Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 8/12

Brian Ekberg
Sunday, August 14, 2011

We are getting close, yes we are. With each passing day Turn 10 gets a bit closer to putting the finishing touches on Forza Motorsport 4. The game will soon be in the hands of the mysterious folks at Microsoft who take our automotive bits and translate them into something that you’ll be able to pop into your Xbox 360 starting October 11 and play until you’ve got blisters. While we’d love to have you playing Forza 4 the second we sign off on it, unfortunately all that magic takes time.

 

The last few weeks have been incredible, watching the game come together in the home stretch of development and bug-killing, and the game is looking incredible. There’s been a running Forza 4 photography e-mail thread among Turn 10 employees, featuring one jaw-dropping shot of automotive exquisiteness after the next, and we’ve got Rivals mode rivalries happening throughout the Turn 10 HQ that have been a lot of fun to compete in.

 

ALMS_5

 

I’ll admit that, while it took me some time to get into Rivals mode, I’m now fully hooked. From my earliest gaming days, I’ve been a traditional racer—I love dicing it out with other people on the track, some of whom are quicker and some of whom are slower. However, the more I’ve played Rivals mode events, the more I’ve come to appreciate it as an entirely new way of thinking about racing online.
We’ve got a big story brewing about Rivals mode which will break the mode down in much more detail. Stay tuned for that coming very soon.

 

Bondurant Visits Turn 10 

 

We’ve had some great visitors come through the halls of Turn 10 recently, from pro race drivers like Tanner Foust and Gunnar Jeannette to musicians like Bryan Culbertson. But, in terms of excitement level, I don’t think anything can touch last week’s visit by racing legend and driving instructor extraordinaire Bob Bondurant, who dropped by Turn 10 last week to see a work-in-progress version of Forza 4. While he was here, Bob got some seat time in the game, driving a virtual version of the car he is perhaps most closely associated with. We haven’t officially announced this car yet so I’m opening up the floor to you folks: if you’ve got a guess of which car I’m referring to, leave your answer at our official Facebook page. Next week, we’ll officially announce the car and pick one random winner from the correct guesses.

 

8_11_studio_visit

 

Car Announces Galore! 

 

This past week has been another great one for car announcements in Forza Motorsport 4. In addition to announcing a host of ALMS cars in conjunction with our partnership announcement with the American Le Mans Series, we also pulled the covers back on some awesome additions to the Forza Garage, including two gems from 1988: the Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R and the Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV.

 

Next week, however, promises to be the biggest week yet in terms of car and track announcements here on FM.net. If all goes to plan, we will be unveiling brand new sections on the site that will be solely dedicated to the cars and tracks of Forza Motorsport 4. Look for more information on that in the near future. We’ll also be announcing a brand new track to Forza Motorsport 4… you don’t want to miss it.

 

Starting next week, we’ll be bumping up our car announce cadence on our Twitter and Facebook. We love hearing your feedback on all the cars and tracks we’ve announced so far as well as the cars and circuits you’d still like to see in the game. Hit us up on the forums or on our Twitter or Facebook accounts and let your voice be heard!

 

 Now it’s time to let our own Alex Kierstein let HIS voice be heard in our weekly automotive Q&A section we call Ask Alex…


AA_8_12

 


How has independent rear ends change the way cars handle opposed to a solid rear end? 

 

This is a great question, and the answer's really complicated (and probably too long to sum up in an Ask Alex segment), but I know a lot of folks want to know about this. I also know that Forza 4 has a ton of cars with all sorts of suspension types. There are lots of resources to learn more about suspension, but one of the most in-depth is the HowStuffWorks article here (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-suspension.htm). There are probably others, but that one has lots of info. I don't like the Wikipedia articles as much, but explore over there for the clear diagrams of different suspension designs. But, as a very short answer, the bottom line is that a solid rear end us much stronger and suitable for applications like drag racing, but its higher unsprung weight hurts ride and handling, and bumps can change the camber (vertical angle) of both tires. That camber change can negatively impact handling. It's a good rule of thumb that independent rear suspension (IRS) allows for more options--better ride, and better handling.

 

Looking back to the early to mid 20th century, what were the cars ahead of their time?  Will they be in FM4?  

 

I’ve been waiting to answer this one for a while! While there are plenty of cars that were groundbreaking but came around too soon (think of, perhaps, the turbocharged Chevrolet Corvair, which isn't in the game but was definitely ahead of its time), I have some good news: the Dacia Sandero easily takes the cake. Moving right along...

 

What made the first generation Mustang popular in the USA? 

 

I'm running out of Ask Alex real estate here, but I wanted to quickly answer this one, because as you all probably know by now, the first-generation Mustang (specifically, the 1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe) is part of the special "Ship Bonus" back for people who order the game early. It also happens to be one of my favorite cars, even though I am not specifically a Ford guy. When equipped with a K-Code “Hi-Po” 289, it’s a strong-performer, and it looks great… but what made it so popular? Timing. Baby boomers were becoming young adults and wanted to hit the open road and celebrate their freedom, and with the 1960s came an increased focus on youth. Suddenly, young people were a significant cultural force, and marketers scrambled to appeal to them (and their dollars). Ford's ad team threw together a great teaser ad campaign that ramped up interest. And when Ford finally pulled back the cover, what was revealed was a fun, youthful, and highly customizable car--perfect for the first-time buyer, or existing customers. Within the first year-and-a-half, Ford sold nearly 700,000—an industry record that still stands. There's not really a modern equivalent that appeals to such a broad audience, but if you imagine a car that excited the import custom crowd, the American muscle folks, and also a significant number of regular car people who just wanted a good-looking, inexpensive car—all at the same time—then you're close to understanding what the Mustang was. Will we see another model that appeals to such a broad audience? It's hard to say, but I think it's possible.


 

FM4_1988_Mitsubishi_Starion_2

 

Thanks Alex! Remember, if you’ve got a question you want answered about cars, Forza Motorsport 4, or life in general you can send us an e-mail at forzafb@microsoft.com with the subject line “ASK ALEX.” If we pick your question, we’ll send you a DVD copy of the first season of Top Gear USA.

 

That’s all for this week! Next week promises to be huge for Forza 4—we’ll be on-hand at Cologne, Germany for GamesCom, I’ll be in Canada to show off the game to our friends in the Great White North and we’ll have lots of announcements and Forza fun to show off. Have a great weekend everyone!