Joe met with Antonio Moro, Creative Director for Italian company Vae Victis, developers of Victory for PC. Our belief was that this was a MMO racing sim using the NetKar Pro engine. It turns out that this information is a bit inaccurate, but Joe extensive discussion with the devs got all of the details.
Antonio explained to us that Victory is intended to be a halfway point between a casual racing game and a high-fidelity racing sim. The storyline is set in the 60s — the 2060s. The Aztec-predicted cataclysmic event of 2012 has occurred, resulting in a loss of most information contained in 100 years of technological history. Motorsports in this world takes the form of 1960s Formula 1, with treaded tires, cigar-shaped chassis, and exposed rear engines. However, certain elements of retained technology make these cars look slightly different than they actually looked 45 years ago.
The game’s physics are not based on NetKar Pro as previously reported. Instead, the same developer who coded the NetKar Pro physics coded the physics for Victory. We were told that not all of the detailed items in NetKar Pro would be seen in Victory, but that good physics were an important gameplay feature. At the same time, Antonio also told us that the product has been designed so that it can be driven with a keyboard. We asked about wheel support and driving aids; wheels will be supported (although to what extent is unknown) and driving aids can be enabled or disabled on a per-aid basis, as is the practice in most racing sims used by SimHQ members.
Vae Victis did not have a working game demo available that would have let us actually drive anything. What they did show us, in detail, was the module used to customize a player’s car. You can change almost anything you would like: car shape, color, placement of decals and paint jobs, different shapes, etc. Joe felt that although most “paint shops” found in racing titles are rather worthless, this concept was actually very interesting and functional. It’s possible to make a car that is entirely unique to an individual, and the system is very versatile.
When you “buy” your newly-liveried car, the paint job is stored as a set of shapes, colors, and locations. When connecting to a multiplayer race, other clients are able to see you exact livery because of the way the system is designed. Antonio explained that Victory includes a system that minimizes client join lag, the short pause that multiplayer clients can get when a new client joins the server. He said that at first the untextured car is displayed, then 256×256 textures are loaded, then 512×512, then finally 1024×1024. Hopefully this system will work as advertised.
Victory is a multiplayer-only title. Typical servers can host up to twelve clients, with the experience being best with four to six clients. We were told that up to 16 clients were possible on a dedicated server. The collisions are modeled so that wheel-to-wheel contact has an effect correct for open-wheel cars.
Victory certainly appears to be an interesting concept, and it’s unfortunate that Vae Victis did not have anything for us to drive. SimHQ hopes to review the title. Intended release is Q1 2010.