iRacing.com – Lots Of New Previews & Dev Blog

iRacing Steve Myers has released his new “Cat Herder” dev blog, outlining some of the changes coming up in the next few months.

The blog reveals news on some of the new cars & tracks coming up including the new Gen6 NASCAR Stock Car, the Kia Optima GX, the Lotus 49 Formula One car, Kansas Speedway and much more.

Steve also talks about upcoming UI & graphic improvements and shares some details on the new & improved sound effects of the Ford V8 Supercar introduced with the last build. While the new sound effects are very impressive, it looks like it will take a while until all cars will receive the new sound treatment as new recordings are required for all cars.

Monday morning after the Super Bowl is always an interesting day. I always kind of feel like I fought someone and I didn’t come out the winner. All the crappy food I ate all night comes back to haunt me like 12 rounds of solid body shots from a heavy weight fighter. The beer doesn’t help either but it’s Oh so delicious…..

If I am lucky to have my hometown team in the game (Patriots) every muscle in my body is stiff from feeling like a compressed spring ready to explode all night. Unfortunately the Pats choked two weeks ago so I only feel like I fought a middle weight boxer today instead of a heavy weight…

As I sit here on this Monday morning trying to nurse my “injuries” I have started the mental transition from football season to racing season. Yes the Rolex 24 was last weekend and really is the start of the racing season but let’s be honest: until the merger of the ALMS and GRAND AM happens the race really feels like a minor league baseball game with a handful of Major Leaguers getting in some rehab work.

In my opinion the racing season starts in three weeks when the beautiful Gen6 NASCAR cars take to the high banks at Daytona. I am legitimately excited that NASCAR has finally gone back to its roots with the concept of “win on Sunday, sell onMonday” and brought back cars that at least resemble vehicles we can drive ourselves.

Okay, so technically that phrase was coined by Bob Tasca, Sr. who had a Ford dealership up here in Providence, Rhode Island along with an NHRA team, but you get my point.

The good news for you and me though is that we don’t have to shell out tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to drive a new street Chevy SS or NASCAR SS Cup car. We are going to get to drive the NASCAR version in about four weeks on iRacing and for only “pocket change” compared to the real world versions.

The Chevy SS will come first and the Fusion should be released a few weeks later. Yes, I have been working on trying to get the Toyota signed and hope to accomplish that “soon.” I have been working on it since last summer but working with the big corporations means the “soon” clock runs on months instead of hours….

I have been asked quite a bit whether we will have driver names on the windshields of the Gen6 cars and I can confirm we are working on it. We may not be able to get this done for the new car’s release in a few weeks, so it may need to go out with the next 13th week build.

The next car in the development pipeline will be the Ruf Rt 12 R which I can say has personally given me more heartburn than any car to date for a number of reasons I care not to divulge. I do not anticipate this car being in the next build but there is a very good chance that the Kia Optima SX race car will be in the Season 2 build.

I have to admit that I was not super enthusiastic when this Kia deal came together and then I drove the car…….and it was fun…..and I kept driving it……..for hours. It actually makes me even more excited to get the BTCC Honda Civic done which we are currently working on trying to scan.

The art and production team continues to impress me with the work they do in building our tracks, and our recently released Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace is no exception. The track better known as Interlagos has long been a favorite of mine from my very early days of sim racing and running Geoff Crammond’s GP games. The flowing uphill, double apex Laranjinha corner has always been one of my favorite sections of track in the world to “drive” — even if only virtually in my case.

With the release of Interlagos, the guys have turned their considerable talents to Kansas Speedway while as continuing work on Montreal and Bathurst. When we finish-up Kansas and California Speedway this year we will have finally completed building all of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks on the schedule.

At this point it is likely that Kansas will be the next “new” track completed but probably not for the next 13th week deployment. However, we should have a fresh coat of paint on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and USA International Speedway to bring them closer to our current standard of new tracks. The art guys staged a pixel protest and demanded that we stop shaming them by flaunting their early work to the masses . . . and we caved.

