- Sim Racing News

Sector3`s New Graphics Engine Clarified

Following yesterday’s leak of Sector3’s Unreal 4 graphics engine work, the Swedish studio has reacted with a statement clarifying some details

Following yesterday’s leak of Sector3’s Unreal 4 graphics engine work, the Swedish studio has reacted with a statement clarifying some details:

What I can confirm is that we have a very small team investigating and evaluating newer technologies for the future as we always need to keep ourselves up to date with what’s out there and consider our options for whatever the future may bring. We are not working on a new game at this moment and RaceRoom remains our primary focus.

The leaked image is a very early and quite honestly not a very flattering one so it’s only right that I share with you something more recent and up to date.

To go along with this, a new preview has been released, showing the BMW Z4 GT3 at Spa Francorchamps at night.

As the studio points out, there’s no new title currently in the works as the studio remains committed to RaceRoom Racing Experience so sim racers shouldn’t be holding their breath for the new graphics engine to arrive anytime soon.

  • Mick Mockennen

    Evaluating? First screen looked like the Nordschleife and now we have Spa at night. Seems like there is more to this.

    It does have a cartoony look that contrasts with the more realistic look that others are trying to achieve. I like it though.

    edit: just realised the first screen is also Spa. Sorry!

    • e_r_n_i_e

      The first leaked screenshot was also Spa. (Kemmel straight)

    • AdamJonas

      That picture you can see at this article is the ‘up to date’ picture. The other one is older.

    • Leeman

      “Cartoony”? Really?

  • Kondor999

    R3E already has very good graphics IMHO. Perhaps the best of all the engines out there. No, there’s no silly lens flare, blur and all that nonsense, but the AA is excellent (and not a resource hog) and the lighting looks realistic. A lot of games have a weird sort of “trying to look like a film” look. That’s fine for “cinematic” games, but I think the priority for a driving sim should be achieving something that looks more like what the human eye sees (without a camera involved).

    • Race Nut

      You make a very valid point in regard to what the human eye sees but, the difference is we don’t have intense chrome reflections from the sun in our homes, they may be simulated in the game instead. I’m fine with that as long as we have the option to adjust such effects or disable them completely.

      To suggest that developers shouldn’t include such features as light reflections, bloom, glints and the sort is not much different than forcing them on us turned up to 150%.

      I don’t generally use blur but, the sun-flare in PCars VR mode adds greatly to the immersion (had me reaching for my sunglasses) and SMS were kind enough to offer variability as well.

  • Markus Ott

    Considering they are evaluating now and work hasn’t begun it probably will take at least 3 years until a new title would get released. Unreal engine 4 is pretty old then already.

    • LogiForce

      Doesn’t matter as the engine usually stays in the basis the same to work with through itterations, just like when going from one Windows version to the next… it takes a bit to get used to as stuff might be moved around a bit, but it’s fundamentally based on the same structure.

      So yeah, they are just looking to see if the Unreal Engine is something that’s suited for race games or not. As they say… you have to keep your options open and explore new ones. 😉

    • Patrik Marek

      unreal4 engine will get some updates too , so it’s not like it’s will be obsolete, you still have games on unreal3 that still looks quite good

      I think it’s a good move, since it frees up quite some time,but obviously issue is if most sims go that route, then they will all look the same
      and it also might pose some limitations too

      • melanieuk1

        I don’t think they all will look the same, check out the many FPS titles, that use the Unreal Engine, they can all look very different, from cell animated to photo realistic.
        The two screen shots we’ve seen of S3S graphics update, don’t look like Kart Kraft, and that’s using the unreal engine.

      • pez2k

        You don’t even need to restrict yourself to shooters – compare Gears of War 3 to Guilty Gear Xrd, they’re both on UE3. For every dull beige Homefront or Medal of Honor 2010 there’s a Mirror’s Edge and a Remember Me. It’s all about the art design and direction, rather than an inbuilt engine limitation.

