FORZA MOTORSPORT 6

Developed by Turn 10 Studios

Published by Microsoft Studios

North American Release Date: September 15, 2015

"WHERE DREAMS ARE DRIVEN"

~ Tagline, from Forza Motorsport 3 ~


Rain or Shine

Forza Motorsport 6 brought the largest Forza experience to the Xbox One with new cars, new tracks, and new challenges.

A new fictional Rio themed course joined the track lineup along with revivals of fan-favorites, like Sonoma Raceway, to up the count to 26 unique locales and countless course variations.

Of these tracks several supported night and wet-weather racing. The wet tracks featured puddles with realistic physics.

Car counts were on the rise as well, with more than 400 included in the game at launch, and once again every single one of them boasted a Forzavista tour.



Forza Motorsport 6 Launch Trailer
Courtesy of Microsoft Studios



Six In Ten

Upon returning to Turn 10 for a second stint with design I was scouted by the Forzavista lead and asked to join the prestigious "invite-only" club of detail obsessed craftsmen known in the studio as "takumi". I humbly accepted this great honor and began the journey from apprentice to master.



UX Design Forzavista

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It's like level design you can finish in a day or so.



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The Calling

Upon my return to Turn 10 the track research and design team was still being led by my successor, who had done a great job filling my shoes and keeping things "on track" throughout the production of DLC for Forza Motorsport 5. So I didn't feel it would be right to request to move back into my old role.

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Every "takumi" proudly places a plaque with their name on it upon each GT-R engine they hand build.

Such a request would have been denied anyway, as a higher power had their eye on me. I was invited to join the prestigious Forzavista team and begin the journey toward becoming their next "takumi".


"Takumi" is a Japanese word that can mean "master craftsman", and is used by Nissan to describe the small group of individuals who build engines for the Nissan GT-R by hand. Due to the high level of skill required to create Forzavista experiences that team appropriately adopted the term as well.
(For further information check out this article at Nissan's website.)


For ease of understanding I will not use this term beyond this paragraph and instead stick with "Forzavista designer" and its variations; however, the story of the "takumi" serves very well to describe the degree of skill and dedication it requires to add the Forzavista experience to each car.


Regardless of the term used, it was quite an honor to be selected to work on Forzavista, as it represented a deep appreciation of my skills and attention to detail by my peers. It was also a very exciting change for me as a gamer, as I had enjoyed the Forzavista feature in Forza Motorsport 4 and had always wished to learn how to do it while working on tracks during the production of Forza Motorsport 5.




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What is Forzavista?

So just what is this Forzavista I was so excited to be a part of? Well, this page is going to do its best to present all the details, but let's start with the following one sentence description:
Forzavista is an interactive experience in which players can explore a car as if they were looking at it in a showroom.


This means players can move around the exterior, toggle headlights, open doors, enter available seats, look around the interior, and start the engine. Many cars also allow a closer look at the engine or inside the trunk, while some offer special interactions, like the ability to open or close convertible tops.

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Although only two pins are visible in this image, a camera override is drawing the camera into the door opening while many scripts are keeping Forzavista in sync with the car.

It is a largely UI (user interface) driven experience, as each car is marked up with small UI elements that are called points of interest, or "pins" for short. These pins are hand placed by Forzavista designers and are set to appear, disappear, and change function based on the player's position and/or the state of the car.


In addition to basic interactions, all cars in the Forza Motorsport series also feature special pins that play cinemas, which are also know as "tours". These range from a focus on a specific part of the car, like its engine or wheels, to a full tour of the car along with a narrated description of it or its manufacturer.


There is so much more going on in Forzavista beyond the pins that are visible to the player. Forzavista designers also set up various camera target and position overrides, alternate versions of pins, and then tie everything together with visual scripts to ensure that the experience is smooth, functional, and never distracting or frustrating for players.




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Who creates Forzavista?

Creating the Forzavista experience requires a very special kind of designer, as it is more user experience (UX) design than content. Everything must be crafted to allow players of any skill level to explore the car naturally, without the need for specialized controls or unintuitive prompts, while also enabling veterans to take total control.


While some might argue that the initial design of Forzavista was the limit of the UX Design, the varying shapes and styles of cars allow make it an absolute necessity to have designers create each Forzavista experience with care and consideration for its ease of use.


As the experience must fit the car, a keen artistic sense is also needed to understand what makes sense and what does not when it comes to pin location. While it is true that some pins are specified to go in certain locations, a good Forzavista designer will understand when to push these boundaries in order to deliver the best possible experience.


It is for all these reasons that no script or algorithm could ever replicate the quality that comes from a handmade experience created by a Forzavista designer.




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What does a Forzavista designer do?

Quite simply, they bring the Forzavista experience to life by making sure that the player can easily perform all expected interactions with the car regardless of its state.


But there is nothing simple about that at all! It takes a good initial plan, countless iterations, and relentless tuning to bring the magic of Forzavista to a car.


In order to be as efficient at possible without sacrificing quality I divided the tasks up into several phases. What follows is a brief overview of my workflow:



Research
As with most design tasks, it was very important to research and test each car before starting work in order to ensure the most authentic user experience.


I often combined these tasks together, beginning with the confirmation of all animations and their ranges. If I found that doors were opening to the wrong angle or if an animation was missing, I would enter a detailed bug explaining the problem and suggesting the best fix.


Once testing was completed I would search the car for any unique items, such as oddly placed interior door handles, the starting mechanism, and any other special features. Upon finding such items I would make notes to use when placing the associated pins so that I could draw attention to them and allow players to learn a bit more about the car without the need for a single word.



Exterior Pin Placement and Tuning
Many Forzavista designers preferred to start by placing and then tuning the visibility of the pins on the exterior of the car, and this is where I would start once I finished with all research and testing.

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To animate the "Air Grabber" on this car, additional exterior and interior pins plus a fair amount of additional scripting was required.

Every car would have a minimum of six pins placed around the exterior, but such cars are the exception and not the norm. While an average two door car might only appear to need 16 or so pins, just adding rear doors would increase this to 22, and the pin count wouldn't necessarily stop there.


A goal of Forzavista is to display pins as close as possible to the location where a real life action would take place, so reverse opening hoods and trunks relocate their open and close pins to the sides of the car, and add an additional set of pins so that the hood or trunk can be closed from the left or right.


Cars are wonderfully different, so even more variations can occur. Some cars have glass roofs (also known as T-Tops), a sport roof (also known as a Targa Top), a removable hard top, or a mechanical convertible top. Each of these top variants requires its own set of Open and Close pins.


Beyond that, there are cars with a trunk lid and an engine cover in the back, like the real Toyota MR2s or the Lamborghini Jalpa, some cars feature storage compartments, like the McLaren F1, and many modern performance cars have active aero, like the Audi R8. A few cars even have oddities such as a folding windshield, like the Willy's Jeep. Regardless of the special feature, each always required more pins, more tuning, and more testing to add to the experience!


Outside of the general features of stock cars, any aftermarket parts would often require additional pins, or changes to pin placement. Almost every car in the game had at least one aftermarket front bumper and rear wing, and these parts commonly complicated pin work as I always has to make sure the pins supported every state the car could be in.


With all these possible variations most cars would need quite a few more pins than one might expect upon first inspection, so exterior pins could take some time to get just right, especially if the car needed more than 75 pins, like the 1953 Ferrari Mondial.






Engine Bay and Trunk Setup
If the car allows access to the engine bay I would need to set up a camera override to look at the engine bay and a pin to allow the player to enter the engine bay.


To handle being inside the engine bay I would define the camera position within it and add a second camera override to give a nice close up view. The cherry on top of this setup would be the placement of tour pin to play a short cinema focusing on the engine.


All of this camera work required a lot of tuning to get just right, as it was the only opportunity for the player to get a good look at the engine.


As with exterior pins, if the hood/engine cover was of the reverse opening type then I would need to duplicate and test all my work so that the player could experience the engine from either side of the car.


