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PC3 Project CARS 3 | Developer Blog: Design And Physics

Paul Jeffrey

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Slightly Mad Studios have released a new 'developer blog' about their upcoming Project CARS 3 title, where they share some insight into the design and physics decisions employed within the game.

Yup, pitstops are a thing of the past in Project CARS 3. As is fuel consumption, with the studio taking a decision to focus less on strategy and more on the driver and car upgrades... which I'm sure will cause quite a bit of discussion within the community.

Slightly Mad Studios appear to have taken a direction change with their new game, putting a greater emphasis on the driving aspect of racing, and car customisation side of the gameplay. Similar to the tactic taken by such games as Gran Turismo, whilst still promising to retain an underlying sim racing experience for those who want to disable the more arcade gameplay features, this departure from previous instalments in the series is an interesting one, but perhaps inevitable considering the cool reception from sim racing fans Project CARS 1 and 2 have received in recent years.

You can read the blog post in full below:

Project CARS has always been about racing with your heart in your mouth as you push your limits in legendary race cars on epic tracks around the world—that unparalleled connection between driver, car, and surface that comes from our passion and the know-how we’ve acquired through the years, all of it validated by pro’ drivers. Project CARS is the driver at speed—that moment when you’re right on the edge and you’re loving every moment of the experience. For Project CARS 3, we’ve really doubled-down our focus on the driver. Yes, we’ve added assists and graphic effects to bring in a new audience to sim racing, but these assists and settings are purely optional—turn them on, or turn them off, the choice is completely up to you and what you want from the game. Project CARS 3 remains, at its core, a Project CARS experience, and with the same philosophy that has always been central to the franchise—to give you the Ultimate Driver Journey.

Kris Pope: Lead Designer: Yes, Project CARS 3, from a game design viewpoint, is focused far more on the driver than the previous two games. With this new instalment, the direction was to laser-in on what makes motorsport evoke so much passion in those of us who love the sport. The cars, the driving, the racing, the speed—we’re really narrowed down on those things with Project CARS 3.

David Kirk: Principal Physics Programmer: Project CARS 3 is both new and traditional, if I can call it that—the details, handling, the motorsport and the freedom of choice, the weather and so on, that’s what our long term fans want and that’s all there—though we’ve gone in and improved on all of that. New this time around is customisation for cars and drivers, and of course upgrades which is really an exciting addition. We’ve also added a whole layer to the game that introduces weekend warrior racing on road circuits and other options designed to get a new audience into sim racing in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them.

Kris Pope: Lead Designer: As in the real-world, drivers drive, and mechanics and the team worry about the minute details, and that’s what we wanted to aim for with Project CARS 3. In the end, it doesn’t matter what series it is—an amateur weekend or track-day or the top echelon of motorsport where 300 engineers with science degrees are pouring over reams of data—drivers are there to drive. And that’s really what we wanted to highlight with this new game. We wanted to bring a renewed focus on the driver and the racing. So now you don’t need to spend hours in a practice session working out the tyre life of a set of tyres for one car in one condition, and you don’t need to do the maths on how many litres of fuel you need to finish the race, and you won’t be punished for picking the wrong strategy and so on.

PCARS 3 1.jpg


Jussi Karjalainen: Handling QA Lead: All the good, dynamic tyre heating maths is still going in, and in many cases improved, just without the potential to overheat in the long term. All the dynamic situation-to-situation stuff is still there—but now, if you want to go sliding around for an entire race, you can. You’ll also be slower, though, but that’s another story!

Casey Ringley: Vehicle Technical Art and Handling: That’s actually a good example—the thermal model in layers above that does still happen as it did in Project CARS 2. The core tread temperature is locked, but the rubber contacting the road is still fully modelled for all heat effects.

Jussi Karjalainen: Handling QA Lead: To make it a little easier to understand—tyres aren’t part of “what suits the weather situation” problem anymore, they’re now “how much performance do we want”. Within most real-world racing series, hard and soft tyres are meant to be alternatives to each other, depending on the temperature, track type and strategy. But from one racing series to another, there exist differences in outright performance. A cheaper slick used in a regional series is usually worse than what a national GT3 series would use, GTE/prototype slicks can be two seconds a lap faster than GT3 tyres, and the rubber compounds used for Formula 1 are even faster than that. The core temperature of the tyre is locked to the “optimum” value (what you’d want to heat the tyres up to in Project CARS 2), but all of the layers from there towards the outside are still fully dynamic.

