The Fall ’17 Eternal Science Project Recap, and a $250 Bounty

Turning the clock back all the way to fourth grade, our humble classroom led by a former Irish nun had been given the task of writing autobiographies as a final English project. Once a week for what seemed like the entire back half of the semester, we were dragged into the school’s computer lab to partake in notoriously lengthy writing sessions that really tested the patience of your average ten year old. Not being a piece of shit in school and already knowing I’d be doing something with writing later in life, I did my best to at least complete the assignment within a reasonable time frame and have something ready to submit for grading. Yet as the year drew to a close, I noticed something exceptionally odd – a firm completion date for the project was never set.

Many times I would ask if I could print my paper and get everything over with, only to be told that it was still too early to hand in my assignment, and to occupy myself with editing in the meantime. So for several afternoons – and these afternoons were spread over a period of weeks – I sat there bored out of my fucking mind, making excessive, unnecessary, borderline pretentious revisions to a paper in which I had no idea when the due date was, in the hopes that one day I would get to call it “finished” and have it assessed properly.

That day never came, and the same mentality of endless pretentious revisions to knock weeks of nothing off the calendar would end up infecting one of my favorite adult hobbies. Welcome to my own, personal hell.

I’ve dubbed them Eternal Science Projects, because that’s what they are. Sim racing developers, at least some of them, have decided over the past few years that their racing simulators should be evolving platforms instead of complete packages. Like a child preparing extensively for a non-existent science fair, teams of nerds from around the planet are essentially “building something in their room” – and that something is a simulator but the questions of “by when”, “for whom”, and “to do what” are never answered in concrete fashion. With no metaphorical “due date” in sight for these games, developers are free to obsess for months over transmission behavior, turbocharger dynamics, and obscure content nobody wants, rather than focus on making a game to captivate their audience for launch day.

It is for this reason that GTR 2, a game released over a decade ago, seems almost timeless when compared to modern offerings. It’s not because GTR 2 is genuinely that good, but because the genre has progressed so little in eleven long years due to the eternal science project mentality, the standard for what constitutes as an objectively good simulator hasn’t changed at all. Because sim developers have spent so long on upping the physics refresh rate, or coding their own turbo model, or modeling their own fake Formula One cars to get around the absence of real Formula One cars, we live in an era of sim racing in which GTR 2 (2006) features wet-weather driving and a built-in race school, but you can buy three “new” PC racing sims that have neither.

To begin the month of November, we will shine a spotlight on the three most prominent eternal science projects in the world of sim racing. Equally mismanaged in their own special ways, you almost feel bad for the people directly involved.

Originally conceived as Reiza’s answer to Assetto Corsa, Automobilista was intended to supercharge the aging ISImotor engine into a formidable current-generation simulator platform. The small group from Brazil had acquired the license to ISI’s extremely popular game engine, which would allow them to upgrade the fidelity of the overall in-game experience and inject new additions far beyond what users had experienced in titles such as GTR Evolution or the original rFactor, thus justifying a purchase on the outset.

Reiza advertised improvements to aspects such as the force feedback, tire model, suspension behavior, and racing surface adhesion, but in execution, your average sim racer simply won’t be able to feel the difference between Automobilista and a good rFactor mod that they can obtain for free. This doesn’t mean Automobilista is a bad game or a blatant rip-off for those new to the scene, it just means that one developer within the ecosystem intentionally went out of their way to work on a project with diminishing returns, rather than attempting to push the genre forward in any meaningful way.

It’s not like rFactor was an unplayable, broken piece of shit with cruddy vehicle handling to begin with that justified a different team to revamp the engine; there would have been no problem using the vanilla isiMotor engine as a platform for a deeper racing experience – career modes, team management, car upgrades, that sort of thing – but Reiza have instead descended to boasting about splitting hairs over new turbo calculations in development blog posts and preview videos (above).

Answer me this, how many of you have outright avoided a racing game because the turbo model was calculated in a simplified manner?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

On top of the diminishing returns, promises of high-profile downloadable content for the most part failed to materialize. While the focus of Automobilista’s content was originally intended to shy away from a primarily South American compilation to ensure a greater appeal to worldwide audiences, the team have done quite a poor job of restructuring the game to include any sort of captivating content. Season Pass owners received a fleet of historic Brazilian touring cars and re-used assets from a previous game (Formula Truck), along with some tracks that most people already downloaded for free as third party mods. Reiza have churned out locales such as Oulton Park, Brands Hatch, Hockenheim, Adelaide, and Imola for paying customers, though high quality conversions of these iconic circuits from other simulators were already available free of charge.

If Automobilista was to be eradicated from my Steam library in five minutes, I can’t say I’d be upset – I’d just boot up GTR Evolution, as it’s literally the same end-user experience, physics engine and all. Reiza could have done something truly exciting and unique with Automobilista; instead they are celebrating an alternate calculation for turbochargers and a slightly different heads up display that will be in the next update.

Whenever that is.

We now move on to discussing rFactor 2, as we’re rapidly approaching the end of Studio 397’s first full year spearheading the title’s development. Again, if you’ve been living under a rock, Image Space Incorporated are no longer responsible for rFactor 2, so there’s been a lot of hype surrounding what might happen to this simulator under the guidance of a brand new outlet. Most believe the unproven clan will somehow resurrect rFactor 2 from the dead and turn it into the all-encompassing platform many thought it would be at launch in 2014, but as is the theme with this entry, there have been some hiccups.

Big ones.

The team to their credit have been great at keeping hardcore fans updated with the title’s progress by means of scheduled journal entries, but in this situation, these blog posts have actively come back to haunt the Studio 397 crew – there’s now an extensive archive of “things that haven’t materialized,” and many of the entries cover the exact same topics over and over again with little new information to reveal. January 2017, April 2017, and August 2017 all more or less introduce the new GUI and talk about DirectX 11 integration that’s still being fine-tuned, before alluding to new content and then ending abruptly; the posts almost formulaic in nature. I know I get a lot of flak here for covering the same topics repeatedly, but this takes treading water to a whole new level. Sure, Studio 397 are giving people a roadmap, but to the end user these blog posts mean fuck all if you’re not saying anything that wasn’t already said before, especially if you can’t demonstrate you’re actively making progress.

