Where Sim Racing *Could* Be

No, I wouldn’t be “better off” sticking with mass-market simcade titles, leaving hardcore simulators to man-children who are impressed with improvements that could be best described as “hair-splitting.”

A few days ago I published an article on here giving a detailed rundown in regards to the three eternal science projects currently at the forefront of the hobby, and this was met with some pretty extreme hostility from anonymous readers who are under the impression I just “don’t get” the world of sim racing. Though I’m too lazy to source exact comments, the general tone from some users implied that the numerous ultra-bland products labelled by the community as “hardcore simulators” are perfectly fine the way they are, and vocalizing the idea that they’re actually unfinished science projects was supposedly due to my own personal tastes. Truth be told, I have spent exponentially more time in DiRT 4 than the elitist sim racers who promptly hit the delete key over a slightly simplified driving model, but there’s still an argument to be made on this topic.

The average racing simulator – and I’m talking everything from Assetto Corsa and Automobilista, to rFactor 2, RaceRoom Racing Experience, and even Project CARS 2 – is an extremely boring affair. Regardless of which simulator you call home, the theme behind all of them is a shared concept: here are some cars, here are some tracks, and here are an enormous number of variables you can tweak before each race. The sim racing community by and large claims that merely refining your driving skills should be your primary incentive to keep loading up the application every afternoon for months on end, but this poses the question of what happens when your driving skill reaches a level where relentless practice is no longer required?

The answer is that there’s no reason to play, because developers fail to provide reasons to keep playing. There are no hidden cars or tracks to unlock – in fact the list of content is so similar between rival simulators, there isn’t much of a need to buy them all. There is no driving school to help you refine your skills or introduce you to new cars that are a bit daunting. In most cases, there is no Career Mode, and when it does exist, I would still label it as something that could have been accomplished in an early PlayStation 2 title. Games such as rFactor 2 don’t even provide you with a proper championship mode; fanboys encouraging you to instead keep track of points by hand on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. There is no in-game paint shop, no rocking soundtrack, no easter eggs to discover, no utterly preposterous challenges set by the developer a la F-Zero GX, and little in the way of creativity.  Online victories never reward you with anything substantial for your accomplishments, and there is no incentive to race cleanly unless you buy the sole game on the market where that’s the entire purpose of it’s existence.

Many will now launch into their trademark angry tirades, proclaiming I should shut down the website and waste my time in the array of non-serious racing games on the market such as Grid: Autosport, while questioning why I even bother with simulators (or running a simulator blog) to begin with.

It’s a very simple answer. I’ve been around this genre for an absurdly long time. There was a point just over a decade ago in which developers realized that their creations needed to not only be robust simulators, but enjoyable games on top of it. I’m simply wondering where that mentality went, and how the same people responsible for such wonderful creations suddenly threw everything to the wayside in favor of absolutely jack shit.

We start with the almighty GTR 2, which by this point should need absolutely no introduction whatsoever. Using the isiMotor engine as a base and featuring the semi-obscure FIA GT Championship, GTR 2 in retrospect is considered by many to be one of the greatest racing simulators ever conceived. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I let my buddy have my old Driving Force GT/G27 pedal setup because he’s been an observer of this sim racing thing for quite some time (we used to tear it up on DiRT 2 back in the day, so by no means is he a shit driver), and to get him started he picked up GTR 2 on Steam for eight dollars – I think most will agree this is a fine starting point.

We’ve turned a lot of laps on this game over the past few weeks.

GTR 2 has existed for over a decade. It does not feature a dynamic racing line like Automobilista does. The tire model wasn’t re-written a billion times over the course of it’s lifespan like iRacing. The transmission and driveline model is pretty simplistic compared to the revisions seen in RaceRoom Racing Experience, which received heavy attention from Sector 3. There wasn’t an earth shattering patch that added downshift protection. There’s no noticeable drivetrain flex – something that came in a major iRacing update. Modern sim developers all advertised these refinements as absolutely integral to the evolution of their games, while some still kept asking why they needed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to conduct their own offline championships.

GTR 2 by comparison received a single patch in it’s lifespan, going from Version 1.0, to Version 1.1. There was no six-month-long campaign on the part of Blimey! Games to re-write the suspension code or have the car slightly shudder upon changing gears. And yet at the end of the day, my buddy remarked that he’d never driven a game before that felt so much like a real car. He’s not wrong; GTR 2 still drives in a fantastic manner, which begs the question why developers become insistent on splitting hairs over lengthy intangible physics refinements when the average person interested in these games can still be blown away with physics from 2006, sans new tire model 5.0, new surface model, new driveline model, and any other self-masturbatory bullshit?

Wouldn’t the logical progression then be to expand on the “gamey” elements, with physics improvements popping up gradually rather than being the ultimate priority?

Knowing the average person isn’t accustomed to proper competition driving techniques, GTR 2 bundled with it a detailed driving school mode to ease newcomers into the art of racecraft – never forcing them to just sort of hit the track and suck until they started to suck a bit less. The ultra-high default difficulty setting (100%) subtly worked in tandem with the school to give customers a valid reason to sit down and invest time into practicing; rather than allowing users to drop the AI speed to 65% and bomb around like an idiot for their participant badge, they’d have tangible goals to work towards. Once the school was completed, users would then have another mountain to climb in partaking in the game’s numerous championships against rather stout AI to unlock the pieces of hidden content.

You could argue that these elements weren’t much, but what they did was imply Blimey! Games understood that their simulator also had to function as a game. GTR 2 was not a bland sandbox with “some cars and tracks that you can race on,” catering only to hardcore sim racers who are thrilled just to attack a track in isolation with their car of choice. On top of providing a very competent set of driving physics that really didn’t require any major refinements, GTR 2 gave you a set of goals to actually go out and achieve. You didn’t have to be a hardcore auto racing fan to enjoy GTR 2; if you liked cars and weren’t a terrible driver, GTR 2 allowed you to sit down, improve your skills, and chase some dragons while perfecting the skills required for sports car racing in the process. You know, like a game.

This is partially why people were so excited for the inevitable third entry in the series and beyond; what would Blimey! do next? Would we have a career mode in which you could buy, sell, and upgrade cars? Would there be a paint booth, so those without photoshop could still rock a custom livery? Would there be special time trial events set by the developers with ridiculous times to achieve, and rewards like extra cars or tracks for those to complete them? Now that the driving physics had been nailed down, the sky was the limit for the GTR franchise to evolve as a game.

GTR Evolution launched a few years later as a paid expansion pack for an entirely different game. Some cars, some tracks, the end. Several years later, RaceRoom Racing Experience – what you could call a spiritual successor to GTR Evolution – doesn’t have a driving school, wet weather driving, custom liveries, or even tire pressures for the hardcore guys to adjust; press releases and message board rumors instead masturbate over endless physics refinements for what is included.

