Criterion explains how social networking works in NFS: Hot Pursuit
Sep 28th 2010, 6:30 pm EST

Speaking with Guardian UK, Senior producer Matt Webster spoke about the social networking aspects of Criterion’s upcoming title, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. After working on Burnout Paradise, Criterion had a lot of time to study how to make social networking work in video games. Now with “Autolog”, the name given to Hot Pursuit’s social networking system, Criterion is convinced that they have come up with an incredible networking experience for gamers.

“What we’re most excited about is the solo connectivity, so as I’m browsing through things to play, I’ve always got information about what my friends have done on that event to encourage me to get involved. And when I have played the event, I’ll get auto alerts on when my time has been beaten. And I think the ‘Autolog Recommends’ feature is going to change the way people play racing games – it’s the ultimate distraction.”

“It’s like any social network, there’s a relatively small chance of you being connected to Twitter or Facebook at the same time as a friend, but the constructs are there for you to be able to engage with each other as if you were there at the same time.”

“We’ve all got platform friends, we all have machines with network cables, but you can’t see it, and there’s no persistence, the context is always changing. But what we’re doing with Need For Speed is persistent, and we’re doing pushes to you that are personalised. If I beat your time and go top of a speedwall, it’ll contextualise that information for you; you know, ‘Matt goes top, you’re now fifth and 32 seconds behind’. That’s where the cool shit that goes on inside our comparison engine comes in, it makes it very rich, very personal and dynamic.”

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit will be shipping for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii on November 16th in North America and November 19th in Europe.

Read the full interview here: Guardian UK

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