Steve Lycett Executive Producer at Sumo Digital has posted over at the SSMB an explanation as to why why All-Star Moves are disabled in online play on Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing(all versions) after forum members questioned the absence, here is what Steve had to say –
There’s no All-Star moves online on any platform. Basically those moves are quite complicated and extremely difficult to network. We did a few of them too, and the latency we were seeing didn’t work very nicely. Rather than put something in that didn’t work to everyones expectations – we thought it better to disable them online for a better play experience.
If you’re seeing someone do All-Star moves online, they’ve hacked the game. Kick them out of the lobby
Steve also confirmed at the SSMB that DLC will be coming very soon rather than later, the DLC will be announced by SEGA instead of Sumo Digital but Steve did say he’s been playing it and in his oppinion its awesome –
You’ll hear more about DLC very soon. I don’t want to steal SEGA’s thunder on this. But you’ll be seeing some sooner than you expect – and it’s AWESOME. I’ve just played it
Also of note we may be seeing more concept art from the game if SEGA of Japan give the green light –
I’ll see what I can do on this. Traditionally it’s quite hard to release art that’s not been approved by SEGA Japan, as we need to make sure any ‘official’ release of art is consistent with the ‘expected’ looks of their characters.
The Xbox 360 has already received a frame-rate patch but both Xbox 360 and PS3 may be getting a patch when the DLC is released –
There already is on 360. We’re still tweaking with the engine, so you may well see further improvements when we launch the DLC. It’s pretty smooth now though for the final release, don’t expect a jump to 60fps though…!
A deeper explanation from Steve Lycett regarding no All-Star Moves online at the SEGA Forums –
Right I’m back.
I was down in London for two days, attending a Microsoft Dev conference. Only access I had to the web was my iPhone. Have you tried posting a long and complicated forum post on one of those? Trust me, it’s not easy
Also remember I do this in my free time, I don’t get paid for it, I don’t get thanked for it, and I do have to spend time with my family now and again!
Anyway, on this topic. As with all decisions, don’t think we made this one lightly.
The first point is that all the All-Star moves work differently, so we’d effectively have to code each one with specific network code. With all the differences in characters, that’s 23 different bits of code to write there.
Then lets look at what we have to work with. Whilst most of you have super fast download speed, what you don’t realise if you don’t have superfast upload speed. Our target for game communications is 64 kilobits. Note bits not bytes. In that very small amount of data we have to send everyones current position, projected vector, all weapon fire as well as voice chat. Not everyone is on fiber optic broadband you know!
So we’re already sending lots of data, and the ASM’s mean that we’d have to compress this down even further for extra weapon fire.
Of course a lot of the All-Star moves also include increased speed, so in cases with high latency where we’ve already got to be sure we’re not jumping cars around all over the place, we then would have even more extremes of movement -which under high lag would result in false positives for ASM hits. I.e. you maybe nowhere near Super Sonic – but you get blatted off the track as someone has dropped packets and the dead reckoning *thinks* you might have been hit.
Finally, when it comes to network games, you have to be sure that all the systems are deterministic. Basically that if you fire a weapon on one machine, it will fire the same way on another. If this isn’t the case you wind up with synchronisation issues, quite simply what you see on your screen, won’t be what other player see on theres. Not all the ASM are deteministic as they’re all different, the best example is length of use. Depending on where you are in the pack, they last for varying amounts of time. So if we’ve got any latency causing the positions to be out of sync – even for a millisecond – on one machine it may last for 4 seconds, on the other 10. That happens, and oh oh, we’re really out of sync. Cue everyone gets booted back to the lobby.
So with much reluctance, we conceeded that rather than ship it with things that could go wrong down to latency, especially with cross continent play, it would be a better experience to ship it with the ASM disabled during on-line play.
So that is why it’s not available, as we didn’t want to ruin the online experience with All-Star moves that didn’t work consistantly and fairly. I think when you understand this – the decision makes a lot more sense.
Will we add it back in the future? I think it’s unlikely. In the future when everyone has an internet connection that runs at LAN speeds, it’ll be doable, but not for a few years.