Let's discuss original track design & designation.

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo Sport' started by MIE1992, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    Let's ignore the real-world, licensed circuits for a moment. From what I understand, there have been a few types of "original" circuits:

    -Circuits based on real roads at real locales, such as many city courses in GT4, and most notably, Tokyo R246. Technically, one could say the Cote d'Azur circuit is this, as well, despite it being more widely known as the Monaco GP course. These courses could also use either real layouts (Cote d'Azur) or create a fictional layout that still uses real roads (e.g. New York City from GT4).

    -Circuits based on a real locale, but a fictional layout that doesn't follow real roads. Examples include Tokyo Expressway, Maggiore, Kyoto Driving Park, and Sardegna. (Correct me if I'm wrong on the last one.) This also likely would include many dirt/snow courses. I think Circuito de la Sierra would fit here, too.

    -Circuits not based on a real locale and thus not real roads. Examples include Apricot Hill, Autumn Ring, and arguably the Special Stage routes. (The last one is said to have slight inspiration from real Tokyo highways.)

    Now, I do enjoy these courses, but I do worry a little, that in a game that includes Tokyo Expressway, that would make the inclusion of Tokyo R246 somehow impossible. I also think that there are plenty of hypothetical layouts based on real roads that could be tons of fun. (I, myself, enjoy the otherwise improbably idea of a ~60-mile, point-to-point hillclimb that starts at my house, and ends at a state university.) But at the same time, I could understand why PD wants to try making something original, something that doesn't adhere to real roads. But then again, there's still an awful lot of potential in adhering to real roads to throw away the idea, right?

    So I'm not sure. I do like the locales PD has picked throughout the series, but I wonder if the courses should be much like their car selection, where it could highlight the roads that are relatively obscure, yet fun to drive on. (Side note: I think the GT4 courses that only allowed two cars at a time - as well as all the dirt/snow courses - should be remade as point-to-point time attack (and/or rally) stages. I think it'd be better than trying to overtake someone on such narrow roads. Alternatively, they could be reserved for mostly being part of a time attack mode, instead, which would be more akin to the current Sport Mode Time Trial mode. But this mode could also be in lobbies, too, in case a particular combination isn't currently in rotation. And it could be like the GT5 rally mode, where there's a notable amount of space between cars. Further inspiration could be taken from actual time attack competitions at Tsukuba, which is something I think Tsukuba is much better at accommodating, rather than racing. Unless it's with motorcycles, from what I've read.)
     
  2. twitcher

    twitcher

    Messages:
    5,925
    I’m not sure in understand your reasoning that if a GT game has a fictional “Tokyo Expressway” circuit, it can’t also have “Tokyo R246” in it as well. Unless you’re implying that R246 would be part of some sort of open world map that also included the fictional expressway layouts, I don’t see the issue. They load as separate entities....the only thing that would be an issue would be immersion on the player’s end, but the immersion is already broken if the user is aware that Tokyo Expressway are fictional circuits, regardless of what other real or fake circuits are in the game.


    I do like your idea of PD treating certain circuits and popular driving roads similar to the cars. I’ve had the feeling for a few years now that in a way, racing games are a way of documenting history. Personally, I’ll never get a chance to see Spa as it was in the 1960s, or what Targa Florio was like in its hay day - virtual recreations of those circuits are the only way I’ll ever get to see what they were like. Same thing with roads - roads don’t stay the same forever. They change, get altered, widened, straightened, and sometimes straight up abandoned.

    I’m a firm believer that the Shutoku Expressway system in Tokyo is one of the wonders of the driving world, and really should be experienced by anyone who is passionate about driving. Doing it in real life can be hella expensive, and doing it at speeds higher than posted limits is both illegal and very dangerous. In the virtual world though, it’s absolute driving heaven. These roads won’t be there forever though, and they certainly won’t stay the same forever. Eventually, these wonderful roads will be confined to the memories of those fortunate enough to have experienced them.

    The same can be said for any driving road, whether is Dragon’s Tail in Virginia, some of the canyon roads outside of LA, many of the high mountain passes in Europe, and Toges in Japan. Many people might not be aware, but several of the famous Toge roads that featured in Initial D have actually been abandoned, are no longer in use, and are in a state of decay.

