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ModNation Monday: XP Races Remedied and UFG Insights

Scott Nielsen's Avatar + Posted by Scott Nielsen on Aug 09, 2010 //

ModNation_Mondays

Greetings from Vancouver, Canada! My name is Scott Nielsen, a producer at UFG and I’m happy to report some good news.

Last week an issue was introduced with the release of Title Update 1.02 that affected XP Races and XP Series resulting in situations where players were unable to load into the respective XP Races. This issue has been addressed in Title Update 1.03 which we are currently scheduled to release during our regular maintenance window tomorrow morning (Tuesday, August 10th).

I’d also like to take a moment to try and provide some insight into our game and hopefully some clarity surrounding the load times in ModNation Racers. This is a subject that both our fans and the team are very sensitive about and we want to assure you that a lot of work has been done in order to address these issues. We have made some significant strides to improving the user experience in ModNation Racers with the release of the Title Update.

Custom Creations means A LOT of Data
As you know, ModNation Racers can’t be compared to most racing games as it lets you create your own experience. That means we have races where each Mod and Kart are all different. Each of these creations are made up of hundreds of individual textures that are fed into our compositing system to create the final creation. As there are up to 12 players in a race, each with a Mod and Kart, we need to do this 24 times for a single race. That’s a lot of data!

Making Tracks
In regular racing games, track data is packed onto the disc for loading, but ModNation is not a regular game. One of our focuses on ModNation Racers was to make it incredibly quick and easy to share your tracks online. To enable this, we store tracks as blueprints for rebuilding, which are very small on disc. To build a track in the code, we have to first load up this blueprint, then we need to generate all of the additional data for the track and then start compositing. Both these steps are not simple, but they are necessary to bring our tracks to life.

So as you can see, there were a lot of tradeoffs involved in creating a game that allows creating and sharing. We tried to strike the best balance we could between all of the competing priorities. Creativity is so important to us, and the ModNation community, that we didn’t want to sacrifice the amazing flexibility that we have made available.

Breaking Down Load Time Improvements
It’s important to note that we made a number of significant changes to the game flow in order to improve the user experience in ModNation Racers. We focused our efforts on making improvements to high-impact areas of the game; specifically when doing Career Races and Online Races. In fact, the biggest improvements you will see are when doing multiple Career Races or Online Races.

You should see a reduction in time when loading from Career Central into a Race, plus significant improvements when returning from a Career Race to Career Central. What used to be around 30 seconds now takes about 6 or 7 seconds. Online Racing sees very similar benefits when returning from a race to the Gameroom. Changes made to the flow of XP Races have significantly reduced load times when returning to the Gameroom from an XP Race. What makes this great now is that when you find a group of people that you are enjoying XP Racing with, you are able to stay matched with them as opposed to returning to the ModSpot and having to get matched into another XP Race with different people.

We’re confident these changes provide a more positive user experience for the ModNation community. With a game like ModNation Racers, we thrive on the strength of our community and we want to do everything to make sure you have a great time with our game.

A big thanks from all of us here at UFG for supporting our game!

//Add Your Own

131 Comments   16 Replies

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101

+ OGQuill on August 10th, 2010 at 5:56 pm said:

Oh man I’m just sick of the people complaining about the game difficulty! You dont have to be a hardcore gamer to beat the game, just need to try again and practice! This game isn’t a failure; this game is one of the most creative and funniest I’ve ever played. Just learn to play videogames, and if you dont like it, theres a simple solution: Sell. The. Game.

Anyways UFG your work is really cool with the patch; I didnt complain about the load times, neither, and everything is cool.

Great game, UFG.


102

+ OGQuill on August 10th, 2010 at 6:03 pm said:

By the way, is anyone else having this annoying thing of playing the same track like 5 times of more when you’re online?


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    + Ramone Russell on August 11th, 2010 at 11:17 am said:

    A server side fix is on the way once it finishes the QA process.