The trunk was much simpler, but still required a great amount of care. Like with the engine, it would receive a camera override that would draw the camera's focus into the trunk.


This focus needed to be tuned in order to show as much of the detail of the trunk as possible, as there is no camera set up inside the trunk.


Also, as with the engine, if the trunk lid is reverse opening, then all the work must be duplicated, mirrored, and tested for the other side of the car.









Interior Setup
The first part of the interior involves setting up the pins to allow the player to actually get into the car. This is very similar to how the engine was set up, as I would place and tune both a camera override and a pin to allow the player to enter the car.


Once I completed this for the driver's seat, I would duplicate and mirror my work to the other side of the car. Naturally, it was important to test the mirrored values to make sure that they worked correctly.


With the entry sorted, I would move to the actual interior. I would begin by setting the camera position within the driver's seat, and then creating camera overrides to draw the focus of the camera when the player moves left or right in the seat.


Next I would place the pins to start and stop the engine at the appropriate locations based on the data gathered in the research phase on how the car is actually started and stopped.


I would then place the rest of the interior pins and tune the smoothness of pin selection as the player moves left and right in the seat.


Finally, I would adjust and tune the camera motion overrides between the inside and outside of the car to ensure that the animation for getting into and out of the car was as smooth as possible.


This would conclude the work on the driver's seat. I would then mirror all the pins, cameras, and scripts to the passenger side. Most of this would work ok as is, but often the interior pins and the smoothness of pin selection would need further tuning.


If the car had no passenger seat, as is the case with many race cars, then mirroring would not work at all, and I would need to set it up as if it were a completely different seat.


And of course, if there were additional seats, this entire process would be applied to them as well, from the entry, to the interior setup, to the tuning, mirroring, and testing.









Cinema Selection
Each car can feature up to nine types of tour pins, six of which are selected by the Forzavista designer from a selection of premade generic cinemas.


Basically, all this phase involved was watching the generic cinemas and choosing the best ones for each of the tour pins, and writing bugs as necessary for cases where none of the generics worked. (Eventually I began fixing such bugs on my own, and I will discuss this further in the CINEMATIC DESIGN category on this page.)


I would also save this bit of work until I had completed all other Forzavista work on a car, treating it as sort of a victory lap because this was the easiest of the tasks I needed to do.



Testing and Review
Another reason that I liked to save the cinema selection until the end is because it would take my mind off the pins, camera overrides, and scripting that I had added to the car.


This allowed me to be as fresh as possible for a final test that I liked to do on each car to make sure I hadn't missed anything or made a silly mistake.


Once I felt confident in the Forzavista experience on the car it would be reviewed by the lead or a peer. Any minor problems found would be fixed during the review, and after this was complete all files would be checked in. I would then set the car as final in the scheduling software, and update the hours I worked on it both there and in a personal tracking sheet.



Was that really brief?
This was a high level gloss over of how the magic of Forzavista is added to a car. I left out quite a few details as I was worried they might be trade secrets and if I really discussed everything that goes into Forzavista on a car I would need to make it its own category!


I hope this quick summary of the work I did helps to illustrate just how complex things were, but I will add one final thing. Almost everything in Forzavista is interconnected. For this reason we often thought of it as a house of cards, as one after the fact art or physics change could throw all our work into disarray.


If you were still hoping for a bit more detail then fear not, the MEMORABLE DESIGN category on this page takes a deeper dive into some polish features and a few cars.




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The Scope of Forzavista

From its humble beginnings in Forza Motorsport 4 with just a few cars, to its expansion to all cars in Forza Motorsport 5, to its full addition to Forza Horizon with part 3, Forzavista has been a long running feature in the Forza franchise.


As noted earlier, I didn't get in on the fun myself until the DLC phase of Forza Motorsport 5, when I started creating Forzavista experiences for the final few car packs released for that title. I took to Forzavista design like a gamer to a controller and continued working on it with Forza Motorsport 6 and Forza Horizon 3.


Due in part to the complexity, and in part to my long term involvement, I have found it better to make this page about my efforts to make the best Forzavista experiences while coming up with ways to make the feature the best it could be. However, since the bulk of my contributions to Forza Motorsport 6 were Forzavista related, this page is still very much focused on my work on that title.






Forzavista Design From 5 to 6

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From learning the ropes to setting the course.



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Yesterday's Jam

My introduction to Forzavista during the DLC production phase of Forza Motorsport 5 was very much a trial by fire. Once again the contract system was to blame for some of the difficulties, as the only two remaining experienced Forzavista designers had but one week left on their contracts when I started back at Turn 10.


This meant that these designers had only one week to train not only me, but also a second new hire who would not be able to start until the middle of the week.


Considering just how complex Forzavista is and the extremely limited amount of time in which they had to train two people, the remaining designers did an outstanding job.


Unfortunately neither myself nor the new hire were really ready after this week, and to be honest, when the depth of Forzavista is considered I suspect it would have taken close to a month to properly learn everything we needed to know.


This is due in part to the complexities of Forzavista and also because it is as much an art form as it is a design task. The only way to get better is through practice, and neither myself nor the new hire had the time to get this experience before their departure. And to make matters worse I was asked to continue the training of the new hire after the shortest week in history came to a close.




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One-eyed Society?

After my limited training sessions I felt pretty good about working on the exterior of cars, but the interior, engine bays, and trunks were still a bit of mystery.


Normally I would have spent more time trying to figure things out on my own, but with deadlines looming and a new person to train on something that I had just learned myself, I asked the Forzavista lead if he could spare some time and work with me on the interior setup.


This second run through helped immensely, and while I was by no means an expert, I felt much more confident in my own skills and in working with the new hire.


There were a lot of stumbling blocks, but the three of us worked tirelessly on DLC cars for Forza Motorsport 5. There was a general expectation that we would never be able to stay on schedule after the loss of more than half of the team, but we would end up delivering every car on time without ever falling behind.




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Improvements Over Time

Despite the rocky introduction, I consider myself very lucky to have begun working on Forzavista with Forza Motorsport 5 DLC, as the pins were colored and sized nicely, and the home space in which the cars appeared was brightly lit.


The aggressive schedule also probably pushed me to find ways to improve my efficiency, and as my experience and confidence grew I started making improvements to my own work flow, offered advice to others on the team, and began to look for ways to enhance the Forzavista experience.


What follows are just a few of these items that I came up with and refined throughout the production of Forza Motorsport 5 DLC and Forza Motorsport 6.




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Bug Today, Work Tomorrow

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I found that having a physical babysitting list helped keep me on top of bugs better than any electronic method.

The more I worked on Forzavista, the more I realized just how much bugs on cars related to our work could really throw a monkey wrench into the schedule.


While it was possible to work around some bugs, a car could never be completed and reviewed until they were all addressed. This led to a lot of cars ending up in the "babysitting list", which was a nickname for the cars that we were waiting on fixes for.


To try to reduce the number of cars that we ended up blocked on, I started looking at new groups of cars as soon as the scheduling software listed them as ready to test for animations. After completing testing and bug reporting on each car in the group I would then send the rest of the Forzavista team and production an email with the results.


Often, these early bugs got us the fixes we needed by the time we were scheduled to start working on the cars, and when they did not, at least production knew it was not our fault for the blockages.




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Template Modification

All the scripting in Forzavista was done visually through a custom editor that we also used to create, place, and tune pins, camera overrides, and camera views.


This scripting was very basic and very visual, but it controlled everything. For example, there are scripts on the Start Engine and Stop Engine pins that make it so that they are only visible when the player is in the Driver's Seat. This logic also applies to pins associated with any animated part, such as the doors. When a door is closed the matching Open Door pin is scripted to be visible, and the matching Close Door pin is scripted to be hidden. When the door is open scripts then hide the correct Open Door pin and expose the appropriate Close Door one.