      • Patrik Marek


        not exactly the same, but they are build with same pieces. the pices might have different shapes and colors, but the behaviour (engine) will be the same

        for example lens flares, you can change “texture” for the flare, so they will look different, but they will behave the same ,

        unless you can customize everything in the engine, which is not always the case

        also things like shaders might be pre-compiled and you only supply textures. So yes you can control how the materials will look like with textures, but you can’t change the actual shader to do something else, or create a new one

        if you don’t understand what I meant, … check out GP Legends, GTR2, Race07, GSC
        they are all build on same engine, yes they can look different, but they have same “feel” to them, becasue it’s same engine ( what a surprise?)

        yes art direction can still change it etc. , but if you both are doing racing simulator that suppose to be realistic, what are the chances that your games will look dramatically different if you use same engine ??!?

        if Automobilista used AC engine for example, they coudl do different PP filters , but they would have same shadow issues, etc.

        do you understand what I mean now? or do i really need to go into details ?

        I had a look at Kart Kraft and it does look very nice, sure. But let’s wait and see a daylight screenshot (more polished ) from S3, and then we can talk how similar or not they are

    • William Mazeo

      UE3 is old and can still make great graphics. UE4 won’t be bad any time soon

    • Ari Antero

      I don`t think DX12 is old in 2019 as you claim:”
      Unreal Engine 4 supports advanced DirectX 11 & 12 rendering features such as full-scene HDR reflections, thousands of dynamic lights per scene, artist-programmable tessellation and displacement, physically-based shading and materials, IES lighting profiles and much more.”

  • Gulyás Tamás


  • Giovanni Scala

    WOW! Wish them a good luck!

  • dalibor

    smart move for proven engine….
    it looks just fantastic – and that is understatement:)

  • Guimengo

    That looks nice and plus, but Spa has neatly trimmed, maybe 2″ long grass, not 1′ :p

  • Kev

    Yep, graphics sells. It sells sim SW. It sells hardware. It sells DLC. Sell. Sell. Sell.

    “Physics are good now ; what’s wrong with focusing on graphics” lol

    This is the true headline “Ladies and gentlemen…Physics are done now. Give yourselves a round of applause” 9_9

    Geezus, get another hobby already…

    • Matt Orr

      It actually does become pretty important, especially when night racing comes into play. If the current engine is pretty much incapable of doing a quality night racing experience it’d be well worth upgrading to be able to bring in a new feature.

      • Kev

        Fair enough but that wasn’t my point which was that physics isn’t “done”. And we all know the craze over graphics is not primarily about night racing. 99.9% of the graphics obsessed could improve their immersion ten fold over graphics can deleiver by simply learning how to drive.

      • Cellux

        You shouldn’t presume they can’t, just a thought 😉

      • melanieuk1

        He’s coming from the narrow minded school of thought, that those that want better visuals, cant drive, and are only console kiddies, I could imagine what is his favourite simracing title, yes I can drive in all pc simracing titles, after all they are all only a computer game, and I’ve never had a console since play station One, I know you didn’t make such statement, just letting kev and the likes of him know, plus this news post is about S3S new graphics engine.

      • F1Racer

        “those that want better visuals, cant drive, and are only console kiddies”

        I would say that is a narrow minded school of thought.
        We ALL want better visuals if it’s possible. Why wouldn’t you ?
        What we don’t want is to have the physics sacrificed because of it or a sim that is just eye candy.

      • melanieuk1

        It’s what you read from the same people, it’s not my quote, I’m quoting what I’ve read on other sites.
        And yes someone that’s actually liked your comment is one of them.

      • F1Racer

        You certainly made it sound like yours. Maybe those ‘other sites’ are full of it.

      • melanieuk1

        I made it sound like mine?, no you interpreted it how you wanted it.

      • F1Racer

        If I have misinterpreted it then maybe you should have written it in a way where it couldn’t be misinterpreted.
        Either way you must agree with what you wrote.
        And if you’re going to quote someone, at least put it in quotes if it’s verbatim or lets us have your source. Or maybe just clearly say you’re quoting from someone else.

      • CT

        I understood what you meant.

      • Kev

        I’m not. The remaining 0.01% can drive fine 😉

      • Cellux

        It’s 0.1% according to your earlier stats. The master race that can drive and all those rest are peasants that can’t.

      • Kev

        Incorrect. First, it’s not a matter of can’t. It’s a matter of not trying. Second, I’m only referring to the graphic obsessed and also pointing out that that is why they are graphics obsessed because driving sucks when you don’t know what your doing. Sim racing for me is 100x better since I learned how to drive.

