The weather has been horrible here all week and we’ve all been coming to terms with the fact that the summer is over and we are heading into autumn. It’s not just the seasons that are changing though. This week has been especially tough as we all knew it was @justbiglee’s last week working with us. As a result we’ve decided to flip the Road Book format around a bit.
Lee has been an integral part of our team ever since he joined us on DiRT. From keeping the DiRTy Gossipers guessing, to running huge surveys to find out if the ideas we were thinking about implementing were the kind of thing you guys were interested in. He was an essential part of the prototype phase and gave us the confidence to believe in our convictions.
It was his crazy idea to launch DiRT Rally into Steam Early Access with no warning and while we all knew it was risky we were happy to do it because it just made so much sense. Since launch he has been the one chasing us with all of your ideas and wishes and has been integral to making our first attempt at Early Access run as smoothly as it has.
And its goodbye from Lee
If you haven’t already heard today is my last day at Codemasters, it’s been an emotional three years that’s for sure but its these last 128 days that have been the most amazing.
I’ve had the honour of working with some incredibly talented and passionate people over the last few years, like anywhere we’ve had some lows and really tough challenges to overcome but when it was good it’s been really good.
I’ll be honest running an Early Access game scared the absolute crap out of me, I had no idea what to expect, how to handle it personally, if the company could handle it and I had my reservations… But at the same time it really excited me. You know what? I’d go as far as to say I’ve been spoilt by it. It’s been a Community Managers dream and on the off chance there are any other developers out there (both big and small) reading this, I can’t recommend it enough. I honestly don’t believe there is a better way to make a game.
When we set out to do this I didn’t want to do the traditional “Look at our announcement”, “sorry we can’t talk about that yet”, “here’s some previews”, “have a trailer” before finishing on “and it’s out now”. I wanted to do something different that put me (and the company) outside of my comfort zone, so I hatched this plan to release the game at the same time we announced it. People thought I was mental! But I knew it was the right thing to do, I’d been teasing the DiRT fans for the last two years, from sneaky photos of peoples monitors to the now infamous “4” tweet (I got in so much trouble that day lol). Credit where it is due to the product managers and bosses of Codies (who did think I was mental) but supported me and helped it happen all the same.
Then of course there is the whole of the dev team, this amazing, talented bunch of people really went out of their way to welcome me into the fold. Some of the team worked here on the original Colin McRae Rally games! Then of course there is our illustrious leader Paul Coleman, I’m sure you all know him by now but for those who don’t Paul is DiRT Rally’s Chief Game Designer (and the voice of your in-game co-driver). Paul is the one who takes the feedback I pass on to him and runs with it, he’s changed the way we work as a studio to fit in around your needs. I’ve learnt a great deal about how games are made from Paul and he’s become a great friend… But I won’t continue to blow smoke up his ass for too much longer. DiRT is bigger than any one of us and it took a lot of people to even get it to the start line.
Then you come in. I want to thank you guys, the DiRT community. You’ve helped us build what I honestly believe is one of the best racing games out there and the Steam User Reviews don’t lie. When I say that you’ve helped us build DiRT Rally I can put my hand on my heart and say that is the truth, you’ve pushed us to be better game developers, challenged us when we were wrong, and thought of stuff we hadn’t even considered.
DiRT Rally is already going to be better than we thought it could be and that’s down to you just as much as it is to us. I know DiRT Rally isn’t going to be the biggest selling racing game the world has ever seen, but you know what? I’m damn sure it’s one of the best, I honestly believe that and I know it will haunt the comment sections about other off road racing games for years to come – It already does!
Like the original Colin McRae Rally games its inspired people to become real world rally drivers and its already being used by various organisations to train people to become better rally drivers around the world. That’s DiRT Rally’s legacy and you all played a part in that.
I’m gonna go find a nice spot to spectate now, help these guys get though the last few sectors in one piece will you?
Don’t Cut. Be Brave.
The show must go on
Lee, on behalf of the entire team here at Codies I want to thank you for everything that you have done. You will be hugely missed but we all wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours.
Things will never be the quite the same again but in the same way that you have to keep on pushing to the finish in a rally we are having to do the same in the studio so here is a little bit about what we have been up to in the studio this week.
The team have been hard at work on a patch and we are planning to do some testing with our Community PvP testers over the weekend with a view to releasing it early next week. We’ve managed to get a bunch of extra functionality and fixes in there that you guys have been asking for. These include:
- When setting up an Online Custom Championship there is now an option to make the lobbies closed so only players who were either invited or on your friends list can join.
- Race collisions can now be turned off when creating a custom lobby.
- You can now specify who you would like to communicate with via the Voice Channel option (Everyone, Friends or no one).
- You can set the chat receive volume.
- Voice Chat can now be turned On or Off.
- You now have the option to enable Push to Talk for voice chat.
- Rear view mirror in Rallycross is now correctly placed when using either internal camera.
- Tooltip to repair a puncture now functions correctly.
- Players who jump start when in the staggered grid position can no longer collide with other users so you won’t get pushed into a jump start anymore.
We’ve continued to work on the Finland Update and that is all going well but something we haven’t spoken about yet is Mouse Support. This has been a hot topic on many of the forums and is something that we have struggled to implement on previous titles. We have however looked at how we can get mouse support working in our menus and the results have been promising. In fact, based on what I have seen in the studio we are looking good to get support in for our next big update. It’s another one of those features that we have looked to implement because you guys have asked for it so I’m really looking forward to getting it in your hands.
Screenshot of the week
This one comes from Johnny The Fox.
“Petter, I am you from the future. There’s no time to explain, follow me!”
Video of the week
This week sees one of our fans emulating a move that Petter Solberg pulled off going into the Joker in Hell a couple of weeks back.
— Kristian Berg (@th3kb3rg) August 28, 2015
And here is Petter doing it for real:
— FIA World Rallycross (@FIAWorldRX) August 29, 2015
That’s it for this week, we’ll be back at our usual time next week but for now we are going out to give @justbiglee a proper send off.
Keep it Lit