Forza Motorsport is set to be released later this year, boasting improved visual immersion and fidelity. But, what makes this title special is that it will allow players who are blind or have low vision to race tracks by listening for audio cues. By doing so, Forza Motorsport is set to become the most accessible title in the franchise.
To make this feat possible, Turn 10 Studios partnered with accessibility consultant and blind gamer, Brandon Cole. Cole is known for working with Naughty Dog to improve accessibility in The Last of Us on PlayStation and has been pushing for game developers on this issue for more than a decade.
Initially, Turn 10 Studios was working on a concept for Blind Driving Assists (BDA) inside Forza Motorsport. However, it was experiencing some difficulties in its implementation. The team reached out to Cole, and after some collaboration, they found the right formula.
By adding audio cues and voice-overs, players can navigate the track without needing extra help from automatic braking or turn assists. Sounds such as tires, engines, and other objects were considered to make a soundscape that wouldn’t clash. The sounds that worked the best were simple beeps and boops.
Throughout the game, players will receive audio cues and haptic feedback through the controller. These cues inform them of various challenges they need to take on, such as going through sharp turns and driving the car back on track. Sighted players can access these audio cues too, so there’s no need for any special hardware.
Apart from audio cues, Forza Motorsport will have several accessibility features to make the game more flexible to play. These features include dynamic audio descriptions, one-touch driving, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, and colorblind modes.
Forza Motorsport is scheduled to be released later in the year to the Xbox Series X/S consoles, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming.