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Posted: Nov 19, 2023 @ 10:20 am GMT-0600
Updated: Nov 19, 2023 @ 10:27 am GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: News - All, News - Software, Raceroom,

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KW Studios have posted one of their usual in-depth previews of the new tire model for Raceroom (fully quoted below) that is due for deployment in December, 2023. The new model should improve the way the cars handle at the limit, make them less likely to roll over and will have an impact on brake performance as well as the Force Feedback. More refinements are coming in 2024.

On the content side, KW Studios had previously released a roadmap for 2023 and obviously failed to make most of the releases as scheduled when “something went awry” in their backend, “causing noticeable issues”, meaning the expected content rollouts didn’t happen. Whatever they had planned will be “rescheduled to later dates” according to the dev update.

A new UI is mentioned in the dev update, planned for the future to improve content discovery and display, and there is a mention of changes to the ranked multiplayer system as well.

Tire model information:

During the development of our Porsche Pack 2023, we benefited from the precious feedback of various subject matter experts, real drivers and race team engineers. The development of a car for RaceRoom starts by plotting all the hard facts and measurable values that constitute the core character of the car. We then make the car available in closed beta to real life drivers and the first rounds of feedback are usually pretty quick iterations focussed on dialling in the car set up and its handling before going into more details. For the Porsche 992 GT3 and GT3 R, we got pretty close to full satisfaction, but… We had comments regarding excessive grip on the rear axle that resulted in understeer during corner exits and drivers also wished for a more lively behaviour in braking phases.

Now, we were 100% sure of all the data points about the cars, so there had to be something else causing it and that left one possible culprit, one of the hardest aspects of a vehicle simulation: the tyres. Little did we know this would occupy us for months and suck us like a whirlpool into an intense research phase during which we reviewed pretty much everything we knew about tyres and collected books on the matter, contacted various researchers and tyre engineers. This is where working among the KW Automotive sphere proved really beneficial as the network is truly immense and the accumulated knowledge to be found is astounding.

Since this summer, our internal physics chat channels have been at a boiling point. Discussions of tweaks to the tyre model variables, investigations into the core physics engine and comparing it with research data as well as logged data from race cars… It has been pure excitement all this time.

What you can expect from all this work is a much more dynamic feel, achieved by ensuring that the tyre reacts appropriately in the various operating conditions, such as tyre load and camber. Before this, the behaviour was correct in the optimal and most encountered conditions but did not change much when going out of that window as we lacked data on what should happen in those cases.

Now with the research we’ve done and data we’ve received we were able to fill in those gaps and also correct mistakes in certain calculations inside the physics engine.

The result is a much more realistic tyre and a much better overall driving experience.

As a side note, the new tyre will make the cars a lot less subject to rolling over, which is actually a great example of where our simulation proved imprecise beyond normal camber limits.

While the feeling for the car is greatly enhanced, the updated tyre physics should not require much change in how you drive or approach a car, it will simply be making a lot more sense at and beyond the limit of grip. Braking for a corner however, that’s going to require some changes. In previous physics, you didn’t really have to modulate your braking power much, and 100% brake input was pretty weak in comparison to real life measurements. If you have been tweaking your brake pedal sensitivity settings for RaceRoom to reach 100% input with less required pressure or pedal travel, you might want to revisit this as you will need more finesse in this critical phase once the update rolled out.

We know for sure that the changes will make it to you in our December update on selected cars. Feedback we got from test drivers and partners is confirming that the changes currently in beta are spot on and we are now working on adjusting all our other car classes with the V5 tyre approach. We are prioritising the most driven cars in RaceRoom but also the ones for which we have data. We will have to leave certain specs of tyres or certain ABS tweaks for a later update.

We don’t want to stop there, however. We already know that there will have to be a V6 tyre:

During the research, we have had a close collaboration with Falken Tyre engineers and received a steady stream of data that opened further paths of improvements in all areas, including effects of temperatures and wear on the mechanical grip.]

In order to secure a releasable package for December, we have to leave this kind of refinements to 2024 as we had run out of time to iterate enough times in testing.

The research also grew interest for the sim by professionals. In the last days, Manthey Racing started using the latest beta in their brand new simulator room and that practice program will surely lead to further feedback and paths for improvements I’m sure. Stay tuned for more on that in the future.

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