Gran Turismo 5 Adds Course Creation, Kart Racing

The course count for Polyphony Digital's real driving simulator Gran Turismo 5 is now approaching infinity, thanks to the game's just revealed Course Maker, shown off today at Gamescom in Germany.

Series creator Kazunori Yamauchi demoed the Course Maker feature today, showing that it's not the type of tool that will let players build a custom course from scratch, but something different. A fully featured track editor, Yamauchi says, "really requires a complete CG tool, which would limit the number of users who could use it."

Instead, Gran Turismo 5's Course Maker lets you build a custom racetrack based on a set of parameters. Players can select a theme, choose the number of sections and course type (one way or loop), weather, time of day and length. Two of the themes shown off were Toscany and the Belgian High Fens.

The Course Maker lets you edit that track section-by-section, choosing the frequency of curves, course width, sharpness of corners, degree of topography tracing, and bank angles. Those choices are set by sliders or drop down lists. Yamauchi created a pair of custom tracks, both with the same theme but with different parameters. He quickly took each for a test drive, illustrating how quickly a player could create two very different courses.

Yamauchi also offered a look at Gran Turismo 5's newest vehicle, karts. The Polyphony Digital head honcho said that it was planned to be a feature for the next game in the series, but after the feature was apparently "leaked," the team decided to include it earlier.

We'll have more details on Gran Turismo 5's other new additions soon.


    People do not buy Gran Turismo for Kart racing. I don't think a serious kart racing game will be much fun. If I'm going to race realisticly I want to do it in real world car, not a real world go-kart. I can do that in real life.

    I still think GT5 will be one of the defining racing games of this console generation. Just question the wisdom of adding Karts.

      Given there are 1,000-odd cars in the game, I'm sure you won't struggle to find plenty you DO like driving, even if you never touch the karts.

      Personally, I hate NASCAR, but that's the beauty of GT - it's got something for everyone (except those who don't like cars at all, I guess).

      I would question his statement about a track editor requiring a complete CG tool. ModNation racers did a decent job of it. Perhaps GT5 could have done something similar - let you lay down the actual track layout in a fairly minimalist kind of interface, and then just populate the background afterwards with scenery from whatever theme you choose.

      Hmmm... I hope Yamauchi doesn't read this, decide I'm right, then delay it for another 6 months to re-do the track editor...

      You can race realistically in a real-world car too, the difference being that you can't do it on Silverstone or Nordschleife, just like with the Karts.

      I personally think it'll make for some fun online races.

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