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Infamous MotorStorm Pre-rendered Video 'Pissed Us Off a Lot,' Admits Lead Designer

The 2005 pre-rendered trailer that revealed Evolution's PlayStation 3 racer MotorStorm "pissed us off a lot" by setting graphical expectations too high, lead designer Nigel Kershaw has admitted. Speaking with 1up, Kershaw and creative director Paul Hollywood revealed that an outside firm, Real Time, created the target render.

In fact, Evolution was unaware of the PlayStation 3's exact specifications until moments before the trailer was shown, leaving the company "trying to do the math in our head [at the conference] and asking, 'Can we really do this stuff?'"


Left, the 2005 target render. Right, an in-game screenshot.

The trailer was shown during Sony's E3 2005 press event, in which publisher Sony officially unveiled the PlayStation 3 and offered several "target render" videos for major titles, such as MotorStorm and Guerrilla's still-unreleased shooter sequel Killzone 2.

A few months later saw a tense confrontation between Evolution and Sony. "We showed [Sony's board] a lot of boxes [in November 2005]," explained Hollywood, referencing the polygonal boxes that represented vehicles in early builds. "Phil Harrison took us to one side and said, 'You guys are the worst in the world.'"

However, neither Hollywood nor Kershaw let those earlier stumbles keep them down. "To go from worst in the world to best-selling [PlayStation 3] game in the world," mused Hollywood.

"[The target render was] not about the visuals. If you go back and look at that movie, it was about the interaction of the vehicles. It was about lots of vehicles racing together," added Kershaw.

"We always do a render," he noted. "Before you do a game, you do a test render that says, 'This is the game we want to make, now let's go make it.' It's just like writing a game design document."

"Everybody makes such a big fucking deal of [not meeting the target render's visuals]," Kershaw concluced. "Who gives a shit? That's how we make games. If people have got a problem with that, tough."

Following a Japanese release in late 2006, MotorStorm hit North America and Europe in early 2007. The Evolution-developed sequel, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, recently arrived, hitting North America in late October and Europe in early November 2008.