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Online Features in ModNation Racers: Road Trip for PS Vita

Erich Waas's Avatar + Posted by Erich Waas on Jan 23, 2012 // Director, Product Development - San Diego

I wanted to give Mark Wilson a break this week so that I could talk about the robust online features in ModNation Racers: Road Trip. The team here in San Diego created an impressive list of online functionality to take advantage of the WiFi/3G and GPS functionality. This game is intended to let you take advantage of your road trips—whether they’re across the country, to another state or just traveling between home and work or school. More importantly, ModNation Racers: Road Trip was designed to work around your schedule and let you compete with your friends whenever (and wherever) you want.

PS Vita: ModNation Racers: Road Trip

1. Competitive Localized Leaderboards
When a gamer who has opted to “Use Location Data” posts a lap time to the Leaderboards, that time is connected to their current location. Gamers can personalize their location names (i.e., My Home, My Work, Mark’s House Where I Always Win, etc.) for easy reference. These times become part of the Local Leaderboards which gamers can use to compete in a fun arcade-style atmosphere.

Gamers can also select one of their saved locations and view other competitors’ times that were earned nearby. For example, if I earn a great time on “Construction Mayhem” while at “Mark’s House,” I can check my rank versus other gamers’ local times and more importantly, my friends…including Mark. The game would find the 8, 24 or 48 closest gamers to “Mark’s House” who posted local times for “Construction Mayhem.” This means you’ll have an ever-expanding level of challenge through asynchronous competition to play instantly when and where you want!

2. Continual Match-Making, Ghosts and Time Trials
Where ModNation Racers for the PS3 automatically matches gamers against one of the most difficult lap times in the community, ModNation Racers: Road Trip instead matches you against other gamers’ Ghosts who have set times which are competitive to yours. This continual match-making and the shorter play time of a single lap competition makes for a fun and constantly challenging online gaming experience. For those of us who are competitive with our friends, we can select a filter to race against friends’ ghosts.

An option on the Vita even allows you to receive a push notification whenever your time is beat or to boast to your friends when you beat theirs—I believe I will use this feature plenty with Mark once ModNation Racers: Road Trip goes live next month.

3. Travel Points: Time For A Road Trip

The first time a gamer checks-in with Mod Explorer the game will recognize their location. Every time a gamer checks-in at any location after that they will earn Travel Points based on the distance from their last check-in. Individual gamers will then unlock additional parts for Track Studio when they reach certain amounts of Travel Points. There will also be an in-game leaderboard ranking gamers by the amount of Travel Points they have earned.

big ben

3a. Global Travel Points: Help Us Help You
Travel Points earned by every gamer are added together to form Global Travel Points. When the community of gamers reach certain distance milestone amounts of Global Travel Points everyone who uses Mod Explorer will unlock new track creation parts! This could be how world peace starts. Don’t you want to be a part of it?

explorer

4. Destination Check-ins: Better Than A Passport Stamp
Mod Explorer contains 45 featured cities across the globe–each city with three distinct destinations. When a gamer checks-in at a destination that they can find using PS Vita’s GPS functionality, they will unlock unique creation pieces to use in the creation studios.

In addition, the entire ModNation Racers: Road Trip community is further rewarded when parts associated with the destination are unlocked for the global community of gamers. For example, if you check-in at Navy Pier in Chicago, you will unlock associated parts for your use. When the predetermined threshold of player check-ins at Navy Pier has been reached, a unique part is unlocked for ALL gamers. Other parts associated with Navy Pier will be unlocked for all gamers as the number of unique player check-ins increase there.

Finally, when a gamer checks-in at a destination, they are prompted to take a picture and modify it using their Mod and Kart. This is done with ModNation Racers: Road Trip – Mod Postcards feature (See last week’s blog.)

chicago

5. Ad-Hoc Play: It’s ModNation Party Time!
For those racers looking for that head-to-head experience with your friends, Ad-Hoc play is where it’s at. Up to four gamers can race simultaneously on any San Diego Studio track or choose from over 500,000 user created tracks from the ModNation Racers community. That ought to keep you busy for a millennium or so.

6. Race, Create, Publish and Download!
As you’d expect from a ModNation Racers game, you have incredibly strong creation studios literally at your fingertips to create anything in your imagination. Publish your creations for the entire community to enjoy. And if creation isn’t your thing, enjoy downloading anything published by the entire community. And to sweeten the deal, you have full backwards compatibility to download any of the over 3 million creations from ModNation Racers PS3!

