I've been lucky enough to be invited to Playground Games' studio for an In-Person Study

I’m going this Thursday, to enjoy a tour of the studio, meet some of the developers, and tell them my thoughts on Forza.

I’d like to gather as much information as I can to take back to Playground, which will be presented in an honest, professional fashion. But as I generally only play multiplayer (ranked and quickplay) these days, I may not be familiar with issues affecting other components of the game.

If anyone has an issue they would like me to pass on, be it a feature request, or a long-standing bug that should be prioritized, I’d be more than happy to raise it, as long as it’s constructive.

FWIW, I am a qualified IT project manager, experienced in design and development, product management, implementation and support. I started a thread over on r/forza, and I’ve already garnered some great feedback. My plan is to log every issue reported, then try to gain some consensus among the community as to the priority of each.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

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Hi, and thanks for the opportunity I hope you enjoy your day in the land of Forza.

To start I’ll place my list in order of what I personally believe to be the most important aspects, that of which reflect what causes issues and annoyance:

  1. Cheating

The leaderboards are full of impossible achievement figures, from jumps of over 2,000 meters in a peel to trialblazers being completed in under 7 seconds. The rivals boards littered with impossible times with cars that everyone knows can’t achieve such lap abilities.

We see the AH full of overpriced cars based on an unfair market produced by I’ll gotten gains, be it from ‘God Saves’ to ‘Car Cloaning’. Which leads me onto number 2.

  1. AH Pricing and Macros

Forza has the most unfair auction pricing in any game, based on the ranking of tunes and paints v grafting. Meaning that if you have a thousand ‘YouTube’ fans, your most likely going to gain the ability to auction cars at 20 million. ( I know there are others who’ve worked hard to gain this as well as YouTubers, so no disrespect meant). A totally unrealistic price even based on how rare a car is.

Each user should by default have the option to select the price they wish to sell their car, not being based on system which has zero input into the graft taken to gain such a rare item.

Further to this a system be put in place for each search of the AH to be verified by a human prior to search commencing, thus preventing the use of ‘Computer Code’ to snipe rare cars.

  1. AI

The AI is broken, they drive without rules and regulations gaining unfair advantage on cornering and checkpoint areas (completely skipping them). The aggressive behaviour welcomes ramming by their nature there by carrying this into teambased races. Lower the aggressive behaviour will lead to cleaner racing throughout the game.

  1. Microphone Usage

The game suffers badly from the lack of communication, a simple 4 button based text message system isn’t ideal when needing to communicate to a team member.

It’s so much easier to say ‘Hey mate calm the ramming’ than clicking on ‘Nice Driving’

A fix for this need done ASAP.

  1. Modify DLC Championships

At present the DLC’S have a fixed Championship for each season, unlike mainland they don’t change. There should be the same thought put into the DLC’S playability as that of the mainland, after all these were paid for by the community and now seem deserted in place of the Festival Playlist on mainland.

For those with DLC’S add additional Festival activities throughout these DLC’S.

  1. Listening to the Community

The community talks together, there are hundreds of ideas, comments and suggestions which go unnoticed or simply ignored, more times than not when a suggestion is made or asked in a live stream the reply is ‘no we can’t do that’, without a true explanation.

We’ve had some fantastic suggestions such as extending the mainland, open the Forth Road Bridge add in the Isle of Man etc, all to go unnoticed. Okay I understand licensing etc, but the like of opening up the bridge and using the land to include some off-road tracks, or even adding Knockhill which is in real-life just over it, would bring more of a ‘Real Britain’ feel to the game.

  1. Enough Mustangs (personal opinion sorry all)

I’m all for new cars but there has to be a limit on how many variations of the same model is available, I’m sure the community would appreciate if some of the wishlist cars were included but instead we see a difference variation of the same car as such added.

  1. More customisation

Forza is starting to fall behind in this aspect. We are limited to the same rims the same wing the same bumper that has been around for ages. A choice of manufacturers Wings, Breaks, even Tyres would be a great addition. The licencing must be already available when the usage of logos etc are available in paints, so why not include these customisations by asking these companies if they mind stamping their logo into the sidewall of a tyre. The possibility of doing this is available in game as their is already cars with manufacturers names on the tyre wall.

