Forza Motorsport 4 – Week in Review 7/8
ALMS Driver Gunnar Jeannette Visits Turn 10 Studios
If you’ve been following Forza for long, you’ve probably heard his name before: Gunnar Jeannette, professional race car driver, ALMS star… and longtime Forza Motorsport fan. (Check out Gunnar's website here.) Gunnar has been an extended member of the Turn 10 Studios family since the very beginning and has consulted with the Forza team ever since the original Forza Motorsport on Xbox. Last week, Gunnar made his latest stopover in Redmond to check out Forza Motorsport 4 and give his one-of-a-kind feedback to the Turn 10 team.
Having followed Gunnar around for his entire two-day visit, it was fascinating to watch him not only play the game in our hydraulic race sled--attacking each track with increasing aggression lap after lap—but also provide extremely detailed feedback on all aspects of the game. From the traction capabilities of various cars, to the brightness of certain instruments inside an ALMS cockpit, Gunnar’s experience runs the gamut from supercars to race machinery and it shows. From what I saw, it reminded me of what a real test-driver does on the track—drive a few laps, then pull into the pits to discuss the performance with the race engineers. Only, in this case, the “engineers” were a group of Turn 10 developers, notepads in hand, busily taking notes.
In addition to trying out the cars of Forza 4—all powered by the game’s completely overhauled tire physics system—Gunnar also brought a wealth of knowledge regarding the tracks in the game. As a pro driver, Gunnar has spent a lot of time driving on many of the world’s greatest tracks, and so he has first-hand experience with many of the circuits that will be part of Forza 4. In addition to getting seat time on old favorites like Road Atlanta and Road America, Gunnar also spent time on each of the brand new tracks that will be part of Forza 4, including the Top Gear Test Track and the Bernese Alps track, both of which made their debut at E3 2011.
As with the cars, it was fascinating to watch Gunnar critique the tracks with our art team, providing the kind of in-depth feedback that can only come from someone who has driven these tracks in race conditions and at speed. I was struck by the precision of his commentary—at one point, he mentioned that a set of orange cones at Sebring needed to move about a foot or two out from the edge of the track. It seemed superhuman, but of course anyone as skilled as Gunnar who’s spent so many hours lapping these tracks could probably point out these minute details, too. That didn’t make it seem any less amazing. Still, it’s the kind of feedback that Turn 10 developers cherish, as it makes every detail on each track in the game that much more authentic.
Look for more from Gunnar Jeannette and his experiences visiting Turn 10 and seeing Forza Motorsport 4 in the coming months.
BMW Design Challenge
Have you submitted a design for the Forza Motorsport 4 BMW Design Challenge yet? We’ve had great response from the community, with lots of folks sending in their custom designs for the 2010 BMW M6 Coupe so far, and we’re hungry for more. The process is simple:
- Download the M6 Coupe template,
- Get your Photoshop on (or GIMP, or Illustrator, or whatever design software you use),
- Create an unflattened (with layers), high resolution (300 DPI) file. Save it on your computer and submit a JPEG version to email@example.com by Sunday, July 31.
- Submissions should not exceed 10MB in size and please include the subject line “Forza Motorsport 4 BMW Design Community Challenge” in your e-mail.
That’s all there is to it! The winner of this contest will have their specially designed livery appear on the BMW M6 Coupe as part of the upcoming Limited Collector’s Edition of Forza 4. Get in on the contest while there’s still time!
Pre-Order Incentives Program
Perhaps you’ve seen the “Pre-Order” page of FM.net. Perhaps you’ve even clicked through to one of the many fine retailers where you can pre-order your own copy of Forza 4 before its release starting October 11. But perhaps something is holding you back… for one reason or another, you just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
If you’re one of those Forza fans still on the fence about pre-ordering, our Forza Motorsport 4 Preorder Incentive Program is for you. Over the coming months until launch the Forza community team will be preparing in-game gifts for those of you who pre-order the game. We did a similar program for Forza 3 so long-time fans probably know how this works. For new folks, here’s how you can get in on the ground floor:
- Send a copy of your pre-order receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can scan it or take a photo of the receipt but it needs to be clearly legible and recognizable as a Forza 4 pre-order receipt.
- The subject line of your e-mail to email@example.com should ONLY be your Gamertag and you should include the photo of your receipt as an attachment.
- Then sign onto Facebook and leave us a message on our wall, or log onto Twitter and Tweet that you preorded the game using the hashtag “#buyforza4.”
We will be sending out the pre-order incentive gifts to all participants of the Forza Motorsport 4 Pre-Order Incentive Program. However, just as with Forza 3, you must have an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership in order to receive gifts in Forza Motorsport 4. If you’ve been holding off on getting a Gold Membership, maybe the incentive gifts will help you decide to upgrade!
Remember, if you change your Gamertag between now and ship date on October 11, send us another email with your new Gamertag in the subject line to ensure that you get your gift. Look for additional details on the gifts you’ll be receiving in the coming months and thanks for pre-ordering Forza 4!
Finally this week, I leave you with a few more photos from the Nürburgring 24 Hour race from a couple of weeks ago. While walking down the grid before the start of the race, packed with people and the approximately 200 cars that started the race, my first inclination was to take as many shots of cars as I possibly could. But amidst all the cars and their awesome little details—check out the shot below of the side window of a car complete with driver names and blood types—there was more cool stuff to see than cars. Take a look below and enjoy!
If the planets align, we hope to kick off the announcements of the cars of Forza Motorsport 4 beginning next week. Stay tuned!