rFactor 2: The Road Ahead

Three days ago, Studio 397 released the first DirectX 11 equipped beta of rFactor 2.

Now, the studio has shared some details on how the beta development will continue in the weeks to come:

On Monday we released the first “open beta” and promised you regular updates in terms of code and content. In today’s blog we would like to explain this process in more detail to give you more insight into this process and our plans to get from this open beta to the first stable release.

The implementation of the DX11 and VR engine obviously is a big project that touched many areas of the codebase and in terms of features we added everything we wanted to have in our first release. Once that was done, our focus shifted to performance and ensuring the code runs in a stable way on every system out there. At this point, no matter how many great testers you have, you discover that you can never test your code on all possible combinations of hardware and software. For that reason we decided to release an “open beta”.

Regular Updates

Our strategy in the upcoming weeks will be to release small updates often. Whenever we fix an issue, we’ll quickly test it internally and push a new build, so you can confirm that it is indeed fixed. This way we might end up pushing one or more builds every day. On our forum we will keep a changelog as we publish those builds. To make it easier to report issues, we have added a “Contact Support” button to the Launcher (top right of the main window) and, for performance related issues, we added a feature that allows you to collect performance data in a file that you can send along with your report.

To enable the capture of performance data, please first press Ctrl+F to display the framerate information (which we’ve extended a bit). Then, as instructed on screen, press your Left-Shift+SPACE to start capturing data. After a little while, the capture will end and you get a file in your UserData\Log folder called PerfLog_DATETIME.txt which you can send to us along with your report. Then you can turn off the display by pressing Ctrl+F again.

Content Updates

In the mean time our content team is working hard on making more of the stock content available to you. Our plan here is to stick to roughly a weekly schedule for delivering updates. Those will be a bit bigger in size, and we will deliver them to both the stable DX9 build and the open beta simultaneously. Content updates will obviously also contain information about exactly what content gets updated.

Beta Labels Explained

If you’re currently running the open beta release, you are on “v1108-dx11-open-beta” and this is the label we will be regularly updating as we address more and more issues. If for some reason this build is not working for you at all, after reporting it, you can optionally switch to the “v1108-dx11-open-beta-last-stable” build, which will point to an older build. If that does not work, you can obviously choose to temporarily “opt-out” of the beta releases altogether and go back to the stable release until we release another update.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on our forum or on Discord.

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • ImageArtSigns .

    I am more than happy with the DX11 update so far as my version on my PC is looking far better than previous, still early days though…Studio 397 are off to a good start and I have complete confidence that they will produce an amazing Sim from the ashes of rF2

  • FuzzyFassbender

    “Our strategy in the upcoming weeks will be to release small updates often.”
    Studio 397 released 4 small patches already today – nice! Looks like they may be working feverously to makes improvements and squash bugs.

  • RapidRefund

    Seems Studio 397 has a core team that can meet the demands of today’s industry While Image Space may forever be iconic they wanted to remain a small tight knit group and fell behind material wise. Good to see S397 have a similar
    Work load effort of that of SMS.

    • David Dominguez

      What demands? For now, ISI has built the entire game, with probably the most advanced physics engine and AI, and most feature complete sim. Not having DX11 or deph of field effects etc was just a design decision, not that they weren’t capable of doing it.

      • MC

        Going to try to understand this again (to date no one has given me an explanation). When did rFactor have the most advanced physics? From the start? A particular point in time?

        I’m not hating on rF, it has its place and I’ve enjoyed it, it’s just personally I think AC and iR have taken more significant leaps in development. Even Raceroom would get my vote ahead of rF, and others would argue Reiza/AMS have achieved more than ISI.

        With rFactor it feels like a bunch of lets say dedicated people have decided to promote it as ‘the sim’, even though at no point was it ever regarded as such (unless I’ve missed something fairly major). Lets hope this new development ‘partnership’ can take it to the next level, where IMO its rivals already are.