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By using a trusted template on similar cars like these, a Forzavista designer would save time and be less likely to introduce any scripting bugs.

Although cars are extremely varied, basics like driver's seats and doors that open and close are quite common. Beyond this, there are some basic themes that many cars present. For example, the Maserati Ghibli Cup, Buick GSX, and the Lexus RC F from the image are all cars with an engine in the front, a normal opening hood, two doors, and a normally hinged trunk.


To make it much easier to add the Forzavista experience to new cars, the team had created a wealth of templates to use with various car themes. There was one for normal two door cars, like the ones noted above, one for race cars, one for four door cars, one for cars with reverse opening hoods, and so on.


These templates were very useful to give a car a great start, but I was finding that sometimes they were missing something, or that no existing template really suited a specific car I was working on.


So I began creating local templates to use on normal and more specialized cars. Although each one only saved a small amount of time per car, over the many cars I worked on they saved me countless hours.


As an added bonus, as long as I made sure to set these local templates up correctly and tested them thoroughly, I didn't have to worry about creating any silly scripting bugs when I used one.




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Research into Common Asserts

In the world of software a lot of bad things can happen. Applications can crash, games can stop working, and user data can be lost.


To try and fight this developers implement assertions, which are commonly known as asserts, into the code they create when working on a project. These are little warnings that appear when something is done that can or will cause a problem, and they are invaluable in software development.


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Hitting an assert is not unlike encountering the Windows blue screen of death. The only difference is the assertion will likely tell you more about what happened.

Asserts are not usually present in the shipping, or retail, versions of software, but the little box that appears in Notepad when you try to close it without saving is a good analogy. When you try to close Notepad after making a change, but without saving, you have done something that will result in data loss. So the "Are you sure you want to quit without saving?" box appears to stop you. This is very similar to how an assert works, though once one occurs it is usually too late to do anything.


In most cases, when an assert occurs it will display a message in debug text giving some details about it. Unfortunately, these details do not always paint a clear picture of what actually caused the assert to artists and designers.


Some of the assert messages in Forza Motorsport were well written and offered excellent descriptions of what had gone wrong, but only one of the asserts that could be caused by Forzavista designers clearly identified the pin on which the problem had occurred.


The others displayed short, cryptic messages that offered no aid in figuring out what the Forzavista designer had done wrong.


So I spent some time purposely breaking things on local copies of a few completed Forzavista files until I had found the source of every assert that we could cause. I reported my findings to the team so that everyone would know what to do when one of those cryptic assert messages appeared on their screen. (I also made a note in a document of tools bugs that would come in handy in the future.)




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Cinematic Tracking

When I was originally taught how to select cinemas for the various tour pins, I was told to just watch all the generic cinemas and choose the best one.


I started off doing it like that, but quickly found that I was spending too much time re-watching cinemas, and not always being confident that I had selected the best one for the car.


To remedy this I created a spreadsheet with all the generic cinema names in one column, and columns for notes, grades, and ranking information. This spreadsheet allowed me to quickly look back at all the cinemas I had watched and weigh the pros and cons of each. I could also confidently eliminate the bad choices after only one viewing, and it was now easy to choose the best cinema a very short amount of time.


During reviews, the spreadsheet was very useful as well. If the reviewer did not like the cinema I had chosen or if it could no longer be used for some reason, I could refer to my notes to show them only cinemas that worked, and no review time would be wasted watching bad cinemas.




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The "J"

Not long after I started feeling comfortable with Forzavista I came up with the concept of the "J" to track my progress. This was originally a bit of a joke, as "J" came from the misspelling of "page" as "paje" during the very long review of a very complicated car.

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This is the original FAIL PAJE. Not pictured is the reviewer's quote, "You put the J in fail." Which is odd, as I put the J in page for some reason!

Basically I would give myself one "J" for every change that came out of a review. These changes might not actually be bugs or mistakes, but just a difference of opinion between me and the reviewer.


By the time both Forza Motorsport 5 DLC and Forza Motorsport 6 production ended I had added complete Forzavista experiences to nearly 200 cars and only received about 190 "J"s. Considering that around 50% of these were opinion based I am happy with my "J-record" on those projects.


I continued to evolve the concept of the "J" all the way up to Forza Horizon 3 DLC. I now classified "J's" into hard and soft categories, with a hard "J" representing a true mistake while a soft one was more of an artistic quibble or difference of opinion.


While the concept of the "J" was more of a morale boosting fun way to track successes, my actual bug count record was much better. If bugs that were generated as the result of something major being changed on a car that had already been reviewed and handed off as final are not counted, I received bugs on less than 1% of the cars I worked on. Considering the thousands of individual changes necessary to add Forzavista to each car I am pretty happy with this.




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Retro Game Friday

Morale is a tricky subject in the games industry. On one hand, you get to work on games so it seems like everyone should be happy all the time. On the other hand, business and politics have often managed to make something that should be great feel less so.


In order to try and keep morale high through troubling times, as well as expose those on the research and design team to things they might not have ever seen before, I came up with the idea of Retro Game Friday.


The initial guidelines of this were simple: Every Friday I would bring in a game that was somehow related to racing or vehicles along with the console needed to play it and any special controllers. Neither the game nor the console actually needed to be retro, but it sounded a lot better to say "Retro Game Friday" instead of "Game Friday". Even the Friday part of it could change from time to time. Really, the only hard fast rule was that Retro Game Friday would not occur during crunch periods.

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Here are just a few of the titles that were selected for Retro Game Friday!

Each Friday I would send out a mail with a bit of history and some links for the game I had chosen, and then set everything up to run within our bay.


Some weeks were unbelievably popular, such as when I brought in Steel Battalion for the original Xbox along with its amazing "controller". Another big hit was with Auto Modelista on the PlayStation 2, as the Forzavista designers loved its garage mode and wished that something like that could come to a Forza title.


I had fun pushing the boundaries of what was vehicle related when I brought in Para Para Paradise, noting that it was car related due to its inclusion of songs from the racing and drifting themed Initial D anime series.


It was also a lot of fun to bring in new properties, with the showings of Bloodborne, Drive Club, and P.T attracting people from all levels of the studio. P.T. was especially fun, as it drew a huge crowd to watch a soul braver than I take the demo to "soft" completion!


Eventually a fellow Forzavista designer donated an older plasma TV, taking the experience from a so-so 24 inch monitor to a 60 inch big screen!


In the end I think Retro Game Friday definitely raised spirits and provided a lot of education on some of the things games had done in the past that just aren't being done today. It also allowed a wide variety of people to experience games they had never even heard of.




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Tackling the UI Changes in FM6

When I began working in Forza Motorsport 6, I immediately noticed that our UI had been completely redone. Pins were colored differently, they were smaller, a ring would appear around the highlighted pin, and those are just three examples of the massive changes that had been made.


All of these UI changes had been made without consulting with the Forzavista design team, and they broke a lot of the painstaking work that had been done throughout the normal and DLC production of Forza Motorsport 5.


Having been in the games industry for more than 10 years at this point, I knew that just writing bugs would not get us much traction, so I created a PowerPoint slide deck filled with images and comparisons to show how the UI changes had affected existing and future Forzavista work. I made sure to include hard data, such as time loss and dollar estimates, in order to try and get maximum impact.


I asked the lead to go through and suggest additions or changes, and within a couple weeks we were ready to hand it off.


The PowerPoint was delivered to management and it definitely got the wheels in motion. Unfortunately, not everything was fixed, and some of the fixes came very slowly, but it helped save us some work, and thankfully, the issues we could not work around were all addressed.

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I really liked the larger and more prominent pins and icons from Forza Motorsport 5, which are shown in the upper image. The new styling on the pins for Forza Motorsport 6 (lower image) just didn't have the "pop" of the former.



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Tool Improvements and Bug Fixes

Throughout my time on Forzavista I had been keeping a list of problems with the internal editor we used, limitations on what we could do, and general bugs on things that just didn't work.


