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Articles Home » Pro Cycling Manager 2014 » First Interview on PCM 2014
First Interview on PCM 2014

It is that time of year again, with approximately 3 months until the new game is released, and this year PCM.daily have been given the first interview about the game!

The interview is with Clément Pinget, and reveals the first real bits of information about what we can expect in Pro Cycling Manager 2014. The full interview is below.

What did you get right in PCM 2013, and what didn’t end up as well as hoped?

 

I think that the gameplay improved well.

Even if the new fitness system was hard to develop, we finally arrived at something much better than the old mechanic (training fitness , race fitness) and the freshness is for instance very interesting. It is also something we still want to improve in the future without re-doing it from scratch.

The production of the 3D assets and new technology (to put them on the landscape) was really going good. We found a new way to put buildings more easily around the road and create a feeling of cute little towns. This was both good for PCM2013 but also for the future. Sure we would like to produce more variety all the time but we have a solid pipeline of production for those assets and the high quality means that we can use them for several years (and little by little add more variety, rather than re-doing them again and again).

Maybe one of the negative things was the cut of the race bonuses from the finances. More than half of the time when somebody talked to me about PCM13 his first feedback or question is about that (from hardcore to casual players). We wanted to be more realistic, because in reality the cyclist gets the bonus and not the entire team. But at the end there was a frustration from a lot of players.

We were not fully satisfied by the loading times (when you play 3D race). So we decided to fix it straight away for the first update right after the game’s release.

But be sure that we’re always listening to the players, and any feedback is appreciated and allows us to progress and to propose every year a better version.

PCM14 – what’s your main focus this year?

Career features and game’s accessibility are the two main focus this year.

About the game’s accessibility(ergonomy, tutorials) it’s for both new players and hardcore players. We have two level of tutorials, one for the total beginners and one for advanced players. This is important because we explain the new game mechanics or the little modifications between 2013 and 2014, so you can enjoy and understand better what we’ve done.

And believe me there are many new good features integrated in this new version! As you’ll see in the next questions…

 

Career features and game’s accessibility are the two main focus this year.

About the game’s accessibility(ergonomy, tutorials) it’s for both new players and hardcore players. We have two level of tutorials, one for the total beginners and one for advanced players. This is important because we explain the new game mechanics or the little modifications between 2013 and 2014, so you can enjoy and understand better what we’ve done.

And believe me there are many new good features integrated in this new version! As you’ll see in the next questions…

Will there be any notable changes to career mode?

Yes as career is one of the main focus of the year, we have worked a lot on this part (and still do at the moment, as the developpment is still a work in progress). We can talk about two main changes, both have been developed from scratch (after dropping the old mechanisms) :

1) Equipment : With our new system, you’ll be able to sign contracts between equipment suppliers and teams, and participate to research & developpment programs. So you’ll have the opportunity to try some brand new prototypes and equip your team with it!

2) Contracts/transfers. We have 3 goals with this feature :

a. First have something much better in term of realism. Salary are more realistic with the best riders earning between 2 and 3 m€/year while the oustiders are not so far in term of characteristics but much are more cheaper. Also teams have a better structure and intelligence to choose their riders. From rider’s point of view they have different weights and some riders are completely focus on the salary while other choose a team first because of his nationality or his role in the team.

b. secondly improve the interactions for the player to have more choices and more impact with his budget, and also to understand better what the riders wants.

c. third give more life in the news to create a better atmosphere.

We also added an easy possibility to customize things in the DB at the initialization of the game so for the contracts length which are known for most of the world tour riders, you’ll have realistic data at the beginning of the game.

 

We’ll provide more details for those 2 features later but I think it was both big features asked for many years by the community.

Of course there are also other important and exciting changes for this mode, but we’ll unveil them later.

Will there be any notable changes to the gameplay and AI?

The main gameplay change is an automatic mode directly in combination with the pre-race strategy. Sometimes there are moments during the race where you simply can’t manage the 9 riders together, so it can help to let several riders in automatic while you micro-manage the others.

We also added the possibility to set a second order : You can plan an order right after a finishing order (like after an attack, the water bottle order, the protection…), so let’s imagine you ask one of your rider to take some water bottles for his teammates, then you can ask him (when his task is finished) to take a relay. This way you don’t have to check every 30 seconds when he finish his task…

Another change is the biggest importance we give to the daily form feature. Now a big outsider with a great day feelings can achieve a top result.

