Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is the biggest and best version of the Motorsport Manager series on mobile. Featuring a completely overhauled art style, a bucket load of new features and even an augmented reality mode, it really is overflowing with new stuff to do.
So, what drove all these changes? And what role did the Motorsport Manager community play in shaping MMM3? We caught up with Luke Finlay-Maxwell from the team to find out.
Tell me who you are and what you do at Playsport Games.
I’m Luke and I’m one of the game designers at Playsport. I’ve been a designer on Motorsport Manager PC, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 (MMM2) and Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 (MMM3).
MMM3 launched a little over a month ago. Can you tell us a bit about how it has gone?
We’ve been really happy with the launch and the community’s reaction. We were initially worried that MMM3 might be too big, but the community’s response to the new features has been very positive.
MMM3 feels like quite an evolution from the second game in the mobile series. For someone who may not know, what in your opinion are the major differences between the two games?
Without a doubt, the biggest difference is the scale. MMM3 brings new racing categories, new staff members, dynamic teams, a part marketplace, votable rules for each championship and more.
We’ve tried to take the best bits from MMM2 and expand them to make a much deeper management experience.
MMM3 saw the addition of other categories of racing in the game, each with slightly different ways of playing. What was the thinking behind introducing them into the mobile game and how much did the PC gaming experience shape that?
While we were really proud of what we managed to do with MMM2, we understood that it only highlighted one aspect of the motorsport world.
When tasked with building a sequel, we knew that the priority would be bringing in other forms of racing and giving players the sense that they’re entering a living, breathing motorsports ecosystem.
We had a lot of fun adding GT and Endurance to PC, and their unique mechanics made them a perfect fit for mobile.
MMM3 introduced a much stronger emphasis on building the right team, with players having to bring together the best engineers and mechanics possible to thrive. Why was that introduced and how did the team go about balancing those mechanics?
It goes back to the idea of building a deeper motorsports ecosystem. Having a second staff type on the team forces the player to make different financial decisions and helps make the team feel like a larger entity.
We settled on race mechanics for the second staff type because we wanted to bring back mechanic bonuses from MM PC.
Mechanic bonuses are great for two reasons. Firstly, they provide a big juicy decision before each race and, secondly, unique bonuses are an interesting feature to factor in when deciding on who to hire.
When balancing, our biggest task was making sure that our original staff type wasn’t overshadowed by the new race mechanics. It took a lot of tweaking from both design and UI.
Although MMM2 looks good for a sim game, the 3D environment and driver art in MMM3 is quite a step up. What drove the change and how has that affected the game?
We wanted your drivers and team to have a bigger presence back at the HQ and we couldn’t do that with our old 2D cartoon portraits.
Changing the characters to 3D renders allowed us to fully integrate them into screens and make them stand out. It also allowed us to have different head types in the game and make each driver feel a bit more like their own character.
In terms of the environments, the ‘track slice’ art style was chosen to provide a better focal point during the race.
Reducing the environment to a slice also allowed the art team to fill each circuit with more detail without overloading the phone. Not only that, but the slice style works great with the new AR functionality!
Speaking of AR functionality, this is the first time we’ve seen AR in the racing series. Why did the team add it to the game and what do you feel it added to the experience?
We’re always looking for ways to get the player closer to the race, and when we saw what was possible with AR it seemed like a natural fit.
When we saw Ardennes sitting on the office table for the first time we went mad! We all took turns holding the phone and getting right down to the track to watch the race.
Finally, is there anything that the team learned in the making of MMM3 that will go into future games?
I think primarily it’s to continue our philosophy of listening to the player base and seeing where we can push the game.
When we started on MMM3 we wrote down a list of requested features and feedback from the community and tried to incorporate them as much as possible into the overall design of the game. I think the community’s response has reinforced our belief that this is the right direction.
- Q and A: Luke Finlay-Maxwell, Game Designer at Playsport Games
Following the popularity of our Q and A with Gustavo, our senior programmer, we thought we’d carry on interviewing the Playsport team to show you what goes on behind the scenes. So this month, we chatted with Luke Finlay-Maxwell – our game designer – to take another look behind the curtain.
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