There came a time when management seemed concerned about the amount of time we were spending on cars to get the Forzavista work completed. This was strange, as we had never fallen behind in the schedule, even when it was compressed due to internal or external dependencies.


To state our case the lead and I compiled a list of the top 20 tools issues that were slowing us down. Each was entered as a very detailed bug, containing estimates of the time and/or work lost per car as a result of the issue.

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This image is not exaggerated at all, there really was debug text visible at all times right in the middle of the screen when using the Forzavista tools.

The top 20 were just the items we chose to enter, with our master list being much larger. I wrote all the bugs and the Forzavista lead came in and made edits as needed.


Although every issue save for one was postponed and thus, not fixed for Forza Motorsport 6, we were never questioned about our speed again. In fact, once one of the engineers learned about our process by reading a detailed document written by the lead, he was amazed that we were we not taking two to three times longer than we were per car!


In the end, a kind person smiled upon us during Forza Motorsport 6 DLC production and fixed several of the tool UI issues that made it very difficult to work on cars. I am still thankful for all of those fixes, as they made it so much easier to do my work!




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Taking the Wheel

There came a time in which the Forzavista lead needed to take some time off for a scheduled vacation. He had not been away other than during studio closures for holidays since Forza Motorsport 4, and this was the first time he had to trust someone to steer the ship for him.


He chose me to fill in for him, and there was hope for a normal week in his absence. Monday appeared uneventful, and the entire team just focused on the cars they were working on. But late Monday night, or perhaps it was Tuesday morning, a massive request to have nearly two weeks' worth of work completed by Friday came in.


At the time there were three of us working on Forzavista and we pulled together to get everything done. I had everyone work on cars throughout the day, including myself, and then performed the reviews alone through the night.


As this request came in so late I did not force anyone to work overtime, but I encouraged it. The rest of the team helped out where they could and I didn't go home too much that week. But by Friday we had completed, reviewed, and checked in the Forzavista files for every requested car save for those that we were blocked on.


It was a great experience and I was very proud that the Forzavista team and I were able to meet an insane demand and allow our leader to vacation in peace.


Going forward, the Forzavista lead no longer worried about taking time off from the studio, and he appointed me as his successor when he moved to a different team.




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Beyond Forzavista

Throughout the production of Forza Motorsport 6 I jumped around and did everything I could to help out when someone was in need. Here are just a few examples of this:


Design Support
Sometimes I did car research to help get new cars in the game with accurate statistics and physics data, while other times I helped out the track team with my knowledge of Forza Motorsport 5.


Most notably, I was able to help one of the track artists hack the surface types files to quickly prototype some of the wet weather driving effects before code support for this came online.



Team Support
The Forzavista team was part of the design and research team. Using my IT knowledge, I tried to keep things running more smoothly by joining new PCs to the domain and sending out emails on how to run the initial software setup and then configure all the internal and external tools to work correctly.


I also became the team expert on getting the Xbox One development kits updated and out of bad states, or sent off for repair/replacement.



Cockpit and Driver Cameras
The Forzavista lead and I were asked to tune the cockpit and driver cameras on several cars after bugs were discovered. This was really mostly all done by the lead, but I served as a second pair of eyes and suggested changes and pointed out problems as we worked through the list of cars that needed updates.



Audio Support
I used my knowledge of Japanese and general language skills to help Audio get correct pronunciations for some of the cars, teams, and sponsors featured on the cars in game. This was a task the entire Forzavista team helped out with, and we got Audio everything they needed.



Feedback
As the game came together I played through the single player campaign several times and submitted feedback on things that I liked and things that were frustrating to me. When the time came for bug bashes, the whole design and research team participated. We all got together and compiled our feedback in to a detailed document. Upon receiving this, gameplay design was extremely grateful, and many of the issues we reported were subsequently fixed.


I also participated in every MP test held within the studio or as a take home, and gave feedback on track and variation usage as well as game types that I would like to think resulted in more variety being added to the courses used in the MP playlists upon launch.




Memorable Design Polish

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A look at why I loved working on Forzavista.



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Polish highlights of Forzavista

One of the things that attracted me to Forzavista is how the feature requires a high level of polish to function. There is no "good enough" state that would satisfy a backlog, it is either done right or it is not done.


I would like to touch upon a few of the subtle things a player might never appear to notice, but actively increase the overall good feeling of interacting with a car in Forzavista mode.



Visibility and Highlighting of Exterior Pins
If you move around a car in Forzavista mode at the maximum distance you can see the various pins appear, disappear, and grow an icon when they are highlighted.


What you might not realize is that this is not random. On a well-designed car the pins should appear and disappear in order as you move around the car, and the highlight should never change pins while another pin is in the process of appearing or disappearing.


While the latter can be very difficult to achieve, the result of tuning pin position and visibility to this effect results in a smooth wave like motion as the pins gracefully appear and disappear.


On the best cars the effect is present even when doors or other parts are in various states. Tuning everything to work like this regardless of state can require quite a few changes, as the "house of cards" effect often rears its ugly head, but the end result is always worth it.







Crouching Player, Hidden Pin
Forzavista designers are sure to hide any pin that would appear to clip through a car when the player crouches. This is easy enough to do when it is just a pin, such as is common with the open hood pins on a car with a reversible hood.


But what about when a pin and a camera override are working together? In these cases the visiblity is tuned so that the pin fades first and then the camera override smoothly loses effect until it is completely turned off.


Further tuning is done to ensure that the camera takes effect and the pin then fades in just as smoothly when the player returns to the standing position.


And although there is no enter pin for trunks, similar tuning is also applied the a trunk's camera override(s) to ensure stance changes do not produce erratic camera movement.







Vanishing Point
Although it is not always possible, every effort is made to add a bit of subtle polish to the Close pin associated with normally opening hoods and trunks.


This polish involves tuning the visibility of the Close pin so that it will fade just as it reaches the edge of the hood or trunk as the player moves out of its visible region while they are as far away from the car as possible.


It is unfortunate that this cannot be done on every car, as it adds a nice touch to the experience and subtly lets the player know the pins were not just placed or tuned haphazardly.







Interior Cascade
The interior camera overrides are tuned specifically to give the highlighting of the pins a slow cascading effect as the player moves toward the center of the car in any seat.


This is done not only to add smoothness, but also to make it easier to select whatever pin appears between the first pin highlighted upon entry and the pin that highlights as the player reaches the limit of movement toward the center of the car.







Escape Plan
A great deal of precise tuning occurs on both the Exit pin and the camera override that takes control as the player moves in a seat toward the outside of a car.


When tuned just right the camera will automatically look out of the car as the player moves toward the outside. As they near the limit of movement the Exit pin will appear and then begin to activate just a moment later if they are still holding the left stick.


This gives a certain elegance to the experience of exiting the car, and also gives the player just enough time to release the left stick if they wish to remain in the car.







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An Unforgettable Selection of Cars

For the duration of this category I would like to present a few memories and notes on some of cars that I added the Forzavista experience to.


Cars made this list for various reasons, such as the challenges they offered, the new ground they broke, and the fun I got to have with them.


With one exception, each car is accompanied by a movie showing off most if not all of the possible interactions available for it in Forzavista. Some cars also include a video from the manufacturer or a famous admirer, while others include videos of one of the car's tour cinemas.


I hope you enjoy taking this stroll down memory lane with me!

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Now why did I choose 13 cars? It is almost like together they could form a unit of some sort.



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2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

I had seen the Top Gear episode in which Jeremy Clarkson road tested the Rolls-Royce Phantom years ago, but it was not until I started researching the Wraith that I learned how much polish and effort is put into the creation of every Rolls-Royce.


Inspired by the shared passion for cars between Rolls-Royce employees and myself, I wrote bugs and worked with Cinematics to improve the car and interior tours on the Wraith. While the bug for the car tour was not mine, I helped Cinematics polish up the new shots that featured the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. With the interior tour, I logged change requests to show off the amazing starlight headliner, and once again assisted Cinematics by giving them information on what lighting animation was necessary to turn on the headliner.


