Build It, And They Will Rightfully Complain

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When the popularity of your simulator is at an all-time low, pumping out an obscure car as a “surprise” will do little to reinvigorate the masses. Image Space Incorporated have learned this lesson the hard way; the new Gasoline Alley content for rFactor 2 was met with an immensely harsh response – and for good reason. Out of place in the simulator’s already spotty list of content, and horribly out of date visually, the array of 1960’s USAC oval racing entries were collectively deemed to be a pointless addition for a game already on life support.

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Originally beginning life as an off-the-beaten-path mod for the first rendition of rFactor, Gasoline Alley was slightly cleaned up by Bill Guillaume and Gilles Benoit to be included as part of ISI’s third party affiliate program. Projects like Gasoline Alley are released as a way to pad the selection of quality vehicles and locations available for rFactor 2, enlisting the help of dedicated community members with the same common goal as ISI themselves – expand rFactor 2 into something extraordinary. Unfortunately, the third party affiliate endeavor hasn’t taken off quite as well as ISI would have hoped – releases are still few and far between, and in the case of Gasoline Alley, many would have simply preferred ISI to finish up the often-teased Nissan GTR GT500, or the Daytona Prototype that’s sitting around in a corner… somewhere…

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As a result, the overall community reaction to Gasoline Alley’s release was that of disgust – and in a rare case, I actually agree with the point they majority of sim racers are making. rFactor 2 is a very good racing simulator once you navigate through all of the bullshit, but there’s no denying the title is on life support, and it desperately needs more than just an obscure car or track to get people genuinely excited about the title. There’s just one track the historic USAC cars are compatible with, and much of rFactor 2’s userbase flat-out doesn’t care for historic IndyCar racing. Comments over at RaceDepartment liberally rip into Image Space Incorporated, as not only did people not really care for these cars in the first place, the quality of the release itself isn’t nearly up to the level expected by sim racers in 2016. I’ve captured four of the comments I’ve found to be the most direct about the issue, but you can browse through the entire thread at your own pace by clicking here.

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This was an extremely bad call by Image Space Incorporated. rFactor 2 doesn’t just need an obscure car or track thrown at the small but loyal fanbase every other month – it needs a piece of content that people are racing home from work to ensure every last portion of their evening is spent behind their toy steering wheel playing with it. This isn’t it. The cars are visually unappealing, there’s literally one relevant track to race them on, sim racers aren’t interested in this series in the first place, the original version of the mod wasn’t very popular, and the mod itself sticks out like a sore thumb among other, much more polished pieces of rFactor 2 content.

The Howston Dissenter was an alright addition, because no developer has really set their sights on a classic Trans-Am machine, licensed or not. Toban Raceway maybe wasn’t necessary, but it’s a track people have fond memories of when they’d first discovered rFactor, and it’s not a stretch to assume they’d like to try again. But these little releases only really make the game’s activity jump from 40 active players to maybe 60 or 70, and when you consider there are as many people at your nearest bowling alley on any given night, those numbers are pretty pathetic. This whole third party affiliate program isn’t really working – it’s time for ISI to bring out the big guns.

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Some kind of full series license, even if it’s not the biggest series in the world that everyone’s jizzing their pants over – such as GT3 sports car racing – is desperately needed. Seeing this Gasoline Alley pack come out to such a dismal reception, I fully sympathize with the frustrated sim racers who are still waiting for the day rFactor 2 becomes relevant. Right now, what’s going to happen is that people will boot up the game out of curiosity, drive a few laps around Indianapolis with the Gasoline Alley mod, and never touch it again. That’s not the way to keep people interested in rFactor 2, that’s just dumb. Maybe it’s time for an almost complete package of IndyCar tracks? Maybe it’s time to pursue a license with any number of amateur North American road racing series? Any crazy alternative one can dream up on the spot is better than a quickly converted mod from the original rFactor.

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53 thoughts on “Build It, And They Will Rightfully Complain

  1. Let me know when other titles have physics, AI, netcode, race rules and other essential simracing features worth using. I hope it’s going to be in my life time. Spreading disinformation is what you’re doing. You’re implying as if rF1 and rF2 are the same thing.

    rF2’s tire model for example is a major leap compared to what came before and that alone probably has had more man-years of research to it, than some whole other titles.

