Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Your questions answered.

Colin McRae: DiRT 2 overlord Gavin Raeburn and producer Adam Askew answered your questions on Eurogamer this afternoon.

They talked about American (and Scottish) voice acting, Colin McRae's legacy, DLC and how manufacturers are cagey about spectators or photographers being run over in-game and having their legs broken off.

Thank you to Gavin Raeburn and Adam Askew for carving an hour out of their schedule to join us, and thank you to Codemasters for letting them. Finally, thank you to everybody who asked questions, even smernicki, who wondered if the duo would like a sandwich.

DiRT 2 splats and skids onto shop shelves on 11th September, remember, and Xbox Live and PSN demos are available now.

The full transcript of the interview follows, with the earliest questions and answers presented first.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.



Super Moderating Hero: Good afternoon, Eurogamer readers! Gavin Raeburn and Adam Askew are with us now and ready to go. Keep those questions coming.


Super Moderating Hero: Hello Gavin! Hello Adam! First things first, can you tell our readers a bit about yourselves and why you are so famous, please?

Adam and Gavin: Not sure about the fame bit(!), but we've both been working in the Racing Studio at Codemasters for many years and we love making great games.


Why is the i in "DiRT" lower case? It's been bugging me for ages.

Adam and Gavin: It's a throw back to the old ToCA name, which had (annoyingly) a lower case 'o', but we thought it looked great in our DiRT logo mock ups, so we ran with it.


What was working with Ken Block, Dave Mirra and Travis Pastrana like? I've seen Ken Block's driving abilities on the EG TV show and YouTube, they are VERY good!

Adam and Gavin: Same as all the professional drivers we met - very focused and enthusiastic about what they do and promoting their sport. It's been great having Ken in the studio playing the game, just as it was with Colin, and he's provided valuable info on improving our physics model.

Super Moderating Hero: Who was the best at the game?

Adam and Gavin: Ken Block by some margin. This gave us a lot of confidence in the game as Ken picked up the wheel and started driving smoothly and putting in amazing times straight away.


Super Moderating Hero: What's the response to the demo been like? Have many people downloaded it?

Adam and Gavin: I think we're near a million demo downloads so far. Response to the demo has been very good, particularly the new handling model and new presentation. These are two areas that we've worked really hard on.

Super Moderating Hero: Is that a million across both platforms?

Adam and Gavin: I believe so, though the PS3 demo came out later than the 360 one in the US. I think we'd had 400k downloads on 360 alone within three days.


Straight forward question really, why 30fps instead of 60fps?

Adam and Gavin: It just allows us to do so much more with the quality of the game in all areas. Squeeze the game into 60fps and you have to make a lot of compromises that knock a lot of the life out of the game.


I played the demo and the point to point race included didn't have any pace notes, which seems like rather a bizzare design decision, considering not only the series roots as a rallying game where they're an integral part of the sport but the fact that you're asking players to go haring down three miles of barely visible track with only a mini-map for help. Is there a co-driver in the full game in these events or was this a deliberate decision?

Adam and Gavin: Yes, we have a co-driver in the game for the rally events, but the demo point to point was actually a trailblazer where there is no co-driver. This is the same as in DiRT 1. In DiRT 2 we have the option of two co-drivers to choose from and also the ability to select simple or complex calls.


Do any animals run out into the road and can we run them over and break their legs off?

Adam and Gavin: We thought of including some bunny rabbits just for this purpose, but good sense prevailed!


Are all the voices American or is their the option to pick your co driver's nationality?

Adam and Gavin: We have two co-drivers - one Scottish and one American.

Super Moderating Hero: There are a fair few readers after an explanation why DiRT 2 appears to pander more towards an American audience. Does it? Can you offer them one?

Adam and Gavin: The DiRT series is trying to reflect the contemporary off-road motorsport worldwide. As with everything, this changes with time and our game needs to change with it to remain relevant. That's why no one watches Charlie Chaplin movies any more!


Colin McRae: DiRT was one of my favorite racing games ever! Will DiRT 2 have split-screen for two people? The only game I can play with my brother is Forza, but it is sooooooooo boring.

Adam and Gavin: Split-screen is a surprisingly resource intensive thing to do on modern consoles due to the complexity of what we're doing (e.g. intensive streaming from HDD and optical drive) and rather than compromise the single player experience, we've focused our efforts on making the best online experience we can instead.


