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.