GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

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GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by DogManDan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:39 pm



Since we’ve announced GRID 2 it’s been great to speak more openly about its development. Many of the recurring questions I’ve had since the game’s unveiling involve TrueFeel – our new handling model for GRID 2. It’s something we’re really excited about and it lies at the core of our racing experience so I thought I’d take a little time out to explain why we think it’s so important and how it will help make GRID 2 become one of the most immersive and rewarding racers… ever? Why not? We aim high.

What is TrueFeel?

TrueFeel is the result of our unique approach and process of vehicle handling development that we’ve developed for GRID 2. As you’d expect, within the Racing Studio we’re nuts about cars and we love that process of bringing in those really iconic, exciting and unique vehicles and giving players the chance to race them. We really care about communicating the unique character of each of these special vehicles to the player through the game. It’s not just how pretty they look or simply hitting realistic speeds, it’s about capturing the character of those cars. We want the player to understand how each car truly drives, moves on the track, carries/shifts it’s weight, when/how it breaks traction and ultimately how easy or tough it is to recover when things go wrong. These character traits (along with a multitude of other subtleties) represent the true spirit of each individual car, it’s this spirit that we want to capture and share with everybody that joins us on the track.

When we set out designing GRID 2, capturing a car’s true personality for players was our goal. In order to achieve this goal we had to make a number decisions, one of these was that GRID 2 should not feature any artificial assists. While our racing team have done fantastic work with assists for previous titles, ultimately having a system artificially braking or modulating your throttle input and potentially even turning into corners for you all detracts from the direct connection the player should have with their car. We want the player to feel everything the car is doing in order to fully understand how it reacts in certain situations and adapt their behaviour accordingly. It’s this process that leads to a player truly understanding the unique character of some of the greatest cars in existence. “Reflecting world class engineering” is a phrase we coined in the studio... some of the world’s leading automotive engineers ploughed years of their lives into refining the handling models of many of our vehicles, it would be criminal not to accurately reflect these handling models in GRID 2.

You may be reading this thinking “well that’s all well and good, but I didn’t think GRID classed itself as a simulation title?” You’d be right; we don’t class GRID as a simulation game, and it never has been. This is where TrueFeel comes in. This process allows our handling team to develop each vehicle in a way which retains the core handling characteristics and subtlties which define the real world car, and by allowing players to feel that connection more deeply will enable a real spectrum of performance for a range of players. Novices will be able to get the car around the track, but as players improve or for more seasoned racers will be able to take advantage of the depth of TrueFeel to really push the cars to the limits and dominate races.



So how does it work?

Within the studio we pay a huge amount of attention to each individual car. There are several stages which each goes through.

Real-world specifications – Our handling team begin by taking the real-world technical specifications of each vehicle (everything from precise physical dimensions to weight distribution, torque graphs, gear ratios and aero figures). On average around 75 sets of technical data are collected per-vehicle. These figures are precisely entered into the game, simulating the vehicle’s behaviour as accurately as possible using our cutting-edge physics engine. This is a very important stage, it’s critical that we achieve realistic handling which demonstrates the key traits of the vehicle.

Real-world drivers – When initially setting the car up from a purely “simulation” perspective we aim to involve drivers with real-world experience of that specific car. We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s greatest racing drivers over the years, along with several manufacturers’ in-house test drivers. These guys are invaluable when it comes to ensuring that the true character of each vehicle is genuinely captured and reflected in-game.

Identification of defining characteristics – The handling team (working with real-world drivers where possible) will then identify the key defining characteristics of each vehicle. These could be the way the car handles on corner entry, how it shifts its weight through bends, how traction is lost in various conditions (under-steer versus over-steer), the amount of grip and cornering ability of the vehicle overall etc.. Once identified, these become the pillars of that individual vehicle which must be maintained through to release.

Feel –Once everybody is happy with the car from a simulation perspective the level of ‘feel’ is explored and iterated. Essentially, the handling team will assess any “blocking characteristics” that the vehicle may have, for example this could be excessive under-steer on corner entry leading to player’s repeatedly running wide or off-track. Elements of the vehicle setup will then be very carefully tweaked, rolling back the blocking characteristics to an acceptable level while ensuring that everything identified in step 2 is maintained. This is where the talent within our handling team really comes into play, coupled with the depth of our handling/physics systems – the team have in excess of 300 parameters to carefully balance here.



This approach doesn’t mean one difficulty level nor dumbing down. It’s about connection. When you connect with the car, you get the most out of it. Pushing yourself and the car becomes intuitive, keeping you in the moment. And it reflects reality –drive a monstrously powerful “over-steery “rear-wheel drive hyper-car in the same way you might a lesser powered, front-wheel drive road car and you will get your ass kicked. The diverse selection of cars necessarily demands a learning curve, so our vehicles are divided into a tier structure, becoming available to the player as they progress through the game (but that’s for another article...).

Ultimately, we want players to truly experience and understand the defining characteristics of some of the greatest cars in the world – TrueFeel is how we’re going to do that.



http://community.codemasters.com/t5/Codies-Blog/GRID-2-Handling-and-the-TrueFeel-Process/ba-p/176590

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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by COLTSDUDE1000 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:59 pm

Wow! This sounds like my kind-of game. Can't wait to hear more about Grid 2.
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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by DogManDan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:06 pm

COLTSDUDE1000 wrote:Wow! This sounds like my kind-of game. Can't wait to hear more about Grid 2.

Umm if you don't like to play simulation racing why would you say this sounds like your kind of game?

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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by COLTSDUDE1000 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:11 pm

DogManDan wrote:

Umm if you don't like to play simulation racing why would you say this sounds like your kind of game?
I like sim games that are not boring, I found Simraceway boring because of all the controls and the tracks were not exciting. This though, is exciting and its in the city, love the graphics, and they are putting the actully feel of the car through there Truefeel thing.
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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by DogManDan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:16 pm

So I say again if you don't like simulation racing how can you say you are going to like this. I did not mention any game in particular I mentioned SIMULATION racing s a general since you have been so voiced about not playing sim games.

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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by COLTSDUDE1000 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:33 pm

DogManDan wrote:So I say again if you don't like simulation racing how can you say you are going to like this. I did not mention any game in particular I mentioned SIMULATION racing s a general since you have been so voiced about not playing sim games.

Well, then, I like sim game but only a couple that are really good IMO. Also, maybe I have changed my mind about sim racing games. But you will never see me in simraceway.
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Re: GRID 2: Handling and the TrueFeel™ Process

Post by XLOSTSHADOWX on Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:10 am

COLTSDUDE1000 wrote:Wow! This sounds like my kind-of game. Can't wait to hear more about Grid 2.

You Hate on simulation games and then say this is your kind of game, and this post is talking about having real world handling for all the cars Hinting at the simulation racing world. Also i dont see how you can like one simulation racing game and hate on another they all the same in the aspect that the cars are hard to handle and are going to need practice to perfect with each individuals driving style i liked the first grid even tho it was more arcade type, then the games i love so much.... this will pry be one of the first games ill get when i get my new computer at tax time also watch for me kicking dan's ass in sim raceway around that time as well D:
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