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rFactor 2 | Cadillac DPi & More In October Development Roadmap

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
Studio 397 have released their latest 'Development Roadmap' for rFactor 2, giving out plenty of information about the future direction of the simulation.
  • Cadillac DPi confirmed.
  • First pass of Competition System due before Christmas.
  • UI responsiveness improvements coming.

The latest Roadmap posting from the Dutch development studio continues to give players and fans of rFactor 2 a nice look behind the curtain at the studio, with insight into some of the things that are heading to rFactor 2, and highlights from the current month.

Check out the full roadmap post below:


Roadmap day!

Hello everyone and welcome to the rFactor 2 October Development Roadmap – can you believe it’s been a month already since we last wrote about the happenings back at Studio 397 HQ? It’s certainly been another busy one for us here in the team, as we continue to push hard to make rFactor 2 the simulation we all know it can become. Although the festive holidays are getting ever closer, that certainly doesn’t mean we are taking our foot off the gas behind the scenes, far from it in fact.

So, what’s been cooking back at base, and what do we have to look forward to in the very near future?

rF2 1.jpg



First, let’s have a quick look at some of the highlights from the last month before we dig a little deeper into what’s coming up.

We’ve been busy recently adding some quality of life improvements to existing content within the simulation, and I think it fair to say that the changes we’ve brought to the Nürburgring Nordschleife in particular have elevated the circuit right into the top echelons of track content within rFactor 2.

Nürburgring Nordschleife DLC | Purchase HERE.

We’ve been delighted with the visual uplift our latest PBR update has brought to the venue, and we are gratified to see the community appears to agree!

Ermin Hamidovic




Since the update deployed for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, we’ve realised a few little details have been overlooked during the PBR facelift, details like curb visuals at key points of the circuit for example, so we’ve got our track team back on the case and should be in a position to push out a new update for this immense circuit in the not too distant future.

In terms of cars, we also deployed a new GT3 AI BOP that added significant improvements to the way the AI drivers behave and their balance of performances against each vs and the player, which came directly off the back of our new Bentley and Ferrari DLC releases; really helping to flesh out the GT3 category of cars within rFactor 2 as the class continues to prove itself as an exceptionally popular choice within the sim racing community.

Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO 2020 | Purchase HERE.

Bentley Continental GT3 2020 | Purchase HERE.

rF2 2.jpg



Also on the topic of cars, October would see us release a new build for the often overlooked Stock Car 2018 content. We are delighted to see that the new update seems to have done a great job of bringing these powerful and entertaining cars back into the consciousness of the sim racing community – and hopefully exposing some players to a new and enjoyable driving experience that they perhaps overlooked earlier in their rFactor 2 adventures.

Stock Car 2018 | Download HERE.

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In terms of competitions, this month marked the start of our two premium Esport racing series – as the very best of the rFactor 2 racing community took to the circuit for the opening rounds of our returning GT Pro and GT Challenge Powered by VCO championships – taking in the bumps and twists of Sebring and Portland in two incredibly entertaining encounters out on the virtual track.

While those championships kicked off in fine style, another popular series would come to its dramatic conclusion this month too – with the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup hosting its final round at the daunting Nordschleife – another fantastic series that really showcased some virtual driving heroics amongst our Esport drivers. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the drivers adapted to the BMW M2 CS Racing machine, and look forward to hosting more action with this car in the future.

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Now, before we get onto the subject of future goodies within the world of rFactor 2, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a very insightful interview our Managing Director Marcel Offermans recently undertook with sim racing YouTuber Ermin Hamidovic… be warned, it’s a long watch but well worth an hour of your time…



So, let’s talk about the future. We are continuously working hard behind the scenes to bring as much development and improvement to rFactor 2 as we possibly can, whilst juggling that difficult tightrope of ensuring the base software remains stable, and any unexpected issues are identified and resolved as quickly as possible.

