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Playground Games spent 18 months tweaking the first 10 minutes of Forza Horizon 3 [gi.biz]

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Great piece over at gamesindustry.biz that's very insightful into how Playground Games developers basically tested, tweaked and polished the nuts off the first 10 minutes of the game to make sure that it left an impression that made that player want to keep on playing. Which makes perfect sense as it's no good telling people really that it gets better if you've already lost them. Also the idea of giving a taste of what's to come could tempt the player to persevere more than starting them at the very bottom would do.

 

Not sure how I feel about it all though, as sure I want to get the feeling that I will enjoy the game at the start but I don't want to be given an easy time of it either as I like a challenge. :hmmm:

"Humans form their first impressions incredibly quickly," he told attendees. "We apparently decide whether we like someone, or whether we want to do business with them, within the first three seconds."So what happens if you don't make a good first impression [with your game]? In the most extreme cases, your player will stop playing."

 

He elaborated that even in console games, where consumers have paid around $60 to acquire the game, they can still be quick to drop it and move on to other titles. He used a few statistics gleaned from achievements data on Xbox to illustrate this.

 

Playground Games actually did a study before starting work on Forza Horizon 3. Two groups of test subjects were given a slice of a Forza game to play: the opening race, followed by the first hour's worth of content. One group raced in the Ferrari 485 Italia, while the other raced in a more ordinary car. When there were asked for their initial impressions of the game, the Ferrari group rated the game higher in terms of visuals, fun and intent to play again.

 

While Fulton acknowledges this is "not a particularly mind-blowing outcome", what was interesting was the reaction later. After the initial race, both groups played exactly the same hour's worth of content - but the Ferrari group still rated the game much higher overall.

 

Other alterations stemmed from the introduction of Forza Horizon 3's hero car, the Lamborghini Centenario, which replaced an older model the team has been using. The Centenario proved to be too fast for players to take in the views Playground intended, prompting slight changes in the terrain and route.

 

[via "]GamesIndustry.biz]

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They didn't made a good job though. As many people say the game is boring and lacks progression. :lol:

 

I think the idea of Need For Speed Underground 2, where you actually play the first minutes with Rachel's 350Z is the key. Fine, you get a cool car to use and get hooked, once you get hooked, you will now start from the bottom. But Forza Horizon 3 already starts really high, seeing you can start the game with a BMW M4 and the game throws hypercars at your face.

 

Thinking about it, Need For Speed did it in Underground 1, with that white Integra, Underground 2 with Rachel's 350Z and Most Wanted with the M3 GTR. They all gave you a taste of the cool cars and made you start from the bottom, and look how many people got hooked by these games.

 

Edit: Even TDU does it with the rent a car first. :lol:

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They didn't made a good job though. As many people say the game is boring and lacks progression. :lol:

 

I think the idea of Need For Speed Underground 2, where you actually play the first minutes with Rachel's 350Z is the key. Fine, you get a cool car to use and get hooked, once you get hooked, you will now start from the bottom. But Forza Horizon 3 already starts really high, seeing you can start the game with a BMW M4 and the game throws hypercars at your face.

 

Thinking about it, Need For Speed did it in Underground 1, with that white Integra, Underground 2 with Rachel's 350Z and Most Wanted with the M3 GTR. They all gave you a taste of the cool cars and made you start from the bottom, and look how many people got hooked by these games.

 

Edit: Even TDU does it with the rent a car first. :lol:

 

I feel like this has to do with the attention span of people getting shorter and shorter. People want it all and they want it now. And look where the game stands - it's the most praised Forza game ever :shrug:

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The need to get to grips with a game before you can start getting the good stuff seems to be in decline. As @superhyper says, attentions are shorter these days and so people do not want to have to wait for it as they want it all, there and then. Or at least have a premium taster given to them at the minimum. It's a shame too as one of the great things about games where you start off with a crappy motor is, that you and it kind of take a journey. And I don't know if any of you are like me in that because of this, you try not to sell your first car as it was what helped you progress.

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I feel like this has to do with the attention span of people getting shorter and shorter. People want it all and they want it now. And look where the game stands - it's the most praised Forza game ever :shrug:

It's a valid point. But isn't it one of the "most hated" too? I really don't know, at same time it gets praised, it also turns down other players.

 

--- Post Updated ---

 

superhyper[/url] says, attentions are shorter these days and so people do not want to have to wait for it as they want it all, there and then. Or at least have a premium taster given to them at the minimum. It's a shame too as one of the great things about games where you start off with a crappy motor is, that you and it kind of take a journey. And I don't know if any of you are like me in that because of this, you try not to sell your first car as it was what helped you progress.

 

I also never sold my first car in games! Always created a bond with them. :lol:

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Wouldn't say so, it could have been a lot more but it's an excellent game the way it is. Pretty much only real hate towards it has been because of the poor shape of the PC version that has apparently been fixed since :hmmm:

 

Also joining the "never selling first car" -club :raisehand:

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superhyper[/url] says, attentions are shorter these days and so people do not want to have to wait for it as they want it all, there and then. Or at least have a premium taster given to them at the minimum. It's a shame too as one of the great things about games where you start off with a crappy motor is, that you and it kind of take a journey. And I don't know if any of you are like me in that because of this, you try not to sell your first car as it was what helped you progress.