To add the convenience one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, I got permission to add headlights on and off pins to the interior so that players could toggle the headliner without needing to exit the car in Forza Motorsport 5.


The suicide doors presented an interesting challenge, but I made sure to get the interior open and close door pins positioned properly to give players the most accurate experience of how the doors would be operated in real life.


This was rounded out by placing pins on the Spirit of Ecstasy herself to allow players to raise and lower her as they wished. To maintain authenticity, I lower her when the hood is opened, just as she is on the real car. Unfortunately, I was unable to raise her when the engine is started, but this was due to a technical limitation with the Start Engine cinema.


The efforts of everyone involved were rewarded when positive posts regarding players having a great time with Forzavista on the Wraith appeared in the official Forza Motorsport forums.


I could go on about this car forever, so please enjoy the following movie of the Wraith in all its Forzavista glory!
A video from Rolls-Royce is also included. I believe this was part of the Frozen Moment marketing website that existed when the Wraith was launched, and I am thankful to Rolls-Royce of Atlanta for uploading it.









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1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600s

This was a car I had loved since learning about it when playing Sega Rally 2 on the Dreamcast back in the late 1990's, so it was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to add the Forzavista experience to it.


It presented some challenges with its reverse opening hood and the specialized aftermarket parts that would actually lock out the engine cover, but these frustrations were eased by the fact that I got to look at such a beautiful car while doing all the work.


Long after my work was done it served as a good test car for a potential problem with highlight toggling upon entering cars. I did some testing and discovered that the problem could occur on almost any car if the player entered it just right. With the cause known I came up with a very easy fix that I shared with the rest of the team.


All the Forzavista designers now apply this fix to every car they work on, though regrettably I have never had the opportunity to add it to this car.


That said, it is small concern that fades to the background when I imagine myself seated inside this true classic thanks to the power of Forzavista.






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1965 Alfa Romeo Giuila TZ2

While working at Turn 10 I learned that quite a few people have an obsession with the Alfa Romeo brand. Although I found the long-lived Spider convertible to be an attractive car, I did not see the appeal of Alfas, at least not until I started working on the Giuila TZ2.


This car was absolutely stunning to look at, but sadly it is not a vehicle even remotely within my grasp, as only 12 legitimate examples were ever produced.


Its rarity seriously complicated my attempts to research the car as well. I was attempting to find out whether or not the glass in the hatchback should open or not to allow access to the spare tire contained within the trunk.


After countless failed searches I got in touch with a friend with contacts throughout the automotive world. He kindly called the owner of one of the 12 certified examples and discovered that the spare tire was placed there largely to satisfy a racing regulation at the time the car was made, and that the back glass was fixed and did not open. By the way, the lucky owner of this car happened to live in Italy!


As for how the spare tire was to be removed in case of need? Well, the driver would have to pull it past the front seats in order to retrieve it from the trunk if they really wanted it, and a special pulling handle was supplied.






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2005 Pontiac Aztek

This poor car gets a lot of flak in the automotive world for its looks, but let's be honest, has any SUV really looked good other than the Range Rover Evoque? So I showed the long suffering Aztek plenty of love as I gave it and its many doors the full Forzavista treatment.


I am not suggeting that I give any car less than my full attention, but I wanted to make sure that the Aztek suffered no injustice in the world of Forzavista! I also believe that no "J's" were found during the review, granting this car yet another well deserved honor.


Sadly there is not much more to say other than I miss Pontiac!









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1953 Ferrari 500 Mondial

While many cars simply animate the opening and closing of hoods, trunks, and doors, others have removable panels that are either on or off of the car. In order to hide the state change of one of these panels being removed (opened) or replaced (closed), Forzavista designers script the animation call to fade the screen to black while either animation is played.


On a car with a single panel, this is not too difficult to handle, as only a few script changes need to be done. A car with two panels ups the pin count and the complexity of the scripting, but as long as you are careful it is manageable.


This became the first car I worked on with three removable panels, which meant the number of extra pins and script work needed to keep Forzavista in sync with the state of the car increased exponentially. In fact, with more than 75 pins this might be the most complicated car I have ever worked on.


It didn't help that art changes continued to come in after I finished the pins, so I had to revisit this complicated car at least three times, but the end result is a car with a ton of potential states that are all correctly supported by Forzavista.






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2014 Honda #2 Castrol Honda Civic WTCC

I only mention this car because it is one of the best examples of how I could be playful while placing pins without breaking any rules or messing up the experience.


In this case, I took note of how the "C" in Civic reminded me of part of the logo of a fictional mining company from another game series. This led me to place the Highlights tour pin in a perfectly acceptable position that just happens to complete the logo if the camera is moved in a certain way. Altman be praised!

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Perhaps one day the USG Ishimura will appear in Forzavista as well?

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1945 Jeep Willys MB

This was definitely the first car to have an animated windshield in Forzavista, and by the time you read this I suspect it still might be the only one!


Even if it is not, I would bet that it is the only car with a windshield that features two unique animations. Not only can the windshield be folded down, but it can also be swung out.


Handling these two animations, the states they put the car in, and the state of the hood took a fair amount of scripting. Because I allowed the player to activate these animations from within the car, quite a few additional pins were required as well.


Beyond sorting all that out, I had to continually refresh the preview page at an online retailer's website until it randomly displayed the pages showing the location of all the controls on this model of the Willys in order to learn the location of the starter. It is not where you might expect, so take in a viewing of the video to see its rather interesting location!









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2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

The Forza Motorsport 5 incarnation of this vehicle only allowed players to enter the front seats due in part to a somewhat strange door animation. So I took it on as a challenge during Forza Motorsport 6 production because I really wanted to allow access to the rear seats.


My original goal was to try and have both the front and rear enter seat pins available when both doors on one side were open, but the camera overrides fought with each other and it just never worked right without making too many compromises.


So I modified the scripting to only have the rear enter pins and camera overrides function if the rear doors were open and it worked very well due to how the doors opened and closed on this truck.


Opening up the rear seats also made it a lot easier to get some really bad art bugs I found throughout the interior approved and later fixed, making the Forza Motorsport 6 version of the Raptor everything it was destined to be.


Beyond the challenge of the rear seats, the Raptor also had a very interesting trunk that featured two independent animations as well as a plethora of aftermarket part options. This complicated the Forzavista work, but it was rewarding to see everything work regardless of state.






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1966 Ford Country Squire

The Forza Motorsport series seems like an odd place to find a station wagon with fake wood paneling, but this thing has a surprisingly powerful motor that can get everyone to soccer practice without blocking everyone's view of the road as modern SUVs do!


The real fun of this car came from adding the extra back seat in the trunk, as it was a new challenge and exposed several bugs with the Forzavista system.


Happily I was able to work around everything and get the extra back seat working, which made things easier for when I would work on other cars with extra seats in the future.


It was also a lot of fun to search for just the right car tour to show off that great horse badge. I have not included it here just to try and encourage you to go into Forzavista and check it out for real!






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1981 Capri Turbo

This is a car that definitely falls into the "Challenge Accepted" category due to the extremely tight door opening angle.


My initial setup appeared to be the perfect balance between functionality and ease of access, but luckily the Forzavista lead found a rare bit of clipping during the review. It required some extra tuning and very creative tweaks to fix this edge case, and it was very satisfying when we finally got the camera to enter and exit the car without clipping into anything.


I am very glad that we got everything to work with the doors as they were, or otherwise they would have been changed to open to an unrealistic angle instead of just coming off the car like they were supposed to in real life.









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1995 BMW 850CSi

Although there are some cool modern cars, every one of them lacks a super cool feature: retractable headlights.


In the case of BMW, when they added retractable headlights to a car the result was always a work of beauty. And the world took notice, with the 850CSi appearing in movies such as the 2004 version of The Italian Job and Down Periscope.