      • melanieuk1

        I can at least shed some light, it is because supposedly F1 teams with their Billion pound budgets used the “rfactor1” engine not rfactor 2, to train with, but personally I think I know why this might have been the case, they used rfactor 1 and not iracing, especially in a very recent video where rfactor is also been used in a nascar sim.
        It’s because of how easy it was to get access to 100s of track’s free without license, it’s not the physics, because we all know that the same physics that these teams are using, are not the same physics that we are playing in our basements, bedrooms, or sitting in front of a computer monitor, where they could have used iracing with it’s laser scanned circuits, no doubt someone will say I’m talking rubbish, but it is good to debate isn’t it, opinions are opinions. 🙂

      • Richard Hessels

        rFactor Pro that is for the billion dollar teams.. quite a bit more advanced than the regular consumer rF1.
        Many lower tie racing teams use rF1, its cheap, modding is easy, it just works

      • Justin Schmidt

        F1 teams used rfactor pro. Physics came from their Car development programs, not calculated in rfpro. Rfactor pro is only available for actual Manufacturers who build their own cars. Private race teams did use the normal rfactor1. Rfpro is not available for them.

      • MC

        I remember reading something years ago where they reckoned F1 teams clubbed together and laser-scanned F1 tracks, but I’ve never seen any evidence of that. My understanding’s they use rFactor due to the customisability, and also if you think back there wasn’t that much competition towards the end of the noughties, and there probably still isn’t with regards to what rF offers.

      • Chris Wright

        To get truly meaningful data, they would have to use tracks that were 100% accurate, don’t you think. Therefore I think the notion that F1 teams would rely on some amateur track builder’s personal interpretation of a circuit to be somewhat fanciful.

      • hotak

        many times i’ve seen drivers tell that sims are not usefull to learn the car, but just to memorize the track and get the right trajectories, so I’m not sure about how much a few meters difference between the real and the game’s track would make it not usefull

      • Chris Wright

        That’s one aspect but they also simulate a lot more than that.

      • Oli SPeedY

        Sorry to proof that you are wrong, but your light is simply superficial knowledge. Racing teams like Red Bull use a http://rFpro.com based solution, which is based on an improved rF1 engine : http://en.wikipedia.org/RFactor_2#Background

        rFactor Pro gives professional racing teams the ability to plugin their own vehicle dynamics remotely, including motor, aerodynamics, suspension and other real-time data. That goes far beyond a simple car modding. ISI also earns money from them providing highly accurate laser scanned track surfaces including all that tiny bumbs.

        Racing teams upgrade their simulator from time to time to keep them up to date. Once Christian Horner said that a simulator Niels installed was more advanced than Red Bulls, amongst others because of a direct drive wheel and Reiza’s excellent car physics.

      • quf

        I don’t think is ISI who makes the laserscanned (or lidar) tracks for rfpro. But more like the rfpro company, Kangaloosh Ltd. Do you have that article about Horner saying the red bull sim wasn’t as good as gsce or ams? Or where did he say it? Wasn’t red bull using rfpro like you said, why would they ask Niels to install them a different sim?

      • Oli SPeedY

        Most companies lent the laser scanning hardware because it’s quite expensive. I don’t think ISI scans the tracks theirselves, but they offer a server with that trackdata to racing teams.
        As far as I remember Niels stated Christians quote in one of his videos, but I am not sure ( it’s quite some time ago ). Maybe they met at the expo on the Nürburgring.

      • melanieuk1

        If ISI did make or scan those tracks, you would have to wonder why didn’t they add them into rfactor 2 in the first place, whilst I think the work 397 is good, with dx 11, I can only see a slight improvement in the car body reflections, the track, even those that have been updated, still have a flat look to them with extra or to much bloom unrealistic, lets hope before they even think about selling dlcs, they do massive overall of the tracks, there is a standard out there, they have to be in line with that stand nothing less.

      • Oli SPeedY

        Easy to explain. When watching such videos of rFpro simulators you can see that most tracks are simplyfied besides the tarmac and often collisions with side walls are deactivated. In contrast to that the track surface is very detailed. This is exactly what racing teams are looking for. They don’t care if all buildings, trees etc. are present and such trackdata requires huge hdd space. That is nothing what “gamers” want.
        Another reason is that they need to have a license to offer official tracks to end users.

        From their website:
        “Since 2007 rFpro has built Engineering quality and photo-realistic High-Definition (Hi-Def) circuit models from accurate LiDAR surveys. The LiDAR-based track database increases every year and now includes most of the F1 circuits, North American Indy & NASCAR circuits as well as La Sarthe, and the 20km Nordschleife. Public road routes, including specially commissioned OEM test routes can also be modelled, all with accuracies to within 1cm in x and y and less than 1mm in z.”

      • Depco

        They also use rF1 because of how flexible it is. It has hundreds of options that can be tweaked and manipulated to suit the specific end user. It is flexible in a way that iRacing never could be for those who need specific requirements.

