Fast Racing Neo. Dosent this have a thread!?!

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
It's not F-Zero, it's more Wipeout than F-Zero. With that said, it's pretty damn cool. Online plays like butter so far. So while I can't tell you it will curb your craving for a new F-Zero game, I do think you would like it.

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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Never played WipeOut. Only briefly played F-Zero on GBA. FRN is worth it if you like a steep challenge, and don't have your heart promised to FZ.

Gotta get an online friends match going soon.

Edit: I'm not so sure about this "no rubber-band AI" thing some talked about. If the cars behind you can basically turn "perfect lap mode" on, that's still rubbery.
So if I'm expecting F-Zero, how disappointed will I be?
On a scale with 0 being licking honey off of Christina Hendricks, and 10 being Hitler finding out that he was mostly Jewish, I think you'd be somewhere in the vicinity of petting a kitten.
 
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nerdman

pig's gotta fly
Turns are actually pretty satisfying because you're moving so fast. Since it's not really a closed circuit style racer, navigating straights and managing boost are equally important.

It's slowly starting to click for me. Even at subsonic speed, this game is considerably faster than F-Zero.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Turns are actually pretty satisfying because you're moving so fast. Since it's not really a closed circuit style racer, navigating straights and managing boost are equally important.

It's slowly starting to click for me. Even at subsonic speed, this game is considerably faster than F-Zero.
Honestly, after watching majico's GX clip, the track design isn't that different. But because of the speed, FRN is less controllable (and curses to whoever thought a track without some guard rails was a good idea). F-Zero diehards may be more disappointed with the handling and speed balance than the course design.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator

Honestly, after watching majico's GX clip, the track design isn't that different. But because of the speed, FRN is less controllable (and curses to whoever thought a track without some guard rails was a good idea). F-Zero diehards may be more disappointed with the handling and speed balance than the course design.
The map in that video does look better than what I'd seen before. If only I wasn't drowning in games right now.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
So...yeah, I've pretty much consigned this one to online-only play.

At least in NFS, I can mess up a corner and get it back by attempting to carry more speed in later sections. You can't do that in FRN. Mess up once, you're back in 4th, and you aren'the getting it back. And you have to exit a cup completely to start over.

Shin'en made a beautiful game, a properly quick technical marvel. It's a shame they didn't make it very fun to play offline.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
I'll try the Supersonic cup tomorrow. I do love the tracks though, I just wish the A.I. wasn't as aggressive.

We should still get an online night soon.
I just unlocked Supersonic about half an hour ago (after finally hanging around in enough races to beat Subsonic). And holy hell, it's almost nauseatingly fast.
Online should be kool, just make it happen.
I'm available this afternoon. Just say when.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
Doing time trials. I beat the shinen records on the first 2 tracks in subsonic. The mechanics are starting to click.

There isn't really much meter management after all. It's pretty much "Do you have meter? Then boost." I'm starting to get the hang of handling the course at boost speeds, which are ridiculous.

Maybe I'll change my mind when I unlock the faster modes, but I'm kind of glad online is subsonic only. This game makes my eyes water sometimes it goes so fucking fast when you're boosting.
 
Still has the whole "if you crash once you lose" thing, but it is fun.

Also, anyone know how the spin out mechanic works? Sometimes I spin out and lose most of my speed. Other times I make someone spin and they barely lose any spin if at all. ET figures it has something to do with if they were boosting at the time or something, but anyone know for certain?
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
It'd be interesting if Shin'en patches the game in to provide supersonic and hypersonic modes in multiplayer. Maybe it's in the cards, but they're waiting until people get better with the game?

I played the first cup last night, and placed third overall when was all said and done. I crashed a few times on the third track. Based on what played though I can see myself really liking this.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I like subsonic for online play. It's already do difficult to recover from a crash, going to higher speeds will just make it that much worse. More and more races will be determined by who doesn't crash.

Online play will give this game legs. ET, COV and I had a blast this afternoon.

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nerdman

pig's gotta fly
I'm pretty sure whoever spins out on collisions has to do with speed. The faster moving vehicle makes the slower one spin out.

