During a livestream hosted by Sony Computer Entertainment, Driveclub’s Game Director Paul Rustchynsky explained how Evolution Studios managed to make the game look as good as it does:
We’ve got some of the best coders and artists in the industry, we think, and the secret of their success is their obsessiveness a lot of times. It’s crazy. Our vehicle artists go over the top some times.
We’re making sure that every single rain drop when it hits the floor creates a little splash, everything is reflected and we got radiosity, with lighting that bounces off. It’s just about making sure that every little detail comes together to create a bigger whole. Some of the details you might not notice at first, but the more you play, the more you invest yourself in the game, the more you get to appreciate all these things.
Rustchynsky also mentioned that the paint on all the cars is designed like real paint: it’s not a single texture, but it’s created with multiple layers. Some of the metallic materials have six individual layers and the light permeates through them and scatters to get the right reflective look.
Driveclub’s engine basically simulates the whole game world in real time, and that was one of the goals of building an engine which could do pretty much everyhing, harnessing everything that PlayStation 4 can do. It’s a platform Evolution can build upon to go forward with, and they have big plans for it with Driveclub and what they’re going to do in the future.
Even the UI has been created with extreme precision to get everything perfectly right, Rustchynsky remembers that there have been about ten different prototypes with different styles before finally finding the right one.
All this detail of course requires a lot of work, and the studio had to expand to 120 people over the three years working on Driveclub, while modeling each car takes six man months of dedication.
One thing is for sure: Driveclub is well positioned to be one of the best-looking games yet. Whether the gameplay will hold up to its graphical glitz remains to be seen, but so far so good.