As a biker, it’s hard to put into words the feelings I experience when I mount my bike. What’s even harder is translating that into numbers, into code, and making it possible for anyone to feel those same emotions through their joystick.
And when we talk about bikes, we also have to consider that there is an extra layer of complexity: their physics are more complex to simulate than cars, as motorcycles’ behavior is strictly connected to the interaction with the rider, with his weight and movements, which need to be taken into account.
It was not easy, but with Ride 5 we managed to capture the sensation of being on a bike like never before, and not only visually. This is the result of long work that started with the first Ride, released in 2015; since then, the gameplay physics have constantly evolved, especially when we moved to Unreal Engine, and have become increasingly true to reality. Here’s how we have used this technology to our advantage.
In Ride 5 we have refined and evolved a specific mathematical model called Pacejka to best simulate the tire grip. The correct calculation of their physics these days may seem obvious, but in a game like Ride 5, aiming for maximum realism, you have to calculate how they wear and deform as well. This can depend on a number of factors; the temperature of the asphalt or the riding style, or even the weather which is dynamic in Ride 5. It can also be affected differently in Endurance races, which can force a return to the pits to change the tires.
In Ride 5 no variable is left to chance, and a correct simulation of the bike dynamics must make them behave realistically, regardless of whether they are new or historic. To achieve this, we changed the suspension system, and reviewed the chain pull simulation, engine braking, and transmission. We then worked on the brake management, which must be powerful but modulable, so that players can really feel in control of their bikes. We also evolved the electronics that now includes TCS, anti-skid, anti-wheelie, ABS, and cornering ABS, as found in the most recent real bikes. Finally, compared to Ride 4, we progressed the calculation of aerodynamic flaps, which are increasingly present on sports bikes.
Driving a 2023 BMW M 1000 RR or a vintage MV Agusta provides differences not only in performance, but in the handling changes, as well as the speed at which one bike leans into a turn compared to the other. Since the skills required by two wheels of the past may not be within everyone’s reach, we decided to allow the activation of electronics even on historic motorcycles. This choice serves as a gameplay aid, which purists can disable to experience the thrill of taming temperamental beasts that require great sensitivity.
There is also an important point to discuss regarding the sound of the engines. In previous games, we obtained it by putting the bikes on a dyno, but this way we also recorded the friction of the tires on the rollers, which created background noise. Now we rent a track, place microphones near the exhaust and the engine of the bikes and record everything, obtaining audio that is also positional, so that with the helmet’s point of view, you hear the exhaust from the side it is located. However, the acquisition of the audio is actually only half the work: it then has to be processed and interpolated to “hook it” to the physics of the game, and obtain results consistent with what players actually do on the track.
At Milestone, we are engineers and riders because we ‘build’ the bikes, bring them to the virtual track, and fine-tune them until we achieve the results we expect. We create digital bikes that provide the same emotions as their real counterparts, and Ride 5 is the tangible result of our passion and dedication. It combines the thrill of riding a real bike with the accessibility of a video game, and we are proud to offer motorcycle enthusiasts a unique and immersive experience, which will bring them as close as possible to the real sensation of riding a bike.
Ride 5 is available to pre-order now on Xbox Series X|S, and launches on August 24.
RIDE 5 – Pre-order
– Kawasaki Z900 – 2021
– Suzuki TL 1000 R Racing Modified – 1998. Rev up your engine and get ready to hit the track with RIDE 5. An adrenaline-filled gaming experience that is so authentic it will make you feel like you’re truly racing at break-neck speed. Find your favorite bikes and check out new ones in the ultimate motorcycle game! Race on over 35 tracks and collect more than 200 motorcycles from world-renowned manufacturers, each element is designed to feel like you’re riding a real bike. IT’S A LONG ROAD
It’s not just speed that wins races – Endurance mode rewards perseverance and strategy. Time is no longer the issue, ride to your heart’s content with the option of saving, exiting and jumping back in later. Just make sure you keep an eye on fuel and pit-stops – these helplines can quickly become your worst nightmare! FROM ZERO TO HERO Start out in your garage, climb the ranks and become the best world racer in the new Career mode.
Race against increasingly skilled Rivals, true obstacles who will stand between you and the finish line. Learn to master different bikes and handle every situation.
It won’t be easy though… The road to victory is laden with challenges and it’s up to you to decide which one you want to take – the harder the challenge, the greater the reward! WIN UNDER ANY CONDITION
It doesn’t matter how good you are, there is always one factor you can’t control: the weather. Clear blue skies can turn into heavy downpours and then back to sunshine, rolling clouds will follow you as you dash through the bends, giving you ever-changing views and landscapes.
You will have to deal with unexpected situations and use your skill to tackle both wet and dry conditions – the improved physics makes for an even more life-like experience! TEST. LEARN. RIDE.
Not sure which line to follow or when to slam on the brakes? Use the new riding aids and get customized support when needed the most. Learn to better handle the bike and the tricks of the trade to become the best rider you can be. TAKE CONTROL
You can tell a true motorcycle aficionado not just from the bike but also from their garage – collect your favorite models and customize them to your liking. Share your designs with other players and showcase your style!
Don’t get caught up on cosmetics only. With Race Creator you can build an endless number of scenarios, from single races to complete championships, choose your bikes and tracks, and act as a Race Director to set your own rules. FEEL THE COMPETITION
Split screen is back! Now you can challenge a friend and win live!
And if you want to show the world what you’re worth, Endurance races will really put you to the test, now even more thrilling thanks to the Crossplay function.