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Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1112 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 3970530
dedi: 3970532

Changelog:

- Fixed lit signs not coming on at the right time of day (example brake marker signs at Le Mans)
- Fixed some graphics glitches on old content
- Fixed transparent trainer car not visible

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Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1112 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 3984482
dedi: 3984485

Changelog:
- Cutting now results in a drive-through penalty (Severe cutting will still get a stop-and-go penalty)
- Dedicated servers must be updated for this change to take effect

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Roadmap-time is one of the best times of the month, even for us! You wonder why?

It gives us the chance to bring together what we worked on, admire screenshots, or just be happy about what we achieved as a team in terms of improvements, new features or content. As we´re developing and working on rFactor 2 basically 24/7, it´s important to also enjoy every little step that we did to make this simulation better. Because in the end, we´re sim racing enthusiasts, just like you!

Alright alright, enough romantic talking about game development, let´s go down to what’s actually happening outside of our continuing work on Nordschleife, UI and the competition system. And yes, it has it all, further improvements, new features and fresh content. 3..2..1.. GO!

A New Future

Ever heard that 3 is the magic number? That´s basically what happened here. Take the knowledge and technology of McLaren (1), mix it with the heritage and meaning of the name Senna (2) and add the GTR (3) badge to deliver a masterpiece. Voilá, introducing the hottest carbon fibre thingy on rubber tyres that mankind has ever tried to tame on track.

 

 

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Powered by a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8, this almost demonic piece of joy can skyrocket you onto the first place of nearly any grid around the world. But the McLaren Senna GTR is not just the track-day car that would be outside most people’s budgets, it’s more than that. It’s our chance as a simulation studio to actually try to have a look into the not-so-distant future and create something that could be the pinnacle of the next-gen sports car racing world.

So be aware, if you unleash this beast, you might time travel! 

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Talking about time travel, the McLaren Senna GTR will be released within the next few weeks.

One could think that with this announcement, we burned up everything we have, especially since 2019 is already half-way through.

But we can assure you, that’s absolutely not the case! There is so much more still to come this year!

And yes, this means that we will also add more rubber tyre thingys that go fast!

Worlds Fastest Gamer 2

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We’re super stoked to be supporting Worlds Fastest Gamer again with an incredible prize!  

Next week, rFactor 2 drivers will have the chance to qualify for the World’s Fastest Gamer Grand Final via an online time trial run on the Sebring International Raceway course with the Aston Martin GT3, running from August 5 to 18.

The top 20 racers will then do battle in a live-streamed, 40-minute race on August 24th. In addition to earning the chance to chase the full-time real-world racing stint worth more than US$1 million, a US$10,000 prize pool will be up for grabs in the final race. Incredible stuff!!  

The winning rFactor 2 driver will join eight racers hand-picked by the World’s Fastest Gamer judging panel plus the winner of the Gear.Club mobile game time trial.

Look out for more details soon. In the meantime, check out the WFG website http://wfgamer.com/ 

Competition heats up!

While we’re at it, let´s also announce an esports live event with Porsche! Yes, the company that makes all the great race cars we admire. We can´t say more yet, but don´t worry. As soon as the lollipop man lifts, we’re ready to launch more info onto the pitlane.  That’s not all, McLaren Shadow kicks off again soon. We will bring you more news on that shortly!

Technical Update

A little under four weeks ago, we hosted the rF24, an endurance race with many high-profile teams and drivers participating at Le Mans. Roughly half-way through we had to red flag the event because of technical issues. Immediately after the event, we released an official statement and started gathering information from all the participants and set out to try and fix these issues with a special task force. It’s time for an update now.

In the months leading up to the event, we were already investigating and improving issues some people were having with the physics calculations “freezing”. In investigating that issue, we built a very detailed “stopwatch” system that we could use internally to exactly pinpoint where these delays occurred. We learned a lot from the “logs” that our community submitted and found multiple issues. For one, our timing, code that had been part of rFactor 2 and many ISI-based sims before, turned out not to be the most efficient and reliable way to run something at 400 Hz (and 2400 Hz for the tyres). We rewrote that code, and after several stages of testing these revisions made it into the release. A second issue we discovered had to do with plugins that were taking too much time. We give plugin authors a lot of power, running plugins directly as part of the physics thread, but as you know, with great power comes great responsibility, and unfortunately in some cases, plugins don’t behave nicely. We’ve blacklisted a few plugins and are talking to authors to help them improve. A third issue was in how we sometimes talked to Steam, which has led us to rewrite that code and convert it from a plugin to internal code. We are still diagnosing more rare issues, and there is a forum thread that explains how you can submit your logs for review.

Now during the event, we ran into issues that have plagued us before, but never this severely and never in a way that we could reproduce. However, we now had so many people reporting issues that we started to see some patterns, so the first step we took was to analyze exactly what had happened. We took our time, collected a lot of data from participants, for which we are very grateful, and then started to try to reproduce specific problems.

The first issue we could reproduce were join lags. Someone would (re)join the server, and this issue then propagated to all other clients. We discovered that this would happen whenever someone rejoined the server using a car with different upgrades from the ones he used before (such as forgetting to select the low downforce upgrade). Our first fix was to add code that would not propagate such (wrong) upgrades to other clients. We then quickly confirmed that these join lags were indeed gone, which was a big improvement since these were causing all kinds of other issues as well.

When exploring this first issue, we discovered that it was currently possible to rejoin not just with the wrong upgrades, but even with the wrong livery or even the wrong car, and this was not handled correctly in the code. We saw this cause issues where you ended up with the wrong set of physics because of the upgrades and the server re-applying the same setup you had before, but to a different car. We also saw issues where a car would appear in the garage for some, but on the road for others, and a few other variations that were all caused by the same problem. We decided to solve this in two places. First of all, we now double check when you rejoin that you indeed have exactly the same car, livery and upgrades again. If you don’t, rather than letting it cause problems, the server will boot you and tell you why it did so. Secondly, we added code to the client that, when you connect to a server, will check if your intention is to rejoin. If it is, the server will now tell you directly which car, livery and upgrades to use, and we will simply show you that car in the UI instead of letting you choose anything. We also decided to make the rejoin check a bit more lenient in that you still need to rejoin with the same driver, but this driver is now identified via his Steam ID, meaning that in the case of a hardware failure, if you have multiple installs of rFactor 2, you can even take over on a different client and resume the race.

Another, slightly unrelated, issue we looked into was loading times. The good news here is we’ve found some improvements and our upcoming release will roughly halve those loading times. We’ve seen numbers being reported by testers indicating a 40-50% improvement.

Other issues still on our “fix list” are a somewhat smaller lag some people are getting when someone leaves the server as well as a few usability issues, such as the fact that if you got a disconnect right before you made a pitstop, you basically get a car with no fuel when you rejoin, and you have to try and drive a lap first (which will likely fail).

Right now our intention is to release the first of a series of updates as soon as this rejoin process is “bullet proof”. We are going through a series of tests, each with a bigger set of users, until finally we are confident that we squashed this. Our current estimate is that this first update will go live sometime next week. We won’t stop there, and remain committed to making sure everybody has a good experience racing rFactor 2. Of course, we will also do a re-run of the rF24 when we feel these issues have all been resolved and tested.

Simexpo

We’re looking forward to once again attending Sim Expo this year at the Nürburgring, as usual with a few surprises up our sleeves!  Make sure you come and visit us and say hi!

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Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1114 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4122083
dedi: 4124026

Note: Admins must update all dedicated servers

 

Releasing a new rFactor 2 build is typically something we do with a classic bulleted changelog, but this time we felt it deserved a bit more than that.

During our recent rF24 event, technical issues cropped up that left us no alternative but to red flag the race. We decided to immediately regroup and redirect our priorities towards dissecting and fixing what turned out to be long standing issues. It was not a simple task, but we rolled up our collective sleeves and dug in. With a lot of help of the participating teams, we analyzed all the problems and for the first time were able to reproduce most of them. Their cause turned out to be very specific edge cases in ‘rejoins’ and ‘driver swaps’ so we proceeded by focusing on trying to break these features in as many different ways as possible.

