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The Sim Index

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by David Ignjatovic, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. So we've got a big year for PC sim racing, potentially 4 sims, but the 3 most likely are Assetto Corsa, Reiza's Ayrton Senna and GTR3, and who knows, we might get lucky and pcars ends up being close enough to be worthy.

    That being the case, and also some of the comments surrounding the enthusiasm for Game Stock Car, I thought it appropriate to create this thread in a bid to define a sim, and also shamelessly copy Inside Sim Racings Sim/Game index, ie, one score for the sim aspect of the game, and another for the overall game itself.

    To put the sim/game index into perspective{at least from my POV}.....FM4/GT5 would destroy Game Stock Car on the game index, but GSC would be pole position on the sim index.

    Anyway, let's focus on the definition of a sim first, and then factor in the scoring indexes.

    The best way to define something and largely if not totally distinguish something from something else is to break it down into it's fundamental parts, so what exactly are the minimum requirements for a game to be a sim.
    Being that a racing sim is supposed to be simulating motor racing, it seems that the car itself is the focal point, in particular and in this order....

    1...Driving model/physics
    2...Steering wheel precision
    3...Forcefeedback aka FFB

    It's also very hard to remove any of these factors from the def of a sim IMO, but I know some people race without FFB, I don't know why, nor do I care as I'll never do it, FFB is way too important to the simulating part, even if zero FFB perhaps allows for a sneaky performance advantage.

    1....Driving model.

    Consider RACE07's F3000, thx to it's strong power to weight and the physics simbin chose, that car has a great range of car behaviour, but one thing to remember is that I have no idea of how realistic some of the cars are in the sense that at 260kph, the shortest braking distance is x mtrs, what I do know is that the F3000 is the fastest car round any track in Simbins games[excluding F1 mod/s], and you can brake very late relative to every other car, so US Muscle Cars{1800kg} have enormous braking distances.

    There's also the technique of applying the brake and how the brakes respond to your technique and your set up, so for example, at Curitiba, a heavy front bias will swing you wide into that SOB of a left hander in the early part of the 2nd sector....but this is good, because it means not only does the car respond to set up, but braking technique as well....all good from the POV of simulating.

    I remember when I raced F1 2010 online for a few weeks, only to come back to GTR Evo totally useless on the brakes, and I certainly don't recall either F1 2010/11 being anywhere as demanding under brakes, ie, you didn't need to have a definite technique beyond mashing the brake pedal, so when we start to analyse games vs games, we can quickly determine major differences....not to mention how hard it was to get either 20/2011 out of shape off the line, heck even Evo's 286bhp WTCC things will fly across the track if you're not careful at the start.

    Anyway, without going into huge amounts of detail, the best sim driving model has the most car behaviour and the manner in which the car behaves closely approximates the real thing.

    2....Steering wheel precision.

    This one isn't too complicated and is heavily related to FFB, but for example, having a 1:1 relationship with your own wheel and what the onscreen car is doing is obviously fairly important, as is how the wheel feels thru-out the full range of motion and when your snapping at it in a bid to correct a slide....so if the game has good physics and the wheel is precise, you should be able to disco with the car so to speak, but with dodgy precision and weak and inconsistent FFB, it moves to the realm of guesswork as to maximizing your driving performance.


    Critical to the enjoyment of sim racing and an area where sims typically wallop arcade games, but I'm not someone who likes huge amounts of FFB, so my FFB settings are usually around the 80-85% range.
    One of the things I noticed with G27 is how fast and smooth it is when you're somewhere near the limit, it's impressive that it can load up yet be so smooth no matter if you're swinging left to right trying to avoid intercourse with a guardrail.

    Also, after getting the G27, I realized how damn notchy and sluggish feeling the DFGT wheel is.....plus, when you do one lap with a G27 vs DFGT, the improvement isn't so apparent, but as I said, once you get motoring, the extra dollars you've put into the wheel becomes very noticeable, but of course if the game didn't have the overall quality of FFB, you'd be none the wiser.

    Ok, let's take a deep breath....... and we're back.

    I hope you can see that it's hard to accept a sim that lacks heavily in any of these area's and also why a decent wheel greatly improves the sim experience, but for those who say something like, hang on, GSC doesn't have wet weather, but does that mean grossly arcade Dirt3 is a sim because it does have wet weather.....of course not, especially considering how arcadey Dirt3 is in the scheme of things and even compared to Dirt2.

