Reader Submission #27 – Project CARS devs no longer reacting to reported issues

Today’s Reader Submission comes from Nate D., who wants to draw attention to the Landmine Bug found in community assisted racing sim Project CARS, and more surprisingly, how little Slightly Mad Studios seem to care now that the game is a few months old:


Project-CARS-download

Hey PRC.net, I figured I would share a bit of comedy gold with the readers. Browsing the pCars forums earlier tonight, I came across what can only be called a hilarious bug. Basically, when you are driving along on track, usually on a straight with nothing around you, your car will suddenly sink into the track and explode – in some cases literally.

Now we’re all quite familar with the plethora of bugs in pCars, but this seems to be a new one to me. I haven’t had the displeasure of experiencing it myself, but from the videos posted in a thread now four pages long with a decent bit of info on the problem, this seems like a nasty experience for a handful of people. I think this rather sums up many players’ experiences with pCars so far – it can be a fun game when things go right, but when things go wrong, what’s the point in even booting up the game and playing it for a few minutes before your race is ended in a hilariously infuriating fashion?

I’m not the most familiar with software development and bug fixing, but generally the process is very simple, right? First, a bug is reported, the devs look at said bug, see if they can reproduce and find the issue, and from there dig into the code of the game and fix what was wrong. Well, as a few users commented in the same Landmine Bug thread, it seems SMS is taking a far more hands-off approach to the community as of recently. Not acknowledging issues, not commenting on any bugs reported (even with ample proof something is wrong), and letting issues die in the forums without so much as an official or even unofficial word on the matter.

This is a fairly stark contrast to the times when a certain Ian Bell would interact constantly with the community. Frankly, I miss the days when Ian would call entire groups of his customers idiots.

And not related to the above, I just wanted to give some feedback on the site. I first heard about PRC.net around January or February when it was being spammed on Reddit. At first, the posts seemed like nothing more than rants about various games & issues, and bitching just for the sake of bitching. Well, you know what? These articles are pretty damn good!

I was a skeptic at first and discounted most of what I read, but as time went on, there was an undeniable sense that the site knew what it was talking about. The articles were well-presented, backed up with loads of proof most of the time, and generally had a fairly entertaining sense of humor to them which I always found refreshing. Most other blogs or sim racing sites are rather mundane and do nothing but praise the games or products they are sponsored by. PRC was different, and it was always clear the opinions on it weren’t meant to appease, but to share the unfiltered feedback of those that play/use the products the most.

I guess this feedback can come down to thanks for the entertaining articles, well presented thoughts, and the ability to not be shills for the topics being discussed. I don’t always agree with what you guys write, but it’s always an interesting read, and worth a visit every few days to see what new stuff is on here.

Thanks.


Project-Cars-5The kind words are a nice change of pace compared to the drama unfolding in the comments section of certain Assetto Corsa articles over the past few days. For a site that’s an alleged hate blog and is banned on no less than four different message boards, this place sure gets a lot of traffic and positive feedback. I don’t know why creating TheDirty for driving games worked, but it did, and y’all are here. Seriously, why are people still here?

I’ll formally introduce the two new staff members eventually.

It’s very interesting that SMS are taking a hands-off approach to dealing with bug reports, but earlier today I essentially posted an answer for why they’re using this strategy – the studio has five fucking games in development, and they employ roughly 140 staff members. Judging by information that’s publicly available, they are simply too goddamn busy to care about a title they’ve already made their money on. Shady as hell? Well yeah, but that’s something everyone should have came to expect from Slightly Mad Studios, and it’s something that keeps this site rolling. So many days I wake up in the morning thinking what the hell am I going to post today, and by lunch time, SMS usually does something retarded enough for me to have an answer.

I don’t think all support has been dropped for the game – I think what you’re going to see from here on out is Slightly Mad Studios phoning in patches for pCars the same way your stereotypical big-time rock band phones in shows during stops in cities like Cleveland and Tallahassee. You’ll get a string of patches and DLC until probably January or February, and at the end of February, if the game’s still broken, too bad. A lot of what didn’t make it into the retail version of Project CARS were features that would allow the community itself to maintain the lifespan of the game, meaning you’ll see the user base dwindle to Race 07 levels within a year. Pretty big mistake in my opinion, as the game was supposed to include a Forza-like Storefront feature, and we all know how addicting that shit can be for console children.

