Dear Solar Club members,
As you saw in our last video, The Cruiser, the driving experience - and not just for racing - is key to our approach to Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown. Lots of Test Drive Unlimited fans still remember the first time they got behind the wheel of the car of their dreams in the previous version, whether they were going for a spin in town or meeting up with friends on the streets of Ibiza or Oahu in TDU and TDU 2. One of our objectives is to give you the same sensations with Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, on the streets of Hong Kong Island. In this latest Solar Club Newsletter, we take a look at how the driving experience will be shifting up a gear in TDUSC.
Car physics is a critical aspect of development. For some people, TDU2 did not meet all of its objectives in this respect: they felt the physics were too arcade-like, even unpredictable. As you already know, TDUSC integrates different car categories, from Classics to the Hypercar, Off-roads to Supercars, the Citroën 2CV to the Bugatti Chiron Sport.
Within each category, of course, each car has its own attributes: combustion, hybrid or electric engines, traction, propulsion or 4-wheel drive, turbocharger, 6, 8, and 12 cylinders… All the details that make each model unique. For each car, realism was the order of the day. The perfect mix so you get the best sensations whether using a wheel or a controller. Don't try to pull off a perfect drift with traction: you just might end up pulling all your hair out before you pull it off. In the same way, very few Supercars are adapted to off-road driving, even if some people insist on trying! But rest assured, even if the car isn't adapted to it, it still won't go up in smoke! Each car provides you with a unique driving experience, and that’s why you pick the car! In an upcoming letter, we'll be going into more detail about tuning and customization options.
When we think about “going for a ride", the music we listen to springs to mind. As we have previously mentioned, we have been working with a wide range of music to go along with the best trips and to match your mood. There are 6 themed radio stations in TDUSC: Hip Hop Planet, Absolut Club, Indie Rock, Classic Era, World Music and Retro FM. They each have their own DJs and jingles. Each radio station has over 10 hours of music, which you will soon be able to check out on our social networks. Aurélien Baguerre, Audio Director at KT Racing, explains the philosophy behind each radio station and how each playlist was constructed:
Note from Aurélien Baguerre, Audio Director:
“Our six radio stations let players escape by listening to a large number of musical styles. We've worked on a musical selection that ranges from classic songs to modern tracks by lesser-known independent artists that players can discover while driving. In the car, the radio is like another passenger who is riding along with us and is part of the trip. When we think about cars and music, a track that we like to listen to while driving always comes to mind. The objective of TDUSC is to use a great, varied playlist to be right there with you and match your mood. Whether your taste is traditional and you're more of a Sharp, enjoying calm classical music while admiring the countryside, or Indie Rock, for more exciting trips along the docks or in town, or Hip Hop, if you’re into Street style, you'll find something you like. The Absolute Club (EDM), Retro FM and World Music radio stations add additional variety so you never get bored while driving. In TDUSC, the radio adds extra identity to your journeys.”
Not to worry, though, if you're a purist and only want to hear the soft purr of the engine while driving: you can also turn the radio off. That's when all the work spent developing the precision of the engine sounds becomes evident. Because it is a major factor in immersing yourself in a car game, especially when it comes to driving and cruising, a lot of R&D work went into the KT Engine so we could reproduce the specific sounds of each car model as faithfully as possible. Starting from real recordings, made in different conditions, the sounds were then integrated and linked to the car physics, so they react perfectly to what the player does and are spatialized. Basically, the sound rendering adapts to the camera in use and to the environment the player is in. Players seeking maximum immersion with the interior view can even hear the hazard and indicator lights while driving (they automatically go off once you've changed direction!), just like turning the car engine on or off.
Our latest The Cruiser video also generated some reaction concerning the game cameras, and in particular about the dynamism of the rear camera. The video was completely made using the static Chase camera, as it's more suited for jaunts and makes it easier to see the environments.
A lot of people asked about the camera's dynamism. We would like to reassure everyone that TDUSC has 2 Chase cameras, one of which is “Dynamic”. This camera is a favourite of players and has a certain elasticity, relative to the car, that matches the driving rhythm (speed, turns, etc). You will get the chance to see more of this in an upcoming video! As for the other cameras, there's also an interior view for total immersion, the dashboard view appreciated by players at the wheel (it is located on the steering wheel, which therefore disappears), the traditional bonnet view and the bumper view, closer to the road, that enhances the effect of speed.
The F.R.I.M. (Free Ride Instant Money) system is back! Making money by completing different activities is one thing, making it by driving with style and skill is another!
Initially introduced in Test Drive Unlimited 2, this feature lets you earn cash in the open world by adopting a more player-oriented way of driving. Your control and agility enable you to continually earn credits: ideal for when you're starting out on Hong Kong Island or to fatten your wallet when you want to buy your next car!
The principle is simple: complete a series of different achievements to raise your F.R.I.M. bar and add to the jackpot you can win. Once you think your score is high enough, you can cash it in. These are a few of the achievements you can complete:
● High speed
● Overtaking in extremis
● Wrong way
● Good driving
● And many more!
Completing the different achievements increases your F.R.I.M., so the potential jackpot increases also! But mind you cash in at the right time! An accident or stopped car halts your F.R.I.M. gauge and sends your potential earnings back down to zero. So don't get greedy!
Finally, to end this Solar Club Newsletter, we're pleased to announce that we are setting up Playtest #2 starting on October 27. The purpose of the new playtest is to test the game servers, especially for simultaneous connection peaks. Just like with Playtest #1, the playtest will be on PC only and governed by rules of strict confidentiality: sharing and streaming are not allowed and you must sign an NDA to gain access. Members who took part in Playtest #1 can participate in this test as well. If you already registered for Playtest #1, you don't need to re-register; you will automatically be considered a candidate for Playtest #2. New registrations will be accepted from today via the Newsletter registration page on https://testdriveunlimited.com/. For those who are new to the Newsletter, a Playtest registration form will be shared in the coming days before the NDA is sent out to those participants who meet the Playtest access conditions.
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See you next month !