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I've been your DiRT community manager for the last two years - Ask Me Anything

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1. After a year or more of adding new content, might the game be re-branded DiRT4 and ported to consoles too?
2. Are the upcoming track packs all based on real-life stages, like the current ones?
3. Will you be able to cause your car terminal damage more easily (or have it as a difficulty slider)? As in Richard Burns Rally you're always aware one slip = broken radiator/end of rally!
4. Will we hear about any other Codemasters games this year, apart from those already announced?
1) I doubt we'd rebrand it, as for consoles like we've said from he start that is up to the fans. If there is a demand then we would be crazy not to do it. as for "4" personally I don't like the idea of a game called DiRT 4 next thing you know we're on DiRT 6 and that's a stupid name for a game. Those kind of things aren't my call though. We're not even thinking that far ahead to be honest. We just want to make DiRT Rally the best game we can for now.

2)yup

3)Dunno, do you think its un-balanced at the moment? Do you really want us to make the game harder!

4) I don't like announcing announcements... Not sure what you're even thinking we have left that we could announce. 

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What are you most looking forward to in the current early access plan? Eg pikes peak all the way up to 'winter wonderland'

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 4) I don't like announcing announcements... Not sure what you're even thinking we have left that we could announce. 
ToCA GRID Autosport Race Driver :-D

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Lee, this is so cool that you're doing an AMA, there should be more of these!

1) What's your best memory or moment from working at Codemasters so far?
2) What are you most proud of from what you've done at Codemasters?

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What are you most looking forward to in the current early access plan? Eg pikes peak all the way up to 'winter wonderland'
I think Rallycross... no there is this one car I love in the next pack... but I did play a very early version of winter wonderland today and it was cool (excuse the pun). I can't pick honest.

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Lee, this is so cool that you're doing an AMA, there should be more of these!

1) What's your best memory or moment from working at Codemasters so far?
2) What are you most proud of from what you've done at Codemasters?
This might get soppy...

1)  So it was the day GRID 2 launched in the UK and there was a bit of a party/BBQ going on at the pub (we have on onsite pub... Because England) and Sam (my old boss), Luke (Former F1 community manager) and Ben (Of GRID fame) we're just sat outside kind of relived it was all over (or just starting depending how you look at it). It was our first game as a team and it had really taken it's toll on us to keep together during the whole run up, but for that afternoon we kind of forgot all of that stuff and just spent a few hours in the sun. There's a photo of us from the day that I keep on my desk that just kind of reminds me of that sense of being in a team.

2) The "oh and it's available now" Tweet for DiRT, when I pitched that I got laughed at people didn't think I was being serious, it was crazy to launch a game like that with no press and preview run up. It kind of goes against everything you expect. Which is exactly why I wanted to do it, it was a very "DiRT" thing to do. I talked a few people around, @KickUp had my back which helped and eventually I won everybody over I needed to. There was still a lot of disagreement on the team in studio, some thought it was crazy, others just couldn't get their head around it but trusted me enough. I knew it was the right thing to do and always tried to lay out my reasons why.

Then we did it and the internet was like "OMGWTF just happened, Codemasters did what? They made what? Holy Sh..." and it was then I knew I'd won. I was always nervous about it ( I was shaking when I pushed the button), to a point the initial success of the game hinged on that single moment so if I was wrong... oh man that would not have gone down well. 

So yeah, that tweet not just for the reasons above but also because it represented all of the, frustration, heartbreak, love and laughter that the DiRT Team had been through over the last few years to get us to that moment.

It was probably the scariest (but most awesome) moment of my life.  

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I know this is kinda of early and is a touchy subject with some, but has there been talk about DLC once released?  Since this is all new territory for everyone there, will DiRT Rally further supported beyond release, with other features, etc.  I know EAx is all about fleshing out what people want, but I don't have a problem paying to support a continued effort for some longevity of the game.  

Also, what is the likelihood of other cars/events not currently planned being added. 

I know these may be loaded questions and unanswerable, but I'm just going to shoot in the dark.

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gfRally said:
I know this is kinda of early and is a touchy subject with some, but has there been talk about DLC once released?  Since this is all new territory for everyone there, will DiRT Rally further supported beyond release, with other features, etc.  I know EAx is all about fleshing out what people want, but I don't have a problem paying to support a continued effort for some longevity of the game.  

Also, what is the likelihood of other cars/events not currently planned being added. 

I know these may be loaded questions and unanswerable, but I'm just going to shoot in the dark.
Not touchy at all :)

Regarding the DLC, this is another of those things decided in part by you guys. There is no plan for it at the moment but the further from now we get the vaguer our plans get. That might sound odd (or some might even want to accuse us of telling porkys) but that is the truth. We've planned it to be that way so we can adapt to what you guys want in the long term.

