August 26, 2013
Hello, I am James Mouat, Lead Designer at Ghost Games, and in this post I want to talk about the progression and scoring mechanics in Need for Speed Rivals.
Progression is a big part of the experience when playing and we wanted to make sure we designed careers for both Cop and racer players that would give players lots of content that they could choose when, where and how they completed each path. We wanted to make sure that players who prefer to test their driving skill could choose that path through the narrative, players who preferred racing and competition would have a path open to them as well, and of course the players who want to trade paint and wreck other players could make their way through their careers choosing goals that gave them an outlet for their aggression. Most importantly though, players are free to mix and match these styles of play at each step through the game's progression system, meaning that every player will have a unique career path and unique experience.
Player choice and unique career paths were only one part of how we approached progression in Rivals. As we developed AllDrive, we also had to rethink how to deliver a single-player style narrative progression experience in a multiplayer world where players of all levels of skill and progression could be interacting.
Our goal with AllDrive was to allow player the freedom to do what they wanted combined with the fun and surprise of encountering other players at any time, so our progression system needed to support this. To make sure these two concepts would work well together and allow for even more fun we designed the progression system to be open and free to allow players to complete their goals in any way they can. Sometimes these goals will mean players can help each other out to complete career goals together, other times players may compete head-to-head while moving through their career, but AllDrive promises that no two games will play the same way twice.
As players work though the progression they will be challenged to earn score in the form of Speed Points (SP) in two different ways. Living the life of a racer in Redview County is a life of risk & reward. Racer players earn SP by building a multiplier each time they leave their hideout and begin driving. The bigger your multiplier, the more SP you earn for every action you take in the game. The riskier the action, the faster you will build up your multiplier. Once a racer returns to their hideout they get to "bank" the SP they earned in that session, but their multiplier will reset back to 1x, so it will always be up to racer player to decide when to head home and put their SP away for safekeeping. However if a cop shows up, life for the racer becomes very tense, and all their SP are up for grabs if they can't escape.
When playing as a Cop, your goal will be to find and track down Racers in Redview County and busting those Racers using any means necessary. Cops don't focus on taking risks or building up a multiplier, but rather hunting down the hottest Racers in the County, busting them and taking any SP the Racer has earned for themselves. Cops focus on teamwork to patrol Redview and discover Racer activity, responding to their fellow officers to join in pursuit of Racers and bust them before they can escape to a Hideout and bank their SP.
Each time a Cop discovers a racer it becomes an all-out chase as Racers struggle desperately to escape and hold on to their SP, while the Cops work together as a team to bust Racers. Each time the Cops bust a racer, each Cop involved in the pursuit is awarded the SP from that Racer. Among the Redview County Police Department teamwork is key to success, so everyone is equally rewarded for that teamwork and a job well done.
I look forward to playing Rivals with you all very soon and seeing Redview County come alive as AllDrive brings us together in races, chases, big busts and banking huge amounts of SP!