In the short film below, you'll find Turn 10 Studios' Creative Director Dan Greenawalt having sort of tête-à-tête with the designer of the McLaren P1, Frank Stephenson (and his zipper tie). The two discuss the relationship of both the supercar and the new game to emerging technologies, while strolling casually through the McLaren factory.
That staging looks nice, but not quite so good as the footage of Forza 5, especially the close-ups of the P1 in the game's Forzavista mode (now available for every in-game car). Here the concept of "perfection through imperfection" comes to life, with detailing that creates an almost real-world physicality for the digital car.
Scroll down below to watch the doc (available on Autoblog before any other place online), and to read through a brief Q&A with Greenawalt.
What goes into the discussion of choosing the McLaren P1 as the "FM5" hero car? What does it represent for the series?
The McLaren P1™ is a masterpiece of automotive engineering; a once-in-a-generation cars that perfectly marries state-of-the-art technology with forward-thinking design and aesthetic beauty. We couldn't have chosen a better car for the cover of Forza Motorsport 5; like the McLaren P1™, we have pushed innovation in all areas of Forza Motorsport 5. From a new graphics engine that uses physically-based materials to capture light and atmosphere at a level of detail never before possible, to the cloud-based Drivatar opponents that can learn and mimic real-world behavior on the track – this is our most epic and ambitious game yet.
For fans who haven't been able to see the McLaren P1 in real life, what's your favorite aspect that they should check out through "Forza Motorsport 5"?
The McLaren P1™ is truly a visual spectacle and that is most evident when you examine the car up close in Forzavista mode, which is available with every car in Forza Motorsport 5. In Forzavista you can walk all around the car, learn about its history and performance capabilities with guided tours, and really appreciate the exquisite detail that makes up the car's interior. Most of us will never be able to climb inside the driver's seat of a McLaren P1™ and start up the engine in real life, but you can in Forzavista... and then immediately take the car on some of the world's greatest race circuits and test its awesome capabilities in motion.
The McLaren P1 was built for speed, but not necessarily top speed. What are some of the best tracks and challenges in the game where the McLaren P1 excels?
Your first experience in Forza Motorsport 5 is racing the McLaren P1™ through the historic and beautiful streets of Prague. The wide-open dash to the first corner, the undulating uphill climb that follows represent a strong challenge for the McLaren P1's raw horsepower, while navigating the tricky turns and narrow passages that comprise the second half of this beautiful city circuit are an equal test for car and driver alike. Prague is a visual showcase for the Forza Motorsport 5 and a true test of the capabilities of the McLaren P1™.
What was your goal with "Forza Motorsport 5" and being available at launch of the Xbox One?
Forza Motorsport 5 fits perfectly into our overall vision for the Forza franchise. That is, we want to turn gamers into car lovers and car lovers into gamers. Being available at the launch of the Xbox One represents a tremendous opportunity for the Forza series as a way of really showing off the capabilities of this enormously powerful console. With our brand new graphics engine, built from the ground up to take advantage of the Xbox One, we're able to run Forza Motorsport 5 at a stunning level of visual quality, with amazingly detailed cars and tracks all running at 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second.
Beyond the power of the box, we wanted to make sure that Forza Motorsport 5 felt like the epic game that fans have come to expect from the series. We've got hundreds of cars to drive on the world's greatest tracks, and these cars all benefit from the industry-leading physics that make Forza Motorsport 5 such an immersive driving experience. The cloud-powered Drivatar feature provides players with an endless source of racing opponents based on real players who are able to truly mimic human behavior on the track, making races more exciting and competitive than ever before. In addition, the online experience benefits from new Xbox Live technologies like Smart Match and dedicated servers to create fast and fun online racing regardless of your skill level.
In short, we've pushed innovation across every facet of Forza Motorsport 5 to create a game that appeals to car lovers as well as those who really want to show off exactly what the Xbox One is capable of.
Can you describe the "perfection through imperfection" concept that is mentioned in the video?
The best way to describe our approach to graphics is with an analogy of a car showroom. When you visit a showroom, you see cars in a relatively pristine state: beautifully lit, washed and waxed, and, for all intents and purposes, perfect. However, as you get closer to the car, you start noticing small imperfections – tiny scratches on the rotors or spots where the Armor All hasn't completely dried on the tires. It's these imperfections that make the car feel like part of the real world, and it's those minute details that have worked to recreate in Forza Motorsport 5.
Every car in Forza Motorsport 5 features a Forzavista experience, where you can really appreciate these tiny details – things like the "orange peel" effect on the paint job. It's these details – these imperfections – that make the cars in Forza 5 feel like they are something more than virtual objects. By baking in these types of subtle imperfections, we're able to truly bring our cars to life like never before.
If I were to drive the McLaren F1 in "FM3", and then drive it in "FM5", what differences would I notice? What are the biggest changes in player experience for driving new versions of heritage cars?
The ongoing pursuit of physics "perfection" has been recurring theme through all of the games in the Forza Motorsport series. For Forza Motorsport 5 we've introduced two innovations that have greatly improved car dynamics in the game. The first is a new suspension animation system that allows us to model a huge variety of suspension architectures, including multiple suspension types on the same cars, where appropriate.
The second big innovation is in tires. In Forza Motorsport 4 we partnered with Pirelli to use their research data and directly inject their testing data into our game engine. When we began thinking about how to build on that approach for our next game, we had some very specific questions in mind – specifically around how to isolate certain variables in tire performance. In order to answer those questions, we formed a new partnership with Calspan – one of the leading tire-testing organizations in the world – who conducted a battery of new tests on our behalf and helped us parse and make sense of all the data that came as a result.
When you combine our new suspension modeling and our cutting-edge tire research, you get a driving experience that is more satisfying and exciting than ever before. Cars with different suspension types will feel absolutely distinct from one another, even if they are similar in terms of overall performance. Through our new graphics engine and our cutting-edge approach to car handling and physics, we are breathing new life into all the cars in Forza Motorsport 5.