Online Features in ModNation Racers: Road Trip for PS Vita

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Online Features in ModNation Racers: Road Trip for PS Vita

I wanted to give Mark Wilson a break this week so that I could talk about the robust online features in ModNation Racers: Road Trip. The team here in San Diego created an impressive list of online functionality to take advantage of the WiFi/3G and GPS functionality. This game is intended to let you take advantage of your road trips—whether they’re across the country, to another state or just traveling between home and work or school. More importantly, ModNation Racers: Road Trip was designed to work around your schedule and let you compete with your friends whenever (and wherever) you want.

PS Vita: ModNation Racers: Road Trip

1. Competitive Localized Leaderboards
When a gamer who has opted to “Use Location Data” posts a lap time to the Leaderboards, that time is connected to their current location. Gamers can personalize their location names (i.e., My Home, My Work, Mark’s House Where I Always Win, etc.) for easy reference. These times become part of the Local Leaderboards which gamers can use to compete in a fun arcade-style atmosphere.

Gamers can also select one of their saved locations and view other competitors’ times that were earned nearby. For example, if I earn a great time on “Construction Mayhem” while at “Mark’s House,” I can check my rank versus other gamers’ local times and more importantly, my friends…including Mark. The game would find the 8, 24 or 48 closest gamers to “Mark’s House” who posted local times for “Construction Mayhem.” This means you’ll have an ever-expanding level of challenge through asynchronous competition to play instantly when and where you want!

2. Continual Match-Making, Ghosts and Time Trials
Where ModNation Racers for the PS3 automatically matches gamers against one of the most difficult lap times in the community, ModNation Racers: Road Trip instead matches you against other gamers’ Ghosts who have set times which are competitive to yours. This continual match-making and the shorter play time of a single lap competition makes for a fun and constantly challenging online gaming experience. For those of us who are competitive with our friends, we can select a filter to race against friends’ ghosts.

An option on the Vita even allows you to receive a push notification whenever your time is beat or to boast to your friends when you beat theirs—I believe I will use this feature plenty with Mark once ModNation Racers: Road Trip goes live next month.

3. Travel Points: Time For A Road Trip

The first time a gamer checks-in with Mod Explorer the game will recognize their location. Every time a gamer checks-in at any location after that they will earn Travel Points based on the distance from their last check-in. Individual gamers will then unlock additional parts for Track Studio when they reach certain amounts of Travel Points. There will also be an in-game leaderboard ranking gamers by the amount of Travel Points they have earned.

big ben

3a. Global Travel Points: Help Us Help You
Travel Points earned by every gamer are added together to form Global Travel Points. When the community of gamers reach certain distance milestone amounts of Global Travel Points everyone who uses Mod Explorer will unlock new track creation parts! This could be how world peace starts. Don’t you want to be a part of it?


4. Destination Check-ins: Better Than A Passport Stamp
Mod Explorer contains 45 featured cities across the globe–each city with three distinct destinations. When a gamer checks-in at a destination that they can find using PS Vita’s GPS functionality, they will unlock unique creation pieces to use in the creation studios.

In addition, the entire ModNation Racers: Road Trip community is further rewarded when parts associated with the destination are unlocked for the global community of gamers. For example, if you check-in at Navy Pier in Chicago, you will unlock associated parts for your use. When the predetermined threshold of player check-ins at Navy Pier has been reached, a unique part is unlocked for ALL gamers. Other parts associated with Navy Pier will be unlocked for all gamers as the number of unique player check-ins increase there.

Finally, when a gamer checks-in at a destination, they are prompted to take a picture and modify it using their Mod and Kart. This is done with ModNation Racers: Road Trip – Mod Postcards feature (See last week’s blog.)


5. Ad-Hoc Play: It’s ModNation Party Time!
For those racers looking for that head-to-head experience with your friends, Ad-Hoc play is where it’s at. Up to four gamers can race simultaneously on any San Diego Studio track or choose from over 500,000 user created tracks from the ModNation Racers community. That ought to keep you busy for a millennium or so.

6. Race, Create, Publish and Download!
As you’d expect from a ModNation Racers game, you have incredibly strong creation studios literally at your fingertips to create anything in your imagination. Publish your creations for the entire community to enjoy. And if creation isn’t your thing, enjoy downloading anything published by the entire community. And to sweeten the deal, you have full backwards compatibility to download any of the over 3 million creations from ModNation Racers PS3!

