Yesterday, Chris Esaki, Creative Director at Turn 10 Studios, spoke on the Forza Monthly stream about the next Forza Motorsport instalment which helped clear up a few speculative points and lay the groundwork for what sounds like an all-new experience.
“There’s some confusion out there about what the name of the game is and I just wanted to reaffirm that the name of the game is ‘Forza Motorsport’. There is no sequential eight after the title,” explained the experienced game industry veteran.
“The changes we’ve made from Forza Motorsport 7 until now are more than the changes we’ve made between Forza Motorsport 4 and 7.”
For many, the Forza Motorsport series delivers an enjoyable racing game, with a shedload of cars to collect and an approachable handling system – ideal for those using a gamepad. But, in recent years, it seems like the competition has accelerated ahead, with innovative ranked online play, better support for wheel peripherals and enhanced tyre models. It’s these elements that the next Forza Motorsport aims to address.
“From the very first Forza Motorsport to Forza Motorsport 7, our tyre model had a single point of contact with the track surface and refresh at 60 cycles per second or 60Hz. Our new model now has eight points of contact and is running at 360Hz. That’s a 48x fidelity jump.
“You can feel the track surface more and there’s a lot more communication to the player. Another example of our physics work is kerbs. Our kerbs in the past have been viewed as coarse or unsettling, but I think that has been dramatically changed.”
One obvious omission from Forza Motorsport 7 especially was a variance in tyre compounds. These provide different strategic options, for example, an online race where you must use more than one tyre type. It sounds like this will no longer be the case.
“I can confirm now that we’ve added this to the game, deepening gameplay and racing strategy. During the recent playtest, we were offering soft, medium and hard compounds and are looking to expand that over time depending on how we are running the different events.
“You’ll be able to change tyre compounds and fuel amounts in the pits.”
Earlier this month, Turn 10 Studios allowed players to test an early version of the multiplayer system and Chris confirmed that more tests will be happening in the near future.
“The next playtest [will be] this summer and after that, I’ll be back [here] with another update.”
On paper, this sounds very promising. It’s not that Forza Motorsport has to turn into an out-and-out simulator in order to succeed, but the series has drifted away from an authentic driving experience, something that others titles offer while still being accessible.
Now all we need to see is the game in action. Hopefully that’s soon rather than later.