MotoGP 21 Interview – Milestone talks about next-generation motorcycle racing

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While F1 fans will have to wait until July for their annual game release, MotoGP 21 is slated to launch exactly one week from today on PC (Steam and Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and Nintendo Switch.

Powered by Unreal Engine 4 technology, MotoGP 21 introduces a series of improvements from the gameplay side (revised bike suspension, realistic features like brake temperature monitoring, bike retrieval order and long lap fine) to management career mode. You can read Chris’s first impressions in this preview, but prior to the review, we got the chance to discuss MotoGP 21 with Milestone producer Matteo Pezzotti.

Chris Wray: With the new suspension system, how did you balance this with the bike and ride it to make MotoGP 21 more realistic but still accessible?

This year we decided to rebuild the assistance system from scratch. We abandoned the old physics presets, which for some players were just labels that could affect their pride, and we introduced a list of very detailed individual options. We’ve also included some images that visually explain which part of the bike is affected by each individual aid. Our goal is to explain to the players how these options work so that they can find the setup that better suits their tastes. I think in this way players who want to improve can gradually approach the realism of the game and learn how to master the physics of the bike.

Chris Wray: Several new features focus on realism, such as bike retrieval and brake temperatures. Will players have the option to disable these, aiming for a high degree of accessibility for some?

Bike Retrieval can be turned off in the racing options. It’s a nice feature, but we know that some players prefer to be easy to respawn on the court. Speaking of braking temperature, it can’t be turned off. But in this case it’s more a matter of selecting the right brake disc, and the game has plenty of ways to propose the right one to the players.

Alessio Palumbo: On the other hand, will these new features be available for multiplayer, or are they reserved for single-player mode?

Features such as the Long Lap Penalty and the braking temperatures are also already available in online modes. Bike Retrieval was a bit more complicated to implement, but we hope to make it available online in one of the first patches.

Chris Wray: How detailed is the new career mode and how much will be made available in your team management?

The biggest challenge for the players this year will be to manage their Junior Teams. The career mode had this important addition a few months after its release last year, while this time has been fully integrated from the start. We’ve also revised the “Development Tests” to make them more realistic and functional, so there are plenty of activities to keep players engaged.

Alessio Palumbo: Can you give some details on how your ML-based AI ANNA has improved from MotoGP 20 this year?

The biggest improvement concerns pure performance. At the highest levels of difficulty, ANNA is much faster than last year, especially in the MotoGP class. We also worked on group behavior, and one of the biggest challenges was finding the right “aggression” level. Everyone loves overtaking in a race, but crashes and falls… not so much.

Alessio Palumbo: Were there any meaningful updates to the bike physics in MotoGP 21?

You already mentioned the new suspension system that, in my opinion, completely changes the perception of the bike. Now everything is more reactive, more real. It’s easier to feel how the asphalt changes under your wheels and how the bike responds. This year we also did a lot of analysis to fit in-game lap times in real time. It’s something our players are very excited about, and I think we’ve done a good job this year.

Alessio Palumbo: Some MotoGP fans have asked for telemetry to be added. Is that ever a possibility?

It’s something we’ve considered, but you have to keep in mind that even real riders need the help of a track engineer to read telemetry so I’m afraid only the most experienced players can enjoy such a feature. But never say never. Sooner or later, you could see telemetry in one of our MotoGP games.

Alessio Palumbo: Given that MotoGP 21 runs on Unreal Engine 4, are you going to support features such as NVIDIA DLSS and / or ray tracing?

Not for MotoGP21, but stay tuned.

Alessio Palumbo: What were your experiences with PS5 and Xbox Series X respectively as a developer?

It was a great experience. We are talking about two powerful machines that allowed us to experiment with new features for the game and leave a lot of room for improvements in the future. Most importantly, we can provide a stable 60 FPS experience on both consoles, which is very important for a simulative racing game.

Alessio Palumbo: Did you run into problems developing for the less powerful Xbox Series S? Can you share the target resolution and frame rate for MotoGP 21 on this platform?

No issues at all. We were all surprised by the smooth development of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The latest console aims at a frame rate of 60 FPS and a resolution of 1440p (dynamic).

Alessio Palumbo: Can you tell us about your implementation of the DualSense controller’s unique haptic and adaptive triggers features on PS5?

The DualSense is really great and gave us the opportunity to implement many different feedbacks on the controller. We implemented different vibrations for all different surfaces and provided feedback to the player when he changes gears. The triggers have different stiffnesses to simulate a real throttle / brake button, and they also vibrate to indicate that the player is losing traction on the rear / front wheel.

Both: Thank you for your time.

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