So This Is The Magic of rFactor 2?

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Readers of PRC.net who are veterans of the sim racing scene are most likely aware of the third party modding team calling themselves IDT Simulations. Once on the path to establishing themselves as the Reiza Studios of the United States – working hard on an officially licensed Champ Car title during the late 2000’s – the group eventually cut back on operations after the title failed to materialize due to internal troubles, and slowly released their finished material in the form of free modifications for isiMotor powered software.

While most of their content centered around the various North American Open Wheel racing series at the height of their contributions to the world of sim racing, eventually the team struck up a deal with on-site simulator software for large-scale Grand Prix racing events. In much simpler terms, the simulator setups found inside the various “fan zones” at most IndyCar races would make use of the rFactor 2 platform, as well as one of many IDT third party tracks that other teams had simply never bothered to construct. Long Beach, San Jose, Las Vegas, Cleveland, and Toronto are just some of their creations, which were usually built to serve one of many different Champ Car, CART, or IndyCar mods they had released publicly.

And once again, for the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto event taking place at the Exhibition Place circuit, the simulators inside the Honda World attraction will be using IDT’s version of Toronto. The group’s Facebook page proudly proclaims this will be the fourth year in a row IDT is involved with Honda and SimXperience, but the accompanying screenshots bundled with the news are almost embarrassing. The version of Toronto for rFactor that was once deemed acceptable back in 2007 has simply not aged well at all, turning what can be a very competent and enjoyable auto racing simulator into a roblox-tier shitshow.

Many fans attending the Toronto IndyCar race are not sim racing connoisseurs by any means, and have only heard of this niche genre through word of mouth while playing Forza on Xbox Live. It is disappointing that our favorite genre, and a genre that is supposedly on a “higher level” than a lot of mainstream racing games, will be publicly represented by a criminally outdated piece of work. If I was just some random guy strolling through the festivities at the IndyCar race in Toronto, and my first impression of a full-blown hardcore racing simulator looked like this, I would have absolutely no incentive to even investigate what this world has to offer. Sure, at one point in time it may have blown people away, but given how far technology has advanced, I may as well be playing Andretti Racing for the PSX.

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It’s a mess, and this is an extremely poor way to promote sim racing to the masses. I’m obviously hoping these screenshots aren’t reflective of what the SimXperience setup will have to offer fans at the Honda Indy Toronto, but given the fact that the two most popular pieces of IDT branded content are available on the Steam Workshop – Long Beach and Toronto – I can safely say that they don’t look a whole lot better when the graphics are jacked up to modern levels. Even more unfortunate, once you dig past the primary pieces of third party content for rFactor 2 that everyone claims to love – I’m talking about the EGT mod, a couple of Virtua_LM tracks that have survived the conversion process, and the 1987 Celica GTO – this is what you’re actually getting with rFactor 2, and this is the reason the game hasn’t caught on in the way the original did. The teams who didn’t build something from the ground up, but rather quickly converted their old content and just sort of hoped it would fit into the new piece of software, this was the result.I can’t say I’m all that compelled to jump on rFactor 2 and run some laps around Long Beach or Toronto when it looks this poor.

As someone who’s slowly gaining more and more of an interest in IndyCar, it’s really shitty to amass a partially roster of IndyCar locales, only to discover how out-of-place they are in 2016. And this is what’s happening to the dwindling rFactor 2 userbase. They really want to like the software, and yes, there are a handful of cars and tracks that are 100% worth racing, so lets give credit where credit is due. But as you explore, and maybe build your rFactor 2 install around a theme – be it GT3 cars, or Indy Cars, or American Stock Cars… You run into situations like this, where beyond the initial layer of quality content pushed front and center in various news articles regarding the software, pulling back the curtains reveals a bunch of unflattering conversions and half-finished content. It’s extremely disappointing, because rFactor 2 can be an exceptional piece of software under the right circumstances, but this kind of content simply doesn’t do the game any favors whatsoever.

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33 thoughts on “So This Is The Magic of rFactor 2?

