Rocket League® - Dirkened

Photo courtesy of @ToastyVeteran

Photo modes have become a mainstay in video games across a wide variety of genres over the past couple years. They give players an up-close look at every distinct detail that goes into the visuals of our favorite games, plus allow content creators to craft truly amazing, unique images.* Rocket League's* most recent update added a similar feature called Replay FX—a suite of controls that made it possible for fans to heavily edit the look of their best plays from the pitch.

Replay FX adds the ability to adjust the look of saved replays by adding filters, focus points, vignettes, and greenscreen effects that make the fan art possibilities endless. The controls are still in beta as this is the first time a feature of this type have been added to the game. The development team is still exploring how content creators are using these tools, what's working, and what can be added in the future. But, just because it's in beta doesn't mean it came together overnight.

The team leading the charge behind Replay FX is led by senior graphics engineer Art Mata, graphics engineer Nate Danque, and tools engineer Mark Masilionis. A photo mode for Rocket League had been in talks for a while, and it took the team roughly a year to make it a fully-fledged feature. What would eventually become Replay FX started as a series of behind-the-scenes tools made for different teams at Psyonix. The video producers wanted a mod that could give their highlight or promotional videos a different look and feel, and give them more freedom when capturing gameplay footage. Mark's job as tools engineer is to create those types of tools.

Adding a couple tools for players to adjust replays was a good start, but changing the depth of field wasn't quite enough to pursue as a new game feature by itself. Then Mark got a new request to make a greenscreen effect for the creative services team, the group that creates graphic designs for Rocket League websites and high-resolution screenshots of Battle-Cars and items. "That project took me a couple of days," Mark said. "Obviously, it didn't have to be production quality or anything. They just needed it to work."

Mark made these tools designed to be used by these different parts of Psyonix development. Then game director Scott Rudi took notice. "We just had gotten it to a point where we were comfortable giving it to the video producers," Art recalls. "Then a week later, Scott asked, 'hey, what's it going to take to get this into a patch?' We had to take a long look at the work ahead of us." The reality: console work to make sure Replay FX would run smoothly on all platforms, and a user interface (UI) that worked the way they wanted it to, and still made it easy to use for players. UI can be a particularly daunting task since the UI team is often busy on different Rocket League projects.

At that time, Nate had just joined the Psyonix team, and was handed the Replay FX project roughly a month after his start date. From there, his job was making sure the feature was working properly. Plus, the team kept coming up with new ideas for filters.

"I prototyped a few more filters, but we had to make sure we were staying within performance budgets and ensure frame rates were staying stable," Art said. "I whipped up a few, Nate put some together, and we added what we thought would be some really interesting features that the community could use for utility. We started going in that direction and it started getting more complicated."

Photo courtesy of @SpiffSnaps

After roughly a year's worth of time and effort, the team would eventually get it in its beta form as a part of the Esports Shop Update. According to Nate, there is still room for improvement and opportunity to add features in the future. Those features may be additional filters, or perhaps even the ability to equip different wheels, decals, and goal explosions in replays, which is one of Mark's dream features.

"For now, we're listening and tuning according to feedback," Art says. "We'll definitely have more filters on the way, and right now we're just seeing what's possible and what we can fit and what works."

Art, Nate, and Mark agree that the best part of Replay FX has been the community reception. They have been overwhelmed by the positive response and the creations made by fans. Check out some of their favorite creations here and here.

"Honestly, it's cool that it's being received so well, but even cooler to see what they're making with it," Mark said. "I love seeing the amazing things everyone is creating. It's just so rewarding that they're able to make all of this art."

"It's humbling," Art said. "Whenever we put out stuff like this, we know it's going to go to a community that's passionate, and they want to share that passion with their friends. That's always exciting. It's inspiring. It makes me want to go back and do more for the community. Let's see how far we can push this thing."

If you're enjoying Replay FX, be sure to share your creations with us. Tag @RocketLeague on Twitter and use the hashtag #RLReplayFX. We feature Fan Art every Friday, and may even use one of your creations.
Rocket League® - Dirkened

It's hard to believe that we're almost to the halfway mark of 2019, but believe it you should, because it means that we're ready for a brand new Roadmap that sheds some light on the new features and improvements we're bringing to the game over the next several months.

Of course, you've probably already read this month's "Epic News," which is why we also want to assure you (and the rest of our community) that Rocket League will continue to be shaped by the same development team that it always has even if our family is getting quite a bit bigger. The game will also continue to be fueled and inspired by the passion and feedback of our dedicated playerbase just as it was before.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at what you can expect to see in the next few months of 2019!

