Reiza’s Plans for Automobilista are Satisfactory

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It’s important to give credit where credit is due, and today we here at PRC.net are sending a rare package of good vibes to the folks at Reiza Studios, who earlier this afternoon outlined a very realistic development plan for the final months of Automobilista’s Early Access phase. Focusing on bug fixing, free content, and implementing additional features before pushing several downloadable content packages on the already small userbase, the lengthy post was a breath of fresh air compared to the delusions of grandeur displayed by rival sim racing developers.

The entire post by Renato Simioni can be read on the official Reiza Studios forums, so I’ll obviously advise you to skim through the source material before we get going, but I’d like to draw attention to how the post was structured, and why their development “road map” has put me in an optimistic mood despite my own personal complaints about the game.

As usual we will also continue trying to improve the existing platform by ironing out as many issues adding as many improvements as we possibly can so people can enjoy AMS as seamlessly as possible, including the expansion of our user manual (the partial version already available as launch option from Steam).

First, Reiza are dedicated to ironing out bugs, as well as fleshing out the already lengthy instruction manual included in the Automobilista Support folder. It’s a given that every developer team aims to iron out the various bugs found by the community, but the fact that the game’s Early Access phase is scheduled to end by April means we won’t be dealing with a prolonged science project that Project CARS and Assetto Corsa owners were subjected to last year. At least, I hope.

New builds should roll out every week for the beta, and every fortnight for the release version of AMS, generally in between Thursday and Friday. A new build is schedule to be deployed for the public release version of AMS tomorrow (18/03).

Second, Reiza plan to stick to an absolute schedule when it comes to delivering title updates. There is no longer a lengthy waiting period spent aimlessly browsing the forums to offset the boredom of waiting for the patchcommunity members more or less know when an update is scheduled to arrive, and can periodically check to see if an issue that affects them has been fixed. I like this.

One of our prioritary goals for Early Access is to develop resources to facilitate, complement & stimulate the community´s continuing engagement with Automobilista.

To this end we are developing a Web Portal, featuring:

  • Web-based Multiplayer Lobby: In addition to the current Matchmaker from the Steam client, users will be able to view & join multiplayer sessions from this Reiza web portal (without necessarily launching the game first). This lobby will eventually be accessible from in-game too.
  • Official rooms for public multiplayer races, featuring a constantly rotating schedule of official content;
  • Leaderboards linked to in-game Time Trial Mode: Set your time in Time Trial and it will immediately sync with the leaderboard for that car/track combo under your Steam name (and update whenever you manage to improve your best time);
  • League-Finder : A system for leagues to register their championships in order for potential participants to locate them based on the desired series and schedule
  • Official seasonal competitions tied to the real racing series we represent, presenting some special prizes and opportunities to bridge the gap from virtual to real racing.

Parallel to this, we continue to work in the product itself – AMS core focus is to deliver a cohesive racing simulation platform with a large variety of cars and tracks and advanced simulation features.

Third, Reiza essentially want to try building a competitive community around Automobilista, and all of these extra little features will be free of charge. The concept they have proposed is a hybrid between Race2Play and RaceRoom Racing Experience, and of course only time will tell how well all of this stuff works when the public has access to it, but it’s nice to see a developer understand that it’s time to try and experiment with the social side of racing simulators. Currently, both Stock Car Extreme and Automobilista are nearly deserted when it comes to online play, so watching Reiza take note of this and attempt to improve the situation is much appreciated. Again, I have no fucking idea whether it will catch on to the extent Reiza is hoping for, but it’s nice that they’ve seen how the sim racing community reacted to Assetto Corsa being light on features, and have applied that knowledge to their own product.

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Of course, there’s a bunch of new content coming, both as free updates to the vanilla package, as well as premium DLC packs. I’m not going to list each new car and track, as Reiza have already gone over it on their own website, but the heavy hitters are Virginia International Raceway, an unlicensed Lotus 49, and an unlicensed Porsche GT3 entry. Unfortunately, Historic Imola has been yanked from the base content of Stock Car Extreme and placed into an upcoming DLC package, but it appears that this is a one-off situation.

However, given that Reiza plans to release their next title at some point in 2017, I’m unsure how the sim racing community will react to premium DLC packs for a game with a lifespan of less than one year. I can’t imagine Reiza will have a comprehensive DLC plan like Project CARS or Forza Motorsport, but with how much of the game still centers around the South American racing scene, they’re going to need a hefty dose of international content to attract more sim racers to Automobilista. I assume the Area 51 forum members have been teased with some pretty pictures, but unfortunately nobody’s sent those to us as of yet.

