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Forza Motorsport 4 News Post


Turn 10’s Game Director, Dan Greenawalt reflects on the past, present and future of the Forza series.

Quote:
"So what does the future hold for Turn 10? Well, Forza 4 of course, but Greenawalt remained cryptic on what they did or didn’t learn from Forza 3, that they’re taking into Forza 4.

“We’re our own worst critics and take on board all the reviews and opinions,” said Greenawalt. “It would be so easy to drive yourself mad reading everyone’s opinions and evaluating what you’ve achieved. We try to bucket people into categories to tackle what each subsection wants and how we can tailor the next game to improve it for them. It’s a colossal list. We get together and decide which of those edits or additions are the most important.”

“We always see the glass as half empty and we’re very dedicated to improving the game.”

That surely means improving the physics on their simulation engine, after all, Turn 10 almost seem obsessed with that level of detail, but when asked whether anyone would actually notice the tweaks and upgrades, Greenawalt remained philosophical.

“I think it depends on what kind of customer we’re talking to. The tyre model, assists and controller buffer affect how we can modify these physics,” he noted, before reflecting on years gone-by when it would take days to run simulations. “Lots of the dynamic simulations that had to be done over a period of days have now been streamlined with greater accuracy so these effects are not only more powerful but also more concise. Ten years from now, I think we’re going to see race cars designed 100% in real time."

Source - Turn 10’s Dan Greenawalt Reflects on the Past, Present and Future of the Forza Franchise (Xbox360Achievements)

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Member Comments
# 1 lnin0 @ 04/08/11 08:26 PM
He said it himself, "it’s all about the cars rather than the racing".
 
# 2 canes21 @ 04/08/11 10:45 PM
Every video, article, or whatever I have seen with him in it leaves me feeling like he really loves Forza. He seems to really care about his game and it shows. I love Forza and will have Forza 4 day one.
 
# 3 Kruza @ 04/09/11 05:30 PM
I am actually left in bewilderment and disgust after reading that interview. I simply think the guy just doesn't get it. But the Forza games are selling well, so hey... more power to him.

Kruza
 
# 4 CM Hooe @ 04/11/11 12:37 AM
My initial impression from the interview is that with Forza 4 one is going to really have to become a part of its community to enjoy it. Not necessarily a good or bad thing, just my impression.

I still will likely buy on Day 1, I do enjoy these games. I just hope that the offline gameplay modes aren't neglected.

Out of curiosity, to those who have voiced negatively to this interview, what would you have rather seen the focus get put on for this game? Where did Forza 3 fall short for you and you ideally want Turn 10 to address for Forza 4?
 
# 5 Kruza @ 04/27/11 12:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHooe
Out of curiosity, to those who have voiced negatively to this interview, what would you have rather seen the focus get put on for this game? Where did Forza 3 fall short for you and you ideally want Turn 10 to address for Forza 4?

The Forza games can improve on the actual racing experience a great deal because I think the actual races in those games fall well short of acceptable considering what features have already been added to each edition of the series to date. Turn 10 has done everything to make a car handle realistically as possible and that's fine. I also like the inclusion of punishing penalty/red time for whenever a car goes off track, though I admit the penalty lap time system could be lenient whenever a tire or two goes over the curbing. Now Turn 10 needs to redirect that focus to improve what would make the racing better and more fun to compete in. Here's a start:

First off, include the option to have a free practice session, qualifying sessions, or both prior to starting an offline or an online race. Include all types of race flags during a race -- even the blue ones that comes out to signal lap traffic to move aside for drivers on the lead lap to go by. Include pit stops. Give the option to make specific changes to the car during a pit stop similar to what the vintage TOCA Race Driver games have. Make it possible to save and load a certain number of car setups for online races.

The level of attention to detail of all the cars in the Forza goes without saying. But how about paying more attention to the actual track that the race is taking place on. The look of the track stays the same on every Forza game to date, no matter what. There could be black rubber traces coming from car tires that create higher-grip level paths on the track for the duration of a dry weather endurance race. Race cars participating in endurance races over damp tracks would create dry paths instead of black trails. Why this issue hasn't been addressed is beyond me when one considers how detailed the background, trackside objects and everything else except for the track surface itself looks on this game. And this issue somewhat relates to my next point...