Anyways, I'm loving this game. Grabbing the orbs and stringing your boosts together for the whole track feels amazing.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
It'd be interesting if Shin'en patches the game in to provide supersonic and hypersonic modes in multiplayer. Maybe it's in the cards, but they're waiting until people get better with the game?
I wish they'd patch in button customization. Putting the brake on B just feels weird to me.

(Accelerate and brake on the lower triggers, lean on the shoulders, phase and boost on X and A. That's how I'd play.)
I'm pretty sure whoever spins out on collisions has to do with speed. The faster moving vehicle makes the slower one spin out.
I think so. If someone hits you and you aren't boosting at all, it's a spin. If you are, it seems to mitigate it (which is why hoarding boost doesn'the work so well).
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
First track of the 2nd cup is working me hard. Makes me wonder if I'm approaching the track wrong.

I think there is some boost management on this level. I feel like I lose a shit ton of time if I don't save some boost for first big straight.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Interesting analysis from Digital Foundry. The game seems to be peppered with lots of effects and techniques normally reserved for PS4 and X1, but it comes at a price. The resolution is essentially standard definition. I'm trying to get clarification, but it may be more complicated than that. Something to the extent of each object having its own rendering resolution. Image quality has looked fine to me, but it does have a weird look that I am assuming stems from the low pixel count. No matter what, it's a great game, looks great, and runs smooth at 60 fps.

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Update: The User Interface is rendered in full 720p, but the actual game is rendered at 720x640. Higher than your typical 480x640 on Wii, but not by a lot.
 
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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Interesting analysis from Digital Foundry. The game seems to be peppered with lots of effects and techniques normally reserved for PS4 and X1, but it comes at a price. The resolution is essentially standard definition. I'm trying to get clarification, but it may be more complicated than that. Something to the extent of each object having its own rendering resolution. Image quality has looked fine to me, but it does have a weird look that I am assuming stems from the low pixel count. No matter what, it's a great game, looks great, and runs smooth at 60 fps.
Linky.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-vs-fast-racing-neo

Here's the gist, for anyone interested:

One such compromise stems from the rendering resolution. While the final frame-buffer is a full 720p, the effects and render targets are all processed at variable, often lower resolutions. So what does this mean for the player? Well, based on our pixel counts, this means players are seeing a resolution of just 640x720 during gameplay. It would appear that there is some sort of temporal reconstruction in play which can produce unwanted flicker, but the end result is noticeably pixelated even at high speeds.

The most noticeable side effect is the appearance of combing artefacts. Essentially, it gives the impression of vertical interlace running through the image. This issue is most noticeable around the edges of fast moving objects. There's also a general instability to the image noticeable when standing still - not that you're likely to be doing this during gameplay. There is a flicker inherent to the game not unlike that of a field rendered PlayStation 2 title.

UPDATE 14/12/15 5:20pm: After spending more time with the game, we wanted to clarify the issue of rendering resolution in Fast Racing Neo. While results as low as 640x720 are possible, and evident in many of our examples, it doesn't tell the whole story. The game operates at 1280x720 with a re-projection technique not completely unlike that of Killzone Shadow Fall's multiplayer mode.

Here, though, the re-projection technique is most effective on edges composed against areas with proper depth buffer information. As the skybox used in the game lacks any z-buffer entries, polygon edges contrasted against this area of the screen cannot be effectively reconstructed. It is this type of scenario that produces lower resolution results evident in some of the screen captures.

Basically, the apparent resolution of an edge depends on where it falls within the image. Edges of geometry placed against other objects within the world can actually appear to operate with a width of 1280. Yet, when contrasted against the skybox, these edges lose information and instead appear to operate with half the pixels. The end result is sharper image quality than 640x720 could allow but not quite as clean as a native 1280x720 either. It's good middle ground for the game that makes the smooth frame-rate possible.

See?

Exactly.



...I don't know what any of that means.

Here's the wiki info on what a skybox is, which suggests (if I'm reading this right) that distant non-reachable objects are basically half the resolution of what you're seeing on track (cars, asphalt, barriers, etc.). If so, that's a more-than-reasonable tradeoff for a rock-steady 60 fps.
=====================

I'm more interested in this:

The game uses the console's GPU for a number of general purpose tasks in order to free up precious cycles. The game is also properly parallelised and takes advantage of the Wii U's CPU with two of the three cores dedicated to rendering while the third is reserved for networking, audio, and various other tasks.

