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First Look: Driveclub’s Dynamic Weather in Action

Fred Dutton's Avatar + Posted by Fred Dutton on Jul 08, 2014 // SCEE Blog Manager

Evolution Studios took the wraps off Driveclub’s dynamic weather system at E3 in Los Angeles last month and we were there to see it demoed live. Today we’ve got some new direct feed gameplay clips of the dynamic weather in action and an interview from the game’s Art Director Alex Perkins. This is all from an early demo of the game’s realistic – and fully customizable – weather system that will be included in Driveclub as a free update for all players just shortly after launch.

We’re really excited to give you an early look at how wind, rain, snow and everything in between can affect your races and how you can customize it in your challenges. Take a look at the new videos, then keep reading to catch up with what we’ve learned from our interview with Alex.

How have you approached weather in Driveclub?

“The temperature and height of the sun governs how quickly roads dry out.”

Alex Perkins: We’ve approached our weather system with the same guiding principles as we’ve done with everything in Driveclub: to make it as immersive and fun as possible. We’ve developed a powerful engine that has the capability to model the entire environment in stunning detail; from each cloud that makes up our living skies, to every crest and fall in the tarmac beneath your wheels. From there, we’re breathing additional life into the environments by developing the earth’s atmosphere around it. Originally we focused on authentic lighting and skies as the tool for you to customize stunning backdrops for fun challenges with your friends. Now, we’re developing a dynamic weather system that plays into all of this, adding another powerful tool to your arsenal.

The cloud cover and conditions you choose will dictate how much snow and rain will fall. The wind direction and speed determines where snow will settle. Then when it stops, the temperature and height of the sun governs how quickly clouds evaporate and roads dry out. We’re really striving for consistency in every detail just like we have done with everything else in the game.

What’s the scale of the weather types in the game? Is it just rain or snow, or can we expect drizzle, sleet, downpours, blizzards and so forth?
Alex Perkins: You can expect every one of those and you can expect it to change dynamically and unpredictably while you race – because we’ve designed it to be just like real weather systems. Spots of rain can become torrential downpours or transition into blizzards, quickly or slowly, and when the clouds clear up the tracks will dry out too. So if you’re in Norway, for example, you’ll face heavier snow when you’re racing atop the mountains and much lighter snow or sleet when you descend to a lower altitude. Lots of things play into this, like elevation, wind speed and temperature. We can even adjust all the way to zero visibility conditions too – the only limit will be the need to balance things for fun and usability.

And what about really extreme stuff, like thunder and lightning?
Alex Perkins: Deafening thunder storms with flashes of fork lightning is what we’re aiming for. Our intention is to make this as immersive and exciting as we can.

How customizable will the weather be?
Alex Perkins: We want you to be able to create epic races that you want to share with your friends because they took your breath away. Just like we do with time of day, skies and time lapse speed, we’re going to add lots of options for you to be able to adjust how the weather plays out in your challenges. We don’t want to just offer fixed settings for “rain” or “snow,” we want it to be dynamic and exciting. We’re still working on how best to present this to you and we’ll show more closer to launch.

On that note, can you go into details on exactly what implications dynamic weather has on gameplay?

“…and your headlights are reflecting on the snowflakes ahead of you…”

Alex Perkins: As you’d expect, weather is a game changer. When your tires get wet it’s harder to brake and easier to drift, which has a big effect on how you race and score fame for your club. It’s not just the handling that changes though, visibility can also change massively and impact on how the game plays too, especially at night when you’ve got your windscreen wipers going like crazy and your headlights are reflecting on the snowflakes ahead of you to blanket the sky in white.

Accurately replicating real life weather sounds like a massive technical challenge? Is that fair?
Alex Perkins: Challenging ourselves is part of what makes us Evolution Studios. We’re very ambitious and we want to keep pushing our own tools and the power of PS4 to create new and exciting game play experiences. We’ve had to learn a lot about weather systems and experiment with how it interacts with everything else in the game. It’s all about the detail: the dampening surfaces, moisture absorption, changing material appearances, lighting in the sky, and so on. It’s amazing to see this come together; to see little details like rain forming puddles that can hold water, then dry out or get bigger depending on the terrain topology and changes to the temperature. To be able to make a breakthrough like this is what makes the PlayStation 4 hardware so exciting.

As ever, we are pouring our hearts into every detail to make sure we have a weather system that looks real and is exciting for you to play with.

//Add Your Own

50 Comments

1

+ Makinen on July 8th, 2014 at 7:05 am said:

Can’t wait for this to drop!!! Please release a demo!


2

+ BrianMcGuinness on July 8th, 2014 at 7:09 am said:

Wow.