    Another thing to consider is that the nature of sim racing is such that you do more practice than u race, well at least I do, and if you have a game that has a good driving model, it'll reward you for good racing technique, so the better you apply racing technique, the faster and smoother you'll be.

    People can't accidentally go fast over the course of a race let alone a sector just by guessing or by having good reflexes......you go fast by applying racing technique, which in essence is smooth braking leading to a tight racing line and controlled exit out the corner.

    Anyway, if you agree with what I've said by and large, then it should be obvious the sim index is an average score of factors 1/2/3...but a game index is an average of all factors of the game like GFX, car lists etc.

    Ok, so let's try Ferrari Virtual Academy vs Shift2 Unleashed....all scores out of 10

    FVA sim index

    9.35 on the sim index....and remember, this is just my guess, and it doesn't necessarily matter if I'm wrong compared to other sims, all that matters is that I'm relative, ie, I don't have to know for certain which sim is the most realistic, I just have to score it relative to other sims, for ex, I do think FVA has slightly better wheel precision than GTR evo, so evo would get a score below 9.5, but Evo's score will most likely always be higher than any arcade game.

    S2U sim index

    5.2......ouch, and again, just my opinion, but with the sway and all the other driving/physics related problems with this game, I think I'm being generous, as I'll never play this game again nor would I ever recommend it to anyone.

    FVA game index....well, obviously this will include everything else the game does, and by this criteria, it's gonna get creamed by S2U, but does it matter, does it matter if S2U game index is 8 vs 6 for FVA, when the sim index is sky high for FVA....?.....it will if you're a sim player.

    As for the details of the game index, basically not much diff to ISR, they have the right idea I think, but this type of scoring is what's needed to prop up games like FVA and GSC to those who prefer sims, and I hope we can work together as a forum and put the various genuine sims at least on the sim index so that people will have an idea of whether it's a viable sim, and maybe a decent game if it has enough of the other goodies, like Assetto Corsa GFX.
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  2. Iracing sim index....

    1.....6-8.5 depending on the car

    FFB is somewhat ordinary to me, it also has that annoying "rattle the hell out of G27" crap going on in some cars.


    With the cadilac being a pretty decent car and maybe the NTM kicking in, these scores will have to be reviewed and increased, certainly for the caddy, which I'll just jot down a quick score and add more detail when I've had more time to drive it.

    2......9.1{I have an issue with steering, but not sure if it's my set or the physics, either way, not much to complain about regarding steering}
    8.95.....could go higher as I go faster with the cadilac, but unless the NTM's done wonders for some of the other cars, I think basic package scores won't move much, but you never know.

    * iracing caddy vs rf2 FFB=2 different animals.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pcars sim index{WIP}...b166/169


    Fairly lifeless under brakes, friggin difficult to hit the apex cause if you do, the ass end comes round after you[reminiscent of Shift2].
    HUGE GRIP levels all over the place, in fact, I think that grumpet would probably go thru eau rouge as fast as RACE07's sticky F3000.

    I find it amusing listening to people chat about pcars at WMD forum, they must all be using game pads and also be extremely bad "sim" racers, as pcars is a long long way from getting up near a overall sim score of about 7.5-8/10, which to me is the lowest score I'd allow for a sim, but, I don't care for iracing at approx 8/10, so for me at least, a sim needs to equal or break 9/10, which FVA, GSC and GTR Evo and I suspect GTR2 would all do.

    Another thing about the best sims, is that they all work well with my logitech profile settings, ie, I use the same settings with GSC, FVA, EVO, but games like Shift1/2/...3 aka pcars require HOURS of fiddling, and end up as an abject failure.
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  4. Game Stock Car sim index.

    9.35.....same as FVA when rounded off, but slightly better scores for each sim category.

    Anything that scores at least an average of 9 is a firstclass sim, I'll leave it to others to decide which is the ultimate sim, I'm mainly concerned with genuine sims that feel real and behave in ways that conform to reality{by and large}.

    Rfactor2 beta{WIP game+score, and based on the GT class+Megane}....23/03/12.....26/04

    1.....8.5.....low speed grip is whacky and weight transfer thru wheel is a little unconvincing, though high speed is excellent if you "get it right", otherwise slidefest with little feel/warning, also extremely difficult to correct.
    Note....WIP, so score likely to advance as physics advance/mods appear, also, I'd rather drive something too difficult than too easy anyday, so still has strong merit for hardcore simheads, but score is relative to FVA/GSC/GTR EVO/Iracing.

    2....9.....the Nissan GTR is pretty good for me, but hard to go beyond 9 with physics and FFB in it's current state.

