rF2 | April Development Roadmap

Once again the end of the month brings with it new musing from various sim racing developers, with Studio 397 taking time out of their busy schedule to update us all on the progress of rFactor 2.

Yes, another month is over. Lockdown for many of us continues, and the world of racing remains in something of limbo. With little happening on the real tracks, much of the interesting action has been taking place on their virtual counterparts, with plenty of hard work being undertaken behind the scenes at various studios to maximise the current level of exposure our hobby is enjoying.

With the month having closed out, let's take a look at what Studio 397 have been doing these past few weeks:

This evening, after another extremely busy and exciting day at the virtual office, I had dinner, walked my dog, and finally sat down behind my desk. I put on some music to start writing the roadmap update for this month.
My mind started to wander. Four years ago this month I was in the middle of writing some code to extend the Steam integration of rFactor 2 when all of a sudden Gjon popped up on Skype to start a discussion that quickly transformed into an opportunity I simply had to take. Many interesting discussions followed as we worked towards founding a new company to continue the development of a racing simulation that I spent many hours driving, racing strangers that became close friends. One of the probably less important tasks on my checklist back then was to come up with a name for this new company. If you’ve ever gone through such a process, you probably know it’s not easy to find a name that is still available as a domain. We finally settled on the somewhat cryptic Studio 397, a hint at our desire to one day bring the iconic track of Le Mans to the simulation. For those of you not aware of the meaning of the number, it is the record number of laps driven during the 24 hour race.
Speeding along the virtual Mulsanne Straight, my mind wanders again as I think about the many stories that are attached to each of the tracks we’ve built over the years. Sunset bend, where we fielded a sister car with Robin Frijns and Dries van den Elzen, who wanted to experience first hand what it would be like to drive a 12 hour endurance race in a professional simulator. An old tool called Ring trainer for Grand Prix Legends introduced me to many unique spots of which Karussel is probably one of the best known. One weekend we drove a 24 hour race there only to learn at the finish that due to some technical issue we had to drive the whole race again the next weekend. Tarzan corner and its dunes where the place where I first met two people whom I now have the pleasure to work with. At the time they were both working on other projects, but our common love for simracing brought us together there. Over sixteen years ago, with some friends we founded Simracing for Holland, taking the iconic livery from Jan Lammers’ Racing for Holland. We are still racing today and the many people that raced with us over the years are on our blocked livery as a tribute.
As you’ve by now no doubt figured out, this roadmap is a bit different from the ones we regularly bring you at the end of the month. So are the current times obviously, where we should all stay in touch with our friends and loved ones, and support them wherever that is needed. With the whole motorsport world sitting at home, it is great to see all this attention on simracing. It pleasantly messes with our plans, and we are all grateful about that. You’ve seen us in the All-Star battles, where many current drivers and legends from the past enjoy themselves racing each other on equal terms. I personally thoroughly enjoyed watching for example Jan Magnussen and Jenson Button racing each other hard and fairly. I was also impressed by the Formula E drivers getting together and showing their skills on the narrow streets of Hong Kong. But apart from these global events, we also did a race on a regional dutch channel, racing a fictional track through the streets of Maastricht, broadcast by a local TV station that did an awesome job to draw in a large and diverse audience on TV and internet. And judging from the talks we are having now, we will create many more great stories in the weeks to come.
Earlier this month, the news that Stefano Casillo left Kunos to start a new adventure surprised a lot of people. It’s a bold move, but I believe he is following his passion and developing new software that soon might surprise a brand new audience. Or maybe we will all see him rock at Pinkpop next year?
So what’s cooking at our Studio? As I mentioned, a lot of our plans have been shuffled and re-arranged. Our track team finished Portland, but it won’t be released until we’ve finished our extensive lighting pass and released a new build. In the mean time they are working on two brand new tracks, as well as a few updates to our existing ones. Our car team completed a brand new car that we currently can’t release as its release was planned to coincide with the real car, and that has been delayed. Here too we moved on to the next car, which unfortunately we can’t announce just yet, but it’s a unique opportunity for our Studio. Our developers have been testing our new overlay system, making tweaks to ensure it can be properly customized. We also fixed a few long standing issues with our package management system, which delayed the pending update of the new UI. Development on the lighting system is now in a phase where artists and developers are iterating over many of the improvements to create the proper balance for each. We are also fixing some smaller bugs and discussing physics improvements. Our esports team is already looking ahead at future seasons for our GT series, planning the next race for BMW as well as streamlining our broadcast setups.
The hard thing right now is to predict what will happen next. Extrapolating based on the last weeks we can only say that we probably don’t know. As a good friend said to me, we need to be prepared for pleasant surprises, and on that note I wish everybody a healthy future, stay safe and look out for each other!
Marcel



Original Source: Studio 397.

