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FAST Racing Neo - A Chance to Pick Their Brain!

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FAST Racing Neo - A Chance to Pick Their Brain!

Postby ZyroXZ2 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:01 pm

I had a chance to pick Manfred's brain on FAST Racing Neo!

Here you go, copy-and-pasted!


Jason (ZyroXZ2): FAST Racing Neo, of course by its name, is all about speed. You also emphasize that the Subsonic League is the slowest speed during the Treehouse gameplay. Yet, I saw a lot of running into walls and other situations where speed and response time were coming into play. Will the Hypersonic League speed render some vehicles virtually inadvisable, lacking the handling characteristics necessary to navigate more complex courses, or have all vehicles been relatively well-balanced for all modes of play?

Manfred (Shin'en): We made sure FAST Racing Neo is very accessible right from the start. After playing just a few rounds you really get a feeling for your vehicle. We think it's pretty easy to pick up and get much fun of it.

When you finished the Subsonic league and entering the Supersonic league you will need to adjust but this is where another layer of fun comes in. You will need to learn new tricks to master the courses.
Also you will get access to new vehicles with different stats. It's up to the player to develop his own driving style and which vehicle to use. Each cars has it's very own behavior and even the developers at Shin'en have each their favorite.

Jason (ZyroXZ2): Speaking of speed, the game runs at 60 fps to ensure that a fluid sense of rapid movement is maintained. However, the game also supports local 4-player splitscreen. What compromises have been made to ensure that 4-player splitscreen maintains that sense of speed? For example, are there no CPU racers in 4-player splitscreen matches?

Manfred (Shin'en): We are still working on local multiplayer. We currently try multiple techniques and find the perfect balance for performance and sense of speed.

Jason (ZyroXZ2): Since I'm talking frames-per-second, let's go ahead and talk graphics for a moment. The Wii U is established as being the weakest console of the 3 current generation systems. Regardless, I've always maintained that maxing out the hardware would result in a good-looking game. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of examples. Fortunately, you've come to the rescue! Was coding the graphics engine and optimizing it difficult? Can you confidently say you've maxed out the hardware, and that every available drop of power is being used in FAST Racing Neo?

Manfred (Shin'en): When starting with the game we had a vision. We wanted to develop the most exciting futuristic racing game on the market. We decided from the beginning it will be 60fps, anything else was not an option for a game that fast. So we knew all GPU and CPU stuff must fit into 16 milliseconds, which isn't a lot, especially when most games you get compared with are running on consoles with higher specs and with 30fps. We knew from the beginning we can't develop this vision with techniques everyone else does use. We would need to find different ways to achieve our vision. This was a big motivation because we like working on limits and pushing boundaries.

We started experimenting for a year. After a short time we had a working prototype but it ran only at around 15 fps when we enabled all the cool stuff and effects you now see in the game. We had 8k Softshadows, a complete HDR pipeline, physical based rendering, SSAO, more than 10,000 drawcalls, High Quality Motionblur, High Quality Godrays, Cinematic Color Grading, Volumetric lighting and so on. It looked really pretty but was near unplayable.

We then needed the rest of the year to find fast enough solutions to handle all these effects or to find new solutions that give the same results. Often we used tricks from the past that are pretty complicated to implement but that deliver the same effect with a fraction of the costs. To make long story short: In the end we were pretty happy seeing finally the game reaching 60fps. When finally playing at 60fps with all bells and whistles for the first time we knew we did the best work in our career. I don't say anyone else can't go even further on Wii U, but personally we reached our limits.

Jason (ZyroXZ2): Online multiplayer is practically the lifeblood of a majority of today's games. FAST Racing Neo supports online multiplayer, but not much details on it have surfaced. Will there be CPU racers to fill in the slots if not enough players can be found? Will it support two-player splitscreen online multiplayer like Mario Kart 8?

Manfred (Shin'en): We still implement online multiplayer. We haven't fully finalized the design yet.

Jason (ZyroXZ2): Finally, it's undoubtedly true that there are many of us, me included, that want to play this game. It's got a 2015 release year, but the Treehouse footage was clearly labeled "alpha version". We are midway into the year, and I am a little concerned that FAST Racing Neo isn't in the beta stage, let alone that bug-squashing stage just before release. How confidently can you tell me we'll see FAST Racing Neo before the close of 2015?

Manfred (Shin'en): It's a very ambitious goal, thats right. Anyway our Treehouse session and especially THE MIX session at E3 showed that the game is already working like a charm. There was no crash or other bugs for the complete day. We are very hard at work to finish all things up with perfect polish.

Jason (ZyroXZ2): Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Manfred! May FAST Racing Neo be your best-selling game yet and I look forward to reviewing it myself!

Manfred: (Shin'en): Thanks a lot.
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