Interviews Forza Motosport 5 interview with Dan Greenawalt: pursuing perfection

Interviews

Martin Bigg

Writer

Posted on

Game: Forza Motorsport 5

Platform: XBox One

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: 22/11/2013

After giving Forza Motorsport 5 a thorough road-test, Creative Director Dan Greenawalt took the time to have a chat with us about Turn 10's first foray into the next gen, where he discusses what he considers the four fundamentals of Forza 5: physics, graphics, multiplayer and DriveAtar,

It's no secret that Forza Motorsport 5 looks impossibly fabulous, but Dan reveals the secret to its dashing good looks: imperfection. You see, previous games in the series tried just a little too hard to achieve resolute realism, and were caked in makeup that made the cars look too perfect. The result was a game that, while still breathtakingly beautiful in its own right, still looked like, well a game.

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In Forza 5, Turn 10 have adopted a different approach. Thanks to the power of next gen hardware, games are starting to approach photorealism, but its the imperfections in the paintwork for example that truly heighten the realism. Add to that the astonishing environment detail, blindingly (literally) sunlight effects and reflections that accurately replicate the interior windscreens, and Forza 5 is looking very fine indeed. 

Similarly, Forza's physics have seen drastic changes, thanks to a new partnership with Calspan, the "world leaders in tire testing" according to Dan. This partnership proved to be instrumental, as Forza 5 will feature entirely new tire physics  to create a more accurate simulation to the point that the tires will have more camber than before, which Dan discusses in depth. It will be interesting to see how this applies to the new open wheel class cars. 

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Then there's DriveAtar, a concept originally conceived for the original Forza Motorsport that will utilise Xbox One's Cloud service by gathering data from individual players and creating A.I. opponents that mimic the behaviour of human players. In short, Dan reckons DriveAtar has the potential to shape the future of the racing genre – even if mobile racer Real Racing 3 already adopted a very similar system

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