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A question and answer session with the developers of Cross Racing Championship, Invictus.

By Team SimRacingWorld
23 April 2005

SRW: Many people will not have heard about Cross Racing Championship. Can you please give us a little more information on the overall concept of the game. What is it about?

Invictus: In CRC 2005 you can live through the life of a race driver.

We offer the player the opportunity to embark on a career in Cross Racing, where an amateur autocross racer turns into a sponsored track racer professional! You can drive different types of cars; win autocross, off-road, rallycross, rally, road- and track races!

Setting up the car will be especially important. This functionality is presented in a simplified way using sliders to adjust things such as Engine torque and suspension height etc… and we also offer several pre designed presets for tuning options, so that amateur players can also enjoy the game from the very first minute.

However, racing is what this game is all about. Power sliding, out braking and overtaking will all feature heavily in the gameplay. The races themselves take place in several environments, which include many types of terrain and weather. By mixing several surfaces in each race the player have to contend with these differing driving conditions every lap, and because of this, the set up of the car plays a large part in their success (or failure).

The series is named Cross Racing Championship because the cars have to “cross” from one road type to another during the racing lap and from one racing type to another one.

SRW: Could you please explain a little more about the multiplayer aspect of the game?

Invictus: CRC 2005 can be played by up to 8 players through LAN and Internet, and will work with the All Seeing Eye (ASE) as well. The game in multiplayer offers gamemodes like Cross Racing, Capture The Flag, but you can play multiplayer in Free Ride too. We'll release several additional game-modes as add-on files, through our on-line updating system, Invictus LIVE!

SRW: What is the "new real time physics module" and how does it work?

A. Every car has its own damage characteristics and weaknesses produced by its shape, mass, and physical structure. Some of the cars are pretty sensitive to their wheels, others may be almost indestructible.

Using vertex-based chassis and part deformation, every impact produces a unique result, as mesh deformation is calculated real-time based on the actual collision impulse vector. Damaged doors and hoods can flap and fall off, just like the bumpers, wheels or other parts.
Impacts on wheels can deform the geometry of the suspension, making the wheel wobble, get nipped or stuck, or pull the entire car to one side.

A nice part of the damage system is the particle system with its varied effects. Sparks fly all around as the car scrapes the barriers, and even windscreens and windows can be blown into tiny pieces (looks especially nice when played back in slow motion replay), plus you can hear and feel every jump and bump as the suspension and the chassis creaks and squeaks.

SRW: How successfully have you implemented the "dynamic AI" (where the AI becomes "scared" or aggressive towards the player), given that in many games this has often been too exaggerated where the AI are either suicidal or too passive?

Invictus: The 30 AI racers of CRC 2005 all have their own identity and character. Some of them are tough guys, who never give up a chase, but some may be amateur "Sunday drivers". Of course it depends on your skills and the difficulty level as well; ultimately they can be afraid of the player, and therefore try not to collide with the player's car. Although sometimes they may be angry about the player because the player smashed their car for example, in which case they would not just continue racing and do their best laps, but look for some serious crashes revenge!

No matter how angry or professional they are, the AI racers never turn too suicidal or too passive. Though AI sometimes make mistakes, and can smash into a tree accidentally, depending on the difficulty level, they are reliable competitors.

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