A big component of Forza Motorsport 5's artificial intelligence relies on learning the way real players drive. For better or worse, Turn 10's Drivatars may be too good at learning.
Speaking with OXM UK, Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt discussed the advantages and safeguards in place to make Drivatars fully sentient. "The thing that's interesting is that they don't just drive faster - they drive completely differently," Greenawalt said. "Because fast drivers tend to be cleaner, they cut corners more, they use the car a lot more, they're much smoother. So, when you change the difficulty the racing fundamentally changes, and all this was trained by real people - it's not programmed by us."
There are seven different levels of difficulty and Drivatars, all of which derive their driving style from learning how actual players have driven particular tracks. "So people cut corners and the Drivatar learned how to do it and where to do it and how to do it appropriately," Greenawalt continued. "We didn't train it to run into you. Usually what's happening - and I've been finding a lot of people do this - they cut off the AI and then they slam on the brakes, and they get hit."
But don't worry. Drivatars won't be able to cheat their way to the top, or screw around by driving in reverse. "So, we've got safeguards on it. It's not even allowed to record driving backwards, doing donuts on the track," Greenawalt said. "We're not stupid. Gamers are gamers. Believe me, some of your gamers will think of it. So there are certain things it's simply not allowed to even learn."
We'll be able to put these AI drivers to the test ourselves next week when Forza Motorsport 5 arrives alongside the Xbox One on Nov. 22.