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Mar 05

Mar 05

ModNation Racers PS3: Dynamic Props – More than Just Speed Bumps

Mark Riddell's Avatar Posted by Track Designer for ModNation Racers, United Front Games

Hello, Mark here back for another developer post. Since we last talked, our North American and European Public PS3 Betas have exposed ModNation Racers to the world. These previews generated lots of great feedback and have helped us focus on key issues in these final months. I’m happy to say that frame rate, load times and race cameras have all improved.

In my last update, I talked about some of the more advanced features of Track Studio that we’ve used to create the tracks for the game. Today I’d like to talk about some of the cool props you can add to your tracks to make them fun, challenging and memorable! Dynamic Props are interactive objects that you can place on your track to enhance the gameplay.

ModNation Racers PS3 Screenshot - Barrel Launcher

We’re including a load of exciting things to place on your tracks, such as barrel launchers that shoot crushing or exploding barrels.

ModNation Racers PS3 Screenshot - Mod Bot

There are also ModBots, robots that move back and forth across your track and attack karts that get close. Some shoot flame, some will bounce racers off the track if they aren’t careful. They can be scattered anywhere, so it’s a nice touch if you want your racers to watch the road.

We’ve also included ramps for cool jumps, and launchers for shooting the kart over huge distances. We have barriers that pop out of the ground to test a driver’s agility, and flame vents to make any careless driver extra crispy! We designed them to be customizable, reusable and effective in a variety of different scenarios. The devilish setups we’ve put in our tracks are just the beginning of what can be done!

Highlighting a Dynamic Prop in Track Studio and pressing the Square button will pop up a dialog where you can adjust settings on how the prop behaves. For instance, you can dial in the height of a ramp, or change the direction of the Twister (a giant rotating platform). Adjusting these things gives you the power to customize your track to make it as crazy as you want.

ModNation Racers PS3 Screenshot - Camel Jump

Dial your ramp just right or you might hit some humps!

These dangers work well with gameplay incentives such as item pods or boost pads – give the racers a reason to brave the danger! For instance, use a Devastator (a giant stomper) and boost pads in combination with a popup ramp to let them jump clean over it, versus the faster, more treacherous route under the Devastator.

ModNation Racers PS3 Screenshot - Devastator

A whole gauntlet of Devastators to slalom through!?!

With so many Dynamic Props, and so many possible combinations, I can’t wait to see what the community comes up with.

Until then, check out our new trailer (above) that gives you a taste of all the insanity you can create with the toys we’ve built for you.

Add Your Own

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poodude said:

March 5th, 4:04 pm

I can’t wait for this game!

gamerboy845 said:

March 5th, 4:04 pm

will there be a sackboy costum?

radiantshadow92 said:

March 5th, 4:08 pm

cannot wait for this

DNAgent said:

March 5th, 4:08 pm

Since that Sonic & Sega All-Stars racing game was garbage then I guess I will buy this instead. This seems to be the only thing that will be close to Mario Kart for the PS3 (not to mention you can even make Mario and his kart in this game).

I wonder if I can make any classic Mario Kart maps in this game. I guess I will try anyways. lol

Seahawk313 said:

March 5th, 4:15 pm

Kind of off topic, but when i signed up for the free limited psp theme, before March,2, I never recieved a code. I entered my email several times. Any Ideas?????

BlaqueEssence said:

March 5th, 4:16 pm

I am so dying for this game! I know it comes out this Spring, but does anyone know of an exact date or at least estimate when it may release?

bendeboy said:

March 5th, 4:17 pm

do we really have to wait until summer?

ASLplease said:

March 5th, 4:19 pm

Was wondering, is this game REALLY releasing in Spring because it just seems too soon for me. Summer or Fall release seems much more better in my opinion.

Also, will there be a time frame in which we will know the release date, or at least which month you guys are projecting for this game to be released in? I’m suspecting you will tell us during GDC but I don’t know.

Finally, will the PS3 and PSP versions be released in the same day, or seperate like LBP?

wolfzero1 said:

March 5th, 4:28 pm

looking forward to this game

are there going to be tracks that you can download & play offline?

