1. #1
    UbiSkyBear's Avatar Community Manager
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    Trials Garage Update #3: Customization

    Welcome back, riders. This month’s Garage topic is customization and this could prove to be an interesting one. Customization is something that nearly half of all Trials players, from first timers to seasoned pros, will touch at some point in their time with the game. In Fusion 46% of players customized their bike or rider. Customization is also a feature that has changed a lot between almost every version of the game so let’s start by taking a look back.



    From the early browser based games on MiniClip through Trials 2 SE on PC, Trials games didn’t have much in the way of customization. Trials HD was the first Trials game to feature the ability to customize your bike and rider. Everybody’s bike had the same model and their riders all had the same clothes but each piece was colorable and for the first time players could truly differentiate their rider from others.



    Trials Evolution brought many big improvements to the franchise including to customization. Bikes still only had one skin but retained most of the color options from Trials HD. Options for the rider however were busted wide open with a number of items to unlock and equip as players progressed through the career mode. This brought a lot more options for players to customize the look of their player but it also brought some limitations. Not all gear was fully colorable with most items having some parts that could be colored while others remained the color set by designers. We’ll touch on this a bit more later.



    The addition of a collection of rider gear in Trials Evolution also meant we needed a system for unlocking them and for the first time Trials had an in-game economy. Like many first iterations the economy wasn’t perfect. It was very easy for players who completed the game to collect all the gear and players who spent a lot of time with the game, like leaderboard grinders, ended up with a large amount of currency and nothing to spend it on.

    In the DLCs we added more items players could purchase with career mode currency and set the prices significantly higher than those in the base game. We wanted to give dedicated players more objectives and rewards for grinding tracks but we may have taken this idea a little too far. Getting even one of these high value items was very difficult for most players. It’s great to have some items that only the most dedicated players can get but in Evo we maybe had a few too many. This left a lot of the post launch customization items out of reach for many players.



    Trials Fusion had a number of firsts for the series including having an overarching theme and story tying everything together. Customization in Fusion was developed to support this new direction. Again we had a collection of gear players could unlock through progression of the career mode and earning in-game currency. This time however the outfits weren’t just a collection of helmets, shirts and pants, they represented different types of characters who would be present in Trials Fusion’s world and each outfit had different tiers that became more and more elaborate. As players progressed and became more experienced their rider’s appearance could rank up with them. Fusion also featured multiple skins for most of the bikes, another first for the series.



    With these more elaborate outfits a limitation that first popped up in Trials Evolution became much more pronounced, colorization. Some players felt like they had less control over customization because while rider gear and bike skins did have color options many parts were not colorable and the piece by piece color options that bikes had in previous games were replaced with only a few options. There are limits to how we can manipulate certain materials in the game and in order to create the more detailed outfits for Trials Fusion we had to make some tough decisions about how they could be altered by players. This month in the Trials Garage Radio podcast we speak with Lead 3D artist Arno Male and during our discussion we go a bit more in depth into the limitations of coloring 3D assets. Check it out now on the Trials radio Soundcloud.





    That wasn’t it for Trials Fusion though. Like Evolution before it we added some new items for the bike and rider through DLCs. Yet another first for the Trials series was the inclusion of a female rider. This of course meant a whole new set of customization options to use with the female rider model. And finally in the second year of Fusion’s life we added premium items and a premium currency, Acorns.

    Premium currency is a touchy subject for some players but the introduction of a new source of revenue allowed us to put extra resources into creating more items for the bike and rider than we could have otherwise. With the inclusion of Acorns we were able to continue adding items for the bike & riders throughout Fusion’s second year. We also took this opportunity to include some high value items, as we did in Evo, for players who had collected more in-game currency than they could use. This time we let players from the community provide input on which items we’d use, how much they’d cost and what they’d be called.



    Now that we’ve taken a look back we can start to look at how we can improve. When we think about what we can do with customization one important factor is what we’ve learned from previous iterations. What did they do well? Where did they fall short? The answers to questions like these help us determine what we should focus on when thinking about customization in Trials.