Often we hear the community asking for certain improvements within the simulation, and of course we see and hear as many of these comments as we possibly can. Rest assured, we as just as keen as the community to bring all of these suggestions and more into the title in the future.

One such item is our Competition System – something we believe will add considerable enrichment to the online multiplayer experience of our players. Before we talk about that though, let’s examine the state of the new UI.

rF2 5.jpg



As we explained in some earlier roadmaps, the new UI should be seen as a new beginning, its initial version offering most if not all of the features that were in the old UI, and quite a few tweaks and improvements. It integrates the old launcher with its multiplayer and package management features as well as the workshop and store interfaces. For quite a while we have developed both versions side by side, which allowed us to get a lot of feedback from the community. Ultimately though, maintaining both versions is slowing us down… so before the end of the year we are switching!

We are also taking that opportunity to cease updates to the 32 bits version of rFactor 2. Steam hardware surveys for our simulation have shown us that everybody is on 64 bits operating systems right now, so this move should be completely transparent.

While we are on the subject of compatibility, for a while now we have been shipping updated versions of our 3D Studio Max plugins, originally for 2021, and more recently both for 2017 and 2021 versions of their software. Our new policy when it comes to these tools is that we will support the latest version of 3D Studio Max as neither 2012 nor 2017 can be bought anymore.

rF2 6.jpg



So with the new UI in place, we have a solid basis for the competition system. Our primary goal is to ensure that the system provides everybody with something to race, every day and at every level. That requires an integration that makes participating in competitions as painless as possible.

We do that by making sure that once you’ve decided on the competition you want to join, we automatically subscribe you to any content you might need. If the competition uses content you need to buy, we will list that too and figure out the best deal for you to get the missing content. With the content in place, joining a session becomes painless. You just show up and register and as soon as it starts we automatically connect you to the server for your split. When you are done, the standings so far can be reviewed in the competition overview.

The first public beta should be released in time for the holiday season. The focus is on running a variety of competitions, trying out different formats and gathering feedback from the community about the direction they would like this to go in. Some parts of the system will not be immediately available, such as the rating system, a way to submit protests and endurance racing. Those are planned in the first half of 2021.

rF2 7.jpg


In other developments, we’ve also been working hard prototyping a new way of rendering the UI – these are very much still in development but results have been very encouraging behind the scenes and we can’t wait to share our hard work with you as part of the next update. The old UI, and until now the new UI, used the graphics thread to render as well as do everything else that a user could command. This included loading new cars, tracks and series, responding to questions from the operating system, and just about anything else you can think of. Needless to say some of these things take time, and during that time the UI basically was “frozen”. That was easily visible in some of the UI transitions we have in the new UI, that would sometimes animate inconsistently or even freeze up completely, and if you looked for it, you could see similar things in the old UI. What we have now done is leverage the fact that modern CPUs have four or more cores and put the rendering of the UI on a separate thread. This means that no matter what the code is doing in the background, the UI will remain responsive, and going forward we will leverage and extend this design to make as many things that take time load incrementally.

rF2 8.jpg



To take us back to the topic of content, as we released a nice update for the Stock Car 2018 cars this month, we’ve also resolved to bring a new Stock Car Rules Plugin and some userguide instructions to support better use of these powerful cars. We didn’t want to hold back the car update while we finish off developing these tools however, but we still have a little way to go in order to get these finalised and pushed out to the wider community. Fear not, we are close to the finish line getting the userguide and plugin ready to go, and we will of course keep you updated as to when these can be expected to release for the simulation.

Still on the subject of content, we did speak about some new licence agreements secured by our licencing team recently, and of these new cars we just couldn’t resist sharing some very early development screenshots…

rF2 9.jpg



Can you tell what it is? Yes, those of you with a good knowledge of Prototype cars will have spotted this is the exceptional Cadillac DPi-V.R that has competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America since 2017.