These posts, when read back-to-back, give off the impression that Studio 397 aren’t doing much of anything and that rFactor 2 is basically dead.

Did the new graphical user interface finally make it’s way into a new update? No. Are the ranked online races or “competition infrastructure” discussed in February making progress? Also no. Is the DirectX 11 variant of the game stable yet? No. Has MoTec telemetry implementation started yet? No. Have the brand new Zandvoort track and Radical roadster been been improved to a non-beta state? No, that will come sometime in 2018. Will the Corvette C7.R GTE or Tatuus Formula Cars be released in any sort of reasonable time frame? No. Have improvements been made to the game’s spotter code? No.

So what’s the plan for Studio 397 going forward?

Load up the October roadmap with three paragraphs of pretentious self-masturbatory physics talk as a distraction. As with Automobilista, there’s no way in hell the average sim racer will be able to feel the differences these alleged changes will supposedly make, but Studio 397 believe this is the next major mountain for rFactor 2 as a simulator to climb.

To be fair, Studio 397 have indeed released five new GT3 cars for rFactor 2 – albeit in various states of completion, and conveniently in a special rFactor 2 store so negative reviews cannot be left on the content – but since rFactor 2 was handed over to the upstart team, the simulator has needed a significantly more robust resurrection than some GT3 cars that were most likely outsourced to various community members. The game needed a new interface, seamless DirectX 11 integration, a tangible reason to drag people to its’ online servers, and a plethora of exciting content.

After (almost) a year at the reigns of rFactor 2, Studio 397 have accomplished something like 15% of their team goals, and are already proceeding to jerk themselves off over physics improvements that basically nobody will either notice, or care enough for to buy/re-install the game. So you have this company pumping money into a dead game that nobody cares for and offers almost the exact same experience as Automobilista, which itself offers the exact same experience as GTR Evolution (a nine year-old game), all while stuff like Formula One 2017 lets you lounge in the team paddock prior to free practice.

As I alluded to earlier, it’s like a kid building a science project in his room, but there’s no science fair for him to enter, no target audience to woo, and certainly not any guidance to speak of. He’s just amassing a pile of shit and responding with “I made a lot of progress this month” when concerned adults begin making serious inquiries. The most perplexing part of all this, is that the rFactor 2 forum is still full of people who believe that one day, rFactor 2 will rise up against all the critics and regain it’s status as the ultimate racing simulator.

No guys, that ship has sailed.

Another ship that has sailed would be the existence of sim racing’s Holy Grail, GTR 3. In January of 2017, a newly-created sister company to Sector 3 Studios operating under the name of SimBin UK announced they would finally be embarking on a journey to make GTR 3 a reality. Despite a collection of staged renders that did not depict any actual gameplay, the sim racing community was promptly whipped into a frenzy – even as initial interviews indicated the game would use the Unreal 4 engine and potentially tread into simcade territory.

Strange how some sim racers blast Project CARS 2 for being “simcade” while openly endorsing a simcade GTR 3, but I guess my bias is showing.

Since that January news break, we’ve heard precisely nothing in regards to the development or progress of GTR 3 itself, which is scheduled for a summer 2018 launch. What we have heard out of the SimBin UK camp has little to do with GTR 3 as a product, but instead centers awkward promotional pieces that imply the group have already became affiliated with the wrong kinds of people. It would be low hanging fruit to rip on RaceRoom Racing Experience for re-doing their GT3 physics for a third time when tire pressure adjustment still isn’t the game after four years, so this is the direction we’re going in today.

SimBin UK were said to be creating a program by the name of Women and Wheelsan all female eSports sim racing championship said to launch this fall – but there’s a ominous cloud of skepticism hanging over the whole ordeal. It’s now November, and there’s snow on the ground – hardly autumn anymore. There is no scheduled start date, nor have SimBin UK announced what game will be used considering moving footage of GTR 3 has not yet been revealed to the public. There is no official social media account for the Women and Wheels championship, nor is there any sort of official website to find out more information – just a small forum to fill out for Emails on the matter. A google search on Women and Wheels reveals this championship was talked about once, on September 4th, 2017, and has not been mentioned by any gaming outlet or SimBim UK themselves since. Prizes listed on the SimBin UK home page include expensive acupuncture and Skype dates provided by a group called Epiphany Junkie, which is a rabbit hole I don’t suggest any sane person to explore.

If I had to take an educated guess, Women and Wheels doesn’t exist; it was a ploy by SimBin UK to earn brownie points in the eyes of potential investors by having a few nice social justice-themed articles written in their favor.

The second piece of promotional material comes from Punch Technology, who were recently asked to build high performance developer PC’s for the SimBin UK team, and are now offering those builds to the general public. Again, the mock-up screenshots first released in January depicting RaceRoom Racing Experience assets within the Unreal 4 Engine are used liberally, even though they are now ten months old and are literally just proof-of-concept pictures that bare no resemblance to what GTR 3 will actually contain.

For a game that is supposedly six to eight months away from launch, it’s very strange that SimBin UK have placed a metaphorical burka over such a niche project; this isn’t DOOM or Call of Duty, it’s just a sports car racing game, you can’t really spoil a whole lot. Yet their official Twitter has not been updated. Facebook has not been updated. Further interviews with the Speed brothers have not been conducted. GTR 3 isn’t just an eternal science project, it’s a model train set in the basement the rest of the family isn’t allowed to see.

Thankfully, Dave from Punch Technology helped us out. You know how some websites have an automatic pop-up box with an alleged live support representative, but everyone just assumes they’re bots programmed to respond to certain phrases? Dave from Punch Technology is not a bot; he gave us exclusive information on GTR 3 because it’s a Wednesday morning and he was presumably bored at work. Thanks Dave, you’re the real MVP today. SimBin UK have supposedly expanded to at least fifteen staff members, moved offices twice, secured funding, and met their in-house deadlines.

It’s just strange that SimBin UK, despite all of their social media accounts, were incapable of telling their core audience about this.

And it’s for this reason I will close this post by announcing a $250 CDN bounty for the first person who can email us with undisputed proof of GTR 3’s existence. I don’t believe this game will see the light of day. Members of the sim racing community are starting to have their doubts. Eternal science projects suck, but vaporware sucks more, and after an entire decade, we’re getting a bit tired of random teams announcing GTR 3 is on the horizon, only for it to seemingly vanish. For that reason, moving footage of SimBin UK’s GTR 3 in action, or several screenshots/off-screen pictures that haven’t been released to the general public, will net you a decent payday if you submit said content to us. We won’t announce you as the winner for obvious reasons, but we’ll definitely throw up what you’ve sent us if legitimate.



