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Turn 10 Discusses Next Forza Motorsport Track Investments(Next Gen)

CyberPanda

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The final update for Forza Motorsport 7 is due to arrive next month. It’ll mark the end of almost two years of post-launch support for Turn 10 Studios’ latest flagship racing simulator. With new features such as a revamped Drift experience, the all-new Experimental Drag mode and most recently, the introduction of the Forza Race Regulations adjudication system, Forza Motorsport 7 has drastically changed since its initial release, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

But in its ambition to continue supporting the game, the team faced a dilemma. It could either continue to update Forza Motorsport 7 with new content and features or shift its focus onto the next installment – and the developer has chosen to pursue the latter. Between shipping new cars and tracks, not to mention all the details and nuances for Forza Race Regulations, it would occupy between 30-60% of the team’s time to ship all this into Forza Motorsport 7, when instead, all this effort could be used to better develop the next game.


Turn 10 Studios is currently investing in several key areas of the franchise, including driving physics, AI behaviour, track environments and cars. The developer aims to focus on all these components significantly for its next game. Whilst Forza Race Regulations will evolve even further in Forza Motorsport 7 with the release of the August Update, which aims to add Race Disqualification, the adjudication system will continue to be optimized and improved upon in the next game.

With its outlook on the future now in full swing, Turn 10 had some additional details to share on the next Forza Motorsport installment during a live Q&A on the July edition of its Forza Monthly broadcast show, live from Seattle, WA. Joining Community Manager Brian Ekberg to discuss the game would be Creative Director Chris Esaki, who has represented much of Forza Motorsport 7’s excellent post-launch support.


Esaki brought up this idea of trade-offs. When building new content, features and vehicles, the developer has been forced to decide on whether it should be added to Forza Motorsport 7, or if it should be invested into the future of the franchise instead. One example discussed includes Turn 10’s partnership with IMSA. Whilst the racing series supported the Forza Racing Championshipwith a dedicated Pre-Season Invitational event last year, it didn’t result in any major new content additions to Forza Motorsport 7. Esaki noted that the team want to deeply integrate IMSA licensed tracks into the next product, saying that its tracks take a long time to develop and are expensive to build, but he did admit that it’s no excuse for the lack of new post-release track additions in Forza Motorsport 7.

Looking ahead, Turn 10 Studios has realigned its track development team to focus on new tracks and set its eyes towards the future. This includes a whole new process of building tracks with a revamped system that will debut in the next Forza Motorsport game, allowing the developer to deliver new environments much easier than before. Esaki wants the next product to be all it can be, focusing on “truly authentic motorsport experiences.”


Adding onto this, Esaki also discussed the return of old fantasy tracks from previous Forza Motorsport games. Firstly, the team has reclassified all its fantasy circuits as “Forza lore tracks,” which exist within the “Forza lore series.” Horizon is also a part of this too, in the wider Forza universe. Esaki mentioned that the team wants to do more with its original tracks, delivering specific types of experiences with them that players will love. He even namedropped the fan favourite Fujimi Kaido drift circuit based on Japanese mountainsides, saying that “We hear you guys loud and clear; we’re working on a lot of stuff right now.”

Esaki went on to say that it wouldn’t fantasize real-world circuits outside of possibly exploring historical or prototype variations of tracks, using the Nürburgring-Nordschleife course in Germany as an example. “It’d be amazing to bring those experiences back, but that’s as far as you’d want to go with a real track,” he said. Naturally, it hasn’t been confirmed if the next Forza game will feature historical or alternative track variations, but it made for some insightful discussion, nonetheless. The biggest takeaway from this point, however, is that fantasy tracks provide the team with significant levels of creative freedom that are impossible to have when recreating real-world racing circuits.


Other improvements being worked on for the next Forza Motorsport game include drafting, which is being developed by a new racing fundamentals team who are building its core AI and physics, and currently have a new tire model up and running internally with real wear and tear, along with a ton of new suspension changes. Esaki noted that whilst the current implementation of drafting in Forza Motorsport 7 is “fairly realistic,” since it’s based on several data sources, it doesn’t make enough of an impact during races. He said it needs to be “a hyper real type of scenario for there to be a lot of mix up in passing and racing.” For the next installment, Turn 10 is aiming to introduce a number of drafting settings so players can tweak and dial it to deliver the racing experience they desire.

Esaki also answered a question regarding searchable custom lobbies, saying that the team is looking into how it organizes online racing all up in the next version. He believes that people will be “really happy with the major changes” they want to make to this. “More details to come, we hear you loud and clear on that,” Esaki said about the feature. Finally, the Creative Director also spoke about its Experimental Drag feature in Forza Motorsport 7. He said that whilst its going to remain “experimental” in that game, it will become a part of the overall experience in the next installment. This is once again due to the trade-offs he mentioned before. If Experimental Drag was to be implemented across the entire Forza Motorsport 7 experience, it would detract from the next game’s development.


Most importantly, everything that Turn 10 Studios has done for Forza Motorsport 7 lays the foundations for its next installment as it continues its conceptual phase. Forza Race Regulations, the new Drift and Drag features, and all the investment that has been poured into the core racing experience from physics to AI and track limits will all be utilized and built upon even further for the next game. With a new process to how it builds, develops and refines tracks, along with a new fundamentals team enhancing the core physics of Forza Motorsport, this upcoming installment into the franchise aims to deliver everything its core fanbase desires the most.

