Playground Games, the UK developer responsible for the Forza Horizon games, has revealed that in moving from Xbox 360 to Xbox One for the sequel, it has been able to do things that were impossible in the first game.
"We've learned a lot about online with this new generation," studio co-founder Ralph Fulton has told Eurogamer. Most specifically, he's explained how using a dedicated subsection of the Xbox One cloud computing platform codenamed Thunderhead has really allowed them to develop a game that can go from solo racing to multiplayer tournaments completely seamlessly.
"In terms of the amount of servers we can spin up, it's a different paradigm to how we were working with Forza previously," Fulton explains. "Dealing with online, and really thinking about online in a next-gen sense - and starting with really lofty goals, really high-minded principles in a lot of ways. Saying I don't want anyone to wait, I don't want anyone to sit in a lobby. We want changing between online and solo to be like changing channels on a TV. So how do you achieve that? You have to get players together in a different way. We did Horizon multiplayer a certain way and it was dictated by a number of factors. This generation is a clean slate."
Fulton also details why the openworld Forza Horizon 2 runs at a locked 30fps rather than pushing for the 60fps of its track-bound sister title, Forza Motorsport. "If you're locked to an absolutely solid 30fps, then the experience is perfect for the game", he says. "Ourselves and [Forza 5 developer] Turn 10 are absolutely scrupulous about performance - about never dropping a frame, never tearing a frame."