Milestone’s game designer Mauro Indini talks to us about the upcoming motocross simulation title.
Italian studio Milestone has asserted a dominance of the motorcycle racing simulation genre over the years with a steady output of games that cater to that specific niche. Having recently put out RIDE 3, their next game in the pipeline is Monster Energy Supercross 2, a licensed product based on the popular motocross event, out in February of next year for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Recently, we got the chance to send across some of our questions about the upcoming title to Milestone. The questions you read below were answered by game designer Mauro Indini.
"Our main goal was to improve the Career Mode, evolving it into something more engaging than a simple playlist of races."
How deep do the customization options go in Monster Energy Supercross 2?
In addition to an improved gear catalogue, both for rider and bike components, we wanted to focus our attention on a deeper character customization – for example, in Supercross 2 it’s possible to personalize the Custom Rider with hats, sunglasses, earrings and tattoos. Moreover, players will find a wide range of brand new buttpatches and unique special components, unlockable through in-game currency, challenges and prestige system.
Can players expect to see any new mechanics in the Track Editor?
The Track Editor is one of our favourite features in Monster Energy Supercross – The Videogame 2. We wanted the players to be able to recreate the track of their dreams with the maximum accuracy possible – that’s why we improved the Track Editor with lots of new modules and with the possibility to customize the starting grid.
Can you talk to us a bit about what improvements players can expect to see in the career mode?
Our main goal was to improve the Career Mode, evolving it into something more engaging than a simple playlist of races. Players will now be able to manage their Rider Agenda, setting up the days that precede the weekend race. For each available day, it’s possible to select one of four different activities within Trainings, Fame Days, Sponsor Days and Rider Challenges.
From a development perspective, how different of an experience is it to work on Supercross 2 as opposed to something like Ride or MotoGP?
As you can imagine, working on an IP as RIDE 3 or a licensed video games – Monster Energy Supercross – The Videogame 2 or MotoGP present clear differences in terms of approach to development, because this second option means deeply embedding licenses into each step of production. We work very closely with the people behind the licenses – they give us their feedback and access to all official tracks, bikes and athletes and approve from the early stage of creation, to guarantee a full immersive experience of their championships. On the other hand, working on your own IP means a complete freedom in terms of design of video game and creation of own rules for each race.
"Working on a licensed product is never a walk in the park. This game is no exception: players rightfully expect to be able to live and breathe the Supercross atmosphere at its best. From this perspective, we worked hard on reproducing faithfully the discipline, taking care of the smallest details in order to give the players the most realistic experience."
Given that Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a licensed product, does that place an added weight of expectation as far as authenticity in presentation is concerned?
Working on a licensed product is never a walk in the park. This game is no exception: players rightfully expect to be able to live and breathe the Supercross atmosphere at its best. From this perspective, we worked hard on reproducing faithfully the discipline, taking care of the smallest details in order to give the players the most realistic experience.
Can you talk to us about a bit about the Compound? More specifically, how destructible are the environments going to be? And can players expect to see any new features?
Monster Energy Supercross – The Videogame 2’s Compound will feature three different Supercross tracks and a Motocross tracks, all of them included in a huge free-roaming map set in a typical American farmland. It will be possible to race in Single Events, both online and offline, and Time Attack on all of the available tracks. Free-roaming lovers will enjoy the environment even more thanks to the Day-Night cycle and the dynamic weather.
Is this a game that caters more to hardcore Supercross aficionados or simulation enthusiasts, or is it something that will be accessible to more casual racing fans as well?
We always try to please all of our players. Even though it may seem impossible to satisfy everyone, we wanted both the casual and the hardcore gamer to enjoy the experience we delivered. That being said, there will be two different physics related options and five AI difficulties, able to change completely the gaming experience according to the user will. Moreover, we implemented the Flow Aid, a brand new feature, that can be turned on at will, useful for the players that want to learn the best flow for each track.
Can you talk to us a bit about what players can expect to see from the multiplayer side of things?
We are all gamers and we know how much people love to play online. During the development process we tried to gather as many feedback as we could from our community in order to improve the multiplayer experience.
"All of the gear and components can be unlocked through in-game credits, specific Challenges and the Prestige level-up system."
Will there be any microtransactions in the game?
Absolutely not. All of the gear and components can be unlocked through in-game credits, specific Challenges and the Prestige level-up system.
Will the game will feature Xbox One X specific enhancements. What can players expect if they are playing the game on Xbox One X? Is 4K/60fps on the cards?
Anyone who plays on an Xbox One X will be surprised by the enhanced graphic effects, reached to guarantee a better performance as well as the resolution which is higher than full HD. As you can imagine, this is a very early stage in development of the title – we are still working to reach 60fps, but we can’t still confirm anything just now.
And how will the PS4 Pro version turn out in terms of resolution and frame rate?
It’s a similar story. On PS4 Pro version, we’ve also achieved a higher resolution than full HD. At this stage the PS4 Pro version is running at 30 fps, but we’re working to have guarantee the same performance as the Xbox One X at 60 fps.
How is the game running on the original Xbox One and PS4, frame rate and resolution wise?
At present, the framerate is always 30fps on PS4 and Xbox One, with a 1080p resolution on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One.
What is the resolution and frame rate of the Switch version in docked and undocked modes?
Both the resolution and frame rate have been improved in comparison with the previous video game in the undocked mode, while in docked one we support 720p.
"Cross play would be a great opportunity for the industry to develop online games and multiplayer features with a different point of view. A solid and cohesive online community could benefit especially small and medium developers, which online users are widely spread through all the different platforms."
Next gen is coming sooner or later. From a development perspective, what is your biggest expectation from PS5 and Xbox Scarlett?
We are thrilled by the idea of working on always more powerful consoles, pushing the graphics and performances to their limits. The future of gaming might be around the corner, but it’s still a bit of a mystery right now, and one not quite ready to be unveiled.
Do you think cross platform will be one of the defining features of next-gen consoles?
It would be a great opportunity for the industry to develop online games and multiplayer features with a different point of view. A solid and cohesive online community could benefit especially small and medium developers, which online users are widely spread through all the different platforms.