How Forza 5 Is Crowd-Sourcing Artificial Intelligence

Thanks to some ambitious cloud-based technology, you'll never race against vanilla AI in Turn 10's latest racing sim.

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With features like assisted steering and a driving line telling you how to approach each corner, the Forza Motorsport series has always excelled at giving newcomers the tools to overcome racing barriers. And with the latest iteration in the franchise, Turn 10 Studios is aiming to let players overcome the greatest barrier of all: how to continue playing Forza when you're not actually playing Forza.

The approach? A cloud-powered upgrade to the Drivatar technology that debuted way back in 2005's original Forza Motorsport. In this latest game, Drivatar is constantly keeping track of your driving habits: how aggressive you are in the straights, how prone you are to cutting corners, and whether or not you're afraid to trade a little paint when the situation calls for it.

Forza 5 takes all of this data and sends it to the cloud after every race. In doing so, Forza 5 is storing a virtual representation of every single player in the world. If you play Forza 5, you'll have your own doppelganger living in the cloud. And the more you play, Turn 10 says, the more accurate that doppelganger will be.

Here's the most interesting part: these cloud-powered representations of human players are the drivers that make up every event in the game, whether it's an online match that needs to fill out a few extra slots or a single-player race deep into your career mode. That means you'll never be racing against vanilla AI. Every driver you encounter in the game is based on the actual driving habits of another human being.

The game does this by pulling data from the cloud and matching other players' skills with your own. Turn 10 insists that you'll be given plenty of control over what types of drivers you're matched up against, with various settings and toggles to fine-tune the matchmaking in terms of both skill and driving styles.

In doing all of this, Turn 10 is aiming to create a more human driving experience. It wants to move past the days where every AI you face just sort of blends into the other. Instead, Turn 10's goal is to let you face off against a grid of racers who each boast their own unique personalities and eccentricities.

So what happens once you've turned off the system and your Drivatar finds his or herself downloaded into Xboxes across the world? Well, you'll get paid for it, of course. Every race that your virtual doppelganger takes part in will earn you in-game currency to buy new cars and upgrades. You may be lying in bed reading a book, but you'll be making sweet, sweet virtual credits in the process.

For more on Forza Motorsport, check out GameSpot's video feature about the history of the franchise.

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Discussion

188 comments
mvickers89
mvickers89

Now that's how you get a challenging AI....plus earning currency by doing nothing but letting people race against my 'ghost'? Sweet

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

That actually sounds really neat, if it works anyways and getting in-game currency for it is a nice touch.

j15reed
j15reed

This is the future persistent worlds embrace the future #xboxone

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Gran Turismo 6 will be obsolete before its even out. lol

Forza FTW!

4NGoods
4NGoods

It's the end of the world, Skynet is taking over.  


zinten
zinten

Does this ai  reproduce the driver skill level as well?

It would be great if some pro pilot could get their driving model ghosted and then have it shared in a library of ghost ai.

Ben Treseder
Ben Treseder

Joni. Nothing is playable offline for more than 24hrs. There will be fine print on every game "*if owner of this content does not have a active Internet account the game will become invalid"

Amy Davidson
Amy Davidson

The only good part of their conference was seeing a real car imo

Ben Treseder
Ben Treseder

Geez I am looking forward to racing GTs robotic ai again. It's the games biggest let down if you ask me. Feels like it hasn't changed since the original.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

so you drive with ai that will bump you and never take the ideal line?

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

Why do driving simulations get all these AI innovations when it all boils down to really boring driving?? Meanwhile arcade racing AI where this would be more than welcome are dumber than ever!

Jessy Tatum
Jessy Tatum

It's still AI because the person isn't really there...

Alex Dodge
Alex Dodge

BUT OMG I NEED TO BE ONLINE TO USE THIS! I REJECT THIS I WANT TO PLAY USED GAMES OFFLINE INSTEAD PS4PS4PS4!! ..... /sarcasm

Bregzeinkul
Bregzeinkul

The concept is great. Looking forward to this being implemented in a more... exciting ways.

