Playground Games did a lot of work to make the skies in Forza Horizon 4 look gorgeous and varied, offering some 300 presets. That number will be going up in Forza Horizon 5, as revealed in the recent episode of Let’s ¡Go! (transcription by VGC). Lead lighting artist Lukas Koelz revealed that there would be over 2,000 sky presets, offering a varied experience regardless of the time of day and weather.
Much like in previous titles, the development team used a rig of three high-resolution cameras that captures photos every 30 seconds and combines them with 12K images of the sky. The total number of data amounted to 75 TB with over 400 hours of sky photos being captured. Koelz explained it as “When the user creates a custom race they can choose to race at midday [when it’s] rainy, for example, or during a clear sunset. In Horizon 4 the system would then pick one preset from our skies to give them their selection, and we had about 300 of them. This time we have over 2000, so there’s quite a lot more variety, and in free roam of course you’ll experience that too.”
Art director Don Arceta also spoke about the various weather conditions, noting how the desert could provide a “sprinkling of rain” and upon traveling to the jungle, players would experience a torrential downpour. “So we have all these different weather behaviors in the different biomes which really reflects and enhances the experiences you have.” Arceta also reiterated that the new seasonal weather effects – the dust storms and tropical storms – can actually be approached. It’s a big step up from Forza Horizon 4 which saw weather across the map being uniform throughout.
Forza Horizon 5 is out on November 9th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Yesterday, Playground Games confirmed that Forza Horizon 4 would stop getting new features and cars as the developer focuses on the sequel.