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How Forza 4 made digital driving real

Forza 4 takes gaming up a gear with revolutionary, Hollywood-inspired graphics that deliver a game so real you can almost smell the alacantara leather. From the electrifying roster of over 500 glistening cars to the most exciting tracks from around the world, gamers and motorsport lovers will be stunned the blistering detail. Every arch, interior and apex has been meticulously rendered using ground-breaking graphics, ready for petrol or pixel heads to jump into the driving seat of the ultimate driving experience.

How the cars look so stunning

With a gleaming line-up of over 500 cars, ranging from the entertaining to the exotic, Forza 4 brings the most drool-worthy collection of metal ever seen in a game brought to lifelike detail thanks to a ground-breaking graphical technique called Image-Based Lighting. Used in Hollywood movies, the crack team at Turn10 take the light from the environment around the car and reflect it off the paintwork for an eye-popping, photo-realistic model that looks as glorious in AutoVista as it does screeching around Laguna Seca at dusk. The inspiring lighting and shading techniques allow rendered cars to take on real-world effects never seen before, and a gripping physics engine that uses real-world data combines for unparalleled realism. Using Kinect, you can get even closer to the rarest cars in the world: take the opportunity to check out the intricately replicated interior or press your face up to the paintwork and still see it in polygon-perfect detail.

Sound Recording techniques

Turn 10's attention to detail in Forza is fast becoming the stuff of legend, and so it is of no surprise to see its employees out doing themselves again with the lengths they will go to in ensuring accuracy within its new release. Take, for example, their approach to the sound recording. When driving real cars drivers are, of course, responding to effects of G forces and momentum in order to keep things tight. When playing a video game, by necessity sound replaces a lot of those signals, so it's vital it's done right. With that in mind, hundreds of cars have been brought into the company's garages and placed onto a dyno with highly sensitive microphones placed around it. Each one is then gunned hard, while the sound guys painstakingly endeavour to capture every bit of wheel spin and brake lock the cars kick out. That way, when you're at full throttle through the Bernese Alps and things start to get twitchy, you'll have what you need to stay in control.


Regardless of how good the cars look, sound and feel, a true simulation game needs locations and tracks brimming with realism and integrity to be successful. Here Forza Motorsport 4 excels, and a wealth of tracks, both actual and fictional, have been replicated with minute attention to detail. All locations were visited by development team Turn 10, who took on average 10,000 photos at each venue, documenting everything from grandstands to scenery, and used GPS mapping to ensure tracks were replicated as accurately as currently possible. Pro racing drivers were then asked to drive the computerised courses, providing unique insight and perspective to each circuit, ensuring the greatest levels of realism from a racers view. A new graphics lighting engine has been developed with experts from animation studio Pixar to ensure Forza Motorsport 4 is one of the best looking racing games ever, while the all-new Autovista mode allows you to, with the help of Xbox Kinect, literally walk around, sit in and start up some of the most exotic cars in the world - and you even get Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear giving his views on each machine.

Forza Motorsport 4 Tips

1. Over 500 cars to master on track 2. Profile Import lets people load up their profiles from Forza 3 3. Forza Motosport 4 features a host of official Top Gear content, including a chance to race the Star In a Reasonably Priced Car Kia round the shows test track 4. Autovista mode lets you use kinect to walk round, climb in and startup your favourite motors from the game 5. Halo's Warthog makes a special appearance as an unlockable car 6. To ensure car handling is as real as possible, tire manufacturer Pirelli provided the developers with data from custom designed tests 7. Use Microsoft Kinect to steer the cars round your favourite courses 8. Developers of the game brought in graphics experts from Hollywood studios including Pixar to help boost the gamers visual experience


We caught up with Forza 4's Game Director Dan Greenawalt to see what about the game has him most revved. There's huge excitement about the game's release, why does Forza capture people's imagination like this? I think Forza Motorsport 4 is about speaking not only to car lovers but gamers in general. We're trying to build a larger car community because at heart this is about car culture and how we bring people together. So while we do great things with racing simulation and graphics, we also do amazing things with community. What's the most extreme detail you went to in order to ensure accuracy? It's kind of across the board, but the way we treat the tracks and having race car drivers come in, those are the sort of things that 0.01 percent of our drivers would ever notice, because you have to have driven the track, not just at speed, but in anger, to even notice that. This is the first time you've used Kinect, what sort of things can you do with it? Auto Vista, where you can walk around the car, open up doors and hear witty comments from Jeremy Clarkson. Head Tracking, where you can move your head to the edges of the screen, look through the apex and power through. There's Kinect Voice, which allows you to navigate the entire UI just using your voice. And then we have Kinect Driving, where you put your hands at ten and two, and that's about sitting down with your kids or your mates and just having fun. What Easter Eggs have you got hidden for us in the game? First off, Profile Import. If you've played a lot of Forza Motorsport 3, when you start the new game we gift cars into your garage based on what level you were at, as well as certain cars that we've been keeping under wraps. But the even cooler secrets are in Auto Vista mode. Here, you have to unlock cars by doing challenges with them and if you unlock half of the cars, you get a special secret car. If you unlock them all, you unlock the Warthog from Halo 4. Tell us a couple of your favourite features. Rivals mode, lets you play with the Kia Cee'd on the Top Gear test track - the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. If you beat my time I can challenge you back and that, on our team, has been wildly addictive. And, of course, we have Top Gear integration throughout the game, with Top Gear Car Football, where you get people playing in teams where the defender is a Q5 and the midfield are Evos and then the front line are Ferrari's and they're all painted by a great painter - it's not only about racing, it's about cars and the painting and it just brings the car culture together nicely.