I know there are some of you that are disappointed that ModNation Racers: Road Trip doesn’t let you play head-to-head online other than ad-hoc. But we really wanted to evolve online functionality and take advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s unique feature set in new ways. If all we ever did as developers is rehash features that have been done in previous games, we’d still be entering passwords instead of using save files and you’d have to start the entire game over after you lost your three lives (extra 1-ups aside). While online head-to-head has been a mode used in many games in recent years, we focused on making a game that is crafted for how portable games are most often played—in quicker “pick up and play” sessions multiple times in a day. Your online interaction, competition and socialization will always be when it’s convenient for you. I hope that all of you are as interested to check-out the robust online features that ModNation Racers: Road Trip has as we are to see you enjoy them!

ModNation Racers For PS3

Hot Lap Track of the Week: Twilight Seidenstrassen by big-village_920_


Hot Lap Tracks of the Week:
Monday: Cathedral Of Tundrith by John31269
Tuesday: @ the lost city by marusarusa
Wednesday: They Took Our Town! by MrDufus
Thursday: Mod Canyon River Tour by ArgorokX
Friday: Crystal Waltz by marusarusa
Saturday: Twilight Seidenstrassen by big-village_920_
Sunday: Hiyazaki Point Raceway by atheistsw

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10 Author Replies

  • at 43 welmosca , no i would have not bought ModNation Racers ps3 if the game didnt include online , come on online multiplayer on racing and shooter games is a MUST have feature , plain and simple .
    other games like God of War for example doesnt really need it because you get an EPIC single player campaign but racing games ? its a really bad decision on San Diego Studios , i hope the game does well because i like past versions but i wont be supporting this one until they announce online multiplayer

  • Dear Modnation Racers: Road trip Crew

    I was looking forward to playing this game on the VITA but my excitement was crushed when I found out their is no real online racing against others. My hopes were renewed when I found out Ragnarok Odyssey is going to add online 4 player CO-OP with add on DLC soon after the release date. THIS is all we ask of you the creators of Modnation Racers: Road trip. A promise that you will add online play with friends as a DLC patch and you can save all these lost sales and increased positive word of mouth of your game.

    The Fans want to help you, but we need you to meet us half way.


  • there you go San Diego / united front , Catrik007 said it right , almost all the community feels the same way now its up to you

  • Just wanted to let you guys know I was really looking forward to this game and it was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get a Vita. I’ll probably still get the Vita but no online play makes me not want this game at all. I absolutely hated playing ModNation on PS3 alone, and yet I have put tons of hours into it because of the online play. I hope you guys release a new portable version soon that has actual online play. Best of luck to you guys on this and future releases.

  • If I knew that they were going to add online in, I would buy the game day 1.

  • Sigh…..Looks like I wont be getting MNR:RT, This game wont be bad by any means, but really? Modnation without online multiplayer is like LBP without online multiplayer and feels incomplete. Looks like Wipeout is the way to go!

  • No online = no purchase and a total waste of development time and resources.

  • A lot of people dont know that the Online patch DLC is a feature built into the Design of the PS VITA, one of the more requested features from developers. This is also another reason why “The Online Pass” add on for $9.99 was created. In addition to get renters and used game buyers to get some income from people who dont buy new. I did prepay for the VITA First edition cause I wont say anything about something I dont intend to buy. Hence for me my VITA might replace my PS3 as my main played Console. Another reason why I want MN: Road Trip to have online play on wifi with my friends who are out of state.


  • While i never owned the ps3 version, i have played (and enjoyed) the psp version, and this versions seems to be a step back. how does a racing game in this generation have no online? that would be like a fighting game having no online. it just doesnt make any sense, and seems apparent that all you guys are doing is rushing the game.

    I was seriously considering getting this game, but playing with bots and only last for so long. playing against other real people is much MUCH more fun than playing with bots. Yes there is local play, but what about people who may not know others with Vita?

    You guys are basically alienating your fans, and thats pretty sad. If you were smart you guys would be delaying this game to add online. it only seems right to do so. Stop rushing your games. i rather wait to play an awesome game like modnation racer than have a game released at launch and suck.

  • I don’t know – these asynchronous features certainly are interesting. I would love to be able to try to hold the top times in my area, but I still feel like this is just a compliment to what should exist alongside it – online head to head.

    I feel like Sony perhaps is discouraging online play so as to not pronounce the limits of the 3G so early on?