We’ve been working exceptionally closely with JDC-Miller MotorSports on this new car, and the relationship with the team has proven to be an outstanding collaboration that is really helping us to go that extra step in terms of access and data, resulting it what is turning out to be a very detailed and realistic new addition to the car content portfolio within rFactor 2. As you may know, JDC-Miller Motorsports are a long established racing team that have taken part in numerious series across the world, from F2000 and Star Mazda to top tier international prototype racing. The team are responsible for running a two-car Cadillac Prototype DPi program in the US IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, allowing Studio 397 some incredible access to the inner workings of how these amazing machines are put together, and run out on the race track.

The Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype is a potent race car, a high speed and high downforce pure racer that represents the first official Cadillac involvement in top level motorsport since the Northstar LMP of 2002. We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this outstanding machine to rFactor 2, and what’s more it will form part of a wider car pack that we plan to release close to the holiday season… but more on that next month…

Regarding tracks, although not Nürburgring specific, we couldn’t resist popping in another image from the German venue to illustrate our next point… in recent weeks we’ve been working hard developing a feature that dropped out of rFactor 2 over the passage of time, but is set to come back strongly in the near future… god rays!

rF2 10.jpg



Previously this feature just didn’t quite work how we would have liked in rFactor 2, so we turned the functionality off a little while ago while our code and art team went to work understanding how we can make it better within the title, while not inducing a considerable impact on how the simulation performs. We feel like the time is right to start sharing some of the fruits of our labours with you all, and as you can see from the screenshot in this post, visually we feel the new god rays within rFactor 2 really bring another important layer of immersion to the playing experience – which is always the aim of the game within our current graphics engine updates. We remain hard at work testing and fine tuning these graphical improvements within the simulation, hopefully with a view to getting them back out into the title in the near future.

That pretty much wraps up most of what we can speak about for this month, rest assured we continue to put in the hours and hard work behind the scenes to continue developing, expanding, enhancing and improving rFactor 2 in the weeks, months and years ahead.

If you haven’t joined in the rFactor 2 adventure yet, now might be a good time to dip into our rich pool of content with the current Steam Halloween Sale, running from October 29th to November 2nd. You can check out the rFactor 2 Steam Halloween Sale items HERE and grab yourself a bargain!


Oh, one last thing before we sign out for this month.. we’ve actually got a new and currently unannounced track that will be releasing in November. We’ve hinted about the track a little already, so stay tuned to our rFactor 2 Social Media accounts in the next couple of weeks for the big reveal… we think you’ll be happy…

Stay safe, drive fast (on the virtual tracks) and see you all again next month.


Original Source: Studio 397

rFactor 2 is available now, exclusively on PC.

Check out the rF2 sub forum here at RaceDepartment for a great place to hang out with your fellow fans of the title, discuss the latest news and get advice on how to make the most from your simulation. Join in and start a new thread today!

rF2 header.jpg
 
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While we are on the subject of compatibility, for a while now we have been shipping updated versions of our 3D Studio Max plugins, originally for 2021, and more recently both for 2017 and 2021 versions of their software. Our new policy when it comes to these tools is that we will support the latest version of 3D Studio Max as neither 2012 nor 2017 can be bought anymore.
Funny guys. Like modders had the money to buy 3DS Max.
How about an official plugin for Blender instead?
 
The dpi is definitely exciting.
I really hope they will fix the performance issues with nords endurance. It is unacceptable that the fps tanked so hard when there are more cars on it. No point having nords when I can only hotlap it.
 
Bias or no bias, what the users of the game might want is to be able to use the game somehow , S397 isnt at fault here per se but one tends to think that perhaps on these years its been on their hands that primary thing wasnt the main focus, i bought the game alot of years ago for 80 dollars from ISI... in all those years i can count by my fingers the amount of times i really had fun playing it! ( always in private races organized by friends or communities) .. the UI fiasco ( theres full games developed faster ) and that lack of ways to properly enjoy it is what perhaps makes people sour about it... im glad they are addressing this by this christmas 2020... oh and before i am beheaded by some Tyre model from nasa fan i have been suporting as much as i can S397 (Bought most DLCs), for many reasons, one of them being that i find Marcel a genuine and passionate person about the sim ...
 
