Vir2l Studios is responsible for the forthcoming Ducati Moto DS, an exciting looking racer for the Nintendo DS. Check out our interview with the President of Vir2L Studios Douglas Frederick as we take a look at what DS racing fans can look forward to.
Diehard Gamefan Interview
Thirteen Questions About…
I interviewed Douglas Frederick from Vir2l Studios about the upcoming Ducati Moto DS.
1. Can you describe Ducati in one word?
Power. Beauty. Passion. Precise. Alive. Mind. Meld. Red.
2. What advantages are there to designing a game around the Ducati name?
The brand is full of cutting edge technology and a beautiful design aesthetic. It’s inspiring to work on a game and try to mirror these qualities. It’s also challenging to bring the Ducati mystique over to a new venue, but game developers like challenges.
3. What are the disadvantages?
As all respectable Ducatis are red, there are a lot of red motorcycles in the game.
4. What would you say this game has to offer to the ducatisti (Ducati fan)?
Ducatisti can work their way through the Ducati models from the Monster to the Desmosedici and sample the best bikes for different tracks. Also, they tear the roads up and hang out the rear in nasty slides without grave physical consequences. If races are won, in-game currency allows for bike upgrades all along the way. Driving all kinds of Ducatis and modifying them are what Ducatisti do, and now they can take this with them and put it in their pocket.
5. How is this game a good introduction to Ducati for those unfamiliar with their bikes and history?
Bear in mind, the essential goal of the dev process is to create a great game. Along the way, we also paint the canvas with the Ducati mystique for those who haven’t experienced it. The game has been designed to appeal to nonriders, riders, and racers of all kinds, which will of course include introducing players to the brand. For newcomers, the game introduces players to both brand and bike models as well as performance attributes that go along with them. Perhaps for some, it might be the impetus to test-ride or purchase a Ducati? I think Ducati would appreciate that.
6. What is your favorite bike included in the game?
The 1098R ranks very high, as does the Hypermotard for pure rear wheel stomping fun. The Hypermotard actually must be used on one of the tracks, because on that track no other Ducati will perform as well.
7. Is there a bike you would have liked to include but did not?
No. We left out the Multistrada (Touring) and Sport Classic (Retro) models, and focused on the bikes with the modern aesthetic and upper performance characteristics that get up and go. We included Monsters so as to allow players to build up skills and grow with the performance levels.
8. How difficult is it to develop a racing game for the DS?
As with any game, you build the game to suit the strengths and weaknesses of the platforms. To this end, our challenge was to make a beautiful racing game with as much definition as the platform would allow.
9. With the emphasis on arcade racing, are there any games that inspired the team?
The greatest precedents for the dev team were the Ducati Extreme mobile games from which the DS game design has evolved. The mobile games set the benchmark in several regards. This included ease of use of controls (within the limitations of a handset), variety of tracks and graphics, incorporating road races instead of racetracks, and a tiered bike performance system on mobile.
10. Did you get to test any Ducatis in the process of making the game?
Yes, I’ve ridden every Ducati model available. There are some things you can’t get enough of. Admittedly, my view is fairly extreme: everyone should have a dozen Ducati’s in their garage.
11. What inspired you to include a stunt mode?
It’s hard to imagine owning some Ducatis without getting a front or rear wheel in the air, or spinning up tires under the right occasions. Once you’ve figured it out, could you really own a Hypermotard and resist a wheelie? Or could you run a 1098 to the end of the front straight and not lift the rear?
12. What percentage of the design team ride?
13. When a choice between ease of play and realism comes up, which side is harder to satisfy?
This is a good question, specifically with respect to game or bike controls. One of the contributors to the success of the mobile Ducati Extreme was due to the controls being easy to master. Clearly a motorcycle game has to be made to appeal to a broad audience, so a lot of controls are left out (e.g. rear brake or front brake application, clutch, etc.). Controls in Ducati Moto were made to be quickly grasped by players, so some aspects of riding are necessarily simplified. Our goal was to provide a fun, simulated bar-hanging, and sliding motorcycle experience that was accessible to many.
Keep an eye out for Ducati Moto (DS) when it hits in July.