[Behind the Scenes #1] Tracks: Rooftops

Re-Volt has gone through some design changes. Many tracks and concepts suffered from that. Over the past few years, a lot of those tracks have been recovered from old hard drives, the source code and previously unreleased Re-Volt versions.

Most tracks are commonly known, some released to the public and some lost forever.

Let’s start with Rooftops since it kinda fits into the scheme here. This track is known to all community members and has been available for many years now. Its initial appearance dates back to the Dreamcast release, which exclusively featured this track as it’s been undergone some design changes and polishing. Although this track has been one of the first concepts for the game, it was not present in the initial PC release in July 1999.

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The screenshots and concepts (masterpieces by Paul Phippen) we see here are from ’97-’98 and show a different version to the Rooftops we know today. It’s set during daylight and looks a lot dirtier than most of Re-Volt’s tracks. You can surely say that the first idea of the game was immensely different, although Acclaim wanted a game that competes with Mario Kart (which implies a colorful and clean game). That explains why Re-Volt today is such a clean and polished game that really stands out among the games of its time.

I came up with the original idea along with paul phippen, who now lives in cambodia! the final game wasn’t quite as i imagined it, the original idea was more realistic, no weapons or speedups. the original level was set in a tower block in london, racing around the dirty walkways and dodging old mattresses and pools of piss. nice.

– Simon Harrison

So what happened to that old Rooftops level (back then called Fiddlers on the Roof, probably a reference to an old movie)? When Re-Volt was set to be released on the Dreamcast, the team got some help and managed to port that track, which suffered from severe lag and fogging, to the platform. The key seemed to be rearranging the track and set it during night so that there is an excuse for the low view distance. I guess we can say they did an outstanding job.
Fiddlers on the Roof? The name and concept suit Re-Volt perfectly in my opinion. Did you know that Re-Volt’s source code has been leaked back in 2006 (my speculation: by a Microsoft employee)? It wasn’t only the source code. It also featured lots of concept art and unfinished pieces. Among them: a folder called ROOF.¬†I think it was back in 2012 that I started mapping the mesh that was included in that folder. 3DS Max was the program I used and it seemed so foreign to me that I eventually gave up. Until I found Blender. Blender was much more intuitive for me and thanks to Jigebren, it also had a Re-Volt plugin that made importing and exporting Re-Volt files MUCH easier than the hacky ways of 3DS Max.

Last year or so I remembered about those files and started mapping and polishing the track which is now available on Re-Volt Zone and this website. I gave my best to mimic the two screenshots I had of the track and bringing it to Re-Volt’s highest graphical qualities possible. I failed both. But you’ll get an idea how the track might have looked like.

Wanna try it? Download here.


Stay tuned for the next Behind the Scenes.