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Forza 5′s ‘Drivatar’ AI marks the end of single player, says developer

Wednesday, 12th June 2013 12:44 GMT By Dave Cook

Forza Motorsport 5′s opponents will be derived from the behaviour of real-world players, making for a more intense, unpredictable racing experience. It marks the end of single-player, according to Turn 10′s lead gameplay designer Rhett Mathis.

If you’re thinking, ‘what the hell is a Drivatar?’ Steph has you covered in her superb overview of new Forza 5 features. There’s also a shiny trailer in there too.

Speaking with OXM, Mathis said of the mechanic, “With a system like this, we can race together, even when we’re not together.

“And we don’t have to do all the same things, like [Turn 10 boss Dan Greenawalt] pointed out, because we learn about your tendencies across different tracks – we understand how certain spots on one track relate to a spot on another track.

“We can build a profile of you that can go anywhere. So I can race him on the tracks I like even though he hasn’t been there, and I get to see the cars he’s using. So if he goes and gets a cool new livery, we can talk about it next time we touch base, see each other face to face.”

So even when you’re not online, your Drivatar will be pitted against other players online, mimicking your play style like some kind of digital doppelgänger.

Mathis concluded, “It’s the end of single player. This is something totally new because it adds such a level of social play, and that’s what we want to engender – that water cooler talk, or its over the phone with your friends, or its over Skype, or its however you want to do it.”

Are you a fan of the Drivatar tech? Let us know what you think below.

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27 Comments

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  1. G1GAHURTZ

    Some nice innovation there from Turn 10. Actually doing new things, while other people are still trying to sell rubber band AI nonsense.

    MS are making some pretty stupid decisions for the X1 these days, but there is some amazing stuff lined up for it, too.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Joe Musashi

    Needs to be played to be proven. And all this talk of “Power of the cloud” is numbingly reminiscent of “Power of the Cell”. It’s obvious that Power of the Cloud is going to be leverage to keep players connected and online as much of the time as possible. What I also don’t like about “Power of the cloud” is that it’s meaningless. Its intangible. There is not going to be anything to directly showcase what it does and doesn’t do. It’s buzzword/theory to be pimped around as something special.

    At this point, it’s like asking me to ‘believe’ in a particular God. As a natural cynic, I need proof (not soundbites or anecdotal evidence) before I’m inclined to believe. If you already believe, good for you. Enjoy.

    Also, “Drivatar” is a dreadfully unappealing word. I’m sorely tempted to put an extra “D” on the end of it whenever I see it.

    JM

    #2 10 months ago
  3. iSh3rlock

    in other words

    if you want to play our game (or you can’t drive/don’t have time) buy it and just watch your car goes “Kitt” he’ll play it for ya :) still $60 please!!

    #3 10 months ago
  4. BraveArse

    Wasn’t Drivatar in the very first Forza? Everybody seems to be thinking it’s a brand new thing.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. BraveArse

    Google search for “drivatar 2005″ answers my question: http://goo.gl/UQPbs

    It’s not brand new.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. CyberMarco

    “Forza 5′s ‘Drivatar’ AI marks the end of single player, says developer”

    And Microsoft’s direction marks the end of the Xbox…

    #6 10 months ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    @5:

    Yeah, it’s the same word, but obviously not the same concept.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. Edo

    Ha,ha,ha NO!

    #8 10 months ago
  9. DrDamn

    I thought this was a good idea, silly name, good idea. It’s not enabled by the cloud, stuff like this could easily be done in other ways. It just requires a server to push/pull info to/from.

    Clever extension of the sort of autolog/asynchronous gaming trend at the end of this gen.

    #9 10 months ago
  10. Francis O

    I’ll give them points for trying to innovate, which is lacking at this years E3.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. Fin

    @7

    It’s not terribly far off it – if I recall, you would drive a track and the system would learn how you drove, creating an AI personality. You could then enter this AI in other races.

