Does FM need a paradigm change in AI and race design?

Since i am a big fan of the F1 games from Codemasters, it’s difficult for me to enjoy the Singleplayer Races in FM. The Races in the F1 series are feeling more like a true race, and this has nothing to do with the realism of the steering or gameplay, but to fight with the AI feels more realistic, and that is what i would like to see in FM8. A qualifiying mode for the race, and not the typical “Start from positon 8” scheme. Also the AI needs a lot of improvement, because in Motorsport 7, i had often the issue, that AI (no matter what difficulty) does breaktest me on straight lines or specific corners, like Eau Rogue.

A single race is clearly designed to keep the player from reaching the First place fast, and the AI is not like an equal opponent, but more like an predator, trying everything to make things harder. Instead having childish blocking, ramming or break-tests, i would like to see wheel to wheel racing, like an true race.

It doesn’t matter how good FM8 will look, but these are key-features for me, and the series have to reach the next level of gameplay. FM7 feels outdated, compared to Assetto Corsa or GT, but it has the better steering and drive feeling. I would like to see FM8 on a new level of realism, combined it’s quality level with the race authencity of the Formula 1 series for example.

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I don’t need to fight the AI, but I think it could stand to be more… “predictable” for lack of a better word. Or maybe “orderly”?

Structured race series with a championship badly need to make a return, FH3 was the last game that had them. We have some now but only as part of the weekly festival playlist and then with a fixed PI/Car Type. The essence of Competition has been removed from Forza Horizon now as though there are accolades for winning there is no actual championship to strive for and taking part in the race is good enough to get completion. The loss of Ranked and even Team online events has hurt it even more as without that Ranked incentive it’s just a pot of people doing some random events together.

I didn’t play much FM5/6/7 as at the time FH2/3/4 still had enough competition either in single player or online to keep me interested. FH5 seems to have gone too far towards being a sandbox of play areas, and has lost ranked online play, which is fine if that’s the direction it wants to go in but maybe it’s no longer the main racing game I want to play.

Forza Motorsport 7 has one of the worst AI in racing games. Without rewind it is almost unplayable, and even with rewind the AI sometimes just crushing into you over and over again in the same turn.
I think FM2 AI was better, and PGR 4 AI was definetly better.
Maybe it is because cars in FM7 are less stable so every contact send them spinning.

FM7 AI isn’t good, but FM2 AI better? That’s hilarious. FM2 AI was slow on most tracks and ignored the player more than ever, with the exception of FM1 (and don’t get me started on that AI).

Agreed. FM1 had abysmal AI. FM2 saw an improvement (from “abysmal” to “complete garbage”). I don’t think there’s been a significant change in how the AI actually drives since then. Giving them power and grip multipliers gets them around the track faster, but they’re still not any better at driving. I have a few ideas that I think would improve their driving (and thus their laptimes) without resorting to “cheats”, but not knowing what’s going on under the hood of the game I don’t know if they’d actually be feasible or not. Creating a dynamic racing line culled from a range of leaderboard times (top 10 for Unbeatable, top 1% for Next-To-Unbeatable, etc.) for a given track/class/division/etc. would be a good start. Should help with the accuracy of the PI system, as well, since that’s calculated by the AI.

Then we just need to get them to defend and attack a position like they’re driving something other than a bulldozer.

Every car is different and while the top drivers may use a similar line how they follow that line varies from car to car. Most top 10 times on any track is usually done in a particular car, that has a particular tune and usually has to be driven a certain way. It would be a massive undertaking to try and copy the best line used for every car in every class for every track in the game especially when you have to take into account the various builds/tunes that allow for those times.

I think the problem they have is that they do copy drivers times but use various cars that really aren’t capable of doing so, which is why it seems as though they’re cheating in a way. Then there’s also the fact that using leaderboard times from hot lapping is not the same as racing. Unfortunately one of forzas biggest strengths is also its biggest weakness. Having hundreds of cars is great, but realistically only a handful are the best in any given class. It wouldn’t be that fun if you picked unbeatable difficulty and had to race against 23 opponents in the same leaderboard car, so they have to tweak some things to change it up.

I also don’t think the ai in forza is worse than most other games, I’ve had good races and bad vs the ai in pretty much every racing game out there. There are certainly other games that have more advanced ai, but even they faulter from time to time. I do think it’s time that turn 10 follows what most other sims do and add a difficulty and aggression slider as it allows for a much more customized experience and allows everyone to pretty much find their own sweet spot.

AI is not easy to program in any game, there’s constant variables happening in real time and even the best implementations of ai are still bound by hardware limitations. Consoles limit ai capability even more and we are yet to see what the new gen of consoles can actually do. Acc is getting a next gen update this month and gt7 releases next month so I’m keen to see if anyone is going to take advantage of the new hardware when it comes to ai.

I think the single biggest issue with the FM AI is the behavior in the first couple turns. The AI seems to either completely smash into each other or come to a complete stop with a single car slowly driving through at a time. The AI really needs to drive with the behavior that should be expected in multiplayer races or it gives people the impression that such driving is normal or acceptable, when it clearly isn’t.

I think the same can be said about the penalty system. Any MP penalty system should be able to be enforced in single player races (as an option) so that people can get used to what is expected of them in a “real” race.

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I like the title of this thread, “paradigm change in race design” is good wording.

Imo games like Forza have an inherent mismatch in terms of goals during a race:
They want to have you right in the middle of the action, they want you to win the race, and they want to be realistic.

