Unreal Promises

r3eUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably both heard and gotten extremely excited over one of the biggest announcements within the sim racing scene in recent memory – Sector 3 Studios and their sister team SimBin UK will be moving away from the trusty powerplant created by Image Space Incorporated, which has fueled all of their simulators dating back to their inception as companies, in favor of adopting the fourth iteration of the Unreal Engine for future projects. The announcements have always been supplemented with an array of proof-of-concept photos depicting RaceRoom Racing Experience assets within the Unreal Engine, and of course these are then promptly eaten up by a large portion of the sim racing community due to the enhanced visual quality compared to what sim racers are traditionally accustomed to with these types of games.

However, I’d really like to know why people aren’t asking basic questions about this announcement, as even the most preliminary investigation efforts in regards to information on Unreal 4 uncovers a much larger story developing right under our collective noses – both SimBin UK, as well as Sector 3, might actually be in big trouble when it comes to the future of their software, and these announcements are possibly part of a last-ditch attempt to bail themselves out of a very precarious situation.

I mean, let’s take a step back and look at this from a very general standpoint; here you have a group of passionate sim racers who have been working with a dedicated racing simulator engine for a little over a decade – an engine they have refined and tweaked on their own for years upon years in the pursuit of realism – suddenly dropping almost everything except the 3D models in favor of starting from scratch with the building blocks typically reserved for first person shooters and adventure games that occasionally make use of a lighthearted vehicle component.

Is this not ridiculously out of place? Why is everybody just going along with this and refusing to ask serious questions?

Time to go on a bit of a journey with this one.

Above, I’ve inserted footage of someone’s little drift game they’ve built within UE4; a tech demo of sorts to show off quasi-realistic vehicle physics. Passing over the fact that it’s someone’s pet project they’ve messed around with in their spare time, let’s directly address two major themes that will undoubtedly arise as you take a gander at the video clip:

The first, is that it doesn’t look all that great; as if someone made a custom map mod for one of the Just Cause games, or quickly threw a bunch of converted content and/or community mods into Grand Theft Auto 4, recording their escapades on a third party Ebisu track. This is the Unreal Engine 4 in action – there’s excessive bloom, depth of field, and motion blur that makes it look like those shitty Xbox 360 Kinect games we all had to suffer through at one point, or Triple-A titles that are simply trying too hard on the visual aspects. This is the last thing sim racers have been asking for.

Second, despite this guy’s best efforts to create a semi-realistic racing demo within UE4, the car floats around as if it’s making use of a third party handling mod for one of the PC Grand Theft Auto titles. Now sure, simplified, approximated physics may be fine for open world sandbox games where the driving element also has to co-exist with platforming, exploration and shooting elements, but GTR3, and eventually RaceRoom Racing Experience according to Sector 3, will supposedly be making use of this engine. We’re talking a genre of games where people spend years learning how to manage their tires in an endurance racing format, maximizing every last bit of the track for the final tenth of a second advantage on their opponents, or commanding the vehicle to the absolute edge of the tire – and holding it there.

What I see above does not indicate this kind of gameplay experience will be able to thrive in Unreal Engine 4; I’m instead looking at an engine where the driving portion is just one aspect of the entire sandbox. It seems designed for open-world games where there is a driving element sitting off to the side – so war games that make use of military vehicles, or open world free-roaming sandboxes – as opposed to a hardcore racing simulators that focus solely on the art of performance driving.

Next, I’d like to present our readers with gameplay footage of Moto Racer 4, the only dedicated racing game currently available for purchase powered by the fourth iteration of the Unreal Engine, as the other title is like this weird battle kart hybrid reminiscent of Mashed on the PS2. As you can tell by the title of the video, “worst game of 2016” in all capital letters, it’s obviously not very good at what it’s trying to be – a simple-minded arcade racer. An entire team of developers cannot build a budget-priced motorcycle racer with the Unreal 4 Engine, yet we’re supposed to expect this same engine to power a highly advanced racing simulation focusing on ultra-high tech GT3 and prototype entries?

Oh please.

