Porsche car in Forza 7

Sun, sand and serious challenges: How creating the Forza 7 Dubai track melted a camera and took its toll on staff

Gamers playing Forza Motorsport 7 will notice that their car handles a bit differently on the new Dubai track compared with other courses.

That’s because Turn 10, the game’s creators, sent a team to the United Arab Emirates to experience and capture the incredible heat in the city, which affects the roads. This was added into the game to make the playing experience as realistic as possible.

It means that if gamers drive a car around the Dubai track, their vehicle will perform differently than if it was on Hockenheim, Silverstone or Long Beach, for example.

Scott Lee, Art Director at Turn 10, said because the new Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever made, his team was under pressure to make the best and most realistic Forza yet, as gamers will notice every detail.

“The pressure was very high for this game,” he said. “As the Xbox One X will show Forza 7 in native 4k, every flaw would show, so we reauthored everything from scratch.

“We are always trying to make the best-looking game ever, and we have tried to make the best Forza ever. People expect Forzas to look amazing, but this time there was a renewed effort to make something special for the Xbox One X. A lot of the choices we made were due to that.”

Everything you need to know about Forza Motorsport 7

Driver in 1930s racing car from Forza Motorsport 7

While Forza 7’s Dubai track does not exist in the real world, parts of it are recognisable – such as the 7.3-mile Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, considered one of the most fun (and dangerous) driving experiences in the world. However, the team’s push for realism came at a cost, as one of Turn 10’s expensive cameras melted in the Dubai heat.

“We sent five people to Dubai, which, logistically, was an adventure in itself. They took tens of thousands of pictures and laser-scanned roads, because we really wanted to capture the environment, the temperature and the heat. We wanted a true visual representation of that, and get the textures and lighting just right, so we use high-end cameras to get those pictures.

“The team were shooting in the middle of the desert and it reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit. They were standing out in the sun all day and I think that affected them. One day they accidentally left their Canon 5D in the car and it physically melted, part of it warped.”

Forza Motorsport 7 Dubai

The Forza Motorsport 7 Dubai track

Forza 7 features more than 30 tracks and over 700 cars, including the largest collection of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches ever, and each one has been authentically recreated, inside and out.

The game will run at 60 frames per second in 4K resolution with High-Dynamic Range (HDR); so, when the weather changes during races (another new feature), the sunlight reflecting off puddles and the clouds slowly rolling in will look more realistic than ever before.

Other new features include OneDrive music streaming, so players can listen to their favourite songs as they drive.

Purple car from Forza 7

It will also be the first Forza to put the driver front and centre of the action, making the characters completely customisable – from physical appearance to clothes.

“Driving games are very relatable, because most people drive,” Lee said. “I saw this game as the perfect opportunity to let people create their own car fantasy.

“The graphics are part of that, but the art team also looked at how the game felt as well as looked. It made us think: ‘We want this part to feel hot, or this corner to feel dangerous’.”

Forza Motorsport 7 will be released on PC and Xbox One on October 3, with the Xbox One X version available on November 7, when the new console launches.

The Xbox One X offers 40% more power than rival devices. Its six-teraflop engine and built-in supersampling gives gamers better textures, smoother framerates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV. Players can record game clips in 4K at 60 frames per second and capture 4K screenshots.

A special Project Scorpio Edition of the console became the fastest-selling Xbox pre-order ever when it was unveiled last month, amid high demand. Details about the next wave of Xbox One X standard edition pre-orders will be announced later this month.

More than 100 new and existing Xbox One titles will be enhanced for the Xbox One X. These include Halo 5: Guardians, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, FIFA 18, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Star Wars Battlefront II.