    First is color. The lack of color options compared to Trials Evolution was the biggest customization related feedback we received from players of Trials Fusion. We know players would like more control over how they can color their bike and rider but we also want to be able to create the best looking items we can and sometimes that means limiting color options. Finding a good balance between the two will be a focus when we think about improving bike parts and rider gear. Particularly, when it comes to bikes, we know that the options available in Fusion did not meet player expectations and need to be revisited.



    Another frequent source of feedback was the themed items in Fusion. There are a lot of mixed opinions about what is appropriate rider gear for Trials. Some players favor more traditional looking motor cross outfits while others like the crazy helmets and outfits that make them stick out on the X-Supercross starting line. The challenge for us is trying to find a balance that will please both types of players. There has always been a wild side to Trials and customization is a prime area to convey this. Funny, wacky or downright strange customization items aren’t likely to be going anywhere. What we’d like to do better though is to create enough variety of items and options to allow players of all types to more easily express themselves with their in-game character.



    We’ve had lots of great feedback about customization over the years but this is the Trials Garage after all so now it’s your turn. Sound off in the comments section and let us know your feelings about customization. What do you like? What don’t you like? And why? Of course we’ve also got a new survey covering customization. This one is pretty quick so please take a minute or two to fill that out as well.



    That does it for this Trials Garage Update. Thanks for joining us. To stay up to date on all things Trials be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter and of course check back in to the Garage next month when we’ll be discussing an all new topic. Until then, we’ll see you on the leaderboards.
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  2. #2
    Braders77UK's Avatar Member
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    Hey Guys & Gals
    Awesome write-up... Makes for great reading... Currently listening to the Podcast with Shogun and Arno.

    Where customisation is concerned, I love making something that is unique to me... Would have been awesome if we had had some sort of randomisation button in Fusion and Evo, just to see what whacky creations came our way. Would loved to have seen Big Heads in Fusion too.

    Thanks
    Braders
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  3. #3
    Great update as always! It is also nice to read the perspective of the developers too - it is nice to see that our issues we have with the game are relatively aligned

    Now about customisation. What kind believe went wrong with fusion was not the introduction of more whacky and elaborate costumes but more of how restrictive they were to truly be an individual.
    I personally like to be incredibly unique with how my rider looks and while yes, I can combine a squirrel head with the hazmat suit, it doesn't really sit well deep down.
    This was touched upon in the original post but I feel a LARGE variety of standard clothing will allow for individual looks between players.

    While writing this post I also came up with the neat idea of having the option to represent your trials team through custom decals on your bike and rider clothing, maybe even making up some sponsorship branding to slap on you as well - will make the game really fun and community focused :P
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    VEGASTRASH's Avatar Senior Member
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    Character would be a good addition...much like Frontier. Outfits/unlocks for each character. Add personality to the characters with specific bail or crash animations.
    Johnny Rage - Guy bails out and starts punching himself in the face...then pelvic thrusts like the current Fusion character

    Are there going to be streams where players and developers discuss the future title and specifics in each area brought forward so far?

    Customization is great...but is this going to yield a month long discussion? One topic a week seems like to long a time. Next month will be terrain textures?

    It would be nice to get a general time frame on the next game. Shooting for end of the year...shooting for e3 next year, etc. When it's done it's done....sure, but as we discuss the title...it's probably the number one thought anyone filling out a survey is thinking. It's just a simple way to show the true fans of the franchise...hey, you guys are special to us...here's a rough time frame.

    After all, builders who promote trials and buying dlc...forum goers who have a geniune interest in seeing the game do well, filling out surveys freely...giving back a morsel certainly isn't much to ask. If any reply falls under the nda...or we will have information soon...please resist a reply.
    Thanks...
    Trash...8 year obsessed manchild.

