Forza Week in Review 8-9-19
This week has been bittersweet for Your Humble Community Manager. After all, this was the week that the final update for Forza Motorsport 7 was launched and, as I was posting the announcement of the August 2019 update here on FM.net, I couldn’t help but feel a heady mix of emotions – from nostalgia to sadness to satisfaction, and some that I couldn’t quite identify.
For me, Forza Motorsport 7 showed the best of what Turn 10 is capable of. From a launch that we can generously describe as “challenged” to where we are today in August 2019, this has been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs and tremendous passion and dedication from the Forza Motorsport 7 team. That focus, effort, and care manifested itself in a whopping 35 updates over the course of nearly two full years after release. That’s more updates than any previous Forza Motorsport game received by a fair margin, and those updates were brought to life in features that made Forza Motorsport 7 a more fair, fun, and complete game month after month.
Those 35 updates included foundational features like Forza Race Regulations and updated Track Limits, new drift features, and the introduction of Race Shop. There were community-requested features too, including ghosting of lapped players in multiplayer, Class-Based Time Attack, mid-race ghosts in Rivals events, the new and improved Paint Space options, among others. Then there were more esoteric additions that broadened the scope of the game – from Photo Mode Panning Focus Mode, the aptly named Experimental Drag mode, and others. Not to mention countless fixes and improvements that covered cars, tracks, audio, UI, localization, and more. I’m proud of the game we’ve built and even more proud of the tremendous work that the entire Forza team put into this game along this journey. If you’re reading this, I’m glad you were along for the journey too.
So, let’s pour one out for the final update for Forza 7 and jump into this week’s edition of the Week in Review!
Forza Motorsport 7 August 2019 Update
Twelve seconds and you’re out. That’s the bottom line in Forza Race Regulations (FRR)-enabled lobbies. With the August 2019 update for Forza Motorsport 7, we have introduced disqualifications into the FRR system. Disqualifications are the final element in the FRR formula as it stands in Forza 7, which started with updated track limits and corner cutting penalties and then evolved to include collisions between vehicles. The missing link has been consequences for racking up penalty time – which brings us to DQs.
As we broke down in our August 2019 Update announcement, when playing in a Forza Race Regulations-enabled lobby (either public or private), players who rack up 10 seconds of penalty time during a race will enter “probation” (essentially a warning state). After twelve seconds of penalty time, that player will be disqualified, removed from the event, and then end up in the Hopper Select screen.
Twelve seconds of penalty time is a lot for a typical 7- to 9-minute race like those found in the FRR Public Beta Hopper. That said, twelve seconds is probably too little for players who prefer longer endurance races with FRR rules enabled. As Forza Motorsport designer Matt Sentell explained on Monday’s edition of “Forza Monthly,” that time penalty threshold was the result of a lot of internal testing, with the realization that no single number would be perfect for all cases. While user-controlled time thresholds were out of scope for this update, players who want to run endurance events in private lobbies do have the options to disable DQs altogether in the event setup options.
The August 2019 update also introduced the new 2019 Porsche #4 Porsche Motorsport 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, a track-ready beast of a car that is capable right out of the box with minimal tuning and, by the looks of things in the community, is a great canvas for some custom livery work. Alongside the Porsche, perhaps the best news for our dyed-in-the-wool racers is a small but impactful change to the Forza 7 in-race UI: distances between cars in the mini-leaderboard now default to time (measured in seconds and tenths) as opposed to distance. This is a feature Forza fans have been requesting for a long time and it’s great to get it in now, not just to check that box on the Community Wish List, but also because a change like this will impact how players, streamers, and even broadcasters in the Forza Racing Championship will talk about races in the game.
‘Forza Monthly’ Recap
We had the first of two August episodes of “Forza Monthly” this past Monday, covering not just the latest Forza Motorsport 7 news, but also diving into the Series 12 update for Forza Horizon 4, including the release of the new LEGO Speed Championship Porsche 911 3.0 Turbo barn find, as well as one of the two new Showcase Remix events. We also welcomed Turn 10’s Elliott Lyons to the show to catch viewers up with the latest in the world of the Forza Racing Championship. During the conversation, Elliott talked about the importance of the format/broadcast tests we did back in May, and about some of the details around the upcoming competition. Look for more information, including the announcement of the dates of the 2019 ForzaRC season in our August 27th edition of the show.
Wait, two episodes in August? In a word, yes. With monthly updates ending for Forza Motorsport 7, and news on the next Forza game still to come, we’ve made some changes to the “Forza Monthly” show schedule to better align with other things happening in the Forza Universe. In the short term, that means two “monthly” shows in August.
One final note about “Forza Monthly” – if you missed the Q&A section with Forza Motorsport creative director Chris Esaki, you missed him talking about one of the “big ideas” of our next game: “Built, Not Bought.” (Fast forward to the 56:30 mark for Chris’ full remarks). How that idea will manifest itself in the next game is still very much a point of discussion and debate – as Chris also mentioned on the show, we are currently in “Sprint 2” of our development timeline – but it’s worth noting that viewers will likely hear more about this “big idea” in future editions of the show. Exciting stuff!
Forza Horizon 4 | Autumn
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Ford Crown Vic are now up for grabs in the Autumn season changeover in Forza Horizon 4. The Karmann Ghia is one of the new VW models introduced with the Series 12 update for the game, alongside the new Series rewards, the Cadillac Escalade and the Mosler MT800S. Also among the Autumn season events and rewards, we’ve got the 1967 VW Notchback available as part of the “Racing Through the Years – 1960s” event, the Maserati Tipo 61 in the “Out of Retirement” Season Event, and the 2013 BMW M6 Forza Edition available in the “Family Car Frenzy” Season Event.
#ForzaFriday With Dan Greenawalt
Forza creative director Dan Greenawalt joins us today on #ForzaFriday, where we’ll be looking back at the past two years of Forza Motorsport 7 development and looking ahead to the future of Forza. In celebration of its final update, we’ll be spending the full show in Forza 7 and of course, we’ll be answering your questions along the way. Join us on the official Mixer and Twitch channels starting at 3 p.m. Pacific.
Before we head out for the weekend, here’s a look at the Forza Streaming calendar for next week. See you then!
The next edition of the Forza Week in Review will be published on August 30th.