Casey Ringley: Vehicle Technical Art and Handling: The tyres being locked at ideal temperature and constant pressure means the tyre pressure setup is simpler as well. So, comparing to Project CARS 2, the only difference is that we reset the core tread temperature to an ideal setpoint at the start of each physics tick. And we do this to avoid penalising drivers who don’t have endless hours to assess their tyre wear before races. In the real world, teams come to race weekends already armed with all that data.

Jussi Karjalainen: Handling QA Lead: So rather than wear, it’s really the tyre heating where most of the magic happens, handling dynamics wise.

Casey Ringley: Vehicle Technical Art and Handling: The tyre discussion is actually a good reference point to how Project CARS 3 differs. I guess it’s geek-mode on time?!

PCARS 3 2.jpg



Jussi Karjalainen: Handling QA Lead: Here we go!

Casey Ringley: Vehicle Technical Art and Handling: Basically, while you have no actual wear in Project CARS 3, you’ve got multiple layers related to the heat model. Flash, Layer, Tread, and so on. Flash is the elements which touch and grip the track surface, Layer is an intermediate layer for diffusing heat energy, and Tread is the core bulk of tread rubber. All the heating dynamics in Flash and Layer still happen, we just lock temperature from Tread down through the rest of the model. I suppose a simpler way to put it is that the rubber layers influence tyre grip naturally at these time levels:

Flash Layer – What are you doing this instant?
Surface Layer – What were you doing in the last 5s?
Bulk Tread – What were you doing in the last 5m?

The biggest benefit comes from those three rubber layers of varying thickness and how they separate transient behaviour of the rubber from longer term heat effects.

The first, Flash layer, models the individual Setae contact points and is only 30 microns thick. This is where we do all the work-energy heating and you see huge temperature swings here—the heating of Flash layer is a primary tool for shaping our slip curves. We then have a surface layer between 0.5-1.0mm thick for the heat to diffuse though; this reacts more slowly but still pretty quickly.

If you really abuse your front tyres in a corner, this surface layer will be overheated by corner exit and results in Flash Setae entering the patch hotter than ideal. It recovers quickly for the next corner, so long as the bulk tread temps below it are in the ideal zone. What we’ve done in PC3 is lock that bulk tread to stay in the ideal zone so short-term transient behaviour is retained while minimizing long-term effects. Early in our “Seta Tyre Model” development, we only had Flash and Bulk Tread layers. Adding that middle one for the 0.5mm surface layer was a big improvement in handling feel, particularly how the car progresses through a corner. There is just something that makes for a clean, natural feel when the surface layer is slightly cooled at corner entry, heats up to optimal at apex, and is flirting with over-heatedness at corner exit.

Jussi Karjalainen: Handling QA Lead: Of course you still have access to your setups, though—aero, brake tuning, weight distribution, ride heights, alignment, springs, dampers, gearing and differential as well as tyre pressures are all there—but we’ve made the options a little easier to engage with and digest. We know that in Project CARS 2 the differentials were extremely complicated. There were 4 different kinds of differential (plus a spool that doesn’t allow for any differentiation), with at least 7-8 settings, and then all of that potentially for rear, centre, and front diffs separately, depending on how the car was set up. For Project CARS 3, we thought about what a driver would ask of their engineer: Preload, accel’ lock, decel’ lock, and done. The complex differential modelling is still there in the background, but the player has an easier time dealing with it through the new interface. Again, this goes to the driver-centric part of the design—less analysis paralysis, more straightforward tuning changes and racing.

Kris Pope: Lead Designer: So yes, if you want to get out on-track on a cold morning at Spa and just go drive and tinker with your setup, that’s obviously still there. And actually, if you do, you’ll notice that the driving physics have been improved (we’ve really nailed the over the limit feel). The key to this is the driver journey—the upgrades, the racing, the feel of the cars from the driver’s seat. Making the driving fun and the visceral enjoyment of driving a car at speed that sort of echoes that emotional connection we all get from motorsport.

Nick Pope: Principal Vehicle Handling Designer: So, for example, by removing tyre wear and fuel usage, we could in turn remove pitstops, which resulted in much closer and more consistent racing. Thus, the whole process of getting to the part that matters most—the actual racing and driving of these amazing cars and their upgrades—became a far easier and more streamlined affair. All these game design decisions have had great results in terms of the racing— with the tyres at their optimal range all the time and fuel at optimal load, there is no break in the action to stop for more fuel or new rubber. It’s pure racing action, and it’s just made Project CARS 3 into a much better racing-driver experience.