186 thoughts on “The Fall ’17 Eternal Science Project Recap, and a $250 Bounty

    1. So it’s 3:27AM local time here in Edmonton, on a Wednesday morning. Or in easier terms, between 2am and 5am in the Western Hemisphere.

      Nobody in the Western Hemisphere who owns pCars 2, would be playing at this hour. They are either sleeping, or on shift at the 7-Eleven. Maybe both. Probably both.

      In Great Britain, it’s 9:29am. In Germany, it’s 10:29am.

      A lot of people in Europe who *would* be playing pCars 2, are most likely at work.


      1. Notice all the games in a ever lasting development state are all games based off the ISI Motor Engine, Graphics and physics, Race Room Racing Experience released in 2013, almost Six years old, should also be listed here as well.
        Every single Game that is using the ISI motor engine have the least amount of people playing them, also the least amount of interest in them, rFactor 2 is almost Eight Years hold it is dead, anything Studio 397 try to do to improve rFactor 2 will not revive it, their fan boys are the most deluded fan boys in simracing history.

        This is the pinnacle of rFactor 2 direct x 11 graphics, and it will not get any better than this.

        with cars still looking like they are float on track, crap shitty dated shaders that make the game look even worse than any other game from 2005, they also speak of damage model, but fail to show anything ground breaking, with basic crumpled up textures as if they are reading from the same rubbish instruction manual damage model Kunos uses.


    2. The “not science project” seems to be already dead few weeks after its launch while once buried platforms keeps evolving. Well done. It shouldn’t take too long for rF2 to pass pcrap2 in popularity when you look at the direction graphs are pointing.


            1. F1 2017 is not a sim and thereby targets a difference audience

              This is like comparing rFactor 2 with Need for Speed Underground
              Both are racing games but have different audience

              Racing games are average populare, racing sims are niche still


              1. > F1 2017 is not a sim

                F1 2017 “simulates” an F1 season a hell of a lot better than a bunch of random races at various tracks using *identical cars*, which is what you get with the “serious simulators”.

                More difficult/complex does *not* automatically make a game/sim more realistic. Some of the best wargames are actually the simplest, with elegant mechanics rather than piling on heaps of (buggy) complexity.


                1. I know you get insecure every time someone calls out your precious Forza or F1 2017 but it’s obvious to most people here that neither of them are simulations.


                  1. > neither of them are simulations.

                    Why? Because you say so? I’ve got 30 years of on-track experience to back up my opinion. I freely admit that I have no idea what an F1 2017 car (or any open wheeler) feels like, but unless I’m talking to Max Verstappen right now, neither do you.

                    I really don’t know why you’d think I’d waste my time shilling for some kids racing games (you forgot to mention R3E, which is actually my favorite of them all) that cost a lot less than a new set of brake pads for my track day car. I’m just an enthusiast who uses these games/sims/whatever as a way to reduce the cost of IRL track days to a minimum and (God forbid!) have some fun. I also don’t have to worry about fucking up my car at the track while I hoon around.

                    Do your own research. Real drivers keep trying to tell you guys that many of these “hardcore sims” are significantly harder to drive than a real car. Sorry if that’s an immersion-breaker for you.


                    1. “Do your own research. Real drivers keep trying to tell you guys that many of these “hardcore sims” are significantly harder to drive than a real car. Sorry if that’s an immersion-breaker for you.”

                      Among others Nigel Mansell about 5-6 years ago at a game expo after he had crushed 3 experienced sim drivers in a game/sim he had only tried a few times before 🙂
                      Mansell commented that if F1 cars had been so difficult to drive when he was on top both he and most of the other F1 pilots would have been killed.


                    2. it’s the lack of feedback and small viewing space.
                      i drive to work this morning, wet roads, hang the tail out wherever i want, all good fun, never feel like i’m even close to losing control.

                      i hop on AC, or AMS, or any other sim, can’t hold a slide to save my life. the feedback from the wheel, and most importantly the buttometer just isn’t there in any virtual race car.


                  2. A lot of people who want to enjoy a game that’s not a simulation call it a sim by claiming that it has all the circuits, all the adjustments, all the email system to receive offers, etc. That phenomenon has been going on for years.

                    Forza is a simulator because it has the correct tree placement at Road Atlanta, F1 2017 is a simulator because you can lose a sponsorship, NASCAR is a simulator because you can do a full season, Grand Theft Auto is a simulator because the vehicles sink in water, Far Cry is a simulator because the brake button slows the car down, Mario Kart is a simulator because it has a Mercedes DLC, etc.

                    If you extend the meaning of simulation ad infinitum, anything can be a simulator. What’s so wrong with enjoying a game as an adult? I guess gambling is fine because you can lose your house?


                    1. Guess what pal, these are all just video games. The game/sim label is wholly artificial and is something elitists use. If you think these so-called “sims” are anywhere close to what the automotive industry or professional race teams use, you’re insane. They’re consumer entertainment products, nothing more.


                  3. The Red Bull RB 6 in F1 2017 feels a lot more convincing to me as a single seater than any of the single seaters in Assetto Corsa.

                    And the gt3 cars in GT sport seem a lot more convincing to me as gt3 cars than any of the gt3 cars in assetto Corsa or rfactor 2.

                    Your sim elitism addled brain is now making you feel very insecure, isn’t it? In fact you’re tempted to reply to this post with a bunch of nonsense about advanced tyre models and how rfactor 2 uses a formula to calculate schrodingers wave-function collapse to give the most realistic representation of driving a car ever.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Most people have no track experience to go by, so of course they gravitate to sims that have the most buzzwords and difficulty. What else are they supposed to go by? I understand that part. What I *don’t* get is the bizarre reverse snobbery where, for instance, iRacing users will castigate *known real drivers* for expressing concerns about how the cars are behaving. I guess it’s human nature for these groups to set up little hierarchies within themselves, and they don’t tolerate encroachment from outsiders – even in the case of people doing the very thing IRL that their simulator is…simulating. SMH.


