Turn 10

Forza Motorsport

Designing Car Culture


Designing Car Culture

Back in 2022, Turn 10 approached us enquiring about our abilities and interest in collaborating with them for in-game graphic development and animation for the next installment of their iconic racing series “Forza Motorsport”. Turn 10 has been evolving the series since the dawn of the original Xbox and with each installment, the realism is pushed beyond its limit setting the bar extremely high for all those other racing sim games.

To close the loop, we said yes absolutely and off we went! The needs were all-inclusive and touched just about every aspect of the game. From game menu graphics to on-track fake advertisement animations, we hit it all. All said and done we delivered well over 800 total designed and animated assets. When you fire up the game, you won’t be able to miss the mark we were fortunate enough to make on this storied franchise installment.

A Graphic Language

Our first order of business was to come up with a graphic language that would allow for a wide variety of design styling while still holding true to Forza’s sensibilities. This approach was used to inform how our collection of race posters would adapt and flex for each individual event, group, tour, and race.

The posters were created in a variety of aspect ratios for use in different sections of the game menu, needing to capture the sensibility of each tour name and give each a unique design language. There are a ton of these in the game, reflecting just how many different types of racing events a player can take on.

Car Poster Life

Some posters adopted a global design style when they were grouped within race event or tour groupings. Other posters were completely bespoke and custom for a singular race type. The goal was variety through the lens of Forza Motorsport. This lens is polished and energetic with a nod to car culture over the years.

In Engine

One technical aspect of these posters is that each and every car featured on the poster is a captured render from the game. Our process to create the hundreds of unique designs was to mock up an angle and car type then head into the developer build of the game and match the camera angle, lens, lighting, and car for the final render to be placed in the artwork. We hosted a Forza development box in our offices where our design staff was able to hop on and grab new renders when new designs came down the pipeline.

High Gloss

Some of these posters were brought to life in a looping animation that would be used in-game to kick off a series. For these specific requests, our animation team interpreted the designs into unique motion pieces that would look good reflected in the car bodies. These moments in-game would be focused on the car up close as the animation is reflected on them.

To achieve this, we created each animation specifically tailored to get the best high-contrast reflections possible. We had our own setup to test and find moments where this would play better than others. Making these custom animations work for both the shiny car bodies and on their own gave our design and motion teams plenty to figure out.

Track Loading Maps

When a player is ready to hit the pavement, the chosen race will load up with a graphic track map. Various angles are displayed while the game loads giving players a look at their upcoming race and any details they should be aware of. These maps were created to highlight the chosen ribbon and give the player some contextual information with a unique graphic style.

Complementing the rest of the game’s design language, these graphic maps let the ribbon come forward with a vibrant gold tone matching menu styling. Each track was taken from the game and rendered into a graphic style bringing all of the focus to the gold ribbon with the backdrop of the graphic buildings and terrain setting the stage.

Tune it up.

Diving deeper into race culture, tuning becomes a science where decimal points will define a win from a loss. A player has an incredible amount of options to tune their performance beast for the best track time possible. Each section is highlighted in a graphic rendered style echoing the games overall style.

These vignettes are focused on each section a player can explore. The cars, engines, and parts are straight from the game and modified into the black and gold style. This global design language becomes a high-level staple of the game’s visual look and feel out of the menu experience.

You want parts?
We got parts.

Anyone invested in race culture and who takes advantage of every single feature of Forza will want to geek out on every part in their car to swap them out and tune it up. We’ve got them covered with a whole library of car parts in various stages of upgrades. In Forza, players are able to get in and swap out their drivetrain, intake, and aero.

We set up a complex system for rendering out these elements. Since each had upgrade stages, we knew consistency was going to be key. Over 300 individual parts were rendered for the kit ranging from nuts and bolts all the way up to full engines. Each part is critical for the player and we wanted to make sure they were treated as such.

Top it off.

And just when you thought we had covered it all, we’ve got more. So much more. The visual vernacular of Forza Motorsport is incredibly rich with layers of design styling each with their own unique voice. Class series graphics, tour buttons, and many, many logos.

The game needs a complete kit of graphical elements that let it flex and give the player plenty of room for growth. As players progress through all of the circuits, we wanted to make sure the visuals became a reward on their own with something new to look at every time.

Finish line

All said and done, well over 800 graphics and animations were delivered for this incredibly rich racing sim. Working alongside the team at Turn 10 to help bring our graphical pov to their beautiful game was an amazing experience. We’re always looking for opportunities where we can help bring our design eye to anything that needs a fresh perspective. With Forza Motorsport and Turn 10, we found that and more in a collaborative environment that brought us all across the finish line in style.