David Kirk: Principal Physics Programmer: Though none of that means we’ve simplified the tyre model. It’s just all happening under the hood. Overall, this change has kept the focus on the racing and less on engineering tactics. It makes the racing fairer—it’s about what you do behind the wheel that counts—and as a driver it makes the experience a lot closer to what you’d get in the real world.

Doug Arnao: Physics and AI director: The AI has also responded well to this new direction and it makes them a lot more predictable and really human-like. And obviously there’s no rubber-banding.

David Kirk: Principal Physics Programmer: As Casey said, the core of the simulation is still the core of the game, but we’ve really made Project CARS 3 about the driver. In the end, racing and driving is actually meant to be a fun and rewarding experience, and being competitive in a race should be more about your skills and the upgrades and so on, and less about whether you can afford to sit and spend countless hours deep-tuning every layer of your setup. The moment-to-moment experience of the franchise remains as it always was, we’ve just really focused-in on what makes a driving game—and what makes driving—such an emotional and cool experience.


Original Source; Slightly Mad Studios.


Project CARS 3 is set to release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC August 28th 2020.

Want to discuss this new game with fellow sim racing fans? No worries, head over to the Project CARS 3 sub forum here at RaceDepartment and start up a new thread!

PCARS 3 Footer.jpg
 
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My god that's probably one the most condescending things I've read in a long time.

You know there were plenty of fans into realistic sims who liked and supported the PC franchise? We are the ones most upset by this RADICAL shift (pun intended) from what the series WAS about.

I believe that, and honestly I don't know what you guys were doing there in the first place then. It was never about being super accurate to reality. Just resonably fun and good game.

So real life feedback doesn't make any difference? Wow...OK maybe i AM a "bad" driver...maybe you're Lewis Hamilton...(you attitude definitely matches) but you just called every single PROFESSIONAL MOTORSPORTS CHAMPION a "bad driver" as well, because guess what, they all say the same thing i'm saying. VIDEO GAMES aren't even close to the real thing. Meaning...real life DOES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE. DUH. Feeling like i'm talking to an absolute lunatic here....
So with that...i'll just ignore you. You don't know what the hell you're talking about and you're pure TOXIC. Cheers.

Once again you are pulling out something that I didn't say. I didn't say feedback from real life doesn't matter. And didn't call any good driver a bad driver, it is just your poor reading comprehension skills.

I was trying to be respectful and put out my thinking clearly. Looks like you have put no effort into reading into my thoughts. Most likely same happens in every car you get going, you need to comprehend a car, and you are clearly not trying to do that.

I am happy to get ignored by you, so I'll do the same.Frankly you seem to be everything what you blame me to be. You are making up lots of things and came back really harsh on me, thats exactly being lunatic and toxic.
 
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I believe that, and honestly I don't know what you guys were doing there in the first place then. It was never about being super accurate to reality. Just resonably fun and good game.



Once again you are pulling out something that I didn't say. I didn't say feedback from real life doesn't matter. And didn't call any good driver a bad driver, it is just your poor reading comprehension skills.

I was trying to be respectful and put out my thinking clearly. Looks like you have put no effort into reading into my thoughts. Most likely same happens in every car you get going, you need to comprehend a car, and you are clearly not trying to do that.

I am happy to get ignored by you, so I'll do the same.Frankly you seem to be everything what you blame me to be. You are making up lots of things and came back really harsh on me, thats exactly being lunatic and toxic.
This game is not worth fighting about! Let's fight to keep public race lobbies fair, without unnecessary ban or cancelations! Too much power often corrupts!

Fight about something else!
 
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:whistling:...

Oh, you think Nordschleife is challenging track? Yes it is challenging with original Grand Prix Legends game but with Assetto Corsa or any other modern simulator it is way too easy and boring to drive, one of the most easiest track in the world!

This is my live recorded safely driven on Assetto Corsa lap with 'basic' setup, I can do a little bit faster without recording.

Nordschleife 5.17 min lap

My record with GPL Lotus was 8.30 something (old track was 2 km longer)...that car is challenging to drive fast.

They say that ACC is worst than AC..

So be sure that I'm going to buy PC3 immediately it's released.

See these videos, it looks and sounds so good, can't wait!

Project CARS 3 - Announce Trailer (4K)

Project Cars 3 | Carving out a New Niche?

Who cares. :laugh:
Sense of humor is not your thing :roflmao:
 
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I believe that, and honestly I don't know what you guys were doing there in the first place then. It was never about being super accurate to reality. Just resonably fun and good game.