  • I really don’t like complaining about things like this, but if you really want to make your online functionality ‘robust,’ you should work on a patch that will add online multiplayer. The online community made ModNation Racers, from the almost lag-free races to the ModSpot. Now you can only play locally, and that’s if you can find someone who owns a Vita and the game. The PSP version even has online multiplayer. The fact that this Vita entry doesn’t have it just so this can be a launch title is a huge missed opportunity, and I hope you will add it to the game through an update.

  • Do the right thing and either delay this game OR promise to patch in online play within the first month of release.

    All of these features sound great, but it really is a step back to NOT have online play. Mario Kart AND the psp version have online play. No reason at all for this game not to have it.

  • Speaking of car combat…can’t wait to hear Twisted Metal for the Vita! Hopefully they don’t rehash old features like online multiplayer (blegh!) and make us connect at physical locations. Let’s all just get together to camp out at our local game store! If we don’t meet we’ll still have great fun battling against the AI and shoot weapons at ghost cars!

    Nothing like a car combat game with ghost cars representing a prerecorded lap of your buddy! Take that ghost car! Pew pew!

    *sighs at the state of things*

    @59, Sony isn’t forcing 3G multiplayer on developers. WipEout 2048 is Sony owned and is a launch game with not only online WiFi racing but it also let’s you battle/race against both Vita and PS3 gamers over the internet. ModNation developers made this extremely odd choice for their kart combat racer, in a genre where we’re supposed to be flaunting our car and outfit designs to others on the track.

  • I appreciate the feedback on the blog. It’s great to see people passionate about ModNation Racers: Road Trip. As a gamer, if I saw a game I was looking forward to playing didn’t have a feature I wanted, I’d be bummed too. I didn’t expect everyone to read the blog and agree with me or for the blog to smooth over strong feelings on the matter. My intent was to explain the position the development team took when designing the feature set. A couple of you have mentioned that MNR PSP had online play and this is of course true. But part of the decision to not include MNR:RT at launch was that the percentage of MNR PSP gamers who played online. The percentage was in the single digits. I imagine if we said MNR PSP didn’t have online head-to-head prior to its launch, the reaction would be the same. But in the end, not many actually played online head-to-head. All this said, the development team is looking at online head-to-head in a patch. This wouldn’t be available day-1 of the PlayStation Vita launch but it is indeed something being researched as I type this.

  • Oh and to address your DLC question, HandsomeDave85, we’re talking about significant price drops for MNR PS3 DLC in the near future.

  • Thank you,thats all we ask for a patch soon down the road for online play has now put this game back at launch day for me, and I will keep my end by spreading the good word on Twitter and facebook that the online patch is being looked at as being possible. Again thank you.

  • Thanks, catrik007. And thanks for the passion and feedback.

  • @ Erich Waas add online to this game or its gonna be a failure and you will loose you modnation community and will be over shadowed by wipeout this wall of people are just a small faction that have seen that theres no online for this game dont chance it and add it in

  • pre-order canceled, no online game is meaningless…

  • Tweet has been sent and I will try to get it trending, 10,000 so far :) more to come. Now to get the news on podcasts….

  • @ erich waas i really do love modnation and was so existed for this one just onlines a no seller if yous do patch it in ill definitively get it tho was the game i wanted most when i first saw the vita in e3 and still was till i saw no online head to head really is a huge aspect to the game

  • Thanks for the response Erich!
    Looking forward to the price drop, I’ve been looking to revisit the game. I got the plat trophy shortly after release and have been waiting for for the price drop to get the DLC.

  • at Erich Waas isnt the playstation vita supposed to be the ultimate connected handheld device? i mean with all the piracy issues the psp had im even surprised at those modnation racers online numbers , now the ps vita is supposed to fight piracy back so i think you will see more people playing online and thanks for your answer , please look into the patch and we will support the game , anyways if you throw some online trophies in there people will want to get them , i mean not all of us play for trophies but a lot of people do so think about it please and start working on a patch and we will support the game !!!!

  • I’ll let you know when plans have solidified, DarktaxFA. Nice job on the plat, HandsomeDave85!

  • agree with remanutd5 and im sure rest of the modnation community does aswell don’t let such a good game go to waste

  • @Erich Waas

    I’m really surprised by your doubts in the number of people that would play your game online. I don’t know if you’re pointing out a serious problem with the PSP or with your game in general.

