- Jun 5, 2009
In the second part of our exclusive interview with Reiza Studios we explore, in more detail, development progress of the new 2017 title, in game car adjustments, engine updates and much, much more!
Founded in 2009, Reiza Studios are a Brazilian development team with focus on producing racing simulators for Windows PC. They boast a staff of skilled worldwide developers and adopting extensive research, methodical engineering and the highest standards of digital art as guidelines for the development of projects with maximum realism.
With exclusive licence agreements to feature Brazilian series such as Stock Car Brasil, Copa Petrobras de Marcas and the immense Formula Truck championship alongside ever growing content from a wide variety of series both past and present, Reiza Studios continue to delight fans of the sim racing genre.
With regular updates and content releases, and in light of the pretty big news recently announced regarding the next game from Reiza, RaceDepartment.com have taken the opportunity to sit down with the guys and see what the future holds.
RD: On the subject of ‘Reiza 2017’, how is development of that title progressing? Anything interesting you can share with us here?
RS: Most of what is interesting about it that we could share at this stage is already planned for AMS to one extent or another. Obviously one of the bigger specific focus of development for Reiza 2017 concerns the graphics engine. Other than that the development of AMS and the 2017 title are largely concurrent so it´s basically about building upon the great platform we already have.
RD: So do you anticipate the option to add rain and other weather features as was rumoured for the new title, and if so will you be able to insert real weather like in rF2 (for example have the weather copy what’s happening at the real circuit in real time?)
RS: Everything is possible but we haven´t come to such specific design decisions yet for 2017.
RD: Right ok, so while we are still looking at ‘Reiza 2017’, do you anticipate modding support and if so, can you offer any information to the community around how this will be implemented, say for example via the excellent Steam Workshop?
RS: Sadly our upcoming titles are not being designed as modding platforms – for one thing we have agreed with ISI not to go in that direction as that would be conflicting with their own products; besides we quite frankly don´t wish to do it. As modders ourselves we love the great mods that come out of the community, but there already are a couple of excellent modding platforms out there.
I believe we are prolific enough in producing or own content, and while naturally that may never match the sheer number of mods you can gather, I feel producing a consistent & cohesive sim environment where all cars and tracks attain to the same internal logic and methodology is a bigger value for our sims, so that´s what we´re looking to focus on. It will remain moddable on some level as most PC titles are but it won´t be officially supported as a modding platform.
RD: Again referring to ‘Reiza 2017’ I have a question that’s been asked by some of my online racing colleagues around if you have an intention to model TC and ABS as systems instead as of driver aids? (Like iRacing and AC for example) or could we even see this in AMS?
RS: Yes we are looking to do it already for AMS if possible.
RD: Excellent news thank you. How about in car settings such as diff settings, engine maps etc. Are these due to be included as part of the raft of updates coming to AMS, or would we have to wait for the new title for these to be implemented?
RS: We had some plans in that direction already when we first developed the F-Extreme, which ultimately didn´t pan out due to the way we were adding these extra features then. Now this is very much on the table again, especially as these systems are so intrinsic to some modern cars. you can´t really accurately simulate them otherwise. As with everything else though we are adopting a fairly result-driven approach so we´re not looking to do things more complex than they need be.
RD: On my personal wishlist, and something my good friend Matej asked me to check - clutch support when using H Shifter... do you intend to update AMS or incorporate into Reiza 2017 working clutch to the game, so we will be forced to use it when we change gears with H shifter?
RS: Already introduced in the current build of AUTOMOBILISTA – driving an Opala around the old Interlagos should feel more satisfying than ever now
RD: We all know GSCE uses the base gMotor engine found in ISI’s rFactor title, obviously you now have a full licence for this engine and can build upon it, how are you finding working with the ‘full’ license and has it brought up any surprises, both good and bad, in development so far?
