GameHype had the joys of attending the DiRT Rally 2.0 press event last week, experiencing a true rally drive on mud tracks in Wales at the Phil Price Rally School (who were superb). Despite taking the wheel myself, somehow we survived the ordeal, and during our dirt track shenanigans we caught up with Chief Games Designer Ross Gowing for a good old gossip. So, tea/coffees at hand, feet up, and enjoy the interview.

@JohnBGameHype

Bettsy: Hi Ross, John Betts from GameHype. Could you tell us about Dirt Rally 2.0, and the new features?

Ross: Sure thing, some of the features we’re most excited about is the track degradation. So as you’ll see today, as the tracks are getting quite rutted up back there with the number of cars moving around that’s something we’ve put in the game as well. So if you start the running order and sweep where there’s loose gravel from 15,50 starts getting pretty good running, but at 150 it starts to get high rutted, messy out there and you really do need to take care.
So we also added in tire selection, you can choose between soft, medium and hard compound. On the tarmac rally’s you can choose from a wet compound. We need to start strategically planning how many stages we’ve got before the next service break. We’ve also got historic championship mode. Play through from the 1960s to present day in chapter chunks. Then also the official world rally cross mode, jump right in, any car from the 2018 championship, and play the first 8 rounds. We are really pleased to be working with WRX.

Bettsy: How easy was it to get the teams and sponsors on board with this years game?

´╗┐Ross: We’re really lucky that we have a great relationship with WRX  and in turn, the teams who are very generous with their time and the reference they provide for their vehicles. We’re lucky that we are able to pick up the phone to so many people and find out the things we need to know. Plus the professional drivers we work with, John Armstrong,  Ryan Champion those guys have a pretty hefty phone contact list, so they can usually put us in touch with the people we need to.

BettsyDo the drivers have a heavy influence on the physics of handling in the game?

Ross: They’re kinda key to the process really, the drivers work so closely with our car handling & physics team. (Laughs) They spend days at a time in a secret room and studio trying things, making sure things are behaving exactly how they should be. Once that works done, we then view key points from the community to validate the work we’ve done there. So yeah, real teams, real drivers absolutely key.

Bettsy: How many vehicles and tracks are there?

Ross: We’ve got about 50 vehicles in the game at launch, we then have six rally locations and eight rally cross locations.

Bettsy: (Grinning) Plenty of depth on that front then.

Ross: (Grinning) Yes there is, plenty to sink your teeth into.

Bettsy: Will eSportes be supported in this years game?

Ross: Yeah, eSportes is something we will announce more about post-launch.With John Armstrong being an eSportes world champion we want to give our players the chance to rise to the top.Whether its Rally or Rally Cross, we had great success with the DiRT world championships last year. So thats something we are looking to do again.

Bettsy: Has there been any notable changes to the championship mode?

Ross: We have my team mode where we will give you a starter rally, rallycross car. You are able to playthrough steps, on a ladder of increasing difficulty and once you get to the top, the main challenge is to stay up there. Daily, weekly, & monthly community challenges are part of that as well. If that’s not a mode you want to play, you can play historic championships from the ’60s to the present day, so yeah plenty of ways to play the game.

Bettsy: Is there going to be any future support for the Nintendo Switch, is that something being looked into?

Ross: I don’t have anything to say about that today, but it will be out on  PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the enhanced versions of those consoles, as well as PC.

Bettsy: Will there be DLC and expansion support going forward?

Ross: Yeah, we’ve got plans for the first six months after launch. So we’ll have Dirt seasons, they’ll be 3months in length each. In that time they’ll be three new locations, fan favorites coming back as well as fan favorite cars and new cars as well. Purchase the deluxe edition of the game you’ll get the first 2 seasons included in that.

Bettsy: Ah, that’s great. Finally, what is your favorite moment, part of the game?

Ross: (In deep thinking mode) It’s probably working with so many passionate people around the studio and community. Everyone is so knowledgable and loves Rally so much, it really helps move everything along when everybody is pulling in the same direction to make a great game.

Bettsy: Thank you for your time Ross.

Ross: No worries, pleasure to meet you.

DiRT Rally 2.0 releases February 26th, 2019. Many thanks to Koch Media, Ross Gowing, and Codemasters for putting the event on and providing hospitality. Much appreciated.