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View Article - Frederic Markus Interview

Frederic Markus Interview
Frederic Markus


The Interview
mm3guy: Hi Frederic Markus! How did you help make Midtown Madness 1 & 2?
Frederic: Hi!
I was in charge of the overall design of the games, race design, vehicle tuning and so on. It was a rather small team at the time so I had to be involved in everything.

mm3guy: As Lead Designer of MM1 & 2, what did you design?
Frederic: As Lead Designer, well you are a lead, so you have to make many decisions about many things daily. You work with the game engine guys, the audio guys, artists, physics programmers and so on. The key is to push to get the features you need to make tests and see if the game is fun and have the right tuning parameters exposed.
City design was really interesting, vehicle tuning with the physics engine was particuliarly challenging. Our physics where ground breaking at the time. AI was also a major pain, you never know if they will be able to finish a race

mm3guy: Were you part of the decision to make the games support user-created content?
Frederic: These were last minute decisions. We did not know at the time that it would explode like this.

mm3guy: What do you think of the user created content that has been made?
Frederic: Just unbelievable. Again we had no idea of how amazing the stuff that is done out there would be. Seems that there are no limits. User generated content is THE big thing now on the web but you guys proved that many years ago

mm3guy: Did you prefer designing Midtown Madness 1 or 2?
Frederic: MM2 was more relaxing that MM1. We knew what we were doing but... part of the MM1 team had gone to another Angel Studios racing game
From a challenge perspective, mm1 was more fun. Design wise, mm2 was more fun.

mm3guy: Due to the game engine similarities between Midnight Club and Midtown Madness 2, the city New York was converted from MC and put into MM2 by fans. What do you think of this feat?
Frederic: It's just insane I mean you need to fight to get something like this going. So I have the most profo(u)nd admiration for people doing this kind of stuff.

mm3guy: When was the last time you played one of the MM games?
Frederic: Not too long ago. Man It still needs one or two tuning passes But it's still impressive.

mm3guy: What do you think of Microsoft's decision not to release Midtown Madness 3 for the PC?
Frederic: Whatever. I think is is a mistake of course.

mm3guy: If you have played it, or just looked at videos and screenshots, what do you think of how Midtown Madness 3 turned out?
Frederic: It was ok but I think it needs more spectacular moments and more insane vehicles both in design and tuning.

mm3guy: Were you disappointed that you couldn't participate in MM3's development?
Frederic: YES.

mm3guy: If you were to make Midtown Madness 4, what would you do to it to make it better that the previous games in the series?
Frederic: I would put 30 AI cars in full traffic. Get something insane going just to see what happens. Being able to break through buildings would be nice, from all directions. More work on multiplayer of course but all this needs to be prototyped.

mm3guy: It is known why a Firetruck and a Cadillac weren't included in MM2's release, but why was the Moon Rover not included?
Frederic: Lacking time, debug time... Tight schedules. Things get cut off for these reasons usually.

mm3guy: When you saw communities sprout for the MM Series like wildfire, what was your reaction?
Frederic: I was really surprised that there would be so much energy put into hacking these games. I mean look at the youtube videos, the websites and so on. It's just phenomenal and I was very proud to have participate in generating this enthousiasm

mm3guy: Before this interview is closed, is there anything else you may want to say?
Frederic: Well, the first MM was incredibly painful to make but in the end it was all worth it. I hope to get to work on another one, one of these days and I would of course involve the MM community in its design. You have become an essential ressource of inspiration


mm3guy: Thank you for participating in this interview, and I hope you continue to have a wonderful career in game development with your company eRelevant!
Frederic: Thanks to you all!

Links
- MobyGames Profile
- eRelevant, Frederic Markus's company
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