Two weeks ago in this blog we presented an updated roadmap, and since then we have been working on extending our concept of “linked sessions”. Those who have driven in GT Pro or Challenge will be familiar with the concept: linked sessions are a group of sessions that are run one after the other with the same entries in all sessions. So at the start, a split algorithm will divide people and from that moment on, all of those sessions will be executed with the same people. This allows us to for example run a qualification session and then have two races, allowing for things like reversing grids based on results from earlier sessions. It goes beyond what rFactor 2 would support out of the box on a dedicated server as we can also vary session settings for each session beyond the normal things. It’s a fairly big task, but it gives us a lot of flexibility going forward and we know we will need this for new and upcoming series!
In other news, with our new “release candidate” imminent, we will also be launching a “staging server” for the competition system. Since we are bumping the build, it’s no longer multiplayer compatible. At the same time we wanted to make sure that people on this release candidate would have something interesting to race online, so we have set up a separate environment for that and your rFactor 2 client will automatically switch.
And with the summer holiday and sale approaching fast, we still have a few tricks up our sleeve. More about that in a future blog though, it’s time to go over some more community questions. If yours is not answered yet, we will probably fix that in the next blog. In the meantime, keep it on the black stuff!
Q: Is there a way you can implement race results history? For example, for GTC I right now have no idea where I finished last race, since the standings in the comp system in game have not been updated yet. And since I can’t find the race results back, I can’t calculate myself where I ended up after the penalties?Remco Majoor
We will add historic results to the system. That is planned. About your specific question about the last race in the GTC standings, that ended up being your worst result so it was dropped (which is why you did not see any points for that event).
Q: What were the technical constraints you encountered during the creation and still now in relation to the CS and the integration in the game?Julien Lemoine
Obviously we are adding a system to an existing game, so we needed to take into account the possibilities and impossibilities of the multiplayer system. The biggest constraint we had initially was the old UI which simply was not fit for purpose for adding such a system at all. So that needed to be replaced first. Another puzzle we are looking at solving is how to best share custom liveries. We have a few systems to do that, but none of those map particularly well to how we would like this to work in the competition system. Mostly though I think we found that the many configuration options in rFactor 2 have helped us a lot in getting the whole infrastructure up and running.
Q: Is an entry list system that fixes car, name & surname to a file for solo and crew races under consideration? Both for CS and for multiplayer?Julien Lemoine
I think this question is a bit related to the issue I mentioned above regarding car skins. When you sign up with an entry, we would like to get as much information from that entry into the client and it would be great if that information could be persisted in single player too. It’s a puzzle we’re still working on!
Q: In the most far-fetched parameters that can be created, is it possible to make a series that changes car and track every time?Julien Lemoine
Right now, when you sign up for a competition, you do so with an entry and that involves choosing a car and a specific livery. So no, we did not design the system to put you in a different car every time right now. It would not be impossible to change that though, I could envision the sign up process being extended to pick a car for each event. If the changes are small, like in F1, where teams bring new upgrades to the track at every event, we can support that with upgrades that are forced by specific tracks. For a “race of champions” style competition, we would need to make some changes to the sign up process. Food for thought!
Q: With the rF250 we will have the first oval race ever in the CS. Normally every driver has a spotter on this type of track. So could we have a spotter in CS races some day?Fabian Balle
Yes. We have already designed the system so users can have different roles in each competition. So you can be a driver, but you can also be a spotter, and if you are a spotter you would get access to the server as a spectator. Similarly we have a way for a broadcaster to join and we’re using that internally but it has not been exposed yet. It is planned though.
Q: With oval races in the CS proving to be very popular, it begs the question of a more thorough set of oval racing rules in future. I know this has been problematic in the past, however is it something under consideration for the future?AlessioGoPro
We continue to work with our stock car community who have been improving the stock car rules plugin. We’re not yet at the point where we feel confident that a new stable release of that can be included, but that will certainly happen going forward and will bring more of those rules. Another thing we are considering is to bring some of the extensions we have been developing for the upcoming NASCAR game back to rFactor 2. That could include concepts like the different “stages” they have.
Q: Now we’ve had different types of racing, and no doubt street tracks and Formula E will come in future, do you plan on offering ratings per type of racing? For example an oval licence, street track and road course type of thing?RacecarDriver17
Still an open question. We can apply ratings to different scopes. So we can make an overall rating, one per competition, or type of racing, or series. We have not decided yet what we will end up doing.
Q: Loving these Summer Showdown type races – keep them up! On that topic, are we likely to see more of these kind of community events / broadcasted races in future within the CS?Jack
Yes, we did those races as a test and I agree they were a success so we intend to do more of them, as well as bring more competitions into the system and broadcast those.