So of course, much of the findings relied on intense and focused testing over the past weeks. Having to go back and test multiple scenarios repeatedly and working to find fixes and workarounds required a well-thought-out approach with a solid understanding of the issues from all involved, both on the testing side and the development side. This intense focus has given us an insight into the many ways things can go wrong in the heat of racing.  Thankfully, we also had the massive support of the rFactor 2 community through post-race feedback and stories, as well as logging – this was invaluable and an enormous push to help find the root cause of many of these issues people have in online events. As a team, we meticulously went over each of these reports and looked for any specific details that could point us in the right direction.

Car Selection and Upgrades

One of the main areas we focused on was issues related to rejoining after getting disconnected during a session, for example when the network connection goes down for a moment. rFactor 2 has always allowed for a driver to rejoin a race after a computer crash or network issue, but in some cases on rejoining the server, the driver would end up with a DNF (Did not finish), a DQ (disqualification) or their name would show at the bottom of the list as simply ‘pending an open session’. Of course, these outcomes are incorrect and the question for us was: what triggers these scenarios? Our research and testing quickly showed that, in most cases, these issues were related to rejoining and either a) picking a totally different car from the car selection, b) picking the right car with the wrong livery from the car selection, or c) picking the right car and livery but with a different upgrade package.

You might ask, “Why is this a problem, I always pick the correct options”? Whilst that might be true in 99% of the cases, it’s the 1% that hurts us here in the end. It’s hard to be sure a team of multiple drivers always chooses the correct options. Making a mistake, it turns out, causes problems for more people than the driver rejoining, so we needed to make sure this could no longer happen.

To tackle this problem, we first looked at the core code of the rejoin process to make sure all options regarding car and upgrades are inherited and stay with each driver, regardless of disconnections or previous driver swaps. This means when you join with car A and upgrade X, it will be logged in a more robust way that prevents the driver history getting lost. Next, we worked on making this process more user friendly, so that it’s actually impossible to make a mistake on rejoin. We enhanced the network protocol to communicate to your client what car, livery and upgrades were used before, so we can choose the right car for you. For example, if you join with a ‘BMW M8 GTE’ with the ‘Le Mans package’ and ‘my-team-livery’, and you have a network issue during the race and are booted, instead of seeing the whole list of cars, team liveries, and upgrades on rejoin, you only see your BMW M8 GTE, and the option to change upgrade package is no longer available. You simply get your car back!

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This brings us to another important point and side effect of rejoin errors. Rejoining with the wrong car or upgrade would often cause lags and freezes for all other drivers already on the server as everyone was forced to load a different car in real-time while on track (instead of the car that got parked in the garage when you disconnected).

“AI Take Over” and Driver Names Stuck in the Pit Menu

A recurring issue we’ve seen is when a driver swap takes place, the AI would suddenly take over the car without warning.

This was caused by trying to hand over the car to a team mate that was no longer a passenger or even on the server at the moment of the pit stop. By default rFactor 2 was then configured to let the AI take over. This turned out to be a bad idea and we altered the code to no longer do this. This means that from now on, if the driver taking over is no longer present, you will retain the car at the end of the pit stop. This will allow you to keep racing and retry a driver swap with your team mate without AI taking over and ruining your race.

When selecting a driver in the pit menu, names of any passengers would stay stuck in the list and would be select-able regardless of whether they had left the server or stopped riding with you. This meant you select your team mate in the pit menu, they leave the server or stop riding with you, but their name stays in the pit menu and can be selected.  This caused multiple issues: On disconnection/rejoin you would often end up with a DNF, and if a name of a driver was selected that was no longer riding or had left the server, the AI would take over. We’ve fixed this issue by simply removing any drivers from the pit menu list that are no longer riding with you (as should have been the case all along).

Disconnection/Rejoin with Passenger(s)

Disconnections while another driver is riding along, either waiting on a driver swap or having just completed one, would end in a DNF on rejoin.  For example, you’re driving on track, your team mate is riding with you and you get a disconnection. On rejoin, you’re not able to race again and your team mate’s name is now showing in the list as a driver with a DNF. We fixed this by making sure that on disconnect/rejoin only the current driver retains the car, all other teammates simply stay registered as ‘passengers’ and are not considered a driver until an actual driver swap takes place.

Pit Menu Parameters Locked After Rejoin

Yet another issue we looked at and were able to fix was the sudden inability to toggle pit menu options after rejoining. This was particularly a problem if you experienced a disconnect with very little fuel and could not request more fuel in the subsequent pit stop, ultimately you would run out of fuel and end the race with a DNF. All allowed in-car pit menu options should now be open to selection on rejoin.

Steam Integration Improvements

As part of our ongoing profiling process based on logs sent to us by users, we have also discovered that the “real-time” API functions that Steam provides could cause small hiccups. We technically solved that by internalizing the original plugin and making sure we execute such functions on a background thread so they can never interfere with our physics loop. This change is done both client and server-side and it means you will no longer see a SteamPlugin.DLL in your plugins folder (and we’ve made sure that if it is still there by accident, it gets ignored from this build onwards).

Faster Loading Times

Last but not least, we also spent some time profiling and optimizing the track and car loading process. Internal tests have shown improvements in the range of 30-50%, which should help people in general. Faster loading obviously also means you can rejoin quicker, losing less time overall.

What’s next?

Build 1114 is the first of two scheduled releases to address the issues we found. We decided to split the process in two, concentrating on the major bugs first and then addressing the smaller ones. We thought it was important to get an update into everybody’s hands as quickly as possible, but only after making sure we could not break this build anymore. As always we encourage people to update both their dedicated servers and clients and report any issues. We are heavily committed to getting this right and continue to improve the online experience in rFactor 2. We expect to have an update on those issues next month, but again, we’ll take as much time as we need to ensure these minor issues are also completely gone.

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Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1114 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4128876
dedi: 4128877

Note: Admins must update all dedicated servers

Changelog:
- fixed server log outputting too much info
- fixed server steam matchmaking info announcement
- fixed dedicated server installation crashing when no steam client was installed on the machine

 

Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1115 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4130253
dedi: 4130254

Note: Admins must update all dedicated servers

Changelog:
- Fixed an issue with 'fixed setup' servers that caused all garage parameters to stay open.
Please note: this latest fix reverted a previous fix where after a disconnect/rejoin in-car pit-menu options are locked. We are working to fix this issue again asap.

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Latest Build Update rFactor 2 - 1.1115 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4132696
dedi: 4132698

- Removed excessive logging with trace option 1 on dedicated servers.

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Latest Build Update
rFactor 2 - 1.1115 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4159611
dedi: 4159612

Server admins must update all dedicated servers

- Fixed leave lags in a session (related to non-default upgrades)

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Roughly a week later than normal, we bring you the monthly roadmap for August. Obviously we were at the SimRacing Expo last weekend, where we met a lot of you and showed off a pre-release version of the Porsche GT3 Cup car and the Nürburgring. Both are scheduled for a release in roughly two weeks from now, pending final approvals. But we have a lot of other news to share with you too, so let’s get started!

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A1 eSport season 2

A1 eSport is back with yet another season, after a great first season. Once again the races will start off with a hotlap session, and then in each weekend following a race. A total of 5 races will be run before heading to the showdown and shootout and finally the finale in late October hosted in Vienna. Just like last season. The big difference here is that now every European can participate, not just German speaking residents. Sign up is open now, first round starts at midnight on the 9th of September. Lets go! If you want to get a glimpse of what you’re getting yourself into, on their website you can see what the last season finale looked like.

Porsche Formula E Competition IAA Frankfurt

In roughly a week from now, the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt starts again, and on the last day of this huge show we will be collaborating with Porsche to run a full day of Formula E races. The qualifiers for this event have already been decided. Congratulations to the four finalists who will compete against the Porsche Formula E factory drivers on stage! If you are planning in visiting the show and are there on the last Sunday, please drop by and say hi, watch the show and have a go yourself.

World’s Fastest Gamer 2

Qualifiers for rFactor 2 have been run and if you have not seen the final race, check it out below. Erhan Jajovski won the race in great style and we wish him all the best in the finals later this year. Although at this point little is known yet about these finals, we are confident that these will be something very special, so watch this space and the WFG2 site for more information.