Keeping on the visual topic, we have a bunch of projects in the works to add some depth to our in-sim world. We almost had the new shadow map work done for the last build so it is almost certain that it will be done for the next build. We are also in the process of changing the way that shadows are cast from trees. This project is pretty much the first required step to be able to get dynamic skies into the sim which is another project on the horizon. Pun intended.

Our newest engineer, Richard Jobling, whom you met in our last episode of iRacing TV, is working on the first project to improve our collision and crash models. This may sound silly but starting with something simple like making cones “collideable” is a significant step forward in making the environment more alive. This is a big, hairy, monster of a project but when interviewing him for the job he made it clear he was perfectly comfortable wrestling big hairy monsters.

I think the question I get asked most often in the forums and on my twitter account is when the Lotus 49 will be completed. The good news is that it’s done….well except that it needs NTMv5 which isn’t done yet. I know I sound like a broken record but Dave really is making great progress on the tire model and feels that he is getting closer to getting NTMv5 released. He made a significant advance in this last build which really is NTMv4.5. We are hoping the remaining 0.5 is in this next build.

We are finally getting to a point in our development life here at iRacing that, not only can we can start looking at things that just are not working the way we like, but we can do something about it! We have a number of projects we are starting work on in this department.

One area of the service that has been neglected has been our UI. I don’t think we have really changed anything since we launched the service. We have taken a fresh new look at what we can do not only with the in-game interface but also with the loading screen and post-race. This is a significant project requiring work from both the sim and web engineering teams, so a release schedule for this is still hard to predict.

Also, we are going to try and kill two birds with one stone by introducing an exciting new feature and at the same time try and give the time trial session some TLC. We are starting work on adding the ability to integrate a ghost car into the session that will allow you to select the best lap of the session, your best lap ever or even a loaded lap from someone else. We have a lot of exciting longer term ideas as well but in the short term you should be able to work on improving your performance while you spruce up your safety rating!

Yet another project that we are coming back to is our paint kit. We want to evolve the paint kit, both in terms of its design and layout as well as the introduction of new features such as a new color picker and increased font options. We have even kicked around the idea of adding the ability to download the templates directly from this page. Brian Simpson actually paid me in peanut butter pattie girl scout cookies to write that last sentence and this is the first time the engineers will hear about it…..

The web team has a number of different projects they are working on in support of features like team racing and our UI re-design. They really are the unsung heroes of the development team. These poor guys often are crunching right down to the wire trying to tie-up a feature that literally can’t be deployed without their interface.

One exciting project they are working on right now is a re-design of how you view and join race sessions. Imagine your TV guide view of nightly television and you get the general idea of where we are going with this. Soon you will actually have a visual depiction of the racing schedule that you can complain to me about!

I think the second most asked question I receive is the status of team racing. I can confirm for you that I was sitting in Randy’s office the other day and I watched him make in-race setup adjustments on one iRacing account and machine — and it changed on a second iRacing account and machine. This is a significant step forward on this project, and although there is still quite a bit of work to be done both in-sim and on the website, I am cautiously optimistic that it will be in the next build. Once we get the crew chief portion of team racing done actual driver changes are not far off.

I think one of the most significant advances we made in our last build was the improvement Grant made to the drive-train model. It is amazing how this change has not only transformed the immersion factor in the cockpit but also how the cars actually feel. The funny thing about it is that this is the end result of us having him work on improving the sounds! Long term he is still heading towards converting our software to use X-Audio but our lovable Kiwi does have plans to try and make some advances in the near term as well.

For those of you that have not done so, I would highly recommend taking the Ford Falcon V8 Supercar for a spin and then watch the replay from one of the TV cameras. Aussie Greg Hill has made a huge breakthrough on these external sounds and, coupled with Grant’s work on our sound engine, I think we have the best sound EVER in a racing game or sim. Expect this same treatment with as many cars as we can get samples for in the service but this new technique will require new recordings so, realistically, this will be a long project. We are doing our best to launch the Gen6 Cup cars with these new sounds and the Cadillac and Corvette will have them in the next seasons build as of now.

