Hardcore Gamer recently had the chance to sit down with Robb Rinard, Creative Director at 2XL games. You may recognize 2XL as the developers of the recently released Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. Topics included future DLC, McGrath’s involvement and upcoming releases from the studio.
[Hardcore Gamer] Was XBLA/PSN the intended platform for the game, or was it originally created for a full retail release?
[Robb Rinard] Jeremy McGrath Offroad was designed from the ground up with the intent of shipping it as a digital download XBLA and PSN title. Like most console players, we think most boxed retail games are too expensive to create and too expensive for lots of consumers to enjoy. We set out to create a fun, good looking racing experience at a price point of ten bucks. We feel JMO is a shining example of the future of downloadable titles. It is a very high quality game, but the scope and budget were kept under control.
[HG] Are there any plans for DLC that include additional tracks, modes, or vehicles?
[RR] We have one new DLC pack coming out in a few weeks.
[HG] Did McGrath have any direct influence on any in-game content, or did he simply lend his name and voice talent?
[RR] Jeremy actually comes to Phoenix quite often in the course of tuning his race trucks. There are a lot of wide open spaces in Arizona that are great for offroading. He gets down to the studio as often as he can. We’ve spent countless hours turning laps and tuning the courses and driving model together.
[HG] Was there a reason why your team omitted the grittiness of offroading? I really wanted to get dirty in some of the courses!
[RR] If you played our Baja: Edge of Control game, the vehicles had a really nice damage model. They not only got dirty, they had breakable body panels that worked really nicely. The issue we ran into was that we set a design goal of keeping the game running at 60 fps. Unfortunately our flexible body panel code is fairly expensive computationally and we had to shut it off in order to keep the target frame rate. Racing games in particular really benefit from 60 fps. But that means we get 16.6 milliseconds to update the frame as opposed to 33 ms in a 30 fps game.
[HG] Your team knows how to make a beautiful game. Do you have any plans for other XBLA releases in the works? Anything you’d care to share with HG?
[RR] We have some cool ideas for a flight combat game I’d like to develop.
[HG] What motivated you the most to create an offroading title?
[RR] We’ve been designing the top selling off-road games in the world going back to our time at Rainbow Studios designing Microsoft Motocross Madness and ATV Offroad Fury on the PS2. It’s in our DNA.
[HG] There were a lot of people that enjoyed Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad. What do you have to say to all your hardcore gamer fans out there?
[RR] We have been and will continue to be grateful to everyone that supports us and plays our games. It’s an honor to be able to work in the entertainment industry. With all the pain and suffering in the world today, it’s nice to be able to come home and unplug from all that and disappear into a great driving experience like JMO. We loving entertaining folks and plan to do so for many years to come.