Disappointment is an understatement considering I still remember buying GTR 2 from Best Buy.

Developers and fanboys alike then turn around and wonder why outspoken personalities such as myself are calling their games “eternal science projects.” I’m sorry that some of us have merely been around long enough to remember when games built in the exact same genre for the exact same target audience also had to function as entertainment.

Shifting gears, EA Sports snatched up the exclusive license to NASCAR in 2003, marking the end of Papyrus dominating the PC sim racing market with their hyper-realistic simulators built on an improved version of the Grand Prix Legends engine. To metaphorically put the nail in the coffin, EA Sports then launched NASCAR Sim Racing in February of 2005, which was intended to replace the Papyrus classic NASCAR Racing 2003 Season by providing sim racers with better physics, a modern set of stock car racing rules, and improved online netcode.

I don’t want to say there was huge support for the title, but a lot of people were curious at the time if EA Sports could genuinely invade a market they weren’t all that familiar with, and provide a valid platform for the hardcore guys to make use of. NASCAR had changed as a sport since the final Papyrus title – a new title sponsor, new cars, a new points system, and some new race procedures – so there was a genuine reason for EA to at least try their hand at the matter.

NASCAR Sim Racing was a brutal game; if you think Project CARS is the pinnacle of sim racing disappointment, you simply haven’t been around long enough. The launch and subsequent post release support from EA was so abysmal, those who did support what EA Sports were trying to do in the oval racing market opted to remain playing the vanilla version of NSR – these were the days of manually downloading and installing a patch executable, none of this automatic stuff from Steam. Though the game did do NASCAR fans a favor by including all three major series – and their respective tracks – in the base package, virtually every other portion of the game was either incomplete, or flat-out inferior to the aging Papyrus title. Just by the lack of third party paint schemes and mods available at the now deceased Blackhole Motorsports, you knew that NSR’s days were numbered from launch.

However, NASCAR Sim Racing still brought with it some excellent ideas.

Traditionally reserved for the EA Sports console releases, the extensive Career mode in which you progress through the three primary NASCAR series while upgrading your car and signing sponsors had now been implemented into the PC game, again implying that EA Sports knew a simulator also had to function as entertainment, and not a generic sandbox for just a few hundred extremely dedicated users. The liveries you could select from weren’t all that aesthetically pleasing, the vehicle models were woefully inaccurate, and there wasn’t much in the name of immersion – just a few additional menus in which you could allocate sponsors or upgrade development time – but the existence of such a mode conveys that the developers of NASCAR Sim Racing saw value in expanding beyond a sandbox.

In fact, this was actually the second time a career mode had been implemented into the PC version of an EA Sports NASCAR title.

The developers responsible were Image Space Incorporated, the same developers who eight years later would entirely omit a single player championship feature in rFactor 2, and whose fanboys would try and convince sim racers to use Microsoft Excel to keep track of championship points in lieu of the feature’s omission.

rFactor 2 doesn’t sting because it fails to match up in terms of features compared to Forza Motorsport 7 – the two titles aren’t even trying to accomplish the same thing. No, rFactor 2 stings because Image Space Incorporated were fully capable of building a game with some kind of rudimentary single player progression system that gave people an incentive to keep racing, and for whatever reason, deemed it no longer to be necessary now that Electronic Arts was out of the picture. Let me break this down for you real quick: Electronic Arts is now the biggest gaming company in the world, while Image Space Incorporated were forced to part ways with rFactor 2 and give the keys to Studio 397 because they had no idea how to make their title relevant.

rFactor 2 would have been an insanely wild ride if ISI opted to include some sort of single player campaign mode that could be modded and re-configured by the game’s users; imagine with simple text editing and image file replacement, a Blancpain Endurance mod in the same fashion of the screenshot above. Picture downloading a mod that not only gave you a fleet of modern GT3 cars to drive at your leisure as you would in a modern simulator, but also converted the game’s default “campaign” mode into a six race schedule, allowed you to purchase a car, upgrade it, and sign a bunch of well known European brands and sponsors?

Suddenly you’ve got a decent reason to play rFactor 2.

Image Space Incorporated refused to continue down this path. “Here are some cars, some tracks, and some incomprehensible babble about new our thermonuclear tire model” they said. “Studio 397 will now be taking over development of rFactor 2,” they said. And I have no sympathy for how the situation played out. Despite the disastrous launch, I watched NASCAR Sim Racing implement some genuinely good ideas into the world of PC sim racing that made me want to mess around a game I’d otherwise have no use for. I then watched this exact same team, eight years later, systematically strip all of these ideas out of their software until nothing was left aside from some cars, and some tracks.

What would a hypothetical NASCAR Sim Racing 2 look like, with an even deeper career mode? What would have happened if ISI recycled the remains of this mode for rFactor 2, but let users modify the shit out of it? Their own schedule, their own cars, their own tracks, and their own sponsors to paste on the cars? Suddenly you’ve got a reason to boot up rFactor 2 again, and again, and again.

We don’t have that. We have a sandbox – some cars, some tracks, and endless physics revisions, even though the average sim racer couldn’t find fault in the original driving model that justified such an extreme pursuit of perfection. The fact that there are still leagues run using the original rFactor, such as the Historic Sim Organization, which pump out brand new mods with each passing year, is a testament to that fact.

Yet in ten years, developers such as Image Space Incorporated couldn’t give us more stuff to do, or improve upon what they had clearly already built. They instead gave us less.

And it’s for these reasons why many within the sim community began to refer to Assetto Corsa as a Chris Harris hotlap Simulator, in reference to the popular automotive journalists who frequently takes out exotic supercars on empty race tracks for his YouTube videos.

Assetto Corsa is not the first game of it’s kind to exist. While in past articles I’ve deemed the Kunos Simulazioni product to be a spiritual successor to the very first Need for Speed, a more adept comparison would be to Enthusia Professional Racing. Developed by Konami for Sony’s PlayStation 2, Enthusia wasn’t so much of a direct shot at the Gran Turismo franchise, but instead an attempt at creating a game centered around highly authentic driving physics. Konami, long before anyone else, had caught on to the fact that Gran Turismo had prioritized car collecting and car culture above a realistic driving model, so the team instead worked to win people over with a much better sensation behind the wheel despite a smaller list of vehicles and locations.

Does this motive sound familiar? That’s because it is; Assetto Corsa is a now multi-platform title after several years spent as a PC exclusive, because Kunos Simulazioni believed a portion of console racers would value high quality driving physics over the meta-game of car collecting. To their credit, they were correct. A lot of people bought Assetto Corsa, whether it be for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

These people then complained that Assetto Corsa had very little to see and do, despite an acceptable array of cars and locations.