As always there is much more going on behind the scenes then what I have spelled out here. I make no promises on when any of this will make it on to the membersite but at least you get a little glimpse into what we are working on! I would encourage those who have joined us in the twenty-first century to follow me on twitter at @iRacingMyers because I often send out some charming 140 character updates on what’s going on in the iRacing universe. For those of you leery of being sucked into the social media blackhole — don’t worry! It will be on the forums in thirty seconds.

Now I am off to get some Tums…

Along with the blog, new previews have been released, showing the Gen6 stock car as well as a video of the Kia Optima GX in action.

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • Anonymous

    Be careful saying the things he mentioned will be in the next coming ‘months’, unless you mention it could be double digit months ;)

    I definitely think the improved external sounds and the tree shadows leading to dynamic lighting are the biggest non-physics improvements being worked on. Even just minor shadow movement will be a huge upgrade over the current static tracks. Definitely looking forward to races progressing more like a full race weekend: practice sessions at 10AM, qualifying at 5PM, race at 2PM.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Yeah, we heard all this before: iRacing TWO POINT OH!!!! lol. A lot of nothing over a name change.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Like the tyre model they “released” that was never actually worked on. iRacing lost all credibility after that debacle.

  • Anonymous

    Do we absolutely need Toyota in here? that alone is enough for me not to re-sign in April.

  • Mario Strada

    Starting a 0:25 you can see the biggest problem I am having with iRacing: Snap oversteer.
    The back goes a bit a loses traction, you try to correct it a bit and immediately snaps in the other direction.
    I am sure this happens in RL to some extent but on iRacing is the default behavior as soon as traction is exceeded. Some cars do it more than others but for instance the McLaren, Ford and even the Vette do it all the time.

    I’d be racing iRacing a lot more if I were able to rein in the oversteer. As it is, in a race I constantly feel like I am driving on a razor’s edge, to the detriment of actual racing.

  • Matt Orr

    Good.

  • Matt Orr

    Good thing too!

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Yes Matt. we all know by now, Your fanboism will never end. iRacing is perfetct, yadda yadda yadda, lol.

  • Matt Orr

    You might want to adjust your setup some. I very, very, very, very rarely have any issues with the C6R, even at low speed now. I’m far from a pro (top split mid packer), but I feel very secure – it’s easier to drive than the rF2 GT2 car now and I like a pretty oversteer biased car which certainly is the rF2 GT2.

    A lot of the setups you see on the forums are from drivers of that car and that car only, not to mention are wickedly fast in it. Loose is fast.

    I fired up pCARS last night, found the Z4 GT3 much the same versus the iR 12C. pCARS I feel like everything over rotates on entry and has zero forward grip on exit comparatively. I’ve always felt that iRacing (and NR03) felt the “sharpest” versus the competition, while the others demand more weight shift. Different driving styles suit different drivers.

    It’s all about adjusting. Different sims handle differently, and that certainly is the case when going from iRacing to rFactor to pCARS to netKar Pro.

    Worth noting as well that the KIA has way too much HP for having the wrong friggen wheels doing the propulsion. And it isn’t light either. Somehow, they have to get it to turn. ;)

  • Matt Orr

    Nope, I’m far from an iRacing fanboy. I’m simply not an idiot who tries to perpetuate BS and stupidity. So they added touch controls? Who cares. Whatever sim you are playing – unless it’s nKP – also has bumper cam. Who is the gamer now?

    I mean really. Who gives a flying fudge.

    I’d rather be driving something else, except no one else seems to want to try to make a decent MP racing experience.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Calling me an Idiot? You been hanging out with Darin Gangi and resorting to his methods?

  • Anonymous

    Tire model! I’ve given up on that, of all sims it’s the worst.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

    Your post perfectly shows everything that is wrong with this world, thank you for your insight.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Yes, a comment on a video game is oh such a serious issue. More like it shows YOU have some serious issues if you think a comment about iRacing is a world issue!

