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Featured RaceRoom Update Notes: New Tracks, New Cars and New Features

Discussion in 'RaceRoom Racing Experience' started by Paul Jeffrey, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    RaceRoom Developer Diary .jpg
    Sector3 Studios have taken to the internet today to share some interesting insights into the near future of RaceRoom Racing Experience...


    Yes folks, it's time for another roadmap from a sim racing development team... this time the turn falls to Sector3 Studios and their RaceRoom Racing Experience title.

    In the September 2019 'Developer Notes' thread, Sector3 have shared plenty of interesting updates about the title... read on to find out what they have to say...

    This is a follow-up to the May 2019 thread.

    Summer is short in Sweden, so we try and make the best out of it, and that means quite a lot of vacation days have been taken, and therefore a significant slowdown in development for a few weeks.

    But here we are, back at it, skin maybe still peeling off from sunburns. I hope everyone had or might still be having a nice time out! I for one visited family and friends back in Belgium.
    Is this relevant for these development notes? Well, sort of, as I landed in Belgium the very week of the Spa 24H. I went there on the practice days, 23rd and 24th in order to collect references for no less than 7 or 8 cars.

    S3 RaceRoom Development Notes 1.jpg

    After those refs were taken, it was time to go up and pay a visit to Aris (Kunos), Paul Jeffrey (RaceDepartment) and Chris Haye (yey, thanks for the mention JF, was awesome to finally meet face-to-face - Paul).

    S3 RaceRoom Development Notes 2.jpg
    I did queue to qualify for the ACC event, but suddenly had other opportunities to seize.

    Anyway... Here is a quick rundown of the items listed in the notes from May, and where we stand for each:

    Cars
    : The WTCR 2019 car class that we were working on is out and the esport season has started ( Check out the first race stream ).
    We had a couple small updates since the release, and also WTCR 2018 car class received their physics update to match and be raced alongside the 2019 cars. What we still have not shipped is the BMW M1 Group 4, which is awaiting liveries, and the updated Volkswagen ID.R, remade according to actual telemetry for which I also need liveries. Discussions are to resume soon with Volkswagen Motorsport regarding livery designs and final sign-off of the new physics. As you may have seen, Romain Dumas and the VW crew have been busy breaking records in China as well!

    Tracks
    : Two of the tracks we've been working on are now finished and being prepared for public use, so expect announcements and previews in the coming weeks. Our artists will immediately move on to new projects as we have reached agreements for four more in the meantime.

    Force Feedback updates
    : Static friction and pneumatic trail effects have been in testing for a while now and I have to hold them back for now as we have to wait for a gap between two competitions before we push changes that affect handling and performance of the cars. Those effects are physics based and the pneumatic trail effect has an impact on the car handling, especially coming out of corners. The next period between esport competitions is December 2019.

    Moving / resizing HUD elements :
    Issues reported on ultrawide monitors are considered fixed. Let us know if you still have any.

    So, what's new?

    Thomas Jansen has been recruited to help in the physics and AI department. After proving his worth as a betatester and delivering flawlessness™ in BOP, Thomas is now a consultant, working hand in hand with @Alex Hodgkinson . He is tasked with things ranging from damper tuning to critical AI physics improvements, such as preventing AI of recent cars from losing the rear so often.

    Renato Lipi
    has been recruited as our new web backend developer. Renato will have a lot on his table with very big tasks awaiting him, such as a migration to AWS, development, along with the rest of the team, of the scheduled multiplayer / rating / career features, improvements to competitions, menus, and so on. I'm confident that his skills, in combination with a true passion and excitement for the projects, will help bring RaceRoom much further.

    Anthony Monteil and @Robert Holm
    are cooking up some nice updates to the tyre sounds. A completely new set of recordings from Anthony, along with some code changes in the engine from Robert (allowing tweaks per car but also more randomness in the samples) should bring you a lot more information regarding grip levels while you are driving. I tried to demonstrate the progression in this video :

    AI improvements: We acknowledge that the more demanding physics we have been delivering are likely too much for the AI to handle properly. There are plenty of places where AI now easily gets in trouble, so we're addressing this issue from an AI physics point of view.
    What we need to avoid is for this job to put us in a spot where AI cars differ quite a lot from the player's car, making racing feel unfair as AI appear to have much better cornering grip, braking or power.

