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CDTP IFM 2009 – New Status Update

CTDP has released a short new status update on their International Formula Master mod to follow up the one released last August.

CTDP has released a short new status update on their International Formula Master mod to follow up the one released last August.

In this one, the team talks about the difficulties modding for the ever-changing rFactor 2 platform that does not just seem to affect CTDP but most other modding teams out there as well.

Status is, there is not much update.

We feel in a stalemate situation at the moment. As we wrote a couple of months ago, CTDP has had some hard years and we have awaited rFactor2 with high hopes. To boost morale in the team, we pushed the developed of the IFM-2009 mod forward in favor of F1-1994. We had to adjust and get results with less people, and a smaller mod such as IFM-2009 was just the way to go.

rFactor 2 Beta was released in January and looking back on the past months, we realized, many of our hopes have yet to be fullfiled. Beta means rFactor2 is not stable and in a constant change. This is software, this is normal, however, this has consequences on the community and on the modders in particular. For us it feels like the community has been holding it’s breath since the first release of rF2. Very few leagues switch and embrace the new platform, even fewer mod teams.

And we can understand this, as CTDP is also experiencing the disadvantages of being cutting edge: sometimes you cut yourself. We discovered several bugs in export tools and shaders, we have been embracing the new platform and sometimes we had setbacks and wrong decisions. That’s alright, however what makes it frustrating is, that even after 10 months it feels like developing against a moving target.

Software is supposed to evolve and change, but especially interfaces to external components (ie exporters, shaders, physics, packaging) need to be frozen at one point to allow for third-party devs to get things done and build upon it. This has not happened yet and every new build requires to update things on our current alpha of the IFM2009 mod and reexporting the models. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. Bleeding edge.

While the community held its breath waiting, modding within CTDP appears to suffocate. We have all but one car textures ready. 15 helmets are left to do and no texture artist is motivated to work on it. We have basic physics who need work especially on the tire model, which is its very own story with rFactor2. We have a running alpha version, and no testers who provide solid and helpful feedback. We are down to a handful of people and not sure what to wait for right now.
We are considering other platforms, but right now there is no alternative available/suitable to us.

We are still innovative and full of ideas. We have better tools and utilities for modding than ever before. If we had the same means 4 years ago when we were working on F1-2006, I would shed tears of joy. Still all the tools don’t help it if modding is not enjoyable. And right now it isn’t and we don’t know what we can do to help it. :(

Launched in 2007, the Formula Master was designed to be an alternative to Formula 3, offering young drivers a platform to prove themselves on.The spec car used for International Formula Master competition is built by Tatuus and is powered by a a Honda K20A engine that puts out 250hp.

Supporting the WTCC, the series got major TV coverage on Eurosport before it folded after the 2009 season.

Via CTDP Devblog

  • Ivan Nikoloff

    The open beta was a very, very bad idea! I’m not holding my breath anymore, when you can’t fulfill on your promises, then don’t promise anything! May be rFactor2 will be released in 2-3 years, until then I’m not holding my breath for the next mod for it or the next track, sticking with the original and alternatives.

    • Kendra Jacobs

      Why is the open beta a bad idea? Noone is being forced to play it while in development. Whats wrong with companies giving people the choice to try out and play and test their games while they are still being developed?

      6 months was a horribly bad estimation, thats true, but it was not lies or promises, it was just an estimation, and a really really bad one.

      Why are people freaking out because a games taking so long to be made?

      If ISI never told us about RF2 years ago, and only first told us about it 1.5 or 2 years ago, then noone would be complaining right now.

      I’m sure lots of games take many many years to make, but noone complains because the companies only tell the public about the game a year or less before it’s official release. With RF2 we have known about it for a much longer period, so everyone gets all impatient and negative, but really its no different from any other game.

  • Eric Zehnder

    “We are considering other platforms, but right now there is no alternative available/suitable to us.”

    This is very telling. ISI has already said they expect Beta to extend into 2013 and Kunos have said they will do everything in their power to get Assetto Corsa out in 2012. Kunos have already shown some videos of how incredibly mod friendly it will be, integration with tablet devices, UI elements, etc.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a shift of the modding community to the better looking Assetto Corsa platform and Kunos knows this. I want the modding community that thrived under rFactor to continue but I would actually prefer they go to AC (can you tell?).

  • Anonymous

    Very honest and to the point post from big modding group.

  • Chris Wright

    The upshot of it all is that rF2 was released into Beta far, far too early, thereby raising expectations. After all this time, it is not unreasonable to expect that we are now playing a game very, very close to being a release candidate. Yet this is patently not the case, witness the blotchy track bug that appeared in the new build at the end of last week – I’m amazed they didn’t foresee that one!

    I’m still supportive of ISI but, as others are observing, competitors are now snapping at their heels.