 

 

Code Updates

After the first technical update last month, we have now released another one that addresses the “leave lags” that people were experiencing in some circumstances. Specifically when someone with a car with non-standard upgrades left the server, this would cause a lag that propagated to all other clients. Our latest update fixes that. Next on our list are some smaller usability issues. We are also still analyzing any freezes that specific clients are having.

The rest of our development team is working hard on finishing the UI we previewed at the SimRacing Expo. If you missed our live broadcast on Twitch on Sunday, check it out below.

We want to thank everybody for providing a lot of comments on this new UI. Just to clarify where we are with this. Our first release is a starting point for many more tweaks and improvements, so if you don’t see your favorite improvement yet, don’t worry, things will evolve!

With the new UI, we are also going to release the first version of our competition system, and although we did not demo any of that in the video we did at the SimRacing Expo, we will start showing it in the weeks to come.

Our graphics developers in the meantime are working on some more fundamental changes to the lighting and the way our shaders work. The move to PBR triggered a few other issues that we are fixing right now and at the same time we are improving how our shaders work, by streamlining the number of different shaders we have and making new ones that can be customized a lot more by artists. Once these things are done, we are continuing our work on cockpit shaders. Prototypes for that were very encouraging.

Content

For those of you who could not attend the SimRacing Expo we have some more shots of the Porsche GT3 Cup car. The car is officially still a “Work In Progress” but as you can see, it’s coming along nicely. Obviously we are already planning new content beyond the things that will be in your hands in a few more weeks, but we’ll save that for another roadmap.

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That’s all for this month. We’ll be back in roughly three weeks with next month’s roadmap which will be back on schedule. In the meantime we would like to wish everybody a lot of fun simracing, and stay safe!

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rFactor 2 - 1.1115 Now Available!
Steam Build IDs
client: 4203454
dedi: 4203458

Server admins must update all dedicated servers
- Improvements and bug fixing for the newly integrated Steam plugin. This includes a fix for a freeze that would occur at 33 minutes into a session, for some users.
- Fixed player count in the matchmaker.

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Traditionally, September has been a busy month for us again. Since our last update, a little of three weeks ago, we’ve been at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, where we were at the spectacular Porsche booth and showed off rFactor 2 and the brand new Formula E 2020 car and Porsche livery. No less than six high-end simulators were driven by people of the audience, simracers, influencers and both Porsche factory drivers, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer. As soon as we were back, we shifted our focus on final preparation of the Nürburgring and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. I guess a lot of you are still driving these right now, but let’s take a brief look at what the future will bring!

McLaren Shadow – Season 2

It’s the time of the year again to see who is the fastest rFactor 2 driver to represent us in the finals of the yearly McLaren Shadow competition! As you may remember, two years ago Rudy van Buren won the first McLaren esports event, at the time still called World’s Fastest Gamer. Last year, Nuno Pinto was the runner-up, so we have a good track record!

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Qualifiers are open right now, and the top 20 lap times will be entered into the live broadcast race on the 13th October – so set up your McLaren Senna GTR and get practising! The winner of the rFactor 2 round will also win a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, and an awesome Sunday Grandstand ticket at Silverstone 2020, including flights and accommodation. Do not worry if you aren’t in the top 20 however, by simply doing a lap you will be entered into the draw to win some of the following:

  • 2x Sunday grandstand tickets 2020 season for a race of the participants choice (Not including travel or accommodation);
  • 5x McLaren caps;
  • 5x McLaren T-shirts signed by Lando Norris.

There that sounds great! To enter check our guide here for the McLaren Shadow rFactor 2 qualifiers.

Content

Both the Nürburgring and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will see further updates. The track will get a few more layouts to complete all possible combinations and the car will get more liveries as well as a “VLN” upgrade. In the meantime we are obviously already working on new content and licenses, but it’s a bit too early to reveal anything about those, so we’re just going to drop a hint that we’ll do more on different layouts in the future!

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Code

In July we gave you a technical update on some of the fixes we are working on to make the multiplayer and endurance racing more bullet proof. By now we have fixed all the issues that we have since discovered and we will continue to investigate any new reports coming in. At the same time, focus is shifting back to completing the new UI and competition system. We are working towards a public beta release, and we’re confident that we can announce a release date for that in next month’s roadmap.

On the graphics side, we’ve just finished an internal rewrite of our shader system. This is mainly of interest to content authors. It makes their lives a lot easier. In short this change is about creating less shaders that can more easily be configured through optional features and texture maps, instead of having a lot of specialized shaders. In the end this gives authors more overview and an easier workflow to make changes and optimize the materials they need.

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Our next focus is on some additional improvements to our lighting system. This is a process that starts with a validation and research phase as we want to really review the whole system from the ground up to make sure all calculations are being done correctly and to current standards. At this point we are not sure yet what the outcome of this will be visually, but at the very least we will be sure everything’s mathematically sound, and we expect some (subtle) improvements as the outcome of this process.

That’s it for this month, or rather the last three weeks since the last roadmap. We wish you all a lot of fun racing rFactor 2!

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Hot on the tail of the Halloween Sale, we’re here to present you another monthly roadmap. As usual we have a lot going on and some juicy announcements we’re sure you’ll salivate over. Every month, we work in many diverse areas – that’s why the roadmap exists: we sew it all together and deliver it in a neat little package for you to digest. So let’s get started, you know the drill!

rF24h the Rerun – start your engines!

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The fight for the endurance crown on the iconic Le Mans Circuit isn’t over for this year, and as promised previously, we are bringing back the rF24h event for the official rerun. France is calling on the 9th of November for the best of the best to once again take on the challenge.

One might say that a rerun isn’t a thrilling thing to announce, but we are sure you’ll get excited about this one. To ensure that the endurance battle will be at the top of its game and to honor the effort and time the top teams from around the globe put into our big events, we decided to come up with a juicy prize pool that should get every single driver to strive for nothing short of victory.

The 2019 rF24h – Le Mans Circuit will offer a total prize pool of €15.000!

This is split into our two classes as follows:

LMP 2:

  • 1st place €3.500
  • 2nd place €2.500
  • 3rd Place €1.500

GTE:

  • 1st place €3.500
  • 2nd place €2.500
  • 3rd Place €1.500

That is a big chunk of money right there for the best teams in the simracing world to grab! As this is a rerun, teams from the first iteration of this year who confirmed their attendance are set for this race as well. Remaining spots will be given out with a small qualifier event to make sure we have a full grid that we will all enjoy watching.

Talking about watching, of course we will broadcast our major event as we did for the previous one. So gather your friends, drinks and chips and head on over to http://www.twitch.tv/rfactorlive from the 9th – 10th of November to witness simracing at its best.

Not much more to say other than that we can’t wait to hear the screaming sounds of cars throughout the night as drivers are battling not just their opponents but also themselves as the clock is moving on.

LEMANS 66 – new partner for the rF24h

The announcement of the return of the rF24h – Le Mans Circuit isn’t the only exciting news we want to share with you in this month’s roadmap. When looking for partners for our events, we want to make sure that they fit right in – no artificial ways of connecting them to what we do and love. With “Le Mans 66 – Gegen jede Chance” (the German language version of the movie ‘Le Mans 66’) we found just the right partner for this major rFactor 2 event. In case you live under a rock or behind the moon on the right side (same for everyone that lives on the left side or down the road), let us quickly inform you what this is all about. As you can probably tell by the title already, the main focus of the new movie by 20th Century Fox is the story around the iconic Le Mans race back in 1966, for which American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) team up with Ford to battle Ferrari for the top spot at the prestigious endurance event. Based on a true story, this movie highlights the heroes behind this major achievement in motorsport, just like the heroes and their stories in our events.

The movie will be released on the 14th of November in cinemas across Europe, which gives us enough time to celebrate this release in and around rFactor2. “Le Mans 66 – Gegen jede Chance” will not just be our main sponsor for the rF24h – Le Mans Circuit, we will also get some hotlap challenges running (only for Germany) until the release of the movie, where you can win tickets to watch this epic battle unfold on the big screen yourself.

As a result of this partnership, don’t be surprised if your daily launch of rFactor 2 looks slightly different (wink)

We are very proud of the chance to partner up with 20th Century Fox and the “Le Mans 66 – Gegen jede Chance” movie to get people excited about everything around fast cars and thrilling races!

