The first Forza Motorsport playtest took place on May 8, and those who were selected got to sample a small part of the upcoming racing sim, specifically the game’s multiplayer mode. Players were able to experience the work that’s gone into revamping and deepening the game’s physics, as well as the core gameplay.
But if you happened to miss out on the first playtest, fear not. Speaking on the Forza Monthly show for May, Forza Motorsport’s creative director Chris Esaki shared that another playtest will take place this summer (between June and September), and that the team will continue to have many open conversations with the Forza community during this time.
- Xbox Series X vs Xbox One X: is it worth the upgrade?
- Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: what's the difference?
- Best Xbox Series X headsets: treat your ears
Esaki said the first playtest resulted in a “ton of great feedback” from the community, and that based on that Esaki is pretty sure everyone is “super hyped and energized” by what was shown. He also explained that the reason why only small parts of the game are being tested is so that the team can get “critical feedback” on “focused areas”.
Esaki stressed that conversations with the community will be ongoing, and will be core to developing Forza Motorsport. “We really can’t get where the team and community wants to be without doing this all together,” Esaki said.
Esaki also shared details on how Forza Motorsport’s physics have evolved from Forza Motorsport 7, which was released on Xbox One in 2017. “To put the physics work into perspective… the changes we made from Forza Motorsport 7 till now, is more than the changes we made from [Forza Motorsport] 4 through [Forza Motorsport] 7. It’s basically a huge generational leap coming to the game.”
The tires in Forza Motorsport, and the way they interact with the road, has been dramatically increased too. According to Esaki, the tire collision model from the first game to Forza Motorsport 7 had a single point of contact with the track surface and refreshed at 60 cycles per second (60Hz). In Forza Motorsport, there are now eight points of contact with the track surface, and the engine will refresh at 360 cycles per second (360Hz). That’s a 48x fidelity jump for a single tire collision. Esaki said that this results in the car’s handling better, and you can “feel” the track surface a lot more.
But that’s not all. When Esaki was asked how else the physics will improve the driving experience overall, Esaki said: “Another example of how the physics work that has resulted in subtle but noticeable changes in the road surface are curbs. Our curbs in the past have often been viewed as somewhat coarse or unsettling, and I think that’s been dramatically changed. They can be approached with confidence, and I think the playtest confirmed this. As simple as that may be, the curbing is night and day to where it’s been in the past.”
Multiple tire compounds have also been confirmed for Forza Motorsport, a first for the series. There has always been tire wear in previous games, but tire compounds such as hard, medium and soft will deepen the gameplay and racing strategy. Each compound has its own grip and wear characteristics, which Esaki said will lead to “exciting new gameplay decisions during a race.”
Environmental factors will also need to be taken into account in Forza Motorsport, and have the potential to make each lap feel different, according to Esaki.
“We’re working on things like track temperature and how it affects things like grip and tyre pressure, and tyre wear. In addition, you can imagine how changes in the time of day and weather, along with the new tyre wear modelling and all of the new compounds lead to a much deeper driving and racing experience.”
Don't eight it
Forza Motorsport is the eighth entry in Turn 10’s racing sim series, but it isn’t called Forza Motorsport 8. Esaki admitted that there’s some confusion regarding the game’s name, and clarified that the eight has been dropped.
“I just wanted to reaffirm that the name of the game is Forza Motorsport. There’s no sequential eight after the title. It really is an all-new Forza Motorsport experience.”
Forza Motorsport is set to release on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC.
- Best Xbox Series X games: don't miss these titles