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Featured rF2 Development Roadmap: Porsche, UI and eSport

Discussion in 'rFactor 2' started by Paul Jeffrey, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    rF2 Porsche 1.jpg
    A little later than usual, Studio 397 have released their development roadmap for the month of August.


    Due to commitments at the Sim Racing Expo, Studio 397 have been a little bit behind schedule getting their latest roadmap post out into the wild - but fear not, it's here now and can be read in full below..

    ...

    Roughly a week later than normal, we bring you the monthly roadmap for August. Obviously we were at the SimRacing Expo last weekend, where we met a lot of you and showed off a pre-release version of the Porsche GT3 Cup car and the Nürburgring. Both are scheduled for a release in roughly two weeks from now, pending final approvals. But we have a lot of other news to share with you too, so let’s get started!

    A1 eSport season 2
    A1 eSport is back with yet another season, after a great first season. Once again the races will start off with a hotlap session, and then in each weekend following a race. A total of 5 races will be run before heading to the showdown and shootout and finally the finale in late October hosted in Vienna. Just like last season. The big difference here is that now every European can participate, not just German speaking residents. Sign up is open now, first round starts at midnight on the 9th of September. Lets go! If you want to get a glimpse of what you’re getting yourself into, on their website you can see what the last season finale looked like.

    Porsche Formula E Competition IAA Frankfurt
    In roughly a week from now, the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt starts again, and on the last day of this huge show we will be collaborating with Porsche to run a full day of Formula E races. The qualifiers for this event have already been decided. Congratulations to the four finalists who will compete against the Porsche Formula E factory drivers on stage! If you are planning in visiting the show and are there on the last Sunday, please drop by and say hi, watch the show and have a go yourself.

    World’s Fastest Gamer 2
    Qualifiers for rFactor 2 have been run and if you have not seen the final race, check it out below. Erhan Jajovski won the race in great style and we wish him all the best in the finals later this year. Although at this point little is known yet about these finals, we are confident that these will be something very special, so watch this space and the WFG2 site for more information.


    Code Updates
    After the first technical update last month, we have now released another one that addresses the “leave lags” that people were experiencing in some circumstances. Specifically when someone with a car with non-standard upgrades left the server, this would cause a lag that propagated to all other clients. Our latest update fixes that. Next on our list are some smaller usability issues. We are also still analyzing any freezes that specific clients are having.

    The rest of our development team is working hard on finishing the UI we previewed at the SimRacing Expo. If you missed our live broadcast on Twitch on Sunday, check it out HERE.

    We want to thank everybody for providing a lot of comments on this new UI. Just to clarify where we are with this. Our first release is a starting point for many more tweaks and improvements, so if you don’t see your favorite improvement yet, don’t worry, things will evolve!

    With the new UI, we are also going to release the first version of our competition system, and although we did not demo any of that in the video we did at the SimRacing Expo, we will start showing it in the weeks to come.

    Our graphics developers in the meantime are working on some more fundamental changes to the lighting and the way our shaders work. The move to PBR triggered a few other issues that we are fixing right now and at the same time we are improving how our shaders work, by streamlining the number of different shaders we have and making new ones that can be customized a lot more by artists. Once these things are done, we are continuing our work on cockpit shaders. Prototypes for that were very encouraging.

    Content
    For those of you who could not attend the SimRacing Expo we have some more shots of the Porsche GT3 Cup car. The car is officially still a “Work In Progress” but as you can see, it’s coming along nicely. Obviously we are already planning new content beyond the things that will be in your hands in a few more weeks, but we’ll save that for another roadmap.

    rF2 Porsche 2.jpg rF2 Porsche 3.jpg rF2 Porsche 4.jpg rF2 Porsche 5.jpg rF2 Porsche 6.jpg
    That’s all for this month. We’ll be back in roughly three weeks with next month’s roadmap which will be back on schedule. In the meantime we would like to wish everybody a lot of fun simracing, and stay safe!

    rFactor 2 is a racing simulation exclusively available for PC.

