Hydro Thunder Hurricane Interview

My name is Matt Small. I'm the Creative Director, which meant I designed all the levels and art directed the game, as well as building some of the environments and boats.  GamerTag is Smaul.

It actually didn't affect us too much during development.  One good thing was that we were staffing up right when a bunch of talented people we knew were let go from their jobs, so we were able to offer them positions on our project.

Sorry I can't discuss sales specifically.  But we've been pretty happy with the reviews and the sales overall.

I wish!  I've played it in the arcades, but we're not so fortunate to have a cabinet here at the office.  We did most of our HT playing on the DreamCast.

We love the idea of Kinect and are excited to do something with it on our next game.  No plans to update Hurricane for Kinect though -- I think Kinect will work best with games that utilize broad gestures, like swinging your arms or moving your whole body.  Hurricane requires really precise controls, and I think it plays best off a controller or a wheel.

We had a lot of creative freedom.  We chose to stick to what made the original game truly awesome, like the boost mechanic and the crazy environments, but we also wanted to add some new elements to the game.  We spent a lot of time on the water physics, making it feel much more realistic and interactive than in the original game.  We also added the drafting mechanic, and of course spent a lot of time tuning the online multiplayer to make it super lag-free.

We needed to remake all the environments from scratch because the 360 is just so much more powerful than the hardware Midway had back in the day.  And since we were remaking them anyway, we decided to built all new tracks, with new layouts and shortcuts.  The boats we decided to keep from the original, because fans all have their favorites -- Rad Hazard, or Tidal Blade or Damn the Torpedoes -- but of course we redesigned them and added all new animations and effects.

I would love to take a crack at Rush 2049.  I loved that game.  But we're not planning on working on it right now.  We really enjoy that style of epic arcade racing game though, and my hope is that we'll be able to bring more of these types of games to consoles, whether they're sequels or original titles.

Recording voice for the game was really fun.  Most of the voice was done by our sound engineer, Robb Mills -- he did all the copilot voices in Hurricane, and did an amazing job.  We had a script for him, but he did a lot of ad-libbing too.  When he recorded the reaction lines (stuff like "Holy COW!" or "This is crazy!"), he ad-libbed this one that was just a crazy Tourette syndrome litany of curses, "Holy F*$*%) JES*#! CH#(*# SHI$(*# MOTH#R$*#)#)G!!" and stuck it in the game to surprise us.  The first time we heard it in the game we were rolling on the floor laughing.  Unfortunately we had to take it out to get our E-rating :-P

We are working on it now.  I can't give away any specifics yet, but expect more tracks and more boats!

It depends on a lot of things -- Microsoft, Midway/Warner, other plans of our own.... hopefully it all comes together though because we'd love to!  We already have plans for things we'd like to add for a sequel, and I believe we could expand on this game and make it even better.

review of Hydro Thunder Hurricane