Rival_31 said:

March 5th, 4:40 pm

I can’t wait for this game!!! This has been on my wishlist since it was announced!

shadysaiyanz said:

March 5th, 4:45 pm

Can’t wait. hope there are lots of in-air “tricks” too other then the horizontal car spin XD

Can’t wait to kick butt.

markcusd said:

March 5th, 4:49 pm

When will we get a release date? GDC?

Lolsa1 said:

March 5th, 4:54 pm

Day 1 buy for me, it looks soo much fun.

Kirkpad said:

March 5th, 5:02 pm

I really hope you guys fixed the community system! The rating system was totally wonky in the BETA. Maybe more messed up than LBP’s! (Thats quite a feat, as LBP’s ratings system is just messed)

The first comments on this post make me worried that this will turn into another kids game like LBP did. Then again, there is a hardcore crowd in LBP too.

Wait… what am I saying? Any game rated E and published by Sony HAS to be good. Good luck on fixing the crazy community issues!

ThreeLeggedFreak said:

March 5th, 5:03 pm

Will there be camera angle options? Most other race games give you an option to adjust the camera….

Also will Custom Soundtrack be supported?

jeremy23jacinto said:

March 5th, 5:07 pm

I love this game btw i was in the beta

georgecat315fat said:

March 5th, 5:10 pm

cannot wait for this game!

WU-Tang4Ever said:

March 5th, 5:11 pm

The game looks great but what would make the game a must buy for me is split screen functionality. Is the game going to support 2 player or 4 player split screen? I miss the good old days when multiplayer games could be played offline.

I’m also wondering if there was any way I could build a race track that purely goes downhill so instead of doing laps, it will simply be who can make it down the hill the fastest. I want to create a race track similar to the ones on Downhill Domination, one of Sony’s hidden gems on the ps2. thanks!

poweredbyzen said:

March 5th, 5:16 pm

this would be a good came for my creative outlet! love props and environment-interactability! would love to be able to play my own music quasi-burnout paradise. :D

GooDer_gAMe said:

March 5th, 5:19 pm

Have you fixed the ability to join others and race together? When I last tried this ability in the beta, it did not work, so I was only able to test ModNation Racers by myself (which isn’t as fun).

    Mark Riddell's Avatar

    Mark Riddell said:

    March 6th, 9:33 am

    You can both invite friends to a race, as well as find and join races your friends are in.

Musoka_Eimin said:

March 5th, 5:34 pm

The beta was awesome, it definitely had some issues but it was a beta. That said, given what I was limited to use in the beta, I could see the potential for it. It looks like its really coming along nicely guys, good work! Oh and Kirkpad, you think LBP is a kids game? I’m gonna be 30 here, and I find the game to be a stroke of brilliance, and never ending fun. NEVER have I played a game multiple times a week for many hours for almost a year and a half straight. LBP is amazing, and I think modnation racers will be too :)

Musoka_Eimin said:

March 5th, 5:36 pm

I also would like to know if you are incorporating the XMB custom soundtrack feature. It seemed to be a consensus among all I talked with in the beta that this was the ultimate game to be able to listen to what you want to.

TakiFuGu said:

March 5th, 5:37 pm

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. “Day one purchase for me.”

oGGe45 said:

March 5th, 5:40 pm

Hey Mark, the game looks great and really fun to play! One question though.. During the beta, I noticed how long the loading times were. Will this be a problem in the final version of the game? Because I can’t see myself playing a game with such long waiting times (often as well).


Dark_Vincent said:

March 5th, 5:42 pm

Have you fixed the camera? it sucked during the BETA ._. what about the loading times?

Kchow23 said:

March 5th, 5:47 pm

As long as the lag is not as bad as it was in the beta then I will consider buying it

Musoka_Eimin said:

March 5th, 6:25 pm

I’m sorry but I have to ask, does anyone bother to read before posting on the internet? 24 and 25 both asking questions that were clearly answered in the first paragraph of the post lol…

SPOOKULA209 said:

March 5th, 6:42 pm

both the psp and ps3 version are coming out in spring? that’s what I’m talking about, can’t wait

oldcatsrock said:

March 5th, 6:45 pm

Hey Mark,
A big thank you for the update. After seeing whats in store for launch, Now I really can’t wait. The new dynamic props are really going to liven things up. As for the ramps, 2 thumbs up.
See you on the track come spring.
Old Cats Racing

Exypher said:

March 5th, 6:48 pm

I loved everything about the beta except the frame rate. Pretty much made the game unplayable for me. Fix this, and I will gladly pay $65 for this on day one.

remanutd5 said:

March 5th, 6:57 pm

well its a day 1 buy for me , hey Jeff or Chris are we gonna see sony GDC conference live here on the blog? i hope so , and i hope you have live coverage of Sony Gamers day too

nYcFrEeWiLL82 said:

March 5th, 7:15 pm


Thrasher20 said:

March 5th, 7:32 pm

Plain awesome.

