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Live For Speed | December Progress Report

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
The Live for Speed Development Team have revealed yet more development goodies relating to their ongoing endeavours to refresh the classic Live for Speed racing title.
  • Ongoing graphical optimizations.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Lighting updates.

I say it every single time I post about it, but damn does this game still look really, really good considering its age, and the fact the development team remain hard at work bringing yet further improvements to the title is testament to how well regarded Live for Speed remains within the Sim Racing Community.

In the last posting of the year from the developers, we get a nice look at how things are progressing behind the scenes and from what has been posted, and the images included, it certainly looks like things are going very well indeed!


LFS 1.jpg


You can read the full development post below:

Hello Racers,

Since the September update we have kept working hard. Eric has continued with South City, which is now a very open town area with many connecting roads. There are car parks, squares, back streets and new roads. It has taken longer than any of us expected because of the size of the area and amount of detail. My work has also taken many turns, supporting the new open city area as described in previous reports. Eric will now be starting on Fern Bay although there are still things to be finished at South City and Kyoto. I decided to present this progress report as a cut down list of updates from a few development versions since September. It gives a little insight into the process without going into too much detail about many other minor changes that there are in each version. Be warned, although cut down it's still a list of technical changes! It may be best to scroll down and look at the screenshots.
Smile



23 Oct - Lighting updates

More accurate baked lighting render for artificial lights. Drawn at higher resolution which allows more accurate results from small, bright lights in the middle distance, but with changes that allow it to run faster. Other track editor improvements. Some changes so that the apparent brightness of lights corresponds exactly with their actual lighting effect. Improved automatic exposure quality by analysing a larger texture in the compute shader.

30 Oct - Turbine updates

Wind turbines now use static vertex buffers, similar to the way a car is drawn. This allows higher resolution turbine models. The turbine code was generalised to allow 3D clock hands for city buildings.

02 Nov - Editor updates

More editor updates to allow easier positioning and alignment of objects.

13 Nov - Updates for sections

Physics enabled for the triangles on sections. Sections are the cross-sectional objects between the segments which are used for most physical surfaces in LFS (e.g. road, fences, walls). Some sections have their own surfaces (e.g. at the end of a wall) but previously they were non-physical. Editor updates to allow easier selection of objects. Slight changes to ensure that triangles on some types of connected objects are in exactly the same place, to avoid light bleeding through cracks.

20 Nov - Various editor improvements and fixes

Doubled the speed of the offline occlusion render by use of batched rendering. Enabled lights on turbines and clocks. Shader optimisation, using 4x3 matrices instead of 4x4 where possible.

18 Dec - Updates for collision with unmovable objects

Updates to the physics of unmovable objects (e.g. buildings, grandstands, smaller objects). Previously, unmovable objects used the same system as as movable objects. Now they have a more compact mesh which saves memory and CPU usage. They are now stored in the same map square system as the sections and segments. The map square system has been upgraded, to reduce the CPU time for detecting nearby objects. A discontinuity in the trunk physics calculation has been removed.

A new visualisation for the track editor shows the physical world clearly, including the physics meshes and trunk objects. Objects now have a 'surface type' that was previously only available for segment surfaces. More surface types have been added, such as rubber (tyres and some barrier linings), wood (several fences) and plastic (various barrier signs and temporary barriers). An intermediate scrape sound effect has been added for wood and plastic, avoiding the soft impact sound and the metallic scrape. The calculation for the stereo effect of the scrape sound has been improved. The colour of dust kicked up by tyres is now either white or beige depending on the surface, instead of taking on the average colour of the surface.


Eric has sent some screenshots of the latest version of South City. We hope you like the pictures.

Remember to check out the LFS calendar for racing events and follow us on Twitter.

Have a good holiday!

LFS 3.jpg




Original Source: Live for Speed

Live for Speed is available now, exclusively on PC.

Want to learn more about this classic title? Check out the Live for Speed sub forum here at RaceDepartment and join in with the community today!

LFS 2.jpg

LFS 4.jpg
 
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what kind of licence system does it use? Id be nervous becaue its not on steam where I can just reinstall on demand when I like? My games that email me licence keys i always loose the keys (years later).
 
With more mainstream titles like AC series, Automobilista, rFactor, PCars, etc. I'm amazed that the title is still around. I used to have a lot of fun driving the cars because it ran well on my modest PC. Cool...
 
I'm still waiting for the VW Scirocco and the new tyre model :coffee:. Meanwhile they give it the finishing touches for the next 15 years I will keep myself entertained playing my copy of Racing Legends by the West brothers.

hehe, yeah. Good old racing legends. I still remember people on the forums being adamant they had seen loads of development and that the title was real.

Came across this the other day which summed up the whole Racing Legends / West Brothers fiasco nicely. (youtube vid)

The legend of racing legends

With more mainstream titles like AC series, Automobilista, rFactor, PCars, etc. I'm amazed that the title is still around. I used to have a lot of fun driving the cars because it ran well on my modest PC. Cool...

And with the new AMS1 VR support, I have been having a blast in my own offline F1 Vintage championship in the Barber (Brabham BT26A equiv).
 
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hehe, yeah. Good old racing legends. I still remember people on the forums being adamant they had seen loads of development and that the title was real.

