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Featured R3E: A Look Into The Future

Discussion in 'RaceRoom Racing Experience' started by Paul Jeffrey, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    RaceRoom Racing Experience New Graphics Engine - UE4.jpg
    Since the demise of Simbin Studios back in 2014, the development team have regrouped and reformed in Sweden as Sector3 Studios and have been hard at work developing the sometimes sublime, sometimes infuriating, 'free to play' racing simulator, RaceRoom Racing Experience. Today we will take a look at what the near future holds for RaceRoom.

    Since first hitting our digital shelves, RaceRoom Racing Experience (or R3E as its better known) has shown an impressive development rate to grow from a basic hot lapping simulator to a popular multi-discipline recreation of several high profile racing series across the globe. The simulator now features official licences for the German DTM series, ADAC GT Masters Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship alongside a respectable number of racing classes and detailed circuit recreations.

    Often receiving criticism for the glaring lack of features within the title, Sector3 continue to work behind the scenes to bring updates and improvements to the game, as announced in recent news that saving setups will make its long awaited debut. Yes that's right, the ability to save setups - a feature seen in racing games more than a decade ago - is now considered a newsworthy feature... Apparently.

    More importantly however, the developers have shared details of the upcoming comprehensive force feedback improvements due to land in the upcoming patch. This includes a fix for some users whose wheels were rotating by themselves when the car was stationary, for example on the starting grid, in the pit garage, or when stopped out on circuit.

    RaceRoom Racing Experience FFB Updates 2.jpg

    The new FFB improvements will feature the inclusion of a useful FFB Meter, displaying a minimum (yellow line) and maximum (red line) force setting with the green line representing forces transferred through to the players' racing wheel.

    R3E FFB Meter.jpg

    Much like in other sims, this FFB meter will allow users to fine tune their Force Feedback to perfectly suit their own hardware and avoid the dreaded 'clipping' issue that prevents FFB detail being transferred to your wheel after reaching a certain level of force (a similar effect to when you turn up your stereo too loud and the speakers lose the fine detail of the music as the loudest noises are too amplified and drown out the smaller details).

    Additionally, a new and much requested minimum force option has been included under the Force Feedback Effects setting, aimed at reducing the amount of dead-zone experienced by some wheel users.

    RaceRoom Racing Experience FFB Updates.jpg

    The minimum force setting gives the option to boost small FFB forces that would otherwise be missed by lower powered wheels, bringing a greater richness of feedback and highlighting further the small bumps and undulations of the racing surface as your virtual car powers around the circuit.

    Alongside the minimum force setting, and again aimed at improving the level of detail and "feel" users experience through their racing wheels, Sector3 are bringing the option to incorporate slip effect into the FFB settings. Slip effect is well known amongst the more experienced sim racers as it simulates the tyres contact with the surface of the road, or more specifically gives feedback on traction/grip limited situations such as wheel spin, sliding and generally when the request for the tyre to perform outweighs its ability to grip the racing surface. An example of when the wheel will indicate slip would be when entering a corner too fast and locking ones brakes or accelerating hard and losing rear traction as oversteer occurs. The higher the rotation speed of your tires, the higher the frequency of the vibration, therefore the more grip your tires lose, the higher the amplitude of the vibration will be.

    Another very useful addition to the game in the new patch will be a very handy - and probably essential some will argue - FFB multiplier tool found under the Steering Settings option in game. As with many other racing sims, FFB effects are different from vehicle to vehicle and many users will find a satisfactory FFB solution for one car, only to find that same feeling doesn't translate to a different car.

    Sector3 have aimed to rectify this issue with the inclusion of the FFB Multiplier tool, allowing users to set FFB strength on a car-by-car basis.
    R3E FFB Multiplier.jpg
    They recommend starting a new default profile for your wheel in the Controller Profiles Menu before experimenting with the new build and Logitec Wheel owners are also advised to upgrade drivers to ensure the new patch works correctly with their wheel.

    Hopefully the proposed upgrades to Force Feedback settings, alongside the recent physics updates to a number of cars, will go some way towards satisfying a number of gamers that remain unconvinced by R3E, as once again the compact team look to move forward a title that has grown substantially in recent years.

    Alongside news of the content in the latest patch (not forgetting the release of the laser scanned legendary Nordschleife also due at the same time, cost as yet unknown), and perhaps more surprisingly, the team have revealed a small number of staff are looking at moving the game to the Unreal Engine 4 platform - aiming to bring enhanced graphical capability as well as looking at making the most of the suit of features available in the UE4 engine.

    Sector3's CEO, Chris Speed, had the following to say on the subject,

    "What I can confirm is that we have a very small team investigating and evaluating newer technologies for the future as we always need to keep ourselves up to date with what's out there and consider our options for whatever the future may bring. We are not working on a new game at this moment and RaceRoom remains our primary focus."

    The image Mr. Speed released with this message (see top of this article) is indeed impressive, and marks a significant improvement over the current, albeit strong, graphics of the title currently. Even more interestingly: the Unreal engine is capable of simulating both time of day and weather options, which could bring some highly desired features to the title.

    The UE4 engine is becoming increasingly popular in racing titles with confirmation that the upcoming KartKraft sim will be powered by Unreal and the as yet untitled GT Legends 2 game mentioning UE4 in some of it's pre-release Facebook media (although the final engine for GTL2 remains unconfirmed).

    Further evidence of the Swedish team's desire to move towards this new engine can be highlighted by the recent job opportunities for a Lead C++ Programmer, C++ Programmer and C# Backend Programmer with experience of Unreal Engine 3 and 4 (and cross platform experience?!?!). This early testing of a new graphics engine is major news for R3E and builds confidence amongst the sim racing community that Sector3 and RaceRoom Racing Experience are here for the long haul and aim to continue the strong upward momentum already shown to date.