  1. Servers

The servers feel old and tired, even this very site takes a decade to load. Time and time again people are booted from online racing due to servers not being able to keep up. It would be highly welcomed to see more investment being put into the online aspects.

Sorry for the long list but I’m hoping that it’s what your looking for and that it is of some use for you.

Enjoy your visit and keep us all posted on how it went.

Mat.

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Prepare to receive data dump…

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Isn’t welcoming customer feedback, early and often, a core principle of modern software development?

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Huh??? I don’t know what you’re trying to insinuate here, but whatever it is, you can save it and keep it to yourself. I guess you’ve never heard of a document dump? OP put out a request for feedback to be hand-delivered to development team, to which I and others are more than happy to comply with and I signaled as such in a place-keeping post where I will be dumping data, MY data and feedback, as others have already done. What about that could you possibly have a problem with? Geez.

Bring it on, man. The more data the better. As has been pointed out, there are many long-standing, legacy issues that are not even acknowledged on the Known Issues page.

Literally everything is going into my spreadsheet (but unfortunately not today, as I am going up to Leamington tomorrow and I’m busy finalising my thoughts, views, and hopes for the game.

Probably next week, once the issue list (working title Forza Motorsport Community Solutions Log) is fully populated, I will assign a provisional priority to each item. I will then send a copy to anyone who wants one. I’d like to invite everyone to attend some kind of web conference thingy, where we can discuss the issues in detail, and hopefully find a consensus on the importance of each.

There are a lot of big issues, that are glaringly obvious to us all. Most of these have already been raised by players both here and r/forza and are slated for the list.

What I’m really interested in are what I like to call Broken Windows. Small, niggly, low priority stuff that’s been around for ages. The stuff that makes you sigh or roll your eyes. For me, every time I turn the game on I have to go into settings and turn on Streamer Mode, as well as having to turn my radio off every time I fire up the game.

That’s the sweet meat, the stuff I’m really after.

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Could you post a link to it here, so we don’t have to ask you individually over and over?

Well, then in my case it’s the controls, shifting from my custom 1 to the default 16 setup when I run the game, but it’s not always, I think it’s on Thursdays.

But that is a minor quirk and I’d rather have you talk about tougher pieces of flesh. Think of a car, and compare a broken windshield with a warning light that’s always on for exactly no reason, I’d prefer to spend money and time to have the former fixed…

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I loved this series. It is or should I say was the last series that didn’t jump the shark for me. So many franchises have gone completely off the rails and I never thought this series would follow. They implemented so many annoying things while removing things that were what made the series what it was in the 1st place. Rivals being a great example which has finally been brought back. It’s still a bare bones basic mode though with OP cars running the show. I’m looking at you Boneshaker and Track-Tor.

Anyway if there was 1 thing that would get me to play this game again more often it would be to bring back the skill system for online adventure. Tweak it, change it, add to it, take away from it, do whatever. Just bring it back as that’s what made this series different and appealing to all kinds of drivers. As it is now it’s just not fun and rather than fix it they keep throwing band-aids on a fatal wound. The ranking system is atrocious. There are tons of posts with people venting about how much time they spent to gain rank only to have it stripped away and more with 1 bad championship finish. What’s the point in playing online if you are getting punished more than rewarded? It’s bad enough that there are so many toxic players and now you get punished for spending your time battling it out with them. At the absolute very least if they aren’t going to change online adventure back to the skill points system they need to have ghost racing in ranked. It has to happen or there is no reason to play it. I don’t even care for ghost racing but at least I would know if I mess up it’s on me not some toxic tryhard who uses every possible dirty tactic possible to win.

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Currently only one thing is a major issue for me: car balancing.

Any insight in PI calculation and determination of values like “drag coefficient”, “engine power” and “handling value” would be highly welcomed.
On top I would like to know if they consider rebalancing some problematic cars.
With the introduction of class-based Rivals the shortcomings of the PI calculation (especially with AWD-swaps) became very obvious and it basically ruined D,C,B & A-class on many tracks.

Would you mind elaborating on the shortcomings part? How has swaps ruined D thru A on many tracks? I agree theyre being ruined, but thats thanks to a few ridiculously overpowered vehicles (Trac-tor, Peel, and Boneshaker); beyond that as far as I can tell there seems to be parity beneath the trash trucks on top of most of the lower leaderboards. I’m not disagreeing, just not quite sure i see what youre getting at (all i can see are tractors, everywhere. I look).