All this is of naturally happening with top-tier talent behind it. From the main team at Turn 10 Studios who has worked on each installment in the franchise to recent additions who have previously helped craft some of the biggest games out there – such as Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Madden NFL, the Forza Motorsport team is bigger than it ever has been before. Forza Art Director Scott Lee and his team are using “some real bleeding edge technical things ripped from the movie industry to bring the thrill of real-life racing to the game,” whilst Forza Franchise Creative Director Dan Greenawalt has spoken about integrating “player-centric design” into the development process with community feedback and iteration at the heart of the game’s production.

 

BusierDonkey

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As much as I want a new Forza, I hope they take the time they need to really polish up the game before launch. If that means it shows up a year after Scarlet I'm fine with that.

Forza 7 at launch had some issues that a few more months in the oven would have fixed. That said it was a very full game at release with a massive car count, a decent track list and a lot of things to do between single player mode, Forzathons, Rivals, etc. It has been supported since launch with several additional free cars, new events, new modes, gameplay changes and without adding real cash microtransactions to the game. As much as I still enjoy playing it I'm glad they're moving on. In the meantime I still have events to finish in FM7 and I'm still playing Project Cars 2.

I really hope they give the livery editor some focus again and add some of the features people have been wanting (metalic/chrome/matter layers for a start)
 

93xfan

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It’s going to be a great launch game. That paired with Halo will really satisfy me for some time
 

BusierDonkey

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It’s going to be a great launch game. That paired with Halo will really satisfy me for some time

It won't, or at least it shouldn't be a Scarlet launch title. The game is still in it's initial design stages at most, if they release in 2020 it will be a rush job and suffer a similar fate to what Forza 5 had. Not enough time to make enough content for the new system. If they launch a year into Scarlet they can polish the game and make sure the game sets a new bar for the franchise on day one, not after several patches and fixes to things that were rushed to production.

I'm sure they've been working on assets since Forza 7's launch (cars and tracks) as there have been many reports over the last two years of Microsoft scanning cars, recording audio and showing up at tracks with mapping gear so I'm sure they could have a game ready for Scarlet's launch, but I'd really like to see them take their time, polish up systems that need it, implement features that would add to the sim side of the experience, and make a game that could be updated incrementally over the next 5 years instead of just dumping a new one every two years like in the past.

This fall will be the first time since Forza 1 where I won't get a bi-annual installment and I'm kind of happy about that if it means the next one will be more polished and tight. Other than the Fallout franchise the Forza franchise has consumed more of my time than anything else at just over 4000 hours. Nothing better to unwind after work than a few races and putting together a livery. As far as racing franchises go nothing really comes close for me in hours played, including Gran Turismo 1-6.
 
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scalman

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its just quessing game now imagine how much new racing games could go unreal in next gen .... how much physics will be better , weather , details, maybe damage on cars and such....
 

Naudyboy16

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This is excellent news, it looks like they're really pushing towards the motorsport angle now more than ever. Now that Horizon has truly cemented itself as an amazing racer that threads the line between sim and arcade, The Motorsport series can really push for authenticity.

Maybe now they'll bring back real pit stops and make them an integral part of the races.

The one area where I think all simulation racers tend to have a hard time balancing is a career mode that feels authentic. Most races should be a minimum of 10 laps but since gamers are impatient, we have 3-5 lap races as the norm.

Regardless I'm excited, I surprisingly own every Forza Motorsport game since its initial release, but I feel like I play them less and less with each iteration though. Hopefully 8 brings back the fun.
 

BusierDonkey

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This is excellent news, it looks like they're really pushing towards the motorsport angle now more than ever. Now that Horizon has truly cemented itself as an amazing racer that threads the line between sim and arcade, The Motorsport series can really push for authenticity.

Maybe now they'll bring back real pit stops and make them an integral part of the races.

The one area where I think all simulation racers tend to have a hard time balancing is a career mode that feels authentic. Most races should be a minimum of 10 laps but since gamers are impatient, we have 3-5 lap races as the norm.

Regardless I'm excited, I surprisingly own every Forza Motorsport game since its initial release, but I feel like I play them less and less with each iteration though. Hopefully 8 brings back the fun.

That's one addition they put in Forza 7 that I really liked, in assists you can select the race length in single player career races. standard, long and extra long. Extra long length races can take upwards of an hour depending on what class you're racing in. I've been picking away at the championships since launch and I'm still only about 70% complete as I stick to endurance length.

I'd like to see Motorsport adopt a lot of the things Project Cars and Assetto do well. Small details like track marbles. Take a page from Polyphony and get driver animations fixed. The weather system is already pretty advanced but I'd like to see more possible variations in weather like Project Cars as well including snowy conditions, It would great if these were dynamic. The regulations are coming along well so if they keep on top of those they should be in good shape for FM8, just need to get the pits and pit strategy sorted out. being able to select what will be done during pitting would be nice. The damage model could use some work but a lot of that comes down to licensing so who knows what we'll see there.
 
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billyxci

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i'm quite happy with Forza 7 so it's great they're focusing on 8 for next gen. Can't wait to play it on my PC.
 

Barnabot

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Are we going to have animated pit stops now? It's kind embarrassing when I stop by in one and nothing happens.
 

Barnabot

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Just switch to a Youtube video of a pit stop when you head into the pit lane :messenger_winking:
Or they could finally implement that and stop being a joke in that department. And while they're at that they could also improve the racing experience for those who want to have fuel/tire wear in their racing sessions and make that rule being applied not just for you also for any other racers (or A.I.) in the same racing.