Check out our latest 'Talk 'n' Drive' video of the new rFactor 2 laserscanned Sebring, and developer interview with Marcel Offermans… The release of Sebring as a new official DLC for rFactor 2 has got plenty of gamers excited in the sim racing world, with the track representing a very first laserscanned location for rFactor 2 and a significant step up in quality over previous content releases for the simulation. With the circuit having now been in the public domain for a few days, we thought it a good time to have a go ourselves, share our experiences and have a chat with one of the men behind the magic, Studio 397's very own, Marcel Offermans… RD: Congratulations on the release of Sebring! What does it mean to you and the team bringing the first laserscanned circuit to the sim? MO: Thank you very much. This release obviously means a lot for us for a couple of reasons. First of all, because we wanted to bring popular and iconic tracks to rFactor 2. Secondly, because we knew we wanted to step up to bring a highly accurately built track based on a very precise laser scan. The unique challenge we had was how to combine that with the dynamics of our realroad system. We ended up building a very detailed road mesh that is used both for all physics calculations and for the visualisation: What you see is what you get! RD: Does the Sebring release mark the first of more laserscanned content coming to the sim in future? MO: Certainly! We have already licensed the next track, and this upcoming week we will start production. We're going to keep the name a secret for now, but it's safe to say we will be building more tracks of this quality. RD: On to the track itself, what decision making process did you go through when choosing Sebring as a circuit to bring to rF2? MO: There were many different factors that led us to choose Sebring as the first track. We were looking for an iconic track, and obviously one that suited the cars we were developing. Another factor was the licensing discussions, and it turned out that Sebring was a great partner to work with, which helped us a lot, allowing us track time a few weeks before the 2018 12 hour event. Finally, we were looking for a track that would really showcase the details that a laser scan bring, and there is probably no better place than Sebring to do that, with all its cracks and bumps. RD: Some people have questioned the price of this DLC, stating it is perhaps a touch high compared to some other simulations. What do you have to say in response to those comments? MO: We set out and succeeded in creating a track that is of the highest standard, matching or beating tracks in the other simulations out there in terms of detail both on and around the track. We priced the track to match that quality and ended up being neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. Obviously everybody is entitled to their own opinion. We listen to those opinions and respect them and I'm not going to argue with people about that. I sometimes do wonder how people manage to spend thousands of euros on their rigs and computer hardware and expect the software to be so much cheaper. RD: New GT cars, new tyre model improvements, Sebring, LMP2, LMP3, VR improvements, performance improvements… the list of upgrades to rF2 have been significant of late. Can you share some ideas of what is next in line for rF2, short and longer term? MO: We are obviously still working hard on bringing our new UI and competition system, and those are two items that are really at the top of our list right now. Obviously the team will also keep bringing improvements wherever we can, both in terms of physics and graphics. Our car team is working on several new and free McLaren cars that will be used for the McLaren Shadow Project competition, as well as a couple of cars that will be part of our next pack. Our track team as I said is just starting on a new track, and we are in the final phases of production and testing for both Botniaring and Zandvoort. The latter will include no less than five layouts. Both will be free. RD: S397 are heading for your 2nd year anniversary since taking over rF2, are you where you expected to be in the development cycle, and what would you say has been the biggest challenge encountered so far? MO: Our second anniversary is coming up indeed at the SimRacing Expo in September. In terms of the development cycle I think we've addressed some of the core issues we saw. We have a much nicer and faster, DX11 based graphics engine with VR support. Big licenses for cars, such as being the first to have the BMW M8 GTE, and tracks, providing what we believe to be the best laserscanned version of Sebring in any sim, as well as a host of free content is pretty much on track and we're still ramping up there. Where we are a bit behind on our schedule is on the new UI and competition infrastructure. We're building on a lot of existing components, but still it is a lot of work and we probably underestimated that a bit. Our biggest challenge definitely has been to balance all the amazing opportunities we've had in the past two years! rFactor 2 is available exclusively for PC from Steam now. Check out the rFactor 2 sub forum here at RaceDepartment for all the latest news and discussion with regards to the simulation. You can take part in lively debates with fellow rFactor 2 fans and take part in some great Club and League racing events..! Head over to the forum now and share the love this simulation so very much deserves... 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