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avenger82

Krzysztof Maj
The RSS DPI mods are excellent. Hope s397 secures more licensing to bring us Mazda and Acura as well. Maybe with it the NSX GT3 as well. Also new track Spa?

Also side note, anyone else having trouble adding more then a certain amount of AI to Nurburgring 24 hour layout with the new UI? Sometimes it lets me add 31, sometimes 32. Old UI lets me add as many as I want.
And they are free. Although they seem too planted or lifeless, but I never raced anything like than IRL so who knows.
 
Also side note, anyone else having trouble adding more then a certain amount of AI to Nurburgring 24 hour layout with the new UI? Sometimes it lets me add 31, sometimes 32. Old UI lets me add as many as I want.

How is the performance of Nords with large number of AI? Since they updated with PBR, I can barely run it at more than 30 FPS when other tracks are able to run it at 80 FPS. It’s absurd that they did not bother to optimise the track much and expected people to pay so much money for a track that barely work.
 
How is the performance of Nords with large number of AI? Since they updated with PBR, I can barely run it at more than 30 FPS when other tracks are able to run it at 80 FPS. It’s absurd that they did not bother to optimise the track much and expected people to pay so much money for a track that barely work.

I only use single screen, it feels about the same as before the PBR update. It stutters every once in a while but runs about the same, my PC is also low to mid range so I don't expect too much. I haven't checked FPS before or after update so I can't say for sure. This is with 40-450 AI on N24 layout.

From day one, I've never been able to get the new UI to work.
It crashes to desktop every time - even the latest version.
Am I screwed when they revert to the new UI exclusively?

No because this was happening to me when I first tried the new UI. I can't for the life of me remember the setting I changed. I believe it was a some sort of video setting you change in the launcher (do this before switching to new UI), I know that much for sure. Next day off when I have some seat time I'll try to remember to check.
 
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All nice sounding improvements but really hoping the AI will get a proper multi-class review at some point, what with all the great endurance content it’s a shame how how AI makes multi-class racing irrelevant.

Anyone who follows the game closer than me know what these track hints are? Ive had a quick peek but nothing jumps out.
Spa
 
From day one, I've never been able to get the new UI to work.
It crashes to desktop every time - even the latest version.
Am I screwed when they revert to the new UI exclusively?
Maybe try reinstalling the game. Backup your Installed folder first if you have any non Workshop mods and also backup any custom controller profiles on in the UserData folder.

Then reinstall and try running the default which is the old UI first and let all the content install along with workshop content sync etc. And then maybe switch it to a lower resolution and set the window to windowed or borderless. Then switch to the beta branch to see if the new UI loads.

Or it might just be a corrupted file somewhere so maybe just backup your UserData folder and clear that out and then try. Point being to start from scratch to eliminate anything created over time that might cause a conflict.

And it may also help if you lower graphics settings and then ramp them back up if and when you get the new UI to load.

I have things running ok but it gets funky every now and then so I feel your pain ;)
 
Funny guys. Like modders had the money to buy 3DS Max.
How about an official plugin for Blender instead?

Autodesk offers now indie license for 3ds max. It costs 200-300€ per year, depends your home country. It’s not a much per month.

Of course it would be nice to have external editor which supports .fbx or other common format, so modders can use any modelling software they want.
 
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I only use single screen, it feels about the same as before the PBR update. It stutters every once in a while but runs about the same, my PC is also low to mid range so I don't expect too much. I haven't checked FPS before or after update so I can't say for sure. This is with 40-450 AI on N24 layout.