    To prevent this but also improve AI in general, @Robert Holm has experimented and came up an interesting self-learning AI. The way it works is that we take a car and we throw it on a track, then we tell the AI to drive and run tests to autotune itself. It all happens in a few seconds and the following measures happen:
    • DECELERATION / BRAKING
      Performs brake tests and compares measurement with what AI thought would happen. Useful for preventing AI from hitting you in the back.
    • ACCELERATION|
      Performs acceleration tests and compares measure against prediction, this will for example improve the calculation of slowdown penalties or the decision of when to issue a stop-and-go penalty after cutting the track.
    • LAP
      AI performs a timed lap and logs it for developers to gauge the effects of their changes (for example, matching real world laptimes)
    • CORNERING
      Keeps track of how far off the line the AI went and the amount of understeer. Used to prevent AI from cornering too early or too late.
    • RADIUS
      A complex set of tests for grip levels per corner radius, allowing AI to be fine-tuned so they are not dead slow in hairpins or lightning fast in medium radius corners.

      I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the team achieves with this new tool.
      Watch it in action here:


    Physics
    - Current projects are:
    • GT3 overhaul (Release December 2019)
    • DTM 92 / Touring Classics (Release TBA)
    • VW ID.R modifications for an eventual release in store (Release TBA)
    • Working on new cars as well that I can't disclose.
    Art - Always complicated to talk about what our talented artists are working on as they're always the ones with the top secret stuff in their hands... Just know that we have 7 or 8 cars in the pipeline at the moment, along with official liveries of the 2019 season of three racing series (for cars that we already released). As touched above, two tracks are in their final development phase. Two more are lined up afterwards, currently receiving art polish and tweaks.

    Damage - As you know from previous notes, we have suspension damage and flatspots in beta, and the only thing that was holding it back was the need for a modification of how damage options are handled. Right now, you have two settings to set for damage: visual and mechanical. That will go away and in the future you'll only have one damage setting with three choices: "Off" - "Minimal" and "Full". If you want suspension damage and flatspots, you'll have to go on "Full", while "Minimal" will give you damage like you currently have it. That modification is now done and we only have to wait until a gap in esport to push these game-changing updates. The next gap is in December. So that is when we'll push those.

    Dedicated Server
    - The following doesn't require a gap in esport competitions and therefore will hit your server machines very soon.

    Chat box
    - The server admin can now read and send chat messages. Messages from the server admin will be shown as originating from 'SERVER', like in this example:

    In the server interface:

    RaceRoom Dev Notes 3.png
    And in-game:
    RaceRoom Dev Notes 4.png

    MOTD - The server can now be set with a Message Of The Day, a text-only short message that will be shown to players joining the server (in practice and standing start qualifying). Communities can now use this to show server rules or their website / Discord URL, etc.
    There is some basic html formatting available

    Will result in this aspect:
    RaceRoom Dev Notes 5.png

    Weight Manager - We're adding an example of what can be done using the Dedicated Server's API with this tool. Feed it with a results file from a previous race and in a matter of a few clicks, you can set success ballast for the next championship round, saving you the trouble of manually going through their ID's and usernames.
    We're adding a field to input a formula allowing for quick automated weights attribution. Example here with this RRVLN race result where we give ballast based on the finish position in class, with a maximum of 50kg:

    RaceRoom Dev Notes 6.png
    Here's a list of the helpers currently in testing, allowing for creativity in the formula:
    RaceRoom Dev Notes 7.png

    Pre-determined starting grid
    - As I write these lines, I'm not sure yet if it works as we added it this week and we haven't managed to organize a race with the betatesters yet. The goal of this feature is that you should be able to set the starting grid of your MP race and skip qualifying altogether. Either set the grid manually, or point the tool to a leaderboard with your league's team name and it will fetch all the players with that team name on that leaderboard and automatically generate the starting grid. Hopefully it passes QA swiftly.

    RaceRoom Dev Notes 8.png An example import with a WTCR championship round from https://www.racingfr.net of how the starting grid can be imported from a leaderboard and then edited manually with a couple of clicks.

    So that's it folks - plenty of interesting an exciting stuff on the horizon for RaceRoom Racing Experience - looking forward to it all dropping the coming months..

    The RaceRoom Racing Experience sub forum here at RaceDepartment is the place to go for news and discussion about this excellent racing title. In the forum you can chat with fellow fans and take part in our excellent RaceRoom Racing Experience Racing Club - a great way to race in a clean, fair and fun online environment.

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  2. BrunoB

    BrunoB
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    Head of Sector3 developers J-F Chardon sounds allways like a very friendly and "openmouthed" guy.
    Hehe but Im sure there is a lot of these slightly hyped items that will not be included in the next Raceroom update.;)
    Or the next:sneaky:
     
  3. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    This last part on servers, so damn usefull. I just wonder why it takes so long for devs to make something so basic, so basic but that would help league managers so much, especially when you dont have an actual online system.
    Better late than never but damn... plan your stuff better folks, and this is worth for all devs out there, sometimes it feels like u got nobody to manage anything, the coding team do stuff as it comes to their minds. Maybe time to get new managers then, just saying.
     