    All that said, I do really like many of PD’s fictional circuits, but if I personally had to choose between them allocating resources to creating fictional circuits versus recreating real circuits and real roads, I’d vote for the real stuff, otherwise it will eventually be lost forever.
     
  3. oper8or

    oper8or

    Messages:
    27
    Me too.
     
  4. TrafficEmpire

    TrafficEmpire

    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    United States
    That second paragraph really speaks to me. I live about an hour or so from Yellowstone, so I frequently drive that way, and some of the roads in the park would be just awesome to race on. National Parks service knows how to build some scenic and twisty roads, but virtually is the only way you’d be able to fully experience their joy at high speeds. Too many cars, pedestrians, police, and bears otherwise.
     
  5. ShiftingGears

    ShiftingGears

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Australia
    PD could do better with their fictional tracks. Alsace does not resemble anything close to a road circuit, and St Croix looks like they modelled a suspension bridge over a lake, then slapped a track around it. You can make creative tracks without making them outright cartoonish.

    They dont need to model real tracks because a lot of them are frankly not that good compared to the open canvas you have with fictional tracks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  6. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    Yeah, I think immersion is the word I was getting at. Like, wouldn't it be a bit weird to have a course based on actual Tokyo roads alongside courses that are just located in the general Tokyo area, but aren't real roads?

    Yeah. As much as I personally do like the original courses as well, I'd be fine with having the tracks be very similar to the car selection, in that most are based on real circuits, or layouts of real roads, with a minority being much more creative (e.g. Route X, especially if it gets any additional layouts).

    Do you think it'd help if they brought back the GT6 track maker in the next title? (Or an evolution of it?) I think what would be a good compromise, is to bring back those locales (e.g. St. Croix, Alsace, Sardegna) and then instead of bringing back the GTS layouts, introduce new layouts based on actual roads one could drive on in that respective area. I recall a lot of the PS2 and some PS3-era courses being like that - I think even Circuito de la Sierra was based on actual roads.

    EDIT: I had a potentially even better idea. Since a lot of the courses like St. Croix, Alsace, Kyoto DP, and Dragon Trail are still based on real locations (while being fictional tracks), maybe they could become more general locations in a course maker successor, and could be joined by previous areas that could return, like Mt. Aso and Eifel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    GTR365 likes this.
  7. twitcher

    twitcher

    Messages:
    5,925
    I think fictional road circuits is where PD leaves the most to be desired

    - fictional city circuits (Seattle, New York, R246) they nail :tup:

    - fictional permanent circuits (Grand Valley, Apricot Hill, Maggiore, Dragon Tail) they nail :tup:

    - fictional road circuits (Deep Forest, Trial Mountain, Alsace Village) they miss the mark :tdown:

    Before anyone jumps down my neck about Deep Forest and Trial Mtn. I love those tracks, for the actual track, but the setting and scenery for both is bland and not believable. They don’t feel like permanent circuits, but the roads don’t appear to be part of any kind of public road network. Alsace has 2 or 3 sort-of intersections that don’t really make sense, and the interacting roads end literally 10 feet beyond the circuit. St Croix is a hybrid between permanent circuit and road circuit, the road bits are ok in terms of being believable, I’d call it the bare minimum.

    Compare any PD fictional road circuit, in terms of setting, scenery, being believable, to the fictional road circuit in pCARS 2 (Bannochbrae), it’s not even a contest. There’s logically placed intersections, light poles, power poles and lines, fences, gates, driveways, parking lots, gas stations, an awkward chicane at a village intersection - the roads feel like they’re part of a larger network of roads. When you compare it some of the circuits still races on today in the Irish Real Road Racing Championship, it’s really not that much of a stretch, even though it’s completely fictional.


    As for modelling real tracks, on one hand I agree, on the other, I’d argue that the issue is that so many good tracks don’t get modelled, while the same FIA grade 1 circuits get modelled over and over, game after game.

