Driveclub Has Some Amazing Features
If you’ve seen any of the teaser videos of Driveclub, you’re already well aware of the detail that went into the tracks, cars, and environment. It’s shaping up to be a masterpiece of a driving game, even though it was delayed nearly a year after being touted as a PS4 Launch game.
Driveclub is currently slated for October of this year, and now that we are seeing some of the features going into the game, it makes sense. Several weeks back an article was written about social media aspects of the game that they wanted to perfect and make right, but here is a list of crazy awesome features about Driveclub, courtesy of Sony’s Blog Manager Fred Dutton, via Playstation.Blog:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
That’s not all of the “51 Details” from Fred Dutton’s write-up, but you get the idea. A LOT of time and effort has gone into making sure Driveclub is as real as it gets, while not itself geared as a racing simulator like Gran Tourismo. Basically what it comes down to is this game will be pretty crazy, and again and again I go back to PAX Prime from last August and say the same thing; I was very impressed with the visuals in the build we played at Prime, so if they had another (nearly) year to continue working on it, I can’t imagine how awesome it’s going to look once the game is finally released.
For the entirety of the Sony PS Blog article, click here.
For more information on Driveclub, click here.
You can pre-order Driveclub now from your local retailer (GameStop, BestBuy, Target, etc.) or via Amazon.