Add random weather changes. For instance, it could be sunny or cloudy/overcast during an early free practice session then pouring rain during the following qualifying session at the same race weekend. That would make one completely change the approach of how he/she would drive the car and make frequent pit stops to modify the car setup (wet/intermediate tires, etc.) to accommodate for the wet road, among other things. Plus include possible wet/damp track situations as a result of a major downpour that has moved on. Or maybe there's a scenario during a race weekend where the weather doesn't change and thus the track gets soaked all weekend long. Now I'm not stressing that weather changes have to be dynamic to the point where changes can actually occur during a race (though it would be absolutely incredible to witness something like that), but changes between various sessions shouldn't be tough to ask for.

Make it possible to have the car severely damaged to the point where it's not functional during any free pracitice and qualifying sessions. For instance, if the driver's car suffers a high speed head-on collision to a trackside guard rail on a street circuit during a free practice session, then chances are that car would not fixed to the point where it would be ready to go when it's race time. This would make a driver think twice about pushing a car too much and basically driving recklessly during a pre-race session when trying to experiment with a new/upgraded component that's been added to the car.

The AI for CPU cars in Forza 3 is lacking and makes races even more dull. They need to look at how CPU cars race and behave in Race Pro. They're aggressive yet fair. They will pass you up if you're too slow coming out of an exit and did not hold an inside/defensive line tight enough. And they're not beyond making mistakes that makes them go off track on occasion.

And I hate to sound like a broken record since I've mentioned this well before Forza 2 came out, but include more 'effin cars in a race. Having only eight cars this day in age for racing games is borderline laughable when there are other racing games that has no problem with including more of them in a race.

Improve on these issues, and then I will think differently about the Forza series as racing games. I'm not interested in playing long, drawn out CarPGs.

Kruza
 
# 6 CM Hooe @ 04/27/11 07:27 PM
I hear you all.

I agree that more cars on-track, qualifying laps, and free laps would be really nice additions. I think Forza already has pit stops, though I don't think they are fully animated and there certainly aren't many races that force the user to pit; this could be improved. Track condition variance would also be welcome.

Beyond the issues that RandomBrother mentioned with regard to licensor permission for dysfunctional cars, I'm not sure it's completely necessary. If you do head-on collide with something in Forza with full damage on, at least in my experience, your car is going to be screwed to the point of being last/DNF anyway. I can understand it from a point of messed-up-but-not-disabled cars being a hazard to other drivers on the track in an online race, however. There's also the issue of keeping the game fun for a person who has wrecked out of the race; does he just spectate the rest? Is there some minigame he can play in while he spectates? Can he quit out and have the rest of the race finish without him, even if his console is the race host?

This idea admittedly comes from the mindset of someone who most frequently plays team sports video games: I think a more continuous and more persistent career mode might be useful in order to put an emphasis on longer races; something NASCAR-esque that you work your way up to via the shorter, specific-car / specific-drivetrain / specific-power races. Perhaps even allow users to set up custom online seasons with other users, with customizable car qualification options per-race (for example, one race in the season might only allow B-class cars, another might be FWD-only, another might require a certain qualification time on Nurburgring, etc.) and customizable scoring options for races won, laps led, pole positions, etc.

I've never really had any issues with the AI in Forza, though if there are ways you all see it could get better then I'll defer to you all.

I guess my perspective is a bit limited in that I'm not a huge racing fan, though I do enjoy the open-road racing in these games and particularly enjoy the car customization aspects of this series. That said, anything to make it better I'd welcome.
 
# 7 Kruza @ 05/02/11 10:56 AM
Lack of aggression is mainly why the AI in the CPU cars in Forza games are dull to me. They drive and stay on that predetermined path during the course of a race all the time no matter what goes on. If a CPU car is close enough behind you to attempt a pass, they will still never try to outbrake you while entering a corner no matter how early you brake and how slowly your car goes as it approaches the apex. They never line you up or do inside or outside fakes. They never try to dart outside at the apex to try a pass attempt at the corner exit if the lead car is late on the power. What I'm getting at is... in the scenario when the lead car is just ahead of a CPU, that CPU car will not put pressure you to make any kind of mistakes to try and make things uncomfortable for the driver of the car in the leading position. This is a big part to what makes racing exciting to me. And this element of racing just doesn't exist in Forza games up to now.