    Where’s Brno, Phillip Island, Potrero de los Funes, Oulton Park, Road Atlanta, Mosport, Limerock, VIR, Salzburgring, Watkins Glen, Mid Ohio, Donnington, Thruxton, Macau, Sepang...so many great circuits that hardly if ever get put in games.
     
  8. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    I think even without the immersion factor, I think Trial Mountain would be terrible for online racing unless it underwent some serious redesigns, like a real circuit may get from time to time. For one, those rocks after the first tunnel are something that I think would quickly become a nuisance in online races. What do you think of Tokyo Expressway? I do like the South layouts, especially, but I hope we get a potential West or North layout that uses a bridge that resembles the Yokohama bay bridge.

    What about the tarmac Sardegna courses? They seem a bit more believable. I do see some street signs...

    I'm not how much they'd cost, but I wouldn't doubt that licensing fees are a potential factor. I personally would love Macau and Lime Rock, as well as Phillip Island. I would think that being with the FIA could help PD to some extent with those tracks, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    The_Tullster and twitcher like this.
  9. p78

    p78

    Messages:
    914
    Cita D'Aria was such a great track too.
     
    AlexDB9, Gejabo, GTR365 and 3 others like this.
  10. JamboGT

    JamboGT

    Messages:
    1,992
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Deep Forest and Trial Mountain are better than any city circuit, real or fake as well as being better than most real/permanent circuits. The idea that they "miss the mark" is mental to me.
     
  11. BradleyLove

    BradleyLove

    Messages:
    83
    Agree that Alsace doesn’t feel quite right, and St. Croix is a big disappointment.

    Sardegna B is one of the best circuits PD have made in recent years—just wish it was a little longer, say about 2 minutes in a Gr.3 car.

    By comparison Sardegna A and C are disappointing.

    What I really crave from PD is something similar to PCars’s California Highway. A real point-to-point road.
     
  12. 05XR8

    05XR8

    Messages:
    28,329
    Location:
    Australia
    Circuito de la Sierra is one of the forgotten courses or maybe less talked about, here.

    The one fictional course I wish happened, was the mille miglia type journey we had in GT5 or GT6. WHen I initially saw the event, it looked as if we would drive to each location, but it was just a map showing us which events were lined up to be completed.
     
  13. ShiftingGears

    ShiftingGears

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't see the value in adding a point to point track. If you can make a 30km point-to-point track, you can make a 30km circuit with the same characteristics (unless it's a hillclimb).

    Did not play GT6, however my issue with GT5 course maker which I imagine was still a fundamental issue on GT6 was that people don't like getting thrashed on a track they've never raced on, especially against people who create the track and practice on it before its published. So participation rates are low.
     
  14. 05XR8

    05XR8

    Messages:
    28,329
    Location:
    Australia
    We had point to point races in rally mode versus AI. It can be done in Sport Mode as well.
     
    TrafficEmpire and MIE1992 like this.
  15. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    I think a lot of those narrower courses (as well as various dirt/snow tracks) would be better as point-to-point rally or time attack stages, potentially part of a longer course, rather than a circuit to be raced on.
     
    GTR365 likes this.
  16. ShiftingGears

    ShiftingGears

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Australia
    Of course it can be done - doesn't mean it should. GT has never done rally well.
     
    SpiritofDS and TamasToth like this.
  17. BradleyLove

    BradleyLove

    Messages:
    83
    It wouldn’t have the same characteristics. The big psychological difference with point-to-point is you finish somewhere different than where you started. So it’s about the feeling of a journey, rather than simply a lap.
     
    MIE1992 likes this.
  18. ShiftingGears

    ShiftingGears

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Australia
    How do you feel about the Manx TT?
     
  19. twitcher

    twitcher

    Messages:
    5,925
    When I say they missed the mark, I mean in terms of the circuit being believable. Both Trial Mtn and Deep Forest make no logical sense, in terms of their setting. Both circuits are basically located in a “tree bowl” with no connection to anything in the outside world. Neither circuit feels like it’s part of something larger.

    Edit: and better than any city circuit, real or fake??? Naw mate, Deep Forest and Trial Mtn don’t even come close to Macau, Pau, Villa Real, Potrero de los Funes, Adelaide, Rouen Les Essart, Brno Masaryk, and many more.