I was wondering about the ranking system. Are the unlockable items like the fluffy dice and things linked to the ranks? and what is the highest rank we can reach? Spill those rally beans!

Adam and Gavin: Yes, we have offline and online XP ranking systems which allow you to unlock the various goodies in the game as you play through it. The highest rank is 999, though it would take several lifetimes to get that high!

Super Moderating Hero: Can you give us an example of the goodies on offer?

Adam and Gavin: Dashboards items, car liveries, extra cars, special events.


Are there any Maseratis in the game and if so do they automatically steer towards walls?

Adam and Gavin: Most amusing! No Maseratis in DiRT 2 I'm afraid.


Any plans for DLC? The more cars and tracks the better!

Adam and Gavin: We've got some non car/track DLC coming soon, though we're looking at options for content packs over the coming months.


Your decision to delay the PC edition in order to incorporate DX11 features has furrowed some PC gamers' brows. Will the wait be worthwhile and can we expect a PC demo?

Adam and Gavin: We'd have loved to have released all SKUs at once, but the opportunity arose to be one of the first games to offer DX11 support and we didn't want to miss out. DiRT 2 will look great on DX11 hardware and will most definitely be worth the wait.

Super Moderating Hero: Is it worth supporting DX11, given that the cards that support it are either not on sale or are ludicrously expensive?

Adam and Gavin: For us it is a great opportunity to offer the best tech available and to continue to push our Ego engine. You don't need DX11 to run our game. It will just make it look even better than the DX9 version.


What prompted the move from a driving simulator to an arcade racer? Will you ever go back to your old ways?

Super Moderating Hero: We don't see DiRT 2 in either of these categories. We've simply tried to create a game that is as accessible as possible and fun to play.


Will you include dangers such as crowds and photographers during rallying sessions, offline and on? (Can we run over them and break their legs off?)

Adam and Gavin: Licensing restrictions prevent us from allowing the player to driver over any people in the game, so no, we cannot do this. Injuries and car safety are very sensitive areas for car manufacturers, whatever the realities of motorsport may be.


Non car/track DLC?? Can you be a bit more specific? At least give us a clue!

Adam and Gavin: Hmmm, our marketing department would have our fingers chopped off if we leaked our DLC info. We like our fingers.

Super Moderating Hero: Oh go on - a teensy weensy clue?

Adam and Gavin: OuCH! There goes my little finger...


How hard was the decision to keep using Colin McRae's name after his death. And how have you filled the hole he left? What kind of role did he play?

Adam and Gavin: We worked with Colin closely for ten years so his death came as a huge shock, especially with it happening on the launch weekend of DiRT 1 on PS3. Colin had been shaping and growing his career in new ways and was instrumental in introducing rally into the X-Games. He loved off-road racing in all its different guises and this made a perfect fit for our game series. The mood in the team for DiRT 2 was very purposeful after Colin's death and we were determined to make a great game that reflected his enthusiastic and forward thinking approach to motorsport and would be a fitting tribute to him.


Hi - we know that there are 9 locations in the game. Specifically though we do not know how many rally tracks per location. Is it just one rally track per location.


Is Morocco one of the selectable countries?

Adam and Gavin: We've tried to keep a good spread of disciplines in each of the nine locations, though some are more focused on certain disciplines. Most locations will have two rally tracks, and then of course we have trailblazer point to point races as well.

Not sure if the Morocco nationality (flag) is selectable as a country. We try and include as many countries as possible where we know our game will be played in any significant number.



Have played the demo and it's pretty damn tasty. Has anyone tried it with Logitech GT Pro? And what other peripherals will the game support on PC? Best Regards, Good luck with launch.

Adam and Gavin: We've got a list of supported controllers on our website and we've gone to great lengths on DIRT 2 to tune them all to within and inch of their life. Wheel support is particularly good in DiRT 2 for those that own them.


Super Moderating Hero: OK! Time for Adam and Gavin to go. But not before answering one final question.Adam and Gavin, would you rather have lasers for eyes or be able to turn invisible, and why?

Adam and Gavin: If you mean flesh burning Cyclops-style lasers instead of the annoying pointy things kids use in my local cinema, then give me death and destruction any day!

Super Moderating Hero: Thank you very much for your time! Good luck with DiRT 2!

Adam and Gavin: Thank you very much!