RS: We obviously are big ISI and ISIMotor fans as we pretty much grew as developers on their engine, so for us it´s a privilege to have licensed and granted access to the code, as we still believe it is the best overall base for us to move forward and develop the sims we wish to do. In these first few months we´ve been a little like kids with a new toy, since before we had previously been restricted to what we could do in terms of code. AMS is a somewhat short term project though so for it we´ve focusing on the core features we had proposed in the crowdfunding campaign.
Sticking with ISIMotor was a direction we took a long time to settle on - we bided our time for quite a while to try and see some potential alternatives pan out, as things are always changing and the market for indie developers is quite different now to what it was even 5 years ago, with some great game engines out there which are fairly easy to develop on and accessible from a business POV.
The most important thing was to retain what grants our sim value to users to begin with, at the same time opening up the scope required to improve on where it´s deficient. It would have been an easy mistake to get over-ambitious and completely switch engines to get all new graphical bells and whistles - well not necessarily a mistake as graphics do tend to be a major selling point, but ultimately it still is about the type of products we want to make as much as it is about selling them, and I figure ISIMotor is still a crucial part of that. In the end we decided to push ISI to license the source code for us, rather than taking a leap into the unknown with some new technology or risking developing something ourselves.
The version of ISIMotor we licensed does present some challenges as parts of the codebase are fairly aged, so there will be a lot of things to rebuild or replace altogether to make it into a competitive product on the long run, but the physics engine, solid AI, multiplayer etc, those are what we believe to be the core components of a racing sim and these are still very competitive - these are not easily put together or found elsewhere so ultimately that´s the best platform for us to build on.
RD: On a similar topic, what can we expect to see added and improved in Ftruck? An excellent title that feels a little bit left out with all the big changes being brought to GSCE lately.
RS: Unfortunately there won´t be much more coming to Formula Truck as our license is soon to run out and uncertain to be renewed, but I hope the truck themselves will eventually find a home somehow in AUTOMOBILISTA.
RD: Will the currently licensed gMotor engine be the base for the new title (‘Reiza 2017’) or do you have plans/desires to license ISI’s latest rF2 engine?
RS: No, we´re just going to take the version of the engine we licensed in our tangent from now on. I´m unsure ISI feels ready or willing to license rF2 to any extent yet anyway, and while ISIMotor 2.5 does pack some impressive new sim tech, we already have a firmer grasp on ISIMotor 2 and that´s a bigger part of the equation than people often realise. We know what we have and know how we want to build on it, so all things considered this is the best path for us.
RD: Regarding ‘Reiza 2017’, will Endurance Racing be supported fully, and if so what kind of features can we expect to see?
RS: Variable weather I think is the main thing that we can already confirm to be in the plans.
RD: The Reiza V8 release has proven highly popular amongst fans (in fact here at RD it will be the weapon of choice for RDTCC Season 10). I’m a big fan of the real V8 Supercars Series and in real life the cars can run the curbs really hard. Do Reiza have plans to enhance their physic so the cars can run the curbs really hard without causing flipping on the roof as we see occasionally?
RS: The issue is related to tire behaviour under extreme camber angles – it´s really brought to the fore with the upcoming Supertrucks in AMS so it´s become more important now to find a solution for it. We´re working on it
RD: Keeping semi related to the Aussie racecars, do Reiza have any discussion happening to officially recreate any Australian tracks to compliment your Aussie V8 beasts?
RS: In a long enough timeframe anything is possible. There are certainly a few Australian tracks we´d love to do.
RD: Yeah, and plenty I'd like to race too so keep on working on it please! Now with official Reiza server schedules already in place, are you looking to work towards a kind of player ranking system in GSCE/AMS?
RS: Yes, that is planned already for AMS though I can´t comment on how far we´re going to go with it.
RD: Fair enough... while we are on the subject of online play, with the proposed GSCE changes will players of both copies of the game be able to race each other in the same server, or do you expect full transition to the new AMS title?
RS: No – AMS is completely independent from GSCE. For one thing the plan is to use the Steam matchmaker for AMS so they will not be compatible. Generally speaking the online players tend to me the more hardcore ones and I would expect all of these to make the move to AMS as soon as it is released.
