August 7, 2007 - Crazy Taxi remains a fan-favorite nearly 10 years after its 1999 arcade release. As part of Sega's Professional Series of sim-esque job games, Crazy Taxi featured a San Francisco-inspired city. The player assumed the role of one of a few taxi drivers, trying to cart patrons around the city. With a soundtrack from The Offspring and Bad Religion, you probably still have the lyrics stuck in your head, "It's all I want! It's all I waaaaaaant!"
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The series made to the move to the venerable Dreamcast system, but has finally resurfaced, courtesy of Sega and Sniper Studios on the PSP. Best of all, it's not only Crazy Taxi, but the lesser-known sequel, both with multi-player functionality. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Hasson, one of the founders of Sniper Studios—the developer responsible for Craxy Taxi: Fare Wars which, incidentally, is available today.
IGN: How did the relationship between Sniper and Sega come about?
As usual in business, it's not what you know, but who you know. We had been talking to our friends at SEGA that we have worked closely with over the years. They were looking for support for their PSP business and we were passionate about the Crazy Taxi franchise. We had a few meetings concerning other possible titles in their catalog, but in the end we were really focused on Crazy Taxi. Out of all the great properties that SEGA owns, we wanted to work on Crazy Taxi the most.
What are the differences between Crazy Taxi on PSP and the original arcade games?
Overall there are barely any differences between Craxy Taxi and Craxy Taxi 2 from the Dreamcast versions onto the PSP. The main difference is the addition of the multiplayer modes that we had to build from scratch. Also we added a Custom Music Player that allows the user to stream MP3 music off their memory stick. But for those hard core fans that must have The Offspring playing, they have that option with the Custom Music Player. Other than that, all the original art, maps, characters and modes are all in the PSP versions.
How are car physics different that making physics for a character-based game or even a motorcycle?
Speaking generally, car physics are very different than character physics. Cars physics take into consideration momentum, weight and velocity more than character physics do. Also, tire rotation and road surface affect the physics of a car. Lastly cars require steering with specific input limitations compared to character physics which do not "steer" and are much less limited in movement. Character physics are based on movement and bone structure and are much less affected by velocity.
Did you make any changes to any of the vehicles in Crazy Taxi, including the actual taxi? Was that vehicles inspired by any vehicle specifically?
No. As far as the core game and gameplay was concerned we wanted to create the exact same experience from the Dreamcast on the PSP. No additional changes were made to the vehicles.