New User Interface

We’ve been teasing the new UI for what seems like ages, and you’ve been waiting patiently on the sidelines for “that day” to come. All along the way, you’ve been part of the development process through sneak previews and updates in our monthly roadmaps. To keep you in the know, we’ve shared our progress in as much detail as possible. The challenges and the overall complexity we faced required a steady and determined approach to get this very essential set of new features firing on all cylinders.

But all things need to eventually see the light of day, so we are now “revving the engine” with intent! We’re proud to be launching the first ‘public beta’ of the UI in mid-December – it’s your chance to finally get your hands on it to test drive!

This first public beta will allow us to gauge two important things. Firstly, how well the system is working for everybody in terms of performance and stability. Secondly, and this is an important step for us, on how you want this system to evolve. By collecting this data based on your participation, we will be able to systematically improve the system in the months to come. Our goal is to make sure the whole system is robust, and then make it the default. When that happens, we will also switch our releases to 64 bit only.

Competition

Expect the first public beta to not yet include the new competition system. We simply did not want to throw too many things at you at once. By December, we will be in a good position to test the comp system, and rest assured that there will be a steady stream of updates from the first public beta onward.

The first steps will include testing both the “mechanics” of the different competition formats, as well as collecting data based on your participation so we will be able to test out our ‘driver rating’ algorithms. Here too, your personal feedback will be a crucial element in deciding how we go forward and which particular improvements we focus on during the next phase of development.

To show you an in-development sneak peek of the competition system, here’s a look at the current front-end.

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Content

On the content side of things, we are uber busy working on new top secret projects, so we can’t announce anything just yet.

In the meantime, here’s a snap update we’ve done for the Nissan GT500 to bring it in line with the new materials! We can’t wait to see your new skin creations on this enigmatic Japanese beast! Look out for this update to come down in the next few days.

Nissan_GT500_02-1920x1080.jpg Nissan_GT500_03-1920x1080.jpg Nissan_GT500_01-1920x1080.jpg Nissan_GT500_04-1920x1080.jpg

And in other news,  the Nürburgring is the track that keeps on giving! There are three new layouts incoming in the next few days: two ‘Sprint’ layouts (with and without chicane), these are shortened versions of the GP layout, and of course the epic full ‘Endurance’ layout that combines most of the GP layout as well as the full Nordschleife.

nurburgring_sprint_01-1920x1080.jpg nurburgring_sprint_02-1920x1080.jpg nurburgring_sprint_03-1920x1080.jpg

That’s it for this month! Happy racing and until the next one!

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rFactor 2 - 1.1116 Now Available!

Steam Build IDs
client: 4356193
dedi: 4356207

Server admins must update all dedicated servers

- Added "Track Cuts Allowed": You can now configure the number of track cuts before a penalty is given out, in single-player and multi-player. This entry can be found in your 'player.JSON' file. - Fixed number of track cuts resetting after a driver swap. - Fixed an issue where some marshals would not wave flags. This was an issue particular to the Nordschleife and the exceptionally large number of marshals.
- Added additional logging to help debug driver-swap issues.

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rFactor 2 - 1.1117 Now Available!
Steam Build IDs
client: 4390004
dedi: 4390009

Server admins must update all dedicated servers

- Fixed a scoring issue in race session that affected Nürburgring 24h and Combined layouts

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rFactor 2 – Roadmap Update November 2019

rFactor 2 - Roadmap Update November 2019

rFactor 2 - Roadmap Update November 2019

rFactor 2 – Roadmap Update November 2019

Studio 397 published the November 2019 Roadmap Update for rFactor 2 letting us know what is going on behind the scenes at the Studio 397 headquarters and letting us take a brief look at what the future of rFactor 2 will bring.

In this month’s edition of the roadmap update, Studio 397 announces the winners of the Nissan GT500 screenshot contest, and reveal the 2020 season teams and liveries for the rFactor Formula E Championship content. Last but not least, they introduce the 2020 edition of the Sim Formula at InterClassics in Maastricht, Halland.

Roadmap Update (Quote)

As the weather gets cold all around Europe and the northern hemisphere, everyone at Studio 397 is currently in motion and working on exciting projects cranking up the heat! It’s already November, but we’re not finished yet bringing you updates and new content for rFactor 2 this year.

Next month we’ll look back at the year, but for now, we are dedicated to working on the future of sim racing and bringing everybody together for exciting and thrilling digital motorsport action. So get off the track, slow down and park your cars in the pits for a while and let’s talk about what awaits you in the rFactor world this coming month. Spoiler alert: before the clock strikes twelve, you will have heard back from us at least three more times! That’s how much we have planned to end the year on a high. And as you will see, we are already announcing a big event in 2020!

Screenshot Contest Winners

Last week we announced a screenshot contest, featuring our Nissan GT500. Thank you, everybody, for making an effort and submitting screenshots of your own liveries! We could not decide on a winner, so we picked two! And the winners are…. BrianB and ek0z from Discord – Congratulations! We will be in touch next week.

Screenshot Contest Winners

Screenshot Contest Winners

Formula E 2020 Season Release

Just last weekend we saw the ABB FIA Formula E Championship start into its 6th season, with a grid so packed and full of big names that exciting racing was inevitable! Not hyped enough by what happened at the Diriyah ePrix, or missed it? Check out all the action here! Let’s start off with an interesting fact before diving into our actual announcement. Season six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the first-ever championship that sees all four German premium automotive brands battle it out on the same tracks, namely Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. Of course, there are even more manufacturers in this season, with Nissan and Jaguar both coming back to strike hard against the German brands.

But enough about the new season. How does that relate to rFactor 2? As you probably guessed by now, we’re proud to continue our relationship with Formula E, and we’re releasing the 2020 season teams and liveries! Intense street racing with quick and agile open-wheelers is waiting for you, featuring the new debutantes, Porsche and Mercedes, as a free upgrade to the current Formula E Gen 2 car. Go get it here!

And check it out, we also added the top wing cam!

formula_e_2020_nissan_23_branded

Nissan e.dams – #23 Sébastien Buemi

formula_e_2020_bmw_27_branded

BMW i Andretti Motorsport – #27 Alexander Sims

formula_e_2020_audi_66_branded

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – #66 Daniel Abt

formula_e_2020_virgin_4_branded

Envision Virgin Racing – #4 Robin Frijns

formula_e_2020_mahindra_94_branded

Mahindra Racing – #94 Pascal Wehrlein

formula_e_2020_mercedes_17_branded

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team – #17 Nyck de Vries

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Envision Virgin Racing – #2 Sam Bird

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ROKiT Venturi Racing – #19 Felipe Massa

formula_e_2020_mahindra_64_branded

Mahindra Racing – #64 Jérôme d’Ambrosio

formula_e_2020_bmw_28_branded

BMW i Andretti Motorsport – #28 Maximilian Günther

formula_e_2020_porsche_18_branded

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team – #18 Neel Jani

formula_e_2020_nio_3_branded

NIO 333 FE Team – #3 Oliver Turvey

formula_e_2020_audi_11_branded

Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler – #11 Lucas di Grassi

formula_e_2020_nissan_22_branded

Nissan e.dams – #22 Oliver Rowland

formula_e_2020_venturi_48_branded

ROKiT Venturi Racing – #48 Edoardo Mortara

formula_e_2020_techeetah_13_branded

DS Techeetah – #13 António Félix da Costa

formula_e_2020_techeetah_25_branded

DS Techeetah – #25 Jean-Éric Vergne

formula_e_2020_dragon_7_branded

GEOX Dragon – #7 Nico Müller

formula_e_2020_jaguar_21_branded

Panasonic Jaguar Racing – #20 Mitch Evans

formula_e_2020_dragon_6_branded

GEOX Dragon – #6 Brendon Hartley

formula_e_2020_jaguar_51_branded

Panasonic Jaguar Racing – #51 James Calado

formula_e_2020_nio_33_branded

NIO 333 FE Team – #33 Ma Qinghua

formula_e_2020_porsche_36_branded

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team – #36 André Lotterer

formula_e_2020_mercedes_5_branded

Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team – #5 Stoffel Vandoorne

Sim Formula 2020 at InterClassics in Maastricht

On January 16-19th, 2020, the MECC in Maastricht will host the biggest sim racing event in the Benelux. In collaboration with InterClassicsSim Formula will host a 4 day-long event, focused on sim racing. The event is freely accessible every day.

