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51 Details About DRIVECLUB on PS4

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51 Details About DRIVECLUB on PS4

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.

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75 Comments

  • I lost my jaw..Day 1 buy for me. I suck at racing but I’ll put in the effort for this game. That’s amazing list. You guys put your hearts and souls in this game. Thanks guys, the wait was totally worth it. Excited!

  • I find it funny all the kids crying about 30 frames per second. The vast majority of you can’t tell 30 from 60, let alone sit you in front of a mid end pc that does 250 easy. So just stop with the you think you’re smart act. It’s ludicrous and boring now after all these years.

    Yes, Yes. I know one of you wannabe smarties will rage and have a tantrum so by all means…

  • @45 TV and film look good in 24 fps because of motion blur, and you can’t mimic true motion blur in video games. Hell, motion blur often makes games feel worse. As for not being able to tell the difference, have you seen The Hobbit in 48 fps? Pretty much everyone who did will agree that it’s so smooth that it actually looks weird. The other aspect of it is that TV is not an interactive experience. It is not just about looking smooth, it’s about feeling smooth. If you are the one controlling what’s happening on screen, you’re more in-tune to how it actually happens. 60 fps is more responsive than 30, there’s no arguing with that. A good example is Dark Souls 2 on PS3 vs PC. Try landing some parries and see in which one it’s easier. You can say that to you the difference is negligible, but other people feel it is more significant than a minor upgrade in graphical fidelity. Choosing one over the other is 100% personal preference and there is nothing objective about it. As for all the crying and whining going on here, as far as I can see most of that is coming from people like you and the person whose ridiculous statement I quoted in my previous post.

  • So people who value GAMEPLAY in a GAME over graphical fidelity shouldn’t be playing games at all? That’s cool. I could flip it and say that people who would rather have better graphics shouldn’t be allowed to play games. It sounds just as idiotic.

    “If you care about FPS above all then I honestly suggest you go get a PC, nuff said.” If you don’t care about FPS, get a potato. There, that’s just as good an argument.
    And no, this has nothing to do with caring about FPS above all. More graphical fidelity is not ALL. I would rather have a game that runs in steady 60 frames per second in exchange for some of the graphics options, but I would also rather have a game that runs smoothly in 30 fps to one that tries for 60 but constantly jumps around. That’s about the one argument you made that’s factually correct, a smoother frame rate is better than a higher frame rate. In my opinion developers shouldn’t go with 60 if the console wouldn’t allow them do to it properly, which is why I don’t actually mind the decision made here. Driveclub isn’t really the point of this argument.

  • G27 Support ?

  • Some people saying no one can spot the difference between 30 and 60fps must be joking. It is INSTANTLY NOTICEABLE. And no serious racer can be played under 60fps. That’s why GT, Forza and even MK are all 60fps, because they are Pro level, competitive racing games. If someone is not a gamer, it’s the one who can’t tell the difference between 30 and 60fps. BTW, If you can’t tell the difference, hurry to a doctor because you have a serious problem. This game will be a showcase of astonishing details for sure, but still, I’d trade all that bling for a more accomplished racing game with the right features to make it a real racing game and running at 60fps. Half of that things listed up there we won’t even notice. When a game relies too much on sunsets and stars to draw attention, it’s because something will most certainly lack, and almost always it is on the gameplay department. Let’s wait and see. But as it is, it will be no Forza or GT, and won’t even be as competitive as MK8, so it only can compare to the NFS series, Grid and Horizon. This will be a good time killer until something “real” come by, though. This will be the Knack of racing games. Something to keep us entertained until we get GT7.

  • #DriveClub vs #GT7 vs #NFS

  • m_Madruguinha08

    With all of these specs I am starting to feel easier about game being 30 fps. My true concern is about support for Logitech wheels, specifically my preciousss G27.

    I spent a good deal on it, and honestly can’t see myself spending more on another wheel just because my favorite set isn’t compatible…

    This game looks and sounds too epic to just be played with dualshock.

    Regardless, kudos for the developers, this game is shaping up to be nothing short of epic.

