Forza Motorsport creative director Chris Esaki has revealed more details about the next entry in the series, Forza Motorsport, on the recent Forza Monthly live stream.
The last time Esaki appeared on the Monthly show, he spoke about an upcoming playtest of a small portion of the game. That’s since taken place, in early May, and Esaki revealed some of the results, including new features and a new tire model.
Describing it as a bigger change in the physics engine than everything from FM4 to FM7 combined, Esaki went into a little detail on how the new model will function.
Up to now, every Forza Motorsport game had treated the tire/track interface as a single point of contact for each tire, with the physics calculations updated 60 times a second. For the new Forza Motorsport, the tire contact patch features eight points, updating 360 times a second, resulting in a behavior model that is almost 50 times more detailed than before.
It’s not clear at the moment how these contact points are distributed across the tire contact patch, though we’d expect at least reference points on the outer, center, and inner edges of the tire footprint, as well as fore and aft. However the system is implemented though, it will mean a major improvement to how tires behave, adding depth to details like wheel camber.
In addition, Forza Motorsport will feature different tire compounds for the first time. While previous games have featured different tire types named as compounds — stock, street, sport, race — FM will have different compounds with different grip and wear characteristics within each grade. The playtest featured hard, medium, and soft compounds, though there may be others in the final game too.
This will of course add a strategy aspect to Forza Motorsport, with players able to change not only tire compounds but fuel levels in pit stops during a race.
Esaki also made reference to smoother driving surfaces, particularly on things like curbs. Describing it as a “night and day” change from FM7, Esaki comments that while curbs have previously been “coarse and unsettling” in FM titles, they’re smoother and more natural now.
Another interesting detail mentioned relates to track environment. Esaki made reference to how track temperature will affect tires, but also brought up time of day and weather effects too.
Turn 10 Studios has further playtests planned for Forza Motorsport, with another coming up this summer. That means we likely won’t have to wait too long for more updates on the game’s development, though it does still seem likely that late 2022 will be the earliest launch window.