WRC 10 Game Director Alain Jarniou on how the series has evolved

WRC 10 Game Director, Alain Jarniou, has run through the new features coming to the next official World Rally Championship game and what fans should expect upon its release.

WRC 10 Game Director Alain Jarniou on how the series has evolved

When WRC 10 launches on 2nd September 2021, it will be the sixth official game of the FIA World Rally Championship created by Kylotonn and also its penultimate title before the licence moves elsewhere.

That hasn’t stopped the Parisien studio innovating, as Alain explains.

“Kylotonn, in association with Nacon, has been working on the franchise since WRC 5. Every new version comes with new features and improvements, especially on the simulation side.

“With all the experience, the feedback from our community and the passion we put in our games, I think we managed to reach a great level of quality in terms of the simulation, and of the overall WRC experience and entertainment.”

 

My impression of the series so far is that WRC 9 was a breakthrough rally sim, finally receiving the car handling that the series deserved. Sure, it had a profusion of features including the stages, cars and teams from the real-life 2020 WRC season, a lengthy career, an online co-driver option and an accessible esports platform – but it was the sensations elicited when using a wheel that turned the game series into a more focussed simulator.

But, in video game development, you can never stop tinkering, tweaking and receiving community requests. Despite making large strides with its last game, Kylotonn is pressing on with further enhancements.

“Simulation is a (truly) complex subject. It’s a set of many small systems that work together and influence each other. Mechanical parts, [such as] turbos and brakes, and physical elements like, obviously, tyres, not just on different ground surfaces, but also air. Those are systems we really improved, and in some cases reworked from scratch, for WRC 10.

 

“Aerodynamics, for instance, have a lot of influence on the cars’ behaviour. It was very important for us to enhance their simulation. A realistic ground effect is one example of the additions this time around. Collisions, suspension, electronics and tyre models also saw lots of enhancements.”

Based upon our hands-on preview earlier this year, the dynamics appeared to be a step forward once again and I found it easier to control with a gamepad than before without taking away any of the feedback – but how these changes work when the final game is complete, we’ll hopefully find out soon.

One new feature that was detailed this week was the livery editor, something that many fans had been requesting.

 

“The Livery Editor is one important addition to the game as players of the WRC series have been expecting it for a while. We designed it to offer them maximum freedom.

“Players will be able to customise historical cars as well as Junior WRC, WRC3, WRC2 and even WRC cars of the current season, which is a great and unique feature.

“The colour and the material of the car can be changed. The player will be able to create a whole livery, using predefined stickers (including official brands logos) or stickers they create from scratch.”

This will now enable you to create your own team within the single-player career mode, adding a dose of fantasy to the occasion, and there’s going to be a significant Historic Mode that charts 50 years of the WRC through the use of classic cars, stages and scenarios.

 

But, after two years of a Covid-19 affected WRC calendar, the biggest hurdle must surely have been to recreate stages for rallies that were new to the championship. After all, unlike circuit racing, some of the in-game stages are well over 20kms in length.

“First of all, we’re lucky we have a fantastic, experienced, development team! To guarantee we wouldn’t lose any time since we had such a short period of time, we made sure to get accurate information from the promoters,” explained the feted game developer, who has previously worked on the V-Rally and Test Drive Unlimited games.

“Also, the game is not limited to those new countries on the 2021 calendar, as it includes all the other events of the 2021 season and also iconic locations of WRC history like Sanremo (Italy) and Acropolis (Greece). It’s a total of 19 different environments available in WRC 10.

“While we don’t plan to add the Arctic Rally Finland to WRC 10, but we’ll add Belgium and Greece with two free updates in the weeks following the release.”

 

The Greek stages will be included from launch as part of the Historic Mode, but the post-release update will also make them available as part of the WRC 2021 content, while the title will ship with new Spanish, Estonian and Croatian stages too.

On paper at least, WRC 10 should be the most feature-rich officially endorsed rally game so far, with an inimitable range of features and a realistic driving experience. That release date can’t come soon enough…

Five quick questions for WRC 10 Game Director Alain Jarniou

What's it like working on the WRC franchise?

Rally is a unique racing genre. It’s one of, if not the, most demanding competitions as it occurs on tarmac, gravel and snow, either in warm or very cold conditions, when it’s raining (or not), in the day or at night. It’s a wonderful challenge to be able to deliver an authentic driving experience in all those extreme conditions.

And the WRC is the most prestigious competition in Rally. It’s great for us to be the ones to work on the franchise and also a big responsibility.

[Thankfully] Kylotonn and Nacon really built great relationships with WRC Promoter and all the car manufacturers in the competition.

Will online clubs be included in WRC 10?

Yes, online clubs will definitely be a feature in WRC 10, with a total rework of the interface. We also added new leaderboards and a “realistic” mode for increased challenge and setup possibilities.

How has developing for the new generation of gaming consoles been for you?

This was a true challenge! We managed to create a first successful implementation on WRC 9, which had some very good feedback from players and the press. Therefore, we wanted WRC 10 to go further to better translate the behaviours of the car. We had lots of ideas for [the PS5’s] DualSense controller, so we had to make some choices to keep it balanced and not pollute feedback.

What's your favourite classic rally car in WRC 10?

Many people would say the Subaru Impreza, which will be in WRC 10 this year. It’s one of the most iconic cars of the WRC over the past 50 years. But my personal preference goes to the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16. Maybe this is because it used to be one of my personal cars (not the WRC version, alas!), or because it’s a French car, or the unforgettable moments spent with it during the sound recordings.

What's your all-time most-revered rally car and special stage?

I love the Alpine A110, the Audi Quattro, the Subaru Impreza WRC, the Peugeot 205 and all the modern cars are breathtaking. Driving in Estonia, Croatia, Greece, new this year, or the iconic Monte Carlo, Kenya, Japan is really pleasurable. But, for personal reasons, my preference is to drive the Citroën Xsara in Sanremo.

shares
comments
Mercedes-AMG Petronas retains Formula Pro Series lead
Previous article

Mercedes-AMG Petronas retains Formula Pro Series lead

Next article

Piastri, Brabham join Supercars Eseries

Piastri, Brabham join Supercars Eseries
Load comments
How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize Prime

How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize

An unlikely partnership between World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateers Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's highly-successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How seriously should Esports be taken? Prime

How seriously should Esports be taken?

As interest in Esports has increased during the coronavirus lockdown, the lines have become blurred between what's real and what's virtual - especially when some high-profile participants seem to be playing for laughs, says Luke Smith

Esports
Jun 10, 2020
Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice Prime

Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

Daniel Abt's suspension by the Audi Formula E team - and possible loss of his drive - for fielding a ringer in an Esports event could be considered an overreaction. But in a wider context, his employers had little other alternative

Esports
May 26, 2020
How Leclerc is embracing his new mission Prime

How Leclerc is embracing his new mission

The emergence of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc as a Twitch streaming star has been one of the pleasant surprises of lockdown so far. He says it is giving fans a greater insight into his nature, but that's not his primary purpose

Formula 1
Apr 23, 2020
Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Prime

Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Prime

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

The lack of real track action so far this year hasn't stop drivers from keeping their racing brains 'fresh', as former F1 star Stoffel Vandoorne suggested last weekend.

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now Prime

Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now

MotoGP's virtual #StayAtHomeGP was a sad reminder of some of the storylines that could be unfolding had the real-life season not been delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic. While we can bemoan Esports as being a poor relation of the real thing, it has an even more important function to perform

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2020
F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Prime

F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020