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Kazunori Yamauchi & Shuhei Yoshida look back at Gran Turismo’s inception

Loudninja

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Gran Turismo Sport | 20 Years of GT | PS4 Pro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0OTcB0ln8Y

Kazunori Yamauchi wasn’t meant to be making Gran Turismo. When he began his work on PlayStation’s landmark racing game, little did he know that he was breaking ground on a series that would stand right alongside PlayStation, right up to the latest entry in the series, Gran Turismo Sport.

Back in 1993, over a year before PlayStation was launched in Japan, Yamauchi was a producer for Sony Music Entertainment’s small videogame development team. And one day he met a young business planner called Shuhei Yoshida, who had just joined the PlayStation development team led by Ken Kutaragi.

“I remember I was very impressed with his knowledge, passion and drive to learn how to make games with real-time 3D graphics technology,” says Yoshida, who heads Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios today.

Yoshida was tasked with helping to form the software line-up for SIE’s first console, and he found Yamauchi a great source of help. “He had a lot of ideas and made input into the design of PlayStation and the original PlayStation controller,” Yoshida says. “I remember he even offered to playtest prototype PlayStation controllers using students of his father’s school.”

Why Yamauchi wanted to make a game for PlayStation

Yamauchi was very interested in the hardware capabilities of the PlayStation console. Having cut his teeth making 2D games for the 16bit era, he saw a chance to make something in which he’d been interested for many years.

“I first took interest in realtime 3D when I was around the third year in junior high school, probably around 1983,” he says. “At the time, personal computers were brand-new and my hobby was to make games on them. It was really just wireframe graphics, but that was the time when I first really took an interest in 3D graphics.”

What he really wanted to do was to make a realistic driving simulator. “But back then it was a radical concept and it was hard to convince executives to give it a go,” he says, so he pitched 100 game ideas of all kinds of different genres.

Why Yamauchi-san made Motor Toon Grand Prix

He was right. The executives didn’t take him up on the driving simulator, but Yamauchi had a plan. “What I did was to start a project in the racing game genre that was easier to understand for the executives,” he says. “We secured the budget for creating Motor Toon Grand Prix and we pushed the project forward, but in the background we’d actually already started the development of Gran Turismo.”

But that didn’t mean Motor Toon Grand Prix was half-baked. Releasing in mid-December 1994, two weeks after PlayStation’s Japanese launch, it was a colourful karting game but its cartoon stylings were powered by sophisticated 3D graphics and physics. It soon gained a strong following and, predictably, there were calls for a sequel.

“I was able to secure the trust of the executives to create games on my own, and that’s when I presented the Gran Turismo project to them and development officially started.”

Why Gran Turismo felt so real

Gran Turismo’s car physics were extraordinary. The way tyres rode the camber of a road and bumped over curbs was a level of simulation that hadn’t been achieved before, certainly not on a home console. And each of the cars in its huge 140-strong roster handled differently and would change as you tweaked or added new components, such as spoilers and suspension.

“The system was able to accept detailed parameters in order to make the simulation,” says Yamauchi. “For certain cars in the game we had very detailed data, the design data and also the measured data from the cars, so we could model them in very high detail. Unfortunately, that wasn’t always available. Some manufacturers were not willing to part with that level of data, so in those cases we had to make educated guesses. But usually it wasn’t far off, accurate enough that we get the proper character of each of the cars.”

But while its simulation was finely detailed, Gran Turismo was also friendly to new players. While Yoshida didn’t have a great deal of creative involvement in the game, he was able to offer his view as a non-car enthusiast to help tune the physics engine for people like him.

“I remember in a playtesting session during the tuning of the title, Kazunori watched 20 or so play testers crashing into the wall when they were not able to apply the break early enough before going into the tight corner,” he says. “Kazunori was like, ‘OK, I see it, we will make the handling easier for the regular players!'”
https://blog.eu.playstation.com/201...-back-at-gran-turismos-inception/#sf121680720
 

sems4arsenal

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One of the great devs imo. The guy's resume is astonishing.

Interesting how the sports in GT Sport doesn't actually mean E-Sports sort of speak.
 

Coxy100

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Will never forget buying a used skyline on GT1 - it was amazing and my main car from then on. Screw buying the new ones, that was awesome.
 

Vuci

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Will never forget buying a used skyline on GT1 - it was amazing and my main car from then on. Screw buying the new ones, that was awesome.

Is that still in GTS? I loved the ideas of buying used cars, or the car-wash system.
 
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Gran Turismo’s car physics were extraordinary. The way tyres rode the camber of a road and bumped over curbs was a level of simulation that hadn’t been achieved before, certainly not on a home console

Sorry SEGA Rally did that long before GT. Ok it was only for the player car, but still it did it :p
 

AmyS

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Aug 22, 2012
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Next Generation on GT1:



Edit - Next Generation / NextGen on GT2:


 

Bishop89

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May 13, 2013
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GT is one of my favourite franchises.

I remember the day GT launched. The game was great.
Of course, GT2 was better.
 

