Forza Horizon 4 – Design Director Explains Why Britain Was Chosen and How Seasons Work
Forza Horizon 4 Design Director Jon Knoles explains why the Horizon Festival is moving to the UK, and how exactly seasons will work in the game.
While the UK location of Forza Horizon 4 wasn’t an enormous surprise (at least for those who didn’t naively believe that silly false “leak” about Hong-Kong) the dynamic four seasons certainly are. DualShockers asked Design Director Jon Knoles about both elements, and he had some interesting details to share.
Knoles mentioned that there are many places that would work with the seasons, and the team looked at “a bunch” of them. He recognized that people initially believed the location was Japan, and he doesn’t know where that came from, even if he revealed that Japan has always been one of the places that the developers look at, as it’s just a beautiful country and has wonderful seasons.
Britain (besides proximity for the team at PlayGround games) has surprising amounts of geographic diversity. While most seem to think of rolling green hills and fog, the country has an amazing amount of geological diversity as well.
“Old Rocks, new rocks, crazy rocks. There is a couple of rock formations… one’s cold Rosemary Topping, and other is called Arthur’s Seat. And these are just giant rock outcroppings which are perfect for launching your car off of.”
Knoles also mentioned the historic city of Edinburgh, and it’s really cool to tackle a really old city. For PlayGround this is a labor of love as it’s where they live and they want to make sure to get it just right.
Britain also has a deep motoring history, and the roads are known for being “incredible driving roads” throughout the country.
“The game’s map that covers parts of Wales, Scotland, and England just captures that perfectly.”
We also learn that the map is roughly the same size as that of Forza Horizon 3.
Speaking of Britain, you can’t avoid thinking about the drystone walls that have been used for centuries to limit properties, and Knowles confirmed that they’re all destructible. There will be walls that aren’t destructible, but those will look different, as they will be less rough, and they will be nicely masoned walls that the players will be able to recognize.
Knoles also explained how seasons will work in the game. How long each season will last depends on which part of the game you’re in.
In the beginning, you’ll get a “rocket tour” of each season of a couple of minutes each. As you arrive at the festival to start your Horizon Life (which is what the developers call the campaign) you’ll spend about an hour in each season to get a “full Horizon year” under your belt. You also get a job and a house that you can use as your home base.
After that, you’re transferred to the “server-controlled clock” that is the same for everybody playing the game in the entire world. From then on, each season will last one real-world week. Every player around the world will experience the same time of day, the same weather, and the same season changes. On top of that, even the same seasons will not be the same as they keep rolling in, as the development team will keep making changes over time.
“With every season players will get new events to complete, new challenges, new rewards, and new Forzathon things, and new content. No two winters will ever be the same, and everyone will experience those things together.”
Forza Horizon 4 launches on October 2nd for Xbox One and Windows 10. It can already be pre-ordered on Amazon.
[Original interview by Michael Ruiz]
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