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51 Details About DRIVECLUB on PS4

Fred Dutton's Avatar + Posted by Fred Dutton on Jun 05, 2014 // SCEE Blog Manager

Driveclub on PS4

As you might have noticed in recent trailers, Evolution Studios’ forthcoming PS4 racer Driveclub really is a looker. But until you see it up close it’s hard to appreciate just how much effort the team has gone to ensure it really pushes at the boundaries of gamers’ expectations.

During a recent studio visit I was treated to anecdote after eyebrow-raising anecdote, from key team members about just how detailed this game is. Duly, to shine a light on the extraordinary work that’s currently underway up in Runcorn, Cheshire, I collated as many as I could note down into the list below. Take a look and keep in mind this is only scratching the surface — Evolution still has months of development left and are adding new elements every day.

Weather

1. NASA data was used to accurately map out the night sky — so wherever you are in the world you’ll see the correct star constellations for your location.

2. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the northern lights — it’s possible to see the aurora borealis from the northern tracks in Norway, Scotland, and Canada.

3. All clouds are full 3D models to ensure accurate light diffusion from the sun. They’re calculated at massive distances in a fully volumetric form, so thin clouds cast lighter shadows than dense storm clouds, and their color impacts the feel of the landscapes and cars.

4. Skies are uniquely generated every time you play, so just like in real life you’ll never see the same sky twice. Unless you’re replaying somebody’s challenge, in which case it’ll replicate exactly to ensure a level playing field.

5. You can play with settings to speed up or slow down the day/night cycle. With some circuits taking over a couple of minutes per lap, at 60x accelerated speed with a judicious choice of start time, it’s possible to experience two sunrises and sunsets in one race. Both of which will be completely different to each other.

6. Clouds react dynamically to different wind speeds. This is then converted into a ground wind speed which accurately interacts with all vegetation, overhead cables and other environmental features, based on their height from the ground.

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

7. Waves and rippling on the surface of lakes is dynamically linked to wind speed, which affects how clear reflections are in the water.

The Environment

8. High resolution NASA data was used to accurately map landscapes and mountain formations — which were then tweaked to ‘improve’ on their natural beauty and make them perfect for high-speed racing.

9. The team spent weeks out on location and covered a minimum of 200km every day to get a feel for each country’s roads and atmosphere. They captured thousands of photos and recordings along the way, in all weather conditions and different times of day.

10. Road tarmac textures are hand-modelled rather than tiled or tessellated. Stones and bitumen are all placed and then rendered procedurally to give realistic surface detail with huge visual variety and no repeating detail on any road surface.

11. Each location has a draw distance of up to 200km to the horizon and even simulates the curvature of the earth in both skies and terrain. Distant landscapes are built out and fully modelled, instead of “painted on,” to ensure that they support the dynamic, volumetric nature of the skies and lighting.

12. All environmental light sources are independently generated with different properties. The team sampled the color and intensity of individual streetlights, house lights, and even camera flash bulbs, which you’ll see best in any of the Indian tracks at night.

Flora and Fauna

13. Some tracks boast more than 1.2 million road-side trees — and this number keeps going up as the artists try to out-do each other as development progresses.

14. There are more than 100 different varieties of trees, bushes, mosses, and flowers. The team consulted botanists at Kew Gardens to learn which plants would naturally grow in each location.

Driveclub on PS4

15. Wildlife is realistically tied into the day/night cycle. You’ll see flies and butterflies only during the day, and moths and bats only at night.

16. One of the India tracks features a tea plantation with a sprinkler system that turns off and on at set times during the day.

17. The Indian track Chungara Lake boasts a 19,000-strong flock of pink flamingos, all behaving independently of each other.

18. …and look out for the seagulls in Scotland, roosting crows in Norway, Canadian geese, and vultures in Chile!

19. Spectators are placed in realistic spots where they would feasibly enjoy a good view of the race. This is done by hand, by Neil Sproston, a senior track designer who’s a real life race enthusiast. Neil regularly clambers over walls and fences in pursuit of a good viewing spot for a real life race. Duly, Evo leveraged his expertise!

