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Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 4/13/12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, April 13, 2012

A leaderboard is a cruel mistress. That’s my takeaway this week as I’ve been knee-deep in trying to claw my way up the Time Trials leaderboard by forcing down my lap time on Infineon Raceway’s NASCAR Circuit. It all started last week, when I put out a call for tunes for my Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S (a car featured in this month’s April Alpinestars Car Pack), which I’ve been using to run in the Rear Wheel Drive Time Trial event in Rivals Mode.


Last week I set a time of 1:31.5 in a bone-stock Quattro as a baseline of comparison. Then I put the call out to the Forza community: Put up a tune on the Forza Motorsport 4 storefront for the car and, if I download and it improves my time on the leaderboard, you get a unicorn. Simple right?


Well, yes. Simple and amazingly popular as it turns out. Though we did something similar last month with the bulbous ball of awesome that is the Ford Country Squire, the number of created tunes has roughly quadrupled this time around. Either you guys hated the Squire, you love the Maserati, or the word is getting around.


Community photo contest winner first place PSYCOT1C KILL3R 

Regardless, I’m now met with the great problem of having far more tunes available to me than I can reasonably try out given my relatively limited time. So, having discussed the problems in our dedicated thread, I’ve made some small changes to this competition that I hope will improve things.


I originally envisioned running this competition all month. Quickly, I realized that isn’t possible because of the sheer number of tunes that have been created (and those yet to come). As a result, I’m shortening this Maserati-themed event to two weeks. In next week’s Week in Review, I’ll review the final list of unicorn winners and announce the next Rivals Mode/car combo we’ll be doing. The next event may only go for a week or so; we’ll play it by ear.


In the meantime, I’ll be trying as many tunes as possible for the Maserati Quattroporte. However, I already know that I will not get to every tune. Realistically, I’ll probably only get to a fraction of the tunes that are created for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate every tune you make, and want to sincerely try them all; it’s a lack of available time.


Honorable mention from the community photo contest striker2 
So, with lots of tunes out there, and a finite amount of time for me to check them out, how can you get your tune noticed? First and foremost, I encourage you to use the description field. Give me tips on how to use your tune. Is your tune designed for assists? Does it require any special handling for certain corners, or certain gears? Better yet: amuse me. Make me think or make me laugh. Write a haiku dedicated to your tune. Or a dirty limerick (okay, not too dirty). Get me to notice your tune however you can, and there’s a better chance I’ll download it and take it for a spin.


Second, and this is important: Create just one tune for me. I’m keeping track of everyone whose tune I’ve tried. If your name pops up more than once on my list, I’m going to move on to the next person’s tune. Instead of flooding the storefront with multiple tunes hoping to be noticed, put all your effort in a single tune. I want to give as many people a chance to enter and win as possible.


With all of this said, I want to recognize the winners from this past week. Each of these Forza community folks created a tune for me that moved me up the leaderboard, eventually landing me at a 1:27.1 (as of the time of this writing). Congrats to all of you:


Daylight Rider
CPU M Rossi


In addition, I want to give a special recognition to DarkGods007 and BlmThug, both of whom made tunes that I absolutely loved driving, even though they didn’t affect my leaderboard position. Well done everyone!


Now, for the rest of you: the job gets tougher. With a week left to go before this event shuts down, I’ve got a fairly respectable time on the leaderboard. So the challenge now becomes excising tenths or hundredths of seconds from my lap time, as opposed to lopping off big chunks of time. Nonetheless, if you think you’ve got a special tune that will put me sub-1:27 territory, put it on the Forza Motorsport 4 storefront (with the tag QUATTROMECHBERG).


Community photo contest winner second place x iJean 

Oh, and there’s also the matter of a name for this little ongoing tuning challenge. After I put out thecall for an official name I saw a ton of different names in our forum thread, ranging from the sublime (“McTunealds”, “MechTunes”) to the ridiculous (multiple bacon-themed name suggestions, including the incredible “Burgers And Cars Often Necessary”) to the potentially copyright-infringing (“MechWars”, “MechWarrior”).



In the end, I came down to four finalists. Here’s the three honorable mentions (all of whom will receive a random unicorn car as a thank-you):


Mechberg’s Mechanics – Z z Chief z Z 

BLT: Brian’s Leaderboard Tunes – LazarusJackson 

Mechberg’s Tune Up -- LiQu1d Sw0rDz 


And finally, our winner—"Made for Mech"—suggested by Jureidini. It’s not the flashiest name (and it doesn't feature bacon), but it’s effective, alliterative, and gets the point across. Congrats Jureidini! A unicorn car is coming your way too.