We haven't heard about GPGPU / GPU compute for a pretty long time. I was beginning to think it was a next-gen chimera. And here it is being done on Wii U by an indie dev of like 12 employees.

I grok all of the reasons for why some third parties thought the Wii U had a "slow" CPU, but Shin'en has basically embarrassed all of them with this game.
 
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Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Good update, I hadn't seen that yet. It didn't seem right for the image to look that clean and be so low resolution.

It is hilarious on how much they leveraged the gpu, they are doing things no other third part developer has done. GPGPU compute was supposedly a pipe dream on Wii U, and here we are Shin'en use it. Proper use of all three CPU cores, and making the most of the edram.

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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Good update, I hadn't seen that yet. It didn't seem right for the image to look that clean and be so low resolution.
It still doesn't quite read right to me. I'm sure it all makes perfect sense, and I just don't speak Graphics Technology, but I thought this comment was a little more clear:

So the game renders at 640x720 and uses previous frame data to fill in every other vertical line. KZ:SF was fairly sophisticated about this and rejected any wrong pixels, interpolating the neighbouring new pixels instead.

In this game it looks like pixels aren't being rejected in that way so things like animated particle effects appear with this vertical interlacing error.

-I_Am_CatButler

So if you follow that line over to KZ:SF, you read this from Guerilla.
https://www.killzone.com/de_CH/blog/news/2014-03-06_regarding-killzone-shadow-fall-and-1080p.html

Q: Is SHADOW FALL running 1080p natively?

In both SP and MP, KILLZONE SHADOW FALL outputs a full, unscaled 1080p image at up to 60 FPS. Native is often used to indicate images that are not scaled; it is native by that definition.

In Multiplayer mode, however, we use a technique called “temporal reprojection,” which combines pixels and motion vectors from multiple lower-resolution frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image. If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native.

Games often employ different resolutions in different parts of their rendering pipeline. Most games render particles and ambient occlusion at a lower resolution, while some games even do all lighting at a lower resolution. This is generally still called native 1080p. The technique used in KILLZONE SHADOW FALL goes further and reconstructs half of the pixels from past frames.

We recognize the community’s degree of investment on this matter, and that the conventional terminology used before may be too vague to effectively convey what’s going on under the hood. As such we will do our best to be more precise with our language in the future.

Q: So how does “temporal reprojection” work and what’s the difference with up-scaling?

Up-scaling is a spatial interpolation filter. When up-scaling an image from one resolution to another, new pixels are added by stretching the image in X/Y dimension. The values of the new pixels are picked to lie in between the current values of the pixels. This gives a bigger, but slightly blurrier picture.

Temporal reprojection is a technique that tracks the position of pixels over time and predicts where they will be in future. These “history pixels” are combined with freshly rendered pixels to form a higher-resolution new frame. This is what KILLZONE SHADOW FALL uses in multiplayer.

So, in a bit more detail, this is what we need for this technique:

  • We keep track of three images of “history pixels” sized 960x1080
    • The current frame
    • The past frame
    • And the past-past frame
  • For each pixel we store its color and its motion vector – i.e. the direction of the pixel on-screen
  • We also store a full 1080p, “previous frame” which we use to improve anti-aliasing
Then we have to reconstruct every odd pixel in the frame:
  • We track every pixel back to the previous frame and two frames ago, by using its motion vectors
  • By looking at how this pixel moved in the past, we determine its “predictability”
  • Most pixels are very predictable, so we use reconstruction from a past frame to serve as the odd pixel
  • If the pixel is not very predictable, we pick the best value from neighbors in the current frame
On occasion the prediction fails and locally pixels become blurry, or thin vertical lines appear. However, most of the time the prediction works well and the image is identical to a normal 1080p image. We then increase sub-pixel anti-aliasing using our 1080p “previous frame” and motion vectors, further improving the image quality.

So...yeah. Still mostly clueless. Using lower resolution past frames to help construct up to half of the actual 720p or 1080p frame being displayed? But in FRN, only for distant objects? I suppose that's a smarter use of resources than making a bunch of 720p scenery only to use motion and depth-of-field blur.