20. Spectators dress for the weather — if it’s a cold night, expect them to be sporting hats and gloves.

The Cars

21. A typical Driveclub car is made up of 260,000 polygons. The staggeringly detailed cars you see in promo videos are the same models you drive in the game — they’re not pre-rendered CG versions.

22. Each car takes approximately seven months to create — from initial licensing, reference collation, CAD data processing, asset production, physics modelling, through to the final car in-game.

23. Evolution snapped in excess of 1,000 photos of the interior and exterior of every car as part of the reference gathering.

24. Pagani employ seamstresses to accurately match up the symmetrical carbon weave on the cars bodywork, and even add the “Pagani” name to their small screw heads. These nuances are accurately reproduced in-game.

25. The same 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) engineering data that the manufacturer uses to factory produce each vehicle has been used by the development team to create each car.

26. More than 500 different material types are available to designers to apply to the vehicles.

27. The cars have realistic layered paint materials — base metal or carbon layer, primer coat, base color coat, two metallic paint coats, clear top coat, etc. — which can all be stripped away individually as part of the damage system.

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

28. A full shader-driven procedural system is used to simulate car damage. Multiple layers of scratches appear in the most exposed areas and edges, revealing undercoat and bare metal or carbon. A parallax mapped dent layer provides minor crumpling, and a physics driven vertex deformation system is used for severe damage.

29. As you race, dirt and dust gradually builds up on the car, subtly altering its appearance.

30. Screen space reflections (SSR) are being used together with real time dynamic light probes to render vehicle lighting and reflections more accurately, as opposed to using outdated pre-baked cubes.

31. The car dashboard reflects onto the windscreen in bright light; and the car exterior reflects onto carbon interior panels.

32. Anisotropic lighting is used to simulate the effect of each individual thread in carbon fibre weave. The pattern of the carbon alters realistically with the lighting angle and surface curvature.

33. Headlights are modelled using multiple layers of reflectors and lenses that realistically reflect and refract the bulbs shining beneath.

34. Rainbow specular highlight effects can be seen in headlight lenses because thin film interference is utilized.

35. Animated active aero flaps are rigged up accurately and coupled with the physics system to operate exactly as they would in real life. The Pagani Huayra is one of the best examples of this.

36. Conversion of kinetic energy to heat is physically modelled to accurately render the temperature and glow color of brake discs.

37. The speedometer displays have been accurately reproduced for every car in terms of visuals, technical display output, and behavior (again, all hooked up to the in-game physics).

Audio

38. Each reference car was fitted with at least 16 separate microphones to authentically capture the sounds of the engine from 360 degrees, inside and outside of the car. Some had four mics on the exhaust alone.

39. In-game, the engine sound reacts to your perspective. Pan around a stationary car gunning its engine and the sound shifts with the camera position (relative to where the engine is).

Driveclub on PS4

40. When you race, the engine sounds are different based on which of the six camera views you choose — inside or outside of the car. You’re not hearing the same engine audio with a filter — it’s all recorded separately.

41. The recordings were so accurate that BMW and Mercedes-Benz AMG requested copies to replace their existing library.

42. In many cases, Evolution’s audio captures are the most high definition recordings of these cars in existence.

43. Bespoke sound effects were recorded for every action in the game. You won’t hear a single stock sample.

Handling and Physics

44. Although not a sim, Driveclub’s handling model is based on real world physics, using technical data about performance provided directly by the manufacturers.

45. To fine-tune the performance of every vehicle, a virtual “rolling road” test is used to check acceleration, top speed, weight distribution, and braking performance.

46. Aerodynamics are physically modelled. For example, activating DRS on the McLaren P1 affects the levels of downforce to increase top speed and acceleration.

47. Evolution worked closely with Thrustmaster to get the best possible feel on all their wheels. When using a supported wheel you get 1:1 movement between the steering wheel in your hands and the steering wheel in-game.