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  4. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen
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    Though in his defense, he never claims it will be.
    It's just a list of what S3 is working on. When (and in some cases probably if) they'll materialize is anyone's guess.
     
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  5. Martin Fiala

    Martin Fiala
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    In fact, if anyone bothered to actually read the update, he specifically mentions on most of them it will take some time before they materialize, even for those that are basically ready to go.
     
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  6. Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett

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    Finally some tweaking on the manic AI;)
     
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  7. Ross Garland

    Ross Garland
    Spiritseer Staff Premium

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    You have to remember that S3's priorities are not the same as yours, or mine. A lot of their income comes from these competitions and events they run on behalf of the sponsors, so that's going to take priority over us running our own leagues which pay them nothing at all. Also, something that seems "simple" to a layman may be far from simple in development terms.

    Anyway, that's a nice list of upcoming content and features, so the future is certainly bright. :thumbsup:
     
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  8. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    If the game was 1 or 2 years old I'd agree with this kind of bs excuse. Or if they couldnt do this because they were focusing on stuff like 24h cycle and rain, but they haven't done anything that much special with this sim, which is a shame because it has a lot of potential, especially due to the content. So something this basic (if you know how rfactor works you know this is not as complicated as u want it to be) is a must but as I said, better late than never so rejoice :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  9. sc4dr

    sc4dr
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    I Love this sim lately. Is it perfect? No, but at least it runs smooth, has exciting content, and they are actively improving it! I'm just happy they are still building around the original game engine (If it ain't broke don't fix it). Maybe I'm the odd ball, but some of these latest and greatest sim titles just don't feel, or look right to me.

    Thank You Sector 3!!!:D
     
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  10. Lentoveloz

    Lentoveloz
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    I stopped using RaceRoom because of AI. I am glad Sector3 has noticed the problem and is investing in its correction. Soon this game will be excellent again.
     
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  11. Neils on Wheels

    Neils on Wheels

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    Any clues to the tracks that might be coming?
     
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  12. Neils on Wheels

    Neils on Wheels

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    Same here some classes are worse than others but it just puts me off altogether.
     
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  13. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    Very curious about them, hope it's US/Australia
     
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  14. Nano10

    Nano10

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    Strongly agree AI is the worst, and physical ones too.

    But Curb your entushiasm already promised 100 times that they were going to improve and here we are, being pushed off the track
     
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  15. JTRaceFan17

    JTRaceFan17

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    I don't play RaceRoom or any other online only game/sim because I don't play online. If RR had offline availability for single player than I will get it, but until then I'm not playing it.
     
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  16. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    RR "online only" is kind of their anti crack feature. You can race with AI (which means offline) you are not forced to "play online' ;)
     
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  17. Luke Maney

    Luke Maney
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    Did new cars get mentioned, I missed that part? Also sounds like there changing the AI behavior specifically the AI losing traction in the rear?

    AI behavior is pretty good like it is, compared to rFactor which I grew up on! I mean I did a practice race the other day preparing for a FR90 race upcoming and I thought the AI were really good. For example I really messed up my start and ended up dead last with all the cars (12 AI) at least 8 seconds ahead after the first lap. So I had to pass every car for the win, and I found them to be very predictable and smooth all the way to the front for the win. When I was about to pass second place this AI defended his line, I thought it was a real driver...he then gave me a little bump after I found a way around him. It was sweet, the AI is very good on R3E and Assetto Corsa in my opinion, so don't change them to much! And as for AI cars losing the rear from time to time and spinning off track, I like that, its realistic!

    R3E if your reading this, I would like the damage to be more realistic and I would like to see more old school race cars like Can Am and seventies F1?
     
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  18. Luke Maney

    Luke Maney
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    I just did a 40 minute race from the rear and passed all 12 AI for the win with the difficulty set to 105%, and I found them very predictable and fun to race against!
     
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  19. Luke Maney

    Luke Maney
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    Oops
     
  20. Kurupt CDN

    Kurupt CDN
    DirtT Tuned Motorsports

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    Great news and looking forward to the updates!

    Tho I do have a question or two for the devs regarding the current engine.

    A few months back there was talk of upgrading DX9 to DX11 to improve performance....any news on this?

    With the current engine nearing 8 yrs and missing several features that current titles offer....any chance of the title moving to a new engine sooner or will we have to wait and see if GTR3 ever gets released?

    I am assuming GTR3 is currently using the Raceroom content as a placeholder in beta as it awaits a license deal to move forward, so you must have an idea of how it's performing.
     
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