Next gen is also about the "innovations" you can't see, says Xbox One developer

It's not just what goes into the game, says Forza 5 boss, it's how those games are made

Completing this week's trio of Forza 5-related exclusive quotes, here's Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt on why next generation "innovation" is as much about how games are created and delivered, as what actually goes into the game in question.

Speaking to us during our first look at Forza 5, Greenawalt addressed long-standing misgivings about the time and expense of blockbuster game development, which some fear will ultimately render the market inaccessible to any save the biggest publishers. The cost spike appears to be primarily a problem of mushrooming art budgets, as argued by hardware chief Boyd Multerer in our Xbox One guide.


"Often when we talk about innovation in the press, what's focused on is the innovation that's going into the product, that the customer will be able to perceive," Greenawalt explained. "But from our perspective that's just the tip of the iceberg, because to deliver such epic games at quality every two years and now every year, requires a toolset, and a process, and that actually is the lion's share of the innovation. So while our titles are very innovative, it's [also] everything beyond them that you're not necessarily seeing."

Among the innovations you will be able to detect in Forza 5 are the Drivatars, cloud-stored AI constructs that are modelled on how players race. They'll learn and grow alongside you, and appear in place of traditional, prefabricated computer drivers, which should ensure an unheard-of degree of replay value. Providing you have an internet connection, at least.

It's possible Drivatars are also an answer to the question of how to create content efficiently - by guaranteeing that the campaign experience will evolve over time, they'll help make Forza 5 less dependent on officially created downloadable add-ons.

"Because it's the secret of the industry, people talk about how are we going to make content on next gen," Greenawalt went on. "This has been a story that kind of started on Xbox 360, and is going to be heading to next gen as well - these consoles are bigger, they require more content, and we can't hire Pharaoh's army to do all of this work.

"So that's where a lot of the innovation in the next gen is going to come - yes there's going to be great innovation that consumers are going to see as well, and I will talk about that, but I think it's important to take a step back for a second and say that you're going to see how real studios are going to really solve the problems of the next generation and making large-scale content, and high quality games, in time."

Turn 10 has spent the past few years upgrading how it goes about game creation, he added elsewhere, in preparation for the strain of developing for a next generation Xbox. "In many ways I feel like the last ten years have lead up to this game for us. We would not be capable of making this game two years ago.


"With the tools that we had, the team that we had, with the process we had. Without actually working with Playground [to create spin-off Forza Horizon], without building tools, without doing the things we've done by having the annual and the monthly cadence of downloadable content - all of those things poke us and require us to get fixed. We had to put in place tools processes and people to allow us to fix those problems.

"And we can bring all of those to bear on Forza Motorsport 5."

The new Forza is one of Xbox One's launch titles. Assuming you're picking up a next gen Xbox, which game do you think you'll buy first?