Burnout Paradise Q&A: It's Showtime

What makes the new Burnout such a Paradise? Showtime mode. Producer Nick Channon explains in our Q&A.

Speed is an essential quality in driving games. Without it, you might as well be taking a Sunday drive in the family Yugo. However, with the Burnout series, developer Criterion Games has added another ingredient that has become just as important as eye-bleeding speed: crashes. The Burnout series has set new standards for snarling, metal-bending, explosive crashes over the years, and the upcoming Burnout Paradise is no exception to that rule. In fact, apart from its open-world nature and seamless online experience, Paradise will be aiming to bring crashes to the next level thanks to the new crash-anywhere, -anytime "showtime" mode. For more details on this fun new way of experiencing Burnout, we contacted Nick Channon, producer for the game.

GameSpot: Let's start off with crashes in general. Cars wrecks are spectacular in Paradise, thanks to what looks to be some incredible deformation physics and some excellent camera angles. What did you want to accomplish with wrecks in the game, and how did you go about making it happen?

Nick Channon: Obviously crashes have always played a major part in the Burnout games. As we moved the franchise to these next-gen consoles, we had to make them look amazing. The added power of the consoles allowed us to do way more than we could in the past, and the initial goal was to deform the cars as much as possible. When the cars hit a wall or barrier, we really wanted to show the energy of the crash being pushed through the car. We spent a lot of time previsualising how this would look, and when we were happy with it, we moved what we had learned into the game engine. Obviously deformation is only part of it; with the addition of particle effects, smashing glass, debris, and some incredibly impactful sound effects, the results are pretty amazing and something we're incredibly proud of.

Insane speeds only take you so far. Crashing at insane speeds? That's Burnout Paradise.

GS: Tell us about the creation of showtime mode. How did the decision to make this an "anyplace, anytime" mode come about, and what were the technical obstacles to get this mode to work anywhere in Paradise City?

NC: The goal for Burnout Paradise was to create a completely seamless experience. So we had to carry this over across all aspects of the game, including what we've previously known as "crash" mode. We could have created crash junctions as we have in the past, but this would have broken the dynamic of the whole game. Showtime was created to allow the user to crash anytime, anywhere. This feels truly next-gen to us, as it doesn't give the user any restrictions, and they are able to do what they want when they want. Also, creating a specific number of junctions means that once you have completed them all, that's it. With showtime, every time you play it's different. You determine the route you take and what you try to hit, and you can continue to get better and better.

GS: You can enter showtime mode at any point in the game, even when taking part in a challenge such as road rage or a stunt event. The question is: Why would you want to? Are there any challenge events where doing so would help you complete your goals?

NC: The answer is simple: Why not? Most games prescribe what you do next, and in what order. Burnout Paradise is about complete and utter freedom. You might be in sixth place towards the end of a race, see a bunch of traffic and think, "I haven't beaten the showtime road rule [challenge] in this area, so why don't I do that now?" The choice is yours. Again, in road rage you might be about to get totaled, ending the event, so why not go into showtime? We really believe we shouldn't stop you from being in control of your experience; hence you can go into showtime anytime you like.

GS: How does the game's online options extend to showtime mode?

NC: Showtime online is awesome, it allows up to eight players to compete in the same gameworld at the same time, so you are all competing to create as much damage as you can.

GS: How about a tip on maximizing our showtime score? Beyond keeping the boost meter filled, what other tips can you give us to make the most of showtime mode?

NC: There are a couple of things that will really help you maximize your scores. First, before you go into showtime look for areas of traffic, and start showtime when there's plenty around you. This will get you off to a good start. Second, watch out for the static buses that have been placed around the world when you are in showtime mode. Buses give you multipliers, and we have placed parked ones at the sides of the roads, so if you learn where they are and change your route to find them, you will really rack up the points.

GS: Sounds fun. Thanks for your time, Nick.