Beyond release again that is up to you guys, what if we got to the end and people didn't want anymore? What if by the end this was the greatest racing game ever made? What if we carried on and kept adding more and more. What if it lived on forever as a service like WoW and became the last DiRT we ever needed to make and just released expansion packs or "seasons". What if people decide they don't like it and this really is the last DiRT? I don't have any of these answers right now. That's what we need you guys for :)

Cars - looking at the list I like to think we've got pretty much everything most people would ask for. It's not impossible to add new cars it all boils down to the licensing and time really, building it is one thing, us being allowed to use it is another.

Events - if you mean like game modes again this is all possible, just need to know what you want. If you mean events as in Rally America for example that is trickier. Building a stage is by far the biggest task there is to do on DiRT, its the thing that the highest number of people will probably work on over the longest period of time. Adding more stages to Wales would be easier than creating a whole new environment for example. Should the world decide that they want us to carry on supporting DiRT though after early access then that's where this kind of stuff could come in... but we need to know what you want.

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I alreade wrote is somewhere, and I know it is too late to go down this road, but my dream rally sim would be subscribtion based where You have to renew a licence every 12 months. In exchange developers give community a realistic rally platform that is expanded with mods. So- no DLC, but a constant engine improvement by developers. 

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SamRWD said:
I alreade wrote is somewhere, and I know it is too late to go down this road, but my dream rally sim would be subscribtion based where You have to renew a licence every 12 months. In exchange developers give community a realistic rally platform that is expanded with mods. So- no DLC, but a constant engine improvement by developers. 
That's a cool idea. Did you pop it in the suggestion box yet? http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/6034/community-the-dirt-rally-suggestion-box

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Regarding the DLC, this is another of those things decided in part by you guys. There is no plan for it at the moment but the further from now we get the vaguer our plans get. That might sound odd (or some might even want to accuse us of telling porkys) but that is the truth. We've planned it to be that way so we can adapt to what you guys want in the long term.

Beyond release again that is up to you guys, what if we got to the end and people didn't want anymore? What if by the end this was the greatest racing game ever made? What if we carried on and kept adding more and more. What if it lived on forever as a service like WoW and became the last DiRT we ever needed to make and just released expansion packs or "seasons". What if people decide they don't like it and this really is the last DiRT? I don't have any of these answers right now. That's what we need you guys for :)

Cars - looking at the list I like to think we've got pretty much everything most people would ask for. It's not impossible to add new cars it all boils down to the licensing and time really, building it is one thing, us being allowed to use it is another.

Events - if you mean like game modes again this is all possible, just need to know what you want. If you mean events as in Rally America for example that is trickier. Building a stage is by far the biggest task there is to do on DiRT, its the thing that the highest number of people will probably work on over the longest period of time. Adding more stages to Wales would be easier than creating a whole new environment for example. Should the world decide that they want us to carry on supporting DiRT though after early access then that's where this kind of stuff could come in... but we need to know what you want.
Rally America?  never mentioned it :wink: but yeah that does answer my question, I figured that was not an easy task.  At least I know what to expect and I will back of the RA stuff a bit.  Yeah I know all about licensing with auto manufactures from work, its amazing how many lawyers get their hands on that sort of stuff and make it sooooo tricky.

Thanks Lee

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SamRWD said:
I alreade wrote is somewhere, and I know it is too late to go down this road, but my dream rally sim would be subscribtion based where You have to renew a licence every 12 months. In exchange developers give community a realistic rally platform that is expanded with mods. So- no DLC, but a constant engine improvement by developers. 
That's a cool idea. Did you pop it in the suggestion box yet? http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/6034/community-the-dirt-rally-suggestion-box
You know, I absolutely hate subscription software!  But for a game like this, I would not have a problem.  Well talk about this else where.. off topic

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SamRWD said:
I alreade wrote is somewhere, and I know it is too late to go down this road, but my dream rally sim would be subscribtion based where You have to renew a licence every 12 months. In exchange developers give community a realistic rally platform that is expanded with mods. So- no DLC, but a constant engine improvement by developers. 
That's a cool idea. Did you pop it in the suggestion box yet? http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/6034/community-the-dirt-rally-suggestion-box
I will do that. I need to think about it a bit, and tommorow I will try to make a pool.
EDIT: Is there any way to ask specific questions regarding current engine capabilities and possible improvements that could be introduced in the future? What I mean is if I wanted to formulate this idea, I need to know the limits. At least what is definately impossible, etc. I don't know if it is appropate to post such answers publicly, but I NEED to know some stuff before we can consider making it happen. Please help me here. Simple YES/ NO answers to some questions would be enough. For example- let's say Your engine doesn't support a proper car engine modeling (by that I mean- complete simulation including monitoring each component, so it can get damaged and affect car engine performance). We would like that to be introduced later on with future updates. However maybe Your game engine doesn't allow for this kind of complex system to be added- that is something we'd need to know, so we know what DiRT Rally can, and cannot become no matter what. Thanks!
Actually, let's see if community is even willing to accept this kind of deal first. We can work out details later on.

