Editorial : Sand in my teeth

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dirt3

By Charlie Fripp

With the DiRT franchise being one of my favourite racing and rally games ever and the third title in the series to be released soon, it recently sparked a debate, or more a planning session, between myself and friend. Anybody who knows me will know that I love rally and in particular, the Dakar.

That got us thinking – why hasn’t anybody ever decided to make a full-fledged Dakar game? Licence agreements and copyright aside, I think that it will make for a brilliant game. Many of the DiRT fans will surely buy the game, and if you are a DiRT player, then surely you know what the Dakar is.All that developers need to do is contact us for the master plan, as we have already laid out what exactly we would like to see in the game. We will be more than willing to help them – for a small fee of course.

See, the Dakar is raced through different stages on a number of days. If it takes you three hours in real-life to complete one stage, it will take you three in-game hours to do the same thing. The graphics will be similar to DiRT’s, as there is nothing wrong with its visual aspect. Sure, it could be improved on, but for the purpose of explanation and mental imagery, I think it will do just fine as a point of reference.

The Dakar is also a slightly complicated affair of sorts, as there are primarily three different classes of motor vehicles – namely dirt bikes, cars and then my personal favourite, the trucks. And with the nature of the beast that it is, accidents will happen and cars will break down.

This is where the real fun will come in, and where it will also draw on the real workings of the Dakar (well sort of). The plan is for players to either race the respective stages on their own, or in a team. When racing in a team, the spectrum of vehicles will be open for selection, but if two bikes take to the road and one breaks down, you’ll be stuck.

But, if one player takes a car or a bike, while the other takes a support truck, it becomes a whole different story. When the bike breaks down, the player will have to wait for the support truck to arrive – in real time. If he barrelled down the salt flats and breaks down 200km ahead of the truck, he will have to wait 2 hours before the truck arrives. Then there will be a short quick-time sequence to simulate the repairs, and the group will be off.

It might sound like a really tough idea to pull off, especially if you have to wait in real-time for someone to arrive – but consider the fact that the entire Dakar is driven in about a month, so it shouldn’t take you longer than that to complete the game. That is not a bad deal for a racing game by any standard, as they tend to be rather short these days.

I have obviously worked out only the general idea of how the game would work, but I’m open to any ideas that would further my dream of a Dakar game. I think it’s a really good idea at that, and I truly hope that someone would one day pick up the thought.

But for now, the the only sand that I’m going to get in my teeth is the digital dust kicked up by DiRT 3.

Last Updated: March 29, 2011

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