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Now for those who are still on the fence about Automobilista, and are wondering why everyone’s losing their shit over this title despite it looking like basically every other isiMotor sim, I have to say that it’s pretty good, but there are indeed some issues indicating the Early Access phase is justified.

  • The AI drivers require a massive overhaul. This may be an issue with the source material itself – the isiMotor engine has never handled offline racing particularly well –  but as it stands, Automobilista is atrocious to play in an offline setting. The AI cars simply can’t stay on the track or go more than a few corners without looking like genuine idiots, leading to immersion-breaking scenarios reminiscent of Assetto Corsa’s continuous offline woes. It’s really not good offline, unless you’re in like a test session or something with a few AI cars lapping on different areas of the track.
  • The framerate is dodgy. I assume Reiza are working on this, but the minor graphical improvements and post processing effects implemented into Automobilista have introduced microstuttering on machines that could run Stock Car Extreme at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, I’m one of the people who have been affected, and it’s made this game extremely difficult to play when you’ve grown accustomed to Reiza’s last title performing in such a sublime manner.
  • The new Heads Up Display sometimes doesn’t work. Reiza have implemented a community modification for rFactor into the default Automobilista install, and it doesn’t always perform up to par. While it features incredible functionality far beyond what the default isiMotor HUD provides, and a tool allows you to customize the layout to your liking, occasionally some of the DynHUD elements have a tendency to bug the fuck out. The iRacing-style delta bar turns off during the final lap of a qualifying session, occasionally the isiMotor black box fails to cycle to the delta screen, and individual pieces of the HUD blink in and out when a new user enters the room online. It all looks very tacky and incomplete.
  • The new cars are difficult to drive for inexperienced sim racers. Automobilista’s main selling point was offering a more international selection of content compared to the South American love-letter that was Stock Car Extreme, but many of the new additions are proving to be a challenge for all but the most confident of sim racers. The Formula V10 is simply too fast for most drivers to handle aside from a few solo lap sessions, RallyCross serves to confuse people,  the Holden Commodore caused not one but three leagues to fold in three months, and the Stadium Super Truck is rage-quit material for all but a handful of sim racers.
  • It might not be ready for leagues. As websites like Race2Play begin to implement Automobilista into their rotation of supported racing simulators, the best of the best have already discovered a few exploits within the new list of content, leading to absurd lap times and lopsided races

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Regardless, the immediate plans for Automobilista are certainly promising, and it’s to be expected that most of these issues will be ironed out. Whether the title warrants an indulgence in yet another isiMotor product is something we will evaluate to the fullest extent when the title graduates from Early Access in May.

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41 thoughts on “Reiza’s Plans for Automobilista are Satisfactory

  1. That is the ugliest fake Porsche I’ve ever seen.

    Do people seriously not understand how dirt racing works so badly that they think the worn out groove should have more grip than the fresh cushion?

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      1. Formula Armaroli
        Formula Truck 2013
        Game Stock Car 2011
        Game Stock Car 2012
        Game Stock Car 2013
        Game Stock Car Extreme
        Copa Petrobras de Marcas
        Automobilista

        Reiza Studios has released EIGHT FUCKING rFactor 1-based titles.

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  2. That Porsche model fucking sucks indeed. Although, the physics will be very interesting I believe, will make for some good racing. Anything will be better than the Flat6 physics in its current state.

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    1. The wheels size and offsets are wrong. The bumper looks off as fuck. The rear wing looks just as shitty as the Ruf GT3 in Project screenshot. General proportions are wrong and boxy.

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      1. stating the obvious, aren’t we?

        apart from that screenshot displaying the equivalent of a long-range tele-shot from just a few centimeters off the ground … what else is there to complain about? You already know how it drives?

        As stated above by a fellow reader, anything less fantasy-like than the handling model of the rF2 “Flat-6” mod (at the time I tried it last month) and it would probably make for a solid addition to the game/sim.

        Sometimes when we size stuff up and continue to compare to our hopes, dreams and expectations, aren’t we forgetting about the simple truth that those working on these titles are only human – just like ourselves?

        Cheers!

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      2. No the obvious is “this is not a Porsche, any resemblance is coincidental, obviously it won’t look identical to a real 991 GT Cup, and Porsche doesn’t even run 991s in GT3 so it would be a fantasy of a fantasy”

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      1. “But gsc ai is not rf1 stock ai…”

        Uhm, yeah, it is.
        That’s part of what makes all Reiza titles absolute piles of shit.

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    1. to be honest…
      …should I wish to look at a “pretty” Porsche-911, I’d be on the look-out for a “993” Carrera-2 or Turbo (with the stock wing). Style-wise, everything that came after that has been somewhat less of a looker.
      Faster and more spacious, maybe – but infinitely less sexy.