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Discussion

77 comments
SyrusKahn
SyrusKahn

i pre-ordered... gonna be so happy when i get it and play it on my hdtv. : )

dcmdream
dcmdream

I love the Burnout series. While playing the demo I found it easy to get lost during a race, but I'm sure with more time with the game I'll get the hang of it. Can't wait!

rijahs
rijahs

Come on Gamespot.. When are we going to get a review on this..? The game is going to get released this week..!!

sallybally
sallybally

This is gonna be an awesome game (main menu> under the hood>walmart)

RiceCake
RiceCake

looks like a great game! A couple things are dissapointing (no reset race option) and I'm worried that showtime will be to easy, but I'm gonna love recking my friend online.

mad_mercenary
mad_mercenary

Lookin uber-imense. Im glad EA havent been there normal lazy self and just released Burnout Revenge with a number 5 tacked on the end. This is shaping up nicely and the online element should add some serious fun to the already great package

43n1m4
43n1m4

My inital impression is that the arcade element of Burnout has been toned down - at the expense of the fun. But I guess I'll buy the game and see if a more prolonged exposure to the game will reveal something new.

agustbestur
agustbestur

Im not gonna buy the demo, im gonna w8 for the real game!!!

krisalid
krisalid

Yes;the demo looks great;the feeling of the game is awesome,this will be a good burnout sequel

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

the demo makes me so excited for this game

DarwinBC
DarwinBC

We'll see how this goes. Was have doubts about not having crash mode in game,but now that I have read this they just might pull it off. Can't wait to see about this one!

xatman911
xatman911

I would hate to live in Burnout Paradise city as a citizen without a monster truck. LOl.

Laxfalcon246
Laxfalcon246

meh.. i think its a breakthrough in that you can actually smash your car.. i've been waiting for Forza or GT to own up to that sense of reality since ps1... I know it sucks if you crash and your car is totaled in a sim race... but it would make it just that much more exciting if you knew there was the possibility of some seriouse carnage if you screw up.. thats one of the reasons real racing is so exciting

jacob-goodlich
jacob-goodlich

i think that this will be the first real next gen driving game( besides motorstorm), i have played basically all car games on ps3 and 360 and i think that this one is a breakthrough.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Showtime sucks... HARD. Where are the explosions?...

saadniazi
saadniazi

this sounds like a VERY bad bad game now x_x

saigondude63
saigondude63

i cant wait to run into a wall at 120 mph!

Space-Q
Space-Q

This is how a franchise should be handled. I like the fact that they change it up with each installment. crash mode in one...traffic checking in one...open world in another. It keeps it from getting stale. Burnout dominator was more about racing. whereas revenge was all about crashing. a nice change.

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

looking forward to this game! enjoyed the demo and it left me wanting more!

Fluffman
Fluffman

they wanted to make the game so realistic and that was a demo not the whole city

JBiker51
JBiker51

The only problems I have with this game is that the enviornment just isn't any fun to drive around in. I drove through the demo, and the whole place felt very dull and boring. What they need to do is take the Burnout series to some insanely unrealilistic places, to match the insane driving.

LOWJ000
LOWJ000

punkdsk8erdude, yes it has been available for XBL Silver members for a while now.

LOWJ000
LOWJ000

brandy1220, clearly thinking EA dropped the ball, u're in the minority. True, Paradise is much more realistic than any other Burnout so far, but it is pretty clear that it's an arcade racer and it has the essence of Burnout games. And for ur information most people who played the Burnout series favored Burnout 3 Takedown and thought Revenge was sort of a let down (Traffic checking made it too easy), so if Criterion wanted to cater only to their fan base, a remake of Takedown would have been more appropriate. But instead of rehashing the same thing (although Great) with a new paint of coat and a few new features (like most EA yearly released sport games namely Madden) they built something New and were bold enough to tinker with a proven formula while retaining the Burnout spirit & fundamentals. And people wonder why we get lazy ports and uninspired, unoriginal sequels and a drought of creative novelties.

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

is this demo available yet for Silver XBL members? Last time i checked it was for gold members only...

brandy1220
brandy1220

This is just another racer, if they called this game Paradise would be more appropriate, Funny how the interviewer did not ask , if they have a lobby for racing or crash competitions, THERE IS NO LOBBY !! I have heard to many times said, we built our game from the ground up, I knew then they changed the whole game and they just want to decieve people in to thinking it is a Burnout type game. Burnout is and arcade game, Paradise is not, I canceled my pre-order and was told I was far from the first. EA here is an idea make Burnout Revenge 2 with downloadable content, if you released more crash junctions and tracks today I would not hesitate to buy for the original, this is just another example of how EA does not care about there fan base. EA I think you dropped the ball on this game!

mortzilla3
mortzilla3

Burnout 1 was my first game I ever bought for my xbox. I played every single one and beat it. Paradise, your up next. This game is gonna be sick!

linkme
linkme

This game is amazing but it would soooo much cooler with a replay thing (what WizengamotX and mitchebaby2 said). I hate it when I pull off a massive stunt and no one believes me, the video recorder would solve that for once and for all.

brandao25
brandao25

Can't wait till january 22......................