To elaborate on this topic a bit further and sort of drill home the point I’m trying to make for people not quite sure where I’m going with this one, Wikipedia has a phenomenal list of every single game either released or currently in development that’s powered by UE4, and there’s a very ominous trend that you can check for yourselves if you feel like killing five minutes of your day – race cars are nowhere to be found on this list. There are shitloads of adventure games, fighting games, shooters, role playing games, and even a pretty big list of survival horror titles, but auto racing titles are practically non-existent. To get any sort of driving game resembling a proper simulator, you have to go back to Unreal Engine 3 and take a peek at the indie rock crawling title Off-Road Drive – and even that game is unable to depict high speed vehicle behavior in a realistic fashion, with the commentator in the linked video noting the car comes to an almost instant stop the moment you let off the throttle, not to mention several instances of what’s quite frankly bizarre weight transfer and other miscellaneous bullshit.

Gee, maybe this engine isn’t very good for driving games?

KartKraft was first announced in September of 2011. At the time of this entry on PRC.net, it’s now February of 2017, and KartKraft has failed to materialize in any meaningful fashion, with major, non-abrasive sim racing outlets such as RaceDepartment openly questioning what has happened to the game. MotoRacer 4 launched in October of 2016 to abysmal critical reception. Obliteracers was a no-name arcade racer that scored a lowly 60% on Steam, and saw an embarrassing peak of 67 active users all playing the game at once. That’s the entire history of Unreal 4 powered driving games.

Three titles, one of which is vaporware and hasn’t been released to the public in seven years, one of which is a shitty battle kart racer, and the last is described as the worst racing game of 2016.

Despite this obvious red flag of developers unable to harness the power of Unreal 4 to create a captivating racing game, as well as the engine’s complete lack of history producing racing-oriented titles to the point where developers are using the engine to create anything but racing games, Sector 3 Studios, as well as SimBin UK, have decided that this engine is the future of their ultra-hardcore racing simulators, dropping an engine which was specifically built to function as a race car simulator in the process.

Sound absolutely ridiculous? Let’s keep going.

ss_b39e0e9ec9a4d332cbb8d9b6b482210a498718bb-1920x1080Several interviews with Chris and Allan Speed of the Sector 3/SimBin family have warranted lengthy explanations as to what sim racers can expect from both GTR 3, as well as RaceRoom Racing Experience in the future once both products make the switch to Unreal 4. Thanks to the excellent work of Paul Jeffrey over at RaceDepartment, we’re able to see the brothers making very concrete, specific statements regarding the future of simulators published under the Swedish umbrella of simulation studios, and upon dissecting their answers, it’s extremely cliche to say and I really need to stop using this phrase so often, but I’m left with much more questions that I’m shocked my fellow sim racers aren’t asking.

So let’s go through a few standout quotes – and please keep in mind I’ve chopped some up and cleaned up the grammar to focus on the core topic at hand:

In GTR3 we will have much improved car damage over what is industry standard at the moment, as well as a new particle system and a modern UI system.

First of all, the “new particle system” isn’t a new particle system; it’s simply Unreal’s particle system.

Second, manufacturers have placed more licensing restrictions on car damage than what we were accustomed to a decade ago – and this is something that teams like Kunos Simulazioni and Turn 10 have been very open about discussing with their users in recent times to kind of calm the complaints about very simplistic damage models. Car companies simply won’t allow heavy damage in modern driving games, so I’m confused as to how these guys intend to step it up in the fashion they’re talking about. The moment you sign a license agreement with, say, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini, they call the shots – and traditionally, they say “you can’t show our cars with massive damage.” So these guys are sitting here making claims they most likely won’t be able to back up once licensing deals are on the table, waiting to be signed.

With Unreal, we will have aquaplaning and water displacement that will affect the handling of the car, as realistic as possible here. Puddles will build up around the track, rain will occur on different parts of the tracks, and there will be as much variability in the weather as we can achieve.

While it’s true that Unreal 4 supports a vast array of weather effects, these effects are purely visual – elaborate particle systems, if you will. Their inclusion does not, by default, affect how a player traverses through the game world by making the terrain more difficult to retain traction on. A developer can manually adjust basic friction and overall grip variables for the surface of the game world – or race track, to be more specific – in an effort to fabricate what a wet surface would feel like in a race car, but these advanced dynamics alleged to be introduced in GTR 3, where cars naturally hydroplane over specific puddles of water that form on the racing surface… Unreal 4 doesn’t do that.

Yes, puddles do form, and you can inject a variety of rain effects into your game which react naturally to physical objects in the environment – for example, matches played in the rain in Rocket League – but they don’t actually do anything to the racing surface or your car’s behavior. It’s an immensely detailed water splash animation; or in the case of a puddle, displacement animation.

