FORZA 4 - YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Development chief Dan Greenawalt tells it like it is
submit your questions to Mr Dan Greenawalt, development chief behind the latest Forza 4 game, and question him you did. We sent Dan the thread, and we are pleased to be able to publish his answers today.
Before we get to that, don't forget that you can still win a GT40 replica with PistonHeads and Forza 4 simply by voting on what parts we should fit to the car as we build it in the measured and sterile conditions of, erm, a shopping centre.
To view the video and register to vote just visit this link. The winner of the GT40 will be announced at 19.00 tomorrow. Good luck.
Right, back to the questions. Over to you Dan the floor is yours:
PH - Why is Forza not available to play on PC as the sales would beat any Need for Speed game?
Dan - Forza Motorsport is highly optimized for the Xbox 360 architecture. Porting it over to PC would require a considerable amount of time and resources from the core team. Thus far, weíve elected to apply our best and brightest towards innovating and incubating new experiences on the Xbox 360.
PH - What suspension kinematics do you have programmed in?
PH - Is a live axle car really simulated with a live axle, is a McP strut really reacting like a McP?
Dan - Yes. But honestly, this isnít the hardest math. Tire simulation is far more difficult and far more critical to making a good simulation. Thatís why weíve focused so much time and energy on improving our tyre simulation every release. The industryís understanding of the science of tyres is advancing every year. Every year the tire manufacturers learn more. Itís not good enough to follow the text books regarding tyre models from two years ago. We want to use the data that will write the text books two years in the future.
Dan - Itís a blend. Some proprietary systems are modelled with regards to torque vectoring. However, weíve generalized the TCS, STM and ABS systems so that they can layer across all the cars in a consistent way.
PH - Or the F458 Italia e-diff, again, do you know how it reacts in different modes and copy it, or just make up what 'feels' ok?
Dan - As you know, the E-Diff does many things. It does torque vectoring as well as assist TCS and STM. Itís also highly proprietary. As mentioned before, we replicate some aspects of proprietary torque vectoring systems, but generalize TCS.
PH - Will we see the end of the 4WD dominance that plagued Forza 3?
1.††††††We changed the PI sim track to include more complex corner types and some longer straights. One of the new corners in particular is increasing radius. This corner type naturally favours AWD cars-- as they can really apply their power as they unwind the steering and accelerate through the corner.
2.††††††We changed the simulation code itself to more effectively use understeer on corner exit. This increased the exit speeds of the AWD cars in the PI simulation, therefore giving them a higher PI (and thus less headroom to the top of class). In short, we believe weíve addressed the issue of AWD dominance at the top of each class.
PH - Tyre wear, will the tyres act in real time, or accelerated wear? Will it include marbles?
PH - We know that a lot of effort goes in to simulate the varied range of cars in the game, but what about the tracks? One of the biggest differences for me is that some of the tracks have a static feel, there are bumps and ripples in certain tracks that do not appear in the game. What level of detail has gone into improving the tracks for Forza Motorsport 4 over Forza Motorsport 3?
For Forza Motorsport 4, we did two things:
1.††††††We re-evaluated the different concrete and tarmac surface types on all of the tracks. We looked at the age of the surface and gave each of them a general smoothness score. This variety of surface types and corresponding scores translate into far more bumps and grooves than in Forza 3--but at realistic levels.
2.††††††Of course, the carís suspension still obfuscates much of the perception of these bumps, because our suspension modelling is realistic. So, we also added more player camera layers to help the bumps make it past the suspension and into the drivers view. This increases the perception of the bumps without sacrificing the simulation.
PH - On some of the cars I felt there wasn't a big difference in sound when upgrading the exhaust will Forza 4 be different?
Itís also worth noting that a petrol burning race car is so much louder than even a relatively loud production car. Furthermore, adding aftermarket parts like exhausts change not only the note, but the loudness of a car. However, your speakers are only turned up so loud based on your preference. We have to normalize volumes so that all cars can be heard, while still maintaining authenticity and impact. This means the mix has to be well-architected. This is what Hollywood does so well. We still use real samples to construct and position each carís audio, but, thanks to our work with Warner Brothers, the mix has been designed to bring out the nuances from each car and its current state.
PH - Also when upgrading the cars will there be the choice of being able to put an engine from another manufacturer into a car e.g a LS3 into a Nissan etc ?
Thanks to Dan for answering the questions, we can't wait to see the game. Meanwhile, don't forget to enter the competition here