Interview with Charles Robillard.
Mis à jour : juin 28
One of the most talented modder on the Project CARS 2 game, known as robi3381, keeps pushing the limits in his creations. The release of the Ferrari MONZA marked a significant turning point with the addition of new features. This is the opportunity to introduce him to you, show you his journey, and above all to unveil his future projects.
Where does this passion for the mod come from? Tell us about your background. Your beginnings...
It all started with the Test Drive Unlimited game. By the time I got into it, a lot of mods had already come out, some beautiful, some not so beautiful. I would have liked to do the same but I didn't know anything about it. Little by little I started modifying the textures of some existing mods. Then the game Shift 2 Unleashed was released in 2011. I started creating liveries for the cars in the game, and then one day I finally tried my luck in 3D. I found out what software was needed and tried it. First success after many unsuccessful tests, adding a fin on a Gallardo, then little by little I changed more and more parts of existing mods. And one day, with a lot of work, my first complete car, the Ferrari F50. Many other mods followed.
Then the next logical step, I followed the Slightly Mad Studio games, pCars then pCars 2. Similar technique but games less and less open to modding, so it got more and more complicated with time. That's why there are so few of us modding these games.
How do you determine your choices? What makes you choose a particular vehicle?
The choice of vehicle is really done by instinct. I look at my favourite 3D model site and if there's one that catches my eye, I go for it. There are also some vehicles that I'm looking forward to seeing in a 3D model. When (if...) it comes out, I'm ready to give up the others I'm on to get on with it!
If you had to pick one of your own designs, what's your
The creative process is so long and tedious that I have to have a real "connection" with the car I'm working on. I love them all, so it's almost impossible to choose. But the best is yet to come !
What about the one who put you through the most and why ? Do you sometimes abandon a project because of its complexity?
The most difficult, without a doubt the Regera. I started it in January 2019, I released it in October... Because of its very particular physics and its very varied configuration possibilities. A lot of work! And the abandonments, yes it has already happened, often due to a lack of motivation. It really takes a lot to go all the way!
People sometimes think that a mod is just a model body with some kind of physics. But you develop everything entirely. How do you do that? How do you document yourself? Is it a long process?
I start from a naked 3D model, I take care of assigning materials and textures, creating all the files necessary for the mod to appear in the game, creating the physics. It's really very long, I would say about a hundred hours per mod.
I rely as much as I can on all the official physics data, which is a huge amount of research work. Some of the data is just impossible to find, so I often have to stick to the feel of the game.
We often ask ourselves the question, but why did we choose Project CARS 2?
Shift 2 Unleashed, Project Cars then Project Cars 2, the logical continuation! Same game engine, similar modding, but increasing complexity!
Ferrari Monza has been a very big job. Is it complex to tackle the Ferrari myth?
Not necessarily, I'm very faithful to the models I create, whether it's Ferrari, Bugatti, Koenigsegg... I do my best to make the mod the best it can be! But yes the Monza, the biggest project I've ever done!
The Koenigsegg Regera is just fantastic. A sequel for the brand?
Thanks for the compliment, I'm glad you like it. Of course there will be a sequel! The Jesko is already in the oven!
In your creations we find the "little" Alpine. A choice that may seem surprising. A hidden love?
I love this little French girl. Being French myself and seeing the popularity of this car, I had no choice! And it feels good to make a car with less than 600hp once in a while!
If tomorrow you have a dinner with the Slightly Mad Studio managers, what would you like to bring as ideas for the future opus?
If it happens one day, I would certainly suggest them to work a little bit on the customization of the vehicles. I like personalization pushed to the extreme, but always with respect to the car. No bodybuilt kits, outrageous spoilers or exuberant colors, just what would be possible via a configurator proposed by a manufacturer.
And a little free roam, an open playground, it would be absolutely perfect, where you can go for a walk in beautiful landscapes, just to pass the time. Like it was the case with TDU. I'm keeping a real nostalgia for this game!
When you're interested in the modding scene on Project Cars 2, a name comes up regularly. Without it nothing would probably be possible. But who is JDougNY?
He's a little bit the modding pioneer on this game engine. He's the one who made it possible to set it up. He started long before me on Need for Speed Shift. Unfortunately it became inactive since the summer of 2019. I know he was seriously ill, I hope he only retired to take some time for himself.
TheRealSlawek - Avril 2020
Credit Photos: NaRP