            2. They aren’t in direct competition at all. You are comparing apples with oranges.

              You’ve only got to do a quick youtube search to see that the target audience of F1 2017 is vastly different to that of true simulations.


              1. True simulation = a bunch of depressingly bland tracks and cars with super advanced tyre models that in reality feel less convincing as the cars in Grid or Gran Turismo on the PS3.

                Liked by 1 person

    3. Lol, less than 2000 people play it daily at any given hour and less than 7000 people actually bought it on Steam to begin with.

      This is the definition of a tanked game.


            1. Ok fair enough.

              But how is that even possible that a game that allegedly shipped more than 1.000.000 copies for the original game can’t even get 10% of that (100.000) with the second one?


            2. So less than 100.000 bought the game on Steam and not even 1500 people are playing it to this day, 1 or 2 months after release? That’s around 10%, which is a fucking disgrace.


              1. A lot of us are sitting on the PC2 sidelines, waiting to see if they can fix the AI (especially with inclement weather and weather changes).

                The game has tremendous potential, but they really do need an infusion of AI expertise from somewhere.


        1. That’s actually quite interesting. PC1 sold twice as many copies as AC, but right now the number of players online is dwindling – probably because people moved on to PC2. On the other hand, PC2 so far has sold only 1/10 of PC sales, but half of those players have been online over the last two weeks. If I had to guess, I’d say people are being more careful with their purchase after the endless problems with PC1, but those who actually bought the game are enjoying it so far. With only one fifth of AC owners, PC2 is almost reaching the same online numbers.

          As to the AMS “science project”, as you call it, it sold 41k copies – almost the same as PC2 so far. Not bad, considering it is a more hardcore game with few bells & whistles (no lounge for racers!) based on an outdated engine. The number of online players is quite small, but I would say part of this is due to the fact that (a) people are mostly playing in private servers, and (b) the offline mode and the AI are quite satisfactory at this point. (In this regard, I would also speculate that the number of online PC2 players is somewhat related to the fact that the offline AI is still far from perfect.)

          I agree with many points in your article, but I disagree specifically on AMS. I all hinges on that you consider a success. Contrarily to most other racing games in the market, AMS is focusing on greater realism and difficulty, which is a niche within a niche. For instance, they are now working on a feature by which, if you total your car during pre-race practice, you are out of the race – not a very pleasing prospect for people who can barely drive without a racing line. In this regard, I’d say their progress has been remarkable. It will never be a best-seller in this market, but it has a loyal and enthusiastic user base, not to mention excellent support and communication. Being a small team, I think they are gaining musculature and know-how for their next product. I hope they are able to survive, because they are swimming against the crowd-pleasing tide.

          Right now, for logistic reasons (wheel too far from computer), I play mostly on console, and I am enjoying both Project Cars 2 and F1 2017 quite a lot – contrarily to Forza 7, which is an utter mess. However, since I don’t much care about the emphasis – excessive, in my view – that is being placed on visuals and VR, if I had to play a single racing sim in the PC, it would definitely be AMS.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think what you are all forgetting, those figures are for the first month of project cars 2 sales, it’s not even the second month yet.
            Most racing titles will sell more copies after its release date, a year or more after, due to the various steam sales, so I wouldn’t read to much in a negative way in the figures shown now.

            Most people will add a game to their steam wish list and purchase the game after a few patch release and or a final patch release, just like they did with Assetto corsa.

            Assetto Corsa sales have already reached its peak, you will not see the numbers buying it, like we saw two to three years ago, whilst project cars 2 will continue to sell and eventually be the most played racing sim on steam like project cars was, until the release of project cars 2.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. What, do you not want to play with dumb, dumber and dumbes– I mean, Emma, Chris and Jeff? Clearly this is what AMS should’ve gotten seeing as F1 2017 is more popular than AMS, AC, rF2 and James and Ian’s favorite toy.

      (I do actually agree with his point there, but that’s mostly because mere racing on its own doesn’t do enough for me anymore.)


      1. There are multiple parts of any “simulation”. In a racing sim, it seems to me you have these basic aspects:

        1) The feel of the FFB (does it feel something like a real car?)

        2) The physics (does the car respond in a realistic way to control inputs and thereby reward “proper” driving technique?).

        3) The racing series itself (tire types, limitations, rules and the like which govern the racing itself).

        4) AI quality and/or Multiplayer support (self-explanatory).

        It’s interesting because, with flight sims, #1 is not even discussed, whereas it seems to be the primary focus in car sims.

        I think people would be bitterly disappointed by the “FFB” in a lot of real cars. Many have dead, lifeless steering and the way you keep things pointed straight is via your inner ear. It’s similar to how you ride a bike, and equally hard to explain.


        1. With flight sims, you don’t often have to care so much about outright speed, do you? Unlike there, the FFB is extremely necessary in order to get the most out of your car. I do agree that I’d probably be disappointed in the FFB of a real car, but that’s what happens when you have to make up for the fact that you can’t just use your ass to feel what’s happening underneath you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s true. I guess they have to exaggerate the FFB effects to make up for the loss of info elsewhere. It kinda bugs me though when games like AC inject a *lot* of this weird-feeling suspension info that no real car provides. It makes some of the street cars (not uncoincidentally, the ones with the most suspension movement) in AC feel…weird.

            It’s as if my wheel is attached directly to the front springs. It ends up making the car feel very sloppy as the wheel oscillates every time I change direction. The race cars feel much better.


  1. I guess the only reasonable option is to release a game, unfinished and move on to its sequel, which will release with many of the same bugs the first game had?


      1. So, it is better for the customer if the developer abandons it’s software in a partially finished state in favour of a new title, which releases in a semi broken state rather than a developer to continue supporting their title, far beyond it’s release?

        I think you may be in the far minority when you say that is the lesser of the two evils.


        1. Only when accounting for vocal people, which simracing has a disproportionate number of while still being in the minority. Outside of that, he’s easily in the majority.

          The “semi broken” thing often doesn’t hold water either. People just like to complain a lot.


          1. I’m sorry but I fail to see how the “semi broken” thing doesn’t hold water when people spend hard earned money on a product, only to find that it is not what was advertised to them in the first place, whether that be the result of extremely poor QA or missing features that were advertised but are missing without explanation as to why or both.

            People don’t complain when they are getting what they expect.