JP

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I remember Gran Turismo being the first game that looked photorealistic to me, which probably won't make any sense to anybody who wasn't there at the time. Now when I play a new Gran Turismo and think forwards and try imagine how it will look on the next PlayStation.
 

RoboPlato

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Oct 29, 2006
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Back in 1993, over a year before PlayStation was launched in Japan, Yamauchi was a producer for Sony Music Entertainment’s small videogame development team. And one day he met a young business planner called Shuhei Yoshida, who had just joined the PlayStation development team led by Ken Kutaragi.

This paragraph seems crazy with where these guys and PlayStation are today.
 

Vuci

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Man, Gran Turismo 1 and 2 were just incredible landmarks. So much respect for Yamauchi.
 

IISANDERII

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Very entertaining event but the behind the scenes shenanigans leaves a stain. I think they decided to have Mangano win it for better publicity because he was just signed with Williams.

Yamaguchi also said it was clean racing but that wasn’t clean by any stretch, even in GT where the top racers in the Americas region are much, much cleaner.

Anyway, good event overall, look forward to the next one !
 

JP

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I'm not really interested in this sort of thing but I was incredibly impressed with the first championship. There was times during the later races that for moments I almost forgot that I was only watching watching a game.
Very entertaining event but the behind the scenes shenanigans leaves a stain. I think they decided to have Mangano win it for better publicity because he was just signed with Williams.

Yamaguchi also said it was clean racing but that wasn’t clean by any stretch, even in GT where the top racers in the Americas region are much, much cleaner.

Anyway, good event overall, look forward to the next one !
Do you think so? Remember it is an FIA event so it would have been FIA marshals that made the decisions.
 

sublimit

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Aug 28, 2009
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This used to be one of my favourite series ever and i've been following it ever since i first played the demo of the first GT. For me this game was a type of RPG where i was both getting better as a driver while i was also getting better cars. I loved trying to collect every car and it was so much fun playing with cars that were slightly underpowered to try to win races playing as perfect as possible.

GT Sport however almost killed my love for this series and i'm afraid that it's heading towards an always online,"game as a service" future that doesn't appeal to me at all.
 

thelastword

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This used to be one of my favourite series ever and i've been following it ever since i first played the demo of the first GT. For me this game was a type of RPG where i was both getting better as a driver while i was also getting better cars. I loved trying to collect every car and it was so much fun playing with cars that were slightly underpowered to try to win races playing as perfect as possible.

GT Sport however almost killed my love for this series and i'm afraid that it's heading towards an always online,"game as a service" future that doesn't appeal to me at all.
I think that's how we all remember GT. I grew up on GT, that first Gran Turismo game was such a revelation. A racing game with realistic graphics, authentic cars and great tracks and racing for that cup, credits...to buy more cars et.al...It was really unmatched back then, and it had nice touches like the car wash, which really rounded out how well done this car rpg "that popularized the sim genre" really was.

I was speaking on some things I'd like to see in a new GT some time back when GAF was populated......but bear in mind that GTSport is not a full Gran Tursimo release in the traditional sense, so the fact that it's missing weather and had some stuff like the cups absent on release and the car RPG aspect neutered is something to be expected. I think Sport was a new direction with a different vision...

Still for GT7;

I'd like to see more populated buildings with Ai inside, signs of life and activity, especially tracks like Tokyo. Show more life/activity/hustle and bustle around such a track and mimick a more living world out there. I think perhaps the computing power was not enough to do so this gen, but with a Ryzen Multi Core CPU and a beastly GPU, I think we can head towards that for the next GT.

A highly evolved PBR workflow, next gen tree technology with appropriate physics, no more 2D trees and crowds, higher polygonal NPC's and crowds with lifelike animation. 4k textures, 16xAF, 16x SSAA, no shader aliasing. I know they will nail lighting, perhaps with a tope end G.I solution and full weather simulation, but it is an expectation.

I would also like to see aspects of the menu return like the car wash and oil change, but perhaps they can infuse that into the Pittting Zone and make that whole area a huge area, where people can choose what services they require. They should have bits like the car wash fully 3D with top of the line water simulation, bubbles, Squeegees et al.....For tuning, I'd like a more hands on approach. It would be neat for the player to be an avatar in his garage actually holding and propping the parts he bought off the shop into his car, where you could flip the bonnet/hood and put in your part and see the other parts of your car, like engine, battery etc...Change your tires and see the wear on certain parts, get a more hands on approach as to the differences of different tire types as you prepare for your next race.....In essence I'd like a more hands on approach, I think that would get more people into the SP experience as it got people in to cars for the first GT.

Things evolve and you have to evolve too. What GT had in the 90's was great, but we have to overhaul the systems to be more hands on and 3D. So instead of just menus, where I pay $50.00 for a car wash and see the wash animation, I'd like for a real representation of that with my car in a true 3D car wash space. For tuning, I'd like to see inside the car and place the advanced CPU myself, change the engine, change the stabilizer bars and see what's next to it. For liveries the same. I think that will get folk back into the car culture like they were when GT1 came out. Tbh, I learnt most of what I know about cars because of GT, but there's room to overhaul the systems now because of the power we expect in the new consoles.......
 
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