        Iracing is a closed system for the most part. rF1 (And rF2) is an open system which allows end users to change it to their needs.

      • Leynad

        rFactor Pro is originally based on the isiMotor2 (rF1) licensed engine like pCars (GTR), Raceroom (Race 07) and AMS (GSC). rF2 is the 2.5 engine. They don´t belong to ISI, but according to the devs they share a lot of their knowledge and rFactor Pro is probably as far away from rF1 like pCars and Raceoom today, just in other directions.

      • RapidRefund

        Gmotor as stated is a graphic engine which Pro uses with client preference physics injected

      • GamerMuscle

        RF2 is perhaps one of the most feature complete and “Advanced” simulators.

        That does not necessarily translate into it also being the most “realistic” simulator with specific cars or for the specific task a person has in hand.

        You tend to find with driving simulators and physics engines that the core engine is just a component of the simulator outside of that, how much time and development that is put into a specific car and track can also have a huge impact on the end result.

        Arma 3 for example is the most feature complete military combat simulator and does a ton of things to an insane amount of detail , yet in many ways when it comes to basic tactical trope based game play and CQB something far more simple like insurgency can offer a more realistic end result.

        Flight simulator X with top end mods and fully configured by a person that knows what they are doing probably offers the most advanced and feature complete simulation of flying a passenger jet across a continent. Yet when it comes to the basic dynamics of flying a Cessna Xplane 10 and 11 come out miles ahead in terms of the end result matching the reality.

      • MC

        That’s the argument that has been put before, but (AFAIK) Forza 2, 3 and 4 all run the same engine yet with very different results (well 4 compared to the two previous titles). I think there was a list posted on here ages ago and Forza was on par with iRacing :/

      • GamerMuscle

        Forza will be different again I’m sure each version will have had fairly large changes to there core physics engine as well as large changes to the content in there game.

        I’m sure forza still has a very complex physics engine but I guess you can in some ways use it as an example of how complexity in some ways does not necessarily result in the most realistic results.

        In the case of Forza I think its the fact they design it primerly for a game pad then the limitations of console and then the fact that it has to be a AAA console game presented in a way that apeals to realy casual players that probably ends up actually negating what at its core might be quite a realistic engine or at least have the potential to be.

      • pez2k

        Forza Horizon is the best example of complexity vs realism – with the original tyre data it’s pretty arcadey, but with Forza 4’s tyre data it’s pretty similar to that console sim. I’ve always pondered making an arcadey mod car for rF one day to illustrate this sort of thing too.

      • pez2k

        The Forza Horizon games are on the same physics too, just with super arcadey tyre data. There’s more difference in the engine from Forza 2 to 4 than from 4 to Horizon 1. Forza 2 to 3 was a pretty hefty update though.

      • MC

        Yeah Horizon 1 was similar to Forza 4. Anyway don’t want to spam an rFactor topic with too much Forza talk =)

      • Leynad

        Comparing Forza to iRacing? Interesting, because i named iRacing a Simcade (brave i am:) because i see to many similarities with Forza. Both feel in the physics like the handling is way to scripted and i can´t just feel what cars are doing, i have to memorize it. And the performance of the cars i have in iRacing is not matching real cars at all like in Forza. They both could profit a lot from the ISI- or Kunos-engine, because both are far better in simulating cars IMO.

      • rafael_design

        Totally!

      • StuartBecktell

        rFactor 1 was the sim for a while, and was the first game with really amazing levels of mod support. rFactor 2 was released to much fanfare, but because it came out as a beta, people held off on releasing mods for it…and then it lost luster, and mods didn’t come out for it. Now we’re essentially at a point where it probably is more like rFactor 3, but its not going to be released as new.

      • Paul Maguire

        Dare i say the rF2 physics are overated a little? I spent 80e on the day of release and spent 3 years playing it as my main sim. I moved to AC and iRacing. Sometimes i go back to rf2 and not exactly blown away by how it feels. Some feel good, some feel terrible (IMO)

      • David Dominguez

        Anyway that wasn’t my point. My point was that I can’t see why S397 can “meet the demands of today’s industry”, giving what they have done.

        And I’m not saying they can’t, simply that they need time to demonstrate what are they capable of doing. For now they are working on a game that was very complete in many areas.

      • hotak

        IMHO RF2 feels much better than AC in “good” cars, but many cars, even ISI ones, feel really sub-par, not sure if because they were created with older versions of the physics engine (only have the game since a year) or because they were crap to begin with.

