Project CARS still sending Prototypes to Jesus

pcars in one imageNational Football League fans and journalists alike use Ryan Leaf as the defining symbol of a draft bust; the ultimate example of failure to live up to insurmountable expectations. Sim Racing now has it’s own Ryan Leaf, as three years of development and eight patches have still failed to rectify a glitch in Project CARS that randomly launches the player’s vehicle into the stratosphere.

A cunning experiment that first began in 2012, Slightly Mad Studios directly asked for both the creative input AND funding from the sim racing community in order to release a game that could potentially dethrone the likes of Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo. Delayed three times in the six months leading up to launch, the eventual release of the title was plagued with a maddening list of bugs and glitches left unresolved from early beta builds from 2012, issues financial backers and Slightly Mad Studios themselves scrambled to cover up while releasing no less than eight major patches.

Of course, while owners were still struggling to play the game for more than a few minutes at a time without running into game-breaking problems, both a sequel AND comprehensive DLC plans were announced. The base game didn’t work as advertised, and in some cases wasn’t even playable, but Slightly Mad Studios continued to act as if their new IP had amassed a legion of loyal followers.

project-cars-on-demandThese are truly dark days to be involved in Sim Racing. After Batman: Arkham Knight made international headlines for a disastrous release that forced Activision to hand out refunds to anybody who asked for one, Project CARS was able to stay in the shadows primarily due to the game’s roots within the community. With the development crowdfunded through a large portion of the sim racing audience, and promises of a return on everybody’s investment, both individual users and web publications joined together in a mass display of viral marketing to ensure they would receive their money back.

Only once the dust had settled did information trickle out that the game was of extremely poor quality.


51 thoughts on “Project CARS still sending Prototypes to Jesus

  1. I had high hopes but incredibly low expectations for this game. I already have a proper seat which had a Xbox 360 wheel and right before this launched I bought a g27 because I had just built a new PC… But not for this game of course.

    Now I kinda wish I had just bought an x1 wheel for forza 6. I have other of sims and I like them but I’m more interested in the forza style system of single player. Its a perfect mix for someone who loves sims but isn’t super hardcore about things like flags and qualifying etc.

    Unfortunately like all their games this was released unfinished and broken but it won’t ever be fixed and I certainly won’t buy the sequel unless its deeply discounted…like $10-15 discounted. The studio doesn’t deserve my money as they have shown time and time again they don’t give a damn about providing a quality experience they just want our money.


      1. Fixing unreproducible bugs isn’t “a bit hard.” In a thirty-thousand-plus line project, it’s essentially impossible, no matter how well-written the code is. And given the corporate culture of modern development studios, nobody writes their code well, either, because they’re under deadlines far too strict to refactor code into better-written, easier-to-read work. In a small project, you could read through the logic and potentially see logical errors or missed keystrokes–but in a project the size of Project CARS, it could be any one of hundreds of factors, and each of those is probably a hundred lines of code, one of which is missing a period or has a > instead of a <.

        It's like trying to find a needle somewhere in fifteen stacks of needles.

        But that doesn't mean that it's acceptable, particularly when for example AI Superkarts for some reason consistently go flying when taking turn one at Oulton Park, which isn't exactly full of places to ramp.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It isn’t random. Anytime you see something in a video game suddenly fly into the air what you are seeing is the result of 2 physical objects getting stuck inside each other and it happens to fast your eyes can’t see it even frame by frame.

      Its the result of using a physics engine not designed for a racing game or at least code from one like say…havok.

      You dont see this happening in other racing games because their physics engines were designed for vehicles from second one and are custom in house engines. Slightly mad is pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and using middleware to handle physics which would answer why they cant fix it. They aren’t allowed to modify the code.

      What’s happening is the tires or some part of the vehicle are intersecting with the road which shouldn’t be able to happen for 2 reasons. First as mentioned above, the physics engine. Second is the tire model. It should prevent this when combined with a proper physics engine. Again why you don’t see it in any other actual sim.

      Slightly mad is a den of thieves lying to everyone about their games, their engines and their physics setup.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or it could be a bug, like the road collision getting disabled for a fraction of second for some reasons. But funny conspiracy theory, you guys have a lot of imagination.


      2. Conspiracy? Clearly you aren’t a programmer and have no idea how video games work Mr anonymous.

        Take it from me. Collision isn’t being disabled. Hell dont take it from me. If it was you would see the car dip down for at least a frame but you dont.

        What’s happening is called clipping. Its what happens when you use a physics engine designed for shooters as the basis of your racing sim.


      3. I know that the collisions aren’t being disabled, it was just an example.

        Their engine has some wonky physics (probably bugs), but it was meant for racing games. Hell, they’ve only done racing games with it.


      4. The engine goes back to ISI tech, as in a good engine, but SMS manged to totally fuck it up, all they could of done is rf1 with pcars graphics and win, but no as x360 said they don’t know shit and have used a ton of out sourced plugins, physx being but 1, and they fucked it up, is just a load of shit glued together and these “bugs” are simply the result of all these foreign plugins not playing nicely together,and as x360 says they dont have a clue what to do as its not there codes, its also enougher example among many about the bogus, broken and just not enabled so called SETA tyre model, that’s been one of the biggest cons in not just racing sims , but all sims.