Well, all those LB Peels, Track-Tor’s and Bone Shakers are running AWD. Why?

All three profit greatly from AWD generally providing too much base grip. A car like the Peel P50/Trident irl wouldn’t magically be able to manage the huge additions to power solely because it has AWD. But in the game it does.
Hard to tell why the Peels work like they do, even without adjustable suspension. That’s why I would love to get some insight into value determination and PI calculation. In GTA 5/Online for example I directly know from the code why a car handles in a certain way. I can see top speed is defined by “top speed”“engine power”“drag coefficient”.

The Bone Shaker and Track-Tor take advantage from another serious failure in PI calculation, tire width difference. All cars with a huge front tire width/rear tire width difference are strong AWD cars. Bone Shaker, Track-Tor, Nova FE, Bugatti EB110 SS. The Hellcat Challenger widebody would be too if it weren’t trapped in an unfavourable PI situation (too powerful for A, too clumsy for S).
The reason for this issue is a combination of rear tire width adding to grip but generally lowering PI on AWD (the more the bigger the front/rear width difference) and the forgiveness of AWD in tuning.
You can go full oversteery with 1/65 ARBs, normally unstable oversteery springs/dampers and an overly powerful race diff which distributes as many power as you want to the wide rear tires.
My B-class Track-Tor reconverted to RWD gains ~70! PI from it. And even as A770 RWD it is slower than my B700 one. Unlogical.

Another factor seems to be the placing of the engine. Mid-engine cars tend to profit more from an AWD-swap than others. The newly added McLaren 12C can’t be run with race tires, race weight reduction and rear-aero on S900. As AWD it can. My Bugatti EB110 SS gains 15 PI from swapping to RWD (900 to 915) without losing any weight. Same power/weight ratio but RWD leads to 15 PI more. Unlogical.

Rear-aero is another thing on AWD. There is basically not a single car which wouldn’t profit from rear-aero as AWD. It generally lowers PI, adds to the cornering speed and thanks to above mentionend tuning does not have any disadvantages.

All of this works because the PI system has deep flaws. There are others (like the power graph of engines aren’t taken into account).

In the end most of the lower class Rivals is ruined. Peels, Track-Tor, Bone Shaker for normal races, Jaguar D-Type for Goliath. S1 suffers from the Shelby Monaco KC as RWD which magically can manage ~850hp on 450kg with skinny sports(!) tires.

In short: I would like to understand the PI system and encourage PG to look into it and get rid off the flaws. If not for H4 see it as an investment into the future.

And it’s a big letdown that there is not a single dev/employee with whom you could discuss this in detail. I’ve written numerous support/feedback tickets regarding car balancing (e.g. regarding the Bone Shaker, Track-Tor, Rimac). Not once did I receive an answer where I thought: “they know what they are talking about”. Hell, when I reported a glitch I had to explain basic game mechanics to the employee.
On the other hand I’ve discussed things with employees from Blizzard (regarding WoW back in the days) or Rockstar (GTA Online car issues) in detail.

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all the things said in the topic are very valuable but clearly, the PI fkaws are the biggest issue of the game’s mecanics … not even without counting all the issues listed by Rayne SE … just the fact to be forced to use AWD and engine swap to get a competitive car leads to boredom because end up feeling and sounding the same … a shame for a game valued for his in-depth physic

the issue i want to point out personnatly is about the lvl design …

lets start by the open world :

first … it need to be bigger … im tired of map u can cross in less than 10 min

and the last ones clearly focus to much on off roads … the open map sound like a good idea on paper but it leads to a lot of issues, mostly on race layout (i gonna talk about that after) but also in dev time … so much time needs to be put into crafting the “in between” the roads part that we end up we smaller map and less roads, less road tracks, etc …

and clearly, juged by the lack of people in off road lobbies, road racing is want people want and like… and most of the cars available are road cars … so focus on that … i dont said ditch off road completly but revise the amount of content for each part of the game experience

i think the one for a best compromise between open map and closed map is what the guys of ghost games made with NFS payback (yes the game has major flaws but its map is beautyful)

