Retiring from rFactor

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by John-Eric Saxén, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. John-Eric Saxén

    John-Eric Saxén

    To Whom It May Concern

    I have basically driven in FSR my whole adult age. Starting from 2006, I got the honour to drive almost straight away in the FSR WC. For a 7 years younger me, it was one of the best and most exciting experiences to take part in such a competition, racing against names such as Bruno Marques, Roy Kolbe and David Greco. It was the highlight of my Sunday and remained like that for several years.

    2005 was a critical year for FSR, as the league was close to facing a death, but largely thanks to Dennis Hirrle, FSR regrouped on several fronts and thanks to him we are still here. During the following years, I have seen FSR develop from a pure driver's league to a league with real audience and real entertainment value. In 2006, spectators were only able to join directly via rFactor to watch the races. In 2007, FSR introduced live broadcasts for the first time. It was a big step even if the technical implementation was miles behind today's.

    Over the years, FSR has made several key moves to improve the league. Moving into RaceDepartment and having active social media channels have allowed FSR to reach a much higher pool of drivers. The success is a result of many passionate "FSR people" having worked in the background - there are far too many to name here.

    But for me it's now time to admit that I don't have the passion of a 7-years younger me to run full time in FSR. Let me shortly explain the reasoning behind this.

    In contrast to all fantastic development that FSR has seen since 2006, the development of the main tool, THE Simulator, has been, well... zero. In earlier years, I would often picture myself The Perfect Simulator - a kind of holy grail that would offer everything that has been lacking from simulators: from dynamic weather and dynamic road to a realistic physics model, so close that a human wouldn't feel the difference to driving a real car. I also had big expectations on how the racing equipment would develop: 3d vision, realistic FFB, G-forces - everything would be standard in sim racing in a matter of years. In fact, I wrote a long post about what I expected from the future as of 2006, which can still be read here.

    Well, back to reality. The reality for me is the same as it was 7 years ago: rFactor. Bigger screen, better fps, better mod, better plugins. Sure. But still: rFactor. Now, don't get me wrong. I am the first one to admit that the FSR 2013 mod is the best ever that I have driven. I dare to say it even knowing that I was involved in the development myself (well, the main thanks goes to David Dominguez). Unlike many rFactor mods, FSR 2013 has not been developed through Random Notepad Input Method (TM), but by carefully considering data available from real cars.

    Still, a mod can only do so much. Since 4 years ago I have been expecting the next generation of simulators to come. But they are still not here for FSR. rFactor2 has all the dynamic features I requested in 2006: it has dynamic road, dynamic sky, dynamic wind, dynamic tire model with flatspots, dynamic tire wear and heating (thermal degradation etc). And yet we cannot use it since soon 2 years because, excuse me, the developer shot itself in the foot with a few bugs and unfinished features. It is what it is, a certain countryman of mine would say about the current situation.

    In conclusion, I don't feel like I can develop my approach enough anymore on the existing platform. Furthermore, I don't get the enjoyment anymore from countless hours of testing and fine-tuning the setup (I did before, believe it or not). I do get a level of enjoyment from the live races. It is always a great experience. Such as today. But the preparations and fine-tuning can simply be painful. Hours of hotlapping to find a good setup for Q1. Making the n:th random setup change to hope that something happens. I did this for too many hours in my life. The problem also falls back on the simulator: a more dynamic racing experience would reduce the need for this micro-management.

    There are some secondary, call it "interpersonal matters", to why I decided to retire for now as well, but I shall spare you from going through those. As for any future comebacks, if you read the headline it gives you a hint. Anyway, I am committed to finishing the season as WS director and now I have more time to do race articles as well, so that's another bonus.

    Finally, let me end with a quote I found fascinating (despite I am not 30 years of age yet, I am approaching...).

    Playboy: Do you know what you want to do with the rest of this lifetime?

    Jobs: There’s an old Hindu saying that comes into my mind occasionally: “For the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.” As I’m going to be 30 in February, the thought has crossed my mind.
    • Like Like x 22
  2. patrick de wit

    patrick de wit

    well what can i say
    I really bad decision John it was great to race with you all those years as you know i started also back in 2006 same honour started in WC 1st ever race ever hehe:)

    Anyways i really hoped you would continu but as u took the decision to retire a real miss to FSR again FSR losing another familiar name a really dedicated 1 too!!!!!!!!!

    I still hope u will write articles and stuff they were really nice to read and for a driver points of vieuw always very very interesting!!!
    Real shame going to miss u after many many great battles not maybe all the cleanest but great battles we had in the past!!!!

    Looking forward to your articles!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope its not goodbye............

    See Ya soon!!!!!!!!!!

  3. EnyNX


    One word to you which covers many....respect.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Chris Knight

    Chris Knight

    john I hope you do come back. Ive not been able to race in a year and its killing me now. Being 32 I get to use the excuse of a hobby ;) I hope that whatever else you do you have as much fun as racing. Im sure a lot of people will miss you and that youll change your mind and come back
  5. Carlos Martín

    Carlos Martín

    Hope this is a see you soon not a good bye ;)
  6. Dian Kostadinov

    Dian Kostadinov

    Hope to see you soon on the grid mate :)
  7. Eros Masciulli

    Eros Masciulli

    I always enjoyed to race against you, you are the kind of simdriver that always leave you the right space and respect each other.
    I am "young" here so I don't know so much you as person, but I hope that you will have a comeback in racing.
  8. David Greco

    David Greco

    I second that, respect!