The simulation racing game Project Cars 2 and the hit TV show Mad Men. What do they have in common? Nothing thematically, really, but they both have a similar ambition when it comes to depth, according to Rod Chong, the COO of Project Cars 2 developer Slightly Mad Studios.
Speaking to GameSpot, Chong said Project Cars 2’s ambition to be a true racing simulator–a game so deep that pro drivers could use it as a training tool–matches up with the depth that TV shows like Mad Men are offering to viewers.
“I look at Mad Men. You look at where television has gone–the desire for depth in TV programming, that wasn’t there 15 years ago. We’re in this golden era of television where people are looking for more depth,” Chong explained.
Project Cars 2 won’t be a “fast food” racing game, Chong said. Its realistic nature might take some time to get used to–you might have to work to learn the controls. But if you commit to it, Slightly Mad believes you’re in for a racing experience like no other available today.
“We believe that by putting that sense of depth into the game, it’s something which is the opposite of ‘fast food’ racing where you just jump in; you don’t have to learn the course; you don’t have to think,” Chong said. “When you notice you’re in a corner, you hit the brakes, not before. You just bounce off a all and keep going; there’s no consequence to anything.”
“That’s why we say we want people to enter the mindset of a racing driver. You do have to think. You have to use your brain a little bit. You don’t have to set the car up, you don’t have to learn all the detailed complexities of racecraft if you don’t want to, but you have to challenge yourself a little bit.”
Going back to Mad Men, Chong said Mad Men’s storytelling can at time be “challenging,” but the show is rewarding in the end if you stick with it.
“That’s our philosophy [with the Project Cars franchise],” Chong said. “It seemed to work for the first [Project Cars]. If you look at how uncompromised the first game was, still, all these people took it. Our aim is to build upon that.”
As part of this same interview, Chong told us about how Slightly Mad is cranking up Project Cars 2’s graphics to 11, adding that it’s “60 FPS or death.” We’ll have more from our interview with Chong in the days ahead.
In other news, Slightly Mad recently talked about how the Xbox One X version of Project Cars 2 will look “significantly better” than the PS4 Pro edition. While Microsoft’s new console is impressively powerful, it can’t stand up to the rig you could create on PC. But outside of a high-end PC, the best-looking version of Project Cars 2 will be on Xbox One X, Slightly Mad game director Stephen Vijoen said.