Oh well, that’s Slightly Mad Studios for you. Here’s a video review of Ferrari Racing Legends by a guy who role-plays IRL as a girl.

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24 thoughts on “Reader Submission #27 – Project CARS devs no longer reacting to reported issues

  1. I experienced this bug about a week ago but I stopped even trying to report bugs as the Pcars forums full off WMD bots are just a nasty group of people.

    “For a site that’s an alleged hate blog and is banned on no less than four different message boards, this place sure gets a lot of traffic and positive feedback”

    I love your site and your honesty. I may not agree with all you guys have to say but I get information I would never see at VR and you guys don’t have some d’bag moderator that censors other peoples opinions. D’bag#1 told D’bag#2 at VR to not allow any reference to this site. How cowardly and pathetic is that?

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  2. And you already know the shills will flood this comment section with their normal array of excuses

    >83% metacritic score

    >the “next patch” will surely fix this

    >no game is bug-free

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    1. The two first arguments are for shills, but the last one is just true. If you can’t admit that all games have bugs you’re either seriously retarded or a rabid fanboy of a particular game.

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      1. Well project cars was 99.9% complete and bug free in March 2015, and they delayed it for May release to tackle the remaining 0.1%. http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/03/project-cars-99-done-but-delayed-to-mid-may/

        To me they just wanted more time to finish the porting to consoles. That’s what has been happening since November ’14 from the delay. The actual pcars game is more or less the same since november, they wanted more time to port it to the consoles.

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      2. “No game is bug-free” is a perfectly valid statement. It’s just that it’s also a completely pointless one to use in defence of a buggy game.
        There are plenty of games that are sufficiently bug-free that the majority of players will either never notice a bug, or will work around perhaps one or two during the entire time they spend with the game.
        It *would* be relevant to defend such a game using this statement.

        Typically, I’ve experienced the effects of at least two of three major bugs in every significant race I’ve played in Project Cars. I’ve quit a league I was quite heavily invested in, and was even organising at one point, simply because I couldn’t get through a race without pitstop bugs destroying my race for me, and it seemed utterly pointless investing hours of practice every week only to drop out of every race.

        I’m not sure what hypothetical rabid fanboy you’re refering to that would fail to admit that all games have bugs… that’s hardly the point. It’s simply irrelevant to use that entirely valid statement in defence of a bug-ridden mess of a game.

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  3. I actually played through Ferrari Racing Legends and 100%’d it and it’s somehow enjoyable but not very good. Difficulty is all over the place, some events you can win with 40+ seconds on the AI, some events you have to fight for, it’s too long, not particularly good looking and they tried random “driving events” like pretend shifting issues or pretend arm pain.

    And it also had very weird physics bugs, the sort of pcars-like bugs where crashing in a haystack would send an F1 in the air and into a string of barrel rolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a mature product and shall be treated as such.

    frequent sales to keep the 2nd one in everyones mind and the glue factory as a last stop.

    say have they announced space sim yet? How about submarine sim yet? All these untapped markets for mr bell to spread his wonderful cheer to!

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  5. You know, this could be down to the ‘jitter tweak’.

    I finally saw a decent explanation for this setting. Their interpolation between physics engine data and chosen rendered car position is a little strange. I believe it can allow the car to be interpolated below certain track meshes, maybe only under certain conditions..

    I remember seeing lots of holes and seams around curbs during the dev builds, are they still there?

    The disconnect between rendering and physics isn’t unique. The way they inconsistently combine the data might be… It’s part of the reason the output can feel inconsistent at high FPS and also why the replays often look disconnected.

    I would say their engine is spitting out a lot of irregular data. According to the engine, the car is traveling very inconsistently and the rendering pipeline tries to smooth it. I believe this is always necessary to some degree, though much more necessary for pcars

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    1. This makes a lot of sense, especially as it’s a modern engine and is probably threaded as fuck, but those are lingering issues that have been in the engine for years.

