MotoGP and Milestone have had quite the partnership when it comes to video games. The developer has been responsible for delivering a new MotoGP title for each of the past three years (2015 included). MotoGP 15 will look to be the best of them all, building off of the new engine introduced in MotoGP 14 with better environments and weather effects. It also helps that Milestone is using the experience gained from another recent motorcycle simulation RIDE to further improve the experience.
GamingBolt had a chance to speak to Milestone technical designer Andrea Basilio about MotoGP 15 and the various changes we’d be seeing. Along with Xbox One development, we also asked Basilio about committing to previous gen development as well as current gen consoles and what other gameplay features can be expected. MotoGP 15 is already available worldwide for Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
"In Milestone we have two separate teams that develop the two generation versions. The old gen and current gen development follows the same workflow but on a parallel path."
Rashid K. Sayed: MotoGP 14 featured a new engine which brought improved engine audio and improved lighting and shading. What kind of improvements can we expect in MotoGP 15?
Andrea Basilio: On MotoGP 15 we added several technical improvements on our engine. We focused especially on more realistic (based on physics) shaders in order to recreate the different materials that compose a bike. We also improved the environments with a new crowd system and improved 3D Trees. Plus we have a new weather after effect effects system and a brand new skies system.
Rashid K. Sayed: This will be the first time a MotoGP game comes to the Xbox One but you guys have already launched RIDE on the Xbox One. Is it fair to state that the development has been easier compared to RIDE?
Andrea Basilio: The Xbox One is a really powerful and easy to managed hardware. With RIDE we’ve understood how to use the new system and its tools. On MotoGP15 we’re performing a step forward and we’re using the Xbox One a lot better.
Rashid K. Sayed: MotoGP 14 faced criticism for its cross-generational development, yet MotoGP 15 will also be out on Xbox 360 and PS3 along with Xbox One and PS4. How will you address any deficiencies that arise from this process for MotoGP 15?
Andrea Basilio: In Milestone we have two separate teams that develop the two generation versions. The old gen and current gen development follows the same workflow but on a parallel path. A wide part of our audience still stays on old consoles gen and we want to bring to them the best MotoGP game possible.
Rashid K. Sayed: Furthermore, the gaming community in general believes that last gen versions held back the current gen capabilities. And to an extent it might hold back Moto GP 15 to truly shine on the PS4 and Xbox One. How are you making sure the sacrifices are kept to a minimum?
Andrea Basilio: In Milestone we don’t see the things in this way. We developed every single asset of the game in two different versions (one for each generation). I can assure you that our current gen version hasn’t been sacrificed in order to keep the old generations.
"This is the most important evolution of MotoGP15. The player can create and race for his own team. When the team is created will be possible to buy a bike that you like most and customize it as you prefer."
Rashid K. Sayed: Tell us more about the Beat the Time mode which introduces some elements of randomness to the racing. What rewards can players expect if they perform well?
Andrea Basilio: We develop the Beat the Time mode for giving a spot of the less famous bikes, normally shadowed from the most famous ones of the championship. We will see interesting challenges online due to for the first time there is a completely “challenge driven” leaderboard.
Rashid K. Sayed: What kind of multiplayer modes can we expect in MotoGP 15?
Andrea Basilio: On MotoGP15 we decided to keep the same and appreciated game modes from the past years focusing all our efforts on online stability and Xbox One integration. At the end of the day, we can offer to our players four game modes: Grand Prix, Championship, Sprint Season and Split Times.
Rashid K. Sayed: Customization has been vastly expanded in MotoGP 15 with the introduction of GP Credits, different bike models to purchase and tons of accessories. Can you tell us more about it?
Andrea Basilio: This is the most important evolution of MotoGP15. The player can create and race for his own team. When the team is created will be possible to buy a bike that you like most and customize it as you prefer. Selection comes with several liveries available. The colours of the liveries can be chosen and customized by the player.
Rashid K. Sayed: Will there be any cross save and cross pay options for PS3/PS4 with the PS Vita?
Andrea Basilio: No unfortunately we did not support this feature.
Rashid K. Sayed: RIDE ran at 30 frames per second on both the PS4 and Xbox One. Is there a chance that you might push it to 60 fps at 1080p given that MotoGP is Milestone’s flagship franchise?
Andrea Basilio: See question 10.
"MotoGP15 is going to be the best MotoGP game ever made. The new custom team section is a brand new experience for a MotoGP game."
Rashid K. Sayed: If you guys are going to stick at 30 fps, is there any specific reason? The racing community does expect racing games to run at 60 fps after all.
Andrea Basilio: On MotoGP we have more than 30 riders together on the track (moto2). This is a bike game, that is means that we have to simulate more that 30 physics (riders and bikes) at the same time. Basically the power isn’t enough to push the game on 60 FPS, but we’re working on it.
Rashid K. Sayed: Are you bumping the weather effects compared to the last entry?
Andrea Basilio: Yes, we’re working in this direction in order to obtain a more realistic rain effect. It is going to be really easy to notice to our fans. The rain now looks and feels more realistic.
Rashid K. Sayed: This is a tricky question and I hope you will be able to answer this. The PS4 has more GPU cores compared to Xbox One (18 vs. 12). Do you think developers sub-optimizing the PS4 version so that the message remains the same across both versions?
Andrea Basilio: I don’t know what are developers thinks about it but for sure in Milestone we push both the consoles as much as we can.
Rashid K. Sayed: So a few months ago, Microsoft freed up more CPU power by releasing the 7th core for developers. Are you guys using it and generally speaking are there any benefits to it?
Andrea Basilio: Yes, of course we use it, ad yes we have a big improvement to have one core more available. I think the users will benefit this improvement.
Rashid K. Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us before we let you go?
Andrea Basilio: MotoGP15 is going to be the best MotoGP game ever made. The new custom team section is a brand new experience for a MotoGP game. The big difference with previous MotoGP games is that players can in any time switch between his custom team and real teams. Basically they can decide if they want to win with their personal team or with a real team. MotoGP is going to hit the shelves June 19th on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.