  • WaitingForAC

    I seriously hope that you don’t think dynamic tree shadows are what is keeping iRacing from dynamic time or day and temperatures.

    I can play War Thunder for free and each time I join the lighting is different to match up with the time of day, that was all in a weekend update.

    Besides the tire and physics don’t work at 72f, what makes you think they will work at other temperatures?

  • Anonymous

    Have you driven much since the last season? I’m getting snap oversteer only rarely, and when I do it’s usually because my tires are still cold and the pressures are low (yes, they need to be brought up to temp now).

  • Anonymous

    If you say they ‘never actually worked on’ the tire model, you clearly haven’t driven iRacing since the NTM release. It sure isn’t done, but you can’t seriously think it hasn’t changed, let alone improved.

  • Anonymous

    I do think their update to the tree shadows is required for dynamic lighting. That’s what staff says, and I’m not in the habit of calling them liars.

    I didn’t say anything about temps either, did I? They already differ between the daylight and night versions of the tracks, though.

  • WaitingForAC

    Who called the staff liars? If you want to go there they admitted themselves several times they lied to us, remember iR 2.0? And how a month or two later they made a forum post admitting they lied.

    Or just how Steve Myers was driving Lotus 49 and it was so fun and it was coming next week and then all of a sudden it had to be delayed.

    Or how it’s done but it needs the NTMv5. How can it be done then?

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

    Uhhm explain in what way I act like it? But yeah, take some more time next time and do a quality trolling attempt. I’ll just give an example; Comment about how pCARS has much better physics than iRacing, try something like that. People always tend to rage at that. So yeah, I give you that :)

    Better luck next time!

  • Matt Orr

    Easy, everything is done and they are waiting for the new tires. There is no more graphical / physical things left to do on the car and the tires are probably prepped for the new model. Work has stopped on the car as there is no more work to be done to the car.

    The 49 is a terrible situation made more terrible by about 15 factors. They could have released it, but really… it does deserve better. We’ve – or I should say those of us who are at iRacing – seen with the Ford GT go from a turd with four Roman era wheels to a great drive with 4 very sticky rubber things instead. Yet participation still sucks because of how it was on launch.

  • WaitingForAC

    Participation is low becuase of the 40,000 accounts, I would wager 20,000 are iForuming, the rest are either not reupped or duplicate accounts.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    No rage here, Nor do I see how my opinion on an internet blog affects the world.

  • Matt Orr

    Participation is low because people are afraid of anything that isn’t an EZ Mode instant gratifier.

  • Richard Hessels

    Hopefuly the next big worldtour race won’t be ruined by a DDOS attack.

  • Richard Hessels

    When you make or obtain a good setup you rarely get the snap oversteer.
    Its just the setups provided by iracing that are sometimes making a car much more difficult to drive than needed.

  • http://twitter.com/Sultan_Of_Slide Clive Lomax

    I kinda agree with Mario on this one, mainly on the Skippy, I had a handle on it before and since the new build I can push it farther, but when it goes it goes!
    I have messed around with setups, but not tyre pressures yet, maybe i need to do that.
    Funny, I used to spin all the time in the Skippy in RF2 but since the new build, which is amazing, I hardly ever..

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it’s a bit of a shame that the default setups aren’t very flattering to the cars.

  • Anonymous

    Big difference between giving an optimistic release date and missing it (hey, sounds like Assetto Corsa! That released last year right?) and saying ‘we have to finish feature X before we can do feature Y’ when that isn’t true.

    If you’re so skeptical of what iRacing says, why even read the development blog? Wouldn’t you be happier just ignoring everything but the release notes? Oh, you’re just trolling and stirring the pot, I see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.hornbuckle1 Michael Hornbuckle

    Speaking of missing release dates, remember two years ago when the Mosport oval was “just about completed and should be released in a couple weeks”……still waiting…..or how about a year ago being told that IRP would be the next oval track released….still waiting on that too….

