TDU2 has 90+ cars, and they are all premium quality, with authentic and distinctive handling across vehicle classes and models. We also have plans to release additional cars in the months and years to come."
A big innovation for the game play is also the Walk-mode you can use in every interior like in car dealers or in the houses and their garages. That way players can walk around the car, come very close and admire the beautiful details. They can also meet and discuss with each other, as all those spots are online.

Ten Ton Hammer: How accurate is the map of Ibiza? Is every road on the real island in game?

Alain Jarniou: We generated the island with the exact satellite data of the real island of Ibiza, creating a very accurate (and big) playing area. We also used the official road network database, and selected the more interesting roads, highways and tracks of Ibiza, with always in mind the objective to provide diversity and fun to the players.

Ten Ton Hammer: How do you go about designing something to that degree of realism?

Alain Jarniou: Let’s take the example of the weather, which is one of the main new features of TDU2. It has been a long series of iterations between technological development and enhancements on a side and tweaking settings and updating tools on the other side, again and again, until we were satisfied with the game photography, at any moment of the day.

test drive unlimited 2


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