Wipeout Fusion FAQ
Will the up and down steering keys still be in?
Yes, they are in - the ships handle similar to Wipeout 3/SE, although you can tell that the ships have different weights now... A Tigron can smack the hell out of a Piranha with a sideways barge and, in fact, using the weight advantage is one of Tigron’s tactics.
When is it coming to the US?!?
Not yet known.
Is it a high priority for promotion or do Psygnosis reckon the audience the original W’O’’ got has moved on?
The original clubbing culture has moved on from 1996 and so has the audience, so Wipeout Fusion isn’t aimed at that particular group any more.
Is it being released only for PS2 or are there any plans for it to arrive on other formats?
It will be PS2 only - Sony wont be making games for Gamecube or X-Box.
Will there be a soundtrack cd released
It is a possibility - something that is being looked into, however, due to the artists/labels etc involved it could prove tricky to get all the necessary licences to fall into place.
Who the other companies that pitched for the design job
I wasn’t told exact names, but of the three companies who chose to pitch it was hard to chose between them - they were all very enthusiastic and produced great things. Good Technology have actually produced a load of additional stuff that looked fantastic, but couldn’t be applied consistantly to some of the in-game screens, such as the audio settings screen and other screens with a bit more clutter. GT’s strength in web design has shown with the website, though - that particular work is totally stand-out compared to even some decent game web sites I’ve seen over the years.
There was a feeling, regarding DR, that folk assumed the Designers Republic actually designed the ships, tracks and everything else for the game, which wasn’t accurate. Therefor the decision to move on was not a difficult one on the part of the studio. I was told many things, both on and off the record about the Designers Republic situation, and since I cant really remember which parts are confidential I wont say any more about it, except that I’m satisfied I know the real reasons behind the decision now and I wont be arguing with anybody about it.
More about the menus...
The menu screens aren’t as designed for design’s sake as those found in Wipeout 3 - they’re more angled towards functionality and getting the user to their destination with the minimum of fuss.
Personally I got right into the game no problem at all - never got lost and it was obvious which elements were immediately accessible and what was locked. One thing that did bother me was a klaxon sound that happens when an option is highlighted. This done my head in very quickly indeed, especially if I was selecting a track that was more than three tracks round the track selection dial - the klaxon was giving it "whaaaaamp! whaaaaaamp! whaaaaaaamp!" every time you move through a track. I was also a bit puzzled by the final track selection screen... those that weren’t selected seemed clearer to me than the one that was... however, due to only two hours of play, I didn’t really get the chance to get too comfortable with the interface.
Any "hidden" stuff?
If I told you it wouldn’t be hidden!
Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in there for people who want to search it out.
Please could you ask if there are any plans for online racing
No - Wipeout Fusion is too fast to rely on a Modem. It would only be possible when broadband is a reality and that is still some way off.
...whether the first/subsequent versions will be DVD-spec and feature Pro-Logic or, preferrably, Dolby Digital encoding?
The game features Dolby prologic II - 5.2 surround sound, the .2 meaning stereo rear speakers. Some parts feature Dolby 5.1 although you’d need better ears than mine to tell the difference.
What involvement if any will the characters will be having in the game? Will there be some story happening acted by the AI in the race? Or will the characters just have enough back story just like the first game had.
There isn’t a linear story line as such, however the characters will fly in a nature fitting their personality/craft. There’s one pilot that virtually all the other pilots have a grudge against, so they are more likely to attack him than others.
If you nail someone at the start of the race they are more likely to seek you out and even the score later on in the race or the league. Basically you could make yourself notoriously hated if you wanted to!
Have they prepared to pitch this game full on like WipEout and XL/2097?
The marketing campaign will be "full on" and will revolve around the web site which is totally awesome and features pilot bio’s, chronology and track fly-through’s.
We never really knew if either turbo boost or hyperthrust (or both) was going to be set in fusion. Turbo boost will be a power up - you wont be able to drain from the shield energy as in Wipeout 3.
Will there be a link-cable mode?
Will different times of day be available on each track?
The time of day wont change, but different tracks are set at different times of day, such as at night or with a setting sun.
What kind of weather effects will we see?
Rain, snow, dust as well as the other particle effects caused by explosions. I can tell you that the pit lane effect is simply fantastic!
Will "Zone Mode" have any specially designed tracks made purely to attain insane speeds?
Yes, although I didn’t actually play more than one track in Zone mode and only reached a pitiful 17 on my second attempt.
Will we see any more real-world endorsements or ads, like for Red Bull?
Yes, Kappa will feature on billboards and hoardings, as well as team logos. The team animations shown in game are actually movies streamed directly from disk as the game is playing - quite a cool effect!
What kind of announcer’s voice is there?
There is a female voice for the weapon notification, as well as a male voice for starting the race and "contender eliminated."
Will the announcer announce player’s weapons, or rival’s?
As far as I could tell it warned you what was coming.
Will it support that new PS2 steering wheel that has legit force feedback?
No, it’s not a car driving game! It does support the NegCon, though.
