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Evolution Studios gets tech chatty regarding MotorStorm: Apocalypse development

Wednesday, 30th March 2011 18:39 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Evolution Studios has said it overcame some “difficult technical hurdles,” while developing MotorStorm: Apocalypse for PS3.

Speaking with Digital Foundry, the game’s lead technical artist Andy Seymour and vehicle lead Neil Massam said once the team got the shader code and normal mapping ironed out along with balancing multiple vehicles, the team went on from there to create a game that could handle all these vehicles running around in a destructible environment.

“From an art perspective there were two major challenges,” said Seymour. “Firstly we knew that we needed to move from our in-house world editor to a DCC in order to craft the worlds more artistically. Prior to MotorStorm, Evolution Studios developed the World Rally Championship series of PlayStation 2 games with hundreds of unique stages, and we knew we’d need trade quantity for fidelity in order to show off PlayStation 3 visuals for launch.

“Secondly we were aware that the advent of next-gen techniques such as shader code and normal mapping were going to be a training challenge for the art team. So our render coders taught our key artists the basics of cgfx vertex and fragment code. This was made easier by a very early visual node-based shader authoring package called RTZen. Tech Artists could use it to prototype shaders and see the results instantly, and then analyse the shader code that was generated to understand the techniques in play.”

Massam added that the MotorStorm as a concept was an “ideal opportunity,” to set the game apart from the competition by “overcoming one of the genre’s most difficult technical hurdles”.

“Our vehicle rigging and suspension system had to cater for this broad range, many with exposed and highly visible suspension,” he said. “We settled for a technically complex real-time physics based suspension system to increase the level of realism. Havok physics and driver ragdoll tech were also key ingredients for the vehicles in MotorStorm and added an additional level of believability on the new PlayStation 3 hardware. Components that fell off the vehicles or hinged now looked convincing and the drivers being flung from their vehicles added further spectacle to crashes.

“The successful implementation turned out to be one of the games most defining features and achievements. Continual refinement of gameplay and visuals was invaluable in achieving final results, so it was key to have a process which allowed frequent reviews and frequent iteration.

“The biggest issues faced in preparing the events were pretty fundamental design challenges: how would the event affect gameplay before, during and after it had triggered? The events were designed with fairness in mind from the beginning: they should be triggered far enough away so that the fastest vehicle with a clear run at full boost would experience as much of the event as possible and not be disadvantaged.

“Another issue came about because of the sheer number of contributions necessary in preparing the artwork; from modelling, to animation, to VFX/particles, back to modelling, then to audio, etc. Getting the right person working on the right aspect of the event at the right time was initially a pain, but we were well-managed, and the team was amazing in producing 280+ events on a tight schedule.”

It’s a very techy read, to be fair, but an interesting one nonetheless. Get the full thing over on GI.biz.

Motorstorm Apocalypse will launch in the UK next Thursday.

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19 Comments

  1. HauntaVirus

    Sounds like a TON of hard work! I’ll be looking forward to giving this a try. Sad it’s been delayed though.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. theevilaires

    Log in to read the full story and comments!? Fuck that who the hell do they think they are. Nice way to draw attention to your site guys. Ass backward euros I swear.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Tallon 4

    I’ve already completed the SP ( it’s already out in Holland ) and at first I was a bit disappointed, but after a few hours I just went nuts.
    This game is really awesome and is a real blast to play.

    I hope you guys can enjoy the game asap…it’s really awesome.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. theevilaires

    ^ Did you get a platinum trophy? Is it hard to achieve the platinum trophy? How long was it or is it to get the platinum trophy? Did you feel good about achieving the platinum trophy overall? If you got the platinum trophy can you share any tips on the easiest methods of getting the platinum trophy? How many other trophies must you obtain before you get the platinum trophy? Do you have the Pacific Rift platinum trophy? Can you customize your car and put platinum on it in any way?

