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Forza 5 is "the hardest thing Turn 10 has ever done", Xbox One cloud offers 600% more AI capability

"But it's exciting, we're having fun, but it's a huge challenge."

Ask yourself this: what would you do with 600% more brainpower, funnelled to your skull from vast corporate servers? I suspect I'd devote my share to writing better article introductions. Speaking to OXM during our first look at Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10's studio manager Alan Hartman and creative director Dan Greenawalt have revealed a little of the stress and excitement that accompanies the development of a shiny-shiny launch racer.

"I've been in the business for quite a while I've been leading game teams for 20 years," Hartman told us. "I've been here at Turn 10 for eight. In that time I've figured out the simple secret to running successful teams is creating an environment, a culture, that is safe that is challenging that is a place that attracts the best talent in the world and lets them do their best work.

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"That's not terribly unique," he admitted. "It is something I could do anywhere. So why do I do it here? Because it's first party. And first party is so challenging."

As we reported yesterday, Hartman and Greenawalt say Microsoft has never ordered them to make use of this or that platform feature - the developers were "asked" rather than "told" to show players what the console can do. Turn 10, however, feels that it has a responsibility to test Xbox One's mettle, and Forza 5 is thus a fearsomely comprehensive illustration of the new hardware's capabilities.

Hartman went onto highlight "the kind of tools and technology and processes, and business practices we have to put in place to enable all that. That continuous flow of content that is not only a massive amount of content but quality content.

"We've kept the quality up, we've improved the quality year over year of that quantity, and we've kept the cadence. Because if you can't deliver when the platform needs you then it doesn't matter. We have to be there when they need us to showcase the platform."

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Forza 5, in conclusion, is "a massive game, a quality game, an innovative game. At launch of the console. It's crazy hard. It's the hardest thing we've ever done. But it's exciting, we're having fun, but it's a huge challenge."

Turn 10 is particularly chuffed at being able to make use of Xbox One's cloud computing support for its much-sung Drivatar AI system, which trades out pre-scripted computer drivers for cloud-stored entities that learn from player behaviour. Greenawalt described the ability to offload such tasks to servers as a "tremendous opportunity".

"When you've got a learning neural network, more computing power is nothing but helpful. Because what you're able to do is process a lot more information, and you don't have to do it in realtime on the box. And that frees up more of the box to be doing graphics or audio or other computational areas.

"So we can now make our AI instead of just being 20%, 10% of the box's capability, we can make it 600% of the box's capability," he went on. "Put it in the cloud and free up that 10% or 20% to make the graphics better - on a box that's already more powerful than we worked on before."

I'll give you a few seconds to wash all the hyperbole out of your eyes. Done? Right. Here's another riddle: what kind of Drivatar do you think you'll unleash upon the world? The below video may be of some help.

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