After roughly nine months of regular blogs and Q&A sessions about the competition system we feel it is time to open up the floor to questions about other areas of the rFactor 2 simulation. We are going to try focussing on a different area every other week and in two weeks from now the first area will be tracks. We can keep this fairly broad, so anything that is related to tracks, graphics, sound, physics or weather is allowed.
That said, this week we are still looking at the competition system, so before we move on let’s go over its current state and look ahead at the roadmap again. The last big review we did was mid-May, so let’s provide an update based on that one.
We are pretty happy with where we are with the competition formats right now. We’ll always keep adding new formats as we go forward, but we feel we can currently cover most competition formats that we want, so it’s time to put a big green checkmark next to it! Recent blogs already indicated that we were prioritizing the implementation of ratings based on user feedback. The algorithms are in place, we’ve worked on code that includes all past competitions into the system, and we started on the UI to show all of this information. I don’t expect this feature to be released until early next year though, as other things outside the competition system are currently being prioritized. Protests and decisions as well as the first iteration of stewarding support are likely to follow after that. We might then prioritize roles and team based driving before we continue our broadcast integration and support for offline championships.
So still plenty to do this and next year, and we’re still looking for people to join us to help out. That said, I feel we currently have a system that allows us to already run a lot of interesting competitions so these upcoming months we’ll definitely be experimenting more with new ideas as well as things the community requested.
That said, let’s move on to the incoming questions!
When can I see how many and which other people have registered, and when can I register for an individual session, say, a day in advance preferably through the web. Now you lose 30mins on waiting, practice session another warm up etc, to find out there are 3 people in the race?Maarten Nauta
If you sign up for a competition, you should make an effort to race in all the events (picking sessions that suit you if there are multiple moments in time when you can race). We don’t open up registration for a session until right before the session because otherwise we would end up with a lot of people that register but don’t show up. We don’t show you how many there are in the session because we don’t want people having a peek, and then leaving again because they don’t want to race for whatever reason.
Considering everything you have planned in the “to-do list” and the difficulty of developing a competition system and integrating everything into the simulator that was born years ago, have you thought about the option of abandoning the development of rF2 and set a release date for rF3 (or whatever you want to call it) in 2 or 3 years, with an online competition system integrated from the start, a current graphics engine and all the other features that you would like to carry out?Diego Barjollo
Obviously, we have discussions about potentially creating rFactor 3 and if we do, how we would go about that. To me, this is mostly a marketing discussion though, and I’ll explain that a bit. When creating a new product, we in theory have the option to start from scratch, taking all the lessons learned to build a completely new product. Let’s estimate that our current product is the result of roughly 150 man-years of work (it’s probably a lot more to be honest) and that if you rebuild that you only spend half that time, it’s still a lot of work. And you will make new mistakes along the way. So if the new product is basically similar to the old, the other and in my opinion better option is to keep the existing code and extend or replace certain parts. Doing this can be done incrementally. You can then still decide to at some point call this updated product rFactor 3, and you see other studios do something similar. The new product will probably sell more copies, but there are also extra costs, such as relicensing certain content. To be fair, the competition system integration with the existing product was not that hard, and I am confident that what has been built can be used for future titles too.
Are tracks that are used in the CS tested for track cuts etc before they are used?Remco Majoor
Not specifically, no. Tracks are tested before we release them to the public, and we typically provide updates when bugs are reported, but no special test cycle exists before we pick a track for the CS.
Not really CS related, but I think that is still a place to ask for: Are there any plans to improve the verbosity of the trace logs? Even on highest verbosity, e.g. a mod install error is printed as “mod install error”, so basically without any additional information. Even better would be to get a really verbose message on the client when connecting to a (CS) server with a failure.guenther
To be honest, I would like to make the log a bit less verbose, but more informational. Specifically, the issue you are describing is something I don’t want to just end up in the log at all. The best solution would be to do a “root cause” analysis on why certain content failed to install, and then provide the results of that in human-readable form with some advice on how to fix it.
My buddies and I love Mills Metro, Toban and Loch Drummond, so I wanted to ask if there are any plans for a new fictional track?Manta
Not at the moment, but there are some interesting fictional tracks out there that were done for rFactor in the past that I would love to see in rFactor 2 as well. Essington and the Lienz Festival of Speed come to mind.
How do you go about selecting the different CS combos? Do you have a rota of content, use some kind of analytic data in the background, or something else? TIGTIG
Mostly by listening to the community, we select those combinations.
Have you been surprised how popular / not popular certain pieces of content within the CS have been, and if so, which ones surprised you the most?TIG
I was pleasantly surprised at the popularity of our fantasy tracks, of some of the fixed setup competitions and the Alpine a little while ago.
I suppose this isn’t strictly CS related but…. the popular officially licenced Alpine Mod from Enduracers… any chances of seeing this adopted into rF2 as official content seeing as it has been licenced?SiC58fan
I think this car is a great example of how a modding team can step up and take it to the next level. They did a great job creating this car and getting it licensed. We encouraged that by making this car part of the initial content pack that new users can install. We would not want to “steal their thunder” which is why we did not even discuss buying the car from them. I would like to see this as an example of how our community can create great content. What we have done though is ask Enduracers to help out with some official rFactor 2 cars.
On a similar topic, the officially supported ByKolles LMP1 is coming out soon from RSS – any chances of either seeing this in the CS, or even better, having this brought into the official content offering of the sim?SiC58fan
It’s certainly a good candidate to include, and we’ll make that decision after it has been released.
How can the community go about making official requests for content to be put into the Competition System schedule?BoxBoxBox
Mostly here, in our forums and on Discord. We are keeping our eyes and ears open.