    It doesn’t sound good for such a multiplayer centered genre to not attract players online. I certainly know how I played ModNation on the PS3, and it certainly wasn’t alone or with other racers next to me.

    Besides, just guessing at the number of users for online multiplayer versus Ad-Hoc, I have to question how there could be a higher number of players being around another Vita owner with the same game versus simply tying all of them together via the internet, where we can connect while at home/starbucks/wherever over WiFi. Saying the numbers don’t support internet, I can’t see how they would support Ad-Hoc either.

  • remanutd5, I agree with the PlayStation Vita being the ultimate connected handheld device. Our choice for the launch was more about what features the team could implement within the development schedule and what online usage patterns we’d seen with our own MNR PSP title as well as other games to date. It’s not that we don’t think head-to-head is a good feature–we do! We felt that the asynchronous features would be used by a bigger portion of the game’s demographic. But again, we’re looking at what (and when) we can patch online head-to-head play in as another online offering.

  • The excuse of the PSP game is ridiculous line, meaning that from now you want and predict the future of VITA will be the same as the psp, how confident are prospective buyers …

  • to be honest shadowlince he does have a good reason to be worryed bout it the vita not doing to well in japan and online coding aint cheap does seem like a risk to waste money on it if you don’t think alot of people gonna use it

  • at Ehker online psp was almost non existent because all the piracy issues the system had and of course didnt have full psn integration ( friends list , messages , trophies ) but the ps vita does and its supposed to fight piracy back so i dont understand why they are doubting us to support the game , i mean lots of us play to get trophies , imagine some online trophies in there ? i mean with all the vita power , cross game chat and online chat available , who wouldnt want to play their vita online ? and please Erich if you guys add the online head to head feature please , please dont forget to add parties so we can race against our psn / ps vita friends online . thanks

  • ok Erich i will buy the game and i hope you guys add online head to head multiplayer and please , please dont forget to add parties so we can invite our psn/ ps vita friends and some online trophies would be great too , if you look at my online modnation racers profile i got it mostly playing on psp , i think you guys used the same account on ps3 , because i didnt really play modnation racers ps3 online and i used to have a good online rank but i got it on my psp not ps3

  • ShadowLince I appreciate your opinion and I dont fault you for that. Lets not be harsh, they are just using data from their past game to decide if online was worth putting the extra effort instead of the other features. This is normally a great idea. This time is different because the VITA has sooo much more power and features. Online play is going to be huge on the VITA (I can stop all caps VITA if its annoying everyone, caps just pick up on Google keywords better :) And again thank you Erich Wass for the post online patch plans :)

  • Erich, thank you for your responses, and showing that you want to be attentive to the needs of your fanbase. Because of your intent to come in here and explain more to us, i will be purchasing Mod Nation Racers: Road Trip. I’ll be doing this on good faith that your comments are in hope to provide online multiplayer.

    I’m sure this may not be enough to some, but the fact that you came in here and posted on your personal account says something to me, and I do appreciate it.

  • Great ideas remanutd5! We will have to have on online match when its patched if your up for it. See you online.

  • Thanks, LionFranco. I appreciate the fairness in most of the comments here. We do look at what is posted and what the community is feeling about the games we make. Unfortunately, we can’t ask you while we’re in pre-production for an unannounced title. If that were the case, we’d have more to talk about than ModNation Racers: Road Trip!

  • My pleasure, catrik007!

  • catrik007 I will only say one thing, it makes no sense to speak of VITA is a console with major support line and then look On 2 of three developments that do not support their own online game (Uncharted and MNRT)

    They say they are studying a patch that includes the Online, or when the patch is released will have my purchase secure and that of many, but for now pre-order canceled …

  • @Erich Waas
    Thanks a million for your response, it really does mean a lot to see that the developers do take into account what the fans have to say. I will gladly buy this day one if head to head is guaranteed via patch down the line. Thanks to you and the team for all your hard work, although it may not seem like it from the comments on this post, there are still tons of people excited to play this game.

  • Good points remanutd5. I was thinking piracy could explain a lack of online for the PSP version, and as you point out that thing really lacked a PSN system. It just seems crazy these developers are using that to judge the Vita and their multiplayer focused game, especially on the Vita that is so geared to multiplayer with all kinds of matchmaking and friend communication features.

    I’ll stick with just WipEout, and need to see the news that this team gets it and adds online to their combat racer. So far I’m not confident yet it will ever be added to this version of the game, and may instead show up in a sequel down the road. For now I really believe the success of the franchise will be hurt by this odd decision.