Despite being the same game at first glance – both Enthusia and Assetto prioritized driving physics while featuring a hodgepodge of around 200 cars and a variety of locations – Enthusia succeeded and generated a tangible cult following for one simple reason; there was a game built around it.

Enthusia’s career mode was designed as a complex role playing game taking place in a dynamic ecosystem, offering users greater rewards and quicker progression for intentionally punching above their weight class. Whereas Assetto Corsa offered some extremely generic themed events that you’d be none the wiser for completing, Enthusia challenged you to enter races in a vehicle not quite suited for the job, scolded you for bad driving, and gave you several objectives to complete for your own personal benefit – more cars, tracks, and upgrades awaited beyond each locked door.

Both games brought highly authentic driving physics to the console masses, approximately a decade a part. One offered an entire world to explore, points to earn, an incentive to challenge yourself and race cleanly, while the other merely handed you some cars and some tracks.

Kunos had ten years to study a game that was trying to accomplish the exact same goals as their own work. They didn’t, and then complained that the console crowd is “tough to please.”

I was alive and coherent during the time when developers realized simulators also needed to double as pieces of entertainment, or in simpler terms, games. Better yet, I personally remember being excited at the future of the genre, because I thought the features listed as “new” back then would be a sign of things to come.

“What would GTR 3 look like?” – I’d think to myself. GTR 2 already had a driving school, multiple championships, and unlockable content… will they possible experiment with a career mode in GTR 3? No, they wouldn’t. GTR 3 would turn into a bland expansion pack for a completely different game – just some cars and some tracks. The proper sequel to this expansion pack would also omit wet weather driving, tire pressure adjustments, and custom livery support. I would then go on the forums and see people talking about how great this game is, only to be blasted when I brought up all of the fun stuff that had suspiciously vanished over the course of a decade.

“Go play Formula One 2017”, they told me.

“Would Image Space Incorporated get their act together for NASCAR Sim Racing 2? I’d love to blast through career mode, but the original NSR has some problems.” Oh boy teenage James, if only you knew their flagship title eight years later would ship without a season mode, and people on the forums would suggest you to keep track of points from single races in a spreadsheet.

“Konami had a good thing going with Enthusia, I wonder if the next game will be bigger?”  Incorrect; it will come from a small Italian team and not feature any sort of quirky campaign mode that defined the original game and actually made it worth playing in the first place. It will be a random collection of European cars and tracks, with an AI that doesn’t really work and severe performance issues.

Here is the sad reality; sim racing had an extremely bright future as a both a genre and hobby in the mid 2000’s, which is when all of the above games were released. There was nothing wrong with how these games drove from a physics standpoint – at least not to where they required near-infinite physics revisions post-release – and they accomplished this feat while simultaneously dabbling in game-like elements that gave people a reason to keep playing. The hardcore guys were satisfied by the driving experience alone, while those on the outside looking in could at least try one of these titles out of curiosity, and come away with a mostly positive experience.

Sim racing could have been incredible. The door was essentially wide open for developers to keep improving on an already solid foundation. I don’t think anyone really understands the optimism seen around RaceSimCentral in the mid 2000’s. All Blimey needed to do was take GTR 2 and add just a few more bells and whistles than the previous game. It wasn’t difficult.

Then something happened.

The driving schools were eradicated. Then wet-weather driving disappeared for the genre’s most prolific release, what we know as the original rFactor. Career mode was seen as an afterthought and maybe a bit excessive when a basic season mode would be “enough”, but championship support soon followed. The ability to select your paint job for an online race disappeared, as did custom livery support in select games. Suddenly, “fixed setup racing” became a thing, because learning the in’s and out’s of race car mechanical adjustments was “too hard” for alleged enthusiasts. Night racing was lost. Safety cars were lost. Rolling starts were lost. The ability to jump the start? Yep, that too was cut. Brake fade? Cut.

And they weren’t replaced with anything. This is the key takeaway from this article. Myself and others have not been advocating for pieces of software the developers are incapable of producing. We’re merely wondering why they stopped in the first place.

People like myself, who were around for the golden age of sim racing, are now wondering what the fuck happened to the genre. For voicing the observation that the scene is now polluted with eternal science projects, we’re also being told that none of this actually matters, and sim racing isn’t for us. In some instances, the features, modes, and other little additions we’ve request, only to be shot down fanboys on claims they’re “not essential for sim racing” were once implemented without question by these same developers they’re trying to make excuses for!

Hardcore racing simulators will probably never be on the level of Formula One 2017 in terms of being able to receive R&D reports from a walking, talking avatar sporting your team’s appropriate polo shirt. And that’s okay; I think we can all understand Formula One have probably given Codemasters a blank cheque to do whatever is necessary to push out a premium product. But from 2005 to 2006, sim racing was on a path to be well worth the thousands some would inevitably spend on high-end hardware to pilot virtual race cars, and asking for an improved campaign mode or God forbid night racing in an upcoming game certainly didn’t seem like an awfully preposterous demand.

Yet suddenly, it is. And those who assist in defending the complacency of certain developers are partially responsible for this scenario manifesting in the first place.

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244 thoughts on “Where Sim Racing *Could* Be

  1. The Rumor: Enthusia was a flop, but Polyphony Digital was so impressed by the level of detail in the game’s driving physics, lead physics developer Yutaka Ito was acquired in time for Gran Turismo’s jump to the Playstation 3.

    The Reality: Several message boards appear to treat this claim as fact. Both GTPlanet and NeoGAF threads pop up mentioning this little piece of trivia when looking up “Yutaka Ito Polyphony Enthusia” on your favorite online search engine. While I’m not able to find how long Ito spent at Polyphony helping out with modern Gran Turismo releases, it appears that his guidance was lent to both Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6.

    https://pretendracecars.net/2016/02/28/five-sim-racing-rumors-you-probably-forgot-about/

    http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,100231/

    “Enthusia Professional Racing is a driving game that have extremely important place in the genre, but it is also one of the games that only few knows about.

    It has very sophisticated physics and overall simulation aspects at so many fields. It also have a truly great game-design structure, beautiful tracks and pretty good graphics.

    It still holds the crown in genre in few fields: low-speed physics, tyre-therehold physics, suspension geometry physics and simulation of automatic-gearboxes.

    However, actual SDK libraries Konami used at the end for supporting FF wheels somewhat compromised everything, because the force-feedback effects are overall very weak and you just can’t feel too connected with the car. Backthan, Konami wanted to make their own wheel for Enthusia, but that plan was scrapped because of the costs. In this video, besides the great showcase of the phhysics, you can see the beta-unit of that wheel that never reached the production phase.

    Also, this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtIJJX5y8PI showcases the real potential of the EPR physics as well.

