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Interview: Tour de France 2013 to come with fully playable stages
Pro Cycling Manager 2013

With a little over a month to the release, there's been surprisingly little official information about the next edition of Cyanide's cycling game for consoles, Tour de France 2013.

However, with today's launch of the official website, we did get the usual not-too-specific sales talk about the game and some insights to what to expect. We also just uploaded more than 20 screenshots of the game to our screenshot section.

But that's not all you're getting today. We have interviewed Cyanide's Antoine Dalibard (his name should ring some bells...), game designer, who has been working on the Tour de France project since 2011, and asked him the most pressing questions.

Dalibard participated in the absence of project leader Aitor Roda, who recently left for a new job at Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer team, and he revealed plenty of details about the upcoming game.

The most surprising is probably the fact that Tour de France 2013 won't be 'sectionized' - every part of the stage will be playable. If you don't feel like playing the entire stage, you can simulate at any point - and exit the simulation at any point.

This comes with a drawback, though: The 1/2 scale of the stages have been changed into 1/5 and will thus come closer to PCM's 1/10 scale.

Another surprising change is the online mode which is gone. It won't be possible to meet other players online and play against them. However, there's a local splitscreen mode where two players can team up, controlling a rider each on the same team, or play against each other with a team/rider each.

We also interviewed Xavier Wiart, lead programmer of Pro Cycling Manager. You can read this interview Friday.

Below, you can find the full interview with Antoine Dalibard:

- There hasn't really been any official information regarding the new game yet. Can you briefly tell us the main improvements that's been done to TDF13?

The main improvement is the rhythm of the game. You can now play the entire stages, no sections and no forced simulations. You can still simulate with the feature we call Fast Forward, though, with the possibility of going back live at any time. The downside of this is that the stage scale has changed from being 1/2 to 1/5, meaning that a stage takes about 25-45 minutes to complete (a time trial is about 10 minutes).

- Why did you decide to change the scale of the game?

Now that the stages are fully playable, the 1/2 scale meant that one stage would take more than 2 hours to play. Also, making the stages would have been a nightmare, and we wouldn’t be able to make as detailed stages with the 1/2 scale. I’m not even sure that the DVDs would be able to contain all the data.

- So perhaps the real question is: What made you decide to go for fully playable stages rather than the sectionized stages in the previous games?

The switch between simulation and playable sections was a real problem since it was difficult to catch the attention of the player, and the simulation could ruin the players’ tactics. So we wanted to make the stages fully playable to avoid making the players’ frustrated.

In the same way, another improvement is the possibility to switch between teammates at any moment during the race, so that if your rider has no more energy, you can still have some fun even without waiting to the next stage.

- With the fully playable stages and the possibility of changing rider at any point, isn't the game turning more and more into PCM?

We're just giving more control to the player, but the camera and the gameplay is still very different from PCM. We’re staying focused on the rider and the race (Tour de France).

- Getting back to the first question: What other improvements can we look forward to?

We have changed the way the rider ‘reacts’. He no longer follows an imaginary line, like people may have thought. Instead, the player has an actual impact on the trajectory and can, for example, make an attack on a downhill. The skill of the player will be more important than in previous versions.

Other than that, there is a new system of "objectives" (each team has a set of objectives to fulfill in order to progress in the game and reach the "Legend" level), the lights have been greatly improved, more recognizable places (Mont Saint Michel, Eiffel Tower, Ventoux...), the manager gives more advice during the race depending on the race situation. For example, the manager will warn you when the pack begins to chase when you're on breakaway or if one of your team mates (or a leader) is being dropped.

We have also added the play mode Custom Tour where you can handpick the Tour de France stages you want to play rather than playing all 21 stages.

- What about the gameplay and the AI?

Improvements have been made to both, but it’s difficult to list every AI improvement. Gameplay-wise we have changed the way you interact with the intercom, and we have also changed how the energy bars work.

They will be different from PCM – more arcade-like, and you can attack more often. I won’t say much more, but I can say that our beta testers loved how it worked.

- Will there be any playable races other than TDF13 from the start? What DLC content are you planning on adding?