In fact, merely running a Google search on “Unreal Engine Aquaplane” only brings up about a page of links re-directing back to the GTR 3 interview originally conducted on RaceDepartment. So we’ve got a developer saying they’ve switched to the Unreal engine partially to make use of its advanced aquaplaning simulation and treacherous wet weather driving conditions, when this feature has never actually existed in any iteration the Unreal engine and doesn’t warrant any relevant search results of people even talking about it, aside from Sector 3 and SimBin themselves.

Oops.

We will mirror the full weekend structure, rules and regulations, types of classes and individual driver strengths of that series, different weather attributes, day/night cycles, animated pit stops everything you would expect from that series will be included.

Again, Unreal 4 supports the ability for a talented group of content creators to inject day/night cycles into the sandbox, and even compose their own weather patterns if they’re wanting to go to that extent. That’s not the issue here. However, these elaborate visual effects and atmospheric conditions are not tied into vehicle physics; injecting a fancy third party weather plug-in will not suddenly make your vehicle’s engine generate more or less horsepower based on the humidity, air temperature, and elevation – which I assume is what the duo mean by “different weather attributes.”

In fact, vehicle editing as a whole is extremely basic, a far cry from the elaborate HDV files isiMotor enthusiasts are used to obsessing over. So not only has the complexity of vehicle editing been reduced dramatically compared to the simulation-oriented engine Sector 3 and SimBin plan to depart from, believing you can somehow tie weather into vehicle performance is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Additionally ,we are going to improve on the physics found in RaceRoom Racing Experience, and take over the best bits of the audio from RaceRoom as well.

The Unreal Engine is almost a closed toolbox of sorts; you simply can’t take part of one game engine, and throw it into another without years upon years of work – as the engine was never designed for that to begin with. It has been designed so you open up the toolbox and create a game with Unreal. So how are you going to improve on physics created in a purpose-built race car simulation engine by starting from scratch in a toolbox where car physics are greatly simplified and considered only a fraction of the entire experience, and still manage to have an internal playable demo within six months time created by a team of anywhere from four to seven individuals?

Unreal is an engine used to create first person shooters. The AI has been built for humans and bots, the collisions are built for characters, and the ballistics are built for guns. You can’t remove these characteristics from the core engine, so it’s no wonder that no major racing simulator – or even the odd arcade racer, for that matter – has been constructed using Unreal as a base. The ones that try, fail spectacularly.

suspensionSo after two thousand words, you’re probably wondering what in the hell is going on here?

After looking at some of the stuff above, and the overall storyline fueling this blog entry – a hardcore racing simulator developer announcing they’re dropping a trustworthy sim engine in favor of something that traditionally powers first person shooters – one important question still remains: Why are Sector 3 Studios and SimBin UK choosing to pursue this route when it’s absolutely nonsensical for them to do so?

Though we’re obviously not privy to all the inner-workings that would undoubtedly help flesh out the conclusion a story like this, one thing we do know for certain is that ISI’s baby, rFactor 2, is now living comfortably under Studio 397 banner, with Marcel Offermans and Luminis in charge of the project to a certain degree. I’m under the impression that there was more to this deal than most originally thought, as it’s extremely suspicious that after Sector 3 and SimBin have spent over a decade using the isiMotor engine in all of their software, merely months after rFactor 2 has changed hands and there’s been a shakeup of sorts at ISI, one of the main developers powered by ISI simulator technology is suddenly expressing their desire to jump ship to a first person shooter engine. The timing of that is a little too impeccable to be a coincidence.

You do not develop hardcore auto racing simulations for over a decade using a purpose-built auto racing engine, only to suddenly abandon everything except your physical assets and run to an engine that quite frankly has no purpose creating racing games let alone simulators, while struggling to explain the benefits this new engine will provide your upcoming games. This is sketchy as fuck, and I’m disappointed I’m the only one pointing this all out.

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113 thoughts on “Unreal Promises

  1. Stefano says it will take 2-3 years..

    “5 years ago when I started coding AC there was no UE4, UE3 was simply not suitable nor was Unity.. the alternative simply wasn’t there and when you have a bulk of legacy code to deal with that dates back 10-15 years moving to a different tech might quickly become an impossible task.