    EPR has such amazing models of the vehicles that are still almost the greatest ever done. Just look at this beauty

    Also, EPR hold the crown of the previous-gen Nurburgring modeling. Everybody would say how GT4 has the best Nordschelife, but it is not true. Enthusia has the second greatest Nurb ever conceived in virtual world (it even had time-of-day variations and spectacular elevation-modelling), the first being this-gen one made by Polyphony Digital.

    Take a look a this: http://youtu.be/IdKEP8Zm8VY

    So much great thing about this game (replays are also something worth highlightning, great job done there) , shame how its FF effects can provide sensation good enough to make it stand out even today. However, many things EPR did backthan regarding physics are still unmatched today, more than 7 years later.

    Originally Posted by phosphor112
    Great game. I wish PD hired the Enthusia guys or physics. Fantastic simulator.

    In fact, that is exactly what they did. Once Konami disassembled the EPR team because of the poor performance of the game, many of them moved to PD. Most important guy was Head of the Physics Yutaka Ito who joined PD during the Prologue development as main associate to Akihiko Tan (Tan is the mastermind of GT-series physics from the first game). He moved from physics department to AI department during GT5 development.

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=36752126&postcount=24

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So if it is as gem as described it should have been released on PC for only there such can be appreciated enough, played enough, known enough. There are too much lazy children and GT fans on PS. Wasted efforts. 😉

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      1. 017 WEC Specification Lmp2 purpose made vehicle physics based on real data, driven in Shanghai – SuperFov setup with OSW steering system and Heusinveld Ultimate pedals.

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    2. Your quotes kinda answer James’s question…

      There isn’t enough money in sim racing. Enthusia was a sales flop, companies big enough to replicate it could see that and decided not to.

      If there were real high-level gaming companies in sim racing, the genre wouldn’t be dominated by the tiny teams of kunos, 397, and reiza. A game like AC with a single coding dev on the physics engine, and a single dev on the ui, that’s not normal for big budget games, it’s firmly in the realm of indie gaming. Indie games are not gonna get the scope of big budget games, they just don’t have the manpower.

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      1. And EA recycles the Frostbite engine, Epic the Unreal engine, Crytek the Cryengine etc etc…

        If anyone would care, what’s your point?

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  2. SMS unlearned to make sims and games. By the look of this article James should have criticized pcars2 quite heavily because what’s in this article, pcars2 barely had any of those things as in gtr2. So where’s your consistency James? Where’s your real review of the latest sms game?

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    1. [X] Career Mode
      [X] Custom livery support
      [_] Racing School
      [X] Online ranking
      [X] Rain/Night/False Starts
      [_] Safety car
      [_] Driving School
      [_] Tire pressures

      Not perfect, but much farther along than other games.

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      1. How is tire pressures the one killer physics feature for you? You really think that changes more than anything the devs actually worked on?

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      2. [X] Career Mode -> Joke
        [X] Custom livery support -> Need photoshop no inside tool. And doesnot work online
        [X] Online ranking – > Joke
        [X] Rain/Night/False Starts -> Unconsitent handling in rain, tire behaviour and AI behavioour.

        There is nothing left really.

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  3. I’ll be fucked if I ever pay for another sim with locked content.

    When I was playing a new game twice (or three) times a week to slim down the steam back catalogue I got in to the bro-fist dirt/grid/test drive etc. games and couldn’t take most of the content out for a quick blat because *reasons*

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    1. So the answer to this is going back to the good old cheat codes.
      Want to play through and unlock? Cool. Want to have freedom to drive anything? Enter this code.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. More strawman. No one said they were fine as they are.

    Comments said they were preferable to these mass market simcades you mention because we use these games to do things we can’t in real life. I can’t drive a Formula 1 car, so I play a sim that gives me a somehow believable and representative experience (unless it’s a shit mod).

    I don’t want to drive a monstruosity with a muscle car suspension that sails over high curbs, and 4WD truck tyres thatt have good grip on grass, all covered with skin of a Formula 1 car. So I stay away from Codemasters rubbish.

    Modern sims are indeed shit at many areas, but they give me what I need: satisfaction behind the wheel.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent article. Probably the single best, most well-reasoned critique of Sim Racing I’ve ever read.

    The same thing happened with flight sims. In 1999, we had dynamic campaigns and incredible mission planners. Today, we have – you guessed it – a bunch of randomly-chosen planes, maps and single missions devoid of any wider context. We have fake, scripted “campaigns” that are merely missions grouped around some theme.

    The excuse from devs (for flight sims) is that their teams are too small to code these highly complex dynamic campaigns or detailed mission planners. So, by way of compensation, they include ridiculous shit like the *entire 30 minute startup sequence* on an attack helicopter that you will *never* be able to fly IRL (ie it’s not in any way useful for someone using the software to practice).

    Like modern driving sims, once you’ve completely mastered the various weapon systems and avionics, you’re left with little reason to keep going.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Even though “James” is a bigoted misogynistic hatebreeder I have to say, yes. He nailed it, and your comparison to old flight sims is spot on. I still play nearly 15 years old sim with dynamic campaign, quite simplified avionics and a decent flight model because there’s something to DO in that one. Modern sims are often called “study sims” but only thing they study is technical systems of a specific aircraft.

      I’m The Common Gamer Racing Game Player and while I like to play the “sims” instead of “simcades”, there’s not a whole lot to do once your driving skill is on a reasonable level. Jerking off on your own hotlap replay gets old real fast.

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        1. Actually a helicopter sim: Enemy Engaged Comanche Hokum, they’ve got a lively mod community in SimHQ. Look at how time flies…it was released _18_ years ago so the game can have a drink and drive around here! (preferably not at the same time 😀 )

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          1. Oh yeah, I loved that one. I’ve got all the mods to go with my GOG copy. Very sophisticated dynamic campaign. Razorback did an amazing job with that one. I remember when the MI-24 mod came out and you had that crazy plastic fan in the cockpit 😉

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    2. While I agree that the whole deal of including Ka-50 into DCS was dubious at best, that doesn’t mean having a study level sim is something to joke about. Yes, having a proper dynamic campaign mode would place DCS on entirely another level, however, it’s still in development and since it’s not a strategy game, the priorities are now in the right department, i. e., making better physics and modeling the systems more authentic to use. If you disagree with the idea that a sim should have physics as its top priority… how about telling that to the guys making sims for the military. Just like “James”, you don’t understand the idea behind sims.

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      1. I was in the military. USAF major. Been a pilot since 1985 and have used all available commercial simulators.

        But we’re talking about games.

        You are not in the military. Go join and “play” some of the very dry simulators we had, then get back to me about how physics is everything.

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  6. Yep, because a driving school and a single player campaign in which you are forced to race for hours vs bots add a lot of replayability.

    If you want sim racing to become replayable, code a decent matchmaking system. The reward? Being able to jump in a lobby with people that know what they’re doing if you are good yourself.

