gamescom 2013

Yamauchi Outlines The Future Of Gran Turismo

by Ben Hanson on Aug 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

With the recent announcement of a December 6 release date and hot on the heels of a new trailer, we got a chance to speak with legendary Gran Turismo director Kazunori Yamauchi about the team's approach to the sixth entry. We also get an update on the new Gran Turismo movie.

Who is the ideal audience for Gran Turismo 6?

Every time we launch a new title, I go back and I see points that I should have done this way or that way. So Gran Turismo 6 is really something where we took GT 5 and corrected all of the things that we thought should have been done better. So the target is not so much a certain age group, it's really for people that love GT.

Do you have any interest in designing a game that is more arcade-inspired and has a wider appeal?

From my perspective, I don't separate between arcade-type and simulation-type games; Gran Turismo has an arcade mode. No matter what type of game mode, if it looks fun I'd like to include it in Gran Turismo.

Can you describe the damage models that you have in mind for Gran Turismo 6 and how that is changing from past games?

There's no major changes in terms of damage modeling. I think it's pretty much the same as GT 5.

What is your approach to the online mode this time around?

It's kind of difficult to explain what is different online, because a lot of it has to do with improvements with usability. In GT 5 we experimented with a lot of different features for online and we received a lot of feedback from players and community members over the last three years. So in GT 6 we made it a lot easier for these community managers to organize races, championships, time trials, drift trials, and just made it easier to organize and run their communities.

Will progress online carry over to your single-player campaign in any way?

The experience system doesn't exist in GT 6, but that system where you still receive some sort of reward for online racing is probably still going to be there.

Will Tourist Trophy return for GT 6?

I can't say no. [Laughter]

What's the team's approach for the course maker and custom-created content in Gran Turismo 6?

In the course maker for GT6, we are planning to prepare a lot bigger scenery locations that can be manipulated for making tracks.

Check out the second page of the interview to learn more about the upcoming Gran Turismo film and Yamauchi's thoughts on emotions in games.

Two days ago at the Sony press conference they talked about the Gran Turismo movie. I'm wondering what your involvement with that project is.

The only part that I can actually have a say in is the plot of the movie. I received a request for making a movie from Hollywood around seven years ago, and I turned them down every time until now. All those movies were just car action movies. The reason I okayed it this time around was because what they wanted to do wasn't just a car action movie, it was more of a human drama and the growth of a young man.

Is that an area you'd like to explore in a video game in the future, more of the human element?

Of course. But I don't think it will be a certain game mode or anything like that. For example, GT Academy is a device that kind of generates human drama. In GT 6, we'd like to explore more possibilities like that.

Do you have examples of how you'd like to do that?

In GT6 we're going to start online championships, and some of those will be official championships and some of those will be the championships organized by community managers. That really is a sport, and in sports there is always drama.

So you want the drama to be natural but you don't have any interest in telling a story from a directorial point of view?

Yes.

I'm curious how much you've played with the PS4 hardware and what you're most looking forward to when you eventually work on that system?

I think the Playstation 4 is going to raise the quality of the applications on all levels, lift it all up. Compared to the PS3, the PS4 uses a more generic CPU that anybody can draw out the performance for. The PS3, on the other hand, has very high peaks on just some of the elements and it is hardware that is more difficult to handle. It's fun to wrestle with that and try and get it to put out that performance. Once we start work on Gran Turismo for the PS4, perhaps it will be GT7. At that point, I guess we'll start to look of the peak performance for the PS4.

Do you have any interest in working on a genre outside of racing when you work on the PS4? Maybe a smaller project in some other field?

Right now creating Gran Turismo is taking all my effort and I'm actually having fun doing it, so I haven't put any thought on working on anything else.