this way u could even really push even more the differences between surfaces

last though … about the lvl design in urban environment … why not blocking the acces to sidewalk like it was the case in some part of surfers paradise in FH3 ? … the only point of that is to get a lot of destructible prop on the sidewalk for wreckage skillchain … but seriously why this skill is a thing its the opposite of skill … FH is a simcade game where the best achievement is controling the cars … but it reward u for wreckage ? … its none sense … this skill actually ruined online adventure because of boosting … get rid of it

now about the lvl design of races :

well its quite simple … go back to the FH1 route … with fully closed tracks with no prop on the track just roads … then no more off checkpoint (or of the road) ramming … it goes with the half open half closed map … if u must place checkpoint on open places … just closed them with walls …

in urban tracks … follow the grid route with track closed by guardrails like monaco … no prop must interfere with the racing

of course there is things that need to be took in count like the wallriding issue etc …

last notes :

on the newly introduced anti griefing system :

keep the good work … this system works very well … only the ramming is still an issue now … working on a colisions model that reduce impact on cars is the best solution

on the campagn game design :

go back to the FH1 route with a linear progression that makes u drive all the type of cars and classes in the game with a build up to lower end cars to high end monsters … than give freedom to the player at the end …

expend on the route creator … permit us to add and remove props … change roads like turn tarmac into dirt and vice versa …

I guess you missed the part where devs removed xc and dirt from s2, and withheld xc from B in it’s limited return to online adventures, hamstringing the exposure to offroad players would otherwise get. Oh yeah, and the removal of freeroam rush from all road and street race adventures; another reduction to off road.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the addition of all these other lobbies, with ranked and playground games and The Trial and custom and teams and now lobbies for drifting, all of which dilute each other
OH YEAH, and then theres the reduction in xc events overall, not just in main game but xc got shafted in both expansions as well; some numbers…

Main game: Road (182), Street (154), Dirt (141), XC (132), Drag (35)
Fortune Island: Road (85), Dirt (92), XC (45)
Lego Valley: Road (106), Dirt (61), XC (41), Drag (15)

SO CLEARLY, judging by how you misjudged and miscategorized the offroad situation here , perhaps one might think road racing is all people want after devs have done much to mitigate offroad gameplay, and ultimately alienating much of the offroad players with every concession they made to the s2 hyper drift crowd. And did you know most of the available cars are road cars that can be tuned into awesome offroad beasts? Focus on that for a while. Maybe try focusing on the fact that the devs have ALREADY REVISED the amounts of content for each part of the game experience with a hacksaw AS DETAILED ABOVE, so let’s all just cool it with the c rap all over xc/offroad/remove it from game-stuff for awhile, okay??

i wasnt talking about FH4 but the lvl design direction for FH5, u just picked that part of the post without taking in count the rest of the post

…‘direction’ based off of your personal perception of FH4, not that it makes any difference.

i think u dont understand what im saying … mostly the less open map concept … i want then to focus more on roads than all the open areas (off road) of the map by reducing the amount of useless open spaces … due the exp of NFS payback

then they could this way craft better rally tracks and cross country tracks

yes i might look like step back but its like the rest of the open world … more open =/= better … mostly because it leads to issues when designing the tracks … like the checkpoints … in FH1 because tracks were fully closed … nobody could push off checkpoints

plus the number of tracks shows nothing … look how many road tracks use the same piece of roads compare to off road or dirt tracks

and i dont know where your numbers come from but there hardly more then 20 tracks per championship

Multi quote didn’t work as expected but mentioned in thread and I also hope you can ask about these:
Much more options to route creator, possibility to edit routes and add custom championships, add Route preview for Creative Hub Also. Also enable creation of Street Scene races to custom route creator, at least option to Blueprint swap Road Race to Street Race.

And opening up more of the map for players. The base game map, while detailed and we have seasons and all, is a bit too small.

Couple of questions from me:

Current physics are pretty good, better than in Horizon 2 - 3 IMO. Drivatars aren’t that bad either at least up to Pro. If you could ask about how Drivatar path finding work? How far ahead they “see” in the world and how much information about route conditions ahead (slippery, jump, 90 degree turn, uphill, gravel, tarmac, etc) Drivatar can utilise simultaneously?

Highly variable conditions on routes, from dry tarmac to some patches of snow and ice on mountains. Could this be achieved with current weather / seasons system and could current Drivatars make it?

And S1 :wink: