A new blog from the developers of Forza Motorsport reveals how the game’s AI and general direction are doing. The Forza Monthly blog offers a detailed analysis of a new advanced AI and explains how tire physics will work in the game. Forza Motorsport will focus more on the modern racing world. Players can expect modern cars on modern tracks, which spoiled its competition a bit. Couple that with a big jump in tire physics from previous titles in the series, and the realism seems to be amped up with the latest game.
Turn 10 Studios states in the blog that there is a 48x improvement in fire fidelity results that will reward the player based on how the car accelerates, turns, and brakes. Previous titles had only one tire contact point that moved at 60 cycles per second. This created a problem for curbs and rumble strips as well as the possibility of the tires briefly losing contact with the ground. All of these factors lead to inconsistencies with the ride as it allows an unrealistic loss of traction. The new physics brings eight points of contact to the surface of the track which rotates at 360 cycles per second. This allows for a more secure grip and realistic behavior, especially on uneven surfaces.
There will also be different tire compounds in the game with production cars having the option to slide street, performance, race or drag on wet tires. The racing tire option breaks down into soft, medium and hard. Soft will provide the most grip, but lacks longevity as it is ideal for qualifying. The disc lacks grip, but allows for longer use. There will also be a vintage tire used for classic cars, allowing for a wide variety of driving patterns for the nearly 500 cars at launch. In the blog, it was confirmed that drag and drift events will be available at a later date and not at launch.
There are two components to Forza Motorsport’s new advanced AI. The simulated AI controller, which controls the throttle, brake, and steering inputs, and the other being the drive line. In order to create AI opponents as fast as human pilots without any assists or rubber bands, the team needed to dig deep. A reduction in aggressive driving behaviors was needed and the implementation of machine learning for the Drivatar system will help couple better AI. It will attract cars, drivers and customizations, but will not replicate their driving.
The new AI controller provides mastery of every possible car and track combination with upgrades and weather conditions included. Improved optimal driving lines with breaking points and entry and exit speeds will challenge players. To do this, the AI ran through each track 26,000 times to reach the fastest line. The AI will use a lot more tracks and maximize the track limits. The AI will not be perfect as it will be error prone and unscripted. These will be more natural and include late braking or going off the track. AI can be scaled in-game with the highest level considered “unbeatable”. You can read the full blog here.