While I have never had much personal interest in BMW's coupes or sedans, this is one I would gladly drive for its great looks, powerful engine, and of course, retractable headlights.


While there was nothing particularly difficult about adding Forzavista to this car, getting it added to the game was a bit more of a challenge. As luck would have it I happened to hear that a colleague was attending a meeting to discuss which cars to add to a DLC pack that had lost a couple of cars due to unforeseen reasons. So I made sure to suggest the BMW 850CSi as a replacement, noting that the retractable headlights would look great in Forza Horizon 2. My suggestion did the trick and this car joined the Rockstar Energy Car Pack as part of Forza Horizon 2!


Happily the popularity of this amazing car got it added to the Forza Motorsport 6 car list, which finally brought its Forzavista experience to the people!






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1987 Porsche 959

Though it is not the truly amazing 928, this car is far more than just another 911 and I very much enjoyed working on it.


Showing off the engine bay and the numerous gauges on the dash was my primary focus, as well as finding fun places to put the pins that suited the super wide shape of the body.


This was also one of the many Porsches that I made corrections to the engine tour cinema on, which was a treat in itself as it allowed me to spend more time with the car.


As a fun fact, the car I had access to reference images from was none other than the one belonging to Bill Gates, which was part of what inspired the Show or Display amendment.
(For further information on Show or Display check out this Wikipedia article.)









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1993 Jaguar XJ220

Due in part to the Sega CD, and in part to having thought this was a cool car since it was launched, I made sure to claim the Forzavista work on the XJ220 as soon as it appeared in the scheduling software.


This is the second car on this list to have been bullied and wrongfully hated by the automotive world, and honestly, I could never see the reason why. It has a stunning shape that has never gone out of style, and the twin turbo V6 seems a lot cooler than a V12 to me. (And history has proven that it was ahead of its time in this regard, check out Jay Leno falling in love with a beautiful example below!)


In fact, I thought this engine was so beautiful that I asked cinematics to create a custom engine tour cinema for the car. They delivered a great one that shows off the XJ220 lettering on the valve covers as I requested and really does the power plant of this fine cat proud.


The only real problem with this car is that I let my excitement get the better of me and submitted my work for review a bit too soon. I suppose it was fitting that I received many "J's" in the review based on the name of the car, I am just glad the reviewer didn't find 220 of them!









Cinematic Design Tours

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We could be heroes, just for one day.



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Division of Labor

The concept of the assembly line used by automobile manufacturers is not all that different from the way in which entertainment software is created. People are selected and trained for specific jobs, and as the pieces of the product reach certain levels of completion these people perform their work.


But with software, especially games, some overlap is bound to happen and the line is not always guaranteed to move as smoothly at it might in a factory.


As I was part of the Forzavista team, Forzavista was my primary focus. In the assembly line metaphor, this team would be pretty much at the end of the line, as Forzavista really needed a finished car in order to ensure that work would not be lost or destroyed by other changes.


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These images show just a few of the many tour pins that would play a cinema when interacted with.

But there was one parallel task that didn't really need to be done before a car arrived at the Forzavista station, and that was the creation of cinemas.


This is due in part to the fact that multiple generic cinemas had been created for use in Forzavista, and the Forzavista designer would just choose the best one. Sometimes though, nothing worked quite right or had serious issues, like clipping or cameras looking off into space.


When something like this happened I would enter a bug fully detailing the problem and showing the cinematics team how to most easily reproduce the issue.


Through writing these bugs I struck up a good working relationship with the person creating cinemas for Forzavista and asked him if it would be too much of an inconvenience to enter bugs on cinemas that were not broken, but failed to show something cool on a car. He said it would be no problem and was happy to look at bugs as long as they were approved.




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The Spirit of Ecstasy

The first of the suggestion bugs I entered was for the Rolls-Royce Wraith. As a luxury car this vehicle boasted countless high-end features, but one, the Starlight Headliner, was of particular interest.


The Starlight Headliner was a fiber optic representation of the stars that could be stitched into the headliner of the car. (Purchasers could even request specific star patterns!) In real life it is a beautiful feature on a car I would love to drive for just one night, and I really wanted to show it off in game.


So I entered a bug asking if the interior tour on this car could be modified to really show off this feature and the Cinematics guy created something wonderful that not only showed off the headliner, but also gave a great look at the suicide doors used by the car and the book matched wood inlays.


The new cinema was a big win, and was also the first time that interior lights were turned on as part of a tour cinema.







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Getting a Generic Fix

As time went on myself and the other Forzavista designers continued to write cinema bugs as they came up, and things went very smoothly.


Unfortunately, the wonderful cinematics person we had worked with left Turn 10, but luckily, his replacement was awesome as well!


He immediately picked up the fact that there were some common issues coming from several of the generic cinemas we were using, and asked if we wouldn't mind a fix that could fix all these bugs forever.


The Forzavista team was elated by this offer, and we provided many examples of cars that could cause problems for him to test as he prepared the new generic cinemas.


Once he completed the testing, these new generics saved everyone a load of work, as Forzavista designers no longer needed to write the same bug over and over for certain types of cars, and the Cinematics team no longer had to receive these bugs.




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Dinosaurs and Cadillacs

I do not remember exactly why I was asked to do the pins for the Cadillac XTS Limo, but it was a fun car to work on, as it offered many new challenges and allowed me to do new things, like creating in car transitions between the back seats.


Once I reached the point where it was time to select cinemas for the car, I found that many did not work with its unique shape, so I wrote detailed bugs for each cinema that would need to be created for the car, as each required a unique fix.


One of these bugs was a request for a custom interior tour cinema to use in the back seats of the car. The game had never featured anything quite like this, and I knew that just using one of the front seat focused cinemas would be a big disappointment to Forzavista fans once the car was released to the public.


Unfortunately, someone closed all my bugs as duplicates to a master bug that simply said "fix all the cinemas". It did reference my well written bugs, but led to a miscommunication with the Cinematics team, and the all-important request for a rear seat interior tour was left undone.


After discovering that my bugs had been closed in such a strange manner I went and talked to the awesome guy who had been making custom cinemas for Forzavista. Sadly, I learned that he was about to leave Turn 10, and he apologized that he wouldn't be able to create a cinema for the rear seats as requested due to lack of time.


He had made a hybrid cinema featuring a new shot that showed off the rear seats, so I was happy to have that.


But this was a unique car and it deserved better than to ship with a mostly generic tour for its rear seats, so I stayed late the night before the cinema guy's last day and brute forced my way through the cinema file off the clock. I started with the new shot he had made and after a few hours I had made a new custom interior tour cinema that was perfect for the rear seats.


The next day I showed the cinema to the Cinematics guy and asked him what he thought. He loved it and told me to check it in, so I submitted the file with his blessing and now the limo has a proper rear interior tour!









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Rear Engine, Rear Wheel Drive

My foray into the world of cinemas did not end with the Cadillac. The Forzavista lead and I had completed many of the pin files for the Porsches in the upcoming expansion, but due to their unique shape and engine position none of the generic engine tour cinemas suited them.


We bugged each car individually, but due to lack of staff in Cinematics we only got back a single cinema that didn't really fix the issues noted in the bugs. So I jumped back in and made repairs to the cinemas for most of the Porsches, making sure to keep my changes to a minimum so that the tours would not feel too unique or break the consistent feel of Forzavista. After getting my lead's blessing I checked them in and the bugs were finally resolved!


Check out the following movie to see a few of the tour cinemas I updated for the Porsches that came to Forza Motorsport 6 in the aptly named "Porsche Expansion".







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Framing Device

After my early successes in the world of cinemas, management actually started assigning all triage approved cinema bugs related to Forzavista directly to me.


This was actually something the lead had feared, but since there was no one left to fix the issues he gave me his blessing to keep making things better during Forza Motorsport 6 production.