        2. Studio 397 messed up by trying to revive a dead product. rF2 is radioactive in the eyes of the target audience. Unfortunately, humans are simple and need something new and shiny.

          S397 should have taken 18-24 months to develop a new product.

          Call it rFactor World, New GUI, DX11 support, mostly new content aside from genuinely good vanilla rF2 cars/tracks that deserve to be carried over (there aren’t many but stuff like bathurst is objectively good), modding documentation, steam workshop support. Market it on the appropriate sim sites as a new rFactor, which will generate day 1 sales/pre-orders/support for official DLC.


          1. And after that, what? Release and start working on that softwares successor?

            Call me what you will but I still believe in supporting your product past the one year mark,


                1. What have they actually done to turn rF2 into a worthwhile product that will generate prolonged sales?

                  Blog posts dont count. Stuff in the game, right now.

                  >5 GT3 cars.
                  >Beta version of Zandvoort
                  >An Indycar track they raced at once and then abandoned because it sucked

                  Wow! What a turnaround for rF2!


                  1. You claimed S397 acquiring RF2 was company suicide yet a year later, here they are, continuing to operate and continuing to develop the title.

                    Again, if it were company suicide, why are they and the title still around? I mean, despite blog posts not counting, 5 GT3 cars, a beta version of Zandvoort and an IndyCar track that was raced on once, people continue to support the title. Why is that? Could it have anything to do with continued support?


                    1. @James: “Delusion, mostly.”

                      Hahaha you evil man 🙂
                      Eventhough Ill admit that I still have a (small) hope that the rF2 duckling one day will become ok not a swan but something more useable (and watchable) than now.
                      Because its pretty frustrating that merging the iRacing online service with the rF2 tire model would create a combo the majority of simracers (maybe not gamers) would support fully.


                  2. You’re forgetting dx11 and vr,many optimisations have taken place and the new ui rain,online structure and contracts are still to be released.
                    Maybe you think stuff is easy to do with little man power,and little money generated.

                    S397 aren’t commuting suicide because they are trying to right the wrongs of the game first before they delve into the shiny bling tasting and arcade bs that you seem to want.

                    You have come full circle,was once some who called out pc1 shills now to become one yourself due to being hoed our bu that developer


                  3. Well, you believe they should have been working on a new game for two years to be successful. On the other hand, you are complaining what they have achieved during their first year. Also, you are ignoring the fact that they have rebuilt the graphics engine.


                    1. “Also, you are ignoring the fact that they have rebuilt the graphics engine.”

                      Bullshit, compare rfactor 2 under the leadership of ISI to studio 397, the graphics are not a massive improvement, it still has that washed out bland Gray look to it, they have not rebuilt the graphics engine, all they have done is used third party middle ware to achieve graphical fx, that the standard dx engine graphics engine couldn’t do, they have not rebuilt anything, when there is basically no difference in how the graphics looks, I would even go as far to say I would be embarrassed to call it direct x 11, most be no wonder nvidia or ATI don’t have their names mention a long side rFactor 2.


            1. You are a dickhead, there I said it.

              “Call me what you will but I still believe in supporting your product past the one year mark,”

              It does not matter how many cooks, has had a hand in adding their bit to rFactor 2, the facts are rFactor 2 IS a Eight Year Old never ending Science Project that was destined to fail, no really big improvement over the first rfactor, let alone any previous title created by ISI using their old un-evolved technology, and any developer thinking of still using this technology for future titles is destined to fail as well.


              1. I’m a dickhead for expecting developers to actually support their titles beyond the one year mark?

                Wow! I bet you also think car manufacturers shouldn’t have to provide warranties on new vehicles either. I’m the dickhead though….


                1. Given your extreme lunacy and outlandishly poor arguments that don’t even merit more than a single reply out of anyone remotely sensible on PRC, yes, you absolutely are a dickhead. Even that wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t uneducated and proud of it, but you sure are.


                  1. lu·na·cy
                    the state of being a lunatic; insanity (not in technical use).
                    “it has been suggested that originality demands a degree of lunacy”
                    synonyms: insanity, madness, mental illness, dementia, mania, psychosis; informalcraziness
                    “originality demands a degree of lunacy”

                    I hardly consider having a debate on the current subject, lunacy. Way to blow things WAAAAY out of proportion.

                    Funny thing is, when people resort to name calling and false accusations, that generally means they don’t have an educated rebuttal.

                    But please, continue your side of “your” debate. It’s quite entertaining.


          2. Whats radioactive is Ian Bells reputation.
            People are avoiding buying this game simply because he is such a massive cunt.
            No amount of hiding on the sidelines during the hype train has given people amnesia to the fact that this guy is a shit bag and SMS is a shit bag company that expects full game price for broken sequels to broken games.

            Only reason you aren’t saying so is because youre a fucking sellout.


      2. That’s a stupid comment and the numbers proving it. pCars 1 was way ahead in all numbers before SMS abandoned the title with many serious bugs and issues, some of them even produced with the patches like the broken ingame-chat which is still not working in pCars 2 like it was working in pCars 1 between release and a later patch that broke it. So SMS crippled even the game to have some feature left for future releases.

        AC gained a lot of this former pCars-fans by improving the physics and releasing regular content and pCars 2 has only 9% of the steam-users of pCars 1 and 15% of AC so far. When not even every 10th buyers of v1 is buying the successor, it’s not a success and something went seriously wrong with v1 already.


        1. This is correct.
          Moreover, as soon as you see a company buy external media like here on PRC, or some youtubbers (like Matt York), you can start to be cautious. No need to do a +5 year degree of marketing to understand that this company is not going to compete with the quality of your product but to compete with the quality and the quantity of the communication.
          That’s the main difference between some companies. James has choosen the one he wants to support…


  2. *Use ISImotor as it is (suggested by this post)*
    PRC: OMG they are selling a rf1 with mods
    *License isimotor and start making your own racing game from it as it is actually the fastest and cheapest way to make a sim available nowadays*
    PRC: OMG they are wasting their time doing nothing important

    *ISI does almost nothing to rF2*
    PRC: They should just shut down the company already
    *S397 works in the game*
    PRC: They are wasting their time doing nothing important

    lol you cant make PRC happy I guess, unless you are adding snow in the mid of summer at Daytona for no reason, ah and paying someone to drive a race car nobody is watching.


