Developer Diary – Worth The Wait

Devon Grousis

05/16/2019

Hey MX vs ATV fans, if you’re here reading this you probably already have the recent Community Update Patch (v2.6.0.0), read the patch notes and we hope you’ve booted up the game to check out the changes for yourself. We wanted to give some more details and deeper dive into the patch notes, as well as offer some insight into where these changes are coming from and what they mean to the future of MX vs ATV.

Let’s get this out of the way first – why such a long wait?

This was by far our biggest single patch update for any game. With a major engine upgrade from UE 4.18 to UE 4.21, changes to every environment and nearly every track, overhauled gameplay tuning, performance improvements, added functionality and countless bugfixes nearly the whole studio rolled their sleeves up big time to pull this one off.

As you might expect, more changes mean more risk of introducing new issues or breaking stuff that used to work. We held the patch back for much longer than we expected so we could keep going at it with back-to-back QA torture tests and bug fixing rounds before setting this one live.

WORTH THE WAIT

Although it added a ton of extra work and difficulty in delivering this patch, updating to UE 4.21 was required to get the performance and graphics to where they are now. Some of those improvements completely changed how the LOD system (code that swaps/modifies geometry and textures based on how far away the camera is) functions, requiring art to be re-turned game-wide.Additionally, the renderer upgrades brought major changes to the lighting which required it’s own game-wide tuning pass as well. Another major improvement was the addition of “Dynamic Resolution” and other big upgrades to the renderer. MX vs ATV’s signature mix of gameplay from tight indoor arena tracks to massive outdoor worlds and everything in between makes ensuring 30fps on consoles a daunting proposition. The combination of our optimization work and engine upgrades have the game running smoother than ever, making things like 4k on PS4 Pro and 1080p on the base XB1 at 30fps finally possible.

 

ORIGINAL CONTENT UPDATES

We approach All Out as a LIVE product. We try to get any improvements we come up with into your hands as soon as we can, but sometimes this means trying things out in DLC first. When we launched there was no tech for Time of Day, so we added it first for the RC Farm. Likewise, soon after launch we made major improvements to deformation and started rolling that out with Arenacross. With this patch finally we’ve brought these changes and more game-wide, and we couldn’t have done it without your continued support and feedback! In the meantime we’ve also been playing the original All Out National tracks and listening to your insight on the original Nationals, RC Farm and 2018 Nationals DLC. Based on that feedback we re-worked the original National tracks to adjust some bumps, ruts jump sections and other little details which we hope will keep the game fresh and improve the gameplay significantly. To us some of these tracks feel almost brand new now, so make sure you check them out!

 

FREE CONTENT

Speaking of All Out as a Live product, you’ve probably noticed how much we’ve updated in Flying Moto Ranch. In MX vs ATV All Out, this is your home compound. You’ve been practicing for a year, you’ve perfected your skills, you’ve banked some experience and now it’s time for your compound to reflect your own progression. The two new tracks are a testament to your success. They are longer and more challenging than anything there prior. And it’s not just tracks! We added a bunch of new trails and other goodness to discover in Freeride as well.

 

COMMUNITY BASED FEEDBACK

We are always taking community feedback and adding it to the “backlog”. Some of the most frequent comments we get are about physics and parts. Specifically, the weight and bounciness of the suspension is something we’ve been wanting to improve. There are always considerations when changing gameplay after release – we know there is no such thing as a perfect feel for everyone and that you’ve been honing your skills against what’s been out so far. However, the parts tuning system in All Out offered an opportunity to allow more adjustment ability for the player to tune their physics and handling to their playstyle and preference. Tuning the Suspension, Tires, Engine and etc all have a much bigger impact now, making that kind of customization possible.

Another big feedback request was to provide a “sensitivity” adjustment. To get this working within the architecture of All Out, our best solution was to integrate sensitivity adjustment into the parts tuning – and thus the Chassis part was born. Tuning the chassis effectively adjusts the weight and inertia of the vehicle overall. So if you want a more stable ride, you now have that ability. But with all the parts, there is an equal trade-off. For example, a heavier bike is more stable through braking bumps, but you need to set up for turns a bit earlier. You should spend some time finding different tuning setups that you prefer for different events.

 

NEVER ENDING BACK-LOG

While engineering was crushing bugs and getting up on the latest Engine and the Art team was making it all look good, the Design team was combing through the backlog to see what other changes and adjustments should be implemented.

Many of you use the custom camera option, and have shown how different camera preferences make the gameplay more fun, but were unable to get the effect of a drone camera. After some creative tinkering of the current camera system, the new drone camera became a reality. We would be surprised if anyone is posting leader board times using the drone cam, but the look and feel alone makes it totally worth the work. We are stoked to see the videos and screen shots ya’ll share with us via social media in the coming weeks!

Another long term backlog item we were finally able to check off was the Close Cam. This camera makes you feel all the bumps and ruts and goes for a more “intimate experience”.

There was also pretty consistent feedback to allow shifting in manual transmission using the face buttons. The game is limited to controller presets for now, but if you have any alternate controller configurations you would like to see let us know, we intend to keep add a few more in future patches!

 

BUGS AND QUALITY OF LIFE

This is the real core of any update – to fix bugs and improve the overall enjoyment of the game.

Online was the major focus for bug fixes. Many engine changes under the hood required a lot of refactoring of our online system. But this also gave us the opportunity to add some improvements and bug fixes.

Leaderboards now have a series of checks to make sure the correct times are being posted.

The split time is also more accurate and will stay on screen for the duration of the race.

Finally little things like increasing Photo Mode camera distance, increasing the jersey letter count, BRAAP riders appearing in races more frequently all help round off this update.

We’re excited for you to dig into this newest version of All Out, and we can’t wait to begin taking new feedback and continue working to improve the game in the future!

BRAAAAPPP,

MX vs ATV Team

Get the newsletter

Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Instagram

This site uses JavaScript. Please activate JavaScript to visit this website.