I know there are some of you that are disappointed that ModNation Racers: Road Trip doesn’t let you play head-to-head online other than ad-hoc. But we really wanted to evolve online functionality and take advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s unique feature set in new ways. If all we ever did as developers is rehash features that have been done in previous games, we’d still be entering passwords instead of using save files and you’d have to start the entire game over after you lost your three lives (extra 1-ups aside). While online head-to-head has been a mode used in many games in recent years, we focused on making a game that is crafted for how portable games are most often played—in quicker “pick up and play” sessions multiple times in a day. Your online interaction, competition and socialization will always be when it’s convenient for you. I hope that all of you are as interested to check-out the robust online features that ModNation Racers: Road Trip has as we are to see you enjoy them!

ModNation Racers For PS3

Hot Lap Track of the Week: Twilight Seidenstrassen by big-village_920_

totw

Hot Lap Tracks of the Week:
Monday: Cathedral Of Tundrith by John31269
Tuesday: @ the lost city by marusarusa
Wednesday: They Took Our Town! by MrDufus
Thursday: Mod Canyon River Tour by ArgorokX
Friday: Crystal Waltz by marusarusa
Saturday: Twilight Seidenstrassen by big-village_920_
Sunday: Hiyazaki Point Raceway by atheistsw

//Add Your Own

168 Comments

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151

+ Davenport on January 24th, 2012 at 11:53 pm said:

what would have been a day one purchase has turned into a joke. I will no longer be purchasing MNR: RT due to the confirmation of its lack of online play.

and since when does portable mean quicker game sessions?! portable is a way for me to take my gaming with me wherever I go… hence the word “portable”. Sony, you really screwed this one up.


152

+ remanutd5 on January 25th, 2012 at 6:29 am said:

ok guys / girls please dont be so drastic in your decisions , listen if you guys are interested in the game and if they add head to head online patch support the developers , i dont know why sony is promoting the 3G if we wont be able to play online , i mean 4G online multiplayer would be a different story but having 3G just to see latest online leaderboards , ghost times , challenges but not being able to play online multiplayer it just scream fail !!

and the same thing goes to other studios like Evolution Studios , i understand Motorstorm Apocalypse isnt the success they were expecting it to be but they are launching a psn game that will support vita and ps3 , why they dont add head to head online multiplayer, heck even better they should add cross platform play , its freaking motorstorm for christ sake . i dont understand how you guys can predict vita’s online success with the psp as an example , psp was a joke compare to the vita online capabilities , throw some trophies , online parties , messages, cross chat messages, voice chat and you got a winner ( psp never really had full psn integration )


153

+ TainoGunslinger on January 25th, 2012 at 6:40 am said:

Well, I WAS going to get this game for my son and I when I pick us up 2 Vitas…. but now that we will not be able to play online multiplayer I will just get us another racer that has the feature instead.


154

+ MOOSH89 on January 25th, 2012 at 6:52 am said:

@142 – Wow, thanks for pointing that out… that changes alot. No career? just… wow. I will not be buying this game until Multiplayer is added now. That is just disappointing. Please don’t get me wrong, I love MNR but I will not buy an unfinished game. If there’s no career, what the hell are we supposed to do? I know there’s creating, which I love, but where’s the racing?? Time trials isn’t considered racing in my book.

I hope the devs can salvage this game… it could be really great!


155

+ remanutd5 on January 25th, 2012 at 6:52 am said:

at 153 hey Taino , me too i was gonna get 2 copies of ModNation myself , one for me and the other one for my little nephew but not im looking at wipeout 2048 instead but if San Diego Studios announce Head to Head multiplayer with parties i will get ModNation instead because my little nephew loves it on the ps3 , i will still get wipeout but only for me and i will get 2 copies of modnation so i can race with him and other psn friends who are getting the vita and the game


156

+ remanutd5 on January 25th, 2012 at 6:53 am said:

sorry im now looking at wipeout 2048 instead , thats what i meant to say lol


157

+ remanutd5 on January 25th, 2012 at 6:59 am said:

i remember i got Motorstorm Arctic Edge for my nephew , my younger brother and me , and everytime i wanted to race against them i had to call them up over the phone and let them know when to look for an online race to see if we gotlucky and they end up on my race , it was a pain in the ass trying to play with them online because the game didnt support online parties , cross game chat , or text messages , now the vita is pack with features that even the great ps3 doesnt have and they dont want to add head to head multiplayer , omg thats so ironic


158

+ TUSTIN1 on January 25th, 2012 at 7:14 am said:

@154 Just to be clear – the game does have a career mode, they just couldn’t be bothered with a new story or cut-scenes. So no announcers or story scenes between races.