  • Thanks, darth_orange93.

    @Ehker–We used a number of metrics to form our decision for our launch feature set. From an independent study to less traditional online game usage data from AT&T to small focus groups. I get that you don’t agree with this decision and I don’t expect to change your mind. I’m just providing some back story to show that we made decisions thoughtfully and didn’t throw darts at a wall. Head-to-head is something we’re very keen on patching for ModNation Racers: Road Trip–even more so thanks to feedback here. We’ll be sure to communicate more when the plans are more concrete.

  • Erich i dont mean to be rude or try to look like i now more than you , i understand your doubts but please keep it mind all the reasons i mentioned before , piracy , lack of true psn integration , social integration could be reasons enough to not have a successful online feature on the psp , now the ps vita is packed with all kinds of features , please add head to head multiplayer with parties ( dont forget this ) so we can invite our psn/ ps vita friends to race online , i think this is the same reason why Motorstorm RC wont support head to head races either , man too bad that you guys are not that confident on the vita .

  • Hello from Japan Erich,

    I loved MNR for the PS3, and was wondering if there are plans to bring MNR:RT to Japan? If so do you have any hints as to a release date? Or am I going to have to import?


  • Hi remanutd5,
    Between the blog and my commenting on the blog, my messaging is probably a little fragmented. It’s not that we have an doubts about whether or not head-to-head online play is relevant. I know it is. It was a matter of prioritizing which online features tell the best story for the game and the new PlayStation Vita. We also try to look at how many gamers will utilized each feature we put into a game to see where it makes the most time to spend our development effort. As is normally the case, we have a laundry list of features we want to put into the game that far exceeds the budget or business case. So we have to prioritize features to create the best offering. Your points are valid and they were part of the discussion. But since the game is coming out next month, I think what you really want to hear is whether or not MNR:RT will be patched with online head-to-head play (with parties). We should have more info on this subject in the near future. I appreciate your well thought out points and engaging in the forum conversation, remanutd5!

  • @Erich Thanks to you and your team for being willing to listen to the fans. With online h2h, this game is a definite buy for me.

  • hopefully that info will be positive for us ( gamers ) its not just me , its almost all the community , i understand your concern but i think this time around ps vita online will be huge if the system doesnt get hacked and you guys add online trophies , i mean theres so much more on the vita than the psp ever had so please think about it

  • I can’t believe that Modnation is not gonna have online head to head racing, if I had to bet on a feature that modnation WOULD have before I even heard of all these features, I would have put by house on Modnation having online racing like just about every other racing game today has. Guess I would have lost my house. This is a feature that is ridiculous to leave out, I don’t understand the decision to incorporate it into the ps3 version, even the psp version, but the handheld that is above and beyond the PSP is not gonna have this feature…….what were you thinking!

    This is not doubt gonna cause the sales of Modnation to be very poor if these comments are any indication. Seems like many people are gonna pass on it when there were planning on buying it. Same goes here, this is a game I would have no doubt bought down the road when I get my Vita, but unless its patched in or something then I most likely won’t be getting the game. It’s such a standard feature, its so ridiculous that its not in the game.

  • oh and i second jonboy’s comment , thanks for being willing to listen to us , vita online will be huge , dont think only shooters can succeed at that , i mean you dont need to add 10 players racers , i think 6- 8 would be great , thanks again

  • at 94 angel i think we will get the announcement we want before the game launches or as soon as San Diego Studios is ready at least Erich and i think the team are willing to consider the possibility to add it on a patch

  • After reading the comment Erich posted I have changed my stance, good to have clarification on the matter, if it gets patched later on then that’s fine, I can definitely live with that as I won’t be getting a Vita on launch, hopefully by the time I get the Vita Modnation has Online head to head and it will be a definite buy. Clarification definitely helps us understand why it was done and puts our doubts and disappointment at rest, at least for me :P

  • At least we got one definite answer here today: Modnation DLCs for ps3 will get a signification price drop in the near future. Yea! Career track prices are too high compared to the main game’s current price. I’m looking forward to buying the 3 career tracks.

    All this discussion on wanting online multiplayer is interesting, but I am gonna play Road Trip in the store first before deciding to buy or not. Driving is core to the game play and it was not fun for me on PSP (it almost felt like moving a car attached to a stick as the road scrolled by).

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