    1. NASCAR 09 (PS3) is where PC sim racing as a whole should have been by 2012 or 2013.

      EA Sports used isiMotor for a base but still built a proper game around it with a career mode, flashy menus, modern graphics, etc.

      NASCAR 09 had some things wrong with it, but it’s pretty sad that ten years later, the “hardcore PC sims” are virtually indistinguishable from a game that came out in 2008 and received only average reviews.


      1. Another dumb argument, because it’s the same in the hole gaming-industry while moving to a far higher graphics-standard that requires several times more working hours for every little detail than in the past. Every low-polygon models and low-res textures are completely useless from the past engines and needed to be redone. Only since the graphics-libraries of the dev-teams is full of former content that can be recycled for future releases, we get single-player campaigns that last more than 7 hours. And still the price per hour of gameplay went up as well as the average-gamer who can afford it.


      2. So you are prising a company that according to you did it right…
        But you are blaming others that are trying to do it right since they started it for real like a year or 2 ago….


      3. Go back to sleep, EA has thousands of employees and developers across multiple studios that can and will crunch hard to release their games, with multi-million budgets.

        Reiza are bunch of douchebags and they deserve to disband and retire, but they’re only like 5 people, and 1 or 2 of them aren’t even Brazilians.

        Anyone could make what EA did in 2009 if only they had the same resources and the same amount of people actively working on one single game.


      4. This is what s397 and reiza are doing.

        S397 rebuilt the graphics engine from the ground. Now they have it. They can build upon it.
        They also rebuilt the HUD and UI system. They also have a system for competitions.
        While all these stuff is not released to the public they still have it. And when they release it to the public they can move on to do other things.

        You can say the same thing for Reiza. They bought the engine. They fixed it up and improved the engine. And they can still improve it whatever they want to.

        They don’t have the big userbase but somehow they are still around. So whatever and however they are doing their thing it’s working.


        1. Yeah RF2 is moving in the right direction, my simrace friends are doing alot of competitions and stuff like that and its only going to get better, its a long term investment but these guys on PRC just don’t understand how hard it is to work on a sim developed by other people and how much time it takes to understand how everything is coded and then try to improve or change bits of that


          1. Let’s hope they’re still in business when they finally figure it out and all the players who abandoned rF2 years ago come flocking back.


  3. Renato Simioni used that game as an excuse to justify the half a million brazilian reals he was given, instead of developing a new game. And he got people to give him more money with boring dlc and reselling GSC2013.


    1. I enjoy AMS, but God it really is bland, isn’t it? Feels like 2008 all over again, though I give them credit for making some really nice looking tracks (well, Patrick Giranthon anyway).

      All the ISI-derived games are in dire need of some sort of structure to make the racing interesting. The cars themselves are fine, but most are fantasy generic models that are hard to get excited about.

      The whole thing is just…bland. Bland but competent.


    1. Hypocrite. He criticized AMS due to the option that you can download others setup from the leaderboard but he is silent that you can do the same thing in pcars 2. D:


  4. I’ll go one step further and say that not only should simulators have driving schools, they should require you to complete the driving schools and prove that you can control a race car both by yourself and in traffic.


  5. SMS employee leaves out the eternal SMS science project… Grid, Grid 2, pCARS, pCARS 2 and how SMS proves they still can’t create an AI worthy of racing or meet deadlines. What’s that you say? The next patch will fix all that? LOL


  6. This isn’t a sim racing thing, this is a development thing. Apps, games, websites, etc are not completed packages, but are always evolving iterations. That’s not a bad thing.


    1. You better know that gamers want all games be absolutely 10000000000% complete at launch, absolutely free from impurities like bugs and glitches, except favorable bugs/glitches, and have ABSOLUTELY everything they want there, from DAY ONE.


  7. This shit has to stop.
    Why the fuck do developers keep trying to reinvent the wheel.
    I’m 48 years old been playing racing Sims since IndyCar racing and I’m still waiting for a complete sim.
    They get worse every release now.
    Pick a fuckin series and nail it to the last nut and bolt, Go full Sim, not half arsed. Hopefully GTR3 isn’t just another Racing Legends debacle and it builds on GTR2.
    Fuck I feel a bit better now that’s off my chest

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I’m 48 years old been playing racing Sims since IndyCar racing and I’m still waiting for a complete sim.”

      Its a bit old and its only Dx8 – but it fulfills your “complete” sim criteria pretty good.
      The name of the game is NR2003.


  8. I fail to see purpose of rFactor 2 or Automobilista at this point when we got fully-fledged racing simulators out there such as F1 2017 and Project CARS 2.


  9. This is probably the most retarded article you have ever published.

    So now sims supported on the long run that keep making improvements without asking a new purchase are bad, and sims that are abandoned after a year and want your money again to keep improving (and not even at a faster rate!) are good.

    If they told you two years ago Project CARS shilling would ruin your blog…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Studio 397 are trying to resurrect a four year old game with some haphazardly slapped together GT3 cars and a blue graphical filter.

      Cut your losses, create a new game while retaining some of the objectively good content from last game. Start with a clean slate.

      AMS re-released rFactor 3, 4, maybe 5 times now (2012, Stock Car Extreme, FT, Petrobas de Maracas, AMS). The average sim racer will simply not be able to tell the on-track difference between AMS and Stock Car Extreme. If all five games ceased to exist, you can still get an identical experience out of GTR Evo.

      R3E literally doesn’t have tire pressures after four years and has a highly segregated userbase because they were so dead-set on their stupid microtransaction model.

      I’ve had this same rhetoric long before SMS came into the picture.


      1. If your base product doesn’t have hardcoded limitations (like iRacing or Assetto with the lighting) it’s retarded to start all over again. Keep creating content, modes, or refining the experience. Charge for new stuff if you need to do it to keep running.

        The fact that S397 is not doing enough in your eyes doesn’t mean the approach of long term support instead of constant releases is wrong.

        It’s just one case YOU deem the effort is not enough. If they bought a big license, created good content with it and injected it to rF2 you would have to shut up and the approach would bee exactly the same. It’s just a poor execution of the idea. Just like Project CARS 2 is a horrible execution of the opposite approach.


