Catching Up With Geoff Crammond – Interview

Jim “jimbob1” Connors recently had the chance to interview one of virtual racing’s true legends – Geoff Crammond.

Starting with REVS in 1984 and going all the way to the groundbreaking “Grand Prix” series that shaped racing games in the 90s, Crammond is one of the true pioneers who has impacted the way racing games are being designed to this very day.

Ever since Grand Prix 4 was released in 2002, Crammond has not been involved publicly in creating another game and interviews with the industry veteran have become rare (the last one was released in 2010).

Follow the link below to Jim’s interview as Crammond shares some light on the development process behind the Grand Prix series, speaks about current racing simulations and more!

Download Jim Connors’ Geoff Crammond Interview Here

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • Pablo Coronel

    God himself.

  • Diego Colafabio

    I’m still waiting a weather system like the GP3 one. Truly amazing experience.

    • Amc Mcm

      Yup, the best I’ve experienced as well. The transition from wet to dry was smooth as silk.

  • David Hughes

    Sir Geoff.

  • ANM40

    I may have to load up GP4 again. What is the best mod for GP4?

    • http://f1archives.com/ Gregz0r

      1991 – if you install the FULL mod. Authentic trackside cams, TV graphics, car models and their changes per race(liveries, driver changes etc).

  • Me

    Geoff would have been an interesting addition to the pCars team.

    • mjbonner70

      What a great idea

    • Ralonso Gamba

      He is and never will be any addition to no other project at all, if not to his own and only his own.

      • Sim Antics

        While I cannot say exactly why Geoff decided to stop developing racing games I can only speculate. During his career he had to endure the changes of many new operating system versions and keep up to date with it all. I don’t know if that side of it may have gotten old for him to deal with

  • Jack_NL

    Great reading !!

    F1GP on Amiga oh the memories

  • Patrik Marek

    true legend!

    • Patrik Marek

      GP4 was super amazing game, it had many features that no modern game had since, such as when you wreck you car, it gets pulled to the side of the road by marshalls, and then lifted by crane and cleared out of track !!
      I also enjoyed VERY MUCH the fact that the replays were done in a F1 broadcast style, with TAG heuer official timing, icons on screen matching broadcasts etc ( although I think there was F1 Racing Championship game that probably did this even better)

      Also it’s AI was very good,
      it was very authentic

      hopefully one day we will see this again,

      • Diego Colafabio

        So true ๐Ÿ˜€ so many cool features. I remember the pit guy that cleans your visor during pitstops.

    • jotaf1df

      Yes, he is the father of all ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Daan Martin

    Huge thanks for this interview!!

  • Paul Thompson

    That was a really nice read, thank you and well done ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Sinister Kid

    How do you get GP4 to work on a windows 7 PC? I have the original game from back in the day and would love to have a go!
    Absolutely loved the GP franchise : )
    It’s what got me into sim racing in the first place!

    • Arie Beuker, de

      I would try virtualisation. I have installed something called virtualbox once. Though it failed with my game still, it might work with Gp4.
      I think virtualbox was from oracle and it was certainly free to use.

    • Associat0r

      Start the game in XP compatibility mode.

  • Nicolas Grignon

    GP4 with mods is still pretty cool today… I am dreaming of Geoff taking the way of Eric Braben, resurrecting a fantastic licence… Please Geoff, read this and make my dream comes true! GP5 would be an instant win, see Elite Dangerous!

  • delpinsky

    I remember when my friends came to me playing the “hot-seat mode” in GP2/3 and 4 and we enjoyed watching replays as much as we enjoyed battling! Not only AI was very good and challenging but also TV-style replays were like watching a race on TV! Thank you Geoff and than you Jim for this great interview. As many mentioned… WE WANT YOU BACK, GEOFF CRAMMOND… GP5 on Kickstarter and all the sim-racing world & beyond will follow you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Arie Beuker, de

      I recognize that yes. Me and friend started with GP1 ourselves though, on the amiga 500. Damn the framerate was bad, but there was nothing comparable ๐Ÿ™‚

      • David Hughes

        Same here, happy days

  • Jos

    and nowadays we have codemasters…… doh!

  • Chris Wright

    I’d say Geoff is one of the two great legends of our hobby, the other of course, being Dave Kaemmer.

    We are unquestionably now in the second golden age of sim racing. The first was of course when we had groundbreakers like GP 1-4, Indycar 2, NR2K3 and GPL to play with. It says a lot that many of those titles are still being driven even today. I spent a good deal of last weekend in the company of a heavily modded GPL and it still delivers on so many levels.

    It would be great to see GC lending his support to a modern day title, but I guess the game has moved along significantly since his heyday and, if he hasn’t kept pace with developments, maybe it would be difficult to rekindle the old magic.

    There is a current precedent however. Look at the overwhelming reaction to David Braben’s Elite Dangerous – well worth a look if you’re into space sims.