Joni Holmberg
Joni Holmberg

Oh, i remember the times when the PS2 games had the text "With Online-features" now the XONE games are going to say "Playable offline".

James Phromphanh
James Phromphanh

Onlive is cloud gaming and spectating. Not great qualities but the concept is great

AzraRillian
AzraRillian

Wonder if the same tech could be used to make enemy AI's in other games better? For example, reading how players in a FPS play in groups (in multiplayer) and making the AI's capable of similar group structure?

Frederick Quatman
Frederick Quatman

1.5 MB isn't a great connection, and you can still play the game offline after you've verified it. If you've seen any interview with Respawn or Capcom, they've clearly stated the Cloud stuff if the reason there games can be played at all, it doesn't take a great connection, actually a below average one is fine. If playing online helps improve games, I'm all for it.

varmintx
varmintx

This makes perfect sense as FM has always tried to make its AI react like other players as opposed to GT trying to make its AI react like professional racers, hitting their marks and not trying anything too risky.  Both approaches are the correct one for their respective series.

Rainier Gatbonton
Rainier Gatbonton

Great idea. But this will not work in the other network aka PSN!

Adnan Ahmed
Adnan Ahmed

A very very pathetic excuse to be always online

Rajiv_psn
Rajiv_psn

Another bad move MS.

Why would I buy a game that plays on its own???

That, not exactly, a similar function Gran Turismo has known as B-spec mode which I really hate...

It sometime makes me lazy not wanting to play and enjoy the game which I actually should.

Or maybe you want me to turn on the console with that Kinect ON and leave???

Beau Wetini
Beau Wetini

I am not a fan of Xbox One, but this is an awesome concept!

Sina Madani
Sina Madani

A useless feature. I wish racing games could get rid of intrusive AI and bring back time trial challenges

Ramiro Luis Teixeira
Ramiro Luis Teixeira

thanks to cloud-based tech, if you have some kind of problem with your connection, you won't play the game...

Sam Kerman
Sam Kerman

So what happens when you suck ass at the game, crash into everyone you see, and drive backwards on the track?

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

this is probably the only cool thing i've seen/read from all XboxOne coverage so far. not enough to get the system but would love to see this kind of feature in future GranTurismo or Need For Speed games. 

AzraRillian
AzraRillian

also, if you could "build up" a good AI, would it be possible to trade AI's for games? perhaps even cross-games (if it could be "standardized")

pspearman
pspearman

@Rajiv_psn I'm guessing this is a troll post but if its not, here are the details since you obviously couldn't be bothered to read them.

As your playing, your playing style is observed in the cloud which creates the behaviour of your Drivatar. When you stop playing, your drivatar appears in other peoples races, if it manages to win some money, it gets deposited into your account.

All the AI you race against are also other peoples Drivatars, therefore meaning, in theory that no race will be the same and there will be different styles to contend with.

In summary, the game is doing nothing for you, if anything its giving you an incentive to get better so your Drivatar becomes a harder opponent for other players.

Dr_Umbreon
Dr_Umbreon

@Rajiv_psn because you want to play other games and not fall behind on this one?  Its multitasking get used to it

djdan200
djdan200

@Ramiro Luis Teixeira This is the future of gaming, get used to it. 

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

You won't need to LOL. Your Avatar will take over when you leave!

@Ramiro Luis Teixeira 

pspearman
pspearman

@Sam Kerman Judging from the article, you may be able to filter out racers who are prone to crashing or are too agressive

AzraRillian
AzraRillian

@Sam Kerman good question... what would happen if a few hundred or even a few thousands did this? Could you end up in a race where every AI opponent crashes into everyone else and drives backwards on the track?

sammoth
sammoth

@AzraRillian I think that's where MS is leading this into game development. With types of innovation like this it studies human interaction and tendencies and makes AI based off of the player based. Only time will tell where this leads.