I had the special opportunity to spend time one-on-one with Kazunori Yamauchi at E3, where we were able to discuss a few of the most pressing questions Gran Turismo fans have about GT6. GTPlanet also had the opportunity to participate in a “round table” discussion with Kazunori which included other gaming journalists, the full transcript of which will be posted soon.
Thanks to SCEA for their assistance in arranging this interview, and thanks to Kazunori Yamauchi for taking his time to discuss these issues with the GTPlanet community!
GTP: Are the engine sounds that we hear in the demo representative of what we will hear in the final game?
KY: “No, those are just in there as sound effects.”
GTP: So we will see some changes in that area?
KY: “Actually, we are doing research right now to generate the sounds in a completely different way. I’m not sure if it is actually going to make it into GT6 in time yet, but we’ll have to see.”
GTP: The artificial intelligence of the other drivers, will that see any changes or improvements in GT6?
KY: “Like the sounds, that is something that we’re rebuilding for GT6. It won’t be the same as GT5.
“In addition to the things we’ve already announced, like the new rendering engine, the new physics, suspension, and handling modeling, the AI and the sound simulation is something that we are working on.
“As with pretty much everything in the game, we are going back to the basics and rebuilding it. We don’t know when the results of all that effort will come out yet, but of course, it’s not going to be the same as GT5.
“I know there were some rumors that the sound for GT wasn’t recorded with the engine under load. That was actually true until GT4 was produced, but for GT5 all of the sounds that we’ve taken were from cars that were on a dynamometer and placed under load.
“That’s not the whole of the problem, though, and obviously that’s not good enough for GT6 and for the future. We’ve been working on a new system for generating sounds for a few years now, we just haven’t made that breakthrough yet, and we’re still working. That’s what we’re aiming for – to make that breakthrough – so that we have something of a high quality to show.
“In terms of physics we were able to show that, but for sound simulation, not yet.”
GTP: Regarding car damage, will that be roughly the same that we see currently in GT5?
GTP: At Silverstone, you described GT6 as a modular platform that can easily be expanded upon. How will you decide what content to include within the game and what to add later as DLC?
KY: “Well, that’s really not been decided yet!”
GTP: Will time-of-day changes be available on all tracks in GT6, or will this only apply to new tracks in the game?
KY: “On Silverstone and Willow Springs, you can see they have time changes. They will be compatible with weather as well. Whether or not that will be applied to all tracks in GT6 hasn’t been decided yet.
“The issue is that if you set a certain time and set certain weather conditions, and build it to those conditions, you get a better quality result.
“However, when we do weather simulations or atmospheric simulations, if we can get it right, it’s going to raise the overall quality of the actual track beyond having it in a fixed condition where things are always going to be the same.
“That’s what we are aiming for and that’s the breakthrough we want to make, but it’s something else that we still don’t know if it will make it in time for GT6.
“We still haven’t given up on that dream of making a breakthrough, and that’s why Silverstone and Willow Springs have changing weather and changing time, as you saw on the show floor.”
GTP: What are some of the most interesting or surprising things that you learned while working with Yokohama and KW suspension to improve GT6?
“Being able to perform this type of test is really a big deal. You’re able to do a bench test on the equipment they have, and at the same time you can perform actual road tests, like, for example, what we did on the Nurburgring.
“That GT-R that we ran in the 24 Hour Race, it has a lot of sensors mounted all over it for research. We can also compare that with the simulation in Gran Turismo. All of that is available for us.
“As for KW, they have a testing setup called the “Seven Post Rig”, and it’s a rig that allows you to move a car in a variety of different directions so you can see the vibrational characteristics of a car. The data that we can get from that equipment is really interesting to us.
“The body and the chassis of the car are a spring and damper in themselves, and the bushings that go into a car are a spring as well, and the tires. All of those things move separately and independently of each other, and we couldn’t tell how all of those things moved together until we actually were able to take these measurements.
“That’s really going into detail, but what we did at KW was very interesting to us in terms of data, and we learned a lot about synchronous vibrational dampening characteristics measurements. It’s just a major thing for us to be able to learn more about the things that we really need to know.”
GTP: One more question – will we ever find out what car is below that blue cover? (This has been an on-going topic of debate in the GTPlanet forums!)
KY: “Ha! That’s a very good question, but I can’t answer that yet! I’m glad you noticed. If you look at it carefully, you will see it is kind of a strange shape, with some interesting characteristics!”