Nowgamer has recently published an article interviewing the developer of Forza 5, Dan Greenawalt. The interview is interesting for a multitude of reasons, primarily because it allows the reader to look behind the curtain of gaming development and how developers attempt to use technology as a tool in breaking down the barrier between material reality of life and the virtual reality of gaming. Dan Greenawalt notes that there has to be a balance maintained, between a strict driving simulator and the high octane entertainment that is only possible in the virtual reality of a gaming world, which he describes as an “interesting design challenge”.
The use of new generation technology to recreate the real world is not only applicable to the graphics (Forza graphics are stunning); it also applies to the Xbox One Controller and the use of haptic technology. Haptics, (if the reader is unaware) is a tactile feedback technology that applies motions and vibrations back to the individual user controlling the Xbox One controller. This relays to the user a change in environment and as Dan Greenawalt succinctly puts it, “we simulate the rumble over the rumble strips, the suspension, bumps when you hit things”.
Moreover, the haptic technology has been expanded upon in the new Xbox One Controller and it is no longer solely used as reflection of the environment, but also lets the user engage and feel (through their controller) the car itself, with the use of “Impulse Triggers”. This perhaps could revolutionize gaming into not only being an entertainment experience but as a learning tool as it attempts to accurately portray the feel of a car. Indeed, this could potentially teach the user how to drive. Dan Greenawalt remarks “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”.
Are you excited about purchasing the Xbox One and putting to the test Dan Greenawalt’s words concerning Forza 5? Do you feel that this revolution in technology could be applicable as a learning device? Please check out our previous articles written on Forza 5 here.