      • RapidRefund

        Material wise basic content. I think ISI were depending on the mod community to fit that bill and didn’t happen as expected fresh out of the box and you just cannot take forever to add one car in a group of licensed cars. As for physics I understand their approach without assists it’s raw and intended to use the appropriate RL car assists to get a moreTTL handling model. However our ego driven hardcore community won’t allow themselves to do this. Me included

      • David Dominguez

        And how has that changed? S397 hasn’t released any new car in 6 months (USF2000 and the japanese GT were developed by ISI, and those same guys are working now for S397).

      • Depco

        S397 has added DX11 (And continue to make it stable for all hardware configurations) as well as VR support. Both things rF2 users have been asking for since VR came out (DX11 even longer).

        ISI started alot of projects and then decided to put them on the back burner as more pressing needs/desires came up. S397 is finishing some of that content.

        Studio 397 is picking up the ball that ISI was not able to carry due to not actually being a game development company. ISI is a company that makes great Sim environments. They are not good at making complete driving games. S397 is filling that deficiency.

      • RapidRefund

        Multiple Daily Builds makes a strong statement!!!

      • Leynad

        If enough content isn´t a feature, rF2 is nearly feature complete, but why it´s possible to drive h-shifter-cars without using the clutch when auto-clutch is off? All other titles based on isiMotor2 fixed this issue years ago and running a historic car with sequential shifters is a huge advantage and the reason why the h-shifter nearly vanished in professional Motorsport.

      • Bakkster

        Depends on the transmission type, if it’s a dog box there’s no need to clutch up or down. If it is, you only need to clutch going up if you want to go fast (and down to reduce the risk of missed shifts).

      • Leynad

        I know the difference between h- and sequential shifter.

      • Bakkster

        My apologies, I was confused because you seemed to be saying all h-pattern cars can’t be shifted without a clutch.

  • zef

    To speak to dev in live on vocal is really excellent !!
    studio397 rocks!!

  • Justin Schmidt

    Sombody know if the March 86c or Reynard 95i are still on the agenda? Waiting for them since like 2013.

  • noroardanto

    The latest “unstable” beta is awesome. I can get 70-120 fps with 5 AI racing Lola at NOLA (previously 30-40fps with no AI). Thanks S397!

    • Leynad

      Decent fps here as well with Howston Dissenter @Toban running 4k (GTX 1070, maximum quality, Level 1 AA, post effects low, window-mode, no sync) and really fun to drive this monster:)

      • noroardanto

        I think full screen mode will better focus your hardware resources to the game you are playing?

      • 5hitm4k3r666

        Fullscreen mode isn’t working right now in the beta. But it should be fixed in the upcoming builds I think.

  • Cristianfx

    works great, im using the last stable version with the cv1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ap_hTZ5G4

    • Atarikake

      What!?! :O Is this rFactor2??? I guess it’s time to give it some playtime now. Wow.

    • StuartBecktell

      Whats your hardware specs? That looks amazing!

      • Cristianfx

        thx! i used to love Rfactor and now is back 😀
        i7 6700k, 16gb 3200, Asus GTX 1060 6gb, z170 pro gaming aura
        And the Oculus Rift cv1

      • StuartBecktell

        Nice, I have an i5 but similar specs otherwise (RX480) so excited to get into VR and looks like it should be easily possible with my setup.

  • Bakkster

    I’ll definitely be picking up rF2, this is all looking great!

  • FuzzyFassbender

    And the track and car in the video below has not even been updated (shaders, etc.) for DX11! It’s looking good and pretty good performance – Toban and Mills Metro under the lights is amazing!

  • Agony

    I am playing mostly Assetto and Raceroom…but I have to admit the feeling that I get from the wheel when I am on breaks it’s the best also the weight transfer is really good. I am glad that they trying to make it look better I wish them the best.

  • Durge Driven

    All titles have their strong and weak points, cars being one.

    ISI concentrated on more important stuff for me.
    They were never interested in eye candy at the cost of physical performance and neither am I.

    All sims “feel” good limo but 1 small step behind rF2

    In physical difference though that 1 small step translates into a Grand Canyon behind the wheel.

    It either blows you away or you just don’t get it imho 🙂

    For me personally the best modelling will never make up for the best physics

    I realize the majority don’t feel this that is why they can handle to drive consoles.

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