    3....8.75....... FFB more impressive off track than on it, but it's far from terrible and it won't take much for this to improve.


    Took me 100laps approx to do a 1min13.2 at Palm Beach, best times are 1min11 approx.

    EDIT...I've increased the FFB score on rf2 from 7.5 to 8.2....I did this because it's so much better than pcars, and also because I'm going a bit faster and appreciating it more, though it's damn heavy, lol.

    EDIT 2...I've increased scores again....made all sorts of changes to my set up and something must've worked, as it seems much more convincing now.
    There's something about this that's not quite right for me, it could be that's it's more of a tyre feel thru the wheel whereas Evo and GSC/FVA are more of a chassis feel, either way the FFB loads up and I can feel tyres but it doesn't seem to translate into information that I can use to muscle it thru some corners.

    I went from the rf2 F1 mod{French one} to GTR Evo F1 2007 and the FFB of rf2 feels twice as heavy, but I don't feel like I have the level of control and confidence in rf2....it wants you to hit certain speeds, both low and high and then it all comes together, ie, the sync of wheel and pedals, trouble is, it's quite knife edged, so everytime you aim for this line/speed, you also risk a big mistake.

    I overshot a bit into the first corner at Mugello in the 2010 Ferrari in FVA, and the rear stepped out a bit under hard braking, the weight and slight snap thru the wheel really felt brilliant, but it didn't lose it's composure, it forced me to quickly correct myself and I was on my way, but rf2 seems to lack the progression to some degree, so it often seems/feels messy.

    It seems to me that with a heavy focus on tyre feel, rf2's weight transfer as chassis feel has suffered, so you feel like you're free to get on the gas, but you'll either drive the car wide or bring the rear around to some degree....I guess it's logical that practice will make life easier, but at some point the game/cars have to start making sense to me otherwise it feels like I'm driving something with incomplete physx.

    EDIT b90

    Depending on the car and track, rf2 ranges from being the best and most immersive sim ever, to still feeling incomplete, but as of b90, I think most people would like 60's F3/F2, Megane and F3.5.
    The new FISI is definitely a compelling sim car, but there are complaints about it at ISI and I tend to agree, but it's still good fun to drive, and I drive it using a Ferrari skin.

    The dynamic weather system and rubbering in of the track is very appealing to me, so I hope they get that right.
    I also dled an epic 88senna mod, and was thrashing it at Fugi and my rear brakes blew and I went flying off track, it's only ever happened in that car, so it must be a mod choice, but it'll make life interesting over 20-30 lap race.
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  5. RACE07+GTR EVO sim index....+mods


    About the physics....EVO has the advantage of having so many cars to evaluate, and like it or not, I judge this sim on it's best cars as there's so many, if there were only 3 cars and one was dodgy, then the physics score might take a hit, but as it is, there's simply too many convincing/fun cars to drive.

    No other game allows me to control cars so well, ie, both clean laps and poor laps, so when you get out of shape in this game, you can correct it, but it's not a walk in the park like Shift1, you need to be quick and your actions need to make sense given your circumstances.

    This is also one of the few sims that will also have a high game index score....consider that there's probably 60-80 cars including the mighty 2007 F1 and Corvette C6R, plus plenty of slower cars for newer drivers.

    Whilst this applies to all sims, using a G27 or greater will definitely improve all aspects of this game, as such, despite it's age, this should be the first sim on anyone's sim shopping list.
  6. For those of you who question the rating of GTR Evo, remember that even if other games have a superior physics engine[at least on paper], it has to be implemented properly and consistently, so for me at least, iracings basic package failed to do that and also has some downright weird FFB....OTOH, Evo has none of that and doesn't insult my sim racing experience with cars that either stick or go off.

    I think this is why some of the iracers have the audacity to refer to Evo{and other games} as sub par, but when properly considered, it's iracing that needs to up it's "game"
  7. pcars b189 update.


    I did 25 or so laps and here are some thoughts....
    Input lag seems to be gone mostly, and FFB doesn't seem to disappear as much.
    I would say it's coming along nicely as a simcade, but it will still take a hell of a lot more to convince me this is a sim.

    I should also point out that it'll take massive improvements to increase the existing scores.....consider that rf2 has a very detailed front end on some of the cars, yet pcars still feels gross and somewhat disconnected.

    We still have the problem of the car feeling like it's chassis is one long rigid piece of metal, and when you steer sharply, the rear reacts like it's responding to the flex you input.

