For veteran fans of two-wheeler motorsports, there are few game developers out there worth paying as much attention to as Milestone. The Italian developer has been prolific (to say the least) with its output in the genre over the years, and now, with its newest offerings in MotoGP 22, the studio has delivered another solid racing sim. This year’s game continues to make steady and consistent improvements over its predecessors in a number of areas, and to get a clearer understanding of what that entails, we recently reached out to its developers with a few of our questions. Below, you can read our interview with MotoGP 22 producer Matteo Pezzotti.
NOTE: This interview was conducted prior to the game’s launch.
"Every year we have to work to improve riders, bikes and tracks and update them to the latest technologies. But this year we wanted to give a fresh look also to the environments “outside” the race."
(NINE) Season 2009 is one of MotoGP 22’s biggest new additions, and something that should appeal to fans of the sport. What was the process like of conceptualizing the mode? How did the idea for it first come about?
The road to the NINE was very long, something that I & the Executive Producer, Michele Caletti, started to conceptualize at least 2 or 3 years ago. MotoGP, like other racing games, already proposed historical modes in the past, but they always felt in some way “incomplete”, because what they usually proposed was a selection of the best riders/drivers of the past, without a proper context to enjoy them. The main idea was to give the player the chance to enjoy a full season, with all the riders, bikes and tracks that made that championship so exciting.
The second step was deciding which season include in the game, and 2009 came quite naturally. It was the year in which Valentino Rossi won his last title, so a great way to celebrate his career. But most of all it was a season full of exceptional riders (Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo) that brought the competition to a level never seen before.
The last step was understanding how to tell the story of that season, and also that part was surprisingly easy. We are both fans of Mark Neale (Faster, Fastest, Hitting the Apex) and we though that it would have been great having him directing some movies inside the game that will accompany the player through the story of that season.
Three years later, the dream has come true!
What are the biggest improvements that have been made to MotoGP 22 in terms of visuals and presentation?
Every year we have to work to improve riders, bikes and tracks and update them to the latest technologies. But this year we wanted to give a fresh look also to the environments “outside” the race.
Pits have been reworked to be more similar to the real ones; All the 3D faces of riders and staff have been made by scratch with new 3D face scan. And we added a new cut scene to represent the starting grid before the race start.
Racing sims, especially those that are as dedicated to authenticity is MotoGP tends to be, can be harder to get into for those who don’t have a lot of experience with the particular franchise, though MotoGP 22 is looking to address that with its new tutorials and an academy. Can you talk more about those and how they try and improve the onboarding process for newcomers?
The Tutorial is thought mainly for beginners. The first chapters help the players understand the basic maneuvers of the bike, but then goes deeper exploring specific rules and mechanics of the MotoGP world, like the “Long Lap Penalty” or the “Ride Height Device”.
The MotoGP Academy is the following step: once you have learnt how to control the bike, we teach you how to be fast. Every official circuit is split into sectors, and a series of hints explain how to face that portion of the track and which are the best trajectories to follow.
In addition to these two modes, the game includes also a new system that “evaluates” the riding style of the players after each race. According to performances, the game could suggest the player to activate some specific help or to try a specific tutorial.
"We are planning some additional online features… stay tuned for more details."
Can you tell us about some of the key ways MotoGP 22 is tweaking its on-track gameplay and customization options to build on its predecessors?
Every year we want to give the player the most realistic experience possible, and to follow this principle this time we added the “Ride Height Device” (RHD) into the game. The RHD is a mechanic system added to the MotoGPs in the last years, that allow the rider to compress the suspension and tower the center of gravity of the bike. RHD is used mainly on turns exit, to keep the bike lower, avoiding wheelies and allowing the vehicle to reach the maximum acceleration.
What are the biggest improvements that MotoGP 22’s Managerial Career mode makes over past games?
The main structure of the Career Mode is similar to the one last year. The player is free to build his own path to the world title: he can focus on being a rider, developing the bike and increasing his reputation to gain contracts with the best teams in the paddock; or he can try a managerial approach, finding contracts with sponsors, founding new teams, and managing junior riders and staff. In the past some players complained that can be quite long and difficult to manage all these different aspects, so we decided to give them the possibility to play “Short Seasons”. This year, at the beginning of each Career Season, the player will be asked to setup his own calendar, and he will be free to decide how many GPs he wants to go through before the end of the championship.
What are your plans for MotoGP 22 in terms of post-launch support and additional content?
First of all, we will provide full support to update all the official content to the 2022 season. In addition, we will add two other support classes with future patches: MotoE & RedBull Rookies Cup.
We have the official eSport championship going through all the season.
And we are planning some additional online features… stay tuned for more details.
Super Resolution is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. How do you think this will help game developers?
We have started evaluating this technology, but we need to investigate it further. For sure it’s something that can be helpful not just to improve game resolution, but also to keep frame rate more stable.
"We target 4K resolution on both consoles, at 60 FPS."
What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?
We target 4K resolution on both consoles, at 60 FPS. The resolution is “dynamic”, it means that it scales according to the game situation to always guarantee a stable 60 FPS framerate. It’s basically something it can be useful in some specific situations, like starting sequences in Moto2 / Moto3 where you have 30 and more bikes on scene.
What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck? Do you have plans for any specific optimizations for the device?
At the moment we are not planning any specific support.
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