      2. SMS re released their engine (that also comes from isimotor) how many times? 4 minimum at least?
        How long did they take to re release project cars as it should be (PC2)? Yeah right… almost 3 years with much bigger budget and team…


      3. They improved the AI massively in AMS so at least it’s worth racing against them, unlike a certain other game, sorry, “sim” I could mention.


  10. Let’s be completely frank here, only a handful of stubborn sim racers are still playing rFactor 2 and rFactor 1.5 aka Automobilista, most have moved on to bigger and better things like SMS’s brilliant Project CARS 2.


  11. Reiza 2017 was a hoax by Reiza to get money from deluded fanboys who happily spend more time watching and masturbating to Niels’ physics videos than actually racing themselves.


  12. At the end of the day, I play the sim that feels the most accurate in regards to the driving model. That sim for me is rF2. I couldn’t care less what the community thinks or the sim commentators ect, if the game is supported or not supported and so on and so forth… if I felt that rbr, lfs, pcars, ac,r3e, ams, jhgfgtg, or any other acronym drove better, I would play it.

    Call me a fan boy or deluded or whatever, but this is my observation being as objective as I possibly can. If I play pcars2 tomorrow and I feel that the driving model is the most realistic (i.e I lift my foot off the throttle and the car actually rotates etc, etc), then I would gladly suck Ian Bells penis, swallow the gravy, and make pcars2 my primary sim.


    1. “i.e I lift my foot off the throttle and the car actually rotates ”

      Hows the clutch in rFactor 2, you know the most realistic racing sim ever……oh wait, rFactor 2 cannot does not will not ever support clutch.


  13. If you see someone describing what Reiza is doing with AMS, as in delivering one great update after another to a game that you can frequently get for close to 15 euro, pushing it WAY beyond what it originally was – and being almost universally loved by the community for doing so – as “one developer within the ecosystem intentionally went out of their way to work on a project with diminishing returns, rather than attempting to push the genre forward in any meaningful way”, then you have all the proof you need said individual is just shitting on everything for the sake of shitting on it and isn’t actually interested in the slightest in simracing or the community.


      1. In some ways, I really hope it does. In some others – not really, no (but neither was it supposed to).

        But I would be really happy if “the future of simracing” consisted of companies like Reiza, caring about their product as much as they do about AMS.

        And, incidentally, I’d be even happier if “the future of simracing” didn’t include articles like this one.


        1. I don’t know if James is helping (probably not), but an article like this does highlight how these little scattered studios try to impress each other and the minuscule sim community with obscure features no one would notice and high-profile licences when they can afford them.

          Reiza is stretching some old raggedy underwear that should have been thrown away 5 years ago.

          S397 dug up rFactor 2 from the Pet Sematary trying to make it do a little song and dance.

          RaceRoom still wants you to buy content after you’ve spent over 100CAD, with some overhaul on the horizon that might or might not support anti-aliasing.

          If I didn’t hate Codemasters and Denuvo so much, I’d think I’d buy F1 2017.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. James is the one who was obsessively criticizing AC for not having obscure features no one would notice. Saying that sims eons ago had them.


              1. Does he or do other people play more AC because of that and other obscure features Kunos added over time? These people and James don’t care, they are cry babies that cry so much to get what they want but then don’t touch the toy any more.

                All sims are at a much better point since 3 or 4 years ago. Yet James played way more sim racing back then than nowadays. If he plays any other game at all except the simcade Ian Bellend pays him for. And even that I doubt he enjoys that much.


    1. It originally was gsc2012 then 2013 then later reiza announced that partnership that gave them money to put the extreme in the game. Sce was overall better than ams, there is no point in spending 30-50 bucks on ams and who does that is gullible.


  14. I’m sorry James, but a turbo model is incredibly important for simulating a huge variety of racing machines correctly and the lack of one in rf1 has always been my main criticism of that game. AMS having one is a very good thing.


  15. yeah, i have to say if they were modeling the turbo based on RPM and TPS like he says in the video, they may as well not have bothered. Gran Turismo does something similar and it basically means no turbo car is in any way realistic, as there is no lag from the turbo. it fails to emulate the most important part of the turbo, or maybe the second most, behind the additional power.


    1. That’s one of the limitations to the rfactor engine which they couldn’t fix until they started doing AMS (which came with an ‘unlocked’ license to modify rf from source). They always knew it was an important flaw but I guess not important enough to cancel inclusion of any vehicles featuring turbos.


  16. PCARS 2 is a nice looking semi-simulator with amount of bugs so ridiculous my head hurts. For that pricetag it should be absolutely not acceptable. AI is broken, driving physics on water is broken and if you ever drove a real car faster than 50 kph driving your grandpa to church, you’ll quickly notice that force feedback is misleading and just wrong. Multiplayer is… well… I can’t even find appropriate words.

    One advantage could be that you have plenty of cars you can drive, but most of them don’t even have satisfying driving model. It’s my first and last “socalledsim” from this developer, unless they will address the issues. It has potential, but I faced less bugs in Spintires Mudrunner made by 2 people than here.

    Unless you want weather simulator on track. Then I guess it’s your game.


    1. What a load of bull… I ran into bugs right after I launched Mudrunner. Yes, the initial release of PCARS 2 wasn’t quite bug free. The current version, however, gives me less trouble than some of the other sims, like AMS.

      It’s a proper sim. You are simply projecting your own expectations onto it. You want it to be a pile of crap, so it becomes one in your head.


      1. “What a load of bull… I ran into bugs right after I launched Mudrunner.”

        You couldn’t be more vague could you. Nice try sms fanboy.


  17. Hey, Ogonoski. Long time no see…

    Did it ever appear to you that you are trying to make use of a wrong genre? Of course, devs are not being very helpful here either, trying to disguise simulators as games and failing either at making them a decent sim (GTR 2) or a decent game (Project CARS 2, not to mention your “science projects”). Or maybe you believe PC2 delivered as a game?

