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Gale force: Evolution’s Rustchynsky on Motorstorm RC

Monday, 20th February 2012 13:52 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Motorstorm’s downsizing big time with its first Vita game. Will we see a return to the big action for which the series is known? Johnny Cullen talks to Evolution game director Paul Rustchynsky.

“In ten months, from inception to development to release, we’ve been able to create a game for two platforms. I think that’s given the whole team a new sense of confidence and optimism for the future.”

Evolution’s Motorstorm is one of PlayStation 3′s longest-established franchise’s, having first released on the hardware in 2006. The series has been known for over the top, destructive racing throughout varied terrains such as the outback, tropical jungle and in an apocalyptic city loosely inspired by west coast USA.

MotorStorm’s first Vita game, though, is heading in a different direction; instead of fast sports cars and monster trucks, Motorstorm RC is introducing a remote car concept. It will debut on the PlayStation Store for PS3 and Vita this Wednesday as part of the handheld’s launch.

But as Evolution game director Paul Rustchynsky revealed, it wasn’t even initially planned for the new device. The prototype, which was put together after Apocalypse while the team enjoyed some downtime, was already in place before the studio even saw a Vita kit.

“One of our coders, Paul Frauen – who’s’ the technical director on RC – is an avid RC racer,” said Rustchynsky in a phone interview.

“And so in his spare time, like in lunch or outside work hours, he puts together little RC races just using the Motorstorm Apocalypse engine. He presented that to a bunch of directors and designers in Evolution and we loved the idea.

“We worked it up a bit and presented that to Sony and they were like, ‘This is fantastic, but can we have it on Vita?’

“From there on in it was more of a question of, ‘How do we make this game work on Vita and PlayStation 3?’ It would have been silly to throw the PS3 work away.”

Sony is offering the game at the bargain price of £4.79. The kicker? Buy one version and you get both.

“With RC, which is a traditional racing game in many ways, we can still make use of both those two analog sticks because of the way RC cars are controlled – you use one of the analog sticks to steer and the other to accelerate and brake,” he said.

Motorstorm RC in action.

“It allows us to mimic what we have on PlayStation 3 with Vita. The touch-screen wasn’t applicable to the type of gameplay we’d come up with, but we did design our UI system around that interface, so we could have some of their work on both PlayStation 3 and also take advantage of the touch-screen.

“We made it in panels so you can effectively flick the panels using the touch-screen interface. It worked really nicely.”

Remote remote control

One of the key aspects of RC is the ability to take on friends online. Challenge times can be set by friends on either the PS3 or Vita through “an asynchronous competitive design” where players “didn’t have to have a WiFi connection so they could jump into a lobby race against other people.”

But there’s been some small confusion as to how this works. Is there a proper multiplayer component in that you race against multiple friends at any one time? Unless you play the PS3 version with four-player split-screen, the answer is no: you’re stuck with ghost times and challenges.

Rustchynsky admitted there could have been clearer communication over online functionality.

“I think there’s definitely been a little bit of confusion, and I think that’s down to terminology and how we describe what’s happening inside the game,” he said.

“‘Synchronous’ and ‘asynchronous’ isn’t necessarily the best way to describe it.

“We’re just trying to come up with our next big franchise or next Motorstorm installment. At this stage, we can’t say what we’re working on.”

“We’re basically allowing players to compete against their friends and everyone else around the world – but using leaderboard times and ghosts. We built the entire game structure to support that.”

While RC is an intriguing concept, it’s obvious Evolution is looking at a “big brother” project to 2011′s Apocalypse. Rustchynsky wouldn’t go into details.

“As you finish one project, you’re automatically thinking, ‘Well, what are you going to do next?’ RC wasn’t one of those planned projects, and there were plenty of ideas going around. But, obviously, I’m not in a situation where I’m able to talk about what those ideas are.

“Some of them have already been thrown away, some are being worked up. We’re just trying to come up with our next big franchise or next Motorstorm installment. At this stage, we can’t say what we’re working on.”

While Apocalypse became one of the victim’s of 2011′s Japanese tsunami, Evolution’s found a confidence bonus in developing Motorstorm RC.

“RC’s turned out to be a bit of a morale booster in many ways because we weren’t expecting to do another small project like this,” said Rustchynsky.

“When someone just came up with the idea of a little prototype and showed it to us, I think it got a group of the team really buzzing.

“In ten months, from inception to development to release, we’ve been able to create a game for two platforms. I think that’s given the whole team a new sense of confidence and optimism for the future.”

Paul Rustchynsky is game director at Evolution Studios. Motorstorm RC launches on February 22 in Europe alongside PlayStation Vita, as well as a PS3 version. A US date is yet to be announced.

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6 Comments

  1. Vroom

    Great!

    Evolution is one of those racing studios I was a little bit worried about. Smart pricing by Sony with the too.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. CycloneFox

    The price is just awesome. And also you get it for PS3 and Vita at the same time and just have to pay once. It’s just fair. I wasn’t interested in the game too much in the first place, but with that price and Motorstorm as one of my favourite series, i will definately pick it up.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OwnedWhenStoned

    RE-VOLT!

    I won’t be buying any more racing games for the PS3 until someone tells me whether the controls are reconfigurable. After buying Motorstorm and Driver: San Francisco and being unable to play them, I’m not getting stung again.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Dragon246

    Its good that such a talented studio was not shut down by sony. Looking forward to this game.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Rushy

    @ OwnedWhenStoned – The controls are completely reconfigurable! :)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Colin Gallacher

    Looking forward to getting more hands on time with RC on Wednesday. I could hardly tear myself away from it while speaking to the lovely folk from Evolution Studios. Oddly addictive.

    #6 3 years ago

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