    The AI behavior of rF2 is many miles (multiple man-years by a experienced AI programmers) ahead and it shows. They behave much more competently and dynamic at race starts. They are able to move of their racing line to block, have much better spatial awareness. They can be aggressive, yet disciplined at the same time, and don’t bump into you for no reason, they are much more human. They also adhere to blue flags. They also work much better with random car/track combinations, since they require much less babysitting for modders to get right.
    The AI difference is night and day, it’s not even close.
    rF2 is the first time since a Crammond GP title where I deem the AI to be good.

    rFactor 2 has already contained all the essential simracing features for years and is the most complete (and working) moddable simracing platform, and most importantly, its physics engine works properly and is the most accurate when you enter real data, so it’s not for nothing that most real race teams and pro simulation centers use rFactors.

    rF2 also has a much more extensive plugin based rule system. You aren’t gonna see a modern Nascar rule system in any other moddable sim platform.

    rF2’s tire model is fundamentally best out there. It’s a physical thermomechanical tire model with a fully simulated tire thread, carcass and contact patch (this isn’t just for show), see more here. It also simulates chassis flex (which is especially crucial for properly modeling historic cars, karts and trucks). It also has true physical flatspot modeling that affects the mass distribution of the tire. I’m pretty sure it won’t be topped within this decade. All this makes for a much more dynamic driving experience.

    rF2’s wheel to wheel collisions are also best out there.

    rF2’s Real Road rubber built up is a true dynamic line based on where the cars actually drive and is not just based on a fixed AI path, same for the drying line in the wet.

    rF2 has resume from replay savegames, for long distance races. It allows you to resume the race from any time.

    rF2 is a dedicated modding platform with real-time Dev Mode and gJED, Modern packaging system (standardized way of installing/uninstalling mods that won’t break your install and prevents online mismatches), Multiplayer with auto-downloading of mods, Steam Workshop support, among many other things.
    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Have a majorly nice day.

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    1. You forgot to login Associat0r…

      Nothing in this article said anything bad about the features or physics of rF2. It simply gave the reason nobody plays it. That is because the content is few and far between and the quality is all over the map.

      But keep spewing your “gospel” of rF2 as you always do. How does that awesome tire model feel with the keyboard anyway?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You might want to another read through of the article, Associat0r. Every point you made did not rebut any statement made in the article. None whatsoever. If I wasn’t so impressed with you’re level of detail you went into, I would actually feel embarrassed for you. I would hope that you have these comments saved in a word document to use every time someone mentions rFactor 2 on the internet, because typing these long winded irrelevant responses would be a real waste.

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        1. Of course they aren’t, how could I have been mistaken. They didn’t accompany their post with any tech videos or claim how driving with the keyboard is perfectly acceptable because rF2 has great keyboard support.

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    3. Because rFactor simulator is the best? It simulates many variables … but .. What does it well? rFactor gives the feeling of flying, all cars are sensitive to throttle back the slides as if there were no weight in cars ..

      It is very different from AC, LFS, GSC, Automobilista, RWGs, Racerroom, iRacing in the grip. Do all simulators are wrong?
      The vast majority of players have not chosen RF2 as their game of choice, Rf1 died and his followers have migrated to other simulators.

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      1. You are a funny AC shill. So funny you don’t realize that half the games you mentioned use the same physics motor developed by ISI…

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  2. Unreleased content: anyone notice the Panoz toys in the picture when you’re switching from All Tracks & Cars to Race Events (or vice versa)? Visteon paint scheme and a couple others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ISI offers 3PA to help modders showcase their work. These are labors of love. Not only do you have no idea what you are talking about but you James are complete asshole. I understand this is the only attention you get, so you are welcome.

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    1. I can feel the Dorito-breath and fedora tipping just from reading this comment alone. Please read the caption at the top of the website below the Pretend Race Cars lettering as well, thanks.

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    2. Had it not been for 3PA stuff, there’d be a piss poor selection of tracks for the Stock Cars.

      It was indeed to fill the game with more content, because ISI is notoriously slow at creating new stuff.

      Like

  4. spec miata is one of the most popular series in north America. it’s one of the most popular series on iracing. it’s absent everywhere else.
    isi should do their damnedest to pick up the rights to that series.

    or, and this is something I think you should look into James, a fictional grass roots entry level spec series.

    you know it, people want stuff like v8 supercars, and the close racing they provide, but most just can’t handle it. a spec miata like car, with lower power, and easy limits would be good for the community.
    bring fictional gives you leeway so people aren’t hung up on it being just like a specific real car, kinda like how LFS has the xrt.

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    1. just pay someone to make a random 80s wedge like sports car, tweak the suspension yourself, let the other prc guys add input, then set up a public pickup racing lobby.
      put a selection of tracks that fit the power and fun nights should appear.

      would be cool to have a v8, rotary, and a nice 4 cylinder sound packs to pick from, but shouldn’t actually make any performance difference.

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  5. This can be seen a few ways…
    Mr. Borda lends a helping hand to a modder who contacts him, as he so often seems to. Maybe he built up a suitable tyre, which can then be added to the library, maybe he worked on the physics of the car. But one of these “3PA” releases doesn’t mean that ISI’S staff were all assigned to work on it. The car artists didn’t get involved, that’s for sure.
    If it can get modders keen to complete their projects, get the direct contact to solve their issues, receive help when available, etc, that’s all good, and it’s what some people wanted to see.