Summer Event with Limited-Time Events

Next month, we will kick off the biggest in-game event that Rocket League has ever had, featuring several limited-time events. While the event on the whole will share the same in-game currency for items that can be redeemed inside the event store, the items found in the event store itself will change as we move through different points in the promotion; giving you more in-game items to earn than ever before.

We know that players can sometimes earn more event currency than they sometimes use, so we're addressing that by adding XP Level-Up Packs in the event store as well (a Rocket League first)! That means that players will be able to redeem event currency for XP Level-Up Packs that grant 10 Tier Points for Rocket Pass -- allowing you to boost your Rocket Pass Tiers in a super-fast and super-convenient way!

Party-Up System, Inventory Management, and Trading

The community has been asking us for quicker ways to party-up with strangers following a good match. That functionality will be coming later this year. Soon, you'll be able to easily party-up with teammates from the post-game screen.

Inventories are growing too, and that calls for better ways to organize all of your in-game items. We're happy to say that additional inventory management tools will also be added via a future update.

Finally, one of our long-term goals for 2019 and beyond is to make a number of under-the-hood, quality-of-life updates to our trading system. We’ll have more to share on that later this year.

RLCS Season 7 World Championship Incoming!

The RLCS Season 7 World Championship at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ is just around the corner and tickets are selling fast. Get your tickets now to catch all the live action from the world's best Rocket League teams. Also, Competitive Season 10 ends on Monday, May 13, so make sure you fulfill your Season Reward Level wins at your rank to earn the appropriate goodies.

Stay tuned next month for the full reveal of our upcoming event. Plus, you can expect to see the aforementioned features (and more) later this year. For fans looking to find out more regarding what our acquisition by Epic Games means for Rocket League and Psyonix in the long-term -- there's nothing new to report just yet, but we'll keep you informed as soon as we have an update.
Rocket League®

Epic's acquisition of Rocket League studio Psyonix earlier this week resulted in a predictable reaction: A review bombing campaign that hit the game with more than 2,700 negative reviews on Steam since May 1. Yet in spite of that effort, the user review rating, including recent reviews, remains "very positive." 

That's because of the system Valve implemented in March that excludes "off-topic review activity" from review score calculations—effectively an anti-review-bomb shield. An asterisk on the Rocket League review chart leads to a message stating that "this time range has been marked as containing an abnormal set of reviews that we believe are largely unrelated to the likelihood that you would enjoy the product."   

The reviews themselves remain visible in that section of the Steam listing, so you can still see entries like, for instance, the one from the player with nearly 1,900 hours of playtime who spends multiple paragraphs describing how great the game is before giving it a negative review because, "You sold your honor." 

The backlash comes despite the fact that neither Psyonix nor Epic have said that Rocket League will be removed from Steam, and in fact have pledged to continue supporting the Steam edition for existing owners, even after the game goes on sale on the Epic Store. For now, nothing has changed except the studio ownership, and even that may not be a dramatic shift given the longstanding relationship between Epic and Psyonix: Rocket League is obviously the studio's best-known game, but the Psyonix website says it has also worked on Epic games including Gears of War, Bulletstorm, Unreal Tournament 3, and UT2004. 

Review bombs are nothing new, but it's interesting to see Valve's anti-bombing mechanism in action, and I think it might actually prove to be a reasonable compromise solution to user review abuse: Committed players get their say, but casual "need something new" browsers won't be forced to dig down to figure out why the recent reviews of a phenomenally popular game have suddenly tanked. As the great philosopher once said, a good compromise leaves everybody mad

Rocket League® - Dirkened

Big things have humble beginnings. Learning to pull the most insane aerial backboard double touches starts out by just trying to strike a slow-moving ball with all four wheels firmly planted on the ground. Becoming one of the biggest content creators in the Rocket League community—someone who produces seemingly impossible freestyle goals—can start as a quick upload of someone practicing freekicks in soccer. That's Joni "JHZER" Humaloja (now simply known as "JZR"). Before he was pushing the limits of what was possible on the virtual pitch, this is precisely how the aerial extraordinaire started his YouTube career.

His very first upload was a simple, single-cam video of him practicing his soccer skills in his hometown of Nummela, Finland. Like so many who have turned Rocket League skills into a career, JZR's love for soccer proved to be the gateway to the video game. Before JZR was showing his viewers how to be one of the best players in a Rocket League lobby, he started by learning the basics of Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars (SARPBC). This turned out to be the first game JZR started taking seriously.

