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Could this be the right time to start an Open Source Sim Racing project?

StefanoCasillo

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Would it work?

There have been a couple of threads already about the topic (go look for 'open source' to find them) and some projects that tried this route in the last couple of decades.

In my experience, most of these attempts gather a group of passionate "ideas" people full of hopes and dreams that spend months talking about what the project will do and feature with nobody actually putting the hours and the work to actually make it happen... the talk goes on until everybody silently realizes game dev is hard and things aren't going to magically appear out simply talking about it.

Watching what the community has achieved with AC1 I wonder if there's a real potential to make this happen now. The talent pool seems immense.

The project would need some coder(s) skilled enough to get the ball rolling with the general design of the software.. this will be a lot of work on the foundations... Think of it as a kind of "kernel" for sim racing games. I happen to know a guy that should be able to do that :p

Do you think this could kick start a new era in sim racing where devs could be able to share the knowledge and build a platform that becomes the foundation for multiple projects?

What the scenarios could be when it comes to financial support for the project? Or licensing the system for commercial products?
 
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Stereo

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I'm sure as long as you use formats similar to AC's kn5 & txt data where anything in the game folder gets loaded up, you'll be able to find people willing to add content.

To me the financial model that makes most sense is selling DLC that runs on the stable version of the game. Use a plugin model where specific content can require/bundle plugins without affecting other content. It's not like 2 cars need to be running the same tire model to have competitive laptimes against each other. Basically make it so something like Game Stockcar Extreme could exist as a car/track/ui pack, and "just work" for users who buy it (minus the usual 'my motherboard stutters' issues).
 

StefanoCasillo

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I was thinking more in terms of building a system to create racing sims more than an actual finished game, I am not really inclined to go back to the politics and the frustration of dealing with licenses, brands and all that jazz.

I'll probably go ahead and create a game with it but not necessarily "the game".. if you see what I mean.

I keep seeing the amazing things ppl have done with AC1 without the full source available and keep thinking what it could be possible if there was a project with the source actually open... it'd be unstoppable.

Sadly I don't have much experience with open source but I am getting pretty excited by the idea of making this happen.

As for the initial financials it's entirely possible that twitch subs+patreon+github sponsor+sales of the actual game using the system should be able to support the project.

I already have a working engine so things could happen pretty quickly.
 
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north

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I like the idea very much. Means that solutions and improvements can be made outside the financial and time constraint of a specific studio. Would still require hard work and hours put in but the talent is there judging by what happens in the modding world.
If a concrete plan to get this up and running is put forth I'd become a financial supporter.
 

AccAkut

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There's currently two racing sims I see that grew further than anticipated, or lived a lot longer than expected. One is ofc AC, due to the content creation community.
But the other is LFS, due to its online system.

...i don't know if that sort of ..."spine" could be integrated into an open source sim, and without it you'd potentially only get another alone&offline title, which AC sorta became (if you're not into Nordschleife Trackdays).
 
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Very interesting. I think the number 1 person to get on board would be Ilja (aka x4fab aka Mr. CSP), and then some of the SOL / CM people? Since you're talking about the coding more than about getting content in.

I'm imagining this as a fairly modular project, where you have a graphics engine as one module, audio engine as another, then physics engine and AI engine. And then devs could mix and match as they please, and all commercial games basd on this would pay a percentage of their sales to the open source dev team... is that about right?

and while we're dreaming, can the graphics engine have a good looking GI and AO solution on board please? :)
 
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StefanoCasillo

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Very interesting. I think the number 1 person to get on board would be Ilja (aka x4fab aka Mr. CSP), and then some of the SOL / CM people? Since you're talking about the coding more than about getting content in.

I'm imagining this as a fairly modular project, where you have a graphics engine as one module, audio engine as another, then physics engine and AI engine. And then devs could mix and match as they please, and all commercial games basd on this would pay a percentage of their sales to the open source dev team... is that about right?

and while we're dreaming, can the graphics engine have a good looking GI and AO solution on board please? :)

almost

Yes to the modular stuff.. but as far as license I am oriented to use a simple MIT license.. so anybody can use whatever part of the system to create whatever they want free of charge and/or strings attached.