PaperCarrier said:

March 5th, 7:42 pm

I loved Mario Kart and really loved Little BIG Planet so Modnation Racers is a definite MUST for me!

footballrule said:

March 5th, 7:50 pm

Any official release date for this game yet? I loed the beta, i dressed as Mario. Seemed like Mario Karts to me, but better! :D

mrjsinn said:

March 5th, 7:57 pm

will this game support offline multiplayer?… if not 4 player split-screen… at least 2?

i am still in shock that midnight club LA had no lick of offline multiplayer… such a fail for a race game… in my opinion.

r-Volt said:

March 5th, 8:07 pm

looks really fun!

Monetep said:

March 5th, 9:18 pm

I loved the US Beta, great add the dynamic props, the only thing i didn’t liked about ModNation were the weapons or power ups, whatever you call it.

I only wish you make new ones or more than the ones existing in the beta, and you even have to improve them.

But any way, great game…

PD: @4 What? Sonic and Sega ASR, wasn’t a bad game at all, read the reviews or try the demo, it really good, but we PS3 users, we should wait for MNR.

You_Out said:

March 5th, 9:19 pm

I can only hope that we get some more info on this game at GDC.

Anyway, I can’t wait for this game. The more I hear about it, the more excited I get.

BlackLemonade said:

March 5th, 9:27 pm

Game looks great!

And I really liked the song in this trailer, anyone know what it is called?

Darkpen said:

March 6th, 1:17 am

Dynamic props! yes! Also, it looks to me like you guys really managed to hammer down on that framerate :)

    Mark Riddell's Avatar

    Mark Riddell said:

    March 6th, 9:36 am

    Thanks! As I said in my post, we\’ve been putting a high priority on both the framerate and the load times. They are both much improved.

xiked said:

March 6th, 1:32 am

“I’m happy to say that frame rate, load times and race cameras have all improved.”

FANTASTIC! Now fix the way the car behaves so it is more accessible to a younger crowd and I know allot of you kids that will love this!

Zet13 said:

March 6th, 1:37 am

CAN’T WAIT I loved the beta, this will be tons of fun to play around with, and COULD be the greatest Kart Racer in years

Spaceman8067 said:

March 6th, 2:37 am

I don’t believe it I have the same error again! GRRRRRRRR it just ain’t fair any of you got the “You have been signed out of playstationNetwork error again?

RuthlessEd said:

March 6th, 5:50 am

Does anyone who participated in the beta know if this game supports splitscreen?

It would be the dumbest mistake ever if it didn’t. That’s what made Mario Karts on N64 a classic. 4-player splitscreen. People still play it to this day.

I would be stunned if the developers were dumb enough to leave out local multiplayer. Absolutely stunned.

grey_jeep said:

March 6th, 6:10 am

4 player split screen is confirmed!

Ice-M1k3 said:

March 6th, 6:47 am

Dear PLaystation,
my ps3,80gb model, will not turn on at all. the power button will show up as green, then it will turn yellow, then it will turn off by itself. does it need a battery of some sort or is it broken? please tell me ASAP.

RuthlessEd said:

March 6th, 7:08 am


Sounds like YLOD.

Your PS3 needs to be repaired. $150.

grey_jeep said:

March 6th, 7:25 am

Modnation team, you know how yall made the racers able to drive through the barn? In the seaside theme can you drive through the yacht?

ps, my goal is to make over 30 races!

bob52 said:

March 6th, 7:42 am

Are we going to be able to make short cuts and hidden routes in the game? Can we split a road into two paths or something like that?

    Mark Riddell's Avatar

    Mark Riddell said:

    March 6th, 9:38 am

    Yes, you can make shortcuts, alternate routes, and definitely hide the paths if you want.

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