Simulating reality through Forza 6...

Avatar image for notnert427
notnert427

2388

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 1

#1  Edited By notnert427

Recently, I had the opportunity to take my car ('06 Nissan 350Z) around the Circuit of the Americas track here in Austin. As "training" beforehand, I used Forza 6. I spec'd out the in-game 350Z as close to my real-life Z as possible. I did around 40-50 laps on Forza's virtual COTA and got somewhat familiar with taking the proper racing lines and figuring out how late I could brake on turns, what turns I could hold at certain speeds, et al. I felt decently prepared, or about as much as I could be off of a mere simulation. That is, assuming what Forza "taught" me was remotely accurate or something that could translate to real racing.

Yes, I park away from cars even at car meets.
Yes, I park away from cars even at car meets.
Microsoft has pegged their audience.
Microsoft has pegged their audience.

I've always loved my car, but I've never really pushed it to the absolute limits because there's generally traffic/police to worry about during daily driving and sub-par road surfaces even when I've done things like autocross. Getting it on a proper track was a game-changer. The grip allowed me to do things that I didn't know my car or myself as a driver were capable of. I'm nowhere near a professional driver or anything; I'm average at best in terms of people who actually do any sort of amateur racing. That said, I drove really well on that track. I'm getting ahead of myself, though.

First, I need to describe the structure of how they let us run COTA. This was not technically supposed to be a hot lap. They told us they would send us out one car at a time, that we weren't allowed to pass anyone, and that we were supposed to keep it under speed restrictions. Everyone chose to abide by the first two rules, but in some kind of sheer telepathy, we all collectively made the decision to completely disregard the speed restriction, and how we all accomplished this was by slowing up at the start and waiting until the car ahead got a good lead to put enough track in between each car to where we all could really open it up. I, too, did this. I just didn't give a big enough buffer.

The car ahead of me was a 3-series BMW (not an M3, mind you, which would have been a much better car to be following). They sent us out on a rolling start around Turn 6. I managed to catch the BMW just after Turn 10. I crawled around Turn 11 to put space between us, then hit 121 on the back straight and carved up Turns 12 through 15 in extremely satisfying fashion. As a result, I caught the BMW again around Turn 18. I slowed up on the main grandstand straight and let him get well past Turn 1 so I could finish flat-out, which I did. I came in through Turn 2 at full speed and took turns 3-5 without braking (a feat I only attempted because I'd previously pulled it off on Forza), which was terrifying/amazing at the very edge of control, especially because I quickly caught everyone who braked and had to damn near lock it up. I pushed the Z hard out on the track, and running through it first on Forza absolutely made a difference. At the very least, it taught me the layout, which translated into having the confidence to attack the track far more than I otherwise would have.

Why are you braking? Haven't you played Forza?
Why are you braking? Haven't you played Forza?
This, except at night...and in reality.
This, except at night...and in reality.

As far as approximating the track and the car's limits, I found it surprisingly close. I hit similar speeds to the Forza runs at certain points on the track and had several oddly cool/familiar moments when I "knew" when to brake/turn/accelerate and had that pay dividends in helping me nail some turns. Holy hell, this was fun. I had so much adrenaline going afterwards that I couldn't even get to sleep that night. I only wish I'd brought a GoPro along. I had intended to, but didn't manage to pick up a dash mount for it in time. I won't make that mistake again, and I am doing this again. In fact, I've got the itch now to road trip it out to California, take a spin around Sonoma, cruise down Highway 1, and finish up by running Laguna Seca. I crossed an item off of my bucket list, but now I'm hooked and maybe added a few more. If you've got even a passing interest in motorsport, do yourself a favor and take a spin on a proper track.

Playing racing games over the years, with a special nod to Forza 6 in particular, made this experience so much more fun and memorable. (If you're interested in seeing a flat-out comparison/competition between actual professionals in the game and in reality, here you go.) Virtual racing surely isn't the real thing, but it's not without merit. If you ask me, there's certainly some overlap, so the next time you're on Forza in some car you may never get to drive around a track you may never be on in real-life, maybe take a second to enjoy that you're doing the next best thing. After this, I have a new appreciation for racing games and video games on the whole as sometimes more than just a hobby.

There were no hot-air balloons, but spot-on otherwise, Forza. Spot-on.
There were no hot-air balloons, but spot-on otherwise, Forza. Spot-on.

Avatar image for veektarius
Veektarius

6420

Forum Posts

45

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 1

#2  Edited By Veektarius

I asked a similar question to this a few months back. I wondered whether a racing game would simulate how a car handles well enough to inform a buying decision. You'd probably also need a game that simulated being in highway traffic to really accomplish that, but it's cool to know that you felt the experience was that similar.

