And work goes on!… We continue to relentlessly hammer away at the new features and content mentioned in the previous roadmaps. And yes, you’ll be happy to know that this month is no exception: we will still manage to bring you some ‘new’ things to look forward to.
We know how much you all enjoy these road maps, with anticipation of the things to come, and we are just as anxious to share them with you. Keeping you informed of our broad development goals is part of our whole outlook. For us communication is key to making sure we stay on the mark and never get out ahead of our userbase. So as things begin to take shape and features mature, we do our best to show you the progression and previews as soon as we possibly can. Although these are not ‘deadlines’, they should give a you good idea of the things you need to get excited about.
The graphics optimizations we mentioned in previous roadmaps are still very much ongoing and current. We are investing a considerable amount of resources to get this done. Graphical improvements and optimizations are key to future proofing the rFactor 2 graphics engine. With that in mind, we are taking our time to methodically test each optimization pass to make sure everything stays put and is in working order, and that is why it’s taking a little longer than originally planned. Thanks to our very focused group of dedicated testers who are looking at each area, we are moving forward at a steady pace. We hope to get it out to you ASAP!
And speaking of specifics, VR is one area where we know we need to improve performance, and these optimizations are showing very promising increases in stability and overall framerate.
Triple Screen – Multiview
“Multiview” has to render three separate viewpoints and because of this, it’s inherently more taxing on any system. You’ll be happy to know we have worked on some very specific optimizations that will positively affect multiview performance
After releasing the KartSim pack earlier this week, we wanted to reassure you that we also have new free content coming up:
We have a solid commitment to historic racing and we hope you find rFactor 2 a good place to experience some of the great cars of the past. With that we are pleased to announce that we will be releasing the March 761 soon for free. Not just that, we have also updated the Brabham BT44 for some excellent head-to-head racing.
Finnish fans! We have a new track on the horizon. Introducing the Botniaring, located in Southern Ostrobothnia, Jurva, Finland aka Perkeleville (big grin) The track is perfect for our upcoming Tatuus cars as well as many others.
We have a number of updates to the Zandvoort track that is currently in beta. While we were building the track, it was being repaved and our 0.20 version showed a version of the track as it was then: about three quarters done, with some old asphalt in the final sector. Since then, repaving has been finished and the Audi S curve was remodeled for the DTM races. On top of that we added a lot of detail, for example in the pit area, and at the same time optimized the track. We’re almost ready to put the track through final testing, so we hope to bring you this new version soon!
Oreca 07 LMP2
After all these free updates above, we are also proud to announce another car that will be part of a new upcoming pack – say hi to the super successful Oreca 07 LMP2! Used across all major endurance series the Oreca LMP2 almost won outright at Le Mans last year with Jackie Chan Racing DC.
Most of our focus on the UI in the last months has been to include all of the current base features and test them to make sure they function properly. On the surface this might seem like an easy task, but it involves a lot of repeated clicking and trying: the UI is a complex matrix of interdependences that we need to carefully unravel to better understand and improve. So before really jumping in to conquer the new features, we needed a solid base.
As this first phase begins to wrap up and we have a stable functioning UI, our focus is shifting to those specific things that really need to be more user friendly, existing features that were either hidden or not readily visible enough to find and use. Two current examples of this are custom teams/skins and driver swaps.
Using custom skins in the current UI, although functional, has always been a bit obtuse and not straight forward for the average user. We saw a couple of ways to improve this going forward. One is to offer a simpler way to get your skin in game, and avoid the need to alt-tab or even exit rFactor 2, just to see your skin on the car. We’re still playing with a few ways to make this less fiddly. Next, custom ‘team’ creation needs to be more direct and easier to achieve. This involves thinking like a new user and making smart dialogs and using correct terminology, that way there’s no doubts about how naming or hierarchy.
Driver swaps are another area that works in the current UI, but is complicated to use in practice: having to close rF2 and navigate through somewhat hidden menus is not ideal and prone to user error, and having to assign keys to perform simple actions is a bit overkill. So the new way to do a driver swap is simple. When you join a server, we will ask you if you want to drive a car or join as as a spectator. When you choose the latter and click drive, you’ll get a pop up list of names to choose from, click select and you’re ready to drive once your team mate pits – simple as that!
The competition structure continues to take shape, and just like the UI we are focusing on the ground work. This means dealing with and squishing any bugs related to the day to day functioning of the competition structure itself. Competitions, as you may know, can span many weeks with multiple events and sessions. It’s therefore important that each code change is throughly tested for reliability and stability. By basing this on the cloud technology of our parent company Luminis we ensure the system will be very scalable, and it is certainly our intention to end up with an open system that can also be used by the many existing leagues out there.
We hope to show you more real soon!
When we did the paint competition a few months ago, we were overwhelmed by the large amount of high quality entries. Encouraged by this, we concluded we wanted to do more of these competitions to showcase the many talented painters in our community. That said, assembling all these skins into packs proved to be a lot of work, so after discussing various options we decided to build some automation to more easily generate new cars, their skins, and all data and preview images associated with them. That is the reason the GT3 skins took us longer, but we’re confident we can release them next week. To give you a preview of all the nice skins you will see, we included a “spotter guide” like overview for you to enjoy!