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

Artificial Intelligence

48. The AI drivers adapt their racing tactics and braking strategy based on pressure from players or other drivers. When alongside them, they will try to brake deeper into the corner.

49. AI drivers always try to predict overtaking opportunities based on the track, the performance of their car relative to opponents, and also how opponents are driving at any given moment.

50. When an AI driver has a car with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) fitted, they will use the energy strategically at opportune moments to pass or block opponents on the track.

Load times

51. Despite all of the above, once selected a track will take no more than 15 seconds to load.

//Add Your Own

75 Comments

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1

+ Edd-Doloroso on June 5th, 2014 at 8:06 am said:

Wake me up when it’s released


2

+ blaq208 on June 5th, 2014 at 8:07 am said:

Looks and sounds great. Should definitely hold me over until the PS4 GT comes out. It was probably a good idea to delay and get things right.


3

+ Catcher_BR on June 5th, 2014 at 8:09 am said:

GiveItTOmeNOW.gif


4

+ blaq208 on June 5th, 2014 at 8:10 am said:

Also #47 mentions Thrustmaster wheel support. Any news on if the Logitech wheels will be supported, specifically the Logitech G27?


5

+ Catcher_BR on June 5th, 2014 at 8:14 am said:

oh yeah, and please give us a Robust photo mode, so we can see those FINE details hmmkay ?


6

+ Xdark_dragonX on June 5th, 2014 at 8:15 am said:

so all this was for the exchange of 60fps?? seriously? in a racer 60fps is crucial especially when your always in motion who will notice all those tiny details! it sure sounds very impressive visually and looks stunning in fact most detailed and highest poly count racing game out there, but honestly giving up 60fps for all this detail that one wont even notice was a bad decision imo.


7

+ Hex_Ninja on June 5th, 2014 at 8:18 am said:

What is the soundtrack like because I have only heard one song?


8

+ Ploique on June 5th, 2014 at 8:18 am said:

Any one else tired of DriveClub news?


9

+ Folkeye on June 5th, 2014 at 8:22 am said:

As an avid birder, I must remind one there is no such thing as a ‘seagull’. Though we all know what one is referring to. :)

I’ve never really been into the driving games, but am keeping my eyes open on this one. If solid enough, I just might have to check it out. Sounds like a lot of attention to detail was put into the game.


10

+ paulogy on June 5th, 2014 at 8:27 am said:

WOW. As someone who actually read through that list this is some seriously impressive stuff. Can’t wait to see it in action firsthand.


11

+ CrusaderForever on June 5th, 2014 at 8:28 am said:

Very impressive, I cannot wait to play it! Well done!


12

+ ProfessorGerbik on June 5th, 2014 at 9:01 am said:

@Xdark_dragonX

Yea so the game can end up being like Forza 5? No thanks.

Your comment is a bit stupid also because of how contradicting it is.

“looks stunning in fact most detailed and highest poly count racing game out there”

“but honestly giving up 60fps for all this detail that one wont even notice”

So you just said it is the best looking racing game to date but then you say no one will notice the detail or effort put into it. Wow I can’t even begin to comprehend your comment.

I am pretty sure every person on the planet notices the extreme amount of visual detail they are putting into this game. So I guess the 60fps sacrifice was well worth and honestly from all the new videos I have seen, the game runs buttery smooth for 30fps.. What I don’t think people will really notice is that it is 30fps, they will for sure notice all the visual detail added though.

I’d much rather have 30fps and a better looking game than 60fps and racer that lacks so many basic things that have been in racing games even last generation like Forza 5. What is funny is now the Xbox One is getting Forza Horizon 2 and guess what? It is also 1080p/30fps now just like Drive Club.


13

+ ne0d0g on June 5th, 2014 at 9:08 am said:

I’ve had 60fps racers since the Dreamcast 15 years ago. For me, regardless of all of the work on environmental details and accurately modeled 3-D clouds, 30 FPS is a deal-breaker. Too bad.


14

+ KazeEternal on June 5th, 2014 at 9:13 am said:

Project Morpheus Support?