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rFactor 2 Roadmap.jpg
 
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

blot

100RPM
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Mar 21, 2013
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I must make the effort to try and get back into RF2, AC, ACC and AMS2 are currently my go to sims.
 

BrunoB

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Oct 10, 2011
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Its impossible to have anything against Marcel Offermans relaxed description of how his thoughts are wandering.
Because he is probably a nice guy.:)
But am I the only one who think that his thoughts about the rF2 future development is a bit - ahh fluffy?:whistling:
 

Cote Dazur

SIM Addict
Premium
May 21, 2013
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“The hard thing right now is to predict what will happen next. Extrapolating based on the last weeks we can only say that we probably don’t know”

Not sure if this is just sad, but I know that it is not a “roadmap”.
That is someone lost not even looking for directions.
 

BrunoB

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Oct 10, 2011
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Personally my only problem with the fate rF2 probably will get is that I really like their tire model.
The way some of the cars in rF2 does behave (sideways) driving on the edge is sine qua none between racing sims today(IMO).
But I also have to admit that I consider the graphics, UI and game stability poo-ish:sneaky:
And considering AMS2 then I had hoped that they in some way would "transfer" some of the TM from rF2 - but it sounds like the cars behavoring are closer to pCars2:(
 

David DeGreef

R3E Racing Club Host US
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Dec 12, 2016
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Interesting to read Marcel's perspective of the past mixed with an unknown future. I wish him and his team health and clarity at this time, as I do all of us.
 
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b)b

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Jan 16, 2016
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rF2 in my opinion has the best tire model. Nothing beats a well tuned Porsche Cup on your favorite circuit.
In term of graphics, depending on tracks and lighting conditions it can well give other current sims a run for they money (with graphics maxed out and at 4K). Sebring is still the most spectacular track of any sim in term of atmosphere and details.
Not by much, but I prefer graphically Reiza's VIR in rF2 than in AMS2.
 

Ruy Horta

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Feb 17, 2014
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It is “highly likely” s397 is working on new tracks, cars and features.
Although the some of this content that has been finalized can’t be released or even described in any detail for various reasons.

What started as fluffy ended up sounding like the evening news.
That’s not the image you are looking for, you just have to trust me.

:sneaky:

ps I will swear not to target future s397 disclosures with ridicule or skepticism, I actually wish them well.
 

pcraenme

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Jun 26, 2011
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Quite a nostalgic roadmap this time from Marcel. Very understandable in these current times. The last sentence, we need to be prepared for pleasant surprises, is the one that gives me hope for the future. rF2 is still my number one racing sim. ACC is not diverse enough and AMS2 still has a long way to go (still gives me PC2 feelings in some areas, especially concerning the AI) to give me a similar feeling as rF2 does.
 

BrunoB

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Oct 10, 2011
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For anyone who hasn't seen the Button/Magnussen battle royal, it was quite magnificent.
Ohh thank you for this link.:thumbsup:
I watched the whole race - mainly just because Im a dane too(like Magnussen) - but what a race I saw:thumbsup:

And how refreshing it is to watch some kind of the same not-crashing-anyone approach as you see in RL F1 racing.
Between Magnussen and Button I mean.
To the contrary of normal MP racing where people mandatory take each other out.

ByTheWay: The few clip down to some of the participating Indy drivers did to the contrary show that just because you have a RL pro driver background there is no garantee that you will not use the same dirty tricks as is normal in MP racing. And with the same outcome(crashing out).:rolleyes:
 
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TTM75

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Sep 29, 2010
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I really hope that we don't have to wait many weeks to get new build with a "new" UI and from modders point of view, good updated documents how to make tracks and cars etc into game.
 

avenger82

Krzysztof Maj
Nov 5, 2011
424
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And considering AMS2 then I had hoped that they in some way would "transfer" some of the TM from rF2 - but it sounds like the cars behavoring are closer to pCars2:(
Unfortunately they only used ISI gMotor 2.5 to make their cars and don’t have rights to use the physics engine anywhere. Besides they decided to use pCars 2 Madness engine and have the ability to improve some parts , but they are mostly content providers.
 
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