      I believe the engine is a good baseline, and from my limited experience fucking around with S2U mods there’s a lot of detail (similar to what AC has) but it just feels inconsistent.

      If they want to keep using this engine, and I believe that’s a very good idea, they have to sort those issues. It’s probably hard to reproduce, and chances are developers never encountered them, but it’s their job to fix their engine.

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      1. Yeah exactly, jitter tweak is really due to threading. They are breaking things down asynchronously, even though timing would ideally be as exact as possible. In many ways, it’s a standard solution but it doesn’t seem to be entirely correct in the shift engine (or madness engine? I can’t remember). The thing is, the timings they need can still be pretty reliable. Maybe it’s a combination of unreliable heavy shader compilation prediction and a very ‘forgiving’ timing allowance between their various pre-compiled dlls, physics engine and …’bridge’.

        We did see the beginnings of this in shift 2, with jittery replay cameras and car movement. Everything felt unnaturally ‘smoothed’ and even then lacked consistency.

        This was perhaps the #1 thing I wanted to see addressed by pcars, and I honestly think they made it worse.

        Pcars version can thread tasks out more than shift 2 could, but the problem is still clearly present.

        They just kept adding more rubbish, like they just wanted to see how loosely they could hold it all together.

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      2. Oh, for the record, I did see aspects of promise in shift 2, especially when modded.

        That’s why I originally gave SMS some money, then took it back from them.

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  6. I’d say that since the start, even when they have made a show of supporting the game and fixing bugs, they’ve also made it abundantly clear on the forums that they consider this a selfless free service they provide out of the goodness of their own hearts, to an audience of entitled, unappreciative whining brats.

    …as opposed to, y’know, their obligation as a developer.

    In fact, it was pointing out the abrasiveness of that very attitude which got me insta-banned from the forums.

    Remember, it’s not enough to just fix the bugs. If you don’t vocally applaud them for each and every bug-fix to keep their egos inflated, they won’t consider there to be any reason to continue doing it.

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  7. Mr Ian Bell himself has said. “This game is a success in every measurable metric” or something to that affect if I didn’t quote him verbatim.
    It’s clear this guy only sees dollar signs. Not customers, nor does he have the chops to complete his projects. guys a business shill. Not a game maker. there’s no way he can really increase his revenue with PCars or salvage PCars at this point. As much as said they were already onto pcars2. Allegedly. And another 4 titles. so they are ditching pcars and the forums. Shocked there still open at all for discussion. Retreat is obvious.
    Unless they hit a HR with 3.0
    But I don’t think they have a swinging chance.
    Not sure which would be more entertaining. Another epic flail. Or a working game.

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  8. The game is so obviously a console cash grab. Use PC gamers money to fund a console game. Put a sprinkling of PC “features” in order to keep the rabid PC gaming force at bay, however to all intents and purposes, its a rather naff, buggy console game.

    Do they care its still a bug filled mess? I doubt it. The review scores are in and the vast majority of the sales are banked. Onto the next release (PCARS2) when they will wheel out those all familiar well trodden lines of, “we have learned from past mistakes”, “we weren’t happy with X, we have improved this” when in fact it will just be another slice of dogshit served up.

    To think that I actually bought into all those notions of this being a sim. Is this title a sim? Is it heck. Its no more a sim of racing than Mario Kart is a sim of karting. The physics are an utter joke. I kept on raising physics issues in the WMD forum, only to be told “it will come later”. I’m loving the canned slides and the weird physics of some cars where it seems the rear has infinite grip.

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  9. It would be a lot easier to recommend you guys as a legitimately good sim racing blog if you didn’t constantly feel the need to throw in your edgy-as-fuck opinions on irrelevant shit, with transgender people apparently being the latest target of your razor-sharp wit. Just a hint.

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    1. So it’s like a second-coming of Polyphony Digital.
      -release a pretty, but crappy, game
      -get called out on it.
      -take a vow of silence and never communicate again.
      SMS – The British Polyphony Digital.

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      1. How? For instance, you could be a jew and still make anti-semetic remarks. I’ve seen it. It doesn’t make the comment any better just because.

        Like

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