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Under the Hood: The Handling Model

by EA_Ataashi
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Under the Hood: The Handling Model

Community Manager

Under the Hood is back and this time we’re driving deep into the Handling model in Need for Speed™ and how it has evolved for NFS Heat.

 

The handling model in the NFS series has always been aimed more towards an arcade style driving, with the exception of the Shift series. 

 

At the core of the handling model has been the ability to pull off huge drifts at high speeds, while also battling with cops, outrunning your opponents and constantly having to avoid oncoming traffic.

 

One particular side effect of allowing vehicles to pull off drifts is that this also becomes the only way to negotiate corners if you want to set the fastest time on an event, which is of course not how real life racing works.

 

Even though this handling model has generally been received very well among a large part of our audience, at Ghost we have always felt there was room for improvement.

This was tackled in a number of ways for NFS Heat. 

 

We’ve exposed more of the core handling system to allow players to build and modify their cars in more detail. This will allow a vehicle to have an asymmetric and 'non-optimal'(but fun to drive) handling set up. For example, having a powerful engine while still having stock tires or gearbox.

 

This also allows players to tune their cars away from the more balanced stock handling, which skilled players might find too easy and 'arcade', towards a more realistic grip handling or drift handling depending on which you prefer.

 

We have also worked with the drifting mechanic and especially the so called brake-to-drift mechanic side effect.

 

We wanted to allow experienced and dedicated players to be able to build a car, tuning it closer to real world expectations, and be able to beat someone who has left their car remain at stock handling. This meant that we have had to work with exposing and balancing everything from steering, differential, clutch, brake bias, all the way to the tire model itself.

Drifting has also been reworked to allow players to use the power of the engine to get the car into a drift or power slide. Simply stabbing the throttle while steering hard will make the tires lose enough grip to allow it to drift.

 

Tuning of the brake bias can also be done to allow the brakes to transfer weight to the front wheels, causing the rear wheels to loose grip and enter a drift. A third option to enter drift is to use the handbrake, which is preferably used in tighter corners and hairpins.

 

With the speeds while drifting severely reduced we have been hard at work as a team to improve the sense of speed. This is something that is usually hard to communicate in a video game due to the lack of forces acting on your body. Much like handling itself, sense of speed is something you experience and we are confident this is something that will come across when you hit the streets of Palm City later this year.

 

The Archetypes concept from NFS Payback has also been removed and with the above components exposed we transitioned into creating a new way of tuning the car.

In NFS Heat you can apply several parts in 3 distinct categories that change the handling performance: Suspension, Differential and Tires.

 

Each of these items will move the cars handling style towards either Race, Drift, Offroad or Road. More on all the other types of Performance Customization in the next Under The Hood, where we'll explain how the car needs to have a synergy between power (from the engine), grip (from the tires) and the gearbox to maximize the performance.

 

The type of drivetrain that the vehicles have will also affect how the vehicle drives and reacts to the different handling styles. 

 

You can turn all types of vehicles into capable drift machines but the drift angles they can achieve and the manor in how you control them differ depending on which wheels are driven on the vehicles. It is possible to use all types of drivetrain for all types of events but they are suited differently to each individual style.

 

Race will increase the grip of the car and make the car corner better. Extreme levels of race tuning will make the car corner faster and better. Race is all about throttle and brake control, finding the perfect line around the corner without drifting.

 

Tuning the car towards Drift will make the car easier to enter drifts and allows the car to create much deeper and wider angles of drift. Extreme levels of Drift tuning will allow the car to enter into a drift just by steering - no ‘Clutch Kick’ or hand brake required. 

 

We have evolved the drift mechanics to make use of the player's skill and control even further for drift builds with the addition of ‘Throttle-controlled Drift’. For the first time in NFS history, players can control the angle of the drift via the throttle. 

 

If the throttle is pushed all the way down while in a drift it will cause the car to spin out. In order to maintain a perfect drift the player needs to feather the throttle (apply partial pressure). This opens up new levels of mastery to the drifting in NFS. 

 

Offroad will make the car accelerate faster and corner better on rough terrain. Road will give the same advantages but on tarmac.

 

Race and Drift control the way the car handles. Offroad and Road controls on what surface you want to have an advantage. 

 

We have tested and tuned a lot to get to where we are now. We wanted to have a Race handling style that is faster in corners, satisfying, and feels amazing while also creating a new way of initiating drift with multiple layers of mastery. We are really happy with the results and we hope that you will enjoy it too.

 

Tune in next time to hear about the new performance customization (no speed cards!), handling parts, exhaust tuning and engine swaps!

