GT5: analysis of the track editor

GT5: analysis of the track editor
Digital Foundry will take a closer look at Gran Turismo 5 in the coming days but in the meantime we are planning a series of articles to celebrate the long awaited launch of the most important sequel on PS3.

The first thing we did upon receiving the game is was seeing how Polyphony Digital managed to implement a sufficiently user-friendly course editor, keeping in mind how long it took the developer to model their new circuits.

Polyphony calls this new mode "Course Maker" but "Track Editor" would have been a more appropriate name, as the player does not create the course at all. Instead, you can assign a series of variables to the editor and the code itself will create tracks automatically. At this point you change the variables until you are satisfied.

To give you an idea of ​​how it all works, here is a video compilation that summarizes the process of customizing a route. We captured the same track with adjustments of individual variables, and then we made transitions between the various videos thanks to the montage to give you a precise idea of ​​how, changing the options (such as the time of day, the weather conditions or the road) ), you affect the overall aspect of the path you are working on.

Now let's break up the whole process. First you choose an existing route to edit: there are seven of these "themes" available right now, including asphalt, dirt, and snowy environments, along with a couple of models showing hilly terrain. There is also a mini-park for kart racing and just choose a theme to be ready to go.

The first thing that will appear will be a default track but if you don't like it just press the "New Track" button at the bottom of the screen to make a new track materialize out of thin air. Don't like it yet? Repeat this until you have what you want.

This is where the actual editing begins. You can change the number of sections on the circuit, then edit these individual segments to your liking; you can also adjust the overall complexity, how tight the curves are, even how wide the road is. There are also global settings that include elements such as time of day and weather. However, some paths have more limited or no options regarding these last two variables.

Once you are satisfied you can test your creation on one of the three machines available for each theme, otherwise you can take a "favorite" car from your garage and take a ride. Once the track is complete, you can save and share it.

It is clear that the track editor has been designed for quick and easy content creation, instead of giving the player access to the same tools used by Polyphony Digital. Consequently, the size of the paths is also quite limited.

The path of the path cannot be set, the terrain angle cannot be adjusted and, as you can see from the video, often even a single variable can change profoundly the layout of the entire circuit, presumably because the code does its best to fit the player's choices into the available topographical framework. Another thing that is sadly missing at the moment is the ability to mirror or reverse the track.

On the plus side, the range of themes available covers a ton of racing conditions that are sure to be great in multiplayer, such as rally, kart and snow driving. Furthermore, whether it happens through a deep understanding of how variables work or through simple luck, the editor is able to come up with extremely drivable paths and the advantage of having such a rigidly controlled tool is that it is practically impossible to create a path. impractical.

Global variables such as weather and time of day mean that the overall appearance of the route can also be customized to a certain extent, and some of the lighting effects can be particularly beautiful especially using the themes of Alaska or Tuscany.

It is clear, from the way the editor is structured, that this tool was created to be expanded in the future. In particular, the theme selection screen is made so that new models can be selected once new ones are presumably added via DLC.

However, even the main editor screen has enough free space for at least a couple more options, and it wouldn't surprise us to see the editor evolve and improve in the future ...

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