Therefore the game is a bit less predictable than before, I think it’s more realistic too because you don’t see exactly the same riders winning each stage or each classic during the spring (ok sometimes it happens in real life ).

 

The way you get good or bad day feelings have also been modified and now the freshness, the favorite/disliked weather have a bigger impact. Illness have also an impact on that (this is something we changed for the career part) so a rider starting to be ill will first feels not so good during one or two days and you can suspect something’s going wrong with him.

Following the modifications of the new fitness mechanism on PCM2013, the way the resistance’s attribute worked totally faded, so we re-balanced that for PCM2014.

For the AI, we conducted some specific tests and did some modifications. Especially on how the AI manage his effort during a break or when teammates set the pace to reduce the gap between peloton and escape.

Will there be any notable changes to multiplayer?

We’re working on some improvements, stay tuned!

Is there anything new in terms of editing – more options in the Stage Editor, etc.?

 

There is something big for the stage creators. You can save and open later your famous climbs or sectors.

We've at the moment already created nearly 60 famous climbs or spots from France and Italy in our datas. For instance one spot can contains several climbs like when you’re near Le Bourg d’Oisans you have Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer, Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier/Lautaret/Télégraphe in the same zcts.

This has been done with an extreme precision (at least as much as a 1/10th scale can have) so we’ll not have to do each year again and again the same Col du Galibier, Col du Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux, etc..

 

They are at least two direct benefits :

1) an evident gain of time when you have one stage that need a sector you have already in your data.

2) you can recognize more obviously a famous climb because it'll be the same objects/trees/landscape sculpting no matter it's a Dauphiné Libéré's climb or a Tour de France's climb.

It will also help to create more variants in the future.

On a longer term, what are your plans with PCM? What's the objective for the next few years?

More modding is one of the plans for the future. There’s already great things done by the community today but for a player’s perspective it’s always painful because the mods are totally wild (because the game doesn’t let the possibility to do it very clean). You have to install your pack and you cannot rollback to the original game or change to another mod except if you uninstall/reinstall the whole game…we could imagine you can just decide to use « those nice jersey’s pack by XXX » or « those nice jerseys’s pack by XXX + this great DB by YYY + this stage’s pack by ZZZ » then you want to continue your historical Tour with « this 1980 DB by AAA ».

One other very hot topic will be soon the cycling’s evolution. Everybody knows that this sport could change a lot in the following years. One of the objective will be to adapt the game because a lot of process will elvove with the possible new rules of cycling.

Cyclocross could also be a nice discipline to have in the game… there are more and more people who follow this sport and not only in Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic or France but also now in the United States, the UK. The main challenge with Cyclocross is the resources required. It’s not just put cyclists on a grassy field and let the PCM engine play a race, we have to do it all from scratch because there are lots of technical things involved (a real physic with different ground feelings, animations for bike dismount/barriers/traps/run with the bike on the shoulder, etc…, specific gameplay)….but when you see how epic was the duel between Stybar and Nys in the last world championships you know that it could be great to reproduce in a video game.

We have other several exciting plans for PCM in the next few years but it’s still early to talk them.

 

Will you release a game for another platform this year? XBOX, PS3 … PS4, perhaps? Any thoughts on mobile gaming?

Yes, Tour de France will be released at least on XBOX and PS3 with a possibility for a next-gen version. It’s really a big success and each year the games become more and more fun to play. There are some great features to be announced for this game.

No plans on mobile gaming, it is so specific and we're at the moment busy enough with both PC and console's games.

 

Comments
#1 | admirschleck on 27. March 2014 19:35
Thanks for this great interview. It's always great to know what's happening inside the Cyanide. Now, I am way more excited about 2014 version and new features it brings!
#2 | Jesleyh on 27. March 2014 20:08
This sounds great indeed Wink
#3 | kqyt on 28. March 2014 17:55
you didn't mention the commentator talking more. It is still going to happen, right?
#4 | hillis91 on 28. March 2014 21:07
This get's me hyped for the game. One thing im missing is when your leader gets longterm injured and that messes up your main goal for the season and so on. That the sponsors understand that, and change their goal.
#5 | hollyghost54 on 30. March 2014 11:16
they should do something for tt effort bar like when your doing a prologue of 3km you put the effort on 99 the bar is empty on 100meters but if you doing a tt of 50km you put it on 99 the effort bar is empty on 4 km. and they should do futher improvements for short TTT's its almost impossible to get in the top 5 so cynadi should do some improvements on time trails and team time trails
#6 | alenaofficial on 23. September 2021 06:33
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