3

+ xAkademiks on July 8th, 2014 at 7:10 am said:

This looks kind of unreal, wow ..


4

+ duffyboy1986 on July 8th, 2014 at 7:12 am said:

yeah releasing a demo to hold ps4 racers over the summer would be awesome


5

+ Elvick_ on July 8th, 2014 at 7:13 am said:

So sexy…


6

+ speedkiller1 on July 8th, 2014 at 7:16 am said:

this looks cool cant wait.

buddiespace.net


7

+ BlaqMagiq24 on July 8th, 2014 at 7:24 am said:

Wow Evolution is no doubt being ambitious with this game. I’d say the delay was worth it. Rather have a great game than a rushed one. Yeah definitely a pickup from me.


8

+ Blacq_Soul on July 8th, 2014 at 7:26 am said:

wow. this game looks amazing. if it looks this beautiful upon release, take all the time you need


9

+ CommandingTiger on July 8th, 2014 at 7:26 am said:

I hope it gets more customizable cars.


10

+ KazeEternal on July 8th, 2014 at 7:34 am said:

CAn’t wait to get my hands on this. I’m glad you guys are taking your time with this game even if it is nearly 11 months late to the party. The commitment to quality is much appreciated.


11

+ jason_redemption on July 8th, 2014 at 7:35 am said:

Why would you be announcing this update if it’s not even part of the game that will be shipped? This is like announcing DLC prior to release. Why announce what will come as a patch/update to the game post-launch? What has this industry come to? The game isn’t coming out for another FOUR months, why not include this update on the DISC version?


12

+ jhernandez360 on July 8th, 2014 at 7:46 am said:

Demo please!


13

+ Sulumon on July 8th, 2014 at 7:46 am said:

@Makinen, They are releasing a demo, it’s called the Playstation Plus Editition!


14

+ Elvick_ on July 8th, 2014 at 7:48 am said:

Oh, obligatory photo mode (like inFamous Second Son) request.


15

+ LUCIFERSGLEAM on July 8th, 2014 at 7:55 am said:

So pretty much if I had any desire to get this game I should wait until all the features have been implemented via patch or a version of the game that compiles everything from patches to DLC for a 1/3 less.


16

+ realmadpuppy on July 8th, 2014 at 7:58 am said:

Will there be snow? I use to love driving through the alps In Porsche extreme with the heavy snow and limited visability.


17

+ iamtylerdurden1 on July 8th, 2014 at 8:09 am said:

@15 – Obviously u have no desire to get this game maybe u should get the generic Forza horizon 2 and play it on your xbone. Anyway, the game looks beautiful worth the wait DAY 1 for me. Hooray PS4 exclusives! Hooray preorder bonus! Take all the time u need as long as the game is pristine is how i feel – ie The Order 1886.


18

+ stlthriot on July 8th, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

Looks absolutely beautiful! :D Can’t wait to try it out!


19

+ Mercenary09 on July 8th, 2014 at 8:37 am said:

Can’t wait to play this. Comes out right around my birthday!


20

+ MarinoBrea on July 8th, 2014 at 8:41 am said:

O___O


21

+ LUCIFERSGLEAM on July 8th, 2014 at 8:43 am said:

17- I’d overall prefer more realistic driving games so Forza 4 and 5 along with Gran Turismo 6 are keeping me plenty occupied. If Kaz Yamauchi goes forward with brining back the PS2 era standard cars for Gran Turismo 7, I’m saying goodbye to the PS4 altogether. 18 years PS supporter, gone in a flash!


22

+ Druezy on July 8th, 2014 at 8:55 am said:

We will be able to drive the car in manual or semi-auto? I was really sad when I had to drive in automatic in NFS Rivals.


23

+ Druezy on July 8th, 2014 at 8:59 am said:

Will we get a driveclub steering wheel with clutch and shifter?


24

+ Harerazer on July 8th, 2014 at 9:16 am said:

@Sulumon
I guess you and I are the only ones who can see the emperor has no clothes on.


25

+ Petro-Van-Boss on July 8th, 2014 at 9:17 am said:

no game, no matter how realistic it looks it will never beat the REAL thing, you want to see how good you are at driving, get a real car, a real track and real opponents. this game will be just another driving simulator, nothing new, won’t buy it, its a waste of money. You can make all the rain and sunlight you want, its still a game, nothing more…


26

+ ghostaljjic on July 8th, 2014 at 9:31 am said:

Finally, a next gen racing game! Sounds incredible as well. Nice work. Can’t wait to play.


27

+ SeanStrange on July 8th, 2014 at 9:36 am said:

Looks really amazing. Not into driving games, but I really need to get hold of this when it releases. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get into the racing genre!