  1. So this is a news story now? rFactor2 contains crummy third party content?

    You know why do you always have to do this crap PRC? Every single thing has to tie into the greater macroscoptic tale about why this or that sim is a piece of crap or why this or that sim is facing oblivion at the hands of dwindling popularity etc etc.

    You can never just comment on a single thing like. wow this sucks, I can’t believe this gets to be showcased at an Indy event. No, its gotta tie into the larger narrative of hyper not-very-objective cynicism that usually only bats about 0.250.

    This is like reading some crummy third rate political rag, the kind cynically written to try and extol a particular view point regardless of the efficacy of a given story. Its just noise that’s promoted within a consistent narrative.

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    1. Don’t know the answer to your question, but the official rFactor content doesn’t look great either, and yeah, it’s a big turn off for the “PC master race” to be using game engines from the late 90’s. I mean, the model detail seems to have improved so cars and tracks can seem to be less angular, but everything else still sucks. Especially lighting and materials. I seriously can’t fathom why AC only allows for the singular light source of the sun. Biggest reason I fire up PCars and run down the California Highway every once in a while.

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      1. But you see the trick now. He posts about something ridiculous that is no real fair point to be making (this silly mod that isn’t news) but its justification for you to start shit talking rF2 for no reason, with no news, nothing to warrant the discussion, but because he dragged up some crap that’s third party nonsense he can justify another cynical article.

        So now you’re not judging the merits of his article, or even his methods where he tries to manipulate the point into legitimacy, you’re just fixated on a problem that he wanted you to start talking about.

        Its actually methodology that shows contempt for his audience. He’s apparently a very clever, if not sophisticated, marketeer. He’s internalized the lessons of communications quite well. This is soap selling at its finest.

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        1. As much as I agree with your overall perception of PRC, and Austin’s attitude toward sim-racing in general, I think most of this post is on target.

          Perhaps these exhibitions could bring new sim racers into the community, but if the initial impression isn’t positive, they obviously won’t.

          Tying that specific point to the overall success of RF2, and sims in general, however, seems unnecessary, and certainly supports your argument.

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  2. I’m fine with the tracks looking shitty, but for these iDT tracks the mesh fucking sucks. It’s like driving on a track from GPL, it’s so jagged. I actually commented on the mesh resolution back when LB was published for RF2 and got attacked for complaining.

    What’s the point of good physics if the track you’re putting them on doesn’t allow them to work realistically?

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    1. True. The worst aspect of those IDT tracks is definitely the mesh, which are like from the early 90’s Test Drive 3. There are so jagged bumps on some tracks that they are practically undriveable. I like to have good visuals on the tracks and best works of rF2 are phenomenal, also visually. Threre are quality conversions also and I really can’t complain even about the current amount of quality tracks. In fact, I miss quality cars more than tracks currently.

      I’m not saying that rF2 isn’t lacking in quality mod content compared to AC for example, but I have good tracks installed more than I have time to learn and race properly. I just wish that modders would stop doing straight up conversions of aged rF1 tracks without putting any effort on the conversion. I think the critique some modders got when they initially released poor GSCE/rF1 conversions for AMS was really good from the community. I’d take few quality works instead of big amount of rushed content any day. And I think most would agree. Giving us content for free is a great thing, but just grabbing some old car or track and making it to work on current sim is just lazy. It’s better just not do it.

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  3. As a Toronto native and Indycar fan I’ve always thought every version of the Toronto course (NR2003, GTR2, Rfactor, Rfactor 2, etc) always looked like crappy Indycar Racing 2 conversions. There has never been a good version of this track, in a modern-ish sim ever. I always hoped to see something like VLM’s Lemans or Mid-Ohio, instead we got … disappointment.

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      1. Agreed. Not exactly a “modern” sim (however still better than most), but certainly the best version of Toronto I’ve seen.