    If someone's wondering what more I want....just make it feel more like GTR EVO's C6R or GSC 88 mac clone, and It'll be a lovefest.
  8. Another month and it's 9, 7.5, 7.5? :)
  9. I would say that's extremely unlikely.....but there's no question b189 is superior to the past builds.
  10. Rupe Wilson

    Rupe Wilson
    Senior HistorX club driver Staff Premium

  11. re-xmotoracing....yes, interesting driving model, but that game isn't for me as I'm too lazy to do anything but hit an exe.
  12. I made a small update to rf2's sim index score.....see above for details.
  13. Please try krp ;)
  14. Not for me I'm afraid.....
  15. Live For Speed demo sim index.

    Hmmm, so what I normally do is use default settings and let the problems present themselves, so my assessment is based off default set.
    If you think making some set up adjustments will changes things, please offer them for the BMW....but as it is....

    1....physics....hey, you've gotta do the work, the game isn't doing it for you, but it feels boaty to me, so when I'm going thru t2-3, you've gotta know the best line in advance, it's very hard to feel it from the feedback the car gives, and the feeling I have is kind of front end tipsy turvy, this is unlike iracing's MX5 which has a decent combo of tyre feel and wheel weight, but LFS cars have plenty of overall grip, there's definitely no icephysics to report.

    The best part of the physics is the braking, ie, it's no mash, and it has plenty of feel, so under hard braking down the first straight, the physics seem at their best, however, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of tyre noise, and sound in general is terribly weak, it's possible I have to adjust something on the audio side of things, but default sounds are very ordinary.

    FFB at times seems good, but tbh, this just feels like an old game, and cornering feels a bit spongy despite some kick from the FFB.

    I dunno, I just don't feel like I can really muscle these cars about, it feels like body roll will get the better of me.....that said, the car basically does what you instruct it, but it just feels undercooked to me.


    Steering precision.

    It's good, but as I always mention, it's very hard to disconnect any single category from the whole driving experience, so what part is my set up playing, what part are LFS's' core physics playing....not entirely sure, but steering precision is good.



    Solid overall, but not detailed enough on both the front and the rear for me, but very good under braking.



    This is based off the demo, and whilst that may not be entirely fair, that's all I've got to work with and would rather buy rf1 than this.
    I didn't drive this much, but that's because it didn't compel me to.

    Another thing to consider is that even though I accept that many sims are probably harder than real life, I prefer that, but won't accept any iracing spec racer icephysics or rf2 F3.5 bizarre physics.

    Unless there's more to it somewhere, this game's been swamped by GTR evo/GSC/FVA/Iracing etc.
  16. There's the engine sound menu with Shift + A ingame. Not sure if available in the demo, and don't expect wonders ;)

    FWD cars are quite compelling if you're used to weight transter, brake and throttle (not so much in the demo that car need full throttle through all gears to accelerate) :thumbsup:
  17. I also tried the rf1 demo again, and it was better than last time with my DFGT and old spec PC, but if I had to score the rf1 demo, the score would be frighteningly low.
    I would buy LFS over rf1 based on demo's, but neither are worth it to me.
  18. GTR 2 demo....


    Now that's more like it........if you forget about trying to rate the sim index of it and just drive, it feels the part.
    Braking feedback not as good as GTR Evo, nor is overall FFB anywhere near as refined as Evo.
    I sometimes wonder if there isn't some weird popularity backlash against Simbin, cause they clearly know how to make sims and provide a relatively effective interface as well, plus, piece of cake to set up G27.

    One thing to remember is that I don't give much credence to heavy FFB, like in rf2, I'm much more interested in the overall feel, the rate of change and how well the FFB allows you to control the car at all times.


    So I've bought GTR2 on steam for a few bob, patched it and installed P&G......and what I've noticed is that GFX and FFB are better than the demo and the GTR2 carpack mod 4 RACE07, so some of the GTR2 cars like the 360 Modena will score 9.4+ on sim index.

    Buy GTR2 asap and use G27 or greater.
  19. update to rf2 scores and info.
  20. update....

    With the cadilac being a pretty decent car and maybe the NTM kicking in, these scores will have to be reviewed and increased, certainly for the caddy, which I'll just jot down a quick score and add more detail when I've had more time to drive it.

    2......9.1{I have an issue with steering, but not sure if it's my set or the physics, either way, not much to complain about regarding steering}
    8.95.....could go higher as I go faster with the cadilac, but unless the NTM's done wonders for some of the other cars, I think basic package scores won't move much, but you never know.

    * iracing caddy vs rf2 FFB=2 different animals.