Now, let’s move on with the rest of the Week in Review!


Game With Dev Wrap Up 

On Thursday we held another insane, awesome, and action-packed Game With Dev event in Forza Motorsport 4. Based solely on the sheer number of people in the chat room on our official Facebook page this week, it looks like our GWD events are growing in size and scope. They certainly keep the community team busy, as we try to get in as many rooms as we can to offer all of you a chance to win a prized unicorn car.


What I noticed this week—and one of the reasons I love doing these events—is how everyone treats them slightly differently. Each member of the Forza community team has his own approach to putting their GWD lobbies together. John and I stick to circuit race events (though I sometimes throw in the occasional drift event to keep players on their toes). Fred almost exclusively plays soccer and Javier usually goes for games like Cat & Mouse and Tag (often with crazy restrictions on the cars).


Of course, while we do get to play with lots of Forza 4 community members during GWD events, we can’t get everyone in on a race. Over the years, we’ve tried multiple methods for getting people involved—from inviting players by Gamertag, to pure random lobby jumping, and our current Facebook-centric chat room. The fact is, regardless of how we run our events, there will always people that will get left out. If you don’t make it into a GWD event, keep trying. We appreciate everyone who comes out and we'll keep looking for ways to improve things as we go. We plan on running GWD events on a regular basis in the coming months, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get in and race with us.


Honorable mention from the community photo contest xWannabeStigx 


Community Bounty Update 

This week’s Commuity Bounty is the tuning garage Atlantic LS. If you beat their time in the Forza Tourenwagen Rivals Mode event (which you can find in the Community Monthly section of Rivals Mode), you’ll win a custom-tuned 2011 BMW Z4, complete with a sweet Hankook paint job. The driver you need to aim for is HLR Foot, who has posted a 1:43.813 in the event (as of this writing). You can also follow along with Atlantic LS’sCommunity Bounty thread in the forums to find out all the latest on how this bounty hunt is progressing.


VIP Rivals Mode Poll 

Forza 4 VIPs will be driving hatchback models in next month’s VIP Rivals Mode event, thanks to our just-wrapped poll on our official Facebook page. This week, we’re looking for you to choose the region you wish to race in: Europe, Asia, or North America. Head to our Facebook page to find the latest poll and let your voice be heard!


Community photo contest winner third place Viva La Bloke 


Heavy Metal Affliction 

Did you have a chance to check out our new weekly column, Heavy Metal Affliction? If not, read it now! This regular column is dedicated to the love of all things automotive in the real world—from fixer uppers restored to former glory, to special projects happening at a local garage near you. This week we put the spotlight on Forza community member CAMAROBOY68SS who, along with his grandfather, recently restored a 1968 Camaro SS to a fine example of American Muscle.


We’re always on the hunt for stories and great cars to be featured in Heavy Metal Affliction. If you’ve got a car you’ve resurrected, a project you’re knee-deep in at the moment, or know of a local garage that is doing incredible work, we want to hear from you! Head over to our thread in the forums and tell us about it. Who knows? You might be the next Forza community member to come down with your own case of HMA.


Turn 10 Track Days 

A quick reminder: our next Turn 10 Track Day event is coming on Saturday! If you’ve never been part of a Turn 10 Track Day event, here’s the lowdown: Essentially a viewing party for race events throughout the season, Turn 10 Track Days are a chance for the Forza Motorsport community to come together around our shared love of pushing tin around race tracks. We watch the race on TV, chat about the action on our official Facebook page, and generally have a great time. Oh and did I mention the prizes? We give away unicorn cars in the process, so that’s one more reason to be there.


This Saturday, we’ll be watching the American Le Mans Seriesat Long Beach race. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 here in the U.S. (as well as via the ESPN app on Xbox LIVE). Join us on the Turn 10 Track Days page on Facebook to join in! The action begins at 4:30 p.m. Pacific. See you there!


Honorable mention in our community photo contest FirebirdPilot 

Rogue Motorsport @ Britcar 24 

Last year, the UK-based Rogue Motorsport team ran a Forza Motorsport 4 Toyota MR2 at the Britcar 24 Hour Race. In the following video, the team talks about what it’s like building the car for the Britcar endurance race, how car setups in Forza Motorsport 4 mimic those in real life, and what it takes to find success in a grueling event like the Britcar 24 Hour. If you’re a fan of motorsports, you don’t want to miss this video, which features some amazing in-car footage.