"I started playing SARPBC seriously pretty much from the beginning," JZR said. "I loved the game because it was really similar to real-life sports. You're in total control of the car. SARPBC gave players the car, boost, and the ball. From there, it’s all about what you can do with them. It's the best feeling when you realize how you struggled with something last time you played and now you are more comfortable with it. You feel proud and want to improve on the next thing."

That improvement would eventually lead to the creation of content including some of the most insane Rocket League goals on YouTube. Before his YouTube channel got fully off the ground, JZR wasn't sure if YouTube would be his career path, despite it being his dream. Even though soccer was his first YouTube upload and the beginning of his love for competition, he decided to hang up the cleats after playing for 9 years to focus on his college. At that time, the goal was to go from college to university to study nanoscience (university comes after college in Finland). Even while juggling higher education, college brought free time, and free time began to fill with SARPBC. But, he wasn't able to drop everything and embrace SARPBC just yet.

After college, it was time to complete his military service—a government mandate for all men over 18 years old in Finland. JZR, who served as a Navy Scout, describes it as one of the toughest times of his life, but credits his service for teaching him discipline and respect.

Following military service, JZR found himself at a crossroads. He was back at university, but his passion for SARPBC still lingered. Creating videos on a regular basis for a YouTube channel is no easy task by itself. JZR taught himself to edit his videos, and had to learn new techniques as he went along. Throw in a university course load studying nanoscience in chemistry, and you have a recipe to get stretched pretty thin. That's when he had to make the decision between the traditional path versus the unconventional.

"I'm still in university, but I've taken time off for a year now to focus on content creating. That's where my real dreams are," he said. Having the support of loved ones always helps, and JZR says he has that too. "My family is super supportive and always encourages me to do what I really want to do in life. They knew how much I enjoyed gaming already and that I did videos before this for a long time. So, they were just proud and happy for the success of the channel."

Now, being laser-focused on Rocket League and content creation, JZR is all about elevating his game, both on the pitch and on his channel. He came on the scene with crazy mechanics known as "freestyling." Freestyling is when players go for goals in the flashiest way possible. He and his partner on the pitch, MK, are practically Rocket League magicians, setting up ridiculous passing plays to one another all while spinning multiple times in midair with ease. JZR and MK's partnership goes way back to three years ago when they were part of a freestyling team called Nixus.

"From the first game we played together I saw how good he was at passing. We had amazing chemistry. We've been playing ever since and haven't stopped. Nowadays, he is one of my best friends. I've met him several times in real life and I'm truly happy that he's part of my life." JZR admits that while his channel, and his playstyle with MK, started out with a focus on freestyling, he's been trying to distance himself from being labeled a "freestyler."

"I started freestyling on SARPBC in 2011. I thought it would be cool to score goals while spinning like crazy in air for montages, because people really didn’t do them back then. My viewers liked the goals, so coming up with different tricks became my thing. Nowadays in Rocket League, my passion is more in competitive, so I haven’t been a freestyler in a long time. I don’t come up with new tricks anymore on purpose. It’s more like crazy stuff just happens when I’m trying my best but also improvising on the go." JZR still likes to follow the freestyling scene and particularly enjoys the goals of other content creators like MuiricleS.

When not producing videos, JZR has dabbled in Rocket League's competitive landscape. He was part of the now defunct FlipSid3 Tactics in 2017, and is looking to refuel that competitive fire. He recently competed in the EU Play-In stage of the Rival Series this season. "After a long time not competing I have started to focus on that again, and I'm improving myself as a player," JZR said. "I’m doing competitive highlights more than freestyling, so making those highlight videos and competing is easier."

Whether it's competing, practicing, or creating content for a YouTube channel, playing that much Rocket League can lead to burnout. JZR's got that covered, too. He tries to take time to himself away from screens when he can, or play something other than Rocket League to give himself a break. "In my spare time, I try to take care of myself as well as I can," he said. "Workout out at the gym and running are my favorite ways to do that, and I'm still playing soccer for fun." He enjoys playing other games with his teammate MK like Dead by Daylight, Tekken, CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, and Overwatch, just to name a few.

Even with all the games he plays for fun, Rocket League is still JZR's mainstay. He always goes back to it to improve his skills, pushing the boundaries of what's possible, and helping others elevate their game with tutorial videos on how to get to those top competitive ranks. "I still get super hyped about good goals even though I've been playing Rocket League and SARPBC for almost 10 years. That just shows that goals just keep getting better, and that thought makes me happy."