Latest comments

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    Trinod 13 years ago

    I think you make some valid points. First iteration of the CM Rally on a new fancypants generation of consoles is going to have more interest regardless of the direction it is taking. Does that make up for a lower installed userbase though. How many 'next generation' owners were there when DiRT came out compared to when CM 05 came out on the last generation? Wonder how well the traditional games sold in hammburgerland. At the same time Codemasters tell us "Colin McRae 2005 sold less than 2004, which sold less than Colin McRae 3, whereas DiRT sold well over double". If you were a business what would you do? I'd hazard a guess you would follow the money, Codies know that the CM name sells over here and they know X games and 'EXTREME!!' jivetalking sells in the land of Uncle Sam, so combine the two and chase the buck. This especially rings true when we consider that the Darlings sold Codemasters in 2007 to a capital venture firm, you think they are interested in anorak sensibilities? Its not about you or me, it about sales, if they piss off a few people that love 'normal' rallying but increase sales by garish adverts, ticking boxes on the back of the box and appealing to the biggest audience then job done.

    DiRT 2 is going to sell well for all sorts of different reasons. As regards the Americanisation of it, well i will have to like it or lump it. I've been playing CM games since their inception on the PS1, still have my original copy laying i loved that game. Asides the obvious benefits the latest tech brings is the game format any better ...nope!

    GRID's a different kettle of fish, though I can see where you are coming from seeing as its an evolution of TOCA. I adore that game just the way it is. To me no game is about being realistic its about playing well
    zakrocz 13 years ago
    oreillymj 13 years ago
    @Trinod - i would argue that sales of DiRT and Grid were heavily influenced by the fact that they were the first set of titles on the PS3 and X360 and a huge step up visually from PS2.

    So naturally, people who had given up on the PS2 McCrae titles would be tempted to see what next gen could deliver.

    The presentation style or yank characters had fuck all to do with it.
    binky 13 years ago
    Just had a look at the official DiRT2 website, and it shows all event types. With those events its starting to feel much more like Rallisport2 but in new clothes. I think I'm being tempted here.
    Pac 13 years ago

    You are right it is! Does not say that on the Shopto Website though - cheeky buggers!
    metalangel 13 years ago
    @foreverafternothing: Look at many of the comments here - a lot of people do not like this game, either because of the actual gameplay or because of the 'extreme sports' emphasis. That's a lot of sales they won't be getting.
    WangFu 13 years ago
    The review on shopto appears to be the eurogamer review for the *original* DiRT, not DiRT 2...
    Pac 13 years ago
    Oh and for the record I predict with 100% certainty that Eurogamer will give it an 8 as well.

    For some reason the Eurogamer review is on the Shopto website before it has been published here!
    Pac 13 years ago
    I quite enjoyed the demo but was not completely convinced.

    I quite like the mix of racing styles but although the handling of the rally car was OK, the bigger vehicle was even more floaty than I imagined it would be.

    Edge have given it an 8 so it might be worth a punt.
    laudy 13 years ago
    During the demo, I thought that the x-games bods were providing commentary for the turns out that they were supposed to be "trash talking"

    Excuse me, but how can a racer who is driving close to the edge, barging folk out of the way and trying to manage rough terrain, have a conversation like they're sitting round a coffee table?

    That blows dude
    Rizzler1 13 years ago
    this game is sweet cant wait for it to drop through my letter box :)
    Darren 13 years ago
    Syrette 13 years ago
    Can't believe how many people don't seem to understand how this business works, as sad as it is.

    They want to make money. It's just the way it is, but it's a shame.
    curtlikesmeat 13 years ago
    Is this going to be the trend now for new games, a DX9 version with possibly DX11 support but nothing for 10? Thanks for that Microsoft...
    kingofbergamo 13 years ago
    The low number of comments says it all. Shame I used to really like the series. I couldnt stand the demo and will not buy this one for a change. I hope they dont fu** F1 2010 as I have been waiting for a decent F1 title for years.
    rmp29 13 years ago

    > "That's why no one watches Charlie Chaplin movies any more!"
    > How utterly philistine.

    Sure, people still watch Charlie Chaplin movies - but hollywood doesn't make them any more, and would quickly go bankrupt if they tried to - hence this is a perfectly sensible analagy for Codies to make.
    superjag86 13 years ago
    Anyone else think they've really reduced the number of rally cars and tracks/stages in DiRT2 compared to the first DiRT? The game is impressive, but I really enjoyed the quite large variety offered by the first DiRT.
    Daymare 13 years ago
    That's why no one watches Charlie Chaplin movies any more!