Known brands in sim racing will be showing off their latest developments and products. There is also a sim racing arena featuring various activities. For example, on Saturday there will be a hotlap competition on Circuit Maastricht (which is freely available in the rFactor 2 workshop if you want to come prepared). On Sunday afternoon you can witness the finals. René Hoogterp, a professional Dutch commentator, will participate in the live broadcast of this race.

Sim Formula 2020 at InterClassics in Maastricht

Qualifiers and Prize Pool

December 2019 will feature an online qualifier competition using rFactor 2, consisting of both hot laps and races. In the first week of December, we will open up a hotlap competition where the top 25 (with 5 reserves) will qualify for a series of races in the week of December 10-15th. In each of those races, a qualification session will be followed by two short sprint races, one with a reverse grid, to determine the fastest driver of that day who will then qualify for the final. More information on how to join will be published here on Monday.

The 5 fastest from these qualifiers will be invited to compete against each other on January 19th at the MECC in Maastricht in full-motion simulators provided by Upracer to determine who wins the first edition of Sim Formula. The total prize pool for this event is €10.000. Note that we are not covering travel expenses, so make sure you are able to travel to Maastricht to compete in the final if you join the qualifiers!

Masterclasses and Congress

In collaboration with Adrenaline-Xperience by Atze Kerkhof, all visitors to the event will be able to win one of three masterclasses. To participate, you can fill in a card during your visit to the event and drop it in a spot on the podium of the racing arena. The winner of the hotlap competition on Saturday will win the fourth masterclass. On Thursday evening, there will be an esports congress (for which you do need to buy a ticket). If you want to learn more about the world of esports, this is an excellent opportunity to listen to and discuss with an impressive line-up of well known, international speakers. For more information and tickets, visit this page.

Co-hosted with InterClassics

The Sim Formula 2020 is full of action, but there is a lot more to see at InterClassics, the biggest car show of the Benelux, featuring many classic and fast cars. Just what the doctor ordered!

Finally

In case you’re wondering how the public beta of the new UI is coming along, we are on schedule to release that mid-December. It will be released as an “opt-in” public beta on Steam, so you will need to enable it yourself and you can quickly switch between the two. Both versions will be fully multiplayer compatible.

Enjoy the last month of the year!

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Before we string up the lights and begin to tell you the Christmas story of our December roadmap, here is the keyhole version for those of you that just can´t wait for Santa: lots of cool stuff you asked for, awesome new series, content surprises #1 to #5, rF2 improvements and the answer to your pressing question “when’s the new UI?” Now that you can see the presents, we promise it’s a lot more exciting when you sit down in your PJ’s and unwrap them one by one. So let’s get busy, shall we (wink)

A quick look out of the window confirms, winter’s here- at least in northern Europe. And that means the soothing sounds of our favorite race car engines have been temporarily drowned out by the incessant “Last Christmas” blaring from seemingly all around. But fear not, we haven’t succumbed to the sugar coating yet and the dev elves have been very busy in the simracing workshop – simracing is not just a season!

2019 – What a year!

Let´s start with a quick roundup of the year. The studio was running on full throttle, and we were super proud to introduce iconic racetracks like Le Mans or Nürburgring to you. Great cars such as new GT3s, Cup cars and a full lineup of new Tatuus Open Wheelers seriously tempted even us to stop working for a moment and just get in there and race all of that awesome content!

While much of the team’s development focused on the UI and the upcoming competition system, 2019 also saw rFactor 2 show off new content at many events and in lots of different competitions, further highlighting our dedication to competitive racing simulation: from our endurance events like Sebring 12h and the rF24h at Le Mans (with a combined prize pool of over 20.000 Euro just in those races), to tournaments and competitions such as World’s Fastest Gamer, A1 e-sports league, ESL Mapfre Racing Series, and McLaren Shadow.

Clearly, investing your training time in rFactor 2 to become one of the fastest drivers in the world really paid off this year, not to mention the several thousand people who watched rFactor 2 esports live! Supporting grassroots and entry level racing (more on that later) will always be a core focus for us, but for 2020 our goal is to increase top-notch rFactor 2 events and tournaments to provide more regular, exciting broadcasts . This year, we celebrate that rFactor 2 was supported in many leagues and events. Next year, we promise to continue our work on creating “more things to race in!”

2020 – A glimpse of the future

There’s no slowing down for the turn of the year (get it???) – 2020 will be full speed ahead. Watch out for traffic signs on the winding road that is the upcoming year: Ratings ahead!, Daily races in 100m!, Slow down, ladder! and much more. You probably guessed it already, we are subtly hinting at the competition system.

But as we move onto the next level of integrating our competition system into the UI, we are equally as proud to announce one of our bigger championships hitting in 2020: the rFactor 2 Major Series, featuring 4 major endurance events throughout the year, bringing you the excitement of multi-class racing in a team environment. Different tracks at each event, adjusted classes and hours of exciting racing action is yours coming up. Specific teams, such as the top teams in class from VEC, will get direct invites prior to those events. Everyone else will be able to qualify per event. While those major series races will be partly “stand-alone,” like this year’s Sebring and Le Mans, there will be overall standings across the entire season, rewarding teams that are constantly bringing home points. Our goal is to ensure every endurance racing lover out there has a chance to get a spot in this exciting event in 2020. More details are under the hood, which we’ll reveal when the time comes.

Winter Sale!

winter_sale_2019_header_wordpress.png

Nothing brings on the Christmas cheer like our winter sale! With rad discounts across much of our content and rFactor 2 at a tinsel-topped 50% off! https://store.steampowered.com/app/365960/rFactor_2/

Let’s take a look at some of the goodies!

GT3 Power pack 50% off

GT3 Challengers pack 50% off

Two Strong pack 30% off

Le Mans 30% off

Sebring 50% off

Endurance Pack 50% off

Reiza Pack 50% off

Kartsim 50% off

Formula E Race Bundle 50% off

Why are you still trying on that ugly sweater?? Go and treat yourself right now!

Audi R8 GT3 2019

We see you peeping through the door! You’ve been good all year (you have, haven’t you?!) and you just can´t wait any more, so here’s your present*!

As successful as the previous model has been in sprint and endurance GT racing, the German premium manufacturer presented the 3rd generation of its GT3-powerhouse at the end of 2018.

Paris played host back then for the first outing of the new Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo and now you can try to master this rocket in rFactor 2 as the newest addition to our already big GT3 grid.

*The 2019 model is free for every one who already owns the previous Audi R8 GT3- Merry Christmas!

With a revised body, including a new front-end with bigger dive planes, changes to the rear wing size, and profile and other modifications (which resulted in a new rev limit, now at 8600 rpm in 6th gear), this knife is sharpened to the max and ready for another season of racing.

 

 

audi_r8_lms_2019_02.jpg audi_r8_lms_2019_03.jpg audi_r8_lms_2019_01.jpgaudi_r8_lms_2019_04.jpg audi_r8_lms_2019_05.jpg audi_r8_lms_2019_06.jpg audi_r8_lms_2019_07.jpg

Circuit d´Azur

Between the beautiful sea, regal casinos and the lifestyle of the fast and famous, it´s up to you to carve your name into the tarmac as a winner of this challenging street circuit! We hear it´s pretty cool to win three epic races in a race career, with two of them being in Indianapolis and Le Mans–tracks you can already find in rFactor2–let us introduce you to an amazing looking piece of track along the Cote d´Azur. To make sure you know where to travel for your next holidays, we even named the Circuit accordingly. You’re welcome (wink)

As your engine echoes through the apartment canyons (which probably cost more than an entire GT3 season), you downshift to 2nd gear, your eyes locked onto the tight apex right in front of a stunning harbour scene (eyes on the apex!!), the road twists and turns like a roller coaster. The backdrop of this holiday paradise will keep distracting you as you approach the last hairpin, separating you from reaching the crown. Sounds cool? It is, and it’s your chance to experience right now!