Check out JZR's YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter to see his latest highlights and tutorials.
Rocket League®

UPDATE: Epic has offered an update on the confusingly worded statement issued to press earlier today regarding Rocket League's future status on Steam, now insisting that it has "not announced plans to stop selling the game there".

In its initial press release, Epic wrote that "The PC version of Rocket League will come to the Epic Games store in late 2019. In the meantime, it will continue to be available for purchase on Steam; thereafter it will continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers." That combination of In the meantime and thereafter reading as if Rocket League's sale on Steam would continue only until it transitioned to the Epic Games Store later this year.

In a new statement issued to US Gamer, however, Epic has said, "We are continuing to sell Rocket League on Steam, and have not announced plans to stop selling the game there...Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, and long-term plans will be announced in the future." All of which feels a lot like a game of semantic evasion, but for now the takeaway is that Rocket League may or may not continue to be sold on Steam post its Epic Games Store debut. Make of that what you will.

Read more

Rocket League® - (Dominic Tarason)

Rapidly expanding industry monolith Epic Games have snapped up Psyonix, the studio behind esports car-football phenomenon Rocket League. In an official announcement, Psyonix have declared that they’re “joining the Epic family”, and the game will come to the Epic Games Store. In the short term, that means very little for players, but longer-term, they may eventually stop selling the game on Steam, although they do plan on continuing support for existing owners. Unsurprisingly, the Steam store page for the game is being flooded with negative reviews.

Update: Epic have expounded on their announcement. Speaking to USGamer, an Epic Games spokesperson said “We are continuing to sell Rocket League on Steam, and have not announced plans to stop selling the game there”, although a removal from sale on Steam isn’t ruled out either, following up with the maddeningly vague “long-term plans will be announced in the future”. See the original story below.


Rocket League®

Update: After some confusion over whether Rocket League will be removed from Steam later this year, Epic has told USGamer "We are continuing to sell Rocket League on Steam, and have not announced plans to stop selling the game there. Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, and long-term plans will be announced in the future." 

In a tweet, Psyonix said that "anyone who owns Rocket League through Steam can still play it and can look forward to continued support."

Original story: Epic Games is in the process of acquiring Rocket League developer Psyonix, the companies announced today.

Before any of my fellow Rocket League players panic: This doesn't mean Rocket League is leaving Steam, where its entire PC playerbase currently lives. In the short term, nothing is changing, and Rocket League is still available for purchase on Steam.

The long term picture is a little different, but still nothing to panic over right now. Rocket League will release on the Epic Store later this year, and after that, "it will continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers." The wording there suggests that, at some point, newcomers to Rocket League will have to buy it through the Epic Store, but us Steam folk can stay put. (Note: As per the update above, it may actually continue to be sold on Steam indefinitely—it's not clear yet.)

If Rocket League were to cease Steam sales but continue to be supported there, I wonder how Valve would feel about that deal. Valve would continue to make money from existing Steam players who spend money within Rocket League—buying keys for the premium Rocket Passes, for instance—but it'd still be a weird situation. We'll have to wait and see how that develops. 

It isn't stated in the press release, but we can also expect Epic's cross-platform friends and matchmaking system to be implemented so that Steam players can play with Epic Store players, along with all of the console players we can already play with.

In a Q&A on the Rocket League website, Psyonix states that the gameplay won't be changing—not that I'd expect it to because of the acquisition—but that the new ownership should bolster the competitive scene with new resources for esports events.

Psyonix will stay in its San Diego studio, where it currently employs 132 people. The developer has a history of working with Epic—as the press release mentions, it worked on the Gears of War and Unreal Tournament series—so perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise. (I'm a little surprised!)

My hope for my favorite game is that Epic's resources will be used to improve the servers. When I'm partied-up in Snow Day (the best mode) with friends scattered across North America, we either end up on a west coast or east coast server—there aren't any central servers, so one player ends up with a much worse ping than the others. Fingers crossed that Epic's considerable Fortnite infrastructure can be put to use in that respect.

The deal isn't quite settled yet, but all that's left are formalities, it sounds like. "Epic and Psyonix currently expect to close the acquisition at the end of May or early June 2019, subject to customary closing conditions," reads the press release.