What do load times look like?
Very quick indeed - for the amount that is going on you’re hardly waiting at all from the pilot/ship/track selection until you’re on the grid.
True 16:9 widescreen correction?
Yes - anamorphic, I believe.
Timetrial ghost options?
It’s a sort of translucent "glass" effect - I didn’t see it, but apparently it leaves trails and looks very cool.
What kind of apparel can we expect to see from Kappa, and when?
T-shirts, hoodies, caps - all the usual stuff will be on sale through the website.
4 players on 1 tv?
No, just two.
Will we b able 2 change view when viewing the replay (I’d love 2 c the hole race fr cockpit view even if I race fr the outside - as I can do in toca world) or the same st*pid offtrack ’camera’?
There was no option to replay a race in the version I played. Apparently there was a bug of some nature where the AI ships would crash into the walls instead of following their original route. I wasn’t told whether this would be fixed for launch.
Will they put bonuses on the DVD?
You get more than 20 music tracks and a fantastic game - that’s your bonus!
Will there be a 50/60 Hz switch option?
Will there be a inside-cockpit view?
There was, but it was taken out - it’s not a popular option anyway, compared to nose and behind views.
Are the computer opponents fully armed, or do they have a limited number of weapons available?
They are fully armed - I had my ass quaked off in the league game I played, and there are team specific weapons that you can only use if you’re on that team.
How do the craft now sound as they fly past the camera?
They didn’t, as there was no replay, but I can tell you that the engines make a sort of whiny/howly sound that changes in pitch with your speed... if you hit something (like the rocks I hit a lot in the Nevada based track) then the engine sound dies back down with your speed.
What has been the main influence to create another WipEout?
It was a logical progression - Wipeout goes hand in hand with PlayStation, so people just assumed that there would be a next generation Wipeout to go along with the console.
On reflection, is the up-side-down flying thing right or wrong?
It is right - it looks extra cool and the way that the screen flips is a total mind job. I am sold on the idea now - you can choose to avoid the flip pads if you want and stick to the deck, but it is pretty cool to overtake a bunch of dudes on the ceiling which then becomes the ground... if you know what I mean.
Either way it is cool and does add another tactical dimension to the game. It’s most apparent on the Moon based track - a good proportion of the lap can be done either on the upper track or on the ground if you prefer... it looks pretty wicked to loop off in one direction and see other ships take off in the other direction in the track above, only to meet up again later on. As an aside, the moon track features a drop that is just so chuck worthy... I had vertigo the first time I went down it! Needs to be seen to be believed, it’s a true stomach lurcher and will have you moving in your chair.
When is the official site launching?
I wasn’t told, but it is just about finished and looks very, very good. It takes the guise of the official website of the F9000 Racing Federation and mentions the officially licensed game - i.e. Wipeout Fusion. The whole site is done in Flash and helps to flesh out the world of Wipeout - bringing extra depth.
Believe me, when the official site is launched you will have absolutely no need to visit this place - there is a forum, a place to enter your time codes for a ranking and it’s far better than anything I could come up with!
Will wipeoutzone be getting any props in the credits?
Yes. From what I can remember of the credits it says "Special thanks to infoxicated and all the pilots at www.wipeoutzone.com"
A possible WipEout Fusion 2?
As expected they have to wait and see how this version does first. They wont just make a sequel for the sake of making a sequel - like to polish up the graphics in a couple of years or whatever. If they have a good idea that would bring something more to the world of Wipeout then another game will be made, however, the original game wasn’t made because the development team stuck to what was tried and tested. It was something new and has created a genre in its own right - this is why other developers might try and do a game similar, but the second they have anti-gravity ships racing around tight tracks it’s obvious it’s Wipeout. Virtually everyone who created the original has moved on and over time there will obviously be new people that come to the studio. Should a new member or an existing member come up with an idea that adds to the world of wipeout then maybe they can think about a new game.
Everyone in that studio breathes Wipeout Fusion - there were team banners, pilots and ship schematic’s placed on every square inch of wall space, not only of Fusion but of Wipeout 3, 2097 and the original. This is not just a piece of software to the Fusion Team - it’s a world that they’ve created and they’re taking great care of it. Touches such as bringing in the original character artist to do the work for Fusion and the fact that there was a 2097 disk sitting on the desk in the room where I was playing Fusion, show that they’re paying very close attention to the storyline and the chronology of the sport of AG racing. For the team profiles, pilot bio’s and scene setting they have used the same copy-writer that produced the text for all of the other games in order to keep the world of Wipeout consistant. (the Piranha chineese/brazilian thing is an embarrassing exception that the guys weren’t to keen to be reminded of!)
What game are the planing on working on next!?
F1 2002 is the next project for the studio, however a well deserved holiday is a high priority too. The day before I visited, the team had to meet an important milestone and had been working like dogs. The general vibe I got is that they are proud of what they’ve done with Wipeout Fusion, having learned new ways of programming for the PS2 along the way. Now it’s so near the finish line that they’re just eager to get the game out into the hands of the fans.