Hello and welcome to a new series of blog entries. These are not intended to replace the monthly roadmap, but give more in depth updates specifically on the competition system.
Two weeks ago we launched the first competition, using the Tatuus FT-60 car at a selection of free tracks. A week later we added our paid GTE cars running on a combination of free and paid tracks. This allowed us to both test the subscription to free content as well as the process we added to calculate the cheapest combination of bundles to get you the paid content needed to compete.
The response so far has been really good. Thousands have signed up and raced in over 500 splits, and although not all elements of the system have been deployed yet, we’ve seen some good racing and had a lot of valuable feedback from the community.
In the first two weeks we mainly focused on making sure the system runs smoothly and the user experience is good. Initially we encountered and fixed some scalability issues. We also discovered that there are some issues with people having installed upgrades to our content that interfere with our series definitions. We are looking into adding code that will try to analyze the components and their upgrades you have installed and and report back on the root causes of why certain content won’t work. Overall, we’ve made an effort on both Discord and our forum to support users that ran into issues, and we’ve seen others in the community helping each other out.
By now people should be able to get into sessions without problem and we added extra servers as well as adjusted the session timings to ensure we could meet with the demand. To give you some insights, we were running 20 servers and in some cases the sessions were too close together, so servers did not have enough time to reconfigure and be ready. We’ve learned a lot on how to better tune the system as a whole.
In the update we have deployed today we have fixed a lot of minor issues we encountered in the backend. We also fixed some duplicate entries that entered the system, so this might affect some of the existing standings. Messages we present to you if something does still go wrong should now offer better advice on what to do going forward.
The GTE series now runs with fixed upgrades as defined in those cars. We have deployed an update to all GTE cars, with other cars to follow, that allows us to make sure people only run with the “Le Mans” aero package on that track and nowhere else and our competition servers have been upgraded to enforce that.
We have also released an rFactor 2 build update, fixing some of the reported issues with the new UI and VR, as well as some tweaks that will improve the competition system experience. In general we are focusing on making sure everybody can smoothly run these new builds.
In the upcoming week we will focus more on bringing you quality of life improvements to the front-end based on your feedback. There are a lot of screens where we can add little details to give you a better insight. Our goal is basically to make sure the system is rock solid before we take the next steps.
So what are some of these next steps? Obviously, when these two competitions end, we want to present new ones. In those we will be again experimenting with some new formats as we test some of the flexibility of the system. To elaborate a bit on that, we can define per competition what kind of sessions we want to run in events, how long events last, how we decide splits and grids and how points are handed out. We will also add some variation in the session formats, such as private qualification sessions with fixed conditions to create a more equal playing field. We’ve also had a few questions on if we could also run sessions where a race is directly preceded by a qualification session. Yes we can. And it’s something we will definitely try out going forward.
Obviously our next big step is the introduction of a stewarding system that will encourage safe driving. During the development phase we’ve developed quite a few ideas in this area, as well as studied what other similar simulations are doing. We expect to try out some different systems in the upcoming months and are looking forward to your feedback.
Also, to make this blog more interactive, we encourage you to send us any questions you want to see answered and we will pick and answer the most frequently asked ones. Enjoy the races and stay safe!