RaceRoom March 2019 Dev Update 

RaceRoom March 2019 Dev Update

From now on, every so often, Sector3 Studios Producer J-F Chardon will be posting a RaceRoom Development update in which he will inform everyone of the latest ongoings regarding the RaceRoom racing simulator development. 

In this new dev update he introduuces some of the new RaceRoom features which are in the works such as Adjustable tyre pressures, Flat spots, Suspension damage, Dedicated server updates, and more.

Back in the days when we were SimBin, we had a dev blog. Then later we had dev streams. The downside is that it all takes a long time to prepare and we’re busy making RaceRoom better! So we figured a written and more modest update from time to time was probably the best approach.

 

So I’ll be posting every now and then to update you about what we have in the works. I need to make it clear that the fact we have something cooking that gets presented here does not mean it’s around the corner, or that it will definitely come out in the next patch.

March 2019 dev update

1. Adjustable tyre pressures

Yes. You’ve read this right. We’re finally adding it.

As you can understand, this means a lot of development and testing of the physics engine and its variables to ensure the effects of pressure adjustments are proper and do not lead to exploits.

As a result, we will be turning this feature on following a per car basis, after each has passed QA tests.
Priority is set on the new car as well as car classes that are receiving a physics overhaul or are just popular.

The sub-optimal aspect of this feature is that we haven’t had the opportunity to re-design the car setup menu yet. Therefore you’ll find the buttons for it have been crammed in there. The way this menu is laid out at the moment didn’t really allow for a clear presentation of asymmetric pressure settings. You’ll have to pay close attention that you’re adjusting the correct tyre. We want to re-design this menu altogether whenever we have time.

Here’s the list of the car classes currently in beta with tyre pressures:

  • Formula RaceRoom Junior
  • Unannounced Formula car
  • Touring Classics
  • WTCR
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991.2)
  • Porsche 911 Carrera (964)
  • GTR2
  • GT4 Clubsport Trophy
  • Group C
  • Group 4
  • Mercedes DTM 1995

2. Flat spots

When locking a tyre for too long, the caused friction can eat through your rubber and create a flat surface on the wheel.
This not only has an effect on the grip and wear but will also induce some vibrations depending on the size and depth of the spot. Flat spots usually get worse over time as you will find that the affected tyre will lock up even more easily, eventually leading to a puncture.

Here’s the list of the car classes currently in beta with flat spots:

  • DTM 1992
  • Formula RaceRoom Junior
  • Group 4
  • Group C
  • GT4 Clubsport Trophy
  • GTR2
  • Porsche 911 Carrera (964)
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991.2)
  • WTCR
  • Touring Classics
  • Unannounced Formula car

This new feature is currently being tested for bugs but also feedback is being collected regarding how easy it is to get one, how much the wheel should vibrate, how it sounds like, and so on. Currently considering making it optional, which you will read about in chapter 4 below.

3. Suspension damage

Back in 2013, RaceRoom wouldn’t let your wheels come off your car, no matter the force of the impact.
In recent RaceRoom updates, you might have read about optimizations to the damage code, improvements to the collision detection and its effects on mechanical components.

And if you play regularly, you probably noticed we have some bugs to fix with regards to that. (Debris on track not clearing out from the track for example)

We’re not done yet. What we have in testing at the moment is a brand new system designed to accurately render effects of bent axles and broken springs.

Impacts will deform the alignment of individual suspension parts and affect the handling of the car in sometimes dramatic ways.

This is of course another feature that needs to sit in beta long enough to ensure you won’t suddenly receive unwanted camber or toe-in from harmless door to door racing.

Look at this driver… Will he even make it back to the pits to repair?

We are reviewing the code deep down, making changes such as damaging your powetrain if the impact affects a powered wheel. Also, the more worn your tyres, the bigger risk of getting punctures from collisions with other cars, from driving on dirt, gravel or grass, but also from driving over pieces of sharp carbon fiber left on the track by your fellow racers. For that, we’ll also have a caution flag warning to signal the presence of debris.

4. Revisions of damage settings

Because the above mentioned features can lead to added frustration for the least hardcore simracers among us, we will make sure those new ways of ending your race prematurely are optional.

One of the early design choices from back in 2013 that we’re now set to overcome is the way damage settings are defined. Right now there’s a separation between Visual Damage, and Mechanical Damage in the menu. This doesn’t make much sense any longer and we’ll change to have something like this instead:

  • Damage setting: None – Minimum – Complete
    • None = no visual damage, no mechanical damage, no punctures, no flat spots, no parts falling off.
    • Minimum = mechanical damage and visual damage are on. No punctures, no flat spots, no suspension damage or wheels falling off
    • Complete = everything on

5. Dedicated server features

Our dedicated server has been lacking when it comes to features you’d expect as part of a base package.
We’re fixing this, and adding more.

Here is what we’re working on adding:

  • Session info block:
    • Added list of connected players with their user ID, with a live count of their incident points.
    • Added ability to kick a certain player out
    • Added current session and timer
    • Added a “Next Session” button and a “Restart Session” button
  • Car selection list:
    • Added car specific weight ballast (for your personal BOP adjustments)
  • User management block:
    • Added user specific weight ballast (for leagues with success ballast)
    • Added management of banned users

 

The weight penalties will also be visible from the game itself, through the addition of a ballast column in the timing screen.

6. Shared memory API – Massive update.

As I’ve touched somewhere on the forum, our next update will break 3rd party applications that use our shared memory block.

If you are a developer of such applications, please have a look at the attachment ” r3e_sharedmem_preview_march2019.zip ” to get an early look at the changes.

The goal of this update is to expose all the possible telemetry you can dream of, and extend the possibilities for apps and overlays.

7. Support web-based in-game overlays

If you have watched or streamed a multiplayer race with your game client started as spectator, you are probably familiar with the fact that the overlays showing are done via web. We are adding a transparent web page on top of the game and we make it show whatever feels relevant at the time.

With this ability to overlay webpages on top of the gameplay and thanks to the sheer amount of data we’re adding to our shared memory block, we are experimenting with fully customizable HUD’s.

Just like for the broadcast overlays, we will ship the feature with an example app that will showcase some of those new possibilities.

 

8. Oschersleben – New layouts

We wanted to get this out in time for the ADAC esport championship, but with the time constrains and the track being featured early in the series, we couldn’t make it happen in time. But good news is that it will come eventually, and for free to anyone who already owns the track.

  • A Course (already available)
  • “Motorcycle” A Course (fast turn 1 chicane)
  • B Course (shortcut after turn 3)
  • “Motorcycle” B Course (fast turn version)

9. Physics updates

@Alex Hodgkinson is always busy. When it’s not about upcoming cars, it’s of course about bringing improvements to the ones that are already out there, to re-ignite interest in them as the often suffer from the comparison to the feel of the newly released cars.

One of the updates currently in development is the DTM 1992 & Touring Classic classes.
In order to respect the true specs of these cars, we had to sacrifice the balance of performance between those two classes. This means that the BMW M3 E30, present in both, will eventually be present in two different flavours. More on that will come from Alex himself when we’re closer to release of these.

We are also busy adding support for electric vehicles in both the physics and sound engines in very close partnership with a major player in the industry. More on that soon!

A lot of things have to change when you suddenly don’t have more than one gear and no fuel to burn!

10. Fanatec SDK updates

We are spending time with our friends from Fanatec to implement their latest SDK and make use of nice features they offer on their hardware such as special switches or ability to show yellow flag warnings through the steering wheel LED’s.

 
Official Webpages – game.raceroom.comsector3studios.com

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