It just shapes up for a very bland experience.


159

+ remanutd5 on January 25th, 2012 at 7:57 am said:

hey Erich if you are reading this and this goes to all playstation vita developers , how about doing the same thing some ps3 games do ? and put online multiplayer demos on psn ? how about betas ? we know Resistance Burning Skies will supoort online multiplayer how about Nihilistic putting an online multiplayer beta on psn ? man so much opportunity for sony to get on that multiplayer on the GO , The Hardware is there , the support is the there , psn is there , now its only a matter to start taking the right decisions guys . you guys are sleeping on that , the vita is pack with tons of features guys , is like having a portable ps3 on your hands , take advantage of that , oh and sony better start talking to activision about a call of duty vita beta on psn and you’ ll see the success , i mean i dont really like call of duty anymore but lots of people do , think ahead guys , think ahead .


160

+ nfskingrlinworld on January 25th, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

wait more new is a coming?


161

+ Graywolffe on January 25th, 2012 at 6:12 pm said:

- A LOYAL SONY CUSTOMER (Avid PS3 & PSP user and consistent PSN spendah’!!!)

IF there is absolutely NO PSN digital download discount for VITA games (when I check on the 14th). THEN I will immediately cancel my VITA preorder & save for the NextBox…Sad to say, but it is the ONLY manner in which I will be able to voice an audible opinion on such greedy tactics. Hoping for continued symbiosis…

Graywolffe


162

+ Teflon02 on January 27th, 2012 at 7:09 am said:

@erich, glad to hear.
don’t know if i expressed this but, I’m sure this wasn’t thought over while choosing if there was Online multiplayer but, Did you guys really forget about the stages that are to complicated for the AI to play? ex. there is a stage, Yoshi valley remade on MNR ps3, and I can only face friends on it or play online because AI will not race on it because they can’t seem to possibly make a lap, so it just has the no AI mark and doesn’t load them. Just wanted to say the whole concept for those stages get killed without online because they are for the elite players who can hop over death pits at the right time and wait for objects to jump on etc.


163

+ Teflon02 on January 27th, 2012 at 7:11 am said:

@GreyWolffe
Alil contradictory there? Did you not think about the fact that, if your a PSN spender, you have no real reason to have discounts seeing that didn’t affect your chooses on downloading PSP games?


164

+ XxAiRbOrNxX on January 29th, 2012 at 12:38 am said:

“All this said, the development team is looking at online head-to-head in a patch. This wouldn’t be available day-1 of the PlayStation Vita launch but it is indeed something being researched as I type this.”

@Erich Waas
I hope the head-to-head online play isn’t going to be like the ad-hoc multiplayer because I would like to see atleast 6 people (PSP) competing in a race compared to just 2 in just head-to-head (same as ad-hoc)…


165

+ XxAiRbOrNxX on January 29th, 2012 at 2:14 pm said:

EDIT: I thought ad-hoc is 2 player but I was informed by my friend that it is 4 player, sorry for misinfo but I still hope that head-to-head multiplayer isn’t limited to just 4 players and can be atleast between 6 players.


166

+ ykiki5 on January 30th, 2012 at 4:48 pm said:

HUSKY BAND! (Okay Erich, just wanted to see if you’re paying attention…)


167

+ stapeonator on February 2nd, 2012 at 10:13 pm said:

Are you not concerned about how the lack of online multiplayer will negatively affect the reviews? These reviews scores wont change after the game is patched which will likely have a negative impact on sales. Also if the game cover doesnt mention online multiplayer after the patch then a large percentage of buyers will likely be unaware of its inclusion which could once again reduce sales.


168

+ lordarius on February 6th, 2012 at 10:16 pm said:

I just can’t believe no one has picked up on the main point of
the vita directly from sony ,the intentions of the vita and price
of the vita is that sony see the vita as a new home console
device NOT A HANDHELD for quick play sessions ,this is reflected
in the high price of the unit yet the excuse we see for no online
play is that the developers want to stick with handheld
traditions and keep it simple pick up play and sell the next day
because there is no one to play online with.
I am soooo angry at this stupid excuse for a reson,who do these
developers think we are ? we live hard work hard and in our few
hours of peace play online with friends in a fast paced
environment ,we are not children in the living room with four ps
vitas all hooked up like the days of golden eye on n64.
The real reason is lazyness and lack excitment for such an
amazing title such as mod nation racers ,this game is the best
thing ever and i don’t think even now the developers know or
understand what they created,full online multiplay needs to be
put in before release not after otherwise it won’t be good,i also
don’t think they want to pay for extra servers


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