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Need for Speed SHIFT Q&A With Jesse Abney
Jesse Abney answers a set of questions suggested by NFSUnlimited.net community

NFSUnlimited.net: We're big fans of visual customization in Need for Speed games. What can we expect from SHIFT? And we want details - vinyl layer limit, number of different vinyls, separate body parts, licensed parts... And will performance of the car be affected by the size of the rear spoiler? Autosculpt?

Jesse: 1,000 vinyl limit.
We have a relationship with over 250 manufacturer and aftermarket companies whose logos we'd like to use in the style of WTCC liveries.
Body kit upgrades can be applied independently leading to downforce boosts and unlocking wing angle/downforce and splitter angle/downforce adjustment options.
Both exterior and interior part upgrades are all licensed from manufacturer and aftermarket designs. In a few cases car artists like Andy Blackmore and Carl Jarrett have created custom kits that increase this inventory, and compliment the visual styling of SHIFT.

NFSUnlimited.net: You mentioned performance tuning will be pretty deep with adjustable gear ratios, aero settings, brake bias, differential. How would you compare the amount of tuning options with previous NFS games (Underground 2 and ProStreet specifically) and with other racing games. Will we get any special tuning features like a dyno and in-race setting adjustments?

Jesse: While there is no Dyno feature, Slightly Mad have created by far the most realistic vehicle tuning options. Their passion for professional racing is bringing a commitment to make SHIFT the most authentic racing game in the Need for Speed series to date.

NFSUnlimited.net: How about performance upgrades? Will we simply level up parts (like in previous NFS games) or will we have a choice of different parts with different performances?

Jesse: Individual parts and performance packages are both options in SHIFT. They are further broken down by area. As noted above, expect this to go pretty deep with respect to the variety of ways parts are unlocked, installed, and tuned. There is a dependency layer at play, meaning some upgrades are reliant upon others. For a simpler approach a Works options is available grouping upgrades in specific areas like brakes, drivetrain, suspension, engine etc.

NFSUnlimited.net: What can we expect from the career - will we be unlocking cars and parts, or will everything be unlocked but limited by the amount of cash we earn? Will we have a My Cars feature for using cars outside of career? Will we have to finish career to be competitive online?

Jesse: Expect a cash economy gating access to purchase upgrades, along with a career unlock system gated by race wins and challenge achievements. SHIFT's career has a number of event based challenges, and reward mechanics at play in each race. This doesn't require a win each time to unlock or earn rewards, allowing a player to progress and upgrade even if they aren't placing first.
On the topic of My Cars and Online this is a pick-up and play feature that's still available in SHIFT. Out of the box there will be a number of cars available to race with. As you progress through Career play, more unlocked items are available to Quick Race and in turn Online.

NFSUnlimited.net: One of the most important features of the game is the carlist. Can you mention approximately how many cars can we expect? With the introduction of the old Nissan Skyline can we expect a special class of oldtimers and the division of other cars into different classes?

Jesse: With DLC and Need for Speed's commitment to post-launch development, we're less limited to manufacturer deals inked in-time to make the box, rather have plans to keep both content and features rolling out as the year continues.
Some classics have been unveiled, mainstays of NFS are present, and some more firsts can be expected. Anticipated some other big surprises as the year continues.
Competition is still based upon a tier system, unless a special event is billed as a manufacturer specific race.

NFSUnlimited.net: How many tracks can we expect? Will there be any really long tracks (20km+) and are they all circuit or can we expect staged tracks too? Any special tracks you can mention?

Jesse: To be announced very soon. We've shown quite a few of them to the press over the past few months. What's great is the number of layouts each track has the potential for – Brands hatch has an F1 and GP layout. Slightly Mad's own track creations in London and Tokyo have a number different layouts. We've talked about Road America, Willow Springs, and Laguna Seca to name a few more.

NFSUnlimited.net: We heard there will be normal circuit racing and drift game modes. Any others that you can name? Any special online modes and how many racers will be able to compete simultaneously online?

Jesse: The target is 16 racers in a full grid both offline and online.
A tenet of Need for Speed is multiple game modes and race types, as well as exclusive Online designs. We're not talking about every game mode planned at this time, but expect more on that in the weeks and months to come.

NFSUnlimited.net: With the graphics looking really stunning, what kind of PCs do we need to run SHIFT?
Jesse: The minimum recommended sku is always edging forward. It's a self fulfilling requirement of Moore's Law. However solid next-gen engines have intrinsic scaling abilities. While performance optimizations are ongoing, I think it'd be a win to run in parity with Undercover's config, at a solid speed and visual level.

Up to date unofficial car list

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muleby United States
Comments posted: 2
Date joined: May 2009
Last active: 4351 days ago
by muleby on 27. May 2009 06:07
i hope it has split screen or so god help them
peterfaj United States
Comments posted: 47
Date joined: October 2006
Last active: 2749 days ago
by peterfaj on 14. July 2009 18:18
I don't like unlocking. In Grid it's a lot better where you just have to get enough money. And I got bored of visual tuning, I like stock cars. The only option I'd like is to switch between the street and the race track versions and to change the color and vinyls. I don't like performance tuning either. I wanna race... with stock cars. I like stock cars. And I think it's silly how you can beat Bugatti's engineers and make the Veyron faster than they could.
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