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    1. But then you’ll have people that just bought the game jumping into online with little to no skill and just sucking. The idea of the race school, and ai campaign is to give you some time to learn the cars and tracks before inflicting yourself on the online community, and maybe give you some skills to have a good race online, not a crash fest.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sim developers make titles for theirselves.You can see this in the latest release of racing titles with such negative reactions.Forza 7 fans want an improved version of Forza 4 which Turn 10 has not delivered,GT Sport is not really a Gran Turismo title & Project Cars 2 is way to ambitious.Why include Rallycross,Ice racing & snow at Brands Hatch before getting AI consistant & custom championships included?

    It is pretty sad that titles such as Grand Prix 2(pit crews),Indycar 2(complete championship) & Toca Touring Cars (weather,Custom championship)had features that most sims still leave out.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pretty good article James – but after reading it I just thought WHAT?
    Do the majority of sim racing enthusiasts want an integrated driving shool and player campaign with
    locked cars as prizes to not get bored of a racing sim/game in the long run?
    If the answer like you are proposing is YES then I probably belong to a minority unable to really
    understand folks priorities.

    Personally I would be completely satisfied if I could buy a modern sim with about the same features
    as NR2003 but added a few extra goodies.

    1. A tire model at least as “realistic” and enjoyable as rF2.
    2. Day/night transistion at least as good as GTR2.
    3. A tad more intelligent AI drivers than what is existing in any sim now.
    4. An integrated matchmaker and championship managesment system that could completely supersede any awkward Career Mode.
    5. Some kind of possibility of 3rd party mods imported and approved through the official dev company.
    6. ??

    For those who have never heard about NR2003 then this sim did include an easy paint import + a rather advanced possibility of creating replay “movies” by copy and paste replay clips and manipulating pics and sound.

    Like

  9. Good article and I whole heartedly agree. There is so much more these devs could be giving us but, for one reason or another, they don’t.

    Things like a dynamic career mode, instead of the canned careers with the same canned weather effects, if you choose to run the same series as the “year” prior, seeing guys you race in junior series come up into higher series with you, an ability to paint your damn car like was basic function in IndyCar racing and NASCAR racing from over 20 years ago, etc.

    I’m still hopeful these things will eventually be implemented/reimplantation. It’s the biggest complaint I have about AC. The game feels great but, beyond that, it is very boring. Adding custom championships helpef, rather than just running hotlaps all the time but I still find my interest waining from time to time.

    Like

    1. For AC, about the only thing I do anymore are the Challenges. Those are pretty fun and I’d like them to expand on that.

      I’m fairly time-deprived, so it’s really cool to be able to just sit down and start racing in some sort of reasonably-compelling scenario where everything’s been set up beforehand.

      The scoring system gives me that “Let’s try just once more” feeling.

      Like

      1. I’m in the same boat. Between work, putting myself back in school for the next 3 years and having a daughter who is playing high level travel fastpitch, it doesn’t leave a ton of time for me to fire up the wheel and race a whole lot.

        That being said, I’m not a huge fan of one off events. I get more enjoyment out of being able to race in a championship and have the game keep track of my progress and points. I like to concentrate on one car for a bit instead of jumping around from car to car, like you would in the challenges.

        Different strokes for different folks.

        Like

        1. Probably the biggest overall problem I have with modern racing games is the lack of a custom championship feature, which is why I got into Grid Autosport so much, the TOCA 4 no one really was expecting and more recently RaceRoom Racing Experience. They sure do have a bunch of random content, but you can actually do something that makes sense with it. You choose your parameters once and then you get weeks of pick-up enjoyment.

          Project CARS 2 is hurt even more by this, because it’s so frustrating to have all these well-designed Motorsports presets and the wealth of track layouts for all types of cars and still have to hop around. Of course, the AI inconsistencies with weather changes and certain circuits would limit these choices, but I’d manage to enjoy it.

          Are single-player championships on the road map?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I dunno man. I love PC2 and the AI is actually fairly OK in the dry, but it’s a real bummer to have to disable all the cool weather shit because the AI freaks out when it gets a little damp.

            I kinda stopped messing with it when I started doing lap times 10-15s per lap faster than the AI in the wet.

            Can you tell me if the AI at least knows to pit and change to rain tires? Who knows, maybe that’s part of the problem.

            Like

            1. Yes, I was racing at Knockhill in the TC and they pitted for tires, but then of course they were slow as fuck in the rain so I lapped everybody by the end. At least using multiclass creates some action when things fuck up like this. Another time, they pitted on the last lap, but that might have been because the top class had finished the race, so the other class crossed the finish line in the pits.

              I genuinely think they can fix this, but I also thought Codemasters could fix Dirt 4, so what the fuck do I know? At least SMS have a lot of DLC to release, so they can’t just run to another project like CM.

              Like

              1. Just pray they don’t *concentrate* on the goddamn DLC aka “Continued Revenue”.

                Very frustrating atm to have this amazing sim with essentially one flaw that happens to severely affect an offline-racer like me. The AI is OK in the dry at least.

                I’m telling you: S397 or ISI (also Simbin) should just license their AI code out. It would save everyone a shitload of time and wheel reinvention.

                Then again, WTF do I know about programming. Maybe the AI is inextricably linked to the physics engine or something, thus preventing this sort of “middleware” approach.

                Like

                1. They can decide to code physics, tires and other “rules” for the AI, which will be less taxing for the CPU, but might cause weird behaviour, like cars being able to accelerate where the player has to slow down, more grip on exit, etc. or they can choose to make the AI use the same physics as the player, but the AI is not smart enough to coast a little bit instead of braking quickly 50 times, and it’s jerking the wheel like crazy like in rFactor 2, etc.

                  And then the AI has to treat the player differently from the other cars because its physics are different, and it doesn’t have magic reaction times like the AI cars, and also one AI logic has to drive different cars, tires, grip levels, weight distribution, etc. and can’t handle everything, so it breaks.

                  And since PC2 has almost everything, the AI will break more often. I’m sure surprised at how well it handles many situations though, even in heavy multiclass traffic, I’ve had some great fun. But yeah, that’s in the dry, so the random weather thing is pretty useless right now.

                  As for middleware, if you can import lighting, animations, objects, physics, etc. I’m sure AI can be applied or shoehorned in somehow.

                  Like

  10. Yup, they are eternal science projects with lost of missing features. Tru dat. But the outcry might not have ben such had you been honest about the state of Project CARS 2. This and only this.

    Because it does look like you are deliberately belittling other sims only to make your PC2 appear supperior, which it is not, even though it has rain and stuff; its dwindling popularity borne out by Steam statistics.

    And people don’t like that.

    Like

    1. I switched to the public build of pCars 2 a few nights ago as Will Marsh of SimRacingPaddock was hosting/streaming some races. My beta build is admittedly different than what the normies have, so I wanted to see why there are a bunch of people blowing up my phone every day saying shit like “PCARS 2 IS UNPLAYABLE HOW DOES IAN BELLS COCK TASTE YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL” or variations thereof.