    If ever a dev will start today using one of these engines to develop a game it’ll take 2-3 years before it’ll be ready to hit the market.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Physics engine will stay the same. Only graphics engine will be replaced, same way it is in R3E now – ISI’s physics with Sector3/Simbins graphics. You just wasted your writing this article.

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    1. yup, I kind of felt bad for you James putting all this effort in when it became obvious your basic premise is completely wrong. UE4 is just for the visuals, ISI engine for the physics so they’re not building from the ground up at all.

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        1. Just because its “New” doesnt mean its UE4. Your a complete moron when it comes to talking about software development. And most of the comments here are in agreement with that sentiment.

          They could be developing a new fork off of isi engine and calling it a new engine. Hell they could be developing a whole new engine from the ground up. Or they could be calling the GTR3 engine new for the simple fact that it will support both an arcadey mode and a simulation mode for different user bases.

          We aint asking questions because we are all able to use some simple deductive reasoning to form possible realistic answers. You on the other hand take one word and assume, like its the truth about a stupid guess.

          Get educated son.

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        2. you’re overanalyzing their words. R3E is a “new physics engine”, yet we all know it’s another iteration of isiMotor. soooo, no, you’re wrong.

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  3. and this is something that teams like Kunos Simulazioni and Turn 10 have been very open about discussing with their users in recent times to kind of calm the complaints about very simplistic damage models. Car companies simply won’t allow heavy damage in modern driving games,

    Can you post a source to this? Im pretty sure that I read the exact opposite.

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      1. And a counter-source:

        http://www.gamesradar.com/forza-6-not-collision-sim-burnout-wrecks-happen/

        GR+: Are there any licensing restrictions with how much damage you can apply to a car?
        Dan Greenawalt: Now, you could do a… like Burnout, right? A ‘collision simulator’. What’s it like to hit a wall at 250 miles per hour and see a car completely obliterated. And that would cause licensing problems. I don’t believe you could actually license that from many manufacturers at all.

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        1. Ian Bell said more than a time that manufacturers impose many more renstrictions regarding damage than they did at GTR2 times, that’s why we cannot have heavy smoke/fire coming from the cars and the interiors can no way get damaged

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  4. That is true that the default UE4 vehicle physics are very simplistic, but you can just throw away the default vehicle dynamics and rewrite them. Hell, you can probably get the engine’s source code and completely throw away the default physics bit and replace it by a high accuracy one suitable for a racing sim. Same thing goes with the AI, the default behavior is indeed suited to action games but nothing forbids you from throwing it away and inserting racing behaviors.

    That is just a HUGE task. One that cannot be done without hiring a bunch of scientists and top engineers and making them work quite hard. And then doing a stupidly hard optimization pass.

    But sure, for a team like Sector 3 that has been making a living off the physics and AI defined by ISI decades ago, this is likely to be impossible.

    I can safely see their UE4 game exhibiting the same behavior Project CARS does on low end PCs: cars flying in the air after a badly detected collision, wonky FFB, input lag on shit CPUs, all that shit.

    Safe to say the GeForce 256 friendly /ovg/ community will never, ever race on this title, even if it has the best physics and all the simulation value. And a great car list. And amazing tracks. And built-in league support.

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  5. It’s a good point. One good racing game in Unreal Engine 4 is RedOut, but that’s like WipEout, so not really comparable.

    You raise an interesting point about the licensing of the rFactor engine (I assume RaceRoom, like Automobilista, is using the rFactor1 engine enhanced). Perhaps there is a price hike for the engine coming up, or they’re no longer licensing it out?

    It all depends on the license I guess. I’m not sure rFactor2 engine has much to do with it though. Though I guess it could.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. By kiss ass replies you mean intelligent thought, questioning and reasoning instead of autistic 5 year olds bickering back and fourth about nothing? Yeah, totally kiss ass replies mannn

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          1. a kiss ass reply is still one no matter the content of the post replied to and who posted it.

            There are more intelligent thought, questioning and reasoning replies under this article, but there are no kiss ass replies from james because they go against what he says.

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  6. I believe that I’ve seen some of the images of R3E using UE4 quite some time ago (as proof of concept), and I am completely surw that they’ll be using gMotor to power their physics, so it won’t change at all, just graphics layer. You can turn off blur/motion blur anytime you want in UE4 – it’s just an engine, a bese you will create more relevant product.

