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Need for Speed Rivals | Xbox One Kinect Features | FTW December 2013

Sian Welby looks under the hood of Need for Speed Rivals and discusses Xbox One Kinect Features and audio capture with Senior Game Designer Chris Roberts and Senior Producer Jamie keen from Ghost UK in this latest For The Win feature.

Ghost have pulled out all the stops for next-gen consoles, running at both 1080p and 30fps. Package this with the Frostbite 3 engine and the result is a visually stunning scene that is full of unique little details, notably waves crashing against the cliffs or leaves and other debris blowing past your car as you rush through a forest.

Audio was also a key focus when it came to the overall design. More microphones than ever were placed on the outside of each individual vehicle to get a clear, crisp recording. With vehicles like Ferrari and McClaren, it really adds to the experience when that familiar engine sound can be heard under the hood of your car.

Kinect features on Xbox One also play a part, mainly through the use of voice commands to find your nearest repair shop, hideout or even deploy your weapons.

Sian Welby: So Chris, you're the Senior Game Designer at Ghost which is a new studio which is base in the UK and also there's a studio in Sweden, tell me all about it.
Chris Roberts: The main mothership Ghost studio is in Sweden in Gothenburg, we are in Guilford - Ghost UK, and we are made up of people from other studios in the UK who love to make driving games, so it's kind of a super studio.
Jamie Keen: I think that that's one of the things we're most proud of at Ghost as well is the culture of the studio we're creating is this sense of we're taking a great deal of pride in what we're doing.

So has it been easy to make a consistent version accross next-gen platforms?
JK: We've always been gunning for 1080p native and thaty just ups that visual quality. We're also runing at 30 fps so it means that we're always able to push the visual quality more and more and more, which is really good news for us because it means we end up with this extreme visual fidelity and that's what we want the game to be.
CR: When you buy a new console you want to be wowed by what the game looks like and it wants to look beautiful on your new TV and we've taken advantage of that. Frosbite really allows us to do a lot of really cool things, if you look at the sea where the break is hitting the cliffs, it sprays onto the screen for example.
JK: I think as well if you couple that with the audio fidelity we have, that whole audio visual package really makes you feel like you're in the driving seat of one of these supercars.

SW: Tell me a bit more about the sound, was it really important to make sure you got the audio of the engines as authentic as possible?
JK: We sent the audio guys along and they were like "really? we're going to get to record all of them? This is amazing!" I think they've had more mics on the cars then they've ever had before so the level of fidelity we get back has been unparalled and unrivalled.
CR: The audio team is based in Guilford with us and I get to see them go out with all their equipment, and the amount of microphones they manage to get onto the cars - well the results speak for themselves. It sounds amazing. Having Ferrari in the game is a big deal for us and we're really excited. It's the first game I've ever worked with a Ferrari, so, it needs to sound like a Ferrari, or a Maclaren or a Porsche.
JK: So when you get a downshift and you hear the rev in the engine, espicially in the Ferrari's you get those high notes, so the first time I heard that I got goose bumps all up the back of my neck! And that's the thing that you want, when you know that's how a real driver would be driving that car. Getting that into the engine, getting that experience through and that's when it gets really cool.

SW: Are there going to be Kinect features for the Xbox One and if so can you tell me about them?
CR: They're definatey in, the Kinect on Xbox One is an awesome piece of kit, and allows for some great voice recognitions so that's what we're using so the player can shortcut to destinations on their GPS, so they can say "Give me my nearest repair shop. Give me my nearest hide-out" and then they can also deploy their weapons.

SW: Now you were talking about this earlier and the one thing that I thought was pretty cool is the new Kinnect can actually lip read
CR: This could be the programmers lying to me but we have a guy who's working on it right now and it tones itself to your voice so it knows it's you. Not only what you look like, but what you sound like, and, it can read your lips. It's just really cool because it means that when you're speaking to it, it listens which is great.

SW: Also a little bit creepy?
CR: Yeah, a little bit! But it's kinda cool.

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