    How about Tskuba, remember when it was coming soon? Still waiting….night versions of current tracks?? Not one has been released since they stated that they had the process for converting down and should be able to release a couple each build..

    Tires and physics that aren’t completely opposite of the real world characteristics they’re simulating….still waiting

    Driver swaps that were announced two years ago, well its nice to know that the first step towards making that happen is almost completed.

    How about backfires and a visible pit crew? Last we heard was a year ago that they were very close to being completed and would be here “soon”.

    The reason people are skeptical of iracings’ promises have nothing to do with being fans of other sims, its iracings own track record that is doing the damage. The reason I originally signed up for iracing was the laser scanned tracks and physics that were sold as a real world training tool. Unfortunately that was nothing more than marketing BS just like iracing 2.0.

  • Anonymous

    If there is ‘no rage here’, what’s with all the exclamation points and words in ALL CAPS?

  • Anonymous

    Why do you think I said the ‘next few months’ could easily be double digit months? iRacing 2.0 wasn’t a great idea, and they’ve been rightly criticized for it. Of course, then we have things getting taken out of context and assumed to be imminent when they weren’t so that doesn’t help either.

    Did they actually say Mosport was “just about completed and should be released in a couple weeks”? Is that a direct quote? I know they said it was in development, but don’t remember such a concrete claim to its release. Maybe you have a source to refresh my memory?

    You forgot Long Beach in your list of long delayed tracks as well. ;) Personally I do find it a bit hard to criticize too much over the track development pipeline. They keep signing higher profile tracks, so having more licenses than they can build is a god thing, IMO. I really wouldn’t be a fan of us not getting Montreal and Bathurst for another 2 years just because they want to build NJMP and Willow Springs first instead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.hornbuckle1 Michael Hornbuckle

    Going to be hard to find the quote considering its was in the old forums that got completely erased. As for Long Beach, they have already said it wouldn’t run on most peoples’ computers (and for sure not on touch pads) even though much older games had no problem.

    As far as NJMP and Willow Springs, people have been waiting on those for around five years now so not sure what Montreal and Bathurst have to do with that.

    Considering that you have 18,000 iracing forum posts and less than 200 career starts its completely baffling to me why you are one of iracings biggest cheerleaders, but whatever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.hornbuckle1 Michael Hornbuckle

    Seems to me that PetrolheadDen signed up for a sim, found out it was a game (and not really a very good one at that) and won’t be continuing his membership. Not sure why two of you are allowed to personally attack him but looks like the mods here don’t really care what happens in an iracing thread.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if it was old forums, then definitely hard to find.

    Montreal and Bathurst are examples of why NJMP and Willow keep getting pushed back. They keep signing better tracks. Why work on NJMP when they have Spa and Mid Ohio deals? Why build Willow instead of Suzuka and Interlagos. And so on down the line, you’ve got unfamiliar tracks without major events up against world-class and top national circuits.

    In short, the track pipeline is fluid for a good reason, and knowing the sim racing community people will complain either way.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure why you think that’s a personal attack, but feel free to flag it for moderation if you feel so. I’ve rescinded harsh comments before.

  • WaitingForAC

    Sorry but crashing and spinning ≠ realistic, thus turns off anyone with a clicking brain cell who can tell you that this isnt what an automobile with racing pedigree does.

    Besides I find it amusing that iRacing’s biggest cheerleaders come from one of two groups-
    1. Too slow to know there is anything wrong because they drive below the limit and every thing feels super.
    2. People who think that they are going to get a medal in real life for having a super high iRating becuase they figured out how to drive the brokeness.

  • WaitingForAC

    By iRacing’s own admission NJMP is done, all it needs is the surrounding terrain. Why delay? Real drivers have used it for practice, it would be a welcome addition. Go find real pictures for NJMP, it’s surrounded by some trees, an open field and an airport. Is this seriously a huge work load for them? I mean would copy pasting the airport from Daytona really throw Montreal off by a build or two?