  • Anonymous

    Reading this, i totally understand what you mean.
    For us work on the WSGT2 has stalled to a slow tempo for exact the same reasons. Keeping motivation up the way things are evolving platform wise is very hard for the four of us.
    I am still an ISI fan, but i can sense the modding community is holding its horses till the release of AC. and to be honnest, so do we.
    Keep the fait. CTDP just has to stay alive.

  • Theroro29

    At the end of 2011, I told in this forum that ISI did major strategical mistakes (late release date…) . Most people said I was crazy.. I was an anti-Rfactor fan boy… I was a troll…
    What is conclusion? ISI is dead. Everyone are waiting now Assetto Corsa.
    I was an Rfactor fanboy, welcome in a new area: Assetto Corsa in the target

    • hoodge1

      I wouldn’t be too quick to forsee that. But I agree. Going beta at the timeframe we are in with this beta to see only 6 builds is quite downheartning. Still hooked on what we got at this point. But the F2 car, I absolutely hate to drive…Like driving on ice. Not much front end grip feel at all compared to the other cars..

      I see ISI really being focused in on dialing in the physics and I guess it has come along slower then they expected.

      I will say this again tho. I don’t care how long it takes them to nail it. In the end you all can have a rushed product, or an extremely amazing engine. By the way rF2 uses a ton of your HP in big rigs like mine, I know the physics engine is very complex. Too many are getting impatient.

      I cannot wait for AC and think the modding community can embrace both AC and rF2 very well. AC could very well be where the community will be headed, but I think, like some have stated as modders, it’s a long waiting game. As for track modding, tracks are coming along fine.

      Gonna be interesting to watch and I think in the end a win/win for both sims. I’m optimistic this negative feedback on ISI will change in the future. This last build was a huge optimising improvement for fps, even tho that wet track bug was a letdown.. Fortunately I figured out a fix for it and am back to bliss again.

  • Sam Sturino

    I think most of the modding groups share the same sentiment
    as CTDP. Motivation is the key and the lack of “eye Candy” and
    constant or utter flux state of rF2 leaves all us Modding groups shaking our
    heads and hoping to see some light at the end of the tunnel. ISI are the leaders in simulation platform
    that cater to modding groups, however I think it has to be said, (I know I will
    get flamed for this) but without “us” modding groups the title seems
    to suffer.

  • Kendra Jacobs

    Not quite sure I understand this, if the games not out what is the complaint about?

    How can you make a fully finalized and finished mod, program, or any peice of software, if the base software its running on is always in a state of change because its still very, very much in development? You of course cant.

    I dont even work with computers and I know that, but that doesnt just apply to computers, it applies to almost anything in life.

    I mean how could you model a fully finished and finalized suspension layout for a car, if the chassis design, structure and materials, the tyres and rims, the weight distribution, the aero etc etc are all always being changed because the entire car is still in development. Well obviously YOU CAN’T.

    So I just really dont understand this sort of complaining and pessimistic post from the awesome and very much loved CTDP. If the game is in heavy development, then of course you can expect to make a perfectly finished and finalised mod for it.

    The public didnt have acces to RFactor 1 before it ever came out, this time for RFactor 2 anyone who is interested in helping testing and developing (or just playing around with it during its heavy development life) has the ability to do so. Isnt that something cool for anyone interested???

    Shouldnt we be thankful to ISI, SMS, Simbin etc etc for giving people, that are interested, the choice to play, test, and fool around with the software, even though its in early stages and obviously always going to be changing????….

    They are giving us the option (keyword being option) to play around with their software, if we want to, way before it comes out. Isnt that a good thing?

    I just dont get it.

    • Daniel S.

      The issue is not THAT things change, but WHICH things change.
      As both of us said, software is always change, but as a software developer you need to decide what components can be flexible and which need to be as stable and without change as possible. Any kind of API you provide for third-party developers (which I consider Modders to be) needs to be stable enough in beta mode so Modders can make experience it and comment on it, write tutorials and utilities. Goal should be to have this interface feature frozen by the beginning of Beta, so that by the end of Beta all mods developed against this interface are ready to go public.

      The difficulty with rFactor2 is, that tools/exporters are not frozen but are in continued development. This is good and bad, good because many version have bugs that were addressed in following builds, however while introducing new issues. To us it stopped feeling like the development is converging towards a 1.0 goal, but as if they keep working on the same issues, which don’t get resolved. Without freezing features, especially on the modding interface, this process is currently eating us up. 🙁

      • Kendra Jacobs

        Yes but im assuming, like most games, once it does officialy get released, then it will be much more stable with less drastic change. Its just that its not close to that point yet.

        Its not a polishing up bugs here and there sort of beta, its more of a testing, problems, testing, fixes but maybe other problems, testing, etc etc kind of beta.

        Its no different to what happened with RFactor 1. The only difference is that RF1 was never released to the public before it officially came out, so people could not attempt to make mods, and maybe get frustrated due to its continuous change during its development life, we never had the option to do that with RF1. This time ISI have given modders that option if they would like 🙂