 

Yes.. I used to love that. Beginning with a choice of 3 cars I would otherwise probably not buy, making it my own, bonding with it as I start to win races, and never selling it even though I've got so many 'better' cars. Those were the days.

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PC version that has apparently been fixed since
:rofl:

They should've spent that time making the map bigger lel.

Imo, games should come with a classic mode of some sorts, in the case of Forza, they could make new cars available at each driver level. Let's say that at each level you unlock about 5 cars. That would make the game a lot more interesting for me. Also having a mileage gauge for each car would be amazing, makes me want to take the same car and put kms on it.

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They spent so much time fixing the intro that they forgot the rest of the game :P (Tbh, I've never had serious performance issues with it, other than some crashes here and there, but now they are gone).

Maybe the first cars are a bit too much, but it's not that you start with a LaFerrari, yeah, the M4 is a quick car but definitely not the best out there. However, I think, that as Milli said, NFS pulled it nicely. Getting a taste of the fast cars and then work from the bottom towards them. Anyways, I think that the focus of games have changed from play-to-unlock to pay-to-unlock sorts of...

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It does seem that you will always have people complain no matter what way they go. One that goes with a need to follow a story to make your way through the game and become the best will get called for linearity whereas one that allows you to go your own way will get labelled as confusing and marked as having no direction for players to follow.

 

Some people I think just want what isn't there, all the time.

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Quite disagree with that, Diabs. It is not the same person that complains about the different things. I believe this is more about different public. And it is quite normal. You will never please everyone.

 

But, to me, the major issue is the fact that FH3 seems to do "what people want", and not what they think it is a good game. And that is a risky decision in the main idea of playing a game. Play a game is all about the challenge and the reward feeling for doing something complex. So, when they made what "people want", which is the short way to achieve things, they missed a bit on the challenge and reward side.

 

A game where you always win is not quite fun and it won't last long. It will be dead as soon as the sequel gets released and people hardly will play it again, which is not really what happens to good old games that you still visit and play from time to time.

 

And before people say you don't always win in Forza, you can drive like poop, roll over your car in middle of the race and still win. :lol:

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Fair enough, however it's all over the place if you look. Someone who didn't like the forced direction of X, then moaned about how they got lost in Y. It's a clear example of wanting what you don't/can't have. There are players who didn't like the whole progressing through the Festival in FH who now don't like that they are the boss of said event and are now given free rein to do what they want.

 

Also if you have read the full thing at the source, it's quite interesting the percentages of players who hardly even complete the early parts of a game too.

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I did read the article. They say that 10 to 20% of people do not even complete the first achievement in Forza Horizon series, which is drive the Viper in Horizon 1 and the Huracan in Horizon 2.

 

Based on that, you drive the Centenario in Horizon 3 for basically the same amount of time. It is the same thing, really. Difference starts where you change the Centenario to an off-road truck, and then you race an off-road buggy, then you get back to Centenario only then to choose your car. Horizon 3 has the longest "intro" of them all, and if people did not bother to complete the previous intros, i don't think that would change in Horizon 3. But will they say that in the article? Of course not.

 

They also said that they looked to remove loading screens, and yes they did, now it's just pitch black. :lol:

 

 

To be clear, i am not saying the game is a complete garbage, but this article is just marketing. As far as i can tell.

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18 months... what a wast of time. I couldn't wait to get past the intro and actually start playing the game.

Found it quite tedious if I'm honest.

The rest of the game did improve from there thankfully, but its still not that good.

Probably won't be getting another Forza game after this.... having close to 3 years of not being able to play I've been quite underwhelmed by the current generation of games (not just Forza)

Every single car suffers from massive understeer (despite playing with every setting and option, so I know its not how I'm driving)

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I don't remember any problems in FH (felt quite similar to FM4 iirc), so it must have been pretty good.

Its pretty shocking in FH3 though, to the point were i just never bother with anything in the career anymore and just cruise around. The GTAV handling is better

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After setting the handling to simulation it is a nicer game for me, dunno how I could play with it on normal. As TimBud said, cruising is a big part of the game, they could've at least put a race creator or some stuff, as all the circuit races are designed that each lap would take around a minute, not saying there aren't good circuit races, but there certainly could be better ones.

Also, I feel that a significant part of the understeer is gone with steering set to simulation, I could do some of those stunts a lot better with it. Some cars are harder to control, tending to snap off the road if you aren't careful but I feel it adds a better feeling to the game. Only assist that I use is abs.

Another thing, for cruising I like to shut absolutely everything off, gauges, races off the map and then get into a private online free roam lobby so the drivetards don't bother me, feels very relaxing to just cruise randomly and a bit more immersive.

Wanted to share this stuff, maybe it would help you get a better experience playing the game.

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