Forza 5: ‘Xbox One Controller Teaches Players How To Drive’ Says Dev
According to Forza 5 developer, Dan Grennawalt, the Xbox One controller’s ability to provide haptic feedback to the player allows the developers to teach players how to become better drivers in Forza 5.
“In many ways, as gamers, we are being trained by games,” Greenawalt explained. “Trained how to shoot a rifle using just a trigger and a controller, which is a very complex behaviour. Training how to drive a £3000 car at 200mph hour, that’s a very complex thing to do.
“So I find haptics very interesting. Immediately when we were talking about these inputs I was like, ‘wow I can give more dimensionality to my input, to the players’,” Greenawalt said.
“If you think about a controller, the way people tend to drive with a controller is very digitally. It’s all acceleration, it’s all brake, it’s all left and it’s all right.
“Well now imagine going down the motorway tonight and you’re driving with your foot pegged, and the moment you want to take a turn off for your exit you just fully spun the wheel 900 degrees in one direction – you’d kill yourself,” said Greenawalt.
“And yet this is how people expect to drive racing games. To me, that’s the interesting design challenge.”
Greenawalt explained that the Xbox One’s controller provided the developers with an opportunity to solve that challenge.
“The cool thing about the Xbox One controller is we not only have rumble to give you feedback, but we also have Impulse Triggers.
“The rumble itself, we call that chassis rumble. It rumbles the controller, and we’ve got a small motor, and a big motor, and we can buzz, we can warble and we can create a lot of different sensations and those are called haptics,” Greenawalt explained.
“With the chassis we simulate the rumble over the rumble strips, the suspension, bumps when you hit things and what have you, but that’s not giving you the dynamics of the car.
“When you’re over accelerating and spinning the rear tyres, we can tell you you’re over accelerating with the acceleration impulse trigger.
“It’s the same thing with the breaks; if they apply the brakes they can feel the threshold if you don’t have ABS on and if you do have ABS on you can feel it pulsing,” Greeawalt continued.
“Now it’s very subtle, but what we’ve already found, and this is what’s so cool, is that formally digital players are becoming analogue. They didn’t know why, but it’s because of the impulse trigger.
“Instead of going all acceleration, they are going in a little bit,” Greenawalt said. “It doesn’t happen straight away, it takes a couple of laps, but it happens subtly – we don’t have to tell them.”