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Cars - looking at the list I like to think we've got pretty much everything most people would ask for. It's not impossible to add new cars it all boils down to the licensing and time really, building it is one thing, us being allowed to use it is another.
WHAT IF you created a thread asking everyone to submit any car they like, noting down every single one, then set up a poll allowing everyone to vote on the their favourites?
Maybe 10 votes each or something so they don't just pick everything and choose their actual favourites. This would let you and the team know exactly which car the community actually want.

Obviously state that its not a guarantee, since you can't get license for everything, but it might help in a theoretical situation where you have a budget for say 1 more car, but 5 to choose from; this lets you know the one to choose :)

Maybe its a silly idea...

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justbiglee said:
 
Cars - looking at the list I like to think we've got pretty much everything most people would ask for. It's not impossible to add new cars it all boils down to the licensing and time really, building it is one thing, us being allowed to use it is another.
Is there any chance to put different names on the cars like RUF (Porsche)? Or it's beyond that?

Can you tell us more about this tweet?
https://twitter.com/justbiglee/status/581604724631302144

And what about the #108?
https://twitter.com/justbiglee/status/585790677734260736

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Is there any chance of a Xsara, a Focus, a 307/206, a Lancer EVO, an i20 or a Polo R? Kinda vague, but I'd love to see at least a Polo R, an i20 and a DS3!

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@justbiglee Will we see Landrush in the future abd ive already mentioned it in the feedback thread :)

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Could you give us an idea how many people worked on DiRT Rally (and its previous incarnations) at various stages of the project?
And how many guys do you have working on it now?
Are any new cars or stages being modelled right now?

Will the orange DiRT Rally notebooks be available for order? :)


How would you describe the overall reaction of the players to the DiRT Rally and what would be your favourite/most trusted source of player 'reviews'? Or would every channel of communcations matter the same?


How did the DiRT team celebrate the launch and the positive reception of DiRT Rally? DiRTy Loves?



I now recall the chat we had in Codies canteen, about how the game would be released. At the time you said that there wouldn't be any TV ads or promotion, the game would just be released. At the time I still assumed you would announce, wait a bit and then release...
What you've done was pretty bold and fresh, but it went down well :) Didn't Beyonce once do something like this with one of her albums?
@justbiglee - you're the Beyonce of the gaming industry! :O

What other marketing/promotion ideas did you have that didn't come to fruition? What was in the previous versions of the DiRT Marketing Master Plan you were presenting to the team?

That's all for now -I'll come back with more once you answer the above :D :P


EDIT: Who do I have to bribe to have my forum display name changed to MastaVonBlasta? :)

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@justbiglee Are you allowed to tell us how many people have brought DiRT rally just so we know if it's going to be a hit with the general public?

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@justbiglee Are you allowed to tell us how many people have brought DiRT rally just so we know if it's going to be a hit with the general public?
*bought

(please don't hate me [would say hit me but not possible over the internet])

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My question: When do I get that 'Wishful Thinking' badge?

Or will the engine evolve over time to support DX12 and add the Safari Rally, with the dust falling into the car through the air vents...

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On a more serious note:

Those cars that were tweeted, the one's on their own with backgrounds 'n' stuff... was that you guys getting excited about the new cars/liveries in the new Rally and Rallycross and other chapionship seasons or are you planning on modelling them and adding them to the game?

Also, will the PvP pack include LAN and Splitscreen multiplayer (I think it's safe to assume it does but a confirmation would still be appreciated) and if so, how many players could play together on splitscreen/LAN?

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Azoresst said:
justbiglee said:
 
Cars - looking at the list I like to think we've got pretty much everything most people would ask for. It's not impossible to add new cars it all boils down to the licensing and time really, building it is one thing, us being allowed to use it is another.
Is there any chance to put different names on the cars like RUF (Porsche)? Or it's beyond that?
RUF is a real manufacturer.

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789ifyz said:
@justbiglee Are you allowed to tell us how many people have brought DiRT rally just so we know if it's going to be a hit with the general public?
*bought

(please don't hate me [would say hit me but not possible over the internet])
I was tossing up between the two but aussies say either one lol

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