You can grab this fresh circuit in the Steam Item Store or just follow the link here https://store.steampowered.com/itemstore/365960/detail/45/

 

 

cote_001.jpg cote_002.jpg cote_004.jpg  cote_006.jpg cote_007.jpg cote_009.jpg

Tatuus TRS FT-60

This Christmas, we will be releasing an update to the awesome Tatuus TRS FT-60. The car is used predominantly in the Toyota Racing Series, which is a proving ground for emerging talent in the open-wheeler season.

We’re releasing an update to the Tatuus pack! After further evaluating the real car performance, we have updated small things on the F4 and F3 cars. On top of that, we have even added something new! The FT50 was already part of this pack, but now we also have the FT60. This F3 is putting down 290 bhp exclusively on the real roads of New Zealand in January and February of 2020. We again worked closely with Engineering Consult and Toyota Gazoo New Zealand on the car, but this time we also created five amazing tracks, all of which will be released completely for free in the workshop: Highlands, Teretonga, Pukekohe, Manfeild and Hampton Downs. We will open a server for any competitor in the real series to set a benchmark time and let our online racers have a go at beating them.

FT-60 at Adria

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Teretonga

Teretonga_01.jpg

Manfeild

Manfeild_01.jpg

BMW M2 Clubsport

You probably wonder, “is this last months roadmap?”, because it isn’t that long ago that we told you about the amazing partnership with BMW Motorsport and how we build the BMW M2 CS Cup car together with them but we still got some additional news for you on this car.

BMW_M2_2020_screenshot_06_raw-1920x1080.

Just in case the sliding rear wasn’t enough for you yet and you feel like you need some more POWAAA for more angle, we just got the right update for you. From now on, you can not only dive into your future race career with the BMW M2 CS Cup, you can also enjoy the BMW M2 Clubsport, the 450 HP street monster. Live your “Touristenfahrten” dreams with this Bavarian masterpiece and tear up the tarmac whilst you look cool in every corner!

Le Mans Update

Le Mans has been updated to make use of all of the latest graphical developments. This includes upgrading all PBR materials, as well as a complete foliage material update and more. All of this has it looking better than ever before.

Le_Mans_PBR_December_2019_04.jpg Le_Mans_PBR_December_2019_01.jpg

KartSim Track Pack 

After releasing the brand new track and our updates for Le Mans, we’re still not done releasing tracks. That’s right! It might have gone silent around KartSim for a while, but that doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening behind the scenes. For PFI we have updated the curbs and the track colour scheme, graphics and shaders, as well as roadside advertising. We also updated the AI and advertising for Buckmore and Glan Y Gors.

On top of that, we have three brand new tracks from the European karting scene!

Adria

Alongside the Adria International Raceway lies the Adria Karting Raceway, situated in beautiful Italy, just an hour south of Venice. Built in 2014, it is one of the most modern kart tracks, and hosts many international karting events. The track itself sports a nice looking combination of concrete and colored run-off areas and is just over 1.3 kilometers long.

Kart_Sim_Adria_01-1.jpgKart_Sim_Adria_02.jpg Kart_Sim_Adria_03.jpg

Kristianstad

Located in the south of Sweden is the Kristianstad karting circuit, a 1.2 kilometer long track that was repaved and upgraded to meet the demands of a CIK grade-A circuit in 2012. The track has 16 corners, two chicanes, and a level difference of 6 meters vertically.

Kart_Sim_Kristianstad_01.jpg Kart_Sim_Kristianstad_02.jpg Kart_Sim_Kristianstad_03.jpg

Alahärmä

The Alaharma circuit, sometimes also called the Mika Salo Circuit as it was designed by the former racing driver of the same name, is one of the most beautiful outdoor karting tracks. Located in Finland in the beautiful town of Alahärmä on the banks of the river Lapuanjoki, the 1 kilometer long course winds down the river and has several corners that challenge even the most experienced drivers.

Kart_Sim_Alaharma_01.jpg Kart_Sim_Alaharma_02.jpg Kart_Sim_Alaharma_03.jpg

Zandvoort Update

Circuit Zandvoort got a small update, with some fixes and the inclusion of the 2020 GP banner near the end of the main straight. We wanted to make sure the final version of this layout was current. As you are probably aware, the track is currently undergoing changes. Expect more news about those early next year!

Graphic Improvements

This release marks the 3rd major instalment of our PBR revamp of the graphics engine. Last winter, we introduced PBR to vehicles via a new car paint material system, and in the summer we released Le Mans, our first track to make use of the technology. This winter, we bring the next step in the evolution of the environment shaders.

The major feature of this release is the introduction of pre-processor defines for shaders. This means we now can have a handful of shaders with many configurable options. We can enable and disable maps, configure which UV each map uses and change large parts of the logic carried out by the shader on a per material basis. This allows artists much greater freedom to achieve the results they are looking for.

As a result, we’ve added various tweaks and improvements to the full suite of PBR shaders, improving our solutions for Terrain, Road, Foliage and more.

On Roads and Curbs it is possible to fully configure the strength and full PBR profile of Dust, Marble and Groove effects as well as controlling the impact of detail maps across the road. It is possible to pre-bake wear into the road, allowing for a more natural feeling “green” road with subtle variations. It’s all real road compatible too, dusty parts of the road will clear off as vehicles drive over it!

The terrain shader is now more powerful, allowing more maps to be blended and the option to use a “splatter” map input in addition to vertex colour, as was used in the past to control the blending. Distant shadows can be pre-baked, and we have added translucency options to give an improved low light look. This all allows for more natural blending patterns and adds more depth to the scene.

We’ve taken the time to improve billboard lighting on foliage, adding more depth to trees, as well as giving a silhouette glow to them as the sun goes down.

Finally, a complex blend shader gives us the ability to blend different materials together. This is put to use across the scene Gravel Traps to Advertisement hoardings. For example on Gravel Traps we can input two sets of maps, one for the fine pebble details, and a second to achieve the raked pattern. These blend together to add more depth and allow the lighting to be more accurate. Advertisements can be setup with profiles, so a single albedo map with the sponsor logos can be used across all kinds of different surfaces whilst being able to configure a unique profile for each surface.

In terms of lighting, we have taken some small steps here after the preliminary results of the lighting review. The whole pipeline has been adjusted to work with real life albedo values, which meant existing content had to be completely reworked from the assets side. We have also addressed some issues with the direct light and ambient light balance.

All that said, there’s still much work to do. We intend to complete our lighting review in the new year, and also look at improving the PostFX.

Finally, a common question we receive is when will we offer modder support. This is a very important subject, and we want to offer that support as soon as we can. When we roll out modder support, we wish to have proper documentation and be sure that we are not going to make wholesale changes to the way things are setup shortly afterwards. As such, we expect that modder support will not come before the next stage of the graphics pipeline development is complete. As there is still a large chance that things maybe significantly re-balanced and cause major work to content already making use of these developments.

Le_Mans_PBR_December_2019_03.jpg

Public Beta of the new UI

Rfactor 2 has always deserved a real ecosystem to showcase its core attributes. A place that is minimal without being sparse, and useful and intuitive without being cluttered. It might sound somewhat abstract, but our vision of a ‘UI’ has always been the visual representation and feel of ‘simulation’. Essentially, we’ve created a building block that has the flexibility to accommodate any new features that will come. Since taking over the development from ISI back in 2016, we immediately redefined our graphical identity. From that point on we continued to further redefine rFactor 2 in many other ways, bringing in great “triple-A” cars and tracks, overhauling the graphic engine, and improving on and adding new features all along the way…

But our starting point was always ‘the new UI.’ It served as a basis for the overall design charter – we knew right away that how rFactor 2 is perceived depends heavily on how well it visually brings across its true potential and the possibilities it contains. We put great care and effort into making sure ‘your sim’ shows in the best light.

So a public beta is not the first step, we are well on our way already, but it’s the first time it sees start lights and, more importantly, it’s a preview of more exciting things to come!

