Q. What is TrackMania Turbo in VR?
Trackmania Turbo is an intuitive, fun, and easy to pick up, hard to master racing game. Through the new free update, players can enjoy the spectacular 40 roller-coaster tracks fully redesigned to make the most of the VR hardware (ie. the 40 exclusive tracks contain fewer loops, the speed/views have been redesigned to prevent motion sickness).
While Trackmania is made for motion, motion sickness was the top priority of the development:
- Tracks are exclusive & designed by the level designer with VR headsets. The goal was to include extreme and short key moments in tracks in order to preserve the craziness of Trackmania while keeping the rest of the track smoother.
- The main camera is a 3rd person camera, switching to 1st person at some parts of the tracks. And the 3rd person camera has been specifically developed to move less with changes of direction of the car.
- High performance has been targeted, with a minimum of 90 FPS on Playstation VR and 120 FPS on Playstation Pro to further accommodate the player experience.
Q. How did this project come about?
Virtual Reality is a natural extension of the sort of extreme, crazy experience that Trackmania offers. We started doing tests, and we demoed the game on PlayStation VR at E3 2015, and once we saw the reaction that people had to the experience it was obvious that we were on to something great.
Q. What is the release date of the VR update?
TrackMania Turbo VR update will be available for free for the owners of Trackmania Turbo on PlayStation®VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive from November 8th.
A PlayStation®VR demo of four tracks will also be available on November 8th (with no time limit) for the public to discover the VR experience.
Q. Why are you proposing it for free?
We wanted Trackmania to be instantly accessible for early adopters of the VR technology. With VR we can experiment around the way we tell our stories in order to make our games and experiences even more appealing to players.
Q. What does the demo of four tracks consist of?
It is an overview of the game consisting of four tracks available on the Rollercoaster Lagoon and Canyon Grand Drift environments. The two Lagoon tracks will allow the players to experience the arcade Local multiplayer mode while the 2 tracks in the Canyon environment will give a sneak peek of the Campaign solo mode.
Q. Is Ubisoft working on any other VR projects?
So far we’ve announced Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, Star TrekTM: Bridge Crew, a VR collaboration with SpectreVision, and now Trackmania Turbo. We have teams prototyping and exploring VR concepts and will have more to announce soon.
Q. What VR features can be experienced in the update? What special VR mechanics did you include in the game?
We included 40 tracks designed for the VR experience, to play solo in a campaign or with friends locally in arcade mode. Since we have a powerful track editor, we put 3 level designers with VR headsets to design & tests the tracks that would better combine the quest for the thrill and goal to stay chill. With a dedicated VR ranking, people will be able to rank among other VR players without having to judge if they would do better with or without: it's the same hardware for everyone.
Q. How did you use the VR specific features in the gameplay?
The goal of Virtual Reality is to create outstanding moments of immersion, and that sense of presence within the game. Today, because of 3D power required for simulating graphics, we find that it is easier to achieve this feeling through extraordinary settings rather than ultra-realistic ones.
Q. How do technology and science help making the game a comfortable VR experience for players and avoid motion sickness?
Comfort has always been a priority for us and we developed the game from the ground up to be the most comfortable and accessible experience possible. We underwent extensive playtesting throughout the game’s development to ensure that the majority of people who play the game have a comfortable experience.
The new tracks included in the VR update are fully designed to make the best use of virtual experience. The developers wanted to inject moments of craziness into the Trackmania Turbo tracks, while maintaining a smoother ride for the rest of the experience. The main camera is set to a 3rd person perspective, with the view switching to 1st person for some parts of the race. The 3rd person camera has been specifically designed to move less with the changes in direction.
Q. What are the modes of the game?
There are two modes in the game:
- Campaign solo mode
- Arcade local multiplayer mode
Q. Can I play this game offline?
Trackmania Turbo is an offline experience.
Q. Do you propose both single-player vs multiplayer?
There are two experiences: First, the single-player mode lets players play a campaign with its worldwide and regional ranking. The local multiplayer mode allows players to play one after the other by passing the headset to each other.
Q. How does the multiplayer local mode work in the VR update?
The multiplayer mode works a little like if you were playing a pinball machine with friends – you play a level, enter your name, and then hand the headset over to your friend as they try to beat your record. It is designed to be a party game in that respect. Times can easily be saved or deleted, so it can be a different challenge at each event.
Q. What are the control schemes? What hardware is required?
Controls are the analog stick or the four arrows. There is no specific hardware requirement available yet, but you should expect them to be among the lowest for VR thanks to the long history of hardware support from Nadeo.