Forza Motorsport Week In Review 10-26-12
So, how’s Forza Horizon treating you so far?
Now that’s a sentence I’ve been waiting a long time to write. In fact, I’ve been waiting to write it since nearly my first days here at Turn 10. Back in 2010, not long after I started, I heard the first rumblings that, at some point, we would be releasing a new Forza game, but one that wasn’t a Forza Motorsport game. To say my mouth nearly hit the floor in surprise is an understatement. In fact, I think my jaw might have crashed through the third floor of our then-office and landed on a desk one floor below. There was a similar reaction once I heard phrases like “open world” and “dynamic day/night cycle” when talking about the game that would be Forza Horizon.
Now, two years later, I can finally type another sentence I’ve been eagerly anticipating: Forza Horizon is now available! Released on Tuesday in the U.S. and Australia, and today in the rest of the world, Forza Horizon is now ready to be enjoyed by millions of Forza fans all over the planet.
Describing Forza Horizon launch week is like picking from a buffet of awesomeness – we’ve seen photos of Forza fans at midnight launches (some dressed up like cars, no less!) We’ve got two members of the Forza community team (Ian and Alex) traversing Europe and America respectively in Horizon-inspired supercars. We’ve got awesome gift cars going out to Horizon early adopters. But, so far, my favorite aspect of launch week has been more humble but just as satisfying: namely, playing the game with all of you!
Forza Motorsport community photo contest winner from Larko84
This week we held two Game With Dev events for Forza Horizon, one on Wednesday to celebrate the U.S. launch and one just a few hours ago to spotlight the European/UK release of the game. As expected, both sessions turned out to be great fun. It was interesting to hear the perspectives of long-time Forza Motorsport players as they talked about Horizon’s new expression of the Forza series and it was equally gratifying to take them onto the Carson Golf Course and smash into them head-first in a friendly game of the multiplayer playground game “King”. After all, there’s lots of different wants to have fun in Forza Horizon!
The launch of a new Forza game is always full of reasons to celebrate but did you know that this isn’t the only Forza newness we launched this week? Read on in this edition of the Week in Review to find out all the latest!
New Sections for FM.net
It wouldn’t be the launch of a Forza without some awesome additions to FM.net. To coincide with Horizon’s release this week, the team was up late (and I mean LATE) on Monday night to bring you all sorts of cool content and functionality on everybody’s favorite Forza Web site. A few highlights:
Forza Cars – Interested in checking out the cars of Forza Horizon? Head on over to our Horizon Cars section and browse until your clicking finger aches. We’ve even added DLC cars from the Month One Car Pack for you to check out (Personally I’m trying to decide which car I like more: the Lamborghini Aventador J or the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione).
Forza World – Now, the open roads of Colorado are available to explore even when you’re away from your Xbox 360 via the Forza Horizon World section. From Carson to Finley Dam, Kettle Hills to Redfoot Ranch, each section of Horizon’s Colorado gets the spotlight, complete with awesome screenshots showcasing the beauty of Horizon’s open roads.
Community Page – We’ve updated our Community Page to give you the information you need on the various events that are happening in the Forza community. From livery and photo contests (more on those below) to our Game With Dev and Turn 10 Track Day events, if you want to get involved in the community, you’ll find a place here.
Forza Motorsport community photo contest third place from Kesselring1987
Forums – This week we updated and reorganized the FM.net forums. This includes the creation of the “Forza Hub” where general discussions of both Forza Motorsport 4 and Forza Horizon take place, and “Pit Row” a shared set of sections designed to give painters, photographers, drifters, racers, and more a chance to hang out and talk shop. I’m interested in hearing what you think about our forum re-org. If you’ve got an opinion, let us hear it over at the official thread.
My Forza – As always, My Forza continues to be your personal HQ for Forza. Here, you can find your media galleries for both Forza Horizon and Forza Motorsport 4 (click the tab at the top of the page to switch between galleries), as well as see your friends, and check out your achievements. In the future, we’ll be adding more functionality to the My Forza pages – stay tuned for more details soon.
Horizon and SmartGlass
As if that weren’t enough, today also sees the release of the official Forza Horizon SmartGlass Experience, an interactive map of Horizon’s Colorado accessible within the official Microsoft SmartGlass app. The Forza Horizon SmartGlass Experience is available on Windows 8 PCs as of today (you’ll need to download the SmartGlass app to get access to the Horizon experience). Look for IOS support very soon. For more, check out Game Informer’s preview of the Forza Horizon SmartGlass Experience here.