Here's a heads up NO sim is super accurate to reality, they all have their strong points and weak points but NONE fully simulate reality.
 
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Here's a heads up NO sim is super accurate to reality, they all have their strong points and weak points but NONE fully simulate reality.

I agree, but thats not an argument to say that it can't be done and isn't sometimes done at pretty decent level by devs who seriously seek for it. It is pretty obvious that Project Cars doesn't even have such goal, they are about providing fun game for wider audience than hardcore simracers, although it does want you to think that it is hardcore simulation by having some of it, which is up to you if you are able to tell that it isn't even aiming for going further with that. Furthest it obviously went is Automosbilista 2, I don't have it, but I am sure that these guys at Reiza gets out maximum realism of madness engine, or at least a lot more.
 

MoerasGrizzly

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This makes sense. After all, every sim is now just "Poor man's Automobilista", so the ideal strategy here is for Project Cars 3 to become

*checks notes*

Poor man's Forza?

Blue Ocean strategy this ain't.
 

Kimmo Kokkonen

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We only have a few real hard core sims. Grand Prix Legends and iRacing, both are very difficult for beginners. Never owned Nascar 2000 (shame on me) but I believe that is the one of them.

Cropping between hardcore and arcade is easy to do:
- difficult for beginners -> hard core
- easy for beginners -> arcade

Hard core sims not sell much, many people do not have time to learn they wanna drive fast immediately

For me the driving experience is the most important thing, if the car and track surface feels good so I like it, too much grip is too much grip (current RaceRoom after the 2019 upgrade), too less grip is too less grip (AC before tyre model 10).

Can't wait this sim, if it's not good so what, I still test it as I like PC1 a lot. Never even tested AMS2 as they said it's crap, never even tested AMS so cannot compare...
 

TedBrosby-

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Why do people keep saying that they're trying to be like Forza or GT?
GT Sport has tire wear, fuel and pit stops.
Forza Motorsport 7 has tire wear, fuel and pit stops.
It's obvious they're going for some NFS Shift/Forza Horizon hybrid.

It's sad because actually aside from iRacing, PC2 is my most driven sim. I like the career mode because you can drive a lot of different cars and the FFB is honestly not "that bad", it's there enough that you can use the sim as a way of practicing race craft, passes and working your way up from slower cars to faster cars. I've been enjoying driving in it a lot lately and with it not being a legitimate sim racing game anymore, I feel like I have no choice but online play or dealing with ACC's atrocious AI/career/championship mode.
 
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I agree, but thats not an argument to say that it can't be done and isn't sometimes done at pretty decent level by devs who seriously seek for it. It is pretty obvious that Project Cars doesn't even have such goal, they are about providing fun game for wider audience than hardcore simracers, although it does want you to think that it is hardcore simulation by having some of it, which is up to you if you are able to tell that it isn't even aiming for going further with that. Furthest it obviously went is Automosbilista 2, I don't have it, but I am sure that these guys at Reiza gets out maximum realism of madness engine, or at least a lot more.

Your are 100% incorrect, in the beginning they wanted to do a full on sim that was accessible, it's only now with the big shift away from simming elements that SMS is doing what you say they have done from the beginning....if that was true no-one would be complaining would they?

Thing is everything you say a hardcore sim should have PC1+2 probaly have it, but you just won't accept that. What you will probaly do in reply is cherry pick things which seem to prove your point, but people who cherry pick are almost always in the wrong. i.e:

Car x is crap , proves PC2 is crap
Corner Y at track B has wrong camber/kerb/radius, proves PC2 is crap
FFB is crap, proves PC2 is crap
Ian Bell is the son of satan, proves PC2 is crap.

Y'now the usual nonsense. For a long time the SETA tyre model was one of the most advanced in the sim genre, only RF2 and now ACC came close as they also include weather. I'm hoping Reiza will advanced the tyre model further and refine it, but the ground work was done by that dev you dislike...yup SMS, although I'm not sure the chap behind it works for them anymore.
 
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Your are 100% incorrect, in the beginning they wanted to do a full on sim that was accessible, it's only now with the big shift away from simming elements that SMS is doing what you say they have done from the beginning....if that was true no-one would be complaining would they?