    Edit 2: footage from the old Brno Masaryk street circuit in Brno Czechoslovakia


    And a lap of the circuit as it was in 1965, driven in a road car (by what sounds like a local :lol: He starts driving around the 2:30 mark, does 2 laps of the circuit). I believe the circuit was around 18 miles long in 1965


    Here’s a lap of Potrero de los Funes in Argentina. It’s like a fictional PD circuit around a lake...that actually exists in real life


    Trial Mtn and Deep Forest can’t hold a candle to either of those tracks, to me at least.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  20. BradleyLove

    BradleyLove

    Messages:
    83
    I’d love to see it in GT no doubt.
     
    twitcher likes this.
  21. 05XR8

    05XR8

    Messages:
    28,329
    Location:
    Australia
    It may not be done well, but it's here. I could see it just as a type of Race C slot in time length. A short amount of players lined up, with maybe 5 second intervals. MAybe they ghost if a player catches up and and then unghost once clear.

    It'll probably never happen. In terms of entertainment and using another race discipline in the game, as intended, I feel it should be done.
     
    MIE1992 likes this.
  22. ShiftingGears

    ShiftingGears

    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Australia
    But surely you feel the track goes somewhere even though it's a circuit, right?
     
  23. twitcher

    twitcher

    Messages:
    5,925
    I think there’s two main issues with rallying in GT games, and both issues could be fixed relatively simply.

    • First issue is the low grip surfaces. Straight up, they’re just not very good, and based on the grip multipliers we saw in GT5 save file modding, are more than likely handled by a very simple multiplier to reduce grip. Compared to something like pCARS, or several of the actual rallying games out there, the low grip surfaces in GT games leave a lot to be desired.

    One solution here, the hard solution, is to better model low grip surfaces like gravel and snow - that’s no small ask though, and personally, I’d rather PD focus their resources and efforts in other areas.

    The simple solution is really simple - don’t put gravel and ice tracks in the game. There can still be rallying in the game, just stick to tarmac rallying. The funny thing is, of all the different disciplines in motorsport, tarmac rallying is one areas where PD has barely scratched the surface. We got a taste of it in GT4, and it was actually pretty damn good. The format of the events could maybe have used some tweaks, but the actual tarmac rally circuits were really good, and are amongst my personal favourites in terms of circuits that have appeared in GT games. Unfortunately, those specific circuits, or even circuits in that same vein, have disappeared from the franchise all together (we went to the moon though, so....).

    In GTS, if all of the dirt rally circuits were tarmac rally circuits like the ones we saw in GT4, I think a lot of people would be quite happy with that, and both the circuits and rally cars would get a hell of a lot more use than they do right now.


    • Second issue is the circuits themselves. I said above that PD are really good at city circuits, are really good at permanent circuits, and struggle with road circuits....well, add rally circuits to the list of things they struggle with. Tahiti Maze is about the only gravel rally circuit PD has done that sticks out to me as being “good”. The rest all just blend into one, none of them are really memorable, because none of them were very good. All of PD’s gravel circuits, again, fall into this weird area where they’re really not believable at all. They don’t at all feel like a rally stage, and yet they don’t at all feel like a RallyX circuit.

    IF PD insist on having gravel circuits in their game, then I’d much prefer to see them create either real, or fictional RallyX circuits (like in pCARS), and/or point-to-point stages like we saw with Pike’s Peak in GT3 (was Pikes in 3 or 4, I forget), or the course creator, or even the Goodwood Hillclimb that was in previous games.

    Point-to-Point racing is not impossible to implement. I’ve done many online races on the point-to-point roads in pCARS, they’re a lot of fun. Back in GT5 and GT6, the Toge community set up point to point races for themselves all the time, on a whole variety of circuits in GT. With the new addition of an online time trial mode in GTS, point-to-point stages would be an ideal fit.



