Fed up with cardboard cut-out spectators cropping up in every racing game since the year dot? It seems that Project Gotham Racing 3 developer Bizarre Creations is too, having created a spectator system for its forthcoming Xbox 360 title that's capable of displaying 35,000 individuals at once.
On the latest update to the bizarreonline site, a screenshot shows its system off in its full glory, although Bizarre is quick to remind viewers that it's "just a test to show how crazy our crowd rendering system… and not representative of the crowd size which will be present in the final build of PGR3".
Even so, "You can still expect many thousands (yes, thousands) of spectators per track," which should make it all look pretty spiffy, if ultimately not actually something that makes the racing any better. Now, if avoiding suicidal spectators was part of the fun, we'd certainly enjoy some pseudo-Carmageddon action in return for some Kudos points.
He added: "The most remarkable thing to me was that [the spectator test] was all running at the game's normal frame rate. Not a bit of slowdown. It takes a while for our expectations to adjust to the "next generation" of video games, but I suppose things like this are what we will be seeing from now on..." And by "things like this" he went onto elaborate that members of the crowd are fully motion-captured, some waving cameras and taking pictures, some eating prawn sandwiches, some pick-pocketing others, some making love. Guess which ones we made up?
"What you can't see here are the extra details added around the courses to make things seem more "lifelike". There's ambient traffic, camera crews, racing teams (complete with huge big rigs), massive spectator stands, etc. etc. In fact, if you look carefully, you'll be able to see some Bizarre Creations staff members skulking around in the masses. There are also some Bizarre t-shirts in there too..." By which, we hope he means T-shirts with crazy logos, like, you know, 'I'm with stupid' or those post-ironic ones the ladies like to wear to announce their chest size to the world. T-Shirts; more of them in games please.
As for Project Gotham Racing 3? We'll be off to X05 in a few weeks, so look out for our hands-on impressions of this potentially glorious title soon.