Interesting, nonetheless. But my head hurts now.
It is hilarious on how much they leveraged the gpu, they are doing things no other third part developer has done. GPGPU compute was supposedly a pipe dream on Wii U, and here we are Shin'en use it. Proper use of all three CPU cores, and making the most of the edram.
That's what blows me away. DF is pretty jaded, but when they are going "man, this is some PS4 shit going on here"? Worth trying to understand, I guess (not that the PS4 is the world-conquering, hairy-chested processing monster many think it is).

If third parties had just given themselves time to learn the Wii U's ins and outs...
 
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Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Good job on digging up that info from Killzone, and it does appear to be whats in place. Its essentially only rendering every other pixel. It uses an algorithm to guess what that missing pixel should be. Think of it more like advanced upscaling. Instead of stretching the image, it's simply using previous frame data to fill in the blank. In a way, it's sort of like looking at an interlaced image. Sony did this for Gran Turismo on PS2. They said 1080i, it it was really only rendering every other line on a frame to frame basis.

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Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Rendering every other pixel reminds me of the old interlacing days where the game would render the screen every 1/2 frame. So in other words, 1080i in reality is 540p, so 720p always wins everytime when comparing 1080i to 720p.

I think this is similar to what they're talking about.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Good job on digging up that info from Killzone, and it does appear to be whats in place. Its essentially only rendering every other pixel. It uses an algorithm to guess what that missing pixel should be. Think of it more like advanced upscaling. Instead of stretching the image, it's simply using previous frame data to fill in the blank. In a way, it's sort of like looking at an interlaced image. Sony did this for Gran Turismo on PS2. They said 1080i, it it was really only rendering every other line on a frame to frame basis.
I suppose that's the easiest way to wrap my head around it. It's just that the previous frame data syncs well with on-track objects (which is why the vehicles/track surface look smooth; they display - or appear to display - 720p because of the sync), while it doesn't with off-track objects in the skybox (which is why they look more pixellated).

This also kinda wraps all the way back to the discussions we used to have about current-gen games being possible on Wii U - drop the most super-advanced and demanding effects, drop the resolution to COD4-tier quality (600p / 640p), and use GPGPU to offload some CPU tasks. FRN is proof that this sort of stuff was feasible. Probably easier than devs learning to harness the PS3's potential. Alas.
Rendering every other pixel reminds me of the old interlacing days where the game would render the screen every 1/2 frame. So in other words, 1080i in reality is 540p, so 720p always wins everytime when comparing 1080i to 720p.

I think this is similar to what they're talking about.
Save for an interlaced image lacking half of any image data at all. The data is there in FRN, apparently, but it isn't quite synced up in areas.
Anyone ever use the brake? I don't, but I've only been using the first vehicle. I feel like this isn't a brake-oriented race like Mario Kart and F-Zero.
Nope. I tend to take my thumb off of the accelerator and lean. That seems to do the trick in most areas (never thought I'd be engine braking in a futuristic arcade racer).

The exception being that one jungle track with the narrow, snaking section. Especially in Super-sonic, it's impossible for me to play that clean without braking. Really wish they'd have put the brake on a more convenient button.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Nope. I tend to take my thumb off of the accelerator and lean. That seems to do the trick in most areas (never thought I'd be engine braking in a futuristic arcade racer).

The exception being that one jungle track with the narrow, snaking section. Especially in Super-sonic, it's impossible for me to play that clean without braking. Really wish they'd have put the brake on a more convenient button.
Even in F-Zero GX, you never need to use the brakes, so for FRN, the same likely applies. For those tight turns in GX, use your spin move, and for FRN use your lean. it'll only get more difficult as the speed increases, but using that driving line will definitely help.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Even in F-Zero GX, you never need to use the brakes, so for FRN, the same likely applies. For those tight turns in GX, use your spin move, and for FRN use your lean. it'll only get more difficult as the speed increases, but using that driving line will definitely help.
Nope, there is no chance the heavier faster vehicles can make some of these turns without either braking or letting off the gas.

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nerdman

pig's gotta fly
Right now I'm sticking to the kamagori (first vehicle). It doesn't need to brake for turns, even at boost speeds. At most, I just start the turn wide.

