Chris Esaki, the Creative Director of Forza Motorsport appeared on the latest edition of the Forza Monthly broadcast show to discuss some of the improvements found in the game that players got their hands-on with in the recent playtest.
He revealed that the test, which was closed to an extremely limited number of players, occurred back on May 8th, and was focused on multiplayer racing. Only a small portion of the game was available to emphasis the improvements made to physics and race strategy.
He said, “I think it really went better than expected as we kicked off the first of many conversations between us and our community. It was really special for the team and myself, we got to actually talk directly to our players, and we got a ton of great feedback and judging by all that feedback I'm pretty sure everyone was super hyped and energized by it.”
Firstly, to underline the drastic changes in this Forza Motorsport reboot, Esaki reiterated that this isn’t a numbered sequel. “There's some confusion out there about what the name of the game is,” he said. “I just wanted to reaffirm the name of the game is Forza Motorsport. There's no sequential 8 after the title. It really is an all-new Forza Motorsport experience.”
According to Esaki, the changes made to the physics model in the new Forza Motorsport are drastic. He called it “a huge generational leap,” emphasising that the adjustments they’ve made since Forza Motorsport 7 are more significant than those from Forza Motorsport 4 through Forza Motorsport 7 –which is the span of six years. One notable example of this in-action is track kerbs, which can finally be approached with confidence instead of being “coarse or unsettling,” as Esaki mentioned. He said the difference between those of Forza Motorsport 7 and the new game is “night and day,” as they now feel smooth and natural. Track temperature, time-of-day and weather conditions will also influence and deepen the on-track driving experience.
Another area that has seen drastic differences are tires. From the very first entry into the franchise all the way to the latest installment, all tires had a singular contact point with the track at 60Hz. That has changed in Forza Motorsport, which gives each tire 8 distinct contact points running at 360Hz to account for every tire collision. That’s a 48x fidelity jump in a single tire collision. “You can really feel the track surface a lot more and [in the way the] cars handle –there’s a lot more communication to the player and the feeling of the tires on the track, it’s really insane,” Esaki noted of these improvements.
The recent Forza Motorsport playtest provided drivers with the choice of Soft, Medium and Hard tire compounds. “We're looking on how to expand that over time depending on how we’re going to be running the different events and how we’re running gameplay,” Esaki said, mentioning that each compound has its own unique traits, from overall grip to wear and tear. As part of the global race strategy, drivers will have the opportunity to swap tire compounds when pitting and dictate the amount of fuel poured into their car. Naturally, more gasoline pumped into your car will extend your time in the pits, as will opting for a tire swap.
Looking forward, the team will continue focus testing various aspects of the game to receive specific feedback. Turn 10 are gearing up for the next playtest in the Summer and following that, we’ll see Esaki back on Forza Monthly to provide another update for the game.
“We were blown away by the response that we had to signing up to the playtest, it was well, well beyond what we had expected,” he said. “Apologies if you didn’t get into this first test, there’s going to be many, many experiences where you’ll have a chance to grow and be a part of this playtest experience. This has been the first time we’ve done this; these are early tests and they’re happening with a small amount of people first and we’re expanding this as we progress on our Forza Motorsport development journey. Hang tight, we’ll see you in there soon and hopefully see you all in a next Forza Monthly pretty soon as well.”
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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.