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Posted: May 15, 2021 @ 08:56 am GMT-0600
Updated: Feb 13, 2023 @ 01:19 pm GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: News - All, News - Software, Raceroom,
This post has been read 2,142 times.

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Sector3 today posted a new development roadmap detailing what we can expect from the title in the near future.

The headline items are:
– New FFB due next month.
– New options menu due next month.
– New replay UI due next month.
– Sparks effect coming.
– New Thrustmaster wheel rim SDKs support coming.
– Physics updates for various cars coming.
– Opel Astra TCR coming.
– What looks like a modern GP car coming.
– Ranked Multiplayer scoring adjustments coming.

1. Brand new Force Feedback (Target release = June 2021)

We have been working hard on a complete rework of our FFB, which we are all looking forward to sharing with you. We know FFB is a sensitive subject for many simracers and we want to properly explain why we think this was the right way to go and how we went about building the new system up from scratch. We hope everyone will be as excited as we are about the major improvements we have made here!

This project was initiated after taking stock of the current FFB situation. As car physics were being developed, the amount of details going in that work has been shadowed by our FFB, doing it no justice. A list of issues was put together, our FFB code was analyzed, flaws were discovered and the whole thing was redesigned and rebuilt.

Old FFB:

Steering geometry of the car is ignored, resulting in little differences in FFB between cars. It results in the steering torques being wrong, as they depend only on tyre forces rather than the actual characteristics of the car
Lack of longitudinal tyre forces
Lack of gyroscopic forces from the tyres
The tyre forces from physics are badly translated into FFB torque
Tyre contact patch movement is ignored, no dynamic change while driving
Too many sliders in the FFB options menu, some of them making promises the FFB could not deliver

New FFB:

Steering geometry is used: much more uniqueness between cars, the resulting steering torques have real meaning
All tyre forces are taken into account
Gyroscopic effects of tyres taken into account
100% Physics-based calculations
Tyre contact patch movement is used: much more dynamic feel while driving
Only crucial settings to adjust the FFB to the various steering wheels

2. New Options Menus (Target release = June 2021)

As you know we have been working on revamping our user interface, improving the look&feel but also adding functionalities to try and maximize the user experience.

The options menu has received a new look and structure, but also two major quality of life improvements: Search, and FOV / Triple Screen set up tools.

Search & Press key to jump to binding
The amount of settings and control bindings in a simulator is often overwhelmingly high. In addition to a better sorting, we have added a search tool that lets you go straight to the setting you are looking for. Another good addition is the fact you will now be able to press the button and immediately jump to that assignment.
FOV and Triple Screen tools
You will now be able to set those up directly from within the game, with a useful preview illustrating the changes.
For a single screen setup, pick your screen size, the distance from it, the eye offset and then tweak to your liking from the calculated FOV. (I always feel those are maybe natural but too narrow to be useful. Change my mind!)
For triple monitors, simply fill in their size(s), angles, distance, bezels and eye offset.
If you accessed the Options menu from your car, loaded on a track, you can even enter a live calibration mode allowing you to directly see the effects of your changes, as well as freely adjust the position of your eyepoint.

3. New Replay Interface (Target release = June 2021)

One of the most annoying flaws identified in the current replay interface is the lack of controls immediately accessible to the user. Some of them do exist but are accessible through hardcoded keybinds that are nowhere explained.

We also had limited free camera movements as well as not much freedom in how those movements are executed.

With this Replay Interface update, we bring you keyframe camera animations, expanded free camera movements, full disclosure of all the useful keybinds as well as ability to bind some extra ones. A noteworthy addition is also the list of all the drivers and the ability to switch directly to any of them without cycling through the entire grid.

Here’s a quick preview of it all where I try and create a nice panning shot of cars passing by, and then a dolly cam shot. Forgive my lack of talent with those shots, I’m sure you will be using this for much better looking shots.

4. Sparks (Target release = When it’s ready)
‘nuf said.

5. Smoke and dirt puffs (Target release = When it’s ready)
While looking into our particle system for sparks, we also looked into improving on smoke and dirt clouds. We ended up tweaking their density, their points of origin as well as how they are affected by passing cars and by… the wind.

6. Thrustmaster SDK (Target release = When it’s ready)

We have been supporting Thrustmaster with their new suite of drivers and firmwares.
Once that work is complete and everything works, it will be pushed in a RaceRoom update.

7. Physics updates (Target release = Often 🙂 )

The focus has recently been on formula cars. You can already enjoy the reviewed Formula Junior and Tatuus F4 in the public version. Next in line are the Formula RaceRoom 3 (currently in beta), then the 2, and then the FRX-17.

These single seater updates will be very good practice for our next FRX model! Which brings us to…

8. New content

Some of you already know about the Opel Astra TCR coming soon to RaceRoom.
We are constantly working on new content, but those are better announced differently. We are always busy on tracks and cars that will no doubt tick your interest.

We also experiment with new categories. Stay tuned!

9. Ranked Multiplayer – Series & Championships

The next step for Ranked MP is the creation of series / championships where each player will not only race for rating and reputation, but also score points in a race based on how highly rated the opponents were. The system will keep the best result scoring the most points and use that for the series rankings.

This work involves further automation of server management as well as new backend features that take time to develop while also maintaining the existing infrastructure. I hope for this to be delivered this year.

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