      Also: who said they are modelling the forbidden fruit and not some derivative version?

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  3. James, I’m rather surprised you think the Super truck is so hard to handle. I’m by no means an expert driver and with all the other cars need to put in practise at a track before racing, but once you understand you just need to brake earlier than normal, I find the super truck is the one car I can just race a championship with no practise or quali, just get in and race and rarely crash. Everything happens much slower than others and correcting slides is pretty easy.

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    1. Sim One: OMG some of these cars are so hard to drive for newbs…this game sucks!!
      Sim Two: OMB some of these cars are so easy to drive this is simcade!!

      LOLOLOLOLOLOL

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  4. I hope there is a conversion of Bologna Historic from SCE to AMS. If it was any other title removing base content, there would be a big backlash.

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    1. Reiza has smelt the cash now. They will most likely just continue to pull content from the game and sell it as DLC in the future. I mean, why not? Kunos does it. SMS does it.

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  5. I haven’t payed either Asseto or GSCE/ATM por the last month or two, missed a few updates, finally tried both yesterday. Now, I have no idea what Kunos have done to their tires but they suck. I took the Vette for a spin around Spa, and fuck, the front tires have almost no grip. Tthey only squeal and squeak and do little else. The same with the Nissan GTR GT3 at Zandy. Driving those cars is a pain in the ass, I don’t think racing team spend hundreds of thousands of euro on race-specs GT3 cars only to get a car that drives like understeery shit and slips out of every corner. Maybe Kunos had been fed up with AC being called simcade and decided to follow the if-it-is-fucking-hard-to-drive-it-must-be-real path, dunno.

    On the other hand, I absolutely loved the stadium truck in Automobilista. Having read your review a few weeks ago I expected some akwkward, bulky, undriveable and unmanageable piece of garbage, but it is one hell of a ride! Quite controllable, fairly obedient, in the first ten laps I’d done around Cascavel I only spun once, the car responds to the gas pedal nicely so you can both steer it with the wheel and the pedals. Only three gears but goes like stink. It’s my favourite ride now, next to the V8 Supercar and this little Vee. Good job, Reiza Studio.

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    1. When you enter real data to rFactor 2, it works like real life, it’s not the case for Assetto Corsa, you always have to use workarounds and substitute models 🙂

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    2. Probably the tires are work in progress in the current version and they’ll be in a more finished state in the next update, since the last update was in December or so, guess they now had more time to work on that aspect. So is not that fair to judge the cars now because I don’t think it was ever intended for that to be their done/finished state for the tires.

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  6. Anything built on the isi engine is no longer good enough. Its not a sim engine is an approximation engine and need to die but since only small studios make pc Sims we are stuck with this garbage bug filled engine

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    1. The physics of Assetto Corsa are not of simulation value, when you compare it to the way a racing driver and racing team and even vehicle manufacturers can use rFactor and rFactor 2’s physics to develop their cars and their drivers in a way that provides accurate data which they can rely on to use at races.

      To give you an example. All our race team clients and even our series clients, they don’t only use rFactor for track familiarization. They also use it to test setup data before they go to an event, they use it to test potential new part data, by developing new brakes or new engine performances and testing it in the game before they actually commit to building it in real life. rF1 and rF2 provide far higher accuracy for those things than any other simulation on the market. When it comes to Assetto Corsa, their game is marketed for a set audience which covers the Semi-Arcade side. When I drive rF1 or rF2, I’m always in a serious state of mind, I can’t just go out on the track and run a few laps. It is too simulation based and I treat it as such. I work on my setups, I push to find every tenth I can throughout a lap. I analyze too much. When I play Assetto Corsa, I can easily go in, pick a car and track, chill back and drive When using my Xbox360 controller and not give a care. The physics seem very much like Forza Motorsport 5, a console game physics HOWEVER, Kunos has done a great job for the simcade fans, but cut down to the wire, rFactor 2’s physics engine is by far the most simulation based physics engine using real life aero and physical data that no other title has come close to.

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  7. ~~ When you enter real data to rFactor 2, it works like real life, it’s not the case for Assetto Corsa, you always have to use workarounds and substitute models 🙂 ~~

    Except things fall apart big time with the tires. And camber. And sometimes suspension. Spouting bandwagonist comments only promote further misinformation. Even Borda struggles with it and can’t produce something realistic and/or consistent. One must drive the cars with unrealistic values in certain parameters for the vehicle to drive in either an acceptable manner, or with realistic behavior.

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  8. You have any idea how retarded you look writing this schlock?

    The dirt at the edges of the track being higher grip… its like that in real life. Its not an exploit, its realism.

    Feel free however to assert that its broken for league play because of one random jackass’ comment.

    Like

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