15

+ V8_R3L3NTL3SS_1 on June 5th, 2014 at 9:25 am said:

Evolution is setting themselves up for failure. I really hope not , I am looking forward to this game but my last experience with evolution was motorstorm apacolypse which was a complete bomb. Here’s to hoping they learned from past transgressions.


16

+ Emyrus on June 5th, 2014 at 9:27 am said:

Those who complain about fps being crucial to buying a game, shouldn’t be even allowed to play games at all. To have made this game a 60 fps it would look as bad as Forza, that much is certain. If they had never officially announced the FPS, i can guarantee you, that would never have known the difference. I suggest try it on the Plus, id you don’t like it. Don’t buy it. I know I will be shelling out $60 for it. And I could care less that it is 30 fps.


17

+ Thwip on June 5th, 2014 at 9:38 am said:

I’ve been sold since day 1, and that commitment hasn’t changed since.


18

+ IronStorm613 on June 5th, 2014 at 9:45 am said:

First of, what does it matter how many FPS it is? Seriously as long as the game runs smooth, looks good and is worth playing a couple times, I’m all for it. It is driving me nuts how more and more people are getting caught up in whether it is 30fps or 60fps and the whole 1080p rather than worrying about the game content itself.

Second, the real reason I wanted to comment before reading the comments is I am curious that with all of this, how large is the data size going to be? So far the highest I have is a 50GB. Hopefully it isn’t so much it requires people to upgrade the hard drive. I’ll be kinda ticked though if Sony unveils a 1TB PS4 at E3 on Monday. I mean, good for them and finally giving people the space they need, but they couldn’t do that for launch? Still getting this game though.


19

+ Abulon-35 on June 5th, 2014 at 9:58 am said:

Wow I really think this could be the game that makes me buy a PS4, currently I´m happy with my PS3 tho.


20

+ dagun on June 5th, 2014 at 10:06 am said:

Logitech g27 support ?
Or no money from me!!!!!!


21

+ stlthriot on June 5th, 2014 at 10:17 am said:

Wow! This is the stuff I love about the power of the new console! :D love all the dynamics and subtle changing details!
I hope to see some good snow effects someday with snow drifts and other cold effects :D


22

+ honkayjeezus on June 5th, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

52. PS Plus edition was downgraded to PS Plus Demo edition.


23

+ smoothboarder540 on June 5th, 2014 at 10:30 am said:

@ProfessorGerbik You’re missing the point. He’s saying that the game looks good when you’re sitting still. But at the speeds you’re driving at 30 fps, you wont be able to notice all of those details the devs are bragging about. While I don’t personally have a big problem with 30 fps in a racer, I can understand why some people don’t like it. When you’re in a tight race, those extra frames play a big part in how the race plays out. I don’t think they play as big of a part as they do in first person shooters, but they do matter.

I’m convinced that all of those people who say FPS don’t matter either don’t have strong enough vision to see the difference or aren’t competitive gamers. They don’t seem to understand that the difference is blatantly obvious and it affects performance. And to some of us, the ability to perform at our best is worth more than pretty graphics.


24

+ smoothboarder540 on June 5th, 2014 at 10:44 am said:

@22 I don’t know what you were expecting but you should try thinking about this realistically. How will Driveclub sell well if they give the whole game away? I think they are giving a pretty big chunk of the game for free as it is. Added to that, if you like it you can buy the game for $10 off the retail price. Also, Sony never altered what they were giving in the plus edition; there was no downgrade.

The mistake on Sony’s part is even adding this game to plus at all. It would appear that Sony spent a ton of money on development and this game will not sell well in retail. They should have done this “plus edition” thing with a different game.


25

+ warezIbanez on June 5th, 2014 at 11:03 am said:

Eleven tracks and ten vehicles on the PS Plus edition will keep me playing this when I’m not on Destiny / Killzone / etc. Also, the amount of tools posting comments here is too damn high.


26

+ GeoDarky on June 5th, 2014 at 11:27 am said:

Damn! the attention to details is on a whole different level for a racing game and it is much appreciated EVO, you guys one of my favorite devs and DriveClub is going to be awesome can’t wait for this October to burn some rubber


27

+ Elvick_ on June 5th, 2014 at 11:33 am said:

All this is boss as heck.