RD: VR and Triple Screen usage continues to rise in sim racing, how are the plans developing to improve and implement support for these items developing?
RS: I´m excited for it and think it certainly will represent a new breakthrough in simulation immersion . The initial release versions have only just hit the market though so that´s a bit down in the priority list until we have had a chance to explore it a bit more. Some level of support is definitely planned to come for AMS already.
RD: Do Reiza have plans to secure any other official licences for South American series. Specifically I’m thinking of things such as the Stock Car Light, TC2000, Turismo Carretera etc.
RS: Stock Car Light doesn´t exist anymore – that is now called “Brasileiro de Turismo”. Basically all series are possible to be considered, naturally some of them are also subject to licensing from the manufacturers involved, so it´s a matter of how expensive they are to license as a whole and develop vs how much value these series effectively add to the sim.
RD: We’ve seen images of drivers such as former Ferrari Grand Prix pilot Rubens Barrichello playing GSCE in the past. Do you ever get any of the Stock Car Brazil drivers having a go in your offices, and how do they compare it to their real life race cars?
RS: We´re constantly getting feedback from the Stock Car drivers and generally the sim version of the StockV8 has been developed according to their feedback, as well as the data we gather from the engineers. Even amongst race drivers though there is a subject of individual perception, you seldom get unanimity but I´d say the vast majority are very pleased and use it to practice regularly, and they´ve also grown happier with it with every update.
RD: Along a similar line, does real life driver feedback get incorporated into the sim, and if so how useful has that been in developing the physics and feel of the game?
RS: It´s useful to validate the physics but not so much for physics development per se- if the driver says for example the car understeers too much on turn-in or is too sensitive over curbs, that may be useful to indicate what´s wrong but doesn’t really help you get it right. Generally telemetry and in-depth specs are more useful, if you can get it.
RD: Rally Cross is a very interesting upcoming addition to the sim, and the preview images I’ve seen so far look impressive indeed. How much of a challenge has it been to model loose surfaces with the current game engine?
RS: The engine is very flexible and has a lot of parameters for variable surfaces, we´ve added some more with our dynamic surface conditions. We still will have some limitations in the initial release, in particular regarding how the tire reacts to different surfaces so we have had to compromise a bit. So while not quite 100%, it´s very well put together and most importantly, a riot to drive.
RD: The stadium supertrucks are also quite a departure from the usual style of content we see in GSCE. Have you had these running in game yet and are you satisfied with the progress achieved so far? Can we expect a number of models and circuits for this series? Personally, I would be fascinated to try these in an environment they were originally intended for, complete with jumps and all.
RS: Just one model, and we have some of the tracks adapted for them, ramps and all! There is work to be done there still as these trucks literally stretch the physics and AI to their limits, but it´s advanced enough for me to assure it´s going to deliver an experience unlike anything else in a sim.
RD: Not strictly a GSCE question, but interesting nonetheless, in the new Velocitta track it has monkeys on the brake markers... what’s that all about! (laughs)
RS: As per the real track! We think they´re quite charming
RD: Well guys, really big thanks for the time you have so kindly given up today to talk to us at RaceDepartment.com. One last note to sign off this little Q&A, can you tell me something about GSCE/Reiza 2015/Reiza 2017 (either development or content) that no one else knows about yet? Another stab at trying to get a RaceDepartment exclusive… I’ve got to try…
RS: In between the plans laid out in the campaign and this interview we pretty much spilled all the beans.. I´ll save some so people are not bored with it before it´s even released
Big thanks go out to Renato from Reiza Studios for giving us the time to answer our questions here today. Please visit the Reiza Studios section of RaceDepartment for all the latest news regarding this sim.
Game Stock Car Extreme and Formula Truck are available to buy now on the Steam platform.
Automobilista will be available during Q1 2016.
Missed the first part of our interview? Find it here
Interested in more information about Game StockCar Extreme? Check out the Reiza Studios forum right here on RaceDepartment.
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