    Personally, I like that PD sort of seem to use GT as a way of documenting various aspects of motorsport history (even though I would change a lot about how they actually do it, I appreciate the effort), and therefore don’t mind them including rally cars in the game. Keep the rally cars in the game, but stick to tarmac rallying, bring back some of the old tarmac “rally circuits”, and introduce a handful of point to point tarmac stages.

    There’s so many amazing hillclimb events in the world, many of them on tarmac, that would be amazing to have in GT. Pikes Peak would obviously be top of the list for many people, but there’s some really spectacular hillclimbs in Europe, as well as the various Toge from Japan. I mean, PD put Takumi’s AE86 from Initial D in GT3 and 4, they know what Initial D is, they know Keiichi Tsetchuya is, they know what Toge is....why not include Haruna, or Akina, or one of the other’s in the game. Like I said before, several of these Toge have been abandoned, and will eventually be lost forever, which is a real shame.

    Here’s an absolutely perfect candidate, the Hakone Turnpike, aka the “Mazda Turnpike”

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/jalopni...-best-driving-roads-just-two-h-1818537482/amp

    It’s a private toll road that is owned and operated by Mazda. There’s a tole booth at the bottom, followed by a 14 km winding mountain road that takes you to a tea house called the “Sky Lounge”. I can only imagine how many hours I would spend driving up and down that road in all kinds of cars if it were in a GT game. With all the rest stops and pullouts along the way, I know the cruising community would absolutely eat it up.

    Here’s a lucky guy driving an NSX up the road, at pedestrian speed.


    And here’s a couple videos from the Motörhead event that happens there. These guys are playing Gran Turismo in real life




    This takes place literally 2 hours drive from Sony’s head office on R246 in downtown Tokyo.

    C’mon PD, throw us a freakin’ bone :p

    Edit: this kind of rallying would feel right at home in GT
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    nickf1gr, LeGeNd-1 and MIE1992 like this.
  24. Magog

    Magog

    Messages:
    235
    I could happily never race a real circuit in Gran Turismo. I prefer PD's fictional courses not based on anything but interesting track design.
     
    Darla Starch and MIE1992 like this.
  25. LeGeNd-1

    LeGeNd-1 Premium

    Messages:
    5,449
    Location:
    Australia
    Deep Forest in GT1/2 has closed off dirt roads leading out from the track that gives the illusion of an "open" track, but yes I agree Trial Mt feels like a bowl. They could easily fix it if they want to though, by adding closed off branches (like CSR5/SSR5 in GT5 onwards) or expanding the scenery around the track (like HSR GT5P onwards).



    I love discovering obscure real world tracks, especially older ones that have a more "road race" feel than newer purpose designed tracks. My rFactor folder has 500+ tracks from all over the world, from almost every racing series (even defunct ones). I'd love to see Macau, Pau, Potrero, Preluk, Enna Pergusa, Grobnik, old Brno, and even "epic" road courses like Transfagarasan, Hakone Turnpike, TT IOM, Pikes Peak and Targa Florio added to the game. But let's face it, PD works slow and they'd go for the obvious famous tracks first before adding any of those. Heck, Kaz might not even have heard of most the tracks you and I want. And for me at least, all those tracks are already available as mods in Assetto Corsa which has better physics and more cars than GT could ever hope for. So seeing them in GT is a bonus, not a necessity for me.

    On the other hand, these fictional tracks, while cartoonish, are exclusive to PD only (yes there are AC mods for several of these as well, but they're not good quality or even accurate). While a few have been awful (St Croix, Alsace, Cape Ring), the majority have been amazing to drive, race and look at. It gives the series an identity and for us OG players who have been with the series since GT1, it's as historical and as steeped in our racing lore as any real world track. Heck for me my childhood is basically Trial Mt, Deep Forest, Autumn Ring and Grand Valley. Until I discovered F1 in 2001 I basically have no idea what real world circuits there are. Some real world tracks, if you take away their history, are actually not even that great to drive (e.g. Reims is just a triangle basically).

