Automobilista May Development Update

Discussion in 'Automobilista' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Automobilista Dev Blog Update 2.jpg
    Reiza Studios have revealed the latest development roadmap post version 1.40 game update, and its a corker...

    Now I could waffle on for a while summarising the post and adding my own opinions and stuff, but lets be honest here, you are just going to skip over my bit and read the post for yourself. So I'll shut up, sit back and leave you to read away... have fun!

    You can check out the full May Development Update blog from Reiza Studios below:

    Hello everyone! We´re back for another Automobilista Development Update - not many of these to go now!

    As you may have noticed, we missed out on publishing a dev update last month - apologies for that, hopefully the v1.4 changelog will be convincing enough evidence we weren´t just slacking off :)

    It´s actually getting a bit tricky to share many details about what we´re doing in these final stages of AMS development as we´re getting more into exploring new grounds and doing some experimenting without knowing for sure what will pan out and how soon - that naturally makes it harder to provide much of a foresight without feeding expectations that may not be realistic on the short term.

    With that in mind this month´s update is mostly retrospective on the work done for v1.4, while still providing some glimpses as to what comes next!

    V1.4 development

    Following popular demand, v1.4 has seen a lot of development time dedicated towards improving the AI - we began by compiling a list (split in 5 main areas - Performance, Awareness, Strategy, Behavior & Personality), documenting the worse problems and elaborating some ideas to not only address these issues but move AI in general up to a new level. So far focus has been on making good baseline progress in all fronts, sorting out or at least minimising the most critical issues.

    Improving AI Performance, or more specifically consistency in their performance so the AI can provide a consistent challenge to the player from corner to corner, track to track and car to car vs the player irrespective of his AI strength setting is always an ongoing task, with some good ground covered again in v1.4.

    One of the initial focus was doing some basic improvements of AI Strategy, as any development elsewhere becomes a bit pointless if AI messes up his pit strategy - V1.4 updates should see more realistic tire wear from the AI as well as customized tire wear thresholds for pitstops so they don´t stop so late they lose too much time in worn tires, nor so soon they risk doing a potential pointless extra stop. We also added a lock for AI refuelling in series where they aren´t allowed to. Next steps include improving their fuel strategy so they can better calculate if and when to stop (and not take extra fuel when they dont need to), and set up different tire compounds for AI to qualify and / or start the race on.

    These however are just the tip of the iceberg - there´s a lot still to be done for the AI to not only avoid basic errors but actually challenge / outsmart the player in strategy alone. Lots of ideas here but it will take some time until we can completely flesh them out.

    We´ve also added several new functions to AI behavior to make them less "robotic" and more believable to race against - for instance they now respect blue flags and lift for the car behind, take it easier in in / out laps as well as cool down laps. Next steps include making them behave more safely after leaving the track and / or spinning.

    AI awareness has also improved considerably in v1.4 as can be seen in this quite radical multiclass race start and how the AI manage to navigate their way round fairly competently:

    Finally, we´ve covered some initial ground in adding some extra Personality to AI drivers so they now not only perform differently, but may also vary as to how they perform in starts, manage their tires and how cooperative they are reacting to blue flags, according to the definitions of the driver´s RCD file.

    Naturally there is still plenty of work to be done in all areas, in particular issues with AI awareness in some conditions when they don´t give other cars the proper space, and AI hesitation to overtake on straights when in position to do so are both big issues which we hope to make further progress on in time for v1.5.

    Audio was another big front of development in v1.4, as our man @domagoj Lovric continues to do great work on the audio front, far exceeding our original goals for AMS. In addition to extensive work on new PostFX filters providing much meatier external sounds, some old issues have been ironed out and extra configuration options added.

    Besides working on some very cool new cars, Dom has began dabbing with development of surround sound - fingers crossed it will make it in for v1.5 :)

    There have been various updates & fixes to content by @sandro Kholodkevich - one of the most notable being the Boxer cockpit getting a facelift with ambient occlusion mapping, seamless textures and a couple of extra tweaks and optionals, the results of which you can compare below:


    AMS V1.37.jpg

    AMS V1.40.jpg

    The shots above also showcases another development from v1.4 as driver arms have now been added as vehicle configuration option. - these unfortunately are not fully animated but rather static objects added to the wheel, for that reason they´re not articulated and have been limited to 90º in each direction. Not ideal, but hopefully an acceptable stop-gap for those who have been waiting for this feature.