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  7. They keep using the ISImotor physics engine. Just Gmotor (the ISI graphics engine) will be replaced by Unreal. Nice research fam.

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      1. They are also denying still using isiMotor 2 engine and telling us that most is completely rewritten today. They are selling cars with “new physics” and all what i feel are the physics from few years ago with smoother FFB and other car default-settings. “New physics” are just buzzwords for selling stuff.

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  8. So much wrong in this article, so much ignorance. Mega fail! Sad.

    James, if you don’t know what you’re writing about, it doesn’t hurt to do some fact-checking or asking people who will explain to you the difference between physics engine and graphics engine.

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  9. Dude… UE4 is only the graphic part they’ll use, everything else will be developed and integrated into the current physic engine they use.
    That’s what Reiza will do
    THat’s what S397 considered doing
    It’s the same Simbin/S3 will do.
    You got the graphic option, you integrate your physic engine into it and add the other stuff (like standing water) to it without needing to build a graphic to taht part as it is already present in UE4
    This is such a bullshit article, sometimes you nail it but other times you keep key points away and really, for what?!

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  10. If anyone from Simbin is lurking here, please do NOT screw up the already-very-good physics and FFB you’ve worked so hard to achieve. It won’t matter how great the game looks if those things aren’t (still) right.

    I actually think R3E looks just fine right now, but the lack of night and real weather is something of an immersion-breaker for certain types of racing (rain especially).

    Is it possible for them to retain what amounts to the existing physics code, but use UE4 only to render the graphics? I have precisely zero idea what I’m talking about here (I’ve never coded anything), but it also worried me that they were using an engine that’s used mainly for FPS.

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    1. In response to your question, that’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re keeping the pMotor (Physics) part of the isiMotor engine, and binning the gMotor (Graphics) part of the engine and replacing it with UE4. In his haste to call out the sim racing community for “Not asking the right questions”, James forgot to figure out why those questions weren’t being asked in the first place, and now he’s made a fool of himself.

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      1. OK, thanks for the info. I’m a child of the 80’s, before object-oriented programming, middleware, profilers, and all the other structural elements that allow modern developers to mix-and-match different modules.

        I guess I sort of lied. I tried my hand at coding in assembler on my little Atari 800XL using an 8-bit cart called MAC/65 that I remember mail-ordering from a local comics book store and waiting 3 months for it to arrive. That was the 80’s. You had to do everything by hand, right down to timing loops and setting up your own matrices in memory. There was absolutely no structure unless you put it there, which made each program a unique snowflake. I hated it and ended up in med school instead ;).

        So, to this day, I really don’t comprehend how they build software because, in the back of my mind, I still think in terms of each program being unique unto itself. I don’t intuitively understand how each new iteration of a game doesn’t require a ground-up rewrite (like it did in the Old Days, where it was easier to just put out a sequel than patch anything). I think the last racing game made that way was probably Geoff Crammond’s World Circuit.

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        1. object orientation has nothing whatsoever to do with it. it’s more about code reuse, which, while facilitated by OOP, is by no means exclusive to it.

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        1. And again
          They are also denying still using isiMotor 2 engine and telling us that most is completely rewritten today. They are selling cars with “new physics” and all what i feel are the physics from few years ago with smoother FFB and other car default-settings. “New physics” are just buzzwords for selling stuff.

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        2. If true, that is really bad news. It took them forever to get the FFB right, for instance.

          I’m not looking forward to another lengthy dev cycle where the game is basically unusable for a couple of years (which is how it was with R3E – the FFB was terrible for a long time).

          I hope they make the current R3E the “classic edition” so we can still have access to it while they dick around getting the new fancy-looking version to drive properly.

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  11. The ISI physics engine was coupled in the past with different graphics engines.
    RaceRoom does exactly that already.
    Even Speed Racer’s film pre rendered graphics engine used rFactor phycis.

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      1. Here hoping the new is some kind of return to isi2.0->apply a rF2 style update to it and GTR3 is the not rF3 isi said they’d work on 😀

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      2. You repeating yourself, so do i. They are also denying still using isiMotor 2 engine and telling us that most is completely rewritten today. They are selling cars with “new physics” and all what i feel are the physics from few years ago with smoother FFB and other car default-settings. “New physics” are just buzzwords for selling stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Unreal Engine 4 is middle ware, meaning any developer can attach it to their own code, depending if the code they are using to attach it to is new and modern, problems will arise if a developers code is old and not up to date with modern software standards, that’s the reason why developers are dropping the idea of implementing Gmotor into UE4 not Pmotor, it can not be done because the ISI code is old, so the other alternative is to tweak the Gmotor code with very limited effects.
    Iracing is using a middle ware soft particle solution for their new dirt content in iracing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Somebody tell James that there are no “real” racing games for UE4 yet because the public version of the engine itself is 3 only years old.