103

+ VintageOctopus on August 10th, 2010 at 6:58 pm said:

@Russell: I’m pretty sure. I mean, it’s a fine track, but I submitted a couple different ones. (I submitted one called Post Apocalypse a little bit ago… Maybe you’re getting mixed up with that one?) I’ll just have to fix a particular bug on it tomorrow if it’s going to be in the hotlap.


104

+ LightningBlade18 on August 10th, 2010 at 7:28 pm said:

Thanks UFG for all the hard work and constant support you give for this amazing game. Keep up the awesome work. I LOVE MNR! :)


105

+ moriarty1975 on August 10th, 2010 at 8:13 pm said:

@102

Everyone is. But UFG have a server side fix coming.


106

+ AnthonyTonyMagic on August 10th, 2010 at 9:15 pm said:

AI ganging up and shooting you on the last corner isn’t ‘cheap AI’ as some people say.

Are you expecting them to wait until you cross the finish line before they fire? That would be cheap AI!

Of course they shoot you at the last corner, it’s their last chance to kill whoever’s in front. If the guy in front knows how to save shields and properly drop mines then it’s ok.


107

+ Gaff_19XX on August 10th, 2010 at 9:33 pm said:

The difficulty isn’t crushing or cheap, just have to learn how to use the shield… fail people.


108

+ tropicalskin on August 10th, 2010 at 9:37 pm said:

I love Vancouver and i’m from Montreal !!!
Vancouver rocks !!!


109

+ Beefstu409 on August 10th, 2010 at 10:20 pm said:

@96, you may let me have a track instead if you’d like…


110

+ wyse5150 on August 10th, 2010 at 10:25 pm said:

The load times are a great improvement. Would like to see some updates made to split-screen offline races, too, such as being able to switch tracks without backing all the way up to the character select screen, and an offline split-screen series mode would be great, too!!! Here’s to wishful thinking!!!


111

+ snowman_perez on August 10th, 2010 at 10:58 pm said:

This game is awesome. For the people who complain about the career and the A.I., I beat the career the second week this game was out and I’m not the best gamer out there, if anything im casual.


112

+ un-1known1 on August 11th, 2010 at 1:18 am said:

@98
when i go to trophy list it still syas 250000 create XP points
so it hasnt been fixed to me


113

+ moriarty1975 on August 11th, 2010 at 2:45 am said:

@112

They couldnt change the trophy so they changed the amount of create XP we get instead.


114

+ Hawaii_Jeff on August 11th, 2010 at 7:34 am said:

having the functionality of staying matched with a group of people between multiple races is a no-brainer, and should have been included in the initial release.

i’m glad it got “patched in”, but it just turns people off when they play it “pre-patch” and get frustrated and then don’t play the game anymore.


115

+ IronStorm613 on August 11th, 2010 at 9:50 am said:

I’m glad you guys are working on this game but I still can’t seem to connect online. I’m using a wired connection and everything but it still won’t connect me. Is there something I’m missing?


116

+ Darig0n on August 11th, 2010 at 10:58 am said:

Can you make a patch when you continue career it makes you select the career mission? It always loads the last one and I already did that one (trying to get all trophies) Or atleast when you beat the career it actually loads at the career mission select?


117

+ digitalman123 on August 11th, 2010 at 11:05 am said:

Cool. A patched-up patch. Oh the irony! Hope I can finally beat career mode! Going for a Dominator trophy.


118

+ BluberryBangBang on August 11th, 2010 at 3:52 pm said:

Thanks for the great creation tools! My mod finally looks like it was supposed to after the patch released! And I love how much you emphasize creation with the xp reward (it probably puts Modnation higher than LittleBigPlanet on my list of best implementations of cooperation and creating in gaming). It makes the game populate itself with better content, because I feel like we’re being rewarded for keeping the game alive.

Let’s keep bringing this game to life.