I'll give one example. In a typical race in Forza game I can brake very early into a corner just to BS around, and that CPU that's close behind me will stay behind. It won't attempt to get by, or even make a subtle maneuver to the left or right side and fake a move so to get me to react and screw up. Now in Race Pro I wouldn't dare to deliberately brake early on corner entry if I want to stay ahead of a CPU car that's right on my tail. Because I know for certain CPU cars in that game will line me up and be ready to dart right past me the moment I get to the apex.

I like the points brought up by CHooe regarding specific engine/drivetrain/powertrain/car brand criteria for race events in Career mode. Including these things would be necessary if future Forza games will stick with boasting huge number of cars. This would do good to even up the range of competition somewhat.

Kruza
 
# 8 leger433 @ 05/04/11 08:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruza
Lack of aggression is mainly why the AI in the CPU cars in Forza games are dull to me. They drive and stay on that predetermined path during the course of a race all the time no matter what goes on. If a CPU car is close enough behind you to attempt a pass, they will still never try to outbrake you while entering a corner no matter how early you brake and how slowly your car goes as it approaches the apex. They never line you up or do inside or outside fakes. They never try to dart outside at the apex to try a pass attempt at the corner exit if the lead car is late on the power. What I'm getting at is... in the scenario when the lead car is just ahead of a CPU, that CPU car will not put pressure you to make any kind of mistakes to try and make things uncomfortable for the driver of the car in the leading position. This is a big part to what makes racing exciting to me. And this element of racing just doesn't exist in Forza games up to now.

I'll give one example. In a typical race in Forza game I can brake very early into a corner just to BS around, and that CPU that's close behind me will stay behind. It won't attempt to get by, or even make a subtle maneuver to the left or right side and fake a move so to get me to react and screw up. Now in Race Pro I wouldn't dare to deliberately brake early on corner entry if I want to stay ahead of a CPU car that's right on my tail. Because I know for certain CPU cars in that game will line me up and be ready to dart right past me the moment I get to the apex.
I agree that the AI in Race Pro is much more aggressive. However, I think the AI in Forza is much better than you indicate. I have lost many a positions from early breaking, late breaking and locking up, or slightly missing the apex and having the AI car capitalize by going around me. sometimes straying quite a bit from the perfect line just to make the pass. Granted, this does not happen as much as I would like but it certainly happens. I have found the best racing occurs when the AI car PI/difficulty is set such that they are competitive. You may have to handicap yourself to achieve this and get some good pack racing with lots of passing.
 
# 9 Kruza @ 05/11/11 11:02 AM
Man, I wouldn't have brought this issue up if I wasn't already racing against CPU cars with the AI set to the Hardest difficulty in Forza 3. It's almost impossible to pull away from competing CPU cars with assists on anyway because enabling Traction Control & Stability Control limits and effectively slows the car's drive out of corner exits, and enabling Auto Braking prevents a driver from hard-braking late into a corner as an attempt to outbrake and pass a car that's positioned right in front.

To make a long story short, I think the racing experience against a field of CPU cars in a typical endurance race in Forza 3 cannot touch what goes on in a race against a field of cars on the Hard level in Race Pro (let alone the extremely tough Very Hard level) or on the Pro-Simulation level of TOCA Race Driver 3. If you guys believe the AI of the CPU cars in Forza 3 is good/great, then that's fine. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this issue.

Kruza
 
# 10 leger433 @ 05/12/11 07:07 AM
Kruza,

I agree with you that the AI in Race Pro is much better than Forza. I only think the AI in Forza is a bit better than you were indicating. My biggest gripe with the AI in forza is that there are only 7 of them in a race and, in addition, there are usually 2-3 very slow cars, one very fast car and three in the middle of the pack. The best racing happens in that pack (positions 2-5 or so). If you are competing for first place you often find yourself battling with only one car which can be quite dull sometimes. I would like many more spec racing events where the field is really close. More importantly, I hope forza 4 goes to a field of 16 cars (at least). Eight cars is simply not enough.
 

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