    Well they bloody should!
    laudy 13 years ago

    although with the nice shiny new hannah monatana audience codemasters are getting, the loss of custom from old fellas like me won't even scratch their radical surface

    cowabunga dudes
    metalangel 13 years ago
    Once again decent questions were ignored in favour of stupid ones about killing animals and spectators and Maseratis.

    I guess I'll never know if it's possible to adjust the sensitivity of the steering (which is not in the options but could well be in the tuning screen which is locked in the demo), whether the AI (which brakes too much for corners) or Flashbacks (which would only let me rewind to just after the point of impact which meant I could only crash again) were unfinished in the demo, whether they'd ever considering making a straight rally-only game again.

    I suppose I should just count myself lucky they addressed the co-driver issue, though the explanation as to why it's gone all EXTREEEEEEEEME WOO WOO was very unsatisfactory.
    binky 13 years ago
    You go girl!
    ubisama 13 years ago
    so he said in a Weasel Words manner: Nobody plays games in Morocco so we didn't include their flag and we don't care about players in this shitty country, except to steal photos from their environments and exploit them in our game. You should know sir that not everybody in Morocco lives in the middle of the desert like in the demo track.

    If the game doesn't contain the Morocco flag for driver profile, then I'm gonna get it for my mod modded Xbox 360 instead of buying it for my PS3, even if I own the Playstation Driving Force Pro wheel!
    X201 13 years ago
    If its to look at motorsport worldwide, then there's even less reason to go down the Americanisation route.

    Perhaps they should watch Chaplin a bit more, and they might realise that you don't have to pretend to be American to be a success over there.
    MvK 13 years ago
    Yeap, absolutely no one watches Chaplin anymore :/
    monkeywithnoeyes 13 years ago
    theres no question that its moving more away from its british roots as a game, and indulging more and more into the american side of things - this is reinstated by the very poor, cheesy, in game chatter.. which is more suited to a tony hawks game than a british rally game.

    Dont get me wrong, i like the game, the game looks good, and plays well.. but its colin McRae in name only at this point.
    Spekingur 13 years ago
    @Von_Adder: If a comment like that stopped you from buying the game then obviously you had little interest in it beforehand.
    Findus 13 years ago
    The way Codies have been developing their racing games of late I fear for F12010.

    Why do I feel we will get drifty F1 Cars and U.S commentary that says Shoe Maker.

    makes you think it will be a port of the F1 97 arcade mode.

    Ahh f197.... good times
    Trinod 13 years ago
    The sad fact of the matter is, it's that sales that count. It was covered elsewhere that sales of traditional McRae games were dwindling and the original DiRT game bucked that trend. So if you are business in that situation what you going to do? Development costs are high these days, you arent going to make two different games to pander to two different audiences. You are going to make the game that maximises profit. You just cant please all of the people all of the time. McRae games used to be unassailable at the top of the rally tree, I don't hold that view anymore, the throne is vacant as far as I'm concerned, such a shame but perfectly understandable. I'll buy it, but if anything better comes along that is tuned into rallying roots then I'm jumping ship. Dirt 2 you are a whore.
    minusblindfold 13 years ago
    I switched off the demo as soon as the other drivers started 'smack' talking mid race...I already have Mario Kart Wii so no need to get this...
    smokingslim 13 years ago
    Anyone know if they have the WRC tracks? There website says China, Malaysia, Morocco, Baja, and Croatia?? pls tell me thats not all.
    Gnort 13 years ago
    Yeah, because the World Rally Championship has nobody watching it, so clearly people are only interested in an X-Games sideshow.
    Scimarad 13 years ago
    Wow, what a bloody ignorant comment THAT was...
    Trinod 13 years ago
    I'm hoping for Charlie Chaplin Rally myself
    Forral 13 years ago
    "That's why no one watches Charlie Chaplin movies any more!"

    How utterly philistine.
    Scimarad 13 years ago
    Oh dear, I wonder if anybody will the ask the obvious "Why didn't you just call it 'Travis Pastranas Xtreme Dirt!' and be done with it?" And "Why can't we have a proper rally game?"
    MaxHughes 13 years ago
    Thanks for answering my question :D
    Trinod 13 years ago
    Because people want a rallying game perhaps?
    JunglistVIP 13 years ago
    Thoroughly good guys