    The driver model itself has been upgraded and the suits and gloves specially customized to each era:
    AMS Driver Suits.jpg

    Custom Season Tool

    Another long waited feature finally made it in with v1.4 release as the Season Tool, which considerably expand the value of single player championship mode as users can now create their own season. Kudos to @Dave Stephenson for another great job on this one :)

    AMS Custom Season Tool.png

    Like other features, the Season Tool in its current state is a baseline we´ll be looking to expand on with a few extra rules and further customization options.

    The Formula Ultimate

    The F-Ultimate was greenlit for v1.4 fairly late as original plan was to release it with new ERS / Turbo models. In the end we figured those would not affect the driving experience so much to warrant withholding release.. Truth be told we thought it just drove and sounded too good to be held back any further :)

    There is still work to do though, specially on the ERS system which we hope to complete in time for v1.5. As it is, the car already features an ERS map which optimizes power delivery for each gear but the battery is still 100% all the time.

    Steam Achievements

    There have been enquiries about the long overdue Steam Achievements as we had hinted in the previous dev update it would come with v1.4 - they didn´t quite make it in time but we are actually working on the achievements right now - as soon as we have completed implementation and put it through testing we will put it out with a small update. We hope to complete it at some point next week.

    There will be a preview topic for Steam Achievements in Reiza51 shortly so those with access will be able to check them out and even contribute with a few suggestions :)

    What´s still to come

    We are now on the final stretch towards v1.5 and we´re working hard to make it at least as big an update as v1.4 was. There will however be one, potentially two intermediate updates until then.

    Beyond new content and a couple of new features we hope will make it in time for v1.5, we´re also looking to continue polishing the overall package, fixing some of the more inconvenient bugs and quirks along with upgrading existing content to bring them as close to the standards of the latest stuff as possible. @Alex Sawczuk is looking to update some of the older tracks which have fallen a bit behind when compared to newer releases like Hockenheim; we also hope to do some accuracy updating to tracks that have had minor changes since they were originally modelled.

    In terms of new content, current plans feature development of 2 more (free) tracks, 1 semi-new series, and DLC packages to be released for AMS within the next couple of months.

    We´ll need a bit more time to spill in the beans on all of these- for now I can confirm development of Ibarra has begun and should be the next track to be released. This track (also known as Yahuarcocha) is a picturesque old-style circuit in Ecuador, set in between a beautiful mountainous scenery and the lake Yawarkucha and should be a great ride in all sorts of cars. Check it out:

    Before we wrap, a reminder that the AMS Season Pass which secures all currently available DLCs along with the ones still to be released is currently on sale with 35% off - if you haven´t grabbed that yet make sure to do it now :)

    This covers it for the month - look forward to catching up with you all again next month, hopefully we´ll be in position to be more specific then ;)

    Automobilista is a PC exclusive racing simulation by Reiza Studios.

    Automobilista Dev Blog Update.jpg

    Don't forget to check out the Automobilista sub forum here at RaceDepartment to keep abreast of the latest news and discussions with regards to the simulation. We have a massive mod database where you can check out and download a selection of cars, tracks, skins, apps and other such third party content, plus of course we host some incredible club racing events on a regular weekly basis. If you want to become involved in the action yourself, check out the Automobilista Racing Clubs and Leagues sub forum and sign yourself up to a race today!

    Excited by the future of Automobilista? Like the new dev roadmap? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    • Like Like x 16
    • Love Love x 16
  2. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley

    SPECTACULAR....I am almost lost for words as to how amazing Reiza is with their Automobilista title.
    • Agree Agree x 10
    • Like Like x 1
    • Sad Sad x 1
  3. RinusDirtRally


    Good well done. The achievements should not be about winning championships, but about completing, cause it's more thrilling to race midpack with awesome AI than racing first with low AI.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    • Like Like x 5
    • Love Love x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. pjlee1998

    Peter Lee Staff Premium

    I had a hunch that Ibarra would be looked at, hope they include the round the lake circuit as well!

    I've been investigating the AI behaviour as well since the F Ultimate came out and while improved, the AI still lack the ability to move out of the slipstream and overtake, even when a much slower car is in front. Some AI also seem to pit far too lat, with some AI lapping around 5 seconds slower even on a 1:15ish lap because of not changing tyres.