This is really strange, I can run at most a handful of cars on the endurance layouts. Not up to 90 cars limit they have.
 
This is really strange, I can run at most a handful of cars on the endurance layouts. Not up to 90 cars limit they have.
I was able to get 90 in practice. There were some micro pauses, easily handled since I grew up with F12000 which paused whenever a new driver connected(freeze your hands for just a moment) But I never ran a full session to see how it transferred or how a race itself worked out. I'll have to try and test some more soon.
 
Funny guys. Like modders had the money to buy 3DS Max.
How about an official plugin for Blender instead?
Agree on that one, for normal people (not students or their teachers) a Max 2021 license costs 267 euro's per month, or some 2100 euro's per year.
Than add a Photoshop and a Substance license to get the textures and the PBR shaders under full control, that sets you back 35,- euro's per month
That's not to bad compared to Max. But total that to 200,- to 300,- euro's a month is still some serious money for doing free mods.

Offcourse there are cheaper workarounds, but if DEV's in general would have focussed on Blender some years ago.
Those tools would be just as useful as the Max tools.
 
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Funny guys. Like modders had the money to buy 3DS Max.
How about an official plugin for Blender instead?

Exactly lol But what else could be expected really, they work with 3Ds and share their tools with modders, so thats fair. Blender has been mentioned in the past, they were considering supporting it too, but who knows when and or if ever. Meanwhile there is one guy working on addon to enable blender to be able to export rF2 stuff, he has been doing that since forever, and currently is still working on 2.8 version blender addon, but it is same story - absolutely no idea how his progress is, doesn't communicate that much, just like real developer lol they talk so little haha

Autodesk offers now indie license for 3ds max. It costs 200-300€ per year, depends your home country. It’s not a much per month.

Of course it would be nice to have external editor which supports .fbx or other common format, so modders can use any modelling software they want.


200-300€ per year to spend lots of your time to develop something for community and then possibly not even get any feedback lol (it starts making better sense to do mods personally for yourself sadly). Still much. Personally I don't even like 3Ds max.

External editor would be brilliant... They had one already called "gJed", but discontinued it unfortunately... Anyway there still had to be specific fbx export with specifically flagged meshes and objects for rF2.


I have few mods partly ported to rF2 with blender. I used Travellers blender 2.79 addon and gJed (that was already not supported anymore). Travellers addon was able to export .gmt files directly, but it was a bit too dark area for me. Coming from AC it was nice to have an external editor step. So I was able to do something by exporting .fbx and opening it with gJed. There were some imperfections and difficulties since the blender script was originally meant to export .gmt and gJed was outdated already....

Modding.... but who cares about it really. Developers release "usual suspects" content what majority of guys want. Modding could fill in the cavities, such as historic content, street content... but who cares anymore... I am hugelly pessimistic about broader modding support in rF2 (that would be blender support), as well as pessimistic about ever having healthy modding development process again where community puts in their support and you could actually feel not alone... which I feel ended when Kunos has closed their subforum of WIP modding... and it still got outmodded to the insanity.
 
Glad they are looking at the threading issues in the UI, but really that should have been investigated when working on the reskin. It's just an atrocious UX.

I've launched rf2 for the first time in a couple of months and have been sitting here for ~15 mins while it installs mod updates and now loading the nordschleife. It's funny because most "older" games run faster on modern hardware (all installed on a fast nvme drive) but not this game for some reason.

Count me as one of the ppl who lost interest in rf2 a while ago but eagerly read the updates, waiting for big news. Respect to the team for plugging away at it I truly hope you get there.

EDIT: Game finally loaded, but ran like a dog. Tweaked the graphics settings and reloaded, another 10 minutes later, 99% and CRASH to desktop! Bringing back all the memories of having these problems in the past, and all the frustrations. I don't have time to waste on this so I'm just going back to ACC now instead of wasting my time here. Sorry if this triggers anyone, but it doesn't really seem acceptable to me!
 
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