    For more news from the world of rFactor 2, check out the RaceDepartment rFactor 2 sub forum and join in with the community discussion. If you like racing in a clean and fun environment online, why not check out the RaceDepartment rFactor 2 Racing Club? Get yourself in on the action!

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  2. Dave Thayer

    Dave Thayer

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    Nice to see what the new UI looks like. I didnt see anything about the content manager for RF2. thanks for the video stream and look forward to the new look.
     
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  3. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    This is probably me showing my age, but I get this feeling we're all kind of getting the whole eSport thing pushed on us (and this isn't specifically leveled at S397, it goes beyond that).

    As a general rule, I don't think many people even within the hard core gaming demographic pay much attention to eSport or have any intention to begin doing so.

    If you yourself participate and/or follow eSport and enjoy it, don't let me spoil your fun. Just saying I'm not holding my breath waiting for this to be the next big thing. I'd rather see a sim dev give us a true iRacing competitor in terms of an online competition system.

    I do watch people play video games (specifically sim racing), but I stick with Jimmy Broadbent, GamerMuscle, etc on YouTube. They are fun dudes and get excited/frustrated with the same pointless crap I do, so it's good entertainment. I feel like I am in the mood to watch a real race long before I would ever have the urge to tune into an eSport race.
     
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  4. Lennart Groessl

    Lennart Groessl

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    Nothing to do with age :)
    Im 18 and have the same view on this eSports stuff.
     
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  5. Raging Beard

    Raging Beard
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    Likewise, I love simming, but find I have absolutely no interest in any of the eSport stuff. Looking forward to other updates though.
     
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  6. Cheesenium

    Cheesenium

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    I enjoy racing, I too, has zero interest in esports as if I want to race racing, I’ll watch the real thing since there are bound to be racing events all year round. I rather watch F1 over any virtual racing. It does not interest me to watch a bunch of people racing with plastic wheels when the real sport is easily available.

    I really hope developers aren’t going to cram esports down on every game. Esports is what killed RTS genre as after the heights of starcraft 1 esports went, developers are becoming more and more conservative RTS designs to accomodate the extreme minority of players who demand esports. In turn, they produced some of the most boring and lifeless RTS, such as Dawn of War 3 to accomodate esports. I hate to see racing games decline because of conservative designs to accomodate the extreme or high end side of esports.
     
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  7. JTRaceFan17

    JTRaceFan17

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    UI looks awesome!
     
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  8. gwp2112

    gwp2112

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    Regarding the UI it would be interesting to have the option of putting together a custom grid and to be able to choose not only the cars but also the skins with which you want to compete. Something similar to what content manager offers in Assetto Corsa.
    Sorry my bad english.
     
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  9. R1Joel

    R1Joel

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    I don't understand. You aren't forced to compete in eSports, you aren't forced to watch eSports, so what is the problem? How is it getting pushed onto you?
    The way I see it, being inolved with eSport competitions brings new things into the games and opens up partnerships between companies and the developer. Like McLaren Shadow last time.
    Not only that, but whether you like it or not eSport competitions are very popular and only getting bigger, so the more a developer becomes involved, the more potential audience they reach = more money = better game in the long run.
     
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  10. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    If you mean the competition system very very little is known about it. Is it going to have ratings for safety/speed or not, is it official scheduled races, is it a matchmaker, is it a calendar where leagues can post their time slots, is it some kind of management system which allows control of entry lists for leagues and individual races, can users create their own events using the system or is it fully s397 controlled, is it a server browser, is it accessed from the game or through a website. We basically don't know anything about it except that in some ways it can do e-sports.
     
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  11. 2stains

    2stains

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    I'm interested in the Cup car but hope those aren't the only skins S397 add ! They have a bad history of adding only a few decent skins :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Jonathan Young

    Jonathan Young
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    Just me that thinks the new UI doesn’t look great? It’s cleaner and more modern, so that’s an improvement, but the UX doesn’t look much better. They need to employ someone with experience in building interfaces IMHO
     
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  13. JTRaceFan17

    JTRaceFan17

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    It's simple, modern, easy to use -- What more do you want in a UI?
     
