Excellent! I've been dropping hints about this sort of thing on many threads recently and so I was surprised to find this thread appearing seemingly with a huge chance of success. Many thanks for finding Shaun and getting the source. Surely with his help you can make this happen. I was under the impression Shaun was difficult to find - I certainly had no luck when I was looking to do an interview with him. So you are a very lucky person there...
If I were you I'd make this a shareware project - with a fully working 'port' or Lotus 1 (with, say, a 4 player online option), with the full online game available for a small donation. Then you could perhaps split the income with Shaun. Having seen the benefits of shareware on a recent Matt Chat video, I'd say this could be a decent earner. Failing that you could always go down the x-box live route and implement purchasing tokens for online plays.
Anyway, since this is unlikely to get an Amiga native release, it means you can really go to town with very CPU intensive procedures - such as graduated shading, shadows, basic light-casting, and active intelligence for all drone cars - without impacting on performance. One trick is to make the track engine twice as fast as it needs to be, so that it still runs at full speed even as you add trackside features (it is easier this way than trying to speed the game up later by cutting frame rates and features etc).
As for game graphics, I'd like to see at least two modes - Verbatum and Defacto. Verbatum being the original Amiga graphics and Defacto being the full arcade quality 256 colour PC update for 2012. Verbatum can be as close to the original gameplay as possible, while you can go wild with Defacto.
The online gaming modes are surely the most important (and most EXCITING) feature - and the reason this is gonna appeal to the masses! I'd split the contenders - 10 humans Vs 10 computer drones. This should keep the playability high while keeping the bandwidth lower. Yet this also depends on how many simultanious games the server can handle. For this reason it may be an idea to have adaptive multiplayer tolerances. e.g. is it better to have 200 players playing 25 online games (8 per game) or 200 players playing 20 online games (10 per game) - and I'd say it's up to the server/software to decide given the variables at the time.
. The audio 'CD Player' screen should be fully compatable with MP3 and even real CDs! - so the player can choose any audio they like within the game.
. Car types - in the expanded version I would like to see the Esprit Mk 1, 2, 3, and S4, The Elan Mk2 and Mk4, The Exige, the Elise, the Evora and the new Europa - with a super hidden bonus of the Deloran DMC12 (which is basically a Lotus with a new body) - obtained after finishing the whole game. Of course the Back to the Future Delorean could fly (which you could implement identically to the Days of Thunder Amiga Cheat), or perhaps just have a flying car appear in the expanded games' sky to tip the player off that this may be available. With SUCH a huge sky - it becomes necessary to fill it..!
. Graphics overlays - I'd like to be able to drive through a grove of trees - with the trees looming large and into the sky. The trees in Lotus are more like bushes, and never have branches arching over the road casting shadows on the landscape. Same with Fog effects - which can be staggered overlays with a few areas of alpha masking to have elements appear and disappear within the layers. The Rain effect on Lotus 2 was one single overlay in one plane (i.e. flat rain). In the expanded version it would be nice to layer this background-to-forground.
. Bobs - Trackside objects; such as signs; could do with an upgrade - such as grandstands near the pits, rows of people (like the Outrun C64 version), buildings, and even animals (like cows in fields).
. Circuit Barriers - If all that sounds too easy - how about armco? With the addition of armco (and maybe gravel traps) the player could construct a track from a REAL track - such as Monza or Spa; with Lotus Formula 1 car sprites (Jim Clarke, JPS Special or 'TEAM Lotus').
. Distance redraw - at the moment there is no way to show a hill looming in the far distance which the track will eventually drive over. To get around this it may be possible to add a 'pop-up' layer; which shows the hill on the horizon in the distance - which 'pops under' the foreground layer as the player drives closer, giving the illusion of more screen depth. In addition, a 4 layer parallax background element could increase the illusion of distance.
. The contruction kit element would be nice in the full price version as long as there is a way to 'package' track elements together. For example, with new graphics, sounds, music, tracks and cars - specific to each individual track. In this way we could create a track on the beach - with the sea on one side and hotels on the other (a la Outrun), or a Moon scape track with stars and alien spectators. In this way, each track would work almost as a complete game all by itself.
. And Finally - it would be good to have the original programers 'in' the game in some way. We remember Civilisation because of Sid Meier, we remember F1GP because of Geoff Crammond, and we know Lotus because of Shaun Southern and Andrew Morris (whom I DID get to interview this year
) - so if there was any way to include those guys in the promotion I think the whole project would leap ahead.
Please don't be put off by these ideas, at this stage the most important element is a very FAST and fluid track. All the rest can come later. I have such a good feeling about this that I was just moved to write all the above. Call it fanmail. Be sure to let us know how you are getting along, and do ask for fan contributions if you need extra elements such as graphics and sounds. I have a vaccum cleaner I could sample.