As I mentioned above, we’ve got new photo and livery contests for the first week of the Horizon launch. Our first Photo Mission challenges players to create their own “Finley Dam Postcard”. Head over to the Dam in your favorite car and capture the best possible shot from within the Finley Dam areas. We’ll award the winners with a Mazda MX5 Superlight unicorn car. You can find full details and description of the mission over in its official forum thread.
In addition to the photo mission, we’ve also kicked off our livery contests this week. As in Forza 4, our livery contests are split between “Fantasy” and “Race” themes – so please be sure and include which area you would like to have us judge by specifying “Fantasy” or “Race” in your post. This week’s winners will also receive the MX5 Superlight unicorn car. Read up on all the details for our livery contests here.
Forza Motorsport community photo contest second place from TheSnowy1
A Note About Loyalty Cars
We are aware that some Forza Horizon players are having trouble receiving the Forza Motorsport 4 loyalty cars in the game. The team is aware of this issue and is working to find a solution. As soon as I have more information to share with you all about this, I will.
Vixen’s Halloween Has Returned
Forum favorite and Forza painter extraordinaire Little Vixen has once again brought back what’s become an annual tradition around these parts: The Halloween Bash thread! For the fifth year running, Vixen is hosting her epic Halloween thread, looking for your scariest, coolest, and Halloweeniest (that’s a word, right?) paints in Forza Horizon! In addition, she’s also interested in seeing people’s scariest photos in Horizon – and considering the game’s huge open world and night racing capability, capturing something spooky seems like a natural. After all, doesn’t Bunker remind you of a ghost town?
In addition to all the cool liveries in the thread, look out for next week’s “Trick or Treating” – where everyone who wants to take part can put up his or her paints free for the asking on their storefronts. It’s a great time to pick up some awesome paints for your favorite cars and it only comes one time a year. Check out the Halloween Bash 2012 thread to see the awesome paints or get in on the action yourself in the official sign-up thread.
Black and Gold Raptor
Forza Horizon VIPs, check your Message Center inbox. In addition to all the cool cars you got during the first week of release – you know, like the Saleen S5S Raptor – you guys should have also received a special Raptor of another kind: the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, with an exclusive black and gold skull design. This variant on the black and white LCE Raptor design is just the first of many VIP gift cars to come. In fact, I’d love to see your new VIP Raptors in action. Post some pictures of your VIP Raptor in this week’s Week in Review discussion thread—I’ll award my favorites with a random unicorn gift!
Escape the Grid
The Escape the Grid campaign has completed, with a trip that began in Paris and to and all over the UK. Our man in the UK Ian Webster was there for all of it and has been extremely busy with things like DJ parties, driving extremely expensive cars around Europe… you know the humdrum everyday kinds of things that we all get to do. *COUGH* Anyway, if you missed Ian’s reports on our official Twitter feed, it’s worth a trip through the archives just get a peek at all the awesomeness he was involved with over the week. You can also check out the story we posted yesterday about the ETG program, and see some cool videos taken during the trip. Look for more from Ian next week!
Dan on Smoking Tire
Did you catch Forza creative director Dan Greenawalt’s recent appearance on The Smoking Tire podcast? If not, now’s the chance to hear Dan mix it up with show hosts Matt Farah and Chris Hayes as they chat about Forza Horizon, the car culture within Turn 10, and of course, Dan’s own personal history with the cars he has owned over the years (like the Audi below). In all, a great listen for car fans or those who just want to know more about the making of Forza Horizon.
Dan Greenawalt’s old Audi—so sweet!
Behind the Scenes #4
I’ll forgive you if you missed Tuesday’s release of “Forza Horizon – Behind the Scenes Episode 4” which we released on Tuesday of this week. After all, many of you were playing Forza Horizon for the first time! Now’s a great time to check out the video, which includes an interview with BBC Radio DJ Rob da Bank, the man behind the critically acclaimed soundtrack to Forza Horizon.
On Tuesday, we’ll be announcing the cars in our next DLC pack for Forza Horizon. Until then, if you want to get some clues and guess yourself into oblivion, well that’s exactly why John created this thread in the forums. Good luck, happy guessing, and look for the November DLC announce on Tuesday!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be spending the weekend in Forza Horizon! We’ll see you in Colorado and again here on the site next week!