This post was originally a series of tweets on 11/6/2016. I’m repackaging and expanding on them for posterity.
I’ve played the crap out of Forza Horizon 3. I love the series, and this entry is no different. But it has some curious UX flaws. The biggest one is that the logic behind Exhibition car classes is wholly obtuse. I still don’t know exactly how it works. Here’s the scenario:
The cars in the game are categorized into a series of classes. Each class contains a set of cars (for example, Modern Muscle encompasses newer Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, etc.). Meanwhile, the world map is filled with routes (racetracks, essentially). Each route has both an exhibition event and a championship event. Exhibitions are single races. The championship kicks off a multi-race competition based on a single car class. For example, the championship at route ABC might be for the Group B Monster class, and contain races at routes ABC, DEF, and GHI.
However, each route’s exhibition does not have a pre-determined car class associated. It often defaults to the class of car you are currently driving, so if you roll up in an Extreme Offroad vehicle, you will likely get an exhibition based on the Extreme Offroad class. But not always. Sometimes, it prompts you to change vehicles to another class. Why? The game’s UI offers no indication of which car class is accepted.
My best guess about how it works is that, hidden from the player, each exhibition has a list of accepted car classes. I imagine that the type of route (offroad, onroad, mixed) affects this list, so you don’t get a Ferrari plowing across the landscape. If you are already in one of the accepted classes’ cars, the exhibition starts normally. However, if you aren’t, the game prompts you to select a car from the ‘first’ class on the list. This might explain why some classes were heavily overrepresented when I was playing through the exhibitions.
Is this a big problem? No, not at all. But it is an odd design decision. My preference would be for each route to have a car class that applies to both exhibition and championship, and to have that appear on the map UI so I know what I’m getting into before I drive across the region. Maybe we’ll see that in Forza Horizon 4.