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Why Need for Speed: Rivals runs at 30 frames per second


Need for Speed: Rivals outputs at 30 frames per second across all platforms, developer Ghost has confirmed to Eurogamer.

Ghost founder and Rivals executive producer Marcus Nilsson said the development team opted to target 30fps instead of 60fps because of the racing game's new AllDrive feature.

AllDrive is the system used to seamlessly matchmake players within the same open world city. In the game, players can bump into each other whether they're completing Assignments as a cop, Speed Lists as a Racer, or just exploring.

"It is a choice we made to be able to push what we believe is really important for our typical gamer: get a lot of things happening on the screen at the same time," Nilsson told Eurogamer.

"Anything can happen in AllDrive. That's the key innovation with this game. You don't have single-player, co-op or multiplayer. It just happens seamlessly.

"I could be playing the game, setting a time, and all of a sudden you could come into that world, and you could be carrying AI, I could be carrying AI, and all of a sudden, on that screen, there are a lot of cars. We always have to budget for the worst case scenario.

"So in this case we've prioritised the gameplay, because we think 30fps is giving a satisfactory experience."

The cap on the number of players able to be in the same city at the same time is currently six on current-gen platforms, but this may change before release, Nilsson said. And, it may be possible to up the multiplayer player count for the PC and next-gen versions.

"I honestly think the most enjoyable version of this will be around a few friends," Nilsson said.

"Since we discovered AllDrive, we've never gone for 24 or 36 players, because it doesn't make sense. It just becomes chaos. You've seen how online racing games behave, right? Unless you're number one, it's boring. This way you can all have fun playing together but fulfilling your own objectives."

"It is a choice we made to be able to push what we believe is really important for our typical gamer: get a lot of things happening on the screen at the same time."

Ghost executive producer Marcus Nilsson
Cover image for YouTube videoNeed for Speed Rivals Trailer - Undercover Cop Reveal (Gamescom Official 2013)

Rivals features a raft of multiplayer features, in-game and second screen, that mean single-player, co-op and competitive multiplayer are blended together. The second screen experience allows a player to use a tablet to impact the game world, for example setting roadblocks. And there are of course constant time comparisons through AutoLog.

Ghost developers are often asked whether all the connected features can be turned off, allowing a single player to play without any interaction with other players whatsoever.

"People have always been afraid of the new," Nilsson said. "When you do quite brave advancements, a natural feeling is, 'I know what this is, but I don't know what that is. And, I really like this, actually, so I'm not sure that can be better. I like my BigMac. Why would I go for the burger they change to every week? Sometimes I might be lucky and it's as good as, or better, but sometimes it will be worse.'

"That's the mechanic all human beings carry. It's especially vocal around internet gaming audiences. They are really verbal. Look what happened to Microsoft."

Nilsson said turning off Rivals' connected features doesn't defeat the purpose of the game. "This game is perfectly well designed to be played totally alone. We know the Need for Speed consumer, in the majority, is playing through it alone. But we also know this game is more fun with friends, to the majority of people.

"So what I want to do with this game is entice more people to come into a multiplayer experience and feel how great it is to play a game where the unexpected can happen. That's what goes on when we get people together, with three or four people in the same world, all playing single-player. But then people are prone to meet or help each other, or go from single-player to roll together as cops and take someone out together and share the points.

"It's fascinating how all that changes, and it feels really natural when you're playing it. It's not alienating when you play it. It's like, why isn't every game like this? It's where I believe the future is, especially with racing games."