Interview with Oskar Burman, Main Programmer of Ignition
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||What was your objective when you started working on Ignition?|
Ignition was created to fill a hole we found in the car-racing genre.
We felt that there was no racing game that had extreme action and being
fun. At most cars tumbled around a bit and we wanted to make a game that
had so much more, like explosions, obstacles like falling rocks and
||When you look at the final product, do you feel as if you have
succeeded? Are there any other elements you would have liked to
implement in the game but couldn't because of time constraints?|
As always when you have completed a game you have lots of ideas that
had to be removed due to deadlines and a concerned president of
publishing, we had a few more game modes to be in the game and a
few more tracks was originally planned, but we're happy and proud
of the final game!
||I understand that there were only three people involved in the
project. What were the advantages and/or disadvantages of working
with such a limited developing team?|
First of all: It's correct that we were only three people in the
core, working full-time on the project. But we had one other guy
making the whole menu system and the AI for the computer controlled
cars. And of course we had the LISA team which made the 3D engine,
the sound system, and the network basics of the game. So in fact we
were a lot more than three people! A total of 15 people has been
involved, everything from the core team to the production assistant.
Advantages of being a small amount of people:
Of course the communication, the fewer people you have
in a project the lesser time you have to spend trying to get a
shared mental picture of the game. The fewer programmers you've got,
the easier the bug hunts gets, you know that the bug is in your code
and you cannot send it to some other person, which is sending it to
another and so on...
More overtime work and more individual responsibility!
||What is exactly the LISA engine?|
The LISA engine is the system that we base all our games upon. It includes
for example the 3D engine, the 2D engine and the sound system.
||How different is the LISA engine from another 3D engine, such as for
example the one used in Quake?|
The LISA 3D engine and the Quake engine are quite different since they both
are geared towards two very different purposes. The Quake engine
is more of an all-round engine, while the LISA engine is more geared towards
handling a few specific tasks as good and swift as possible. It is a bit like
comparing a Ferrari to a Rolls Royce, they're both good cars but for different
||When you started the development of Ignition, 3D accelerator cards
were not available on the general market. Today, a 3D game that
doesn't feature Direct 3D or a popular API is most likely to be
snobbed by owners of such 3D cards. How is Ignition positioned in
this market? Will it feature generic Direct 3D support or do you
plan to support a specific rang of 3D accelerators?|
Ignition is a extremely fast game even without a 3D accelerator,
while a lot of games today requires a 3D accelerator (if you want
decent speed), Ignition runs smooth even in 640X480 on a P133. But
of course the game would be even better with 3D-accelerator support,
and that's why we will do a 3Dfx patch to the game that'll be released
later this fall.
||What were the technical difficulties you encountered while
We had definitely most problems to get the network part of the
game together since the network in the game was added
pretty late in the project (after half the project time).
Otherwise we had no major problems except that we enjoyed playing
Ignition all the time :-)
||In your opinion, what are the features of Ignition that make the
game stand out among the competition?|
The view we've chose in the game (top-down view) really shows off the
gorgeous view's that our graphics artists has created with a full and
solid landscape to race around with no pop up in the distance.
And also, as I said earlier, the action, the narrow bridges, the steeps,
the shortcuts and the speed of the game (especially when playing in pro
||Will Ignition feature hidden tracks and vehicles?|
We won't answer that question! Play the game and see yourself!
||Ignition features over 10 very different vehicles ranging from police
cars to school bus. How realistic are the physics and how many polygons did
you use for the vehicles?|
The different cars has their own acceleration, top speed and so on but they
also differ in weight, so it is much easier to ram people with the school bus
or the truck than with the jeep or police car. We used around 150 polygons
to each car including the wheels.
||How fast is Ignition? What will the system requirements be for
the game considering you can play with a resolution of up to 800
The minimum req. is a P90 with 16Mb memory, but in that case we only
recommend 320X200. But with a P133 with a good graphics card 640X480
is no problem. To run in 800X600 a P166 or above is most suitable.
||Ignition exists in two versions: DOS and Windows 95. Was this
Well, DOS maybe seems unnecessary but there still are a few DOS
users out there and as we already had the DOS drivers working
in LISA it was no major work to make the game a DOS game also.
||Do you think you will re-use the LISA engine for another game
in the future? If yes, do you already have a new project in mind?|
Ignition is the second game using the LISA engine and for our new
projects a new engine is almost finished, using the fast routines
from LISA with a lot of new improved ones.
||If there would be just one word to describe Ignition, what
would that be?|
You might have heard this one before, but in this case it's
true, the word is GAMEPLAY!
Click here for screenshots.
Click here to download the demo.
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