Tour de France will be the only playable race out of box. Criterium International should be ready as DLC when the game is launched. We are also hoping to make another race available at launch, but I can’t say more about that right now. An update of the database is planned to be released by the end of Tour de France.

- Will there be any achievements/trophies linked to the DLC races?

No, but there will be specific objectives for DLC.

- How will the online mode work in TDF13? What's possible and what's not?

There won’t be any online mode at all this year. However, there’s a local multiplayer where you can play in split screen with your friends.

There’s two modes: cooperation, where you play on the same team as your friend, and versus, where you choose different teams and compete against each other (and the AI, of course).

- You added a name editor in TDF12. Will you make it possible to edit more stuff, for example stats?

Unfortunately, no. It’s a shame, but we simply didn’t have the time to do so.

- One of the features that seems like a perfect match for TDF13 is Be a Pro (start as a young rider and develop from there). Is there any chance that you're going to add this eventually?

We are thinking about it, but to be honest there’s a lot of improvement to be done to TDF before we can begin to work on a major feature like that. We had to make TDF more fun and more playable before adding new game modes.

- So maybe next year? :-)

Maybe ;-)

#1 | TheManxMissile on 16. May 2013 21:03
Again all sounding great, and this will definitely be a must-buy for me. Lots of great improvements and its just sounds like a great move in the right direction

And did he really wink at the end?
#2 | superider2010 on 16. May 2013 21:04
i can say that to play the full stages of tdf 2013 are lasting like playable section of tdf 2012,so the time playing probably it's now a little shorter but on the other hand you can be with a rider in breakaway all race
i hated that simulation between playable sections because most of the time if i sended my rider(say nicky sorensen) for some intermediare sprint montain and points,he always were catched

nobody cries about online mode because on xbox i begged people to play online and hardly i played few times
much better that has splitscreen.....a brother,a dad,a friend are more easy to convince to play with you in splitscreen
#3 | Schleck96 on 16. May 2013 21:07
I'll buy this one. It's decided Grin
#4 | SSJ2Luigi on 16. May 2013 21:40
Banana I might even get this game Banana too bad none of my friends like cycling Sad
#5 | baseballlover312 on 16. May 2013 21:46
I'd rather play important parts at 1/2 than all at 1/5 for this type of game.
#6 | Rin on 16. May 2013 23:31
#5: Have you got TDF12?


Seems like all the minus points of TDF12 are changed/improved.

I would just wish 2 things:
That you can lock the effort bar instead of holding down the A/X button.
And telling a rider that he should try to follow you and hang onto your rear wheel.
#7 | jongu on 17. May 2013 00:28
I would definitely buy this game if it was released on ps vita. Anybody know if there are any plans for this? It would suit portable so well!
#8 | Ian Butler on 17. May 2013 06:29
Scale 1/5? This game is ruined for me Frown
#9 | Jeremy on 17. May 2013 08:55
Will there be an interview as well for PCM2013?
#10 | Jesleyh on 17. May 2013 08:58
Yes, it will most likely be posted later today.
#11 | mikeeboy on 17. May 2013 15:57
I've bought the last 2 and will probably get this too. I failed to really get into the last one so the changes to full stage and being able to fast forward are welcome in my view.

I just hope the way the races pan out are realistic. Last year the intermediate sprint for the peleton was a joke, way too easy.

Also with the ability to change riders it will be interesting to see how sprint trains would pan out for example. You could lead out and sprint for the line?
#12 | Ian Butler on 17. May 2013 20:58
Co-op, does that mean 1 console, 2 controllers, one screen?
#13 | superider2010 on 18. May 2013 09:11
yes man,1 console,2 controllers and 1 screen splitted in 2
they putted pictures

show you that line like in F1 games,if you can take a corner with low or much speed

In multiplayer mode on the same console (up to 2 players), challenge your friends and fight for the right to wear the yellow jersey in closely-fought battles

this should mean that you can play all tour,hope
#14 | Stromeon on 18. May 2013 18:42
Friday's been and gone - will the interview be up sometime soon?
#15 | Jesleyh on 18. May 2013 21:02
Very curious for it as well... Wink
#16 | NTTHRASH on 19. May 2013 02:25
PCM interview?!?!
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