    Forza 5 has just streamlined this a bit (so presumably the system is always learning), and keeps them in a centralized server, so users can download and race against them.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. Aullah

    So…. buy a console that barely lets you play, then buy a game that does not require you to play it… ok… sure.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. Old MacDonald

    It’s clever, but it’s not a replacement for single player. It’s more of an excuse to force everyone online.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Timurse

    The same system of asynchronous multiplayer is implemented in Real Racing 3 on my iPad.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. POOP CRUSTY

    Bitch please! For racing games maybe. As long as there are stories like Mass Effect, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, uncharted, the last of us and many more…. It will never die. Developers who just focus on the multiplayer part of a game are money sucking vampires.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. manamana

    I don’t get the obsession of killing single players games lately. Even games like Tomb Raider or The Last Of Us get MP tacked on. I have no gripes with MP but from time to time I just don’t want anyone else around/online me …

    #16 10 months ago
  17. BraveArse

    As @Fin says – it’s pretty much the same deal. it just seems to have been polished a bit and shoved in the cloud. I could have sworn I could access other people’s Drivatars too. It’s all a bit vague though.

    Edit: ah – you could copy peoples drivatars ( hate the word ) onto a memory unit and transfer it to your game.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. Mus42

    @16 – All the game companies want to tie you into their game, it stops you finishing it then trading it in for something new and moving on. If its multi-player then they hope you’ll carry on playing and spend more on stuff like special hats etc.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Malmer

    It would be pretty cool in a single player game, such as Mass Effect, if the same kind of tech was used to drive the NPCs in your team and your enemies. Basically it pulls down virtual “people” from the cloud at a matching skill level that drives the AI of your opponents.

    But maybe that would be really hard to do?

    #19 10 months ago
  20. harr0w

    This cloud computing opens up some really interesting oppertunities for games. Yet its another thing MS bar turn10/respawn have spoke very little about.

    #20 10 months ago
  21. pandulce1

    This cloud computing gimmick BS will be forgotten soon. It’s nothing more than Microsoft’s version of “Blast Processing”.

    #21 10 months ago
  22. harr0w

    i think you will find it probably more based on Microsoft`s donnybrook project than the SEGA created term “blast processing”

    #22 10 months ago
  23. OwningXylophone

    @12

    Understanding fail… While it’s possible you’ll be able to get your Drivatar to race for you (like you could in Forza 1, and hiring drivers in 2 and I seem to remember 3 also), the point they are making here is that instead of racing against pure AI in single player it will download random peoples Drivatars to make up the rest of the grid, using their driving style and their cars.

    Whatever you think of the XBone, it’s pretty hard to deny that this is a really good idea and will keep things fresh, as lets face it, the AI in both of the big racing sim franchises (Forza & GT) is pretty poor and fairly predictable.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. manamana

    @18 yes, thats what they say. Although I didn’t even touched the Tomb Raider and Uncharted MP. Probably goes the same for TLOU.

    When a developer needs people spending more time with their game, they could built more interesting stuff to explore/collect/gain over time. The time they invest into MP modes and maps would be better served for such things. Unlocking stuff by playing through multiple times would also be neat. Dark Souls has new game plus for example. Castlevania LOS is a very long and rewarding game for my likings. At least they could release more SP DLCs with new tracks.

    But hey, its just my worthless two pennies …

    #24 10 months ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    Innovation my ass. It’s a glorified ghost car with some rudimentary AI. Why would I want a game to play for me? That’s completely redundant.

    #25 10 months ago
  26. fihar

    Really guys, I have absolutely no idea why you would hate this idea.
    This is simply another form of Asynchronous multiplayer, think of this as an evolution of Criterion’s Autolog. You could play single-player if you want to, you just have to be connected all the time.

    This is how you push a genre forward. This is how you make progress. For all your talk of wanting to see innovation, when one actually came up, you guys immediately diss it because it’s not for single-player or because you have to be always online to enjoy it.

    Why in the world would you want to play against AI in a racing game anyway? They brake too early, can’t manage an overtake and have no idea how to defend their position. It’s like playing against bots in CS or playing a MOBA game alone.

    #26 10 months ago
  27. POOP CRUSTY

    ^ And that’s the thing. About a year ago I got into real money problems. I had no internet for a whole year and what kept me busy was Skyrim on the xbox. This pretty much means if I loose my job(GOD forbid) no video games for me. I know a lot of people who go through the same thing yearly. It’s a hassel. Yeah the majority have internet but there are still a lot who don’t from time to time. MS pretty much said a big FUCK YOU!! in that regard. I always deffended them in the past and feel silly on how they treat that trust. So no, Microsoft deserves nothibg. You think because they shell out a couple of 5 year old games free every month that it makes it alright? I’m done. I will still get the xbox but about a year after it’s release. I do after all still need my halo fix.

    #27 10 months ago