Electronic Arts has released a pair of brand new Need for Speed racing games this fall. In addition to Ghost Games’ Need for Speed on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (with a PC gaming coming in spring 2016), EA has released Need for Speed No Limits for Android devices. The game is playable across NVIDIA devices, including Shield Tablet K1 and Shield Android TV. Mark Zaloumis, producer on Need for Speed No Limits at Electronic Arts, talks about what’s in store for mobile drivers in this exclusive interview.
What were your goals heading into this game?
One of the biggest goals going into Need for Speed No Limits was to bring car tuning and customization back into the forefront. The team wanted to create a feature set that enabled players to build their dream garage of cars that represented their own unique style.
Another important goal for the team was to design Need for Speed No Limits for mobile platforms from the ground up using the knowledge the studio has collected creating mobile Need for Speed games over the last 10 years. There is a wealth of information and experience in the team on everything from the right steering sensitivities for a touch screen, to the optimal race length to fit average play session lengths that we wanted to draw on to make a truly mobile optimized experience.
What’s the storyline in this mobile game world?
You’re a racer in Blackridge who is given a shot to prove yourself in a race against members from The Royals, the top crew in Blackridge. This race kick starts your reputation which helps you score a ride and form connections in the underground street racing scene to get access to high performance parts. From here you need to collect new cars, and kit them out to keep building your Rep to take on Blackridge’s finest street racers and prove you’ve got what it takes.
How do you feel you're pushing things forward with this game?
We have really pushed things forward with the new car customization system we’ve built. It was great working with the team over at Speedhunters, one of the biggest car culture websites on the net, who got us up to speed on all the latest trends in the car tuner scene. They showed us how a lot of new customization styles relied heavily on being able to accurately control the stance of the car, which became the foundation of the new system. This allows us to accurately replicate some of the hottest real world bodykits from the likes of Rocket Bunny and RTR in the game.
We’ve also pushed the boundaries on the graphics front with new high detail car models including a huge selection of body kits and visual customization options, and a whole new lighting model that supports real-time reflections and spherical harmonics light probes to accurately recreate the lighting from the environment on cars with amazing results.
Can you talk about the single player experience?
The single player experience is made up of punchy, high intensity racing. There is a bunch of game modes, with everything from classic races and time trial events, to collecting nitro for running over nitro zones and getting airborne, to getting away from everything Blackridge
PD has to throw at you.
The controls are accessible for playing out on the go, but keeping it smooth on a tight racing line, and finding the right combination of nitro and drift points to get the edge over other racers is no simple feat!
What type of multiplayer is there?
We have a multiplayer Tournament feature where players asynchronously compete against each other to climb the leaderboards and win exclusive prizes. If you’re willing to put more on the line, you can race faster opponents for bigger payouts. It’s really fun to check out all the heavily tuned and customized cars that players are racing in the top tiers.
How deep an experience is this mobile game?
We are really proud of how deep Need for Speed No Limits goes. With a great car list, a huge number of performance parts and millions of visual customization combinations for players to build their dream garages, over a thousand events to compete in, and really exciting time limited Special Events featuring the likes of Snoop Dogg and more, No Limits provides a whole world of underground racing for players to get immersed in.
How have you worked with NVIDIA on your game?
During development, we worked very closely with NVIDIA's Android CodeWorks team, who built the tools that we use to develop for all Android devices. In addition, our engineers got a great deal of advice and insider knowledge to optimize the game and target the best visuals on the NVIDIA Shield. NVIDIA have been in contact with us throughout the production cycle, and have always been willing to help us where they can.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of Android as a platform?
Android has made it easier for hardware manufacturers to get into the smartphone and tablet market, and as a result there has been a really diverse selection of devices with a wide range of form factors and specs released over the last few years. The tech team loves getting their hands on the latest high performance devices like the NVIDIA Shield to see how much further they can push the graphics in Need for Speed No Limits, and we’re constantly amazed by the results!