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Interviews

DiRT 3

Design manager Matt Horsman on a dirtier, more European DiRT

Three years. That's how long it has been since DiRT revitalised both the Colin McRae series and rallying itself.

But the series still has room for improvement, and with DiRT 3, Codemasters have the opportunity to squash what they've learned into one fantastic game.

It may be the first not to bear the McRae name, but his spirit lives on. We spoke to Matt Horsman, Design Manager, for the inside line on his new game.

You've made many changes for DiRT 3. How have you gone about finding what the fans want changed?

We have definitely listened: even before DiRT 2 was released, we were noting down comments made in forums, previews and on the door at press events.

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DiRT 2 also had great stat and data mining systems built in, so we could check on what features were the most popular. We also had a series of sessions to explore our ideas and thinking for DiRT 3, with gamers, to make sure that the features and content planned were all given the thumbs up.

Codemasters is English and Colin McRae was Scottish: why does DiRT have such an American feel?

I think DiRT 3 is more continental than American this time around. DiRT 3 has a more aspirational and stylish approach, which gives it a more European vibe.

How much DLC can we expect?

We're still discussing DLC at this time; the focus right now is building the content going in the box.

What makes Gymkhana different from the drift events of, say, Need For Speed?

Gymkhana is revolution in motorsport, just like street dance for dance and Twenty20 for cricket.

Ken Block has created the ultimate platform for drivers to showcase their skills and the awesomeness of the cars they drive.

Gymkhana is causing a lot of buzz within the studio; I think it will bring a breath of fresh air to the racing genre, just like it has in reality.

The cars are stunning, yet most players will never really get to examine them. Would you ever put a car viewer or photo mode into DiRT?

Yes - in fact, DiRT 2 had a car viewer - so we will follow this through in DiRT 3. Who needs photos when you can create videos?

With our YouTube integration, you can post videos of you and your ride at any point during the game.

One of the dev team mentioned making a 9000hp car "just to see", while back on PSone the CMR games featured cheats such as jelly cars and invisibility. What chance is there of unrealistic, just-for-for fun content in the future? (We would like to have a 9000hp car, canyon jumps and minefields!)

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Our party modes within the Compound are the place for some light relief from the pressures of full-on racing.

Eight players can compete in party games, and you can visit the Compound just for kicks with friends and shoot some great videos... we're planning surprises.

Now that you have night racing, will the leader boards be split into day/night best times? It's going to be harder in the dark!

Unfortunately, there's a limit to the number of leaderboards we can include; however, we are having separate leaderboards per car class.

I look forward to seeing who can top the leaderboards in the '60s class - roll on the Minis!

How important a part of DiRT 3 is online play?

Huge - we always put a lot of effort into our online areas of the game to make sure they're accessible for all and are a fair battle ground for people to compete in.

We've made some great improvements in this area, as well as the introduction of split-screen - so you don't have to go online in order to play with other people any more.

Order PSM3 here and have it delivered to your door.

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