    Hard to believe HD came out 8 years ago in August...wow. I recall playing it the first day it came out. Life has never been the same. You can never reclaim the hours spent, but it has been a fun ride...no mustard on my bike.
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  5. #5
    onesimpleclik's Avatar Member
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    Originally Posted by XoHAYDNoX Go to original post
    While writing this post I also came up with the neat idea of having the option to represent your trials team through custom decals on your bike and rider clothing, maybe even making up some sponsorship branding to slap on you as well - will make the game really fun and community focused :P
    This!

    Implement a Paint Shop that allows players to paint their bikes, & further, share the designs they create with the rest of the community. Something akin to the Paint Booth ( livery system) currently in the Forza. I think it would be fantastic to offer a large amount of plastics/fairings for each bike, & letting the riders customize them. You could even reward players with in-game items, if their designs are downloaded/used by other community members.

    How about taking it even further? Have a 'Designer Spotlight' every week, where you highlight a popular skin & its creator. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are artistic, & would love this.
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    Devils_Demon's Avatar Member
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    i'd love to see a roster of characters that players can choose from. Zany, wacky, stereotypical characters each with their own personalities. The usual stuff i.e. a jock, a gamer, a cheerleader, an emo, goth etc etc and then the player can make their own character using any combination of those characters. Not just their apparel but right down to their voice and idle animations. Yeah I'd love to see idle animations. I know in Fusion the rider starts whistling when you don't do anything for a short time but I'd love to see each character have their own idle animation. Maybe the Surfer can turn to the camera and say "c'mon dude, I wanna hit some air!". No doubt your writers can come up with better dialogue but you get the idea, Doesn't even need dialogue. Each character could just have their own unique animation. The Emo could take out her phone and start scrolling, the Jock could put his foot on the floor and start stretching. Just something to make each character feel like a unique character. Different screams when they fall would be nice too.
    The base characters have everything set of course but the player can go into Create A Character and use that animation with different dialogue, different clothing, etc etc.

    I guess you could say that I see the next game being some sort of competition between a bunch of crazy characters. Kind of like SSX Tricky.
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  7. #7
    RidingMower's Avatar Member
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    I think the survey will give you a pretty accurate feedback without myself having to speak up about it here.

    I want to give you my thoughts about something related to this. I am interested in acquiring the new games clothing apparel. If you could have a really nice (BAD @SS) looking
    - hoodie sweatshirt,
    - T-shirt,
    - ball cap,
    - bandana,
    - and gloves.
    merchandise with styles that match the in-games rider gear.

    Bring back a style like HD and Evo's Skull & Wings look. That was hot...

    This is a perfect opportunity to design the Trials flag and apparel.
    You know... Hashtag SWAG.... (is that still a thing to call it?)

    I've missed out on getting a hoodie with past 3 Trials games and I'm determined to not miss out on merchandise like that again. Please make them look cool, that's all I ask for!
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  8. #8
    onesimpleclik's Avatar Member
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    Where is Garage Update #4? it's almost two months since #3 was posted.
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    VEGASTRASH's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by onesimpleclik Go to original post
    Where is Garage Update #4? it's almost two months since #3 was posted.
    It doesn't exist. Let people mess with 3 topics...then zero...haha
    In this day in age....no true back and forth with a video feed. The garage has been pointless all day. I was initially enthused, but quickly saw...there was nothing being discussed. You could easily do an open forum every week on the RL stream...never happened.
    No follow up after 3 months. Every day they are talking me off the plank....some encouraging it...haha
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  10. #10
    onesimpleclik's Avatar Member
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    Originally Posted by VEGASTRASH Go to original post
    It doesn't exist. Let people mess with 3 topics...then zero...haha
    In this day in age....no true back and forth with a video feed. The garage has been pointless all day. I was initially enthused, but quickly saw...there was nothing being discussed. You could easily do an open forum every week on the RL stream...never happened.
    No follow up after 3 months. Every day they are talking me off the plank....some encouraging it...haha
    Sounds about right -_-
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