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  14. T04STY

    T04STY

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    That's what we have mods for ;)

    But I have to agree. The few default skins they usually add are pretty...meh.
     
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  15. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    The UX abilities of the ui depend almost completely on the underlying engine and what it can do. For example if the game has no files to show any kind of car specific info then the ui has no such info to show even if it could show it. The reason content manager in ac for example can do so much is because all of the info is easily available to it and intelligently available for editing.

    For example in ac just to list all the skins the program just needs to read the folder names in the skins folder of each car, open the jpg file inside each to show a preview and show some info from an openly readable json text file. Nothing encrypted and everything editable and moddable without even affected online compatibility. In rf2 all the files are locked and packed and accessed through many hoops and jumps through many files that must be all read to get the full info about the car. And what is not the car. So to list the car skins the ui needs to unpack many files to get to the preview images, veh files and car files which are all independently packed and non-modifiable and are all connected through spaghetti of connections. Or don't even exist. Which is not just slow but very complex to even code such system for so archaic set of files. Or try to change after the release of after years and years of the release!

    Such system works fine for closed game like f1 2001 or gtr2 when the complexity can be managed with specific triggers because you know beforehand all the combinations you are putting into the game and you can basically write a single if clause for each of them. But horrible awful for a modding platform where you have hundreds of cars, tracks, series, types of classes, categories and whatever packages and folder/mas structures. And no documentation to show the right way to make things. The ui can do very little to ease the pain because the game can't give to the ui what it needs to give the user good ux solutions to this mess. It is super easy to make a car browser or grid builder for a game that just has 2001 f1 cars but when you have hundreds of cars, series, categories, classes etc for some reason the same system struggles to be usable as anything other than social science experiment.

    It is not s397's fault. It is yet another fail from isi. The way the veh files work is that they have big impact on the look and functionality of the cars so ithe needs to be locked away but you can't make skins with locked files so you need to add another thing on top of another thing to get that functionality into the game, kind of. Because the folder and file structure is in this way set it seems it is pretty much impossible expect a meaningful change. If it has taken years to just make new ui that has the same old functionality as the old one then you can just imagine what a mountain of work it would be to bring the rf2 UX forward from its 2001 roots where it is shackled with past poor decisions and inflexibility of current content file structures. I think it is a miracle s397 is even trying. A very positive thing even if severely limited in its scope to make a meaningful change for the better.
     
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  16. Nick Gregory

    Nick Gregory
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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    Well, either wait for community made liveries, or just make your own.
     
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  17. 2stains

    2stains

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    That's not really a noob user friendly thought though! Even adding mod skins in rF2 isn't as easy as adding a car/track mod is it?
     
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  18. T04STY

    T04STY

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    Well it basically is. It's just drag n drop, often it's just in a different location then the cars and tracks.

    Edit: No idea how someone can disagree with that. It's LITERALLY drag and drop. Drag the stuff for the skin and drop it in the correct location:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  19. Gadaga

    Gadaga

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    Same goes for me! It's interesting to realise this though. It may be a sign that we really don't feel that sim racing is so interesting to look at but why... Do we have less respect for the abilities of those who are good at this? And why so? Because on our Sims we take no risks (in crashes etc), because all people attending just had to buy a PC and go for it, whereas in real racing these guy's are dedicating their entire lives to it? Or because looking at a race commented by guys like us (hobbyists) on a monitor with graphics way behind those on a 55 inch TV with professional presenters is not the same thing at all? Or because we don't want to 'waste' time looking at others simracing while we could do it ourselves at home against AI or multiplayer at a moment in time WE chose ourselves?

    I think it's a bit of all re of these reasons I, and, so it seems, many others, do not have interest in eSport.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  20. Gadaga

    Gadaga

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    And... Although this is a different subject... Why are some of us not so happy with all this eSport 'thing'... Maybe because we think that the time invested in this by the developers could be used on more important topics like further increasing simulation realism, sound system (long way to go) or graphics. But of course, the good thing is that the developments for eSport will fine-tune the multiplayer part and introduce some kind of safety rating...
     
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