    The Bathurst in rF2 was worked on by one man, with some pointers from staff and a whole bunch of ISI testers. There’s some that like it, some that don’t, but the criticism should be directed to the modder so he can then look at implementing the changes. Not aimed at ISI to say “you guys better fix this now”.

    Some people seem to think that the 3PA tag means that the team all worked on it. If that was the case, it would be a first party release…

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    1. 3PA tag shouldn’t mean its OK to release below standards content. If 3PA can’t do physics they could make 3d model/textures for ISI content that needs graphics refresh. Instead of releasing/working on something that is half baked both physics and graphics wise.

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  6. “Maybe it’s time for an almost complete package of IndyCar tracks?”

    They licensed NOLA, and were lining up another goddamn modder to do it instead of making it themselves, only then all future IndyCar races were cancelled there after one dismal race. Of course ISI never bothered with Road America or Mid-Ohio, and they weren’t even significant enough for Barber to return their emails. I have no idea how this company turns a profit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is no problem with someone releasing this car, but as official content? Thanks ISI, but no, there is already too much official content that isn’t on par with rF2 standards. And the graphic of this mod are ridiculous.
    I’d rather see updated physics (CPM and etc) for cars like FR3.5, F2, skip barber…

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  8. Whoever’s in charge at ISI, he should license some old GTP, GTO, GTU, GTX, Group 5 and Group 6 cars and pay those 3rd party modders to model them from scratch. Simbin did it with R3E and see how well it paid off to release those monsters for their game.

    Bloody hell, we’re modding those cars for free, I would be willing to give those models to ISI. And I’m talking about tenths of models and hundreds of liveries. I don’t even want money, I’d just like to see them do better than scraping around, as a “thank you” for the 11 years I’ve spent playing and modding rF1.

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  9. I don’t know what your agenda against ISI and rFactor 2 is, but it’s easy to see that you are constantly trying show ISI and rF2 in the most negative light possible and manipulating their words.

    Lack of simulation value is a serious issue and no laughing matter and you should bring this more up in games that are way behind of rFactor 2 in terms of simulation value (AC, AMS, iRacing, R3E).

    Have a majorly nice weekend.

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    1. Is funny how you’re saying that only rf2 is being targeted in a negative way and you forget all about AC, Pcars, Ir, AMS.

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      1. No no, he’s actively saying that problems with rf2 should be ignored and instead all criticism should be focused on the other titles.

        shilllll

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  10. Well first off James I think your attack on the modder is VERY disrespectful This is most likely the Best they can do and your comments are horrible you need to apologize.

    Now on to the next thing does this mod rate a release on the official ISI page probably not but seriously this is ISI’s fault they created one of the best foundations in any racing game ever and well that is all they have EVER done. Since then they have sadly done very little to keep it with the times. There problem is in the big picture the majority of the people are not all that impressed they need to simply call it a day and either move on to the Next title or simply move on to something other than racing games.

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  11. Rf2 must be costing them money to run,they can’t make profit off such a dreadfully thought out pics of shit.
    I first enjoyed it but then found iracing,where they actually think about stuff before choosing to do it.

    Pls just kill Rf2 off,it’s such an embarrassment to the genre now.

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  12. “Guys, we promised a Watson Roadster for rFactor 2 three years ago! Our users are getting impatient. Let’s buy that decade-old rFactor 1 mod and call it a day.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Did anyone ever play Indy 500 Evolution? I picked up as a racing fan, but not as someone who particularly cared about Indy or even oval racing. Well I do love history so that was a major reason I got this, plus it was cheap. However, it was an almost wonderful game, well put together with all the eras, The Speedway even changed to reflect the proper year (aka, the front straight was all bricks in the beginning etc.) The career mode was awesome because you worked your way though the various years, which really gave you incentive to keep on so you could progress though the evolution of the cars as the years went on. The depth of the classic cars and tracks was also wonderful. Again with the career they even introduced cars and track in the proper years they were first run. Out of career you could go and explore any car and track from any era, nicely organized by era too. However, it was totally let down by the physics which were below SimCade at best. I hate to say it, but, “No simulation value what so ever.” While clearly it would work best if there was a market for “classic Indy” fanatics, I do think it would have converted a lot of people if it had been made on a proper physics model because it was deep and clearly well researched.

    Personally I’d kill for a vintage Can Am simulator with all the classic cars and tracks. Kill… http://www.console-covers.com/watermark/watermark.php?src=25081.jpg

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  14. I wish they’d taken the time to explain to the modders what materials settings RF2 uses as part of the 3PA help, cause honestly it looks so bad. I mean, RF2’s no beauty queen but it can at least look better than RF1 with the right settings, and this doesn’t.

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  15. License this license that

    lmao

    Dude ISI is basically 5 dudes in a room, its a very small company. 3PA IS “the big guns”. ISI has a lot of interesting content licensed (somehow), but no manpower to make it. They already offered modders access to the data of any of the cars they’ve licensed, and there’s zero takers.

    The pricing model nuked this game sadly.

    Like

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