Rocket League® - Dirkened

Scheduled Release: April 30, 2019, 10:00 a.m. PDT / 5:00 p.m. UTC (All Platforms)

  • Echo effect on ball effect has been adjusted
  • Reduced dynamic range of game audio based on community reception and feedback

  • Adjusted volume of fireworks on Champions Field (all variants)
  • Fixed the diagonal kickoff position on Champions Field
  • An appropriate Club Tag worn by multiple players in a match should no longer be filtered on only one of those players
  • Resolved increase of ‘Error 71’ matchmaking errors when trying to find an Online Match
  • Player Banners previewed on Crate and Rocket Pass menus will no longer incorrectly attach to your profile
  • Adjusted the Paint Finish on the ‘DeLorean Time Machine’
  • Friends List notifications will now appear while viewing Replays

  • Players may see an “XP not received” message despite earning enough points
  • Audio may drop out during a match for some players
  • Some players may see overlapping item-loading icons when starting the game after receiving a large number of new Customization Items
  • (Rumble) Some players may not be able to pick up boost after being hit with the Disruptor power-up
  • Crates received while playing may not stack with Crates in inventory, but they will stack correctly after a game restart
Rocket League® - Dirkened

Rocket Pass 3 is live and gives players faster ways to Tier-Up with new Weekly Challenges. The Challenges for Week 2 are now live! Get three new Challenges each week throughout Rocket Pass 3, or upgrade to Rocket Pass Premium and get a total of six. With Rocket Pass Premium's initial 50% XP bonus and Weekly Challenges, you'll reach the Pro Tiers faster than ever!

How far will you go?

Rocket Pass 3 will run until July 29, so jump into Online Matches to start climbing those Rocket Pass Tiers!
Rocket League® - Dirkened

Rocket League's tenth Competitive Season will come to a close next month. That means it's time to reveal the upcoming Season Rewards. We're excited to announce that the rewards for Competitive Season 10 will be brand new Goal Explosions!

Competitive Season 10 will end, and Season 11 will begin, on May 13. Like previous Competitive Seasons, there will be unique reward for ranks Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Champion, and Grand Champion. The Grand Champion Rank will have its own unique reward in addition to the the Season 10 Grand Champion Title.

Check out the video below to see the new Goal Explosions in action.

In addition to the unique Grand Champion Rewards and Titles, Extra Mode Grand Champion Titles are returning for Season 10. Extra Mode Titles for the Grand Champion Rank debuted in Season 9 and will be back this season. See the full distribution breakdown below:

  • Bronze I or higher – Season 10 – Bronze Goal Explosion
  • Silver I or higher – Season 10 – Silver Goal Explosion + lower Goal Explosions
  • Gold I or higher – Season 10 – Gold Goal Explosion + lower Goal Explosions
  • Platinum I or higher – Season 10 – Platinum Goal Explosion + lower Goal Explosions
  • Diamond I or higher – Season 10 – Diamond Goal Explosion + lower Goal Explosions
  • Champion I or higher – Season 10 – Champion Goal Explosion + lower Goal Explosions

  • Competitive Grand Champion – ‘Season 10 – Grand Champion’ In-Game Title + Grand Champion Goal Explosion + all Season 10 Goal Explosions
  • Rumble Grand Champion – ‘Season 10 – RNG Champ’ In-Game Title + Grand Champion Goal Explosion + all Season 10 Goal Explosions
  • Dropshot Grand Champion – ‘Season 10 – Floor Destroyer’ In-Game Title + Grand Champion Goal Explosion + all Season 10 Goal Explosions
  • Hoops Grand Champion – ‘Season 10 – Dunk Master’ In-Game Title + Grand Champion Goal Explosion + all Season 10 Goal Explosions
  • Snow Day Grand Champion – ‘Season 10 – Blizzard Wizard’ In-Game Title + Grand Champion Goal Explosion + all Season 10 Goal Explosions
(Note: Grand Champion In-Game Titles for Extra Modes are earned by achieving Grand Champion Rank in each individual Extra Mode)

You still have a few more weeks left in Season 10 to hit your goals. Remember, you have to complete your placement matches in a Competitive Playlist and fulfill the appropriate Season Reward Level in order to earn your rewards for Competitive Season 10. Competitive Season 11 will have the same soft reset that previous competitive seasons have had. You will need to complete 10 placement matches per Competitive Playlist to earn your rank, which will likely be near your previously held rank.

If you're still working on reaching that next rank, be sure to bring your A-game to get those wins before May 13 when Season 10 ends and Season 11, begins. As always, good luck and have fun!

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