Throughout my time with Forzavista I have continued to fix any related cinema issues by either addressing the problems in the bad shots or creating entirely new cinemas. And I have not yet received a single bug or notes from a quality review on any of this work. I cannot take all the credit though, as I always get the opinions of my peers before finalizing any cinema.







Franchise Design New Horizons

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A festival of Forzavista?



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Prosperous Production Partnership

In one of the cleverest partnerships I know of, Turn 10 and Playground Games cooperate to make the Forza Horizon series of games. Turn 10 makes the cars while Playground makes the roads and gameplay, so everybody wins.


As Turn 10 has more than 10 years of experience creating cars, it only makes sense that car production was not radically changed in order to work with Forza Horizon. Cars continued to be made as if they were for Forza Motorsport at Turn 10, and then were sent to Playground so that they could make any finishing touches.


One result of this is that the Forzavista team continued to add pins to cars even if they were only going to be used in Forza Horizon. This might seem a bit strange, but it allowed Forzavista to be added to Forza Horizon at any time, and made it so that if a car proved popular in that game then it could be more easily integrated into a current or future Forza Motorsport title.

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Here is the awesome Lancia Delta Integrale EVO in both Forza Motorsport 6 and Forza Horizon 3.



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Forza Horizon 2

As this title did not feature Forzavista, not very much of my or my team's work is visible within it. We still created Forzavista files for every car in the game as part of the production process, but no one would ever know.


But all was not lost, when purchasing or upgrading a car Forza Horizon 2 uses the same animations for doors opening and the addition of aftermarket parts as Forzavista does in a Forza Motorsport title. So all the testing done by the Forzavista team in regards to car accuracy is still clearly on display in the title.


Finally, as a total team (research and design), we submitted pages of detailed feedback and bug reports on the overall design, gameplay, and fun of the game. This had been a common theme of our team, as we had often entered the most bugs during bug bashes on Forza Motorsport 5, 6, and all the Forza Horizon titles.


So while a lot of the Forzavista team's work is not as clearly on display in Forza Horizon 2 as it was in Forza Motorsport, I am confident that our efforts made the game better overall.







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Forza Horizon 3 - The Dawn of Forzavista

Forzavista was welcomed to the Forza Horizon series of games with part 3, and the world rejoiced. Well, maybe just Forzavista designers did!


As part of the integration quite a few changes were made. All the tour pins were removed, several pins were repurposed, and pins for things like license plates and horns were added.

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Not only does the paint shop pin clip heavily into the car, but it also is overlapped by another pin despite being highlighted.

From a Forzavista designer's point of view, the changes are sadly not all for the best. Pins are allowed to clip through the car, they can clip through other pins, and some pins end up off screen unless the player works really hard with the left and right stick to find them.


So much of the work put into the creation of Forzavista experiences was to make the whole of the experience easily accessible by just using the left stick and the A button, making it a bit sad to see the many bugs and usability issues that have manifested in the way Forzavista was added to Forza Horizon 3.


The odd thing is that despite most of our pin placement and visibility tuning having been heavily modified or discarded, all the engine bay and seat camera positions and overrides myself and the other Forzavista designers set up are present and are largely unchanged.


While I don't know exactly what happened, I can only guess that our pins were somehow converted by a script, but I have no idea why the script was written to make some of these choices. For example, on most cars the open door pins are no longer even remotely close to the door handles.


Happily, it is not all doom and gloom. It is great that Forzavista has come to Forza Horizon and there are some improvements, like the position and target of the walk around camera. They are now higher so that larger vehicles are not cut off by the top of the screen.

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The camera position and target are a bit higher in Forza Horizon 3. These changes work well to keep larger vehicles more centered on the screen than they were in Forza Motorsport 6.



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Receiving the Torch

Forza Horizon 3 DLC production also brought with it the departure of the long standing Forzavista design lead, which left me as the new Lead Forzavista Designer.


As the only one remaining with knowledge of the processes and workflow I handled all the Forzavista experience creation for each car as well as the peer review. This last bit was a little tricky, but I enjoyed the challenge of having to look at my own work with "fresh eyes".

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This is an example of a cockpit camera that someone who is not me did a great job setting up. I have a much more interesting cockpit camera to show off, but that will have to wait until the car releases to the public!

In order to make sure I was as fresh as possible I always made sure to put one day between when I completed my work on a car and when I reviewed it. Bug counts remained low, so I was very happy with the results of this process.


As an additional task, I also took over setting up in-game cockpit and driver view cameras. This was nothing new, as myself and the former Forzavista lead did this often in Forza Motorsport 6, and it was nice to be doing work again that is actually seen on track.


But in many ways it was not so different from what I had been doing all along, as the goals of providing the best possible camera position without introducing any instances or clipping or distracting the player are akin to the goals of Forzavista.




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The Long Road Ahead

My time spent with the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon franchises has been interesting, enlightening, and disheartening all at the same time.


I have learned a lot, worked with some great people to create amazing experiences, and been fortunate enough to have been a part of the Forzavista process.


Here's hoping that Forzavista continues on and is someday allowed to become the feature it was always meant to be!








Overall Contributions

The following is a simple "one-look" outline style list of everything I worked on in Forza Motorsport 6, Forza Horizon 2, and Forza Horizon 3 as a designer. For more detailed information, please click the "Design Works" tab or click here to visit the Resume page.



Systems Design

    Forzavista Presentation
  • Proposed new features, new control schemes, and other improvements to expand and enhance the Forzavista experience
  • Identified and reported all bugs and conflicts created in Forzavista as a result of the UI changes made to Forza Motorsport 6

    Forzavista Tools
  • Submitted detailed bugs including time losses as well as possible solutions for each issue discovered by the team regarding the usage and functionality of the tools used to implement Forzavista