    So I dunno. I like the game to have real world tracks but I feel most tracks that are on PD's radar are either Tilkedromes or have been done to death in other games already. Fictional tracks are a nice surprise because you don't know what you're gonna get and I just treat it like learning a new obscure real world track that I haven't seen before, just with a nicer background scenery :lol: It's good to have a balance of both but I have AC and rFactor for my real world catalogue, but there will only be one Gran Turismo for these fictional tracks :)
     
    MIE1992, twitcher and Darla Starch like this.
  26. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    I agree with the idea of removing dirt/snow tracks being efficient and focusing more on the many ways tarmac-based rally can unfold, but one thing I think we should consider is the Michelin partnership. That may or may not change things. It could very well lead to profound improvements in how the games depict dirt/snow driving. But otherwise, I'd love to see the courses from GT4 (where only two cars could be racing at the same time) be turned into point-to-point time attack tracks.

    I also agree with how original courses can help build an identity to GT, and can simply be fun to drive/race on, or simply to look at. My idea is that Tokyo Expressway is an evolution of C/S Stage (sans X), and I think other GT-original designs have this potential to also not only be evolutions of prior GT-original courses, but also real courses, as well. Some real-world courses are famous but otherwise may have critiques in regards to their layout or broader design.

    We also should note that there are a lot of courses that are ostensibly GT-original but are modeled on real roads, like many of the city circuits from the PS3 era and earlier. For example, Madrid and London. I think what's fascinating is that it would appear that for GTS, many of the original circuits are more explicit with naming real-world locales while not being based on real roads. Compare this to how many original circuits from prior games seemed generally more vague with their names, with few exceptions, whereas if real roads were used, (e.g. George V Paris, NYC, Seoul), the locale was only more explicitly-disclosed then. The various layouts modeled on Tokyo highways are a good example:

    Tokyo R246 - Real roads.
    Special/Clubman Stage - Fictional layout, modeled on Tokyo highways.
    Tokyo Expressway - Same as C/S Stage, but more explicit in both its naming and imagery.

    So this could be indicative of a change of how PD approaches how they design fictional courses modeled on real locales. I'm not sure. But you also see this with Colorado Springs, Sardegna, St. Croix, Alsace, Kyoto, and likely others. I could see Deep Forest being succeeded by a course titled "Vermont Park," or something. And Highspeed Ring would have its successor named something like "Dalkey Speedbowl."

    As far as historic layouts go, I think PD should stick with the more radical deviations from the extant designs. For example, one of the pre-1990 versions of Interlagos. We've already seen some historic layouts, too, so I'd love to see a further expansion on that. I think one of the scapes at Fuji says the course used to have a large banked turn, for one idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    GTR365 and twitcher like this.
  27. urmie

    urmie

    Messages:
    530
    I dunno about you guys, I want more Tokyo. Wangan Line, Rainbow Bridge, weather, etc. Not sure what Genki is doing lately or if they've given up on games in general, but I am happy that GTS has these Tokyo tracks and hope for more expansion.

    Deep Forest was a great track, IMO. Imagine a track like that in 4K/HDR, the light leaking from the trees would look amazing.
     
    pininvolante, twitcher and MIE1992 like this.
  28. MIE1992

    MIE1992

    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    United States
    Yeah. I do enjoy Tokyo Expressway, I'm just wondering if they're better in the broader scheme of things (both for players and PD, and GT itself) than simply modeling the real-world C1 Loop/Wangan Line/etc. But I do hope we get a GT-original version of the bridge - maybe in a Tokyo Expressway West or North layout. And especially when we consider how much the "reverse" layout can differ aside from direction, as we can see the most clearly with the South layouts.

    I think considering we did get a bridge in SSR7, (despite the actual course layout of SSR7 being somewhat dull) and that I see Tokyo Expressway as a successor to the Special/Clubman Stage courses (sans X), I think a Tokyo Expressway layout involving a bridge resembling the real-world bridge is very likely, either in GTS or the next title.
     
  29. twitcher

    twitcher

    Messages:
    5,925
    The original layout of Fuji was terrifying
     
    L8 Apex likes this.
  30. Greycap

    Greycap Premium

    Messages:
    5,495
    Location:
    Finland
    And that was with a GT-R weighing a ton and making perhaps 250-300 bhp. Some people were nuts enough to drive Can-Am cars with ~800 bhp and ~600 kg there.