28

+ Brooklyn008 on July 8th, 2014 at 9:59 am said:

Goddamn. I don’t know if stuff like this was part of the decision that pushed back the release date, but if so, good call! Can’t wait, game looks awesome.


29

+ fbutron on July 8th, 2014 at 10:03 am said:

Looks incredible!!!! as a huge fan from GT I feel that PD will have a tough time surpassing that with GT7 O_o

Sony make commercials showing weather effects and you will sell gangbusters !!!

Day 1


30

+ Zacky-V-A7X on July 8th, 2014 at 10:11 am said:

Congrats guys! keep up the good work. The game looks INSANE!!.


31

+ D-Squad3 on July 8th, 2014 at 10:43 am said:

The game looks amazing.


32

+ TrueBlue02 on July 8th, 2014 at 11:25 am said:

good god…imagine this much effort going into the next motorstorm


33

+ Matrix_Lion on July 8th, 2014 at 11:33 am said:

I’ve been so impressed by what I’ve seen from this game.


34

+ phinnv8 on July 8th, 2014 at 11:59 am said:

This looks nearly photo realistic. Hopefully it really demonstrates the PS4′s power in not just graphics but gameplay.


35

+ Welmosca on July 8th, 2014 at 12:30 pm said:

OMG..Jesus Christ…I’m speechless…gotta say I never thought I would see a racing game with better graphics than GT but Driveclub will deliver…damn what on earth are those graphics?…….to find next-gen only in Sony games,of course I knew that since the beginning….UC4,The Order and Driveclub are true next-gen…PS4 is looking tempting more and more.

PS:Please make another Motorstorm after Driveclub…damn imagine a new Motorstorm with these graphics….insane.


36

+ iREVOLTER on July 8th, 2014 at 12:31 pm said:

So now is cOOl, just upload couple of compressed gifs and voila. Whatever Sony … |:

At least release on gamersyde or blog with link to DL uncompressed video footages.


37

+ tusunami on July 8th, 2014 at 1:16 pm said:

I must say that this is real cool to see that this game has come along so far since when I first heard about it. Looking forward to this as soon as possible and since it’s for PS plus i’ll try it out first then decide from there.


38

+ shadysaiyanz on July 8th, 2014 at 1:16 pm said:

That looks so good! Can’t wait for this game!


39

+ oo7PorscheMGS on July 8th, 2014 at 1:56 pm said:

Looks very nice but would have loved to see a montage of all the various weather effects real quick. Either way, this is a game to keep your eyes on.

Is there any chance the PS4 + DRIVECLUB Bundle that was just announced for Europe will come to the US too? Please let us know, if you’re at least even THINKING about bringing that bundle to the west?


40

+ IIIBlackoutIII on July 8th, 2014 at 3:38 pm said:

Looks great, can’t wait to hear more.


41

+ DIESEL-DOG on July 8th, 2014 at 3:40 pm said:

Impressive… most impressive!


42

+ AirMaxPenny on July 8th, 2014 at 4:21 pm said:

Please bring iRacing to console. All this fake racing makes me sad.


43

+ Nefercare on July 8th, 2014 at 4:21 pm said:

This game is awesome! I play racing games since Midway´s Rally X lol, I´ve been waiting for this game since last year! Are you going to have a PS4 Demo this month???


44

+ xCROSSxFADEx on July 8th, 2014 at 4:49 pm said:

Graphics aren’t really my main concern but damn is this game pretty. Can’t wait to see how it plays.


45

+ anhellxplosive on July 8th, 2014 at 7:44 pm said:

omg….nice!


46

+ DZtruthseek on July 8th, 2014 at 11:34 pm said:

What is the deal with Evolution using **** video players??? Come on guys, can we get some less compressed videos? I bet NeoGaf is having a fit right now.


47

+ ryunokage on July 9th, 2014 at 5:07 am said:

I hated Forza horizon because it didnt handle as well as Forza 4, and going back to 30fps from 60fps, despite being an understandable tradeoff for the large map was somewhat disgusting.

That said, I don’t even care about the 30fps if DriveClub looks this good.


48

+ honkayjeezus on July 9th, 2014 at 11:17 am said:

Too bad the PS Plus edition became the PS Plus Demo edition. Still waiting on the explanation from the developer lead that said the Plus edition would be “minus a few cars and tracks”.


49

+ NxP3 on July 9th, 2014 at 8:17 pm said:

I’ve been waiting for games that other than fps to arrive that’s worth playing. This would be one, a demo is a must.


50

+ YUE-JING-BONES on July 10th, 2014 at 8:33 am said:

Hurry up with the release already,,,,,,, S H E S H


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