Forzavista Content Design

    Forzavista Experiences
  • 2017 Acura NSX
  • 1934 Alfa Romeo P3
  • 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2
  • 1992 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4
  • 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C
  • 1970 AMC Rebel 'The Machine'
  • 1958 Aston Martin DBR1
  • 2008 Aston Martin Team Forza DBS
  • 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish
  • 2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
  • 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan
  • 2017 Aston Martin DB11
  • 2003 Audi RS 6
  • 2004 Audi #5 Audi Sport Japan Team Goh R8
  • 2011 Audi #2 Audi Sport Team Joest R15++ TDI
  • 2013 Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus 5.2 FSI quattro
  • 2013 Audi Team Forza R8 Coupe V10 plus 5.2 FSI quattro
  • 2013 Audi Team Forza RS 7 Sportback
  • 2014 Audi #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS ultra
  • 2015 Audi TTS Coupé
  • 2015 Audi S1
  • 2015 Audi S3 Sedan
  • 1939 Auto Union Type D
  • 2003 Bentley #7 Team Bentley Speed 8
  • 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed
  • 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept
  • 2016 Bentley Bentayga
  • 1975 BMW #25 BMW Motorsport 3.0 CSL
  • 1975 BMW #93 Hervé Poulain 3.0 CSL
  • 1995 BMW 850CSi
  • 1995 BMW M5
  • 2000 BMW Z8
  • 2014 BMW #55 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE
  • 2014 BMW #56 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE
  • 2015 BMW i8
  • 2016 BMW M4 GTS
  • 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport
  • 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
  • 1970 Buick GSX
  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
  • 2013 Caparo T1
  • 2013 Caterham Superlight R500
  • 1953 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport C2 Fast & Furious Edition
  • 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Super Sport
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
  • 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
  • 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • 1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster
  • 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
  • 1970 Dodge Charger R/T Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2012 Dodge Forza Horizon Challenger SRT8 392
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2016 Dodge Viper ACR
  • 1953 Ferrari 500 Mondial
  • 1982 Ferrari #71 Ferrari France 512 BB/LM
  • 1982 Ferrari #72 Ferrari N.A.R.T. 512 BB/LM
  • 2009 Ferrari Team Forza 458 Italia
  • 2013 Ferrari 458 Speciale
  • 2014 Ferrari California T
  • 1966 Ford Country Squire
  • 1966 Ford F-100 Flareside Abatti Racing Trophy Truck
  • 1967 Ford Falcon XR GT
  • 1972 Ford Falcon XA GT-HO
  • 1975 Ford Bronco
  • 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra
  • 1981 Ford #2 Zakspeed Racing Capri Turbo
  • 1981 Ford #55 Liqui Moly equipe Capri Turbo
  • 1992 Ford Falcon GT
  • 2003 Ford Focus RS
  • 2009 Ford Fiesta Zetec S
  • 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor
  • 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor Cheetos Edition
  • 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Shelby
  • 2014 Ford #11 Rockstar F-150 Trophy Truck
  • 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2014 Ford Forza Horizon Fiesta ST
  • 2014 Ford Ranger T6 Rally Raid
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT
  • 2016 Ford Focus RS RX
  • 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R
  • 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
  • 2017 Ford Ford GT
  • 2015 Formula E #10 Trulli Spark SRT_01E
  • 2015 Formula E #11 ABT Spark FE 01
  • 2015 Formula E #2 Virgin Racing VIR 01E
  • 2015 Formula E #21 Mahindra M2Electro
  • 2015 Formula E #23 Venturi 1
  • 2015 Formula E #27 Andretti Formula E Spark SRT_01E
  • 2015 Formula E #55 Amlin Aguri Spark SRT_01E
  • 2015 Formula E #6 Dragon Racing Spark SRT_01E
  • 2015 Formula E #9 e.dams-Renault Spark SRT_01E
  • 2015 Formula E #99 NEXTEV TCR FE01
  • 1983 GMC Vandura G-1500
  • 1977 Holden Torana A9X
  • 1970 Honda S800
  • 1986 Honda Civic Si
  • 1991 Honda CR-X SiR
  • 2001 Honda S2000 Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2005 Honda NSX-R
  • 2005 Honda Team Forza NSX-R
  • 2007 Honda Civic Type-R
  • 2014 Honda #2 Castrol Honda Civic WTCC
  • 2014 Honda #5 Zengo Motorsport Civic WTCC
  • 2016 Honda Civic Type R
  • 1996 HSV GTS/R
  • 2015 Infiniti Q60 Concept
  • 1993 Jaguar XJ220
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupé
  • 2015 Jaguar XE-S
  • 2015 Jaguar XKR-S GT
  • 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S
  • 1945 Jeep Willys MB
  • 1976 Jeep CJ5 Renegade
  • 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
  • 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
  • 2015 Koenigsegg One:1
  • 1988 Lamborghini Jalpa
  • 2014 Lamborghini #14 GMG Racing LP 570-4 Super Trofeo
  • 2014 Lamborghini #18 DragonSpeed Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo
  • 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale EVO
  • 1972 Land Rover Series III
  • 1997 Land Rover Defender 90
  • 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport
  • 2015 Lexus RC F
  • 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
  • 1997 Maserati Ghibli Cup
  • 2014 Maserati Ghibli S Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4
  • 1972 Mazda Cosmo 110S Series II
  • 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • 1990 Mazda Savanna RX-7
  • 1991 Mazda #18 Mazdaspeed 787B
  • 1991 Mazda #62 Mazda Motorsport RX-7
  • 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • 2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5
  • 2010 Mazda MX-5 Super20
  • 2013 Mazda MX-5 Cup
  • 2016 Mazda MX-5
  • 2016 Mazda Team Forza MX-5
  • 1966 McLaren M2B
  • 1988 McLaren #12 Honda McLaren MP4/4
  • 2015 McLaren 650S Coupe
  • 1939 Mercedes-Benz W154
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz #35 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG
  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz Forza Horizon A 45 AMG
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz #84 HTP Motorsport SLS AMG GT3
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz #4 Erebus Motorsport E63 AMG V8 Supercar
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz #9 Erebus Motorsport E63 AMG V8 Supercar
  • 1986 MG Metro 6R4
  • 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP
  • 2014 MINI Monster Energy All4 Racing X-Raid
  • 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
  • 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR
  • 1994 Nissan #75 Cunningham Racing 300ZX
  • 1995 Nissan NISMO GT-R LM
  • 2010 Nissan G-Shock 370Z
  • 2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
  • 2012 Nissan GT-R Fast & Furious Edition
  • 2015 Nissan #23 GT-# LM NISMO
  • 2015 Nissan IDx NISMO
  • 2016 Nissan TITAN Warrior
  • 2009 Peugeot #9 Peugeot Sport Total 908
  • 2011 Peugeot #10 Team Matmut 908
  • 1970 Plymouth Cuda Fast & Furious Edition
  • 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Fast & Furious Edition
  • 1971 Plymouth GTX 426 HEMI
  • 2000 Plymouth Prowler
  • 2005 Pontiac Aztek
  • 1970 Porsche 914/6
  • 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3
  • 1987 Porsche 959
  • 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo
  • 1998 Porsche #26 Porsche AG 911 GT1 98
  • 2003 Porsche Carrera GT
  • 2004 Porsche 911 GT3
  • 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
  • 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0
  • 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
  • 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
  • 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo
  • 1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600s
  • 1990 Renault Alpine GTA Le Mans
  • 2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck
  • 2013 Robby Gordon #7 Speed Energy Drink Stadium Super Truck
  • 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith
  • 2013 SRT Team Forza Viper GTS
  • 2013 SRT Viper GTS
  • 2016 Subaru #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car
  • 1967 Sunbeam Tiger
  • 1969 Toyota 2000GT
  • 1992 Toyota Celica GT-Four RC ST185
  • 1992 Toyota Supra 2.0 GT Twin Turbo
  • 2014 Toyota #11 Handy Motorsport Avensis
  • 2014 Toyota #12 Rebellion Racing R-One
  • 2014 Toyota #20 United Autosports Avensis
  • 2014 Toyota #80 Speedworks Motorsport Avensis
  • 2016 Toyota #18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M's Camry
  • 1990 Vauxhall Lotus Carlton
  • 2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR
  • 2016 Vauxhall Corsa VXR
  • 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert Dingo Racing Stock Bug
  • 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC
  • 2014 Volkswagen Golf R
  • 1967 Volvo 123GT
  • 1983 242 Turbo Evolution
  • 2014 Volvo #1 Volvo Polestar Racing S60 STCC
  • 2014 Volvo #13 Volvo Polestar Racing S60 STCC
  • 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar

    Forzavista Tour Cinemas
  • 2017 Acura NSX
  • Engine Tour - Fully customized

  • 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan
  • Interior Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2016 Bentley Bentayga
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars

  • 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2013 Cadillac XTS Limousine
  • Rear Interior Tour - Fully customized

  • 1972 Ford Falcon XA GT-HO
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 1992 Ford Falcon GT
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars

  • 1996 HSV GTS/R
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2016 Honda Civic Type R
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars

  • 1970 Honda S800
  • Engine Tour - Fully customized

  • 1980 Lancia #31 Lancia Corse Beta Montecarlo Turbo
  • Engine Tour - Fully customized

  • 1972 Land Rover Series III
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars

  • 1991 Mazda #62 Mazda Motorsport RX-7
  • Drivetrain Tour - Fully customized

  • 1995 Nissan NISMO GT-R LM
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars

  • 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2004 Porsche 911 GT3
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots
  • Rear Wing Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 1970 Porsche 914/6
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 1987 Porsche 959
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 2003 Porsche Carrera GT
  • Engine Tour - Tuning of existing shots
  • Rear Wing Tour - Tuning of existing shots

  • 1990 Renault Alpine GTA Le Mans
  • Engine Tour - Fully customized

  • 1992 Toyota Supra 2.0 GT Twin Turbo
  • Car Tour - Tuning of existing shots
  • Interior Tour - Universal update for right-hand drive cars