      • melanieuk1

        Let me take a wild guess, the 0.01% users that can drive in a racing sim by any chance are they people that play ISI Engine simulators mainly those produced by ISI or Reiza?

      • Kev

        No clue where you get that idea but I would guess that people who know how to drive are, if anything, disproportionately open-minded at the very least but more likely could not care less about sims because it’s all about the cars except for those who are relentlessly obsessed with stoking wars over sims to the point where every single post they write is about which sim is better than another sim even if post has absolutely nothing to do with that.

      • Matt Orr

        Besides the totally ridiculous stat you and everyone here knows you made up – when have the physics ever been “done” for any sim in the modern age?

        You would need to go back a decade for a platform where that happened – to rF1 or NR03. Both from a totally different age in how things had to be developed.

        AC’s physics won’t stop changing until AC2 takes over development.
        AMS/SCE had a fairly beefy update going between SCE and AMS in that area. And “it’s just rFactor…”
        iRacing’s tires never stop evolving.
        Project CARS has had a billionty patches and still has things just not working that once did.
        R3E has had 2 or 3 “major physics updates” over the last year.
        rFactor 2 has the CPM that is on what, 5 cars?

        And that is alphabetical there. It only stops – it only will stop – once work has been abandoned.

        Quite frankly, IMO these developers have chased the physics so far down the rabbit hole they’ve forgotten almost everything else – graphics, features and implementations, ai, content, user experience… 😐

        (and this is why rF1 is still such a great platform, and why rF2 despite some of it’s technical and feature brilliance will never come close to matching what rF1 achieved)

      • Kev

        Matt, I couldn’t agree more with every single thing you said above and you are in fact making my point which was that the claim (of someone else ; NOT me, believe me) that “physics are done so now let’s all focus on graphics now” is silly.

    • Marco Hooghuis

      Just because one thing gets attention, it doesn’t mean that everything else isn’t important. What’s wrong with a sim looking nice?

      • Kev

        Why would anything be wrong with a sim looking nice?

  • Bruno Teodoro Pinheiro

    Amazing work Sector, bus please… Get your s%&# and forget about this trend about “prices and packages”. Make again a game like GTR2, the leader. Our hobby is needing a game that TRULY DELIVERS in all fronts, and your team is very, very talented!

    • Hash

      “Post edited by moderator – masked profanity) – Watch your language, it’s unnecessary.”

      Good job mod, I despise foul language, tis the bane of our youth ;‑)

    • Marco Hooghuis

      Look at the prices of those packages and compare that to the amount of content you got for it in the ‘good old days.’

      You don’t have to own every single car, track and livery. Just stick to what you like and forget the rest.

      • Bruno Teodoro Pinheiro

        Excuse me buddy, but in my humble opinion nothing compares to a fully priced game that comes full of features and fully functional. Can’t never forget the good times I had in my life with Nascar Racing 2, Grand Prix 2 and GP4…

  • ImageArtSigns .

    Does that look like it could be Headlights…I feel giddy with excitement…lol…hope that means cockpit dash lighting as well….I want to be able to map my Headlight button for R3E and….well…maybe the windscreen wiper as well…oh happy days…lol

  • Gallinho

    Who cares when physics are so bad?

    • João Dário


  • noroardanto

    Good luck sector 3 I hope you guys have fun exploring new possibilities and will comes out with amazing results.

  • noroardanto

    I hope someone will make a simracing game in cell shader. It will be cool, believable ffb and physics in cartoony looks.

  • Babis Rataplan

    These are AMAZING news…. Not like Rfactor2,Iracing and Reiza …. that they don’t care about graphics at all.
    Why everyone thinks the Worst the graphics the better the physics ??? Doesn’t make any sense… the only sense that it makes is to sell more on Low end PC’s that is something that I understand …
    There is an amazing sim with great graphics ,physics and ffb Assetto corsa . Ok P.C. has amazing graphics to , but it doesn’t feel so sim to me… All I want to say is that we can have it all…… Reiza has amazing physics if they want to sell more just make a game that will look like 2014-16 game. Its like 2016 and still I see these 2D trees and skybox… doesn’t that breaks the immersion ?