In this first beta phase, we’ll be looking at getting your feedback and ideas, so please do post in our forum thread here

To access the new UI you will need to subscribe to a special branch on Steam – here’s how to do that;

Step one

Right click on rFactor 2 in your Steam Library and go to Properties

steam1.jpg

Step two

Click on the tab at the top of the window ‘Betas‘ and from the drop down select ‘Public-Beta

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Now in the background rFactor 2 will now load the Public Beta branch, it make take a little while first time!

Sim Formula 2020

After no fewer than ten 15 min races, thrilling starts, a pile up in T1 and a change of format we have five winners already invited to the InterClassics event in mid-January!

Well known simracers: Risto Kappet, Jeremy Bouteloup, Hany Alsabti, Zbigniew Siara and finally Jarl Teien will be fighting on track for a prize-pool of € 10.000 + everyone is already a winner of Sprint pedals from Heusinkveld. The race will be streamed from location, and Rene Hoogterp will be calling all the action there.

InterClassics will open January 16th at 12:00, where you are able to give it a go – and work to become the fastest on track. Friday you can meet the pros and get some precious tips and tricks. Saturday you set your best lap and then finally Sunday you can see the finalists duke it out from 13:00 CET.

Meet us there!

sim_formula_broadcast_grab_01.jpg

ALL Cars updated

Our entire updated roster of cars, ensuring full compatibility with the new UI icons display system. Because cars should shine bright and proudly show off their armor in their new home!

We also snuck in some other updates to a few cars, you can read about it in the changelog below. In short, minor updates for GTE’s to improve close racing and other minor fixes.

Changelog Cars

ALL cars have been updated with new icons and logos compatible with the new UI.

Workshop Items

StockCar 2015 – v2.00
Howston G4 1968 – v2.00
Howston G6 1968 – v2.00
Indycar Dallara DW12 2014
Nissan GT500 2013 – v2.03
USF2000 2016 – v2.00
AC Cobra 427SC 1967 v2.01
Chevrolet Camaro GT3 2012 – 2.00
Corvette C6R GT2 2009 – 2.00
Kart Cup – 2.01
Honda Civic BTCC 2013 – v2.00
Formula Renault 3.5 – v2.00
Renault Clio Cup 2010 – v2.00
Brabham BT20 1966 – v2.00
Howston Dissenter 1974 – v2.00
Panoz Roadster 1999 – v2.00
Nissan GTR 2011 – 2.00
Formula 2 2012 – v2.00
Skip Barber – v2.02
– Added rain effects

Tatuus Pack
– ALL Tatuus – Added upgrade.ini into unencrypted .mas for league use
Tatuus F3 T318 2018 – v1.06
– Separated WSK and Asia as opponents
Tatuus USF-17 – v1.07
Tatuus PM-18 – v1.07
Tatuus FT-50 – v1.07
Tatuus MSV_F3-016 – v1.07
Tatuus F4 2018 – v1.07

Steam Store Items

GTE
– ALL: Diffuser adjustment in GTE cars to reduce aero push oversteer of leading car.

Porsche 991 RSR GTE – v1.99
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R GTE – v2.05
BMW M8 GTE – v1.81
Aston Martin Vantage GTE – v1.11

LMP

Oreca 07 LMP2 – v1.69
Norma – v1.76

GT3

Audi R8LMS GT3 2018 – v1.51
– Changed naming to reflect 2018 in the car list
Bentley Continental GT3 – v2.55
Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R – v2.51
Mercedes AMG GT3 – v2.51
McLaren 650S GT3 – v2.43
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 – v1.47
BMW M6 GT3 -v1.45
McLaren 720s GT3 – v1.43
Porsche 911 GT3R – v1.41
Radical RXC GT3 – v2.55

Other

BMW M2 2020 – v1.31
– Fixed collision box
– Added ‘Clubsport’ upgrade

Formula E 2018 – v2.03
McLaren Senna – v1.07

Final word

Once again, we like to thank you for you continued support.  We are hugely passionate sim racers and look forward to bringing more developments and surprises throughput the year – Happy Holidays!

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Hello everybody, we hope you have all had enough time to read and digest the December roadmap? Here at the studio we have all enjoyed our holidays and are back in full force for the new year. It’s time to put on your racing gloves and fasten your seatbelts to blast through the first roadmap of 2020, all lights are green!

New User Interface

A lot of people have tried out the new user interface and provided feedback. We’ve been collecting this information and are scheduling a new “public beta” update next week.

We changed the way series, track and car selection works in the main menu, returning you right back where you came from instead of always going to the dedicated race menu. Talking about that race menu, nobody liked the way we loaded the favorite servers every time you entered that menu, so that now happens only once (and allows you the option to manually refresh later). Ultimately we will make the whole loading asynchronous, so you never have to wait for it. 

We made the replay slider draggable for replays so you can quickly find that scene you were looking for. A few problems that prevented the client from downloading components from a server that was hosting them were addressed and they are now correctly downloaded and installed again while showing you the progress. Brake wear and tire temperatures in the garage after you’ve been on track with your car are back, which should help you analyze your setup. An issue where you could start driving again in a session after being disqualified was fixed. The intermittent issue where the pace car did not correctly load was also addressed. Tyre flex is now again being applied correctly to the visual model.

Unrelated to the UI, we fixed the join lag which accidentally slipped in after some internal refactorings.

We also have an exciting director mode in the works. Taking our broadcast tools from rFactor 2 and allowing you to stream and control the broadcast overlay easily. That also means we’ll start shipping a configurable, customizable overlay. More news on that in our next roadmap.

Looking back at Sim Formula 2020

Thanks to all of you who visited the event or watched the racing being streamed live. The MECC in Maastricht was the perfect venue and the collaboration with InterClassics meant plenty of eye candy, with the city providing many opportunities for a great night out in between the four days. Overall the event was a big success, with both the esports convention and the student workshop drawing a lot of attention before the big crowds hit Sim Formula and InterClassics on the weekend. The exhibition area where lots of different hardware could be tested saw rigs in constant use and I think many visitors got introduced to the depth and experience of simracing that we have all grown used to. Saturday’s hotlap competition in the main auditorium saw people pushing hard on the virtual circuit of Maastricht. The three races on Sunday crowned Risto Kappet the overall winner, beating the four other finalists for the top spot on the podium.

 

 

sf_expo.jpeg IMG_2327.jpg Sim-Formula-Europe-thursday-32.jpg Sim-Formula-Europe-thursday-27.jpg sf_winners.jpeg

Photo 2, 3, 4 by Ronnie Zeemering

Assisting aspiring game developers!

As well as continuing to improve upon rFactor 2, making time to support young aspiring game developers is something we value here at Studio 397. Members of our UK based team have been invited to a student event at Warrington & Vale Royal College to provide support and advice to students starting their game developing journey. Before the event, students will be taking part in a week-long game jam to which they must produce and pitch the best game idea to industry clientele. The work produced will be entered into a competition, and judged by industry guests, including one of our very own artists, Joel Pattie.

The event will commence from Monday 3rd February and run through to Friday 7th February. Students will be broken into teams of 4/5 members, and must produce a solid example from their idea generation. Tasks will include the creation of a Game Design Document, Level Planning, and 3D environments representing a level in their game, with each industry guest offering support and assistance to help the learners understand how the industry operates. Studio 397 will be providing 5 copies of rFactor 2 to the team awarded best voted game idea!

GT3 BOP update!

Over the past month we have been working on updating our GT3 cars to level performance as best possible. Our hardcore test drivers have put in a lot of laps to ensure a more equal performance across the board, ranging from qualification pace to performance over a full fuel stint. That has lead to the following adjustments for the cars:

  • Radical RXC GT3: -30kg weight penalty
  • BMW M6 GT3: -30kg weight penalty
  • McLaren 650S GT3: -5kg weight penalty.
  • Audi R8 LMS GT3 2018: +5kg weight penalty.
  • Porsche 991 GT3-R: -1.5% engine torque/power output.
  • Bentley Continental GT3: +10kg weight penalty, -2% engine torque/power output.
  • Callaway C7 GT3-R: -2.5% engine torque/power output
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT3: +15kg weight penalty

Unchanged are the McLaren 720s GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 and Mercedes AMG GT3. Expect these updates to come in later this evening.

