How Mexico influenced the creation of Forza Horizon 5
Last week, journalists were able to talk with employees of Playground Games studio and ask questions to Don Arrest and creative director Mike Brown. As part of stream, developers told how they created the world of Forza Horizon 5.
Last week, journalists were able to talk with employees of the Playground Games studio and ask questions to art director Don Arset and creative director Mike Brown. As part of the stream, the developers told how they created the world of Forza Horizon 5.
Playground Games pays great attention to the selection of suitable biomes, because it is necessary to make the map as interesting as possible for research. The studio has a special team that goes to the right place to take photos, collect data for photogrammetric processing, record sounds, and so on. All this is necessary in order to create the most authentic in-game environment. Mexico itself will not be recreated on a 1:1 scale, but the location is as close to reality as possible.
The fact that the player is exploring the country while driving a car will not be an obstacle. Developers have always been interested in places that can become a great playground and where there is a rich car culture.
Mexico is perfect for this. The player learns the local culture from the perspective of the driver. That is why in Forza Horizon 5 you will have to look for drawings on the walls of buildings and ancient ruins.
The developers were surprised by how diverse Mexico turned out to be. It is also interesting that a significant part of local folklore revolves around family and community. This is reflected in the stories that the in-game characters will tell. The developers also brought in a historical consultant who had previously worked on the animated film "The Secret of Coco" from Pixar. He made additional edits to the script.
Due to the increased detail, Forza Horizon 5 will be full of places worth stopping and exploring for. In Playground Games, they tried to submit small stories through the environment. Mexico in the game looks like people really live there.
For example, on the map you can find an empty house with a bar. If you look closely, you can notice small details, like a pinata hanging on a tree. It immediately becomes clear that people had a holiday party. At high speed, it's easy to miss. But stopping, you can evaluate the efforts of the developers. Such attention concerns even the stones on the road.
At the same time, the developers decided not to make a separate radio station dedicated to Mexican music. This possibility was studied, but after consulting with experts and residents of Mexico, it was decided to simply add individual compositions.
Forza Horizon 5 will be the first game in the series in which the player's avatar will speak. Therefore, I had to reconsider the approach to writing the script. This made it possible to give the character more humanity, making it more interesting. Before that, the studio had to disguise in every possible way that the dialogues were one-sided. The rest of the characters also began to look more natural.
As for cars, the process of their creation has constantly evolved. Developers are also listening to the gaming community. If a mistake was made in one of the games, Playground Games tries not to repeat it when creating the next part. The studio has car experts who travel the world and study exotic cars, collecting information and thousands of photos.
But when creating Forza Horizon 5, a new problem arose. Due to the pandemic, employees could not move to the field to collect information on the machines. Therefore, they had to work from home, calling engineers, discussing every step. And the work took much longer.
Another nuance is that Playground Games are trying to get acquainted with the behavior of cars on real tracks. In particular, this applies to working on sound. At the same time, sometimes cars that have not yet entered production are added to the game, which creates additional difficulties.
Forza Horizon 5 is released on two generations of consoles and PC. But this did not affect the artistic approach to creating the game, because the developers already have a wealth of experience in scaling graphics. Xbox Series X owners will be able to count on an increased range of drawing objects, including bushes, grass and trees, improved textures, shadows, lighting model, increased detail of car models and ray tracing.
The main in-game event in the game will be Expeditions that will divide the story campaign into chapters. Players will be able to see different places in Mexico and face different weather conditions, as well as demonstrate graphic technologies. An important novelty will be storms that will give a unique experience characteristic of Mexico.
Forza Horizon 5 will be released on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S on November 9, 2021.