Man these time trial times took a wicked turn in the second cup. I'm on the second race, Sunahara Plains. I really like; good music and plenty of turns. I look forward to the 1000 attempts it will take me to beat it.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
This also kinda wraps all the way back to the discussions we used to have about current-gen games being possible on Wii U - drop the most super-advanced and demanding effects, drop the resolution to COD4-tier quality (600p / 640p), and use GPGPU to offload some CPU tasks. FRN is proof that this sort of stuff was feasible.
I have been thinking about Shin'ens choices the last couple days, and even crunching a few numbers in the process. Fast Racing Neo has a 640x720 resolution, essentially giving vertical resolution a true 720p, but horizontal resolution is cut in half from the typical 1280. This makes pixels twice as wide as a true 720p resolution. Now if we compare resolution to a common choice for COD on PS3/360, we see a 1024x600. This puts Fast Racing Neo at 25% less pixel density than COD on PS3/360. Significant, but not ridiculous. Now if we compare to Mario Kart 8 with its 1280x720 resolution, we see MK8 has a 49% pixel density advantage, pretty significant. The last comparison is going back to a typical Wii rendering resolution of 640x456, and we see Fast Racing Neo has a 37% greater pixel density than games like Metroid Prime Corruption and Mario Galaxy.

Im guessing Shin'en decided on the resolution they did was based on the fact that doubling pixel width makes scaling the image much cleaner. If your like me, you didnt immediately think you were looking at a low resolution image, and it took DF pointing it out for us to notice. When Shin'en said they were using some clever tricks to get it all working, I think this was one of them. It frees up massive amounts of cycles on the GPU, and allowed them to implement techniques pretty foreign to Wii U. Quality motion blur for example is a resource demanding effect, but they implemented it perfecting. I actually think this is why the image had an odd look to it, I wasnt use to seeing games with motion blur.

This brings me around to ET's point, if a small Indie developer can implement numerous effects that arent exactly run of the mill even on PS4 and X1, then I have to believe if developer took similar action, ports to Wii U would have been very possible. Not to mention proof that GPGPU compute can be done on Wii U. For those that dont know, compute doesnt steal resources from the graphics processing ability. GPU's are high latency chips, so they ship out large amounts of work all at once. Basically with GPU's always have cycles of down time, and by feeding them some general purpose work inbetween graphics processing cycles, your taking advantage of what would otherwise be cycles where the GPU sits idle. Some will cry foul on the idea of dropping to a 640x720 resolution these days, but again, how many people were talking about the lower resolution before DF mentioned it? Nobody, everybody was focused on how good it looked. Yes, there are some jaggies, but when a game goes this fast, and with the motion blur, I really don't notice it. Its hardly the same as playing Zelda TP on Wii, that was a jaggie mess by comparison. So at the end of the day I am pretty impressed with Shin'ens technical prowess, and knowing where and how to go about cutting corners. Best bang for the buck, and I think they did just that.
 
It's not F-Zero, it's more Wipeout than F-Zero. With that said, it's pretty damn cool. Online plays like butter so far. So while I can't tell you it will curb your craving for a new F-Zero game, I do think you would like it.

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its not like wipeout at al lol
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
It's mostly it's own mix up of a futuristic racer, but F-Zero didn't seem to have much inertia to the vehicles. Wipeout had that feel, that's why I compared it to FRN. Not saying it's Wileouts spiritual successor or anything

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Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I asked Shin'en on Twitter about DF's resolution claim, and got a response. They said the resolution is 1280x720, but at certain edges or during hefty cam shakes the resolution goes lower for a short amount of time.

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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Was talking with @Goodtwin last night, and got on the topic about how we kinda miss COD around here, because it brought a lot of the forum together to play a game.

...but last I checked, Fast Racing Neo has multiplayer, too.

@CitizenOfVerona
@Karkashan
@nerdman
@mattavelle1
@Shoulder
@Odo
@FriedShoes (not sure if you have it, but what the hell)

A lot of us have this, so we should set up a TNE night.

Will grudgingly use Skype if we can set up a conference call.

 
Indeed.

Hell, I got that Need for Speed.

I WANT to have the MOST time to play with you guys.

I got nothing, I just woke up and now I gotta socialize at a party with real party. Gawd
 
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