WizengamotX
WizengamotX

The demo was pretty good, but I really hope they make the interaction smoother, and the graphics less blurred. What I really dislike is the overuse of bloom, slow-motion, and blur effects in games. Otherwise this should bring driving games in general to a higher level.

LOWJ000
LOWJ000

mitchebaby2 I totally agree about the Replay Mode. But it would've been even sweeter if they had a Save Film mode a la Halo 3 so I can send my friends vids of the carnage that I unleashed on them from the best angle possible. The camera taunt is not a bad idea, but the Save Film and Share would have been incredible.

SrTVBR
SrTVBR

Very beautiful graphics. This game will rock. At least a race game that worth play because the NFS Prostreet, what a deception.

mitchebaby2
mitchebaby2

....... amazing, the demo was awe inspiring and I spent hours on the beach pulling barrel rolls and the ever elusive double barrel roll, plus some awesome close calls (I wish this game ad a replay mode) and mid-air crashes with my buddies. I cannot wait, it will be like Christmas, especially since my HS has an in service day

LOWJ000
LOWJ000

This was a total overhaul in every area of the series (Gameplay - Brand New Fantastic Graphic Engine - Audio - Online features ). Burnout 3 being the most played game in my gaming library it was kind of difficult at first to acclimate myself to the city with no set event routes. I had no clue where I was going the entire first hour. I started at first wishing that those yellow lines that keep u on the track were still there at first and I though that Paradise was going for too much realism and diminished the fun in the process. I secretly hoped that the game areas would be unlockable in portions, because the demo is already plenty big for anybody who hasn't played it yet. Boy was I wrong. Once u get to know where u are going, the fun ratchets up really quickly. The STUNT RUNS are an awesome addition to the game, The RACING is still awesome and incorporates the best from Revenge (Alternate Routes and Big Jumps). I just wish that they had a ROAD RAGE event in the demo and I'd like to sample the SHOWTIME mode. Are they gonna have the gas tankers like in the previous games? It be a shame if u couldn't count on them for ultimate explosions. But otherwise this is soon to be the best gaming experience for me in 08.

TheMach_5
TheMach_5

I played the demo and loved it. The damage was awesome and so was the online. This showtime mode I think just put it into the record books, or added the last piece to the puzzle or something, but anyway it looks like it will be a really good game and I'm definitely getting it.

theKSMM
theKSMM

This does sound really "next gen" and like a lot of fun. But I can't believe that GameStop says that a similar game would be Yaris. What the heck, man?

705H1R0
705H1R0

So, the collisions in crash mode will be pretty much the same as the collisions in any other mode? There's no opportunity to launch your car off the back of a pick-up and create 30-car pile-ups? Lame. Beyond that disappointment, this game still looks amazing and will definitely revive the series for me. To be honest, I couldn't stand Burnout 3, 1 and 2 were much better in my opinion. This one is in an excellent position to top them all.

DuquetteRoxx
DuquetteRoxx

Is it me or is this Showtime mode conspiracy looking very similar to the "x" button in Halo 3? As long as when I hit the Showtime button a completely useless bubble sheild doesn't pop out of my car, I think I just might love this game.

dashizy666
dashizy666

I can't wait for the 22nd. I might even rear end some poor sap off the road in real life just for the hell of it. The only thing keeping me from doing that is the whole possible lawsuit thing. I want this frigging game.

megamega777
megamega777

Burnout has always been a Pardise of moments in my life. If the Burnout seris was a layered cake, this would be the icing and candles on top!

twolegsbad
twolegsbad

If DJ Baditude doesn't finally earn his due Gamespot demerit in this game...I'll...I'll...well I guess I'm still buying the game either way, I just wish that lame-ash would shut up. It about drove me crazy not being able to turn him off in the demo. 2nd best arcade racing series. TDU2 please announce soon!

sancezz
sancezz

I'm REALLY looking forward to this. I payed hte demo a lot, and there i one major design change that makes me happy: Traffic Checking is now almost completely gone! IMO, the addition of traffic checking into Revenge took away a lot of the intensity of Takedown. And that was a killer for me. Sure, Revenge was brilliant, but the lack of intensity and "WOAH" factor of narrowly missing cars was largely gone...glad to see it's back with paradise :D.