    • 5hitm4k3r666

      FYI, Unreal engine 4 has a skybox aswell. I don’t know why people allways think that race sim devs don’t care about graphics? The only thing I see is dev teams setting their priorities according to their size and to their own objectives. Besides that, I don’t think that any of the recent sims looks ugly or something. For me it is important that the game has a nice, natural look. Everything else on top is nice, but nothing I personaly see as mandatory. The most important thing is, that it does the job. There is other far more important stuff that breaks the immersion earlier for me.

      • Babis Rataplan

        Honestly agree with you in every aspect , except the priority and the size … for example kunos has small team is that correct ? I see them trying every month making some graphics adjustments.
        Yeah sure ffb and physics are most important but honestly didn’t you prefer to have drive club graphics on your fav sim ? And its not about power… I think every modern pc can handle drive club graphics… its like an old 7870 on this ps4.

      • 5hitm4k3r666

        It depends a bit of what you want to achieve with the engine and your sim and what you want to do with the sim as a user. I am not saying that I don’t want to have updated visuals, but the UE4 does not support certain features, that are important in rF2.

        If you have a static environment like AC or RRE, it doesn’t matter much, but if you have a dynamic environment things become a bit more complicated. And the Unreal Engine is just not suiting this stuff. Alot of people scream for moar shiny graphics overlooking a few important aspects. Thatswhy my comment was more a reaction to the comment and the statement of “2016 games don’t have skyboxes”.

        Another important thing is, that rF2 for example is trimmed towards huge fields of cars for Endurance racing or Nascar. All other sims on the market don’t support this stuff to the same extend (iRcaing a bit, but it is also static). So yeah, I can understand the different goals, approaches and priorities of sim developers.

        My point is, you can’t compare the different development approaches, or better the products. It is the story of apples and oranges. 😉

      • Babis Rataplan

        I surely I understand what are you saying and I get your point..I surely prefer have 24 cars with great AI.
        I don’t have big xp on Drive club to understand how the AI works on it .
        Can you give us some info about …. Moving environments like trees and 3d Skybox did they want more cpu or gpu power ? I guess physics are going on CPU that’s why some people had problems on Assetto with a lot of cars . My self I have make a test an i3 + 980ti and i7 + 980ti I have the sae fps when I was running alone on the track or when I was on a tail… But when I was starting on the grid with 24 cars it was much more fps with i7…. So I guess car physics is all about CPU. Did the environment needs gpu or cpu ? I will test it when the new Assetto corsa environment cames

      • 5hitm4k3r666

        In the case of rF2 it is not a question, wether a skybox is cpu or gpu hungry. The question is wether the engine supports your desired features. In that regard UE4 just doesn’t work well with sims that focus on environmental influences like wether and cloud calculations. Again: the environment in rF2 is not within a static sphere (the skybox) like in rF1 based games or AC. You could apply the same principle for Project Cars with it’s orbit calculations and stuff like that. In those two sims an important aspect of the lightning is the lat/long and height of the track and the relative sun position and the wether.

    • Patrik Marek

      I think that’s the biggest reason behind it , so that it runs on lower specs PC’s, or tripple screens and all that

      if it was supposed to look like pCARS,you would need hefty machine for tripples, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they don’t really push so hard on graphics

      and also – COST !!!!! – it takes lot longer to do car for something like Asetto corsa ( let alone pCARS) then it does for AMS, less details/less polygons/less textures/shaders means that it takes shorter amount of time to do a car from scratch, and that means that you don’t pay as much money for it.
      I’m sure that this is also taken into consideration

      • Babis Rataplan

        This is true I use my 980ti On P.C. Assetto… and I use my 840m to play Race07 Raceroom,Rfactor2 … Low specs gpus need these sims.
        About the cost … I thought Iracing development team is bigger than Kunos for example , also I think Raceroom and Iracing costs more than Assetto+3 dream packs.
        I can see that they need time and cost to make these graphics, But Iracing is the one of the oldest sims and with sooooo many people on it .. Reiza also has an amazing years with GSC it would be nice to see them make something a little bit better in graphics than this New title of them… I have tried 2-3 hours I love the EVO and that we can run on tarmac and dirt … But again it looks like the old ones .I just want to see a progression that’s all I am not graphics freak… I am ok with not perfect graphics , but I am not ok with bad graphics.

