Forza vNext

I play a lot of a car racing video game series called Forza Motorsport.  If that’s boring, stop reading now.

If you know the current game, 6, you might know it’s shortcomings.  This is pretty simply a list of what I’d like to see in the next version of Forza Motorsport.

Dan Greenwalt said that whatever is next will be different.  We already have two different Forzas; Horizon and Motorsport.  Horizon is an open-world, jump cliffs, have a good time in cars game.  Motorsport is a much more strict, real tracks, physics, and racing type game.  The series I will be referring to is Motorsport or whatever this next version will be.

We also know that the next Xbox will be probably released some time in 2017 and will do 4k games.  There are a lot of rumors about the console but nothing is known about the next Forza Motorsport.

This is what I want to see:

Easy

  • More variety and options in multiplayer games.  Instead of restricting cars to AWD/FWD/RWD, class, PI, and other things, I’d also like to use the same groups that are specified in other parts of the game.  Let me choose GTLM cars or “Classic Cruisers”.
  • Qualifying.  Starting 12th in a field of 24 every time is brutal, especially in extremely short races.  If I can optionally run a few laps first to hopefully improve my placement, please let me.  Or just let me skip qualifying and end up in the middle each time.
  • Fix the course boundaries.  There are plenty of places where people are setting incredible track times by finding areas off-track that are considered on-track.  Don’t let us cut corners.  And even better, when a change needs to be made, reset the leaderboard or mark the times.
  • More stats in game and out.  I’d like to see what my track time is when I’m not playing the game.  I’d also like to see each of my lap times after a race instead of just the best lap time.  And compare it to my others.
  • Leaderboard updates.  Let us filter things by cars that we own, tunes that we have, and people using our same “assists” including the view used (cockpit cam vs. chase cam) and controller or wheel.  This is just database queries.  Let me write them!
  • Painting on computer.  I’m pretty sure that all new Forza games will be PC/Xbox concurrent releases.  If that’s the case, let the painters and tuners do everything with a mouse or a drawing pad.  Using a controller (or worse, a wheel) to paint is so very hard.
  • Race “Naturally”.  Does this IMSA car have ABS and TCS?  Apply it for me appropriately.  Did this 60’s LeMans car have ABS?  Of course not, remove it.

Hard

  • Flags.  Let’s force players to slow down when there’s a crash.  Let’s penalize those who don’t. Let’s force slow downs pre-pit.  Let’s make this a racing simulator.
  • Mechanical failures.  The damage system is good as-is.  Make it better!  I can’t shift well?  Blow out my transmission after an hour of rough shifting.  Have a tire go flat if I hit too much debris.  This is fun stuff and it adds variety to longer races.
  • Better longer races.  Can I have a pit manager?  Pop something up on my screen when my fuel is low to tell me to drive a bit more conservatively.  If teams exist, let my buddy watch the race and my car, and then s/he tells me what I need to do.
  • Teams.  Create full blown teams (like in previous games) and allow us to create challenges and competitive brackets.  This could sit perfectly with the recently created Xbox-wide “clubs” feature.
  • Endurance teams.  Nobody really wants to sit and do a six hour race on their couch.  Let me pass off every half hour or hour to my buddy in another state our country.  I can “manage” while he races, and vice versa.
  • Rolling time and weather.  Horizon 3 does this.  Let me set time to 4x and go from daylight to dark night in an hour-long race.
  • Steering wheel forced feedback code re-write.  The few other games I’ve played do this much better.  It needs to be redone.  If the damage model is being redone, this makes sense to do at the same time.  I want to break an axle and not be able to steer.
  • Pitting specifics.  Do I need fuel and tires?  Make it quick.  Did my engine explode?  Let it take a while longer.  100% fresh in 40 seconds from start pit to track is a bit fast.

Very Hard

Fix public multi player.  I have a few ideas about how this can be done but none of them are easy or cheap.

  • Aggressive marshaling of races.  Kick out the intentional wreckers.
  • A “licensing” system.  I feel most passionately about this one.  All unmoderated online racing is included with the game at no additional charge, just as it has been.  If you want to pass a driving test and race on tracks that are moderated by a real person that has a real job that needs to be paid, you pay real money for a license.  This ideally gets you safe, clean racing that everybody involved with treats like it’s something that they paid for.  Racers could be moved up or down into leagues based on track times, clean racing, assists used, and true skill.  This could be modified by the marshals watching the races.  Gran Turismo is doing this.  Forza should do this beyond their volunteers.  I hate racing online because most racers are inexperienced (totally cool, learn, you’re doing great) or absolutely horrible people (crash into everyone, win or nothing, yelling racist comments).  I’d love to be ranked and race with similarly ranked players.
  • “Vote to kick” needs to mean more.  Add a “vote to trust”.  A good, trusted racer who has put in 1,000 hours on the track should be able to kick a jerk out of a public lobby and determine whether they’re a new racer or an intentional wrecker.  That jerk’s vote should hold less weight, especially if he’s been voted to be kicked by higher level, higher trusted racers.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know what you think.

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