    • Gui Cramer

      In both interviews he has come off quite uninterested and unmotivated, which is a shame.

      • punkfest2000

        It’s probably all the corporate bs he had to endure. You can detect some sadness and hurt in him. If he could focus on the programming with a decent team and not have to worry about the legal/business stuff then perhaps.

        At least he’s kept his programming skills up. You guys are right though, a kickstarter with his name on it might be worth something.

      • PlayDoh003

        You never know… After so many years away from the industry, there must have been something special to lure Chris Roberts back to work on Star Citizen – I agree that there’s probably some resentment there due to corporate BS… Just as I’m sure that Dave Kaemmer had to put up with as well in Sierra’s dying days. I’m glad DK had the resolve (and financial backing!) to get that NASCAR Racing source code back from them.

  • Christopher Trees

    Geoff knew how to make a proper Grand-Prix games that offered levels of detail and features many to these days fail to match.
    The grand-prix series was a fantastic example in how to make a game that delivered believable physics right from keyboard users to wheel users. And let’s not forget the changeable weather and the fact it could be partial to any part of the track. And the level of assists were amazing.

    Shame codemasters say he is an inspiration yet fail to get close to his products.
    Wish he would make a new GP series title.

  • David Wright

    Anyone else get the impression that, although the interviewer keeps referring to iRacing and AC, the only modern racing title Geoff has used is Codies F1 ?

    However, while I don’t see much on his views on current sims, it does explain why the loss of the F1 license meant the end of Geoff’s sims. ISI went on to other things, though it is interesting they also wanted an easier life after the treadmill of EA F1 titles.

    • http://planetmarrs.net/ Marcel Offermans

      Well, Geoff did say that he is only interested in F1, and neither iRacing, AC or rFactor for that matter has a license for that. An individual car at best is what they offer. So I can understand why he did not look at those titles.

  • Nathan

    I’ve been hoping to see the Grand Prix series come to GOG (in fact there are a whole bunch of games that I’ve been hoping for).

    Sadly though, racing (with real vehicle brands) and sports titles are accompanied by thousands of miles of red tape as far as licensing goes. There are probably ways to get your hands on some of them but 1) I like to legally own my games and 2) Compatibility with modern systems could be a problem.

    If companies aren’t going to sell their games, I wish they’d just openly release them as abandonware and make the source code public. Great games should be played, not fade away with peoples memories of them.

    • pez2k

      Even the source code and assets tend to be covered under licenses or owned by publishers sadly, which prevents their release. Raven Software did take their chance when Lucasarts were dissolved to release the Jedi Knight 2 and 3 source code a year or two back, but even that was legally borderline, and it’s just about the only major release I can think of (barring id’s engines going open source, but even that has stopped since Bethesda bought them).

      • Nathan

        I know some of the reasons and can take a pretty good guess at the reasons I don’t know for why some games cannot be marketed or freely released.

        As someone that loves games old and new, I just find it incredibly sad and frustrating when games end up in this sort of legal Limbo.

    • BackMarker

      Yes, as having no experience with the games made my the interviewee I would love to give them a spin if they were made available on GOG.
      : )

  • James Cook

    I have so much to thank this man for.

  • BackMarker

    Thanks for the interview. I have only been simracing for 3years and computer gaming for maybe 10 years. I have heard of Mr. Crammond and his GP series in occasional posts referring positively to his games.

    From the responses in the interview by Mr. Crammond it seems he enjoys his privacy. When was this interview “created?” The reviewer refers to SimBin in the present term, but I thought Simbin went bankrupt 3 or 4 months ago?

  • JayC

    Thanks GC for all your great work. I was blown away by REVS on the C64. It felt like a genuine sim at the time. Was bloody hard to drive with the keyboard, but was a lot of fun.

  • http://f1archives.com/ Gregz0r

    We need ‘Sir’ Geoff back in the game.
    I would love to see the original Stunt Car Racer brought to mobile platforms, as I think it’d be perfect for that space.
    Then, maybe a non-official, KickStarter-influenced F1-esque project(initially), in the style of F1GP. Bring back Carlos Sanchez, Robert Davies, Kurt Langer & Roberto Rivellini!

  • Mark

    It all started for me with Revs – thanks Geoff.

  • Sim Antics

    Hey Sir Geoff if you were to want to develop F1 games again you could potentially get millions of sim racers to lobby for you to get the license away from Codemasters.

    • Sim Antics

      The Power of the Petition!

      • Sim Antics

        Or how about one last masterpiece at least!

  • Jackaroo

    Grew up on Geoff’s Grand Prix games.

    I always loved how a Banner would come up with who had just done a fastest lap, or was out of the race. And if i retired, i could just hit the ‘Tv Director’ button and watch my rivals race it out with the Camera switching to the right action.

    Great times.

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