      Least I could do is check it out for myself.

      We ended up doing a 35 minute race at Monza, multi-class between LMP900 and GTE. It was a 12 car grid. (4am local time)

      1. No timing/scoring errors.
      2. No cars spawned backwards/upside down on the grid.
      3. The rear view mirror doesn’t disappear if you use the “Lite” HUD type, which I do anyways because I like the minimalist gauge cluster.
      4. The lights all went out for everyone at the same time.
      5. The netcode was fine. I raced a guy in a Bentley Speed 8 for the lead until he ran out of fuel and had to pit at the halfway mark. This included door-banging into turn one and some hairy moments around lapped cars.

      I do not see how this experience was “unplayable.”

      My only major takeaway was that I’m still shocked at how absurdly bad the average sim racer is. I am NOT an alien, maybe Cyborg is a more appropriate term, but I still feel quite lonely out there.

      Like

      1. That first corner wreck looks like you conquered a really highly skilled lobby there Austin. I can see why you are so proud of it.

        Like

        1. You’ve drawn rather simple assertions.

          Proceed to level three and think outside the box of what you’re looking at, because it holds the answers to a few questions people have been asking.

          Like

      2. Couple of issues I spotted while watching his stream, at 5:35:50, 20 minute race ends abruptly after 1 lap, at 7:52:15 his lobby crashed without warning during the race and he lost around 50 rank points because of that.

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  11. Why dont you just pick a decent online session and whatever car and race, almost noone needs a scripted career mode with unlockables. Most people just want to drive and have fun, got even no interest in playing in a ranked online league. I know its hard to imagine, but you should by now be ok with any simcade title for what you pursue, sell your PC and wheel and just have a blast playing playstation. You gotta confess without a triple screen setup or a solid DD wheel, you didn’t take this hobby too seriously anyway…so why all that crying around about missing features and shit, your setup is barely entry level why moan about missing realism using a G29?sure a bit better than your driving force, but a red fiat 500 becomes no ferrari only because you put a sticker on it

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    1. Austin may not have triples or a “solid DD wheel”, but I’ve seen his replays.

      I’d much rather have his driving skills than a bunch of compensatory simgeek paraphernalia.

      Like

      1. I think his setup is indicative of someone who’s naturally fast.

        “I don’t care about the track conditions, visibility, debris, temperature, tires, rattling, I just want to go as fast as this thing can go and beat everybody.”

        Rich middle-of-the-pack simtards think they get an edge by spending thousands of dollars on toys after “asking the wife, I’m so cucked, LOL”. That’s how you end up with deluded morons like the one above saying that James is “not serious”, while he’s just won two Rookie of the Year awards in real life in two different types of cars and dominates almost every online event he enters.

        I still hope that some VR dudes will send James the Samsung Odyssey and Pimax 8K to try with the recent racing games, because these will finally be good enough to make a difference. In his recent interview with Shaun Cole, Richie Hearn was talking about how immersive VR is, even though the visual quality is poor, and then he went on and on shilling for iRacing, of course.

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        1. Those look great but you’ll need a couple of 1080ti’s in SLI to push all those pixels.

          Agreed on the simgeeks who think you need all this super expensive shit to be quick. What you really need is enough spare time to practice with what you have (assuming it’s a G25 or better).

          Younger folks tend to have more time than money. Older people have money and no time.

          Then you die 😉

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          1. “Agreed on the simgeeks who think you need all this super expensive shit to be quick.”

            That’s bullshit. First good equipment is about immersion and this shitty rig from “James” is a pure fun-killer. He can’t fucking enjoy the driving because it doesn’t feel like real driving because his fucking rig is a fucking joke.

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              1. So how can “fancy toys doing all the work”? Some people are competitive with a gamepad even in AMS and AC. Is this sim-racing already or do you need a plastic wheel and shitty pedals to call it that?

                Like

      2. I have a solid DD-wheel among other “simgeek”-stuff and winning online-races with full servers and high skilled competition. Better pull your stupid head out of Austin’s ass.

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                1. My mainboard is broken i wrote before your post a bit more down. I forgot to make a Screenshot as well like i normally do. I’m at C1586 atm and won 11 races from 42 or so in pCars2 so far if i remember right. I hope i get a new board and case tomorrow.

                  I’m normally not winning so often and a huge part is my setup. I feel the first time i’m fully in control of the cars and the physics in PC2 are just amazing, but FFB alone is maybe not communicating this enough. I personally like it, because it feels real, sometimes subtle and not exaggerated like in other titles, but more SimVibe-shakers helping a lot to feel each tyre. And what is the fucking problem about it? You can get a full SimVibe chassis and Seat config for less than 700 Euros in Germany, and two shakers for 300 including software are far better than nothing. With VR, good pedals and a decent wheel (IMO least important) you get the best simulation value.

                  I spent a few grants to this beloved hobby and a few grants to other hobbies like cycling. A good bicycle it about the same. You buy cheap, you buy twice or more. Just yesterday somebody wrote under a video, he broke two TX-wheels and is now very happy with this TC-Racer or whatever it’s called. He could have bought an OSW or Accuforce already, which may hold up 10 years but instead bought chinese trash the third time. How stupid is this?

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                  1. PS: Fanatec stuff let me down quite some times as well. Especially the drivers are more hit & miss, but small parts of their great looking stuff broke too soon as well. Since I buy highend, I’ve no problems of this kind in the last two years. Everything just works:) I just regret I didn’t buy better equipment from the beginning.

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                  2. mate do you actually think winning 11 public lobby races in pcars means anything as to your ability. James has already demonstrated that 99% of simracers can’t even keep their car on track for more than 2 laps, never mind drive at a decent pace. try driving in a proper organised competition in a sim that has a proper pool of actual properly talented drivers. i.e. not project cars

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                    1. I won not only public server races and the ranking-system telling me how good people are. But even on public-online servers you likely find a few good drivers, especially when over 20 are on the server. Minimum-safety-rating should be on and avoiding low-ranking GT3-servers helps.

                      Like

                  3. I don’t know. I’ve still got a G25, a CSRE and now a TX. I’ve never had a wheel break. Then again, I don’t run them at max power constantly and generally have good luck with hardware for some reason (cars included). Anyway, I was just making a joke. Glad you’re enjoying your setup.

                    Like

                    1. I had a TX before the Accuforce and this is a lousy piece of hardware. The FFB was fading a lot during races and even disappeared during hot summerdays. The “quick”-release is so poor designed and the wheel will get loosen regularly after some time. So when buttons suddenly not working anymore, check if this plactic-tube-shit is still in place. And during summer buy some extra fan that points just to the base.

