rFactor 2 - A Change of Perspective

Danny Asbury

Sadly, most of us simracers only get to play the sims. Which is cool, hence the hobby. But few of us get the chance to develop the games and sims we love. Well, Tim Wheatley, an employee of ISI for over a year, was kind, and brutal, enough to give us a look at the development of a top tier simulator such as rFactor 2 from the developer’s standpoint.
On his personal blog, Tim goes over a few notes he’s picked up as a developer when it comes to the public’s sentiment toward games under development. He provides a list of things they, the developers, keep in mind while working on their games.

1. Nothing ever really goes to plan. You can sometimes keep to a rough timetable, but that’s as good as it gets.

2. If something does go perfectly to plan, be ready for it to go wrong. Be ready for that ugly bug to surface and make you look foolish on the day of your big release. If you set yourself a date, be ready to miss it, or, be ready to release a patch fixing it.

2b. Don’t roll-back on a bad release. You’ll get killed for that. For some reason people like it better when they have to use something which is broken rather than go back to an older version. They also seem to be a lot more grateful when you fix it.

3. The public doesn’t usually get to see software in the early stages, and no amount of “WIP” mentions seems to help them understand that the visuals you’re giving them don’t represent what they’ll be potentially buying. But, with that said, many of them truly appreciate the insight you gave them once they have their hands on the software.

17. It’s both a game and a sim. Developers will probably call it both, because it is both. Customers don’t usually agree.

Tim later goes on to discuss some of rFactor 2’s features, such as the drying race line in a wet race. “...I still look back at Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 3 and think about the rain effects and the drying line, thinking how massive it was, and rFactor 2 is really the first software to try to do that effectively since then…”

He also commented on how he hopes the public won’t overlook certain features of the game that the developers have put a lot of time and care into. “…I’m just fearful we’ll see one feature talked about while everything else that I think makes rF2 fantastic (as a package) won’t get a mention…”

Finally, in his article found at timwheatley.org, Tim says that ISI is finally ready to put some of the graphical effects into the development build of the software, thus allowing them to release screen shots that will more similarly depict what customers can expect from rFactor 2.

And, not to save the least information for last, Tim says he expects an initial release of rFactor 2 to happen in 2011.

To read the full article, head over to timwheatley.org

When done reading don't forget to join the discussions in our rFactor 2 forum right here at RaceDepartment.

Bram Hengeveld

Nice to see some news about rF2 again. Thanks Tim (and Danny) for taking the time to compile this long read, excellent!

Günthar Rowe

Ivo Simons;916133 said:
Public Beta is indeed always the best thing imo. :)Looking forward to it.
As I have found with even the small releases I do that don't even include the actual game engine, someone always finds an issue that is specific to a small group of users that is almost never found in a small (sub 100) testing team. A public beta is good news for the platform more than for us here and now getting our hand-on experience (altho nice), as the better the v1.0 release is the stronger the brand will be...

Have a look at Il-2 Cliffs of Dover, it's the follow on from one of the best WWII flight sims to date and was released too early in what some would call an Alpha and it's 6 months down the track and still struggling to convince it's main market it was not a waste of money at purchase.
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