And bring it on the track, United Front.

p.s. We’d love it if you bundled more dlc together. It feels like we are being Nickel and Dimed. We hope you don’t realize this. This is the beginning of something larger than any one of us. It’s all of us, umm, United.


119

+ davecj on August 12th, 2010 at 1:34 am said:

@Russell…the patches have got me playing modnation again…thanks !!!…I know adding new content is the least of your worries at the moment…but what the chances of allowing team vs team XP races ?


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    + Ramone Russell on August 13th, 2010 at 4:11 pm said:

    Team vs. Team XP races would require a lot of new functionality sadly it’s not something we have in our plans at the moment. But its a great idea.


120

+ Tecnoboy1 on August 12th, 2010 at 3:26 am said:

OK, I’ll try again.

I feel online, if you put up the track description loading into XP or casual race It would pass the time as you could read something like in LBP, That had long loading times but didn’t suffer thanks to, DESCRIPTIONS TO READ!!
Also, extend how long comments and descriptions could be, you get big block comment boxes and all you get to write is a relatively small amount of characters.


121

+ MLibbey18 on August 12th, 2010 at 8:44 am said:

In next weeks blog could you please give further detail into the region lock, please. The competitive side to this game is unable to take us due to these restrictions. If it will ever happen and if so how long it will take. If the region lock is removed this game will last a lot longer. If not, I imagine a lot of players will stop playing and move on to a game where they can compete against others.


122

+ Elnath10 on August 12th, 2010 at 9:19 am said:

team vs team races is not a good idea… you can just join a private room “the members” of both of their “teams” competing and race and see who wins…

Thankx for the last reply Russell.. I’ve got a question, are you guys doing some brand new DLC as the princess or the vampy with new “chasis” for the karts, etc for comming weeks? or it will be the mistery mods as the sheriff sirloin and nukular that you wil be publishing?

I’ll like to have the missing ones of course (like the golf kart) but also brand new stuff will be awesome…

keep the good work guys


123

+ KingKronosDC84 on August 13th, 2010 at 8:15 am said:

I appreciate it when developers take the time to explain updates and listen to/respond to gamer feedback. Sony seems to be top notch with this, keep up the top notch support.


124

+ bsholmes1993 on August 13th, 2010 at 12:27 pm said:

Can you plz fix the race exp and make it worth more than the create exp. It need to be like it was before when the game first came out.


125

+ bsholmes1993 on August 13th, 2010 at 12:29 pm said:

I have over 300 downloads for my track and have submitted it many time why wont you pick my track. It is called Killer’s Track can you take a look at it


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    + Ramone Russell on August 13th, 2010 at 4:12 pm said:

    I’ll look at it right now


126

+ bsholmes1993 on August 13th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

And Russle never answers and of my comments :(


127

+ moriarty1975 on August 13th, 2010 at 5:11 pm said:

Ramone can you have a look at the publishing slots thread on the MNR forum and maybe provide an answer?


128

+ Elnath10 on August 14th, 2010 at 11:00 am said:

+1 for the moriarty 127 comment

Please, there are some issues that we think they are important in the publishing system


129

+ maverick34jjv on August 15th, 2010 at 10:29 am said:

Any themes in the making? Artic, Spooky/graveyard, theme park?
How about inversions for tracks?

Also when I go to Creation Station from the start menu, it lags/freezes for a moment.


130

+ Beefstu409 on August 15th, 2010 at 6:27 pm said:

Can you take a look at my track cobra Russell? It’s one of my newer ones, but I have other tracks which have 90+ downloads. It’d be a lifesaver for getting that 250,000 create xp trophy. Thanks!


131

+ Elnath10 on August 16th, 2010 at 6:52 am said:

Ey Russel, Thank you for fixing the more slots issues… I was expecting more slots when reached 100,000create XP and finally I’ve got it so Thanks for reading and sorry if we are annoying some times with this kind of stuff :/


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