    Thanks for answering these important questions about the platinum trophy :D

    #4 4 years ago
  5. LOLshock94

    this is one of the shittiest games this year a real disappoint I love the first and the second but this one was god awful

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Ge0force

    @4 Platinum is not hard at all. The campain is rather easy (you don’t even have to finish 1st to get all trophies) but very frustrating sometimes because of the unfair rubberband AI. There is a hardcore mode that’s pretty hard, but you can do time events to get the events-trophy. Getting to level 40 in multiplayer will take a while, but online racing is great and you don’t loose any XP if you don’t win. You can customize each vehicle in each of the 13 classes, it even gives you some trophies when you do. But easu platinum or not, every fan of arcade racers should buy this game for the multiplayer and amazing graphics.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. theevilaires

    Thanks Ge0force :D I actually went back and started playing MS:PR and yea I was wrong about it, its great and the sense off speed caught on to me its crazy fun just like the original but with more content and some of the best racing levels in a racer like this. Truly MotorStorm stands in a league of its own with no competition and I can wait for the 3rd installment.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @7 Agreed entirely. The Motorstorm games are definitely in a league of their own.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. railbird13

    I rather enjoyed the 1st Motorstorm, was waiting for pacific rift to drop price for the longest time but I ended up hooked into Burnout Paradise/Hot Pursuit that I never went back to pick up PR. Playing through the PSP MS:Arctic Edge and rather enjoying it for a handheld Motorstorm, will likely pick this one up sometime this year.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Holy shit.

    Take note. Comment 7 and 8.

    TEA and O’Connor both agree on something!!!!!

    What is the world coming too?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    lol

    I got the UK import coming to my place tomorrow. Can’t WAIT!!

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    @10

    Crazy stuff for sure lol

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    @10 Unlike our little gangsta wannabe chum, I agree or disagree with people purely based on my own personal opinion of something. I don’t feel the need to hate on someone just for the sake of hating on someone.

    The same cannot be said for him.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. tenthousandgothsonacid

    Got this today and I’m fucking loving it.

    Odd that it looks so good and it runs at 1080p, the nerd in me wants 720p and a better framerate (or fancier graphics) and yet it requires neither.

    A technical masterpiece

    #13 4 years ago
  14. tenthousandgothsonacid

    @IrelandMichael taking the moral high ground ?

    Fuck off you’re a cunt.

    As everyone keeps pointing out…

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @14 Oh no, a guy on the internet insulted me…

    *goes and cuts himself*

    I have regular discussion and communication with numerous members (and half of the staff) here outside of the site on a regular basis, and as such I don’t really give two fucks what a bunch of overbearing trolls think of my personal opinion.

    You’re a faceless entity pseudonyms on a screen. The only thing I can do when I read posts like yours is laughs.

    BTW, Steph… *POKE!*

    #15 4 years ago
  16. theevilaires

    ^ LMAO you’re so cool you speak to these losers outside of the site OMG I wish I were just like you. The cold fact and you just realized it fool is that not everyone here agrees with you as you claim and #14 is a prime example.

    Oh you’re so lucky you talk to Stephany Nunneley outside the site…uh oh steph POKE! hehehe. I’m glad these people bring hope in your pathetic life by making you feel so special outside from the site. The fact that you even mention such a thing shows how much of a loser you are.

    “Unlike our little gangsta wannabe chum”

    Who is this gangsta you’re talking about? I’m no gangsta O’Connor. I don’t go to stores with a posse for the launching of a damn video game and wear foolish bandannas across my head like you.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Ireland Michael

    @16 Reading one of your posts is like trying to read Shakespeare… as interpreted by a five year old with tourettes, ADD, and bipolar disorder.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. tsubasaozora10

    Evolution, please ask Sony to pick up the WRC license and do a PS3 WRC game. pleeeeeeeease. this Motorstorm is too bad :-( and i really don’t understand the silly option for that stupid comic based story…

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    I gotta admit, I love the ongoing TEA/Mr.O’Connor feud….it cracks me up.

    #19 4 years ago

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