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In their developer update, posted yesterday, Reiza Studios announced upcoming changes to the visuals, physics, livetrack and more. The update also includes confirmation of the 2024 Brasil Stock Car Pro Series, updates to the Formula Ultimate (F1-spec) Gen 2 cars as well as official licensing from IMSA.

The IMSA license is an interesting one! Unless something changes recently, the agreement wouldn’t give Reiza access to additional cars and tracks directly, but would give them access to liveries and potentially get them contacts with any difficult brands they’ve not been able to make deals with. Reiza had obviously already signed and produced much of the content currently run in the series. The major positive, at least by my understanding, would be the legitimacy this gives AMS2 as a platform, and the potential for any future planned competitions the series want to run.

The development update is quoted fully below:

Greetings everyone!

We are approaching the fourth anniversary since the initial AMS2 Early Access release on Steam – and what a roller coaster these four years have been! Some lows along the way but many highs, with the overall trajectory firmly pointing upwards and leading to our highest peak right after our last catch-up in December.

Great timing then to go over some of the developments we´ve been putting together for 2024 – developments which we are confident will see AMS2 rising to a whole new atmospheric layer.

Most of the team has been working on major new features and some exciting content due to arrive with our next milestone update – Automobilista 2 V1.6 is expected to come sometime in the Summer (or Winter for those of us in the Southern hemisphere) – this will be in many ways the biggest & more important update to AMS2 yet.

We do have a smaller V1.5.6 update to deliver before that however, including some cool content updates and new valuable developments, which we hope to deploy before the end of the month.

Let´s get into it then for a preview of what´s coming not only for this upcoming release but also a glimpse into the big one a few more months down the line!

AUTOMOBILISTA 2 OFFICIALLY LICENSED BY IMSA
We are delighted to announce that Automobilista 2 is now an official licensee of the International Motorsports Association, the body in charge of several long-running racing series in the US, the premier of which of course being the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, featuring some of the most traditional Endurance events in the world such as the Daytona 24h, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the Sebring 12h – the latter taking place just as we write this.

Our goal through this very exciting partnership is to align the remaining agreements required to have the 2024 season – teams, cars and venues – represented in AMS2, a process that is already well under way with direct support from IMSA themselves.

Such agreements don´t always evolve at the same pace, so as with everything else in AMS2 this is a project to be assembled in parts – some of them already feature in the current version of AMS2, and you may expect some major additions to arrive with the release of V1.6. Subsequent updates hopefully will bring most if not all the remaining pieces to complete this very large ensemble.

In our last dev update of 2023 we mentioned that Endurance racing fans were in for an exciting year in 2024, beyond the then imminent release of Le Mans and the initial Endurance pack in December. The partnership with IMSA is a key step to deliver on that promise, with much more to come later this year.

AMS2 V1.5.6 INCOMING – WITH SOME V1.6 BITS

Before the big V1.6 update due to arrive a few months from now, AMS2 will receive a smaller update towards the end of this month, and in it users will get a glimpse into some of the developments we´ve been working on the past few months.

GRAPHICS for both cars and tracks are being boosted by some excellent art & shader developments with minimal to no impact on performance. These include an increasing number of tracks making use of 3D trees in the immediate trackside surroundings (combining with the otherwise perfectly suitable billboard spinning 2D trees which remain in use at longer distances) as well as much nicer water shader making lakes, rivers and sea look signifcantly more life-like – both developments in display above at the picturesque Ibarra circuit, looking better than ever.

Although revision of all tracks for these developments are only expected to be completed in V1.6, several tracks will already feature them in V1.5.6 .

Cars are likewise receiving similar material and texture updates especially inside the cockpit (example above).

LiveTrack is also getting some valuable new developments not only to its various intertwined dynamics, but also to how these dynamics are represented in-game. These include a more distinctive-looking rubbered-in racing line in the dry and a likewise more distinctive line outside that rubber in the wet; the dustier edges of the road will also appear more distinctively lower grip, with clouds of dust being kicked up as cars run over them.

Last but never least, we have further PHYSICS development incoming – even though the V1.6 revisions won´t be as profound as last year´s V1.5 overhaul, there are still significant improvements with the focus once again on tire development – more specifically tire thermodynamics, wear & hysteresis.

While these updates will only arrive wholesale with V1.6, two classes will already feature v1.6 physics in V1.5.6 later this month.

Our man @steelreserv is leading the charge with these new tire developments – below is his summary of what the hysteresis developments entail:

“There are two aspects of hysteresis – the first and operative way we are using it simulates how rubber naturally compresses and rebounds from compression, allowing (and hindering) how deep a specific rubber compound can sink into the asperities (cracks and crevasses) of the track surface. A soft compound sinks into the cracks more quickly than harder one, with more rubber in the cracks adding friction / grip. The same rubber compound can compress and rebound at different rates as well, generally allowing for quicker compression, but once the rubber is free of the track surface, the rubber rebounds (of flexes) back to its original shape slower.

The second aspect of hysteresis is basically related to how heat is generated in the tire as this constant compression and rebounding on a molecular level generates energy.

Effectively with STM, hysteresis helps us simulate the falloff of grip caused by the lack of time the rubber has a chance to “sink” into the asperities of the track as slip / slide velocity of the tire grows higher. Simply put, the more the tire slides, the less time the rubber has to sink back into the cracks and crevasses of the track. Less rubber sinking into the track yields less friction, leading to less grip from that sliding tire.”

The work on hysteresis directly relate to the thermo / wear / damage revisions also incoming with v1.6, but we´ll get to those in a later dev update.

Read on below to learn the two classes already receiving these V1.6 developments with V1.5.6 later this month!

Stock Car Pro Series 2024
A new year means a new season for our longest running-partner, the premier Brazilian racing series back for the last season in this generation of cars before completely new cars are introduced in 2025.

The 2024 cars aren´t completely unchanged however – they are slightly heavier, have slightly longer wheelbase and new Push-to-Pass rules bringing a bigger number of shorter boosts, with no activation delays between them. Upon release the cars of the 2024 season will also feature the latest v1.6 physics developments.

For those users who may feel they already have more legacy Stock Car seasons than they might wish, some good news – V1.6 will feature a content manager which will allow them to customize the game to feature only the classes and tracks they are interested in.

Formula Ultimate Gen2 Gets an Overhaul
The top-level formula class in AMS2 is getting a big overhaul in V1.5.6. Initially released alongside the new real-life regulations of the 2022 season, the F-Ultimate Gen2 has since become somewhat outdated by both the developments of the real-life series as well as the improving quality standards within the sim. With this overhaul the F-Ultimate Gen2 gets a sexy new 3D model, updated sounds and new technical features to better simulate a modern GP car, the latest DRS rules – all wrapped with the latest V1.6 physics revisions which are a big step-up for this particular car.

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