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  4. Why oh why James?
    Why do you keep on beating rFactor 2?
    Can’t you be bothered to e.g check on SteamSpy what playercount that sim has?
    Nobody gives a rats ass about this software
    Even the developer confessed, that they mainly rely on 3rd party for content.
    It drives like shit and it lookes like shit

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  5. Let’s be honest, they really made rf2 look like crap.

    rf2 can look pretty decent, it’s a nice sharp engine that can handle reasonable texture resolution. Certain aspects of it look really nice, though shader model 3 makes it difficult to really bring it all together into one naturally cohesive look without some attention to detail.

    Looks like they didn’t even try to get the line rubbering shader working, lol.

    I see this rf2 fanboy bitching and whining, clearly missing the point.

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  6. Shark’s been jumped and the horse is dead dude. Everyone knows that Rfactor 2 is a dud and that it’s now pretty much DOA. Writing bitchy articles about a shitty third party mod based off of Indycar racing content from nearly 20 years ago is pointless.

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  7. Never fear, ISI have committed to bringing simracers a plethora of IndyCar content! Like all the Road to Indy cars, which haven’t been seen since the announcement. Or the NOLA track that they announced, then revealed would be created by a third party. Then all the future IndyCar NOLA events were cancelled. Oh well, at least they’re buying 3-4 year old Simraceway ovals to make it seem like they’re doing something.

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  8. “there are a handful of cars and tracks that are 100% worth racing, so lets give credit where credit is due”

    But only if it´s rFactor 2;-)

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      1. It´s not your review. And there is not only a destroy-setup for the Dallara, there must be a cheat-setup as well. Or you get anywhere near 1:31,0 at Zandfoort or 1:36,0 at Barcelona Moto without even optimal grip?

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      2. And by the way: This Dallara is a piece of shit car compare to the Formula Lights Mod from URD. So much better physics – it´s like day & night, but just part of the PX- and Formula pack which costs a few bucks. I will probably not harm them by sharing this one car just to give a better impression what the AC-engine can do, when it´s developed by URD: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6852702/urd_formulalights_road.rar
        But better buy the PX-Mod, it´s total awesome.

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  9. All rfactor 2 tracks look ugly. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is. Try whatever shader programs, in the end you always have to admit, it looks like 2005. Drives me away. Yes it has best physics, but no immersion because it looks like dull cardboard.

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  10. Here´s another example of an embarrassing rF2-race with real Formula E drivers:

    Race starts at 7:10 and really awesome drivers in the Formula E when it goes real.

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  11. What makes me laugh is the super computer hardware requirements to equal the graphical look of a PS2 title.

    But Sebring/Mid Ohio and the right car makes up for that.

    They just need to scrap the subscription charge to play online as that sucks and would rather just buy Dlc content for another sim

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  12. What makes me laugh is the super computer hardware requirements to equal the graphical look of a PS2 title.

    But Sebring/Mid Ohio and the right car makes up for that.

    They just need to scrap the subscription charge to play online as that sucks and would rather just buy Dlc content for another sim

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  13. I was there for this event with SimXperience. This was not a display to try and draw new sim racers in. It was there for a good cause and that was the Make a Wish foundation. Attendees were asked to donate $2.00 each to run the simulator and all proceeds went to Make a Wish. For the previous three years it was as well. Honda insisted on running the Toronto track and unfortunately, that’s the only one available. Not only is it a very dated version, but a horrible place for noobs to try and turn a lap.

    Is it what SimXperience wanted to show off their Stage 5 simulators with.. no. They would have preferred to use one of the other titles on the market that have much better graphics and a track layout that didn’t send the majority of drivers into orbit in turn one.

    I have to say though, a lot of people asked me how they could do this at home and I was happy to oblige and pointed them to other titles. It was also good enough to draw some local kart racers back into the sim up to 10 times.

    In closing, the four simulators setup were filled from 8-6 everyday and lines of over 100 people actually formed. It was a huge success that went to a good cause.

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    1. And so you turned people away from rfactor 2 instead of saying ‘this game actually looks much better than this normally’?

      Wasn’t the bad exposure for rf2 the point of the article …?

      Go shill for some more shit on youtube dude, I don’t have time for your nonsense.

      Like

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