    But still my favourite Sim and go to for racing. Long may it continue!!! :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Steve Bird

    Steve Bird
    Racing Since 1978 Premium

    Loving it. Can't wait for the Formula Ultimate skins to start rolling in.
    • Agree Agree x 7
  6. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley

    For me personally, this is something I am really looking forward to, among all the other goodies....So much perfection in one Sim...I am feeling giddy with
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. kkgrandi


    What a fantastic looking circuit! Can't wait!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. PresidentSmug


    Hmmmmm that Formula Ultimate pic looks familiar, could have sworn i made a pic just like it a couple days ago ;). Very impressed with Automobilista, just keeps getting better, season pass has been amazing. Not familiar with the new track to be released but cant have everything my way, previous tracks have been amazing additions to the sim and im sure this will fit in nicely.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Kurupt CDN

    Kurupt CDN
    DirtT Tuned Motorsports Premium

    Look forward to these updates....great job once again!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Damage Inc

    Damage Inc

    Really happy that devs are taking Ai more seriously now, as a SP only racer this is obviously close to my heart.

    Glad to see an attempt at the hands on wheel, sad that it's just 90 degrees tho, PC and AC have spoiled be in that regard.
  11. Zboubi


    Great , thank you for the vr support.
    • Haha Haha x 1
  12. TylerDurden4321


    That the season pass will include so much great stuff... and even continues to do so... amazing.
    I feel really good about my purchase (usually I'm not a fan of buying season passes before the content is released). Great work, Reiza.
  13. bsmooth


    I've been thinking of getting Assetto Corsa, but Automobilista at this moment is keeping me from doing it. I bought the season pass, and its been well worth the investment. can't wait tosee what the sound improvements are. Used to be big into GPL, and they had those V12's sounding awesome. I hope this gets it close and I'll just stay in that car just to listen to that V12 symphony, and hopefully the other engines will have a bit more low end heft.
    Awesome job as usual !
  14. Alex72


    Its confusing that AMS isnt more popular. It is an absolutely fantastic racing title with very good physics, FFB, sound and racing features. Yes sure its DX9 but with reshade/sweetfx that you can download or tweak yourself (AMS provides a bunch) you can get a very good looking result. Sure, i know only people who actually value the driving experience are simmers, but anyone with a wheel and a monitor who would like to race has an awesome title here. Dont think the physics/FFB is below par because it isnt. Its around the top tier.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Yapci


    Easy. It got no officially licensed cars like Ferrari or Porsche or so. For me it's the best out there right now (I have no VR so that's not a factor for me), but I bought it in the crowdfunding just because the Reiza2017 game will be included, and was not convinced at all when first tried looked bad and feeling was worse than today is.

    If you don't invest in marketing for the non hardcore sim racers, with the rare content it has (which can be good or bad for someone), no career mode and being and old game, there you got why isn't more popular.

    Which is sure is that when you try AMS, you stay with it. And if you download Niels track pack, it's a great game. Rare cars are fun (but most people are attracted by the Ferrari logo on the car rather than how it handles), rare tracks needs more time to enjoy them and can be an entering wall.

    Don't forget hardcore simracing is a small niche. If you go the rare stuff route, you choose a smaller niche. Is like developing a fishing game for VR. It may be amazing, but how many of the ones who own a VR set like fishing?

    Anyway, AMS is great. For me the best actually. And the formula ultimate is a freaking monster (and that different performance between ultra soft and soft tires is awesome)
    • Like Like x 1
  16. WPxNJ


    Very happy to be a supporter. Great investment.

    But what about the previously mentioned Divisao 3? Where'd that go?
  17. Jeff Huber

    Jeff Huber

    WOW!! Awesome update guys! Thanks Reiza studios!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. BillGuy


    Has anyone seen mention of whether the dirty tires issue in replays will be addressed before Reiza calls AMS complete with 1.5.x? I've searched on the Reiza forum and didn't see any mention of it. I should probably ask over there.

    To clarify, I'm speaking about when you have an off and then view a replay. Your tires are dirty from the very beginning of the replay instead of getting dirty when you go off track within the replay. Maybe it's a gMotor limitation.
  19. Tijmen


    Sounds promising Reiza! Looking forward to 1.5 - surround sound is - in my opinion - apart from force feedback and physics - the most inportant feature to increase immersion! Honestly it would make AMS far more attractive for me. I mean, if you've ever played R3E on a decent surround set you know what I mean. Keep up the good work!
  20. MarcG


    Even though I no longer play AMS (for reasons I won't state as it apparently upsets people!) I have to say I've been thoroughly enjoying the progress made by Reiza from the sidelines, the AI advancements by all accounts are very good, the Custom Season Tool looks great and improvements to other areas are certainly a continued improvement.

    But for me what's most important is that Reiza are learning & improving so that when it comes time to concentrate on their next title they will have a good base to start with, they have set their own standards very high and that for me is a great thing and I look forward to their next title (Reiza17? AMS2?). I'm actually very excited, everything that's good from AMS will no doubt be in there and I can't wait to get back behind the wheel in a Reiza Sim.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1