Tracks

The environment art team has been recovering from last years work load and setting about improving our core generic assets as well as starting work on some new projects which we’ll be able to share with you in the coming months. That said we do have a few updates to share with you this month. We’ve got a full update to the latest technology for the Monaco Formula E track coming which includes many upgrades over the current release version. Additionally, we’ve made some small tweaks to Le Mans to address a few common complaints.

Competition

We are confident that 2020 will be an exciting year, both for us in the Studio but more importantly for simracers (obviously rFactor 2 drivers will have more fun, and yes you can use that as a bumper sticker). In the December roadmap we revealed a glimpse of the future by announcing 4 major endurance special events, so let’s elaborate a bit more on those now. The first three will be the Sebring 12 hour, the Nordschleife 24 hour and the rF24 Le Mans race. The fourth one will be announced later this year. These races will be partially based on invites and have qualification routes for entry for everyone else.

That’s not all. In roughly a month from now our new rF2 GT Pro Series and rF2 GT Challenge Series will kick off. Our First Pro Series season will last for three months and will be handled by invitation and a hotlap qualifier. After this season we will have people moving up from Challenge Series to compete for the prize money in the 2nd season of GT Pro Series. The Challenge Series will be fluid and can consist of multiple splits, giving everybody a chance to climb through the ranks, so don’t worry if you are not a hotlapper, you will have your chance to prove your racecraft and quickly advance to the top tier!

The GT Pro Series will be broadcast live and the top split in the GT Challenge Series will be broadcast as well. Invites will be sent out in the upcoming week and qualifying will start in two weeks time. Based on the results there, the Pro Series Grid and the Challenge Grids will be determined.  Look out for our announcement and more details shortly!

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Build 1117 Update and new UI improvements

rFactor 2 - 1.1117 Now Available!
Steam Build IDs

Opt-out (old UI)
client: 4648479
dedi: 4648482

New UI: public_beta: Steam Build ID 4648512

  • ‘Favorite servers’ will only update when manually refreshed.
  • Added tyre wear, temperatures and hot pressures to the garage page, so you can see those after you get out of your car.
  • Added practice, qualification and race progress in the event screen. 
  • Added brake wear to garage page, so after you get out of your car, you can see how much your brakes have worn.
  • Added plugin management tab to options, allowing you to enable and disable installed plugins. This still requires a restart after making changes.
  • Added class color coded icons and class names to event standings if such an event has more than a single class.
  • Added a replay ‘seeker’ that is now drag-able so you can immediately see where you are in the replay.
  • Added confirmation dialog when deleting a setup
  • When you select a car, track or series, you will now return to where you came from, instead of going back to start page or in some cases the race page.
  • Fixed the missing package download and install process when joining a server.
  • Fixed the missing blinking cursor in text fields.
  • Fixed that you could always start driving again in sessions, even after for example being classified as DNF in a race. Now correctly disables the button when needed.
  • Removed certain display settings that shouldn’t be available when in a session.
  • Key assignments now show the key modifiers, such as ALT and CTRL. 
  • When clicking a folder in save setup, the setup name is no longer lost and goes blank. 
  • Server text commands do now work when pressing ‘return’.
  • Fixed the intermittent pace car loading error on track load
  • Removed additional pace cars “Clio Cup” and “Pace Car With Lights” from base install.
  • In VR, fixed a glitchy loading screen in the headset in both the old and new UI.
  • In VR, fixed a flashing desktop mirror while track loads in both the old and new UI.
  • Updated openvr libraries.
  • Fixed the lag when other clients joined a server.
  • Fixed AI limit of 19 when adding them in single player using ‘session controls’.
  • Removed old UI images that would appear sporadically.

Known Issues

  • Showroom does not go full screen when pressing ‘return’.
  • After content install in VR rFactor 2 does not restart. A workaround for now is to restart manually.
  • There is still a black band on the bottom half of the track loading screen.
  • Some are seeing some micro stutters in the new UI, more prominent in VR, we are aware and working on a fix.
  • Unrelated to UI, but we are also aware of the erratic throttle behavior of the AI cars, and we are looking into that.

Work in Progress

  • Add skin download progress bar while on a server that allows custom skin transfers.
  • Config tool sporadically fails to launch up after clicking PLAY for setting graphics resolution, VR or post effect levels.
  • Team creation in the showroom is missing.
  • Material editing in the showroom is missing.
  • Forced setup and/or upgrades.
  • Car (re)selection when on a server.
  • Resume from replay.
  • Sporadic ‘white screen’ on server exit.

 

1.thumb.jpg.c3509567a603ca8db499a235b64ec138.jpg

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As part of our recent promise to put out updates more quickly, here’s another one! This week we have a handful of updates to both the new UI as well as graphics and physics content updates.

But before we dive into these updates, we have some exciting news to share. We have a brand new member in the Studio 397 crew. Well known for being the “World’s Fastest Gamer” and now moving on to real world motorsports, you guessed it, it’s Rudy van Buren! Rudy will be sharing his insight and expertise, not to mention real world knowledge in motorsports and professional simulators, to help further raise the bar and continue improving the core physics in rFactor 2. His know-how and driving ability will add a new dimension to our ongoing commitment to realism and simulation!

McLaren Open Wheelers

This week we have a few car updates, starting with the three vintage McLaren open wheelers: the MP4/8, the MP4/13 and the M23. All three get an update to the new materials! Check them all out here if you haven’t subscribed yet. We hope to see your new skin creations! Don’t forget to grab the updated templates in your ‘rFactor 2’ install in the ‘Templates’ folder.

Mclaren MP4/13 1998

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/1515650133

McLaren_MP413_pbr_screenshot_02_raw.jpg

Mclaren MP4/8 1993

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1515644900

McLaren_MP48_pbr_screenshot_02.jpg

McLaren M23

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/1515642353

McLaren_M23_pbr_screenshot_02.jpg

 

Physics

Still on cars but on to physics improvements, where Rudy and the physics team have already been working hard to help iron out some of the outstanding issues. This week the focus was on the reported “bounciness” of the BMW M2 coming off curbs. These improvements were made in a few areas – we started with optimizing stiffness for the updated tyres. That allowed us to also improve dampers’ characteristics, making the car more stable and with better response over kerbs, as well as the ‘stick-slip’ effects coming from tyres, when sliding. Along the way, we also made improvements to differential response on power and coast, so it’s now a better match to the dynamics of the car and at the same time, more closely follows the updated data we got from BMW.

BMW M2 CS Racing

v1.39

  • Slightly softer steering links to reduce vibration
  • Slightly lower center of gravity to match the data
  • Tweaked differential locks and preload (higher)
  • New default front camber set to -3.0 deg
  • Readjusted dampers
  • Reduced the bounciness over curbs
  • Fixed opponent classes filtering. Each class can now be run separately, single player and multiplayer.

Porsche 991 GT3 Cup

v1.31

  • Fixed opponent classes filtering. Each class can now be run separately, single player and multiplayer.

Nürburgring Nordschleife (2018)

v1.51

  • Adjusted fog and haze settings for more visibility.

Broadcast Overlays

https://www.studio-397.com/2020/02/build-1117-update-and-new-ui-improvements-2/In other news, this past couple of weeks we have also been hard at work on revamping the broadcast overlays. Hopefully we will have something to share real soon. More on that next week!

Changelog New UI Public Beta

  • Fixed micro stutters in the new UI, that were more prominent in VR.
  • Added network settings in the UI options.
  • Fixed a memory leak while in tuning/showroom

Known Issues

  • Showroom does not go full screen when pressing ‘return’.
  • After content install in VR rFactor 2 does not restart. A workaround for now is to restart manually.
  • There is still a black band on the bottom half of the track loading screen.
  • Unrelated to UI, but we are also aware of the erratic throttle behavior of the AI cars, and we are looking into that.
  • Parc Ferme is not working in the new UI.

Work in Progress

  • Add skin download progress bar while on a server that allows custom skin transfers.
  • Config tool sporadically fails to launch up after clicking PLAY for setting graphics resolution, VR or post effect levels.
  • Team creation in the showroom is missing.
  • Material editing in the showroom is missing.
  • Forced setup and/or upgrades.
  • Car (re)selection when on a server.
  • Resume from replay.
  • Sporadic ‘white screen’ when leaving an online session.
  • Like 1

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