Liverpool-based developer Bizarre Creations is still hard at work on its first Dreamcast title, Metropolis, but the company did reveal a few more details about the game in a statement prepared for Milia. Metropolis, a city-based racer that takes the player through real cities, is currently scheduled as a European launch title.
Bizarre's internal producer for Metropolis, Brian, spoke about the game, in a speech prepared for Milia, and where the company is taking the game in terms of pushing the Dreamcast hardware. The hardware's flexibility allows the team to code a physically accurate 3D dynamics system so that cars act like they would in real situations.
"We can take the in-game technology further, from complex and dynamic AI through to realistic and interactive lighting effects. Weather becomes more than just a few sprites pretending to be raindrops or white textures for snow. Special effects become something you can add easily in the game itself, rather than just putting them in the showcase of a technical demo.
"In terms of artwork, when we first told the Artists about the VRAM, they were ecstatic! This is one thing which our previous games had to compromise on - however wonderful your source material, by the time it's a 16x16 square, it's hardly realistic! The artists had been squeezing their carefully prepared textures down to fit into 1MB of RAM - but Dreamcast's 8MB, coupled with its extremely effective compression technique, is wonderful. Photo-realism has become possible!
"Also, as Dreamcast is capable of pushing around millions of polygons, the level of details you can get in the surrounding scenery really becomes apparent. And there's no need for wasteful meshing, as the textures won't distort! In terms of car models, we are building models now as in-game versions which would have been used in the good old days as high-resolution render quality. But these cars are actually racing round real time in game, looking like something that the 'rendered sequence' people would be happy with!"
He also gave a few more details about the game: "Metropolis is a city-based racing game. It's based in real-life cities, with a huge emphasis on realism. The car's dynamics system, as mentioned before, incorporates the specific details of each of the car's handling parameters and specifications. We're including two game modes, to cater for a wide audience. We have included an arcade mode, giving the 'pick up and play' racing fan everything they'd like to see from an arcade game. We also have included a different, more complex mode, for the in-depth players, which we're not going to reveal details about until later - sorry!"