                      Like

                    2. Although I’ve had an AF for a few years, I really enjoyed my prior TX.

                      Only my opinion, but of all the wheels I’ve previously owned (Fanatec CSR-E, CSW V1, CSW V2, TX, AF), the TX was my second favorite.

                      Not that powerful, but for some reason, I really loved it.

                      Liked by 1 person

      1. Without a stock car shell with VR and 30K of credit card debt at 19% interest or more, how can someone claim to be serious about his hobby?

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    2. Because online racing is terrible outside of leagues and generally still lacking in motivating factors even in leagues.

      >Most people
      If this were really the case AMS wouldn’t have such an abysmal player count right now.

      Like

  12. The “ideal” sim described by this article (more than just a hotlap simulator with a nice polished career and great production values) is only possible for a AAA studio with a massive staff.
    Reiza, Studio 397, and other devs are not such studio and have limited resources. So they prioritize features generally in favor of the sim aspect rather than the game aspect. And that’s OK because unless they get bigger, they cannot do otherwise.
    It is much more difficult to produce highly detailed graphics (cars, tracks, animations) today than it was at the time of GTR2’s prime. This is a problem for these smaller studio that cannot really compete on this vs mentioned AAA studios. The closest to this is SMS with PC2 but instead of directing all its attention to a few motorsport series and polishing the hell out of it (think F1 2017), it diluted its effort in zillions things, disappointing many.
    I’m sure Turn 10 or Polyphony Digital could make the ultimate hardcore sim if they wanted to. Except they will never to this because this is not what sells and sim racing is really niche (looking at steam numbers) and will stay that way. Even PC2 with its higher production values than other sims is not doing that great (at least on Steam).

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    1. You’re probably right. At least, that’s what my flight sim devs tell me as well.

      They’re too small to do the complex stuff that the AAA budgets of the past allowed.

      Sic transit gloria mundi…

      Like

    2. Not true, look at gtr2.
      It just requires a difference in focus. Right now the devs are so focused on physics, and tires they’re ignoring the rest of the elements around it. This would be fine if they were making a sim to be used at driver training centers, or for a race team, but if they want any sort of appeal, to sell more units, they need to put effort into the rest of the package.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t know why the devs keep piling on all this meaningless detail. When I was cresting the hill under the Nissan bridge at Road Atlanta back in the 80’s, trying to nail my turn-in point for the blind apex just on the other side off the hill (this was before they neutered the last section), the last thing I was thinking about was “Gosh, I need to adjust my line to compensate for driveline elasticity”. That’s not how you drive. You work with what you’re given, and the car is just a tool, a means to an end.

        Anyway, not to beat this to death, but I really think they need to declare victory in The War on Physics Simulation – and move on to actually recreating real racing series. The cars in AC, rF2, PC2 – fuck, even rF1 and FM7 – they all drive *good enough* right now. What none of those games does well is recreate a racing series. PC2 has, IMHO, the most outright potential but (again) they gotta fix the way AI deals with weather changes.

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        1. What I think it boils down to is the quality in racing wheels has risen, therefore devs figure they needed to step up their physics to match the jump in wheel technology.

          I mean DD wheels weren’t even a thought, 20 years ago. Now, they’re starting to become affordable enough that they may well be the standard within the next 10 years much like we saw the rise with pulley type wheels.

          Like

  13. “Some cars, some tracks, the end.”

    Four seasons of the WTCC and two seasons of the STCC (all with a fully complete set of tracks for each season), two seasons of the Camaro Cup, Formula 3000 and Formula Masters. Then add all the extra fun content and tracks to find Race07 is about as “complete” as any race sim should be.

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      1. Yeah, sadly all the bloody leagues for these sims have been gone for some time. Its fortunate that the ai however, is fantastic in Simbin titles (or at least I find).

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      2. As you race in public lobbies, don’t shy away and add racers that put up a clean fight. As time goes by, you’ll eventually have couple driver that will accept invite on the go.

        Works well enough on my side.

        Like

  14. I remember NASCAR SimRacing. Here’s a basic review of the game:

    Sound: Unless you’re the only car on the track, the sound is very, very bad. The other cars will constantly drown you out and there’s nothing you can do about it!

    AI: The AI are about as bad as it can get. From hitting the walls on the pace lap to hitting you if you lag too far behind on a pace lap, to lagging way too far behind on the caution laps, the AI seem to be there for the sole purpose of making your life miserable. And they’ll take over your vehicle if it takes on too much damage, regardless of whatever text files you edit.

    Race Control: Just disable the cautions all together, it’s THAT bad.

    Spectating: Unless you’re on an online race, once you confirm that you want to quit the race, the simulator immediately shows you the results of that race. You can however, spectate on the qualifying session. You’ll always be last to qualify.

    Graphics: Modern computers have no trouble running this simulator at full detail regardless of what you paid for it. Though the shaddows have a bit of Z-fighting.

    Physics: The aerodynamic torque on on part of the car (I think the spoiler) is too high. The car is very controllable even though you’re drifting up to 20 degrees in the high-speed corners. Cutting it in half will allow you to drive straight in without slowing you down (it’ll also make it easier to spin if you’re too aggressive). Tire heating and wear is incorrect (left sides wear and heat up instead of right sides), but at least the general premise of more heat = more grip is in the game.

    Career Mode: Could be greatly improved upon. A couple of bugs are (a) you can’t change your number from the default if you advance to the next series and (b) the year is always 2004, no matter how many seasons you run for. Really it’s the career mode that makes the game worth playing.

    Modding: Vehicles can be modded easily with a text editor (physics) and a combination of modeling programs. Don’t expect anything from track mods though. They won’t work. When I did my Las Vegas rebank (using sandbox to recreate the geometry from scratch), I had to trace the EA Sports geometry almost exactly to accommodate the AI. My rebanked version was the ONLY version to actually have the 20 degrees of banking. Imported/custom tracks don’t work well in the simulator.

    Driving School: What driving school?

    ———————————————————————

    I think my own simulator is the way to go (which is what I’m doing). These modern simulators really have nothing worth playing on. And RaceRoom is complete garbage as a racing sim.

    Like

  15. That’s the Forza syndrome: after spending time with a racing game that’s actually fun and incentive you to play, you can’t look again with the same eyes to the run-of-the-mill PC sim.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love FM7, man. That new Nissan Bluebird Super Silhouette is absolutely one of the most entertaining simulated cars I’ve ever driven.

      Slinging it around in the rain at the ‘Ring with 23 AI cars is epic fun. Set steering to 810 degrees IIRC.

      Like

    2. I played Forza 5, 7 and Horizon 2 this weekend because i need a new motherboard for the PC first. And what should i say: FM is the biggest bullshit i can’t enjoy at all. Driving with a fucking gamepad make this kind of fake shitty but difficult physics just a pain in the ass. Forza Horizon on the other hand is kind of fun for some time in between, unique concept, handles much better with a controller, great physics for an Arcade-game plus many new and unique tracks. But certainly no concept for a simulator.