Avatar image for corvak
Corvak

2010

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This is pretty cool. I knew games like Forza aimed for realistic physics and tracks, but it's cool to see how close they come. Microsoft often hypes up how the team visits tracks to gather data, and it seems its more than marketing in this case. First off, I don't have the cash to be a 'car guy' and am kinda restricted in my ability to do my own work by apartment complex rules. I don't buy every 'sim' Forza game, but I picked up 5 when I got my Xbox One. It's really cool to see the detail they go to making these games is paying off.

Seeing things like this makes me want a proper racing wheel to play with. Finally, the F1 fan in me would jump at the chance to drive on the same track as an F1 race, if I owned something better than my old '03 Toyota Matrix with its creaky struts xD

As a CAD person 'in real life', I have used scanning equipment to generate point clouds of existing areas, and if you're willing to put in the time in the field, you really can get a very accurate digital representation of something. We can scan the front face of a pipe from over 100 feet and the software will tell me it's diameter. Pretty slick. Forza doesnt go to this level of detail, but it's clear they are using similar tech to do it, at least for the track surface and probably the location of walls/barriers.

P.S: thanks for being one of the car guys who parks away from other cars, instead of just double-parking like a jerk (something Mercedes owners in particular seem to do incessantly where I live). If only we lived in a perfect world where people knew how to park between lines and not smack into each other. ^5

Avatar image for franstone
Franstone

1534

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Jealous
Wish I had a WRXsti to do this in...
Funny, when I worked in QA at Atari way back when, there was someone that had a base model Audi Quattro TT (lol) who parked it away from everyone else.
On break me and a few others would all move and park our cars next to it.
hahah! : )

Avatar image for dave_tacitus
Dave_Tacitus

2541

Forum Posts

19

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

This is pretty old now, but I immediately thought of this Top Gear sketch:

Loading Video...

Avatar image for notnert427
notnert427

2388

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 1

@franstone: @corvak: If you guys live by a track or are willing to road trip it to one, most will do "driving experience" events with sports cars there for you to drive, so you don't necessarily need your own car. You're also not putting the stresses of racing on your own car, so that's nice. They did one of those at COTA a few weeks before I ran the track where you could go out there in a Corvette Z06, a Nissan GT-R, a Ferrari 458, or Audi R8. As cool as it was to drive my own car, I'm considering trying out one of those supercars next. I think it was $549, so not cheap, but not ridiculous, either.

Regardless of how you do it or what you drive, I highly recommend getting out there on a track if you can. It was a blast that I'll count among my favorite memories.

Avatar image for rethla
rethla

3725

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

This is super cool. A couple of years ago i took my car to Nurburgring and had the time of my life there doing 4 laps. I spent months in Gran Turismo learning the track before that and it all payed off really well, its so much fun doing this and im happy yet another one got to experience it.

Do you know if your times where remotely close to ingame? I was like a min slower than ingame becouse i just didnt dare to push it like that irl. and also there was alot of traffick.

Avatar image for notnert427
notnert427

2388

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 1

@rethla said:

This is super cool. A couple of years ago i took my car to Nurburgring and had the time of my life there doing 4 laps. I spent months in Gran Turismo learning the track before that and it all payed off really well, its so much fun doing this and im happy yet another one got to experience it.

Do you know if your times where remotely close to ingame? I was like a min slower than ingame becouse i just didnt dare to push it like that irl. and also there was alot of traffick.

I'd love to race the 'Ring, but that track would scare the shit out of me. I didn't time myself on COTA, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because I had to keep slowing up due to the BMW I kept catching. That said, I'm quite sure I'm not a good enough driver to do Forza times in real life; I'd probably be much like Clarkson in that clip @dave_tacitus linked. In the right hands, though, it seems like it can be done:

Loading Video...

Avatar image for sgtsphynx
SgtSphynx

2664

Forum Posts

634

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 24

#9 SgtSphynx  Moderator

I'm super jealous. I would love to take my Challenger around a track, though supposedly that would void my lifetime warranty. It is cool that through practice in game you can improve you performance in real life though, even if it won't make you an expert.

Avatar image for pweidman
pweidman

2884

Forum Posts

15

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

#10  Edited By pweidman

Cool blog duder. I'm near golden international raceway(in northern cali, formally sears point) and that track is evil. I've seen a lot there including a motorcyclist pass there unfortunately. Anyway I drive a '12 Mustang GT, slightly modified, nothing serious besides huge meats and rims really, but it sure would be fun to test it, and myself on that track. I'd really rather test Atlanta short or long, as that has always been my fav to set times on most of the Forza games. Most autocross orgs require a roll bar so it's a bit of an obstacle for daily drivers. Loving Forza 6 btw; feels like a return to the greatness and wonder that was Forza 2 and 3 for me.

EDIT: Raceboy77 is really good on-stream..he's legit. :))

Avatar image for rethla
rethla

3725

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

@notnert427: It can absolutely be done as far as learning the basics of the track go. Theres alot of F1 drivers saying they play videogames at home to learn new tracks since the testing is very limited (including Austin).

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.