    For us mere human beings, 3 years old feels like a lot of time. But from the eyes of a developer, 3 years equal to a decade because of how time consuming coding and software developing actually is.

    But even then, ignore what that cuck Stefano says, UE4 is a sandbox and you can do anything you want with it.

    If only I had time and money to waste on the rF1 source code, I would take its physics and inject it in UE4 without issues. The engine is made to be “moddable”, so that developers can and will do whatever they want with it.

    Also, the argument “hurr durr look at these games, they suck so UE4 is shit and GTR3 will be shit too” is nonsense and has no foundation nor relevance whatsoever, but ok.

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  14. Wow that was painful. This is the first time i’m actually reading an article at PRC that is flat out wrong in its basic premise. Instead of asking questions you think no one is asking, what you should have started with, is this:

    1) How do you think Sector3 were able to swap out isiMotor’s graphics part with their own RendR engine, and why are you so sure it’s impossible to do the same with UE4?
    2) On what basis did you conclude that UE4 is this “closed toolbox” and cannot be extended to support custom physics?
    3) Does BeamNG.drive ring any bells? You know, a driving game with phenomenal physics that started out as a tech demo of RoR physics coupled with CryEngine graphics (hurr durr FPS engine!!1!1!)?

    Of course, UE4 doesn’t support any of the things you mentioned _by default_, and its car physics are crap _by default_, and of course there aren’t many racing games built on UE4. But so what? The first issue can be worked around as UE4 _also_ provides tools to develop custom modules for the engine, and gives complete access to its source code (so yeah, it takes some amount of work, but it isn’t impossible amount of work for a small team to accomplish, not by a mile).

    The second issue is simply a historic accident – UE4 itself is only 5 years old, the subscription model and complete access to source code is barely 3 years old. Given how there aren’t really that many racing games being developed to begin with (compared to the amount of shooters and survival horrors), and most of those being developed are established franchises using in-house engines developed at a time where nothing like UE4 existed, it’s no surprise that there aren’t any well-known racing games developed with UE4.

    For comparison, let’s take other well-known engines. First of all, there’s the aforementioned CryEngine – the engine used in FarCry and Crysis. Now _that_ is an engine _almost exclusively_ used for FPS or FPS-like games – yet developers of BeamNG.drive were able to cobble up a tech demo with it. No racing games made with it are in sight – BeamNG switched to Torque3D (again, any ideas on how they could do just plug RoR physics into an unrelated open-source game engine?!), but that’s beside the point.

    Let’s look at Frostbite (you know, the engine used in well-known racing games such as Battlefield or FIFA 2017). Aside from Need for Speed franchise, no other racing game uses this engine. id Tech engine? Nope, almost exclusively FPS games. Unity? Vast array of genres, but no racing games in sight, arcade or otherwise. Gamebryo? No notable racing game uses it. Source engine? Nope. Seeing a pattern yet?

    Speaking of NFS, again, this has only happened for historical reasons. NFS games do not share lineage of older games in a way Codemasters games do, as the franchise has been rebuilt and rebooted multiple times, by multiple development studios. You will find that similar NFS games use the same engine – first few used an in-house engine, next few were based on a _different_ in-house engine, then came NFS: Underground, Most Wanted and all that street racing crap which used a different (but still in-house) engine, then there were Shift titles with in-house MADNESS engine, and now you see the rebooted Burnout-influenced NFS (HP2010 onwards), all of which are using Frostbite engine – first time a major racing game ever used a third-party game engine.

    The situation is not unique to NFS: pretty much _everyone_ in the industry keeps releasing games utilizing the same engine as previous iteration of the franchise. Forza, Gran Turismo – they all use in-house engines because back when these franchises started, nothing like UE4 or Frostbite existed. With NFS being an outlier in its use of Frostbite, the rest of the industry uses in-house engines (Codemasters, ISI, Kunos, Sector3…) for historical reasons.

