Turn 10 Studios is taking a new approach of “built, not bought” as one if its “big ideas” for the next installment in the Forza Motorsport franchise. As discussed on the latest edition of its Forza Monthly show, broadcasted on Monday, August 5th, the developer is in the process of setting itself “very high-level goals” that will define its next game.
During a community Q&A segment on Forza Monthly, Chris Esaki, the Creative Director of the Forza Motorsport series, revealed some of the key areas the team is investigating for its next title. He did note, however that these are things the developer is considering in terms of both prototypes and investment, which means some of the things discussed may never see the light of day. These panels aren’t about making commitments, but rather about understanding where the team is currently at today.
Esaki mentioned that the developer is currently on “Sprint 2” for its next Forza Motorsport game. Sprints consist of 2 weeks of work that involve planning, development and reflection. It allows the team to explore the ideas it needs to invest into more. Previously, Turn 10 had been in the conceptual phase of its next title, figuring out the key pillars that it would focus on for its next game whilst also gathering early feedback and ideas from the community.
It’s still early days for the next Forza Motorsport title, but development is ongoing – especially now that post-launch support for Forza 7 wrapped up this week with the final update for the game. In total, Turn 10 Studios released 35 updates for Forza Motorsport 7 over the course of nearly two full years since its release – making it the most supported Forza game ever by quite a significant margin. Forza Race Regulations was one of the title’s most notable and significant additions, but development on this robust adjudication system will continue as the team who were focused on Forza Motorsport 7 transition onto the next project.
“Big ideas” is the one of the internal Turn 10 development processes of talking “very high-level goals” about its upcoming game, Esaki revealed during Forza Monthly. In response to a fan submitted question, the Creative Director discussed the team’s approach to cars and progression. For its next project, the developer is looking at the concept of “built, not bought” when it thinks about cars and the car experience. Previous Forza Motorsport games focused heavily on vehicle acquisition, the ideology of “how do you get the car?” But Esaki pitched this open-ended concept: “What if you had every single car open from day one – don’t buy it, don’t own it, what kind of experience would that create?”
“Is this game collecting cars, gaining cars or having a deeper meaningful collection of cars rather than a number?”, he asked. In the real-world, concept cars have embraced the notion of built not bought, and whilst the team isn’t sure of whether “locked” cars will exist in its next installment, acquiring cars will still be a focus. But this time, the developer wants to ensure players have a deep and meaningful relationship with their collection of garage rides. It’s the direction that the team is headed in spiritually as it looks at car acquisition in its next game.
Other racing games, such as Project CARS and Assetto Corsa, favour having all vehicles unlocked immediately to the player over an in-game economy, and based on Esaki’s comments, it appears that the next Forza Motorsport will promote this idea of “building” vehicles through tunes, upgrades and livery designs instead of collecting credits and buying these cars overtime – filling up your garage with vehicles you may not even drive. Esaki wants to create experiences around cars rather than touting the number of vehicles available at your disposal – with the developer previously teasing that it has “some real bleeding edge technical things ripped from the movie industry to bring the thrill of real-life racing to the game.”
Another area of focus for the team as it develops its next Forza Motorsport game is the notion of “empowered learning.” How does it get players to be more competitive and be a “better gamer” in the Forza universe? Esaki refers to “a classic Miyamoto design” of introducing a concept to players and then challenging them on that same idea. In Forza, this means empowering players to learn the various aspects and nuances than consist within a Motorsport game, from the basics like acceleration, turning and braking to race qualifying, tire pressure and even super complex concepts – all done naturally through gameplay.
“We haven’t really done a great job of teaching these core gameplay and skills concepts,” Esaki admits, but moving forward, the team aims to have it players driving better and faster to get more enjoyment out of the game. The Creative Director also believes that this shouldn’t always be about coming in first place, but rather the enjoyment of simply driving a car. Another submitted question from the community suggested this notion of “co-op driving” that provides instruction, and Esaki noted this to be valuable as it connects players and teaches them. Educating players better and giving them the tools to learn and self-improve are all in the cards for the next Forza game, along with several other features that promote “deeper strategy and multi-dimensional racing.”
One of those strategies includes pitting – an area that’s been admittedly lacking in the Forza Motorsport series. Whilst Esaki wouldn’t commit to pit animations being in the final product, he did say that pit strategy is an area the team is investing in today. That means deeper strategy that thinks more about the moment-to-moment rubber from the wheel hitting the road. Turn 10 is also looking into battery strategy as it recognises the future of electric racing and the impact that it’s making in the motorsport scene. What all this means is that the next Forza game won’t just be purely about the on-track experience, with areas like race strategy, self-improvement via learning and battling your way up the grid through tactical driving all being key components of this next installment.
Overall, it’s a refreshed approach to Forza Motorsport, one that puts “player-centric design” at the forefront of the game’s development. Previously, the developer spoke about how it has created a new method of building tracks and to help with this process, the team bolstered its staff with talent credited in the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars Battlefront and Madden NFL. Combined, this makes the total headcount at Turn 10 Studios bigger than it’s ever been, with everyone bringing their own knowledge and expertise to the next installment in the Forza franchise.
Lookout for the next edition of Forza Monthly to broadcast on August 27th. It’ll be the second episode to broadcast this month and will feature details on the next season of the Forza Racing Championship esports series. This year, the ForzaRC will focus exclusively on team racing and like the next Forza Motorsport game, it’ll place a heavy emphasis on strategy with the introduction of coaches and better, faster adjudication. One example noted on the show by Turn 10’s Eliott Lyons was this idea of asking teams to build cars on a budget and then requiring coaches to use math to figure out the best builds to use. Stay tuned for more details on the next season of the ForzaRC later this month, as well as new details on the next Forza game in the future.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.