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Oct 26 2012
By: Mercenary09 Treasure Hunter 4463 posts
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Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

9 replies 193 views Edited Oct 26, 2012

+ Posted by Fred Dutton // SCEE Blog Manager

 

NFSMW lead image

 

Next week sees the keenly anticipated release of Need for Speed Most Wanted, the latest release from Criterion Games – the legendary UK racing specialist behind the Burnout series and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, the phenomenal 2010 entry in EA’s long-running street racing franchise.

 

That the PlayStation 3 version is very, very good should come as no surprise, but somewhat more unexpected is the amount of care the studio has lavished on replicating the experience on PlayStation Vita. Producer Matt Webster and his team have squeezed almost the entire experience onto the handheld, and even found room for a little bit of extra content exclusive to the system.

We sat down with Matt earlier this week to find out exactly how Criterion has pulled it off.

PlayStation.Blog: What was your goal when you first started developing the PS Vita version of Most Wanted?
Matt Webster, Producer at Criterion Games: It was to make the same game – that was the goal. As much as we possibly could, we wanted to deliver all the great things about the console version of the game: an open world, freedom, choice, variety, highly connected. All those principles looked like they were achievable on the machine, so that was what we set out to do.

 

PSB: What were the main challenges you met during development?
MW: You just run across performance challenges. Some of those are fundamental, which you learn to overcome as development progresses, and others you have to make some compromises.

 

lamborghini_gallardo

 

PSB: What kind of compromises are we talking about exactly?
MW: It is exactly the same game [as the PlayStation 3 version] apart from traffic density and number of players online. But I think that the asynchronous play is actually going to be more important.

 

PSB: How exactly does that work?

“I can push up my Speed Point level on PS3 multiplayer when I’m mobile with PS Vita, and vice versa.”

MW: So, if you play the single-player game, and then play muliplayer, any Speed Points you earn in SP also drive your MP progression, and that’s true when you play the game on PS Vita too. Anything you earn on PS Vita carries across to the console version. It’s a unified scoring system.

Everything you do in the game earns Speed Points. Speed Points determine your position on the Most Wanted list. Am I outscoring my friends; have I reached the necessary score threshold to take on one of the Most Wanted drivers in the solo game; what speed level am I at in MP; what have I unlocked, and so on. I can push up my Speed Point level on PS3 multiplayer when I’m mobile with PS Vita, and vice versa.

 

PSB: The easy option would have been to contract an external developer to work on the Vita version but you decided to keep it in-house. Why?
MW: It was something we wanted to do. It looked like the machine was going to be capable of delivering what we wanted to do. And the way that we work is very iterative – build, play, change, build, play, change – that’s how we work. When you go external it generally only works when you’ve got a finished game, otherwise there are too many moving parts.

So, it looked like something we’d be able to do and we were going to be able to push ourselves in some new directions. It was difficult, but we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge.

NFSMW_EApsvPFT_front

PSB: Do you think a massive open world racing game like Most Wanted is a good fit for a portable gaming device?
MW: I do. The game is about freedom and choice. We have a saying – ‘not playing the game is the game’. What that means is that not playing the authored experience that most games deliver for you actually is very important and a really significant part of the game.

 

The way that these devices are used – they’re picked up, they have some play, and they’re put down. It might be high frequency play, but not necessarily high amplitude, where I’m spending long sessions with it. Our game can work in either of those scenarios. I think the asynchronous part of it is going to be really powerful on that device – do something, have Autolog pick it up, and send it back.

“We have a saying – ‘not playing the game is the game’.”

I think it will turn out to be something that PS Vita owners didn’t realize was possible on that machine – it is quite a significant achievement to do an open world game to the level of quality that we’ve managed. And then to have something as highly connected as it is – that’s something fresh and new. I think it will find a really good home on PS Vita.

 

PSB: What kind of exclusive PS Vita content have you included?
MW: There are some exclusive PS Vita races and events in there for players to discover. It’s another way for players to earn exclusive SP – it’s an extra reward for having the game on multiple devices and it allows us to do something specifically tuned to that device.

 

PSB: Have you used the PS Vita’s unique features in any way?
MW: We’ll use the touch screen for changing music tracks and in some parts of the interface but the rest of it… you have to use those things where they serve a purpose, otherwise they’re just a gimmick. You run the risk of it not being taken seriously. We’ll absolutely use it when it makes sense to use it.

 

PSB: Presumably you’ll be supporting the PS3 version post launch with DLC. Will that also apply to the PS Vita version?

MW: Well, we’ll clarify that when the time comes.

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Hekseville Citizen
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

So much respect for them, have my copy on reserve a couple weeks ago Smiley Happy

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

Anyone know if the city in this game is a completely new one, or if it's the same one from the first Most Wanted or Burnout Paradise? Thanks.

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

Yea I love that they decided to do the Vita version themselves. I don't think it would have been good if they didn't. Def looking forward to both versions.

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I Only Post Everything
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

Are those Vita screen shots? If so looks good, also good hear they put a lot of attention and work into it. Reading that has changed my mind about it and I am looking forward even more so with Cross Buy to purchase this game now.

 


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Survivor
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012
"...you have to use those things where they serve a purpose, otherwise they’re just a gimmick. You run the risk of it not being taken seriously. We’ll absolutely use it when it makes sense to use it."

If only more developers would understand this simple concept. Props to them for knowing what they are doing~.
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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

JuanMdP wrote:
"...you have to use those things where they serve a purpose, otherwise they’re just a gimmick. You run the risk of it not being taken seriously. We’ll absolutely use it when it makes sense to use it."

If only more developers would understand this simple concept. Props to them for knowing what they are doing~.

Hmm, they must be gamers and must have tried playing their own product. Smiley Wink

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012

ProfessorGerbik wrote:

Are those Vita screen shots? If so looks good, also good hear they put a lot of attention and work into it. Reading that has changed my mind about it and I am looking forward even more so with Cross Buy to purchase this game now.


Just to tell you before you buy both versions nobody knows if it has cross buy. So I will wait before buying the ps3 version if you want the vita version more.

 

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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

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Oct 26, 2012

TMAZT3R wrote:

ProfessorGerbik wrote:

Are those Vita screen shots? If so looks good, also good hear they put a lot of attention and work into it. Reading that has changed my mind about it and I am looking forward even more so with Cross Buy to purchase this game now.


Just to tell you before you buy both versions nobody knows if it has cross buy. So I will wait before buying the ps3 version if you want the vita version more.

 


Yea we do it has been confirmed by Sony. A guy noticed it had said that in the pre-order information, so he called in to confirm it. So yes it is Cross Buy.

 

http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Vita/PS3-Includes-Vita-NFS-Most-Wanted-According-...

 

EA had been thinking about doing it a long time ago, so I guess they did. Surprising I know but I am happy it is true. If it isn't that is one big mixup right there.

 


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Survivor
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Re: Need For Speed Most Wanted Interview: Under the Hood of the PS Vita Version

Oct 26, 2012
Unless we get an official statement about it, I wouldn't take the word of customer service as fact~.
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