    Judging by your never-ending drivel on how devs don’t give enough attention to gamey elements, how there is seemingly no difference in car handling between rF1, AMS and rF2 (are you out of your mind?), I’d suggest you to stick to consoles only. No, I’m not meaning this in an offensive way. It’s just that clearly, console titles should be the right thing for you, considering your priorities. And it also appears that you don’t shy away from them either (nothing wrong with that). So, why are you trying to affect the world of simulators? They don’t need “completeness”, they don’t need deadlines, loads of content, guaranteed “glitchlessness” and other things one naturally expects of a game. A sim is not a game. Period. It’s a software tool. Like Blender, for example. Only a handful of people (relatively) can derive fun from sims. Apparently, you are not one of them. You cannot appreciate complicated physics, nor the lengthy process of making the physics in question ever so slightly better. Basically, you are expecting a restaurant to turn into a fast food joint for the sake of your own preferences and convenience… Don’t ruin it for the other customers who actually enjoy the food, head over to your local KFC. This way everyone will be happy. You’ll be having the experience you want, I will be getting mine. I’m fine with how AMS and rF2 are now. Get it? I want the teams to work on new turbo codes and whatnot over whatever fluff you were going on and on about. They can take all the time in the world polishing the physics, and I’ll only be grateful for that. These sims are not for you, fine. But they are for me. So, let them be.


    1. They’re all racing games, bro. Whether one feature is simplified, or something is absent, or it has the most complex contact patch, they’re all games. Does it feel right? Does it make sense? Does it have good content? There.

      No cheap uncertified racing helmet or Chinese Alpinestars gloves knock-offs will change any of that. And the simulator tag in Steam just doesn’t shield these projects from criticism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Above all, it is a simulator. After it can be whatever game it has the means to be.

        If you don’t like the fact that devs focus on the simulation over game elements, gtfo and play pcrap2. But from what I’ve seen that one is bad both on simulation and game.


      2. So maybe is time you do several harsh critic articles on pcrap2 and sms, to see if they wake up.

        Don’t have the courage to do those articles? Too bad.


  18. at least this sims get a cleaner finish instead of a sequel after 2 years, that´s called coherence and not shitting over your customers and sponsoring obscure Nascar Drivers with Backers money


  19. Projec CARS 2 car physics has bugs, AI has bugs, weather has bugs, grphics has bugs… it’s just unfinished product. Developers “Proudly” says they’ll be adjusting AI for next 6 months. That’s supposed to be something to be proud of thesedays? That they’ll be trying to fix the released game for 6 months?

    Great racing sims are rare thesedays and I really do wish these guys succeed but I can’t recommend this game to anyone.

    Joining one of my favorite track online, qualified to 12th place. No penalty no other issues, all went to great. At the start I get 22nd!! position, I don’t know why, but I’m okay with it. Formation lap. One of those idiots push me at the lap and get +5 sec penalty. WHAT?? I was pushed AND I GOT PENALTY?? Okay. Lights are out, everyone push the pedal to the metal, 1st corner, a lagging car came from nowhere with lightspeed, hit me, domino effect coming up. I hit the car next to me, I spin out, last place, aero damage, cooling is nowhere,+5 sec, I entered the pit and get a nice message: the pit is occupied. My driving licence is changed from D1535 to F1505. So I deleted the game, and want refund,

    Also people simply gave their opinion about the game on forums and the CEO cries out “Can we have just one positive thread?” as if their customers are out to get them and all forum posts are attack against them. What an attitude.


    1. Sure you didn’t got beaten by 10 guys doing their last lap? Did about 50 online-races so far and never happened to me in qualifying.
      Formation laps are rare, buggy and should be avoided as well as qualifying low on servers with full damage enabled and U100 or similar rating.

      The safety-rating hurt me as well recently, but it’s about the same like in iRacing with the difference that small contacts (without consequences) doesn’t count as contacts, which makes it far more realistic and can be more fun as well.


  20. For someone who deleted RF2 from your hard drive a year ago why do you care what S397 is doing with RF2? You use to complain about developers not supporting their product and now argue why they are doing just that.

    Is this all part of your contract with Ian?

    When is PCARS3 going to be announced?


    1. “For someone who deleted RF2 from your hard drive a year ago why do you care what S397 is doing with RF2?”

      Because I’m running a sim racing hobbyist blog?


          1. His question is relevant. All your articles are pro-SMS/PCRAP2 and anti-other sim racing companies. Before your financial deal with SMS you treated them just like you treated the other sim racing companies and their games.

            So what he asked is very true.


                1. “Everything about F1 2017 is biblical, but the physics are slightly less challenging than one would expect so IT’S UNACCEPTABLE AND MUST DIE.” – Sim Racers


                  1. You are an idiot, but not only that, a malicious, ignorant idiot who can´t hold a debate without strawman or petty remarks. You are sim racing´s Trump. No one complains because “it´s not challenging”, that´s just your fabrication. People complain because it´s completely backwards and not even remotely representative.

                    A GT3 car in Assetto Corsa is not challenging but it´s sort of representative and it drives somehow like its counterpart. A Formula 1 car from the Codies series does not drive like a Formula 1 car at all, or any known car for that matter and it requieres stupid techniques to be fast. Nothing is right, grass is grippy like hell, high curbs do nothing at all to your car… it misses even basic things like “tarmac is the fastest way around a track”.

                    It´s you who is somehow trying to claim people want deathtraps in order to feel good. What people want is a representative experience. We sim race because we are not rich or talented enough to drive the actual things, so we want something that resembles it as much as possible. I am not wasting my time playing a game where the driving is absolutely nothing like it is in real life, I don´t want to play WipeOut because I do not want to race imaginary spaceships, and for the very same reason I have zero interest in F1 2017.


  21. The realisation the ‘sim racing’ community is just a few thousand players (and lots of those with vested interests) locked in a never ending cyclical argument makes all this easier to understand.

    Most of the commentary on these games is actually undeclared marketing by the devs and publishers involved. Places like Race Department are full of game devs and promoters who comment as if they are just a n other racer.

    Then there are the vocal fanboys of each title who can see no wrong in anything their chosen dev does. Of course most of these have some form of financial or or other involvement too.

    Bottom line is make sure you turn on your critical thinking each time you read/watch gaming commentary. Ask who is funding the comment and for what reason.

    Make your own mind up on each game. I’ve long since given up on the general sim community – the skill levels are often lower than expected especially online and the politics of many groups worse than a caustic workplace. Find a group of like minded friends a game you enjoy despite its faults and limitations and all is well, the rest is just a lot of hot air.


  22. “We sim race because we are not rich or talented enough to drive the actual things, so we want something that resembles it as much as possible. I am not wasting my time playing a game where the driving is absolutely nothing like it is in real life,”

    Well put.


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