      5. Yeah, this is really just the counter part to that “AC can’t simulate extremely stiff springs” thing – when your physics engine allows springs to get too stiff but is still running in realtime, things like this happen. In the 1/1000 of a second between physics updates or whatever it is, two objects moving at 200-300km/h intersect enough that the stiff springs say “tear them apart with the force of 1000 wild horses” and the game either says “no, bad spring” or fires the car into the air.


      6. Exactly.

        From what I’ve seen, I believe it’s tyres intersecting with the road surface. If the intersection is too far out of range, the engine is no longer able to resolve the conflict in a reasonable way.

        As you say, this is primarily the fault of using a plugin that they have no control over combined with a tyre model that isn’t really finished.

        There’s also insufficient explanation behind how PhysX is actually utilized. Switching to PhysX-based calculations suddenly when the car becomes airborn is a strange goddamn way of doing things. what happens when only the front wheels are in the air, or one wheel? Why would you EVER switch at any point aside from a quick workaround for an already incomplete engine?

        In the end, this is the sort of bug you expect to see when developers decide to use the most inefficient practices they can think of. Throw in a bunch of pre-compiled shaders (again, no developer control, it’s just fast and easy for them), and you have a perfect recipe for disaster, the exact same ingredients used by ubisoft and WB to push out half-assed titles with unacceptable performance for their relative rendering quality.


  2. To me it sounds like that SMS are planning to add more unique content to the game, and already have the key functionality for this working in the base of the game.

    Let me introduce ProjectKSP to you.

    For those who don’t know about KSP or Kerbal Space Program, it’s a game about a space program, where you can design your own spaceships, and use them in missions to travel to foreign planets and into the depth of the kerbal galaxy. Even though the graphic style is kind of comical, the game itself is a pretty nice simulation for orbital mechanics, as long as you accept the fact that the gravity attracting your ship is only simulated for the nearest planet or star. Die hard sim fans will again say this is not acceptable, but since pCARS is no die hard sim, the content will fit perfectly into this package.

    To come back to the actual topic, from my point of view it is deeply embarrassing for everyone working in the video game industry, that development teams like SMS are actually proud about the pile of crap they produced, under the premise, that they wanted to build the best simulation of racing known to mankind. If they had a budget of $7 and a keyboard with some keys like { or ; missing, I would accept the outcome as pretty neat, but under the given circumstances it is again embarrassing.

    Simulating vehicle dynamics is no easy task, if you are trying to do it with an acceptable accuracy. I know this because it was one of my tasks for the past three years in a formula racing team. But none of the cars I developed (virtual or real) ever tried to go on an extra terrestrial mission (so far). But this is one of the often mentioned and discussed problems here. Some devs are not only proud of their product, they are downright arrogant when you mention that there might be “some” room for improvement. Sure, there are some things which actually are personal preferences in sims, but when it comes to racecars starting Mun missions, even the most stubborn devs should accept they failed at some tasks (Mun is the moon to Kerbin in KSP, the equivalents for Moon and Earth).

    Since every sim around satisfies some of the users preferences, and only some are totally broken, there is no final conclusion to make. Maybe except that if you want to have something that is not around – just develop and build it yourself. But that was kind of how pCars started, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The whole Project CARS fiasco is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen in simracing, from the asshole developers, to that whole investment pyramid scheme, to the rabid fanboys who sing the game’s praises like they’re being paid to do it, even if they didn’t invest. And then the game itself, which is buggy as all hell, incomplete, and is basically NFS Shift 3. And instead of fixing anything they announce a sequel? I couldn’t have made up a stranger story. So much for a game changing simulator. Everything about this title just makes me itch. I put a few hours in earlier in the year and I can’t see myself ever playing it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The most amusing bug in pcars was in multiplayer. Start of a race, for some reason the whole grid got a drive through before the race even started, upon taking this drive through, you came out the pits and were then hit with a massive cut penalty of about 5 minutes. The rage was so thick you could swim in it. Hilarious.


  5. Happens when a team trys to make a complex game they aren´t able to handle. Nothing new from SMS. Their games are often bugged as fuck.


  6. And yet it is the most successful simulator of the last years… so try imagine the competitors!!! eheh
    I prefer tons time to have a bugged game that is constantly fixed and improved with new contents and features (pcars), than having a bugged game that is abandoned and played by no one (rf, gsc).
    Not for being a fanboy, this is a honest opinion… if I would have remained “alone”, I would play GPL.


    1. Your English is impeccable.

      The game sucks dude. Get over it. There are bigger things in life to worry about. It’ll be ok, I promise.


      1. Dunno if it sucks.. but it’s most played sim on Steam right now.. so ye, eventually it sucks, but the others must be much more worse! eheh


    2. >than having a bugged game that is abandoned and played by no one (rf, gsc).
      If you could tell me which game-breaking bugs these games have (like PCARS has many for example), that would be amazing. Could give us an idea for a new article!