A truly open source project that could potentially become a "knowledge dump" of sim racing.. from graphics to physics to audio to anything else.
 
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almost

Yes to the modular stuff.. but as far as license I am oriented to use a simple MIT license.. so anybody can use whatever part of the system to create whatever they want free of charge and/or strings attached.

A truly open source project that could potentially become a "knowledge dump" of sim racing.. from graphics to physics to audio to anything else.
I would definitely be very interested in the AI module, in particular the branch looking into machine learning. Not sure yet whehter I have enough time to fully participate, but I'd love to read along at least.

Another thing I could offer is to make a video / videos about it on my channel (The Sim Channel) to potentially attract more devs for the project / whatever you would find helpful to get this along (in other words, let me know if I can be of service).

I sent the link to this thread to Ilja on discord, hope he sees it.
 

StefanoCasillo

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I will have to do some thinking for a couple of days before I feel comfortable committing to this... but I am getting good vibes thinking about the possibilities.

I will do some "free flow" considerations about this in my daily live stream on Twitch tomorrow.. so if you are interested you can pop up and discuss about it with me live at 10.00am CET on this channel:


but I will also cut and edit the relevant discussion on post it on this youtube channel later tomorrow afternoon so you can watch it there and continue the discussion here.

 
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I still think that AC is probably going to drag a lot of the resources away. But if it becomes clear Kunos with AC2 isn't going to enable modding then I can definitely see there being a drive from lots of content creators to consider it.
 
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It'd be interesting to see what people could produce without the roadblock of 'I know nothing about programming and almost nothing about vehicle physics', and what people who do know about those subjects could add to it.

Sim-racing seems to be becoming very locked off and commodified at the moment so anything that helps to open it up again and gives people a chance to learn and develop new skills and interests would be very welcome to me.

Also, having watched and enjoyed your Hydrofoil Generation streams, I'd be fascinated to watch its development, to the extent that I'd put my money where my mouth is and support it financially. Although I don't have a lot of disposable income, so would payment in cat pictures be OK? :D
 
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I believe AC still has to offer with the help of Ilja and we are in for a treat,but the idea of a source with everything open would be indeed a pool for bright minds to "invest" time and knowledge and make somehow an utopic platform for us to enjoy.
It has to happend...it will happend sooner or later...maybe sooner®?
 

Steve Worrell

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Hey guys.

I would like to chuck my hat in the ring for this. My skills are quite varied. My background is creative and design ranging from branding to UI. But the last decade I moved into marketing and business development.

For examples of my work you can see here on RD and Simracing.gp If you need more examples please let me know and I will gladly provide some.
 
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In my mind the only thing that's stopping AC from becoming even greater is encryption.
I'm against it but I understand some of the points of the people that are for it, however if my understanding of open source is correct, this would be completely eliminated.
Looking at how far AC has gone, I'd happily support a project like this (financially and in any other means I can).
 
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Steve Worrell

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In my mind the only thing that's stopping AC from becoming even greater is encryption.
I'm against it but I understand some of the points of the people that are for it, however if my understanding of open source is correct, this would be completely eliminated.
Looking at how far AC has gone, I'd happily support a project like this (financially and in any other means I can).
This is a good point. If there was a way to ensure the modding was ethical this would be a huge step forward in the scene in my opinion. like you I also see the arguments for it but it invariably ends up with some people covering up ripped content.

also side note. Been meaning to ask for years…are you Mike?
 
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I speak as a user and I think that if an open source project were launched that offers me a simulator that is renewed regularly, not only with tracks and cars, but with new game modes, features, different weather conditions, etc., I would be willing to pay by subscription system. In fact, I believe that many would be willing to pay, as evidenced by the considerable sums of money that support Ilja.
 
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