Let's translate the jeuxvideo.com article
Florent Castelnerac is project director at Nadeo. After showing us the next TrackMania, he accepted answering our questions about this new version.
jeuxvideo.com: How would you define TMU in a few words?
Florent Castelnerac: United gathers and fits the needs of everyone. Each player will play at the level of this 'county', share his creations, aso.
jeuxvideo.com: During the presentation you said United needed a huge amount of work. What kind of work was it?
Florent Castelnerac: First at all, United represents the biggest budget for Nadeo and people we're showing it to can't really see this point. That's why we take the time to explain everything we did. Everyone thinks that the graphic card is a really great advantage to make nice games but there's also other things. There is the network card which allows players to be together and we worked at Nadeo a lot with people outside to be able to realize this project. Saying this is for sure less easy-selling than a beautiful trailer but we have made a huge number of efforts as we worked hours and hours very hard to be as convincant as we were in our first days.
jeuxvideo.com: Should United be seen as an add-on or as a full game?
Florent Castelnerac: It's a full game. Once more it's difficult to say it like that because our buyers are not very sensitive to this argument but it's our 2.0 engine, so it's a brand new game.
jeuxvideo.com: As a developper, how do you manage this new beginning? Do you know when there will be other ones? Do you regret beggining earlier and not in 2006, and not using today's tools?
Florent Castelnerac: It's much hard in fact. A games studio has to success in all creation steps. We got our dedicated server last year, aso. We don't regret all the steps that allowed us to progress, but it's sure that today's tools allow doing much more innovant things as before.
jeuxvideo.com: It may also be a question of imagination and of sight...
Florent Castelnerac: I don't think so. You shouldn't stop to the first idea but find the second, the third one... At the end of the time, you get a kind of monsters fight in which only one idea will surpass the other ones. And it's probably our better strength: being in a permanent debate.
jeuxvideo.com: Games remain incredible freedom places. Aren't you afraid of cheating?
Florent Castelnerac: Until now we're lucky as we never discovered cheating in three years, and it's some kind of hard thing when your game is mostly online. Never any cheat has been proved in TM. But it's true that we made a great work making everything we could about preventing any kind of cheat we thought possible. It's a continue fight against cheaters, but cheaters themselves has not begun this fight against us. We still have a few safety fences.
jeuxvideo.com: And could it change with the new coppers system? Can you imagine what could happen?
Florent Castelnerac: You can't cheat on your coppers account. It's persistant and directly managed by the server. The only cheat we can imagine, it's some private stories between friends in order to steal some coppers. We'll wait to see what will happen for a few time before acting against it. TM still requests no subscription. Coppers are a currency "to make like" as Monopoly's banknotes and if you give wrongly the money back while doing the bank, we can't be held for responsible.
jeuxvideo.com: It's OK but for example WoW's money is not "real money". Nevertheless there's a gargantious underground economy that requests centains of account deletions. Don't you find that it makes the game spirit a bit rotten?
Florent Castelnerac: TM differs from WoW by 2 essential points. First of all, there's no subscription, so we can relativize. In TM you don't lose 10 months of subscription if you have a problem with coppers. But WoW is overall based on time: if I spend months and months to make a character grow up and offer him powerful objects, I'll be very angry if someone beats me with a cheat. But TM is also based on the player's qualities and skills: if I break my account down and have a lot of difficulties, I restart from nothing and find my performences back as it only depends on my driver's skill. In TMN, if you're much good, you don't need more than a dizain of hours to reach the worldwide top 1000.
jeuxvideo.com: You can very easily change the music of the maps. It's an open door for the copyright violation, isn't it?
Florent Castelnerac: Yes, but it's everywhere like that. If you put on the net a link to a copyrighted music, the owner can ask you to delete it. For us it's the same thing.
jeuxvideo.com: The game is still very arcade-styled. Could the next TM evolution be about the physics, with cars destroying or mechanical problems? What's your mind on it?
Florent Castelnerac: I don't know if it could ever happen. Anyway, now we don't want this. I know this could be fun. If TM would take more distance from other games, we could make it. Why so? It's because this change could be benefic to people who'd like it. Today, we think that other games, like FlatOut or Burnout, are still doing it and it's important that each one keeps its own personality. But it's not impossible to plan: we could give to our players the network, the P2P, the local ladder and the features of the other games. But I would do it against my purpose because, for me, it would concurrence some other games.
jeuxvideo.com: Thank you, Mr Castelnerac.