    If you look further back in the gaming industry, there is actually a clear trend. First games were all pretty much developed on in-house engines. Back then it was possible, because the entire fucking engine could’ve been written by a single person in a few months give or take. These days, with very complex GPU’s and high demands of graphics fidelity, it is no longer feasible for smaller studios to keep developing their own engines to keep up with the times, so it is natural for a studio like Sector3 to consider offloading their graphics part to UE4 to free up resources to do proper physics (which they in turn are offloading to a third-party engine – isiMotor!).

    It seems like Sector3 has realized that the manpower they spend on graphics is better spent on integrating with something like UE4, where there is a stable and well-tested base graphics engine that just works and has no major OS- or driver-related issues. To think this means the end of Sector 3 is to misunderstand the whole fucking point of using a third-party game engine in the first place. In fact, this is exactly the reason why most successful games in sim racing genres were basically re-releases of rFactor – because it’s much easier to tweak an established physics engine than come up with your own, especially for a small team with no AAA budgets.

    Please, get a software developer on your staff, or at least make friends with one so that next time, before you post an article like this, there would be someone knowledgeable about the subject who would correct you and save you from posting obvious nonsense.

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    1. I knew there was a reason to skim through Austin’s article and that was to get to the comments and read something by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Thanks!

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    2. “This is the first time i’m actually reading an article at PRC that is flat out wrong in its basic premise.”

      So this is your 1st time here?????

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    1. This article is just the tip of the iceberg in how many more articles he’s been in the wrong and still the tip of the iceberg in the ones to come.

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  15. A point about damage: brands limit VISUAL damage, sim racers care about PERFORMANCE IMPACTING damage.

    You can create a game with a very good damage system for racing purposes without even showing a dent in the car.

    That’s the oldest excuse in the book for devs, and it doesn’t stick.

    Like

      1. They don’t. They can’t tell you how many Gs are needed for a bent front axle after tapping the wall. Or how many G’s for a retirement. That’s up to you, and that’s what matters. Look at what Codies could do with the F1 deal, this year they offer a proper hardcore damage model. They can’t show monocoque damage, but they can retire your car after tapping a wall a bit too hard.

        You don’t even have to show damage. Just a black screen with a big “you suck” and your car spawning in the garage is good enough.

        Like

  16. It’s important to have a new base that is not ISI, though they had EA money to develop things. Seeing Live for Speed finished would be a dream.

    Check out Online Racing Championship. That is looking very good and has the artistry of a CARTfactor + Game Stock Car 2012/Extreme guy.

    Like

  17. Whatever they do, I hope:

    1. The system requirements will not explode, making the game useless to me and a few other weirdos 🙂 .
    2. They don’t mess up the game, once again making the game useless to me, because what we have so far is pretty nice when firing on all cylinders.

    Fingers crossed for you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Grasping at straws with this one. I usually agree with PRC but does he not realize that UE4 is open source? They can crack open the engine and add whatever they like, as for the visuals having too much bloom or whatever, what the hell does that have to do with anything? That is up to the developer to tweak. You can take a powerful engine and make it look like shit if you don’t know what you are doing. Just because some dude’s pet project looks like shit doesn’t mean all games will look like that.

    Granted it is strange that they are ditching their own inhouse engine but the unreal engine is flexible as all hell, especially to an experienced team. So I don’t really see the problem. I doubt they will have anything worth showing in 6 months time but we’ll see.

    Like

    1. gMotor and pMotor are massively intertwined to be able to run across multiple cores simultaneously. We’re talking millions of lines of code. You don’t just separate and plug into Unreal 4 with under ten staff members.

      Like

      1. Have you read the replies? They aren’t using gmotor2. They have successfully ‘separated’ the physics element already. Indeed they’ve done this not just for R3E but they did it for the Lizard engine used in Race Pro.

        Like

  19. I thought we would have more racing/ simulator games than we do currently with all the above people that know how game engines work 🙂

    Have a good day Gentlemen !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe it or not, you can be knowledgeable in the field of videogame development without making a racing simulator, there are other genres. Crazy, I know.

      Like

  20. PRC is rolling (driving) for SMS now. So don t expect them to talk about :
    – Planned obsolescence of PC1 for example
    – Why Monza, silverstone, Spa are not on the vanhilla map for PC2 whereas already there in PC1. Another future viral marketting on DLC ?

