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Forza Motorsport 3 - Developed for Enthusiasts by Enthusiasts

Forza Motorsport 3 - Developed for Enthusiasts by Enthusiasts

October 27, 2009 - By Evan Griffey and Anthony Marino
Forza Motorsport 3 really pinged our radar when it announced the R8 as its "Hero Car", which meant the Audi served as the ambassador to the game appearing in numerous videos, special promotions and a starring role on the game's packaging. The leading-edge driving game is burning rubber off the starting line as it hit the scene on October 27th. The Auto Union badge is represented by 22 cars in the game ranging from the Q7 SUV to the R10 Le Mans Prototype. The best part, is that just like Audizine, this all-new title from the studio at Turn 10 has been developed for enthusiasts by enthusiasts!

Get A Grip - Physics Model Makes it Feel Real

When it comes to driving simulator games, physics are all about emotion. While contradictory terms at first glance, the mathematically induced feedback the player feels as he dives into a corner, struggles to maintain grip and power out to the next apex makes the game. Turn 10 has focused the Forza Motorsport 3 physics model squarely at the contact patch.

"Tires are the absolute heart of any driving simulator," says Forza game director Dan Greenawalt. "You have to get the tires right. If the tires aren't right the simulation is worth nothing. Suspension is extremely easy to do frankly. It's a three-point architecture or a four-point architecture; it's just straight up math, spring rates, dampening and un-sprung weight." Forza 3's advanced system uses tire flexion, heat build-up and weight transfer as well as the grip quotient of the track surface to provide super-realistic handling. Older cars with balloon tires feel like they're on stilts and float through the corners while modern cars with good tires and a proper set-up can claw tenaciously at the road providing a stable, confident feel.

Power Mods - Maximizing Performance

Forza 3's performance hierarchy consists of a letter followed by a three-digit number. A 2004 TT Coupe 3.2 quattro, for instance, checks in at a D-289. So a B rated car will be superior. The hierarchy goes from F to A for production cars while S and R ratings are reserved for race cars.

The game provides new levels of modification and customization with twice as many go-fast parts as FM2. Enthusiasts can select from upgraded wheels, upgraded tire compounds, a cornucopia of suspension parts from sway bars to full-race coilovers and a bevy of under-hood enhancements all the way up to stroker kits, turbo systems and engine swaps. But be warned, the combination counts. Enthusiasts can't just throw parts at their ride and go faster. The game knows how the parts relate to each other. Forza 3 features a 'Quick Upgrade' option that allows less-involved players to buy packaged parts aimed at a certain group of cars. So the TT can target a Mitsubishi Evo X or Subaru WRX STI (C-425) Mustang GT and Camaro SS (B-500), Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and Audi A8 (A-600), Saleen S7 and Maserati MC12 (S-700).

Real World Rides - Greenawalt's Auto Union
 
When Turn 10 designers shun their monitors, abandon their mouses and head for home some take the commute seriously. Greenawalt is an entrenched enthusiast and Audi driver who calls a 2000 S4 home. His Imola Yellow S4 has been enhanced with driveline upgrades, under-hood power mods and interior accessories. He had owned the Audi for a year or so before jumping in with the suspension mods. The time and research Dan put into a proper set-up speaks loudly about his knowledge and passion.
 
The Audi's footwork consists of Ohlins coilovers, a Neuspeed rear sway bar, a StopTech big brake kit, a Spec II clutch, STaSIS rear-bias center diff, OZ Ultraleggara wheels and Michelin Pilot Sports tires. Greenawalt says he attended a number of track days to get more comfortable driving the Audi. "I really got to know the car well nearer its limits before doing the power mods," says Greenawalt. "Power isn't everything. You need to know how to control the car...when making a car fast, especially at a place like Pacific Raceway, power is secondary. What you really need is handling. There are some really low-speed corners there that challenge both car and driver."

The B5 bumps an AWE Tuning turbo upgrade that drops a pair of RSK04 turbos on the 2.7-liter V6. The kit includes high-flow turbo headers, a modular MAF housing, dedicated fuel system upgrades and all pertinent piping, hose connectors, clamps and gaskets. Tuning is handled via an AWE Tuning/GIAC ECU flash. A Milltek turbo-back exhaust battles backpressure as boost has tripled from the stock 7-psi setting to 21 psi. An IGT airbox and RS 4 intercoolers keep things flowing on the cold side. This combination pounded out 385 whp on Fame Automotive's Mustang chassis dyno.

Greenawalt has recreated his S4, mods and all, on Forza Motorsport 3 and it flexes a B-477 rating and is a few mods (valves, oil cooling and a driveline mod) away from being at the top of the B-class.

Parameter
Stock S4
Dan's S4
HP
250
396
Weight (lbs)
3,384
3,296
Lat gs
.953
.973
Rating
D-294
B-477
 
Realize Full Potential - Dialing in the Set-up

Just like in the real world, bolting on parts is not the end of the road. For those players really into the tuning scene (which is pretty much every member of Audizine) Forza 3's 'Tune Setup' menu gives access to tire pressure, gear ratios, alignment, suspension settings, brake bias, downforce and the differential. "Sharp tuners are going to know how to set-up their cars," says Greenawalt. "Like a car on Road America, with its long straights, will biased heavily on power - of course with high speed comes the needs for better brakes. Savvy tuners will actually be able to make their cars faster/quicker than 'Quick Upgrade' cars. By managing the upgrades individually tuners can really make a car shine on a per-track basis."

"The tuning parts menus and set-up menus are linked. Things like caster are actually going to affect the response of the tire and how it actually rolls over when it's pushed. If you miss the mark the tire will super-heat and grip will fall off."

"Then you can save your tune file as an instruction set. Put it on your online storefront and players can download it and put it on their car and go race it. FM3's scoreboards rate tuners and painters so players will seek you out and find your blueprints or instruction sets and buy them with game credits. We are making these tuners famous."

Audi enthusiasts can search out the spotlight for themselves as the game is now live worldwide as of today; Tuesday, October 27th. Pick up your copy now and go burn some Xbox 360 rubber!
  1. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 "In Game"

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  2. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 "In Game"

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  3. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 "In Game"

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  4. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 "In Game"

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  5. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 "In Game"

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  6. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Sedan

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  7. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Sedan

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  8. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Sedan

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  9. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Sedan

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  10. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Sedan

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  11. FM3 Game Director Dan Greenawalt's B5 S4 Dyno Chart

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Forza Motorsport 3 - Developed for Enthusiasts by Enthusiasts
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