 

Stay Tuned
Ghost Driving Experience Team

Message 1 of 15 (759 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★★★ Apprentice
The handling model in the NFS series has always been aimed more towards an arcade style driving, with the exception of the Shift series. So does this line means Porsche Unleashed was also in arcade style?
Message 2 of 15 (722 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★★★★ Apprentice

@EA_Ataashi

Changing the handling model is definitely welcome, and it's great to hear that feedback is being taken on-board. However, I can't help but feel that the trailer felt somewhat... Forced, or excessive. Very visually impressive, sure, but all trailers are this way. I'm sure 2015 and Payback, mutually regarded as failures by fans, had very visually impressive promotional content in the same way.

 

But then the little things previously unseen start creeping in, and all of a sudden, glaring flaws are exposed. I can't deny that I'm somewhat suspicious of the very explicit and outward statement "we ditched the speedcards from Payback" it seemed strange to acknowledge changes and other games within an in-game trailer.

 

Let me say that I don't want to be pessimistic about NFS Heat! There are certainly good things, but with each successive release it feels like one step forwards and two steps back. Every problem that is fixed, a new one (s) takes it's place. I'm very happy to hear customization and cops (hopefully genuinely this time) have taken priority. Although, those statements are counteracted by the facts: Players have observed through Heat: Studio that there aren't actually any new visual customization parts for returning cars, some of which (SRT Viper GTS/Skyline GT-R R34) haven't received new parts for four years!

 

I would also like to bring my own criticism to the table if possible. If you haven't seen my thread about a particular in-game mechanic, I'd like it very much if you or a lower rank EA associate could, only if it's reasonable of course. Namely, the damage bar, a system of player health that myself and others are quite reluctant to see return from the very few games it featured in. I've already made a case with EA Help and continue trying to raise awareness, the issue is that this has the potential to be the game-breaker and has severe negative implications. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could take a look! Otherwise, thank you for the information on handling.

 

https://answers.ea.com/t5/General-Discussion/Damage-quot-Health-bar-quot-We-need-to-have-a-talk/td-p...

Message 3 of 15 (704 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★ Apprentice

"In order to maintain a perfect drift the player needs to feather the throttle (apply partial pressure)." I guess this means the game will have steering wheel support and it will be more than 1 option...  

Message 4 of 15 (685 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★ Guide
@GK3512 Yes but more simcade based would i say, all the games from the 90s was more or less simcade genre. Todays games are pure arcade in my oppinion.
Message 5 of 15 (662 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model


@EA_Ataashi wrote:

The handling model in the NFS series has always been aimed more towards an arcade style driving, with the exception of the Shift series. 


NFS Pro Street was also supposed to have simulation driving physics as well, but Black Box couldn't produce proper simulation driving physics.

They specialize in arcade driving physics back in the day.


EA_Ataashi wrote:

Even though this handling model has generally been received very well among a large part of our audience, at Ghost we have always felt there was room for improvement.

This was tackled in a number of ways for NFS Heat. 


I'm sorry, but this is just laughable. Large smile

 

I had seen people complain about the brake2drift handling model everywhere. On Need For Speed subreddit, YouTube, Twitter, and here.

The complaints are mostly from the fans that want a NFS game like the 1994 - 2002 era and the fans that liked Black Box's arcade driving physics (myself included).


EA_Ataashi wrote:

Tune in next time to hear about the new performance customization (no speed cards!), handling parts, exhaust tuning and engine swaps!


We get it. No need to keep repeating it.

EA seems really proud to say there are no speed cards in NFS Heat, even though they are the ones that came up with that idea for NFS Payback. The NFS community didn't come up with that idea.

 

All we can really do at this point is play "The Waiting Game" until the game is "fully released" on its Early Access date to try out its driving physics for ourselves.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Need For Speed helper

I am not affiliated with EA in any way.

I have quit playing NFS No Limits. I will still be around to answer NFS No Limits questions.
Message 6 of 15 (655 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★★★ Novice

WILL THERE BE STEERING WHEEL SUPPORT?

Message 7 of 15 (606 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

★★ Apprentice

I'm 80% shure it will be... the same as in Payback. Disappointed

Message 8 of 15 (604 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Apprentice

No, there seems to be a real change.
What handling do I want to get as a player? I have basic concepts from simulators. If you played Assetto Corsa for example, you might notice that the difference in control between any civilian car and a sports GT2 is heaven and earth! So I want the cars in the NSF to be controlled like GT2.
I also liked the Toyota Supra - a pleasant car to drive. I want to go around any obstacle without any problems. I press the arrow on the left - the car IMMEDIATELY leaves sharply to the left. I press the arrow to the right - the car immediately leaves SHARP right. I want to go around the traffic effortlessly. Like in the picture below. Try to do it in the NSF - nothing will come of it. You will crash into everything that gets in your way. This is my main claim to handling.

You also should not artificially increase speed! I showed the gameplay Payback to my friend and he said that the video seemed to be accelerated! I myself think so. That in the NFS car goes unrealistically fast! In fact, you should strive for realism and not let boost visual speed!

Message 9 of 15 (569 Views)

Re: Under the Hood: The Handling Model

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Apprentice

Standard smile

Message 10 of 15 (462 Views)

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