    Like

    1. But those tracks will be in Pcars 2, no idea where you got the idea that they wouldn’t be. Also, why would you still continue to support Pcars1 when you publish Pcars2? Micrsoft eventuall stopts their support of older operating systems too, that’s just how it goes.

      Like

      1. Have you read what i wrote ? They will be there (as DLC ?). And for non supporting from microsoft and others, how many years they have bean on the market and supoorted ?

        Like

    1. depends on the engine and your experience level. it’s not easy in a sense that an intern wouldn’t be able to do it, but it’s not that difficult for an experienced software developer to do it.

      Like

  21. I’m guessing you still didn’t find an Italian translator Austin? Stefano’s most recent stream was even less complimentary towards you and PRC than his first one.

    Like

      1. lol mental breakdown, now people that show emotions other than peace and love are having a mental breakdown?
        I guess 700 articles of James were mental breakdowns and 20 were peace and love (read shilling).

        Like

  22. Microsoft doesnt stop to support Windows 7 only because they already brought out Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. That´s absolute bullshit, they announce a Date when support for WIN 7 will stop entirely (this happens mostly when an OS is newly released) but obviously continue to support all Operating Systems until the Support enddate comes. PC2 is not even released ergo they should not stop to patch and improve PC1 as long as PC2 is not released. This way to handle things shows how irrelevant customer satisfaction is to the company, they just shit on people which are actually still playing PC1 and are only trying to sell a big initial number of copies as PC2 is released, after having sold them, why should stick with unconvenient and time consuming things like bug fixing, they will just bring developing to hold again and prepare for the next sequel for you to swallow, its really that simple. They´re getting nothing from me 4sho

    Like

  23. They announced PC2 about a week after releasing PC1, while most of us were still trying to figure out why the fuck the controller didnt work at all on XBox One. “Sorry youre game has been released in a total bag of shit state, but the good news is is that we are already working on a ton of dlc and the sequel, so…..er……screw you….”

    Like

    1. They announced it but they didn’t all of a sudden stop supporting pcars did they. It had monthly patches for a year with a free car every month & had some recent patches around Christmas. I think most of the team moved over to work on pcars 2 after a year of supporting the first game.

      Like

  24. Free cars were advertised, so nothing new. And they just tried, at the beginning, to give that free car if you paid the entire DLC pack.

    Reputation system was advertised and not even present yet there. The list goes on….

    Like

  25. Holy shit, even for this sites standards of facts, this is utter crap.

    With a simple google search you can find multiple sites and forums talking about replacing the UE4 physics with your own custom module. UE4 is just a sandbox of tools to ease in development.

    Its pretty obvious that they are only using UE4 for the graphics and effects aspect of the engine. You really think a respected studio would just trash years of research into physics to use the default basic physics which ship with the engine. Those physics are for devs to get up and running with simple games. A simple engine with gravity, mass, force etc isnt too hard to bake in, and will be fully sufficient for 95% of games developed with it.

    Obviously vehicle dynamics breaks out of this basic physics UE4 ships with, but thats why its easy to replace that module.

    Even for your levels of dumb james, you really really look like a fool here. Just admit it and man up.

    I look forward to your future article proving how right you were with them using the baked in article. This previous sentence was also sarcastic because 1. it will be fucking impossible to prove even if they did and 2. There is 0% chance of it happening in the first fucking place.

    Like

    1. Quoting my own article:

      “The Unreal Engine is almost a closed toolbox of sorts; you simply can’t take part of one game engine, and throw it into another without years upon years of work.”

      Key words being years upon years of work.

      Not “in six months, with four people.”

      Like

      1. They don t say they will publish an entire game in 6 month but something playable internally “This of course is our internal 1st playable that we are talking about and nothing that we will be sharing with the public.” Could be 1 car and 1 track.

        Like

      2. the thing is, you’re wrong. UE4 is actually pretty open-ended and designed for modularity. so writing a physics engine is a bigger undertaking than plugging it into UE4. and no, repeat after me: they’re not using gMotor. they’re not using gMotor. they. are. not. using. gMotor. they use an in-house RendR engine, so pMotor is already separated from gMotor.

        Like

  26. Exposing yourself as a total dumb arse again. I have personally built a test un ue4 with custom physics in a single day. No need to dig into the source just create a custom actor.
    Stick to things you know.

    Like

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