Came across this the other day which summed up the whole Racing Legends / West Brothers fiasco nicely. (youtube vid)

The legend of racing legends

Back then I was so much into Grand Prix Legends, so when I first knew bout Racing Legends It was for me like a GPL2 with all that GPL had missed, I can not explain how much I wished to get my hands on a copy of the game that they promised. I don't remember where I knew about them first, I don't know if it was in racesimcentral (I miss the old forum so much) or in bhmotorports, when Racing Legends appeared you can bet I was sold in to the idea instantly. It seemed so ambitious, and the graphics where mindblowing by the era, I was an early teenager by then and I believed them like a fool.
It was too good to be real, those renders would have been impossible to run on a computer of the era. Then they started to sell things, and then I never knew about them anymore, I belive that the guys run with the money in a kickstarter fashion. That was a new concept by then. Live for speed kind of gave me the same impression of just grabbing the money and dissapearing for a good part of a half a decade.

It is sad because LFS physics where ground breaking back in it's prime, specially the tyre model, they sould have licensed the physics engine like rfactor devs did with reiza, or if they didn't wanted to work in development anymore they could have sold them for a good amount of money, or at least give tools to the community to create new tracks from scratch an new cars as rfactor and AC did. Now it is too late for them.
 
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Back then I was so much into Grand Prix Legends, so when I first knew bout Racing Legends It was for me like a GPL2 with all that GPL had missed, I can not explain how much I wished to get my hands on a copy of the game that they promised. I don't remember where I knew about them first, I don't know if it was in racesimcentral (I miss the old forum so much) or in bhmotorports, when Racing Legends appeared you can bet I was sold in to the idea instantly. It seemed so ambitious, and the graphics where mindblowing by the era, I was an early teenager by then and I believed them like a fool.
It was too good to be real, those renders would have been impossible to run on a computer of the era. Then they started to sell things, and then I never knew about them anymore, I belive that the guys run with the money in a kickstarter fashion. That was a new concept by then. Live for speed kind of gave me the same impression of just grabbing the money and dissapearing for a good part of a half a decade.

It is sad because LFS physics where ground breaking back in it's prime, specially the tyre model, they sould have licensed the physics engine like rfactor devs did with reiza, or if they didn't wanted to work in development anymore they could have sold them for a good amount of money, or at least give tools to the community to create new tracks from scratch an new cars as rfactor and AC did. Now it is too late for them.

I heard about it at the "High Gear" forums.. Do you remember those?

I was one of the few people who bought GPL on its day of release (By the sounds of it there was only a few of us). That was an eye opener for serious concentration whilst racing... all without FFB too from memory. Had the old GPL Replay analyser.. Great tool that one. So, yeah, I'm with you in terms of excitement factor.. But then my cynicism kicked in not long after. Good days though... I guess we are both showing our age :)
 
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I will keep myself entertained playing my copy of Racing Legends by the West brothers.
hehe, yeah. Good old racing legends. I still remember people on the forums being adamant they had seen loads of development and that the title was real.

Came across this the other day which summed up the whole Racing Legends / West Brothers fiasco nicely. (youtube vid)

The legend of racing legends
It's such a sad story, call me naive, but i even think, there was real ambition and vision behind it and even some bits of software already existed.

After all, i don't think, LFS is totally comparable to this situation. LFS is also communicated to be slow in development because of the circumstances (i think the sim is not the devs main job, iirc).

Also LFS is actually a working sim and even their Demo with Blackwood already delivers great bits of fun and has some nice features, like riding with a passenger and the influence on car dynamics because of that, for example. (Have it installed on my PC, unfotunately AI is too slow and i can't bring myself to buy a license, because of the slow paced development). But the overall experience of LFS is a real solid one with a very distinctive beauty to it, when driving and feeling it and not the ambitious "Vaporware", Racing Legends unfortunately was.
 
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I really enjoy this game and I would play it far more often if they would let me radically increase the number of AI drivers on my private server.

3 drivers/CPU is really dumb in 2020.
 
I heard about it at the "High Gear" forums.. Do you remember those?

I was one of the few people who bought GPL on its day of release (By the sounds of it there was only a few of us). That was an eye opener for serious concentration whilst racing... all without FFB too from memory. Had the old GPL Replay analyser.. Great tool that one. So, yeah, I'm with you in terms of excitement factor.. But then my cynicism kicked in not long after. Good days though... I guess we are both showing our age :)

I've been around since High Gear (and before lol). Just found a summary video of Racing Legends:

 

Neilski

Staff
Premium
what kind of licence system does it use? Id be nervous becaue its not on steam where I can just reinstall on demand when I like? My games that email me licence keys i always loose the keys (years later).
The licence is tied to your user account. The system has the usual "forgot your password?" approach, so you'd only be stuffed if you lost access to your sign-up email account I imagine.

I really love this sim, but I can't help feeling frustrated at all the cool additions that aren't the mythical new tyre physics. I mean, who asked for higher resolution wind turbine models? :O_o:
 
The licence is tied to your user account. The system has the usual "forgot your password?" approach, so you'd only be stuffed if you lost access to your sign-up email account I imagine.

I really love this sim, but I can't help feeling frustrated at all the cool additions that aren't the mythical new tyre physics. I mean, who asked for higher resolution wind turbine models? :O_o:
I agree with you. I had played the demo and it was really promising in terms of physics, with something natural in them. I was a bit disturbed by the lack of real brands. The rallycross was amazing and uncommon. I was waiting for further developments and more content before buying it. But they never came and I admit I felt into GTR2 which became my sim for many years : it had much more features and licensed cars (those gt1 and gt2 are still unique). I still follow LFS improvements in case something groundbreaking would happen. These graphical improvements won't make me change my mind, still waiting for more content and features. It seems the improvements are made for the existing users, not to brung new players.
 
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