Our European correspondent got in touch with Reflections to discuss the development of Driver 2 and its future projects.
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The staff is gone and the computers are off, as the Reflections crew is on holiday after wrapping up the development of Driver 2 for the PlayStation. The last man standing at the head office is Martin Edmondson, managing director at Reflections, who we invited for a chat on Driver 2 and the company's upcoming projects, Stuntman and the next-generation Driver.
GameSpot: What were your thoughts when you sent out the master-CD for Driver 2? How were the last days before deadline?
Martin Edmondson: It's always a bit of a letdown, because it doesn't actually happen like that. You go into Sony submission and can never be sure whether it will pass or not. This usually then becomes a long process of fixing bugs and retesting. The last days of this were extremely stressful for everyone, since we were right up against our production deadline. And you have to bear in mind that for a couple of months previous to the deadline, many people on the team had not had so much as an evening off, let alone a day off. The real party kicks off when you receive Sony's approval.
GS: When you look back at the development of Driver 2, what was the nicest experience and what has been the biggest frustration?
ME: There are lots of them, but one thing that really kept us going was the enthusiasm of the press and people who played the game - particularly considering the type of effort we were making with the enhancements for Driver 2. It would have been easier to just stick some new missions and new cities into our existing engine, but we really wanted to give buyers of Driver 2 their money's worth. The biggest frustration I suppose has been having to spend development time in coming up with methods of squeezing such a huge and complex environment with so many cars into the PlayStation.
GS: Driver 2 is your last project for the PlayStation. Now you can look ahead to Stuntman for PS2 and the next-generation Driver, as alluded to in the epilogue of Driver 2. How is development progressing on those games?
ME: The PlayStation 2 is a very complex machine, so development of Stuntman initially was slower than we hoped, but we are now full speed ahead. We have approached development from the point of view of using the machine's hardware properly rather than just trying to get Stuntman out for launch.
GS: Can you already say something about the next-generation Driver or its story? Will it be PS2-exclusive or do you intend to also support other next-generation consoles in the future?
ME: I'm afraid, we cannot comment on this for obvious reasons.
GS: Stuntman sounds a little like it's based on your Driver concept. In what ways will it be different from Driver? Is it completely different or will there be similarities to Driver?
ME: Stuntman is very different - you are actually a working stuntman paid to perform very specific stunts for a movie. It is only really similar in that you drive cars in city environments in some of the stunts.
GS: Quite some time ago you were working on an adventure game named Steam. What happened to the project?
ME: That was a PC development we had started working on as a technology demo, but the way PC game sales were going, coupled with the huge expense of finishing the engine and building a game around it, led us to concentrate on other things, namely Driver.
GS: Thanks for your time, Martin, and good luck on your future projects.