    Mosport Oval? That was said to be coming in like 2 weeks by Tony Gardner IIRC and we havent heard a word about it since.

    “Oh, you’re just trolling and stirring the pot, I see.”

    Nope, try again. I have a vested interest in this place just like you do, everyone else who had given them the benefit of the doubt and paid hundreds of dollars for empty promises.

    Since we are on that note, Why do you insist on posting on here and other forums across the sim world in anything that isnt iRacing related and interject something about iRacing in the discussion?

    Just stirring the pot and trolling, I see.

    We can both play that angle, or have a serious discussion about iRacing that doesn’t involve making anyone who hates it a troll.

  • Matt Orr

    Tis funny. Rarely if ever do I see “crashing and spinning” in my races, even in the hotsplits consisting of all the super fast guys. Yet you can absolutely count on the slow guys wrecking.

    Now, why is that? If it feels “super” going slow, then the slow guys would never wreck because crashing and spinning isn’t realistic.

    Instant gratification isn’t popular? Then why did the Riley – which is easily one of the most broken cars in the service (also the easiest) suddenly go from unloved to supremely popular once it became a (lol) downforce car? Why is the 12C run by nearly everyone it seems? Why is the Star Mazda a perpetual wave of drivers? Oh yes, because they are easy. Why is the Skip popular? Because it doesn’t bite as hard when it does bite, while being fun as hell. Why does fixed setup racing exist? Because it’s easier to have a set given to you rather than find / make one.

    Loose is fast. Loose is unstable. Modern fighter aircraft are designed to be completely unstable and held in check by a computer. It gives absolute max performance. If you REALLY think real world racing has as aggressive setups as we do at iRacing, you should check the Sprint Car forum. A guy who actually races them in the real world, is more than “fast” enough even says the setups are way out of line, because it’s fastest. With 3″ of Stagger (real world value according to him) the car is piss easy to drive. It’s slow as hell. With 6″ of Stagger, it’s a complete bitch to drive, but it’s fast as hell. You won’t be competitive with a “realistic” setup because we can make mistakes and not die, we can run on the same track practicing as much as possible and even if we don’t die in a wreck, our bank accounts are not affected.

  • Anonymous

    I’m interested where the two week value came from, I never read that. I’d love to see a source. If we haven’t heard a word since, then it must be after Sept 2011, and thus not missing on the old forum like Michael says.
    http://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/iracing-news/short-track-bonanza

    I’m honestly interested in the source, if it’s literally just 2 weeks from a release then I absolutely agree. I have no issue with you disagreeing with their choice, I just don’t think you’re correct that they said it was just 2 weeks of work from completion.

    You know, of course, they wouldn’t just copy some other track’s scenery. These are the guys who put every little chair at the refreshment stand half a mile from the track. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Neebs57 Neebs

    Its funny when iRacing scares the trolls, so many comments get posted. Glad I can race multiple sims and enjoy them all.

  • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

    Don’t worry yourself Michael, I’m watching it.
    I’m not going to step in because they’re having an argument. Arguments are fine. It takes at least two to have one and you can opt out any time. As long as there’s no personal insults or bad language, as a mod, I’m ok with things here so far.

  • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

    Your sentence could have been “I’m simply not someone who tries to perpetuate (BS/nonsense) and (absurdity/ignorance/silliness/lunacy)”

    I think he is allowed a different opinion without expecting to directly be called names for it. Same goes for ‘fanboy’ actually PetrolheadDen. That seems to be getting used with bad intent these days. I dunno what’s wrong with ‘fan’ like it used to be.

    Debate all you want, by all means, but keep the name-calling off the schedule can ya ? Cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Colafabio/644649048 Diego Colafabio

    It’s always nice to read comments from iRacing haters. In every post about iRacing. Cmon guys, drive what do you want, and stop this f………sim war.

  • Edward Van Velsen

    People don’t race iracing for the physics… This sim provides the best public racing period.

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