Sorry if this has been asked before, but do you plan on adding some kind of in game link to the CS system. What I mean is, if I’m elsewhere in rF2 and a session I’m registered is about to start, it would be great if somehow the sim could inform me, and give me a button to press to directly move into that session.AxelSpin
That is planned, yes. We have the notification bar that you can currently use for the in-game chat, and the original design for that included this sidebar showing exactly these types of notifications. We’d probably put a message in the message centre in case you were in-car.
Maybe you could add an extra channel for these types of question in your Discord server?Tobias Haag
I’ll leave that to my colleague Paul, who gathers all these questions.
Any possibility to test with Pro teams and drivers participating in Virtual Le Mans? (Open multiplayer servers)Jeroen Goudeseune
As far as I’m aware, the content that is being used in LMVS is not released to the public, which means only drivers participating could ever join such sessions. From experience, most teams prefer to practice on their own private servers anyway, so I doubt there would be much of a demand. I would direct this question to the LMVS organizers to see if they would consider putting up more servers outside the current test sessions that are already being hosted.
How is development going on multiclass / driver swap features in the Competition System at the moment?TJG04
We have a design for it, so we pretty much know how it will work, but we have not started implementing it yet as I explained in the introduction above.
What do you think you will improve in your Physics Engine in the short (6 months), medium (12 months) and long term (24 months and more)?pilAUTO
Short term, I don’t expect any development work on the physics engine code. We are still evolving our tyre model based on our collaboration with Goodyear. Looking at the medium and long terms, we have a few bigger topics we’d like to address, but we have not decided the order yet. Some of those are an improvement of wet weather grip levels, long overdue AI improvements which might also bring back some of the things we’ve done for NASCAR 21: Ignition, and hybrid engine support.
Can you indicate if you plan to update the approximately 55 S397 cars in terms of physics, not just the most popular ones?pilAUTO
We will probably leave some older ones as is, depending on the licensing situation for these cars and in general the state of the 3D model. We don’t have a definitive list though as some of these project are also done in between other car builds, so depending on the time we have we might do a few more.
IRL, LMP2 have TC1 TC2, and no fuel mixture map and TC override (from real driver), and the electric system in rF2 is a little outdated, any plan to update it?zxd1997
Longer term, yes, but given that we have a pretty big backlog of physics improvements we would like to make, realistically most of those things will move into 2022.
LMV seems to have updated physic and tyre model, when can we get them too with shiny LMV liveries?zxd1997
Most likely after the season we will consolidate some of those updates. As for the liveries, I am honestly not sure. We’d have to license them from the teams before we can publicly release them.
Are you planning to give Virtual Reality a boost? If so, in what sense or details do you foresee?juanchioooo
Nothing is planned there right now. VR just gets any generic graphics improvements.
Any plans for optimization of the overall performance of the graphics engine, in particular the low sun/sunrise/sunset and night, rain and wet roads, multi-application of AI or competitors, optimization of multiclass, new computer technologies, many more parameters to adjust in the graphics options so that the user can best optimize according to these priorities and his system….. Etcetera.pilAUTO
We are typically looking at things we can further optimize. We’re doing work on our shadow system right now, and we are looking at some raindrop effects, also to better support curved windscreens. I do think though that we already have a ton of options that users can tweak to improve on graphics performance. As soon as you know the “worst case conditions” for your system, I think you can pretty much optimize it based on that.
Can we see a competition that focuses on gear… like a manufacturing series with spec cars where we can represent our gear, wheels pedals… a win on Sunday, buy on Monday for sim fans kinda setup?? Jonathan FraserJonathan Fraser
I’m not entirely sure how this would work? So we would all be racing the same cars, but when we enter the competition we would all list what gear we are using and that would show up in the results and standings along with your name? So something like Jonathan with his Logitech gear beat Marcel with his Fanatec gear?
I would like to know if you are in the process of making new displays for the game. Like, the black box (in game) Standing, relative and race information (in menu) circuit information, outside temperature, track temperature.Gaetan Valero
We are not. There are a lot of third party ones out there. Both custom HUDs in-game and solutions that work on external displays (like Simhub).
Could we please have an ‘open track day’ type server on the CS? For example, a bunch of cars on Nords, with a leaderboard time and a winner picked based on fastest lap per class of car?LotsofNoise
A daily CS race every thirty minutes would be great. For example: Tatuus F3/F4, USF 2000, Alpine Cup. Q 10 min and R 15 min. Just race. That’s what people want. We enjoy rFactor2, but we need races and have fun, not only competing, but racing just for fun with people as well.Rubén Colmenar Sánchez
I think this was suggested in a previous blog too. I like the idea, so I’m sure we’ll do some of this going forward.
Will the AMG GT3 be reworked at some point? The last two seasons of GT challenge have been shared between most mid/rear-engined cars and the Bentleys, but the C7r and M6 disappeared from the top, the radical is where we expect it to be and the AMG drives like a lawnmower. I also learned that there is a GT3 Aston-Martin in rF2???? Alsabti and Jajovski preferred the Radical over it, which means a lot.Yoann Kerjean
I think this is more of a BOP question in the end. We will continue to evaluate and tweak that.
Also, is it planned to make the front-engined GT3s relevant in wet conditions?Yoann Kerjean
Are you going to do a multiplayer as complete as it is iRacing? Explications: With daily lessons in several competitions, with a way forward like the Safety Rating and iRating of your competitor?Gaetan Valero
Our aim is not to copy iRacing. We will add features like ratings, and we can pretty much already do daily sessions in a style very similar to iRacing. I hope that answers your question?