  • Victoryismine52

    Ok I don’t even like racing games but reading this got me excited. Then again I’m a bit of a tech nerd soooooo. Tell you what you give us a nice video editing suite or even a nice picture mode like in infamous were we can pause strip away the hud and free roam around the camera to get the perfect pic (or just inspect the beauty) and I’m sold!

  • If they can pull off this level of realism, then I am indeed happy with a consistent 30 FPS.

  • Very nice!

  • I agree with the commentators …detail #52 needs to be logitech g27 support
    Sony needs to make this happen or they’re gonna lose the racing community’s suuport

  • Look absolutely brilliant, but is it defo going to be released this year, I held back this year not to buy need for speed on the ps4 thinking this would be out first quarter this year, but like i say i cant wait.

    Need a good racing game on the PS4 getting a bit fed up with FPS and TPS need a chance.

  • As a long term sim racer I find most of these comments nonsense.

    For a driver (sim or otherwise) the most important factor in a game is the racing itself !
    How the cars handle and how the FFB feels is next.
    Then comes sound as you get clues from the sound (tyres more than engine) about the car,
    The least important factor are the visuals themselves, as long as they are smooth. Yeah of course they help with immersion but they really are the least important factor of a racer.

    As long as the community based racing is good (no-one stays happy just racing AI), and the cars handle reasonably with good FFB , which doesn’t need to be full sim quality, which this game doesn’t claim to be, then it will be a success.

    If you want proof of this check out Grand Prix Legends by Papyrus, released in 1998 this is still the most highly regarded sim racer ever ! BTW it runs @ 30 FPS and was @ 640×480 when originally released

  • Pre-ordered Oct.13th 2013 on Amazon. You guys are amazing the detail blows me away. I’m so glad you took the time to take a good race game and make it so much more!

  • Awesome, can’t wait to play Drive Club.

  • 56 is a prime example.

  • AWESOME! Love how games have progressed throughout the years!

  • @65, …exactly.. it’s the game that matters, not how high you can get the framerate, NOR how high you can get the details. The BEST combination of BOTH and a great GAME is what matters.

    People still crying about framerate and trying to put words in my mouth instead of listening to the facts…I didn’t say that NOBODY can tell the difference between 60 and 30fps, I said that many can’t and even more importantly MOST don’t give a you know what. Why? Because 30 Frames Per Second is still SMOOTH!!! It’s only when you have games that don’t have a SOLID 30 frames per second where you notice choppiness, games where the frames dip to 20-10 fps instead of staying at 30.

    So, Evolution decided to add beautiful details to their game instead of making it extra super smooth (because they felt it was smooth enough as it was and that the DETAILS would be better for the game instead…).

  • So again, it’s Evolution’s choice (and a smart one in my opinion) to put more detail in the game rather than go for excessive “smoothness” – stop crying about it as if 60 fps is more important than everything in a racing game. It’s not. I’ve played tons of racing games, notice how I have “porsche” in my name?? ;) I’ve played TONS of racing games at 30fps and NEVER had a complaint or felt that they weren’t fast enough or I couldn’t react enough. 60 fps is smoother obviously (Gran Turismo) but if the hardware is being pushed to the limit and preventing other things from being put in the game then why not choose 30fps and put DETAILS in the game like a better DAMAGE system, more CARS on track at the same time, more weather / environmental details, etc, etc, etc.

    Many of those details are part of the “51” in this list. So thanks Evolution..some of us here actually understand how game development works and therefore THANK you for taking the time to put all these BEAUTIFUL details in the game instead of making a less detailed / less complex game at 60 fps and calling it a day.

  • I’ve been hyped since November and that hype isn’t going away anytime soon.

  • @Porsche

    I totally agree….It seems that all people want to do is quote tech specs of games rather than concentrate on what you get out of playing a game.

    These people may as well turn their consoles off, and go and buy a pack of pokemon or top trump cards instead. :)

  • no 60fps is a deal breaker for me too, I have played many racing games and the difference is huge, but 30fps is still playable,. im betting this game will have some blur effects to make it look more fluid

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