Can’t wait to play this. Got it preordered.

Hope it does well.

I do think the PS+ Edition has been handled poorly though. I don’t have a problem with the content it provides, just the limited options for a consumer. If someone wants more locations, they have to upgrade to the full game. Even if they just want more tracks. So they’ll probably not spend $50 to get tracks, and things they don’t care about. You should have provided tracks, cars, etc. in separate packages. While also having the full game upgrade. Give flexibility. I can’t imagine the PS+ Edition doing that well, aside from being used to save $10 while avoiding the actual digital copy of the game.


28

+ FeddeCampo on June 5th, 2014 at 11:55 am said:

The hard work and result thnaks to it, is insane!
That’s why noone must complain about delayed titles.They will not be delayed if they can’t get better.
And every day we are freaked about the PS4 power that will be used in the near future.

Best racing game ever! can’t wait!


29

+ android92 on June 5th, 2014 at 12:32 pm said:

I like how whenever Evolution studios sets out to do a new project, they always travel to and immerse themselves in the environments. That’s how they brought Monument Valley and Hawaii to life :) Can’t Wait!


30

+ yowzagabowza on June 5th, 2014 at 12:42 pm said:

Those are some very impressive bullet points. Seems a bit unnecessary, but whatever. Its really a shame for you guys that you have shot yourself in the foot well before release. Plus edition being a demo is the main thing. You just can not go back on your word with fans/consumers. And the other is your silence on logitech wheels. Just say they arent supported so we have more time to get over that fact. Oh, and a year delay when there areno games worth buying right now.


31

+ Barakku on June 5th, 2014 at 12:49 pm said:

Impressive attention to detail, I’ll definitely keep an eye on this one. Hope there’s plenty of lovely Mercedes to try in the full game. Looks like you’re making the most of that longer frametime, will have to see it in action.


32

+ Olavo_Junior on June 5th, 2014 at 12:58 pm said:

I really hope that Polyphony is helping in supervising DriveClub!!!


33

+ SantoyaTHEgreat on June 5th, 2014 at 1:01 pm said:

DriveClub, Aww DriveClub it lighten up my eyes
DriveClub, DriveClub don’t you know it fills me up with surprise
DriveClub, Aww DriveClub it tickle me down to my toes
DriveClub, Aww DriveClub I tell you now goodness knows, now work it


34

+ SDkngsht on June 5th, 2014 at 1:22 pm said:

man this sounds awesome. that list is ridiculous. i think this list just helped me decide to actually purchase versus just playing the PS Plus version. excited for this game to finally drop!


35

+ jasoncourt on June 5th, 2014 at 1:33 pm said:

I don’t know what that a Pagani is, BUT MAN, is that a gorgeous looking car and shots!


36

+ JerseyDevil1313 on June 5th, 2014 at 1:37 pm said:

Until the PS4 gets 3-D, Youtube, CD/MP3/4 support (all of which are available on the superior PS3) and External HDD, Sony wont see another dollar from me. Perfectly fine gaming on PC and lettign my PS4 collect even more dust

*signed: A very unhappy customer.


37

+ Brooklyn008 on June 5th, 2014 at 1:58 pm said:

O_O


38

+ tusunami on June 5th, 2014 at 2:14 pm said:

The information on this game is overwhelming I’ll need to see more at E3 to decide what direction I will go in. But none nonetheless this is quite a achievement compadre to where the game was at originally compared to know.


39

+ NO_FEAR on June 5th, 2014 at 2:28 pm said:

Vroom vroom!


40

+ NO_FEAR on June 5th, 2014 at 2:31 pm said:

Next let’s talk about controllers :)


41

+ zzZeroAgent on June 5th, 2014 at 2:40 pm said:

I hope most of the people complaining aren’t adults because they do sound like children.

So much attention to detail. These guys are committed to making the best game possible. Looking forward to playing this!