Thing is everything you say a hardcore sim should have PC1+2 probaly have it, but you just won't accept that. What you will probaly do in reply is cherry pick things which seem to prove your point, but people who cherry pick are almost always in the wrong. i.e:

Car x is crap , proves PC2 is crap
Corner Y at track B has wrong camber/kerb/radius, proves PC2 is crap
FFB is crap, proves PC2 is crap
Ian Bell is the son of satan, proves PC2 is crap.

Y'now the usual nonsense. For a long time the SETA tyre model was one of the most advanced in the sim genre, only RF2 and now ACC came close as they also include weather. I'm hoping Reiza will advanced the tyre model further and refine it, but the ground work was done by that dev you dislike...yup SMS, although I'm not sure the chap behind it works for them anymore.

Not sure how did you calculate the percentage I don't see things in black and white. I don't say that PC2 is ultimately unrealistic, AMS2 proves that with proper parametrization and approach the engine can be some good as simulation, I guess (haven't tried it). I did try PC2, and there was a feel of something interfering to natural physics, I just always experienced the feel like there is some kind of script that built up great amounts of grip to almost force car back to control from something that should have been a certain spin, and then one time it felt like the "script" would just say "not this time, thistime you are going out" just as you get a confidence being forgiven everytime. Of course there are a ton of things to pick on, but thats how everything works - god is in the details. But not everyone notices those details, and there are two options - wasting time trying to show them and getting trouble, or just keeping knowledge to yourself and live a happy life alone. :D
 
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Pcars1 tried to be a sim .

Pcars2 was a sim .

Pcars3 sounds like the awful grid 2019 arcade game.


Unless ian bell is playing us by saying what hes said recently.

No pits no fuel and no tyre wear.
But why then keep the live weather
How will we change tyres during a dry to wet race.

I've always said since codemasters bought SMS and note codemasters only wanted the rights to pcars2 which they name as there own game

Anyway since codemasters bought SMS. What sim does codemasters do .none
Apart from dirty rally.

It was done to bring an end to the pcars franchise and if it's a fact about no pits then sadly codemasters have made Mr bell and his team a complete laughing stock among the sim Racing community.

The sim community were hoping for a evolution of pcars2 with safety car and some small bug improvements.

Perhaps put Jack spades wheel settings back on the consoles the same as on pc.

I personally would not buy pcars3 and reading thousands of comments from sim Racing community they now wont buy pcars3.

Question is has ian bell's alerted us not to buy pcars3 because he was instructed to make pcars3 an arcade game.
Remember ian bell and his team dont own SMS any ultimately they have to do what codemasters tell them

I will wait now until pcars3 becomes half price.
 
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Not sure how did you calculate the percentage I don't see things in black and white. I don't say that PC2 is ultimately unrealistic, AMS2 proves that with proper parametrization and approach the engine can be some good as simulation, I guess (haven't tried it). I did try PC2, and there was a feel of something interfering to natural physics, I just always experienced the feel like there is some kind of script that built up great amounts of grip to almost force car back to control from something that should have been a certain spin, and then one time it felt like the "script" would just say "not this time, thistime you are going out" just as you get a confidence being forgiven everytime. Of course there are a ton of things to pick on, but thats how everything works - god is in the details. But not everyone notices those details, and there are two options - wasting time trying to show them and getting trouble, or just keeping knowledge to yourself and live a happy life alone. :D

I didn't calculate a percentage you got the full 100% I.e. you were completely wrong by saying PCars had no goal of realism. How about this: utterly incorrect, completely, fully, thoroughly, absolutely. All relevant to the inaccuracy of your opinion.

Ah so we have the good old...."but only I can "feel" what's wrong with PC2 so it must be complete poop". Of course....

You don't think that PC2 is ultimatly unrealistic, so what was the condescending comment I initially responded to for?

It may have not been perfect, but it was definitely a sim.
 
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We only have a few real hard core sims. Grand Prix Legends and iRacing, both are very difficult for beginners. Never owned Nascar 2000 (shame on me) but I believe that is the one of them.

Cropping between hardcore and arcade is easy to do:
- difficult for beginners -> hard core
- easy for beginners -> arcade

Hard core sims not sell much, many people do not have time to learn they wanna drive fast immediately

For me the driving experience is the most important thing, if the car and track surface feels good so I like it, too much grip is too much grip (current RaceRoom after the 2019 upgrade), too less grip is too less grip (AC before tyre model 10).

Can't wait this sim, if it's not good so what, I still test it as I like PC1 a lot. Never even tested AMS2 as they said it's crap, never even tested AMS so cannot compare...
you would be surprised how good this "crab" is. They are just simple pCARS haters & trolls
 
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