    • Richard Hessels

      Assetto Corsa i nice, but professional drivers have complains about it’s handling. They prefer rF1 and rF2

      • Babis Rataplan

        Some people agree some don’t… also there are different opinions on every professional driver that I have already speak.. Some of them say that there is no SIM that is close…. But I don’t want to say what is the best sim on handling … all I want to say is that whatever the sim… it must have acceptable graphics.

    • Marco Hooghuis

      What are you talking about? I think iRacing looks more than fine. rFactor 2 is ok, but not bad either.

  • Babis Rataplan

    I hope they will make a Single package …. Like GTR3 or something with a stable price and content …. and not ALWAYS ONLINE .

    • noroardanto

      I agree with “not always online”

  • delpinsky

    This looks a lot more interesting! Let’s hope to see more screenshots coming.

  • Markus Ott

    by the way: yould someone ask them if they also have a screenshot based on the latest CryEngine? Considering that engine is also in evaluation.

    • Chillisteak

      Sure I read else where that the new graphics engine they are playing with is Unreal 4 [EDIT] it’s also mentioned in the first line of this article lol

  • Chillisteak

    Gorgeous stuff, an Unreal 4 engine would really look sweet, as that engine is capable of pulling off some gorgeous stuff. But I’m curious how well their physics model would pair up to it? and if it would at all be possible to upgrade Raceroom to it, or will this just be work towards a new game? ahh so many questions!

    • melanieuk1

      UE4 is middle ware, so S3S physics engine should be able to work well with it.

      The developers of Kart Kraft, has said they’ll be using the UE4 as their graphics engine, and they have their own in house physics engine.

    • Mar Mar

      a sim racing made with UE4? Gimme that!

  • Patrik Marek

    i start to think that the king of graphics is Frostbyte engine ! new NFS is just gorgeous. Yes the gameplay/physics is not for everyone and it’s definitely on the arcade side of things , but man oh man, visually it’s really stunning

    if I was to do a racing game not on my engine, I would certaily look into Frostbyte

    • Guimengo

      Frostbyte, Fox… they look incredibly powerful enough to make any distinctions just pure nitpicking.

      • Patrik Marek

        sure, it depends a lot how you use them, rather then just purely on the engine

        From dev point of view I suppose it also matters a lot how easy it is to use for artists. Kunos engine for example is definitely very friendly and easy to use, I also played a bit with Unreal with looked still quite ok, but I wasn’t big fan of Unity, that one looked like it’s more complicated to setup

    • Jetexocet

      No Patrik……..I think deep down we both know the answer lies in UE4. It’s the newest, and not at 100%% yet. Frostbite is good, but UE4 is truly where it’s at, when going forward.

      • Patrik Marek

        do 1 game on frostbyte in 3 years and out, then go to proven (at that point) UE4 🙂

      • Easy DaRon

        Developers mostly chose UE4 because it´s free for development and probably easier to use. Frostbyte isn´t and it has to be licensed and isn´t meant to be for everyone, but mostly the internal engine of EA and DICE. The end result is what counts. And Frostbyte creates as good results as any other engine.

      • Patrik Marek

        if you are considering licensing Frostbite, they do give you demo so that you can try it out first

        but true, on UE4 you can develop entire game and only pay license once you release it

        it does come to the skills of people using it, but as it stands now some of the best looking games – from my point of view – are all running Frostbite engine

      • pez2k

        I didn’t think EA were willing to license Frostbite to external studios – it’s only been used internally for the last 8 years.

      • Patrik Marek

        it might be “developed” by DICE, but that doesn’t always mean that they haven’t used someone to develop it for them?

        so yes, it would be published through EA

        but anyhow, I was only giving that as an example, I’m not planning to develop anything 😉

  • quf

    Adding some bits to the UE4 topic, from their website (announcement made a year ago):

    “Unreal Engine 4 is now available to everyone for free, and all future updates will be free!

    You can download the engine and use it for everything from game
    development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and
    animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on
    gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a
    simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.”

  • F1Racer

    Talking of cars and the Unreal engine. This might be of interest (and yes the video is private)…

    • Trimaz

      Looks like Polygon tried to link to somebody else’s video without permission.