42

+ oo7PorscheMGS on June 5th, 2014 at 2:59 pm said:

The #1 most important detail in the wooooorrrrrrrrrrrld:

I want it :P

Looks so sexy. Love the curves of the Pagani Huayra…oh, and the 700 HORSEPOWER ALL TO THE REAR TIRES DOESN’T HURT EITHER! (unless you crash;)


43

+ headronefish on June 5th, 2014 at 3:00 pm said:

@16 “Those who complain about fps being crucial to buying a game, shouldn’t be even allowed to play games at all.” I laughed harder than I should have. Never mind the sheer ignorance in this statement, you’re basically saying “real gamers” are the ones who sacrifice handling for graphical fidelity. Some people would rather have a smoother experience than a little more shiny stuff in their video games, who are you to say those people are wrong in choosing that? What exactly makes your opinion any more true than anyone else’s here? If you care so much about graphics go sell your PS4 and play PC games exclusively then. Hell, if you want fidelity go watch a damn movie then. See, other people can be ignorant too.


44

+ oo7PorscheMGS on June 5th, 2014 at 3:01 pm said:

Oh, and this is looking more and more like a game I have to BUY..forget the ps plus edition. This is worth it spending MORE than a few bucks on. Better than paying for games that are doing the SAME E X A C T thing every year (Need for Speed …aka Burnout with a new name and less features/fun….)


45

+ oo7PorscheMGS on June 5th, 2014 at 3:08 pm said:

@43……most gamers cant even tell the difference between 30 and 60 FPS, and by the way 30 fps is more than your eyes see on TV……people complain without knowing what they’re talking about.

30 frames per second = SMOOTH

It’s only games where that 30 fps starts DROPPING to 20 or 15 frames per second that the eye can even begin to notice some choppiness. 30 fps will do, stop the whining as if it’s some huge deal. You can’t always achieve 60 fps AND amazing graphics…the developers chose to put more beautiful details in the game, not a slightly smoother framerate. Their choice, and a smart one.

And yes I agree, someone crying about 30 fps instead of 60 fps ISN’T a gamer. If you care about FPS above all then I honestly suggest you go get a PC, nuff said.


46

+ billyok on June 5th, 2014 at 3:28 pm said:

I love it when developers go insane over the small details they know most won’t even notice. That’s a true labor of love. If the delay was needed to make this possible then I’m glad it got one.


47

+ MrBigShoes99 on June 5th, 2014 at 3:39 pm said:

@Olavo_Junior
God I hope not, I wouldn’t want vehicles sounding like lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners. It should be the other way around in terms of showing Polyphony how to properly implement engine sounds, AI, etc. I may have to pick up a PS4 if this game is as good as they’re hyping it up to be.


48

+ smoothboarder540 on June 5th, 2014 at 3:41 pm said:

@45 You know you just contradicted yourself in your first sentence, right? If we can’t even see 30 fps, then how can anyone see the difference between 30 and 60. Also, if a company announces that a game will be 30 FPS, it leaves them open to letting the game drop below 30. In which case, even people with poor vision will see drops.

I don’t see what is wrong with a gamer wanting the gameplay to be strong. We are allowed to hold a game to certain graphical standards, yet performance is out of bounds? And I don’t believe anyone said they cared about FPS above all. They only said that a racing game that caps at 30 fps is not what they want in a racer. I don’t see how that discredits them as gamers. Is a person who doesn’t buy Forza 5 because it doesn’t have realistic looking carbon fiber considered a gamer by your standards? People have different tastes.


49

+ dreww3 on June 5th, 2014 at 3:51 pm said:

Day 1 purchase for me!

I hope people support this game regardless for PS+ edition because these devs truly deserve the $70 we pay for full retail games.


50

+ God-Of-Lyf on June 5th, 2014 at 3:57 pm said:

As we seen with Watch Dogs, delaying a game to make it better doesn’t always show in the end. Once they disclosed how they plan to milk this game it becomes apparent why its really been delayed. Thanks but no thanks, you can keep your garbage…!


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