Interview with Denis Bourdain VP of Business Development for Load Inc.

MyArcadePlanet had the opportunity to interview Denis Bourdain, Vice President of Business Development for Load Inc. We would like to give our thanks Denis for granting us this interview. Load Inc. developed the recently released Xbox LIVE Arcade title, Mad Tracks.

MyArcadePlanet: How was the overall process of developing for Xbox LIVE Arcade ?
Denis Bourdain: It was fun and really really hard. Technicaly speaking, development kits are great to work on and the machine is extremely powerful. The process is hard to learn, especially in term of level of quality. We’re very proud to be able to develop on Xbox 360, being a small team (7).

MAP: How smooth was the transition from PC to 360, or did you start over from scratch ?
Denis: We kept the level design of the game (which was the part Microsoft liked) and changed everything around. The multiplayer on Xbox 360 is much different in terms of architecture than the one we had on PC. We also had to support fancy stuff like 5.1 or HDTV.

MAP: Where did the inspiration come for the level designs in Mad Tracks ?
Denis: From everywhere! Inspiration often comes from past games that we played, but also from talking around the coffee machine. Having an internal editor helped a lot, we were able to try as we were designing.

MAP: We know your company was worried about size early on in development, did the new larger limit enable you to do anything differently ?
Denis: Unfortunately not! We were not in the 150M train :-( We had to struggle with the 50M limit untill release, hense the additional packs to be able to fit everything in there. The three packs together are 74M, we were starting from a PC version which is 280M…

MAP: Who is the reigning Mad Tracks champion at the office there ?
Denis: We all have our specialty. As you noticed, Mad Tracks has a lot of different gameplays and we managed to squeeze 84 leaderboards. There’s room for everyone! When I look at best scores today, I can tell you Load Inc. people are not champs anymore!!

MAP: How has the relationship with Load Inc and D3P gone so far ?
Denis: D3P are great partners. If i twas all up to me, I’d sign our next game with them. We talk a lot, and we’ll see how happy we both are with Mad tracks in the future.

MAP: What challenges do you face when your development company is thousands of miles from your publisher ?
Denis: Mainly time difference. We had our meetings after breakfast for them and right before dinner for us. It’s a pain, but we managed pretty well. Sometimes it even have advantages, for example when you don’t want to talk!!

MAP: What sort of upcoming features, cars, and tracks can we expect in upcoming downloadable content ?
Denis: at the end of June, we are releasing ’Mad Tracks Bravo’, a 15 challenges expansion. There will be a mix of mini games and races (the base of the game), but in three completely new environments. Players that have unlocked Mad Tracks can scroll through them already. Now let’s wait another three weeks :-)

MAP: What sort of bugs fixes and improvements are being worked on right now for Mad Tracks on XBLA ?
Denis: the only blocking issue is the unlocking bug that we discovered last week. It does not impact everyone, but is priority #1. We’ll see what we can bring to the game after this is sorted out.

MAP: What is in store for Load Inc now that Mad Tracks is out on the marketplace, maybe another Xbox 360 game ?
Denis: Yes, we are working on another XBLA game. For the moment, we can’t talk about it, but we’re very excited about it.

Thanks again to Denis Bourdain and Load Inc. for giving us the chance to interview them. From all of us here at My Arcade Planet, we wish them the best success with Mad Tracks and are looking forward to the future unannounced XBLA title.

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