I know many people see qualifyings as saviour. Qualifyings should absolutely be an option, but I don`t see them fix this mismatch.
Since this is not F1, where your goals are kinda tied to the quality of your team, I fear qualifyings alone would mostly lead to lonely races from P1 to P1.

Suggestion for a paradigm change:
Move away from “winning the race” as goal (Turn10 already tried that in a soft way).

How to do that?
Bind the goal of a race to the chosen difficulty. Rate and reward it accordingly (e.g. give a grade that reflects the skill of the player in a race, rather than a medal for the final position).

Let`s say you start in the middle of the field, as we are used to.
If you play on easy (AI-) difficulty you get Grade A for finishing P1. If you play on hard difficulty you get Grade A for gaining two positions.
Doing this would allow the AI to offer a realistic challenge on higher difficulties, rather than being moving road-blocks.

This would work with or without qualifyings, if the target-time on qualifyings also adjusts to the chosen difficulty.

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What Forza really needs is to bring back the class-based career mode or career by car mode like the older games. Like going from E-class all the way to R3, advancing through the career and having side tourneys by car like Hatch Tourney, Silvia Sisters, etc. Damn, I loved 3 and 4 because of this(skipped 5 and 6 since I didn’t have a XBOX One or a PC that worked with those games).
Get rid of the simple GT classes and bring back the performance index for tournaments. WiggyDiggyPoo understands what I mean here.

For AI, collect data from other player’s driving in each race and use those to create a racing line for the AI. It’s totally possible as it has been shown time and time again in other games.

Forget e-sport racing games, those are only for people who don’t care about the cars and only want to race. Forza Motorsport has always been about tuning, modifying appearance and race with custom appearance cars both in single player and multiplayer. I see no reason to tune a car in FM7, if I don’t need to use it or the game makes it harder to select our purchased cars.

Also, keep the current track selection and bring more forgot tracks like the Kaido ones, the classic ones from FM3(Bernesian Alps[which is also in FM7] is quite a beautiful track to race in) and others. Don’t do like Gran Turismo 7 did and throw out the classics.

I really hope FM goes back to its roots, I love the series(despite being also a Playstation gamer, I love the XBOX platform) and want to see it shining again. Seriously, once I discovered Forza(back in 3 and 4), I completely forgot about GT(as I didn’t have a PS3).
—From a Forza fan since FM2

No. We need lootboxes and NFTs implemented. It will improve the game, regardless of whether or not it does. No AI improvement. No class-based career progression reminiscent of FM3/4.

I was thinking about how a new career mode could look like, I`ll just throw that in here.

As mentioned in my previous post, I think winning races is not an ideal goal for a realistic racer if it also wants to keep you in the heat of the race.
Going from there, working through an eventlist trying to earn gold medals everywhere wouldn`t work either.

On the other hand I really like how Turn10 tried to allow for a certain freedom in career mode.

Why not take this a step further and make a procedual, endless career mode?

I imagine it like this:
The career always offers a random selecton of 3 events for your currently active car, and 3 events for any cars you own.
The player picks one of them, and once he finishes (or cancels) the event, he is given a new randomized event selection.

Those events could look as we are used to, refering to car models, performance, regions, maybe conditions like night or rain.

What I mean by procedual/randomized is that those would not be predefined events.
The game would rather generate them based on your active car and garage, and fill them with a suitable track selection.

Instead of earning medals, the progression could be measured in something like reputation, pretty much XP leveling. Reputation Levels reward titles, cash, cars, and could unlock the full/long version of tracks for the randomized events.

Additionally there could be a list of goals like “Finish an event in a GT3 car” etc. to add incentive for players to use a variety of cars.

Benefits:
-Can have a car (class) progression as it evolves with your garage.
-Allows to get rid of having to win gold by plowing through a field of moving obstacles.
-Player has the freedom to use the cars he likes.
-Allows for Track DLC to be integrated into the career, as the DLC would just add to the “pool”.

  • Can basicly be an endless mode, continuing to raise reputation after winning the highest “title”.

Maybe the game could focus more on Racing Series and Leagues like GT Series, Formula Series, Sport cars and others. Starting with an Newcomer in beginner series, earning reputation and money to get into higher classes - jumping into other Series. I never liked the idea to have GTs, Prototypes and Formula cars in the same event… yeah, if someone wants to play online like this, ok - give them the option to do it. But not as part of an carreer or competition system. Its not possible to balance this right.

I like the Rating system from ACC, which has the perfect indicators in Racing behavior. But of corse, this needs the fitting AI - with the old AI oder Drivatars… forget it. Drivatars are good in Forza Horizon, but not with the Motorsport franchise.

Of corse, the strenght of AI should still be optional and flexible for any kind of players.

I think it’s time for an carreer mode with invatations to events, working with seasons and all that stuff. And of corse, fitting Race tracks, which are changing from season to season flexible, there is a lot of potential. It’s even thinkable to have open seasons, Single and special events for tuned cars and the sort like, where you can win money and cars. If they do it right, the carreer may be more than completing all the Events avaible. Even if someone play an Series the 3rd or 4th time, he should be able to earn something new.

Most important: Let the player decide, if he wants only to drive touring series, it should be fine. Another one wants to drive GTs only? No problem. And not to forget. Achievements for carreer without forcement to drive with different series. Anything the game can offer, should be avaiable without a force to drive 24 hours races or such stuff. I like the idea when anyone can pick individual the favoured part from the game.