    With the new patch and improvements, plus a whole host of new content on the horizon and a firm commitment to grow and improve the title I for one am excited about the future of R3E. Only time will tell if Sector3 can deliver and once again reach the heights achieved by Simbin Studios. Watch this space.

    What do you think of the proposed move to UE4? Are you excited about the new FFB improvements? How do you think this title is shaping up? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2016
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  2. Tobiman

    Premium Member

    Although it was my first racing sim, I simply preferred AC's ffb after I tried it. Hopefully, this update will bring it up to par. Still has the best selection of european tracks and I didn't have to do too much track learning due to watching lots of ADAC and DTM races before sim racing.
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  3. new graphics, small physics changes, makes it better.
  4. Just give me a complete package without any free to play stuff and make it moddable.
    Basically a true GTR³....
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  5. Move away from the grasp and limitations of the 10-year old core engine to something new, good. Then get the driving aspect to a better level. Better. Then work on a better R3E product package, excellent.

    I would love to have reasons to greatly support Sector3 in the near future. iRacing still isn't that attractive, and I grew way too tired of rFactor2 and Assetto.
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  6. I'd love to see the new FFB features work out, it's currently my biggest reason for not playing RR more.
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  7. Szymon Olizarowicz

    Szymon Olizarowicz
    Premium Member

    I really hope that the move to new engine is motivated not only by the changes to physics, but also the intention to support VR in a year or two. I am currently planning on upgrading my PC and buying Oculus/Vive to benefit from that VR goodness and any sim that places at least some focus in that area is a strong contender to become my main one.

    R3E is also almost a perfect 'design' (for me anyway) to experiment with VR and immersion in general. Say what you will about their content and pricing, and I am not a fan of that myself, officially licensed series like DTM are a perfect solution to create a bit of 'role-playing' in a sim, something that I've been looking for pretty much in any sim outside of online play. It's also the reason why I come back to GTR2, it feels great to simulate an official championship of ANYTHING along with names, scoreboards and regulations taken from real life. Whether it's rf2, assetto corsa or iracing, you can't do that in other modern sims without organising an online league.

    If R3E would allow me to do that in VR rather than on my pathetic 22'' monitor it would be great (I live in UK so triple screens are not going to be an option without buying a second house to have a space for a simrig).
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  8. Maybe I'd consider downloading the game if they could get rid of the always-online requirement and at least allow custom paintjobs like iRacing.
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  9. R3E is absolutely my favourite racing-sim.
    But they should offer more track-packs to the customers.
    Most of the MP-servers are empty and this is the reason I often start and quit the game :(

    UE4 is absolutely welcome!
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  10. I remember a poll in the early beginning of the development where people voted for real car-skins only.

    Imho I would like to see more fictional skins and maybe tracks too.
    I realy like the "raceroom raceway"!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  11. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    Pleased to see these features coming to R3E but let's face it, they are in the process of adding stuff that should have been in the game from the beginning. Still a long way to go but R3E is getting there. Slowly.
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  12. tpw


    Thanks for the detailed and even handed article Paul. It's nice to see S3S back in the news putting the focus back on feature development. I'll keep buying the apparently endless stream of new content despite my widely shared misgivings about pricing and online requirements in the hope that one day we'll be able to stop complaining about R3E's missing essential functionality - and just complain about bugs :)
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  13. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim
    There is no spoon... Premium Member

    Somehow FFB has become a pinnacle of racesims. As soon as the FFB is good, it is a good racesim:O_o:. My vision is that FFB is merely a support to compensate the lack of G-forces felt in a real car. I think that a Racesim is doing well when you turn off the FFB and you are still able to point a car with high precision over a circuit. There are sims were I am able to choose the exit of the corner. To choose if I grab that tiny bit of exit kerb or even race that tiny bit of grass at the end of the kerb instead of just hoping that I will have a clean exit. So far only three sims that I own have this possibility. For me the direct control and finesse of the steering is way more important than FFB. That aside, if this news is a "look back into the future"...well, for me it is finally obvious that the road S3 is heading is not my road...unfortunately. But luckily there are more competitors and I can put R3E aside.
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  14. Emerson Meyer

    Emerson Meyer
    Keep Fighting Premium Member

    As long as they keep addressing the bug fixing process releasing absurd ultra mega patches at every 6-7 months, this is going to nowhere.

    It's rock science releasing small hot fix patches at every month? Well, they are able to do that when the subject is new content.

    In a perfect world, the next patch will fix everything... if not, we will have to wait for a new 15GB patch, by September-October. In between, at least 6 new car series will be released, and the "old" content, with the long forgottten physics will keep growing.
    No, thanks
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  15. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    Load of nonsense there Boby, in my opinion of course.
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  16. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    @Emerson Meyer

    I agree, Sector3 really need to try and release patches on a more regular basis, drip-feeding new features and fixes into the game.

    A game like Wreckfest is a good example of a developer (Bugbear) leaving huge intervals between updates and players losing interest as a result.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. Possibly another reason to investing in a new engine, beyond these transition features, is the fact R3E demanded more "juice" than you'd think, given how it looks. All those years of adding on top of the gMotor take a toll on performance.
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  18. iRacing DX11, R3E DX11, AC DX11, your move, ISI.
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  19. Emerson Meyer

    Emerson Meyer
    Keep Fighting Premium Member

    R3E is DX9
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  20. Kenny Paton

    Kenny Paton
    Backmarker Champion 2015 & so far this year. Staff Premium Member

    I think in the context of this thread he is looking to the future and I believe the UE4 engine is DX11.
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