      1. game-breaking bugs? I play pcars almost every day, and I didn’t found a single game-breaking or game-stopper bug so far (it doesn’t mean it’s perfect of course! I’m talking about a bug that would force me to quit the game…) …should we continue for weeks with you saying: “it’s so bugged!”, and me (or some other) repeating: “no it’s not”?
        Also, instead of posting trolling comments on a random blog, when I have something to say, I post on the official forum, using the correct language, like an adult would do, not like a crying kid (so you shouldn’t be surprised of why those kids and trolls are banned there…).

        Returning to the competitors: before even thinking about the bugs, you should ask yourself if you are having fun with a product.. well, apart this blog, it looks like that out there there’s thousands ppl who are having fun with the usual games which are criticized more on this blog: pcars, assetto corsa, iracing.. while all the others are basically ignored. Do you think it’s just a matter of “advertising”? You should open your eyes and admit the real reason behind it: pcars (and ac.. or iracing) are fun to play, the others are boring and forgotten.

        So, good luck with your crusade.. did you obtained anything? I see those sims staying on the crest, it’s not that a blog is going to change their fate. And if the real intentions is to increase the traffic here and to raise some money by posting trolling click-bait articles: this web-address is censored on the biggest racing communities, without a good number of back linking.. well you know it already. 😉


  7. No offence James, but it´s easy to see you don´t play this game. You keep reporting about this eye catching stuff, but the game is 1000x worse than this.

    This stuff happens once in a blue Moon, but there are broken aspects you have to endure every day. Cars glue together after any contact, road tyres have more grip on the carcass than on the outside rubber, the pitstops take ages in every class so running overweight is faster than a normal strategy. Some wheels react violently to exitting a session or lose FFB suddenly in the middle of a game. Some setup items (like camber) are deeply flawed in the way they work. Some tyres run faster if you overheat them. The telemetry misses critical data like oil and water temps.

    The game is poorly though and broken at so many levels it´s unbelievable. This thing you reported on is the least of PCARS problems.


    1. Indeed.. the guy didn’t realize that writing posts like this has the opposite effects: if you write a whole XXX rows article about a bug which happens one time at every planets alignment, then it means that is damn hard to find some other serious bug that’s worth to talk about! :O


      1. Explain the patches? Can’t you read the release notes?
        All the patches are released mainly for three reasons:

        – Bug fixes;
        – New/Improved Features;
        – Additional contents (free or paid DLC);

        So you will have future patches regardless of the bug fixing: because there will be 11 months (from the release date) of new contents and new futures… at least.
        I mean if people “pretends” (eheh) to do some “journalism” they should document (a little!) before. 😉


  8. So the game has so few bugs, that you had to search for something experienced one time by the 0.0000000000001% of the users? Considering that I can find something similar by typing it on google (flying whatever) for 100% of the games out there.. If so.. then pcars is basically bug-free! lol


  9. I ran into a land mine last night. And I have been ghosting through a few it would seem as well. There’s definitely a weird clipping or drop in frames they are using to disable crash physics when you would be hitting something, the invisible wall I mean.
    But yeah.
    This game is defined by this one HUGE game breaking bug, despite missing features, appallingly bad implementation of other features. terrible UI. Saves that don’t work properly…
    The list goes on and on.
    Makes me yearn for the days when user interface was the only thing I had to complain about in gran turismo.


  10. I am still waiting for proper bashing article about rFactor2. Calculating the number of AC and pCRAP articles in comparison to rF2, it seems like rF2 is actually a very good simulation. That can’t be right?


    1. rF (like GSC) is played by 2 users in circle.. eheh.. so a troll post like this “article” won’t attract any “click”.
      If you didn’t realized yet, we’re here to troll, nor to do information. 😉


      1. Lol ok little boy, because all the popular music is a catalogue of awesomeness? bieber, minaj,would love to see your play list.

        2 ppl play RF? well if Max voustrappen is one then I must be the other, cool, maybe i could line up a 1v1.

        The best bit too is voustrappen has no deal to push RF,Unlike “some” drivers with other devs, its just the sim he CHOOSES to play, you always see him on it.


      2. Look, I certainly don’t like justin biberon (I come from the Pink Floyd era…), but if there’s people (millions?) who like him, good for them, neither I can negate he did it right considering his incredible success… so what are trying to say? That your opinion is the only one “right”? I tell you something, sit down: you are wrong. 😉


      3. No it means popularity does not equate to quality, ESPECIALLY in modern entertainment,and double that again with moronic “gamers”, how you didn’t assume I meant this is interesting, infact in race sims, it appears less popular the sim the better the sim is, you could fully rank sims by popularity, with the worst being most popular.


      1. Certainly rf1 based games are probably played more than rf2, what with RRE,pcars,GTL,GTR2,race 07,simraceway,stock cars etc etc then yeah your probably right, have a cookie.


    2. When the stock car came out they bashed it around for having a terrible tire model, like you do, but presumably it’s not patching often enough to complain that the patches don’t fix anything.


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