      Like

  16. Why not both? I mean I understand the tone of this place is part of it’s personality. But seriously, why not both?

    Im as noob as it gets having just gotten into the “hobby” a couple years ago but I still actually very much love the polish stuff and tinkering “science experiment” teams do. You don’t have to be some wizard of the race track to appreciate the little stuff in my opinion. But that said, I also 100% agree in every way with your rightfully repeated notion that there is not enough video game in these titles. And because of this its no surprise the community remains small (and shockingly/notshockingly many prefer it that way…?). Heck, I wish I had someone to tell me I was better off starting on an ancient game than the latest! Because I had to read decade old pdf’s and shuffle through hours of YouTube videos to learn the basics of racing/sims/rules instead of some sort of driving school or semblance of a tutorial. Then I had to read more decade old pdf’s about the concepts of each garage option rather than having a popup of their descriptions in game. I had to wait on pins and needles for a tool to make custom championships easier than manually editing files. I had to be told to stop being a forever alone loser if I wanted a racing experience until AI was improved someday. I had to download painstakingly crafted mods of specific series to enjoy fudged tiered AI talent on the track and finding the good ones were needles in the haystack of bad conversions just for the sake of throwing models into the newest game. I find the fun turning 100s of laps, especially during the earlier learning phases. But things to do vs. content could certainly use a lot more balance in these titles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You made some good points, and if you look at some of the older articles here, you’ll hear the same complaints.

      Essentially, the problem is that a lot of these sims never really make it out Beta. It’s cool if *some* sims are that way, but when *everything* that comes out is somewhat half-baked and missing major features (weather, night racing, good AI, tire pressures, career modes, training modes, etc), it gets old real fast.

      I can’t name a single sim that is feature-complete except for the simcades (F1 2017 and FM7). Oddly enough, those games (despite some failings in terms of their physics) are also, by far, the most enjoyable ones to actually play (as opposed to arguing on the forums about) right now.

      PC2 could easily join them (and thereby become the first “real simulator” to be feature-complete like games from 2000-2005) once they get the AI fixed up.

      Speaking of PC2: If I could give SMS any advice, it would be this. Fix the AI for one track at a time. Concentrate on just a few different car types for now (GT3/GTE, GTO, Group C – those would be great). And most importantly, let us know exactly which tracks and cars have had their AI updated, so we can test it out and give you useful feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you have a very funny idea of “enjoyable to play”. I wouldn’t touch F1 2017 career with a ten foot pole. Racing muscle cars with a F1 skin on top vs stupid bots is boring. A single stint by myself on ACs F2004 will make me enjoy more than one full season of being subjected to F1 2017.

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        1. You’re delusional if you think AC’s F2004 is anywhere close to being that good. It’s a massive letdown.

          >muscle cars with a F1 skin on top
          Learn to drive. If you’re one of those people who couldn’t get the traction right in 2016, then you’re just flat-out bad and it completely devalues any and all arguments you might have.

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          1. F1 games are shit in traction zones. The car slides all the time but a 95 years old man could catch them without trying hard. The problem is not that it’s too hard, the problem is it’s too easy.

            “Massive letdown” would describe really well F1 2017 classic cars. Should have kept the money in my pocket, I thought it would kill my thirst for mid 00s F1s but until Kunos released theirs I drove something completely unrelated with a F2004 skin. It’s a complete joke, especially on corner exit.

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            1. Fair point, yeah, the classic cars are terrible. Some are fun (MP4-13), but the cars as a whole are every bit as arcadey as the 2013 ones and quickly run their course.

              >Should have kept the money in my pocket
              Your problem for not refunding within the first two hours.

              Like

            2. Again, more bullshit and Codemasters hate.

              Codemasters F1 games WERE shit in traction zones, but F1 2017 happens to be sublime in traction zones. Absolutely sublime, better than AC any day of the week.

              And the classic cars in f1 2017 are equally sublime, with a few exceptions. The single seaters in AC on the other hand are pure shit. Infinite amount of grip, that can only be unsettled by kerbs and once you overstep that ridiculously narrow limit of adhesion you’re fucked and there is nothing you can do about it.

              Not realistic and not fun to drive. But hey, if you’ve accepted AC as the ultimate standard of versimilitude then yeah, I can see how you’re going to hate f1 2017.

              Like

              1. F1 2017 IS shit in traction zones, both with current and classic cars. Everything starts sliding too easily and then is too easy to control. Driving out of corners with huge slip angles is fast and that´s utterly stupid.

                The single seaters in AC (even in PCARS1 and 2) pee and defecate over anything Codemasters has ever barfed out. In AC you can´t abuse huge curbs, in AC you can´t use the grass, in AC you can´t sustain huge slip angles. As for the “infinite grip” I´ll take 2 things for granted: 1) you aren´t talented enough to drive them on the edge. 2) You can´t set them up to get rid of understeer.

                Leaderboard times for the cars and tracks present in both games are invariably faster in Codemasters games. Talk about infinite grip…

                The only standard I´m using is real life, and AC gets way closer. Which isn´t a big deal as Codemasters doesn´t even produce anything remotely reminiscent of an F1.

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                1. The F1 cars in AC are on rails and I get bored of driving them within 5 minutes.

                  Also it’s pretty obvious that you haven’t even played F1 2017, because if you had you would know that the grass is as slippery as hell and hitting a kerb too hard, or even at the wrong angle results in getting chucked into the wall.

                  And the traction in F1 2017 is sublime with the wheel shuddering in my hands as I apply power and the car trying to get away from me and requiring minute corrections with the steering and throttle. In AC you pretty much just floor it. That’s it.

                  I got the 70th anniversary pack for AC yesterday and the ferrarif2004 is the only car that comes close to what F1 F2017 has to offer. The 2017 f1 car is the same shit as the other modern single seaters: limitless grip rails and nothing much happens on th throttle unless you drive like an absolute idiot in which case you might be lucky to get the rear to get away from you.

                  Like

    1. You forgot the Buttkickers. Lots and lots of Buttkickers, preferably wired directly to your rectum.

      I think Kevin Spacey had a setup like that, back when he was really into sim racing.

      Like

        1. Nah. I just unhook the sub and wire it up so a dildo vibrates every time there’s any low frequency noise.

          I’m thinking about marketing this to certain under-represented groups who might get into simracing if it were a little more…stimulating.

          Maybe I could send a prototype to Broadbent and let him review it?

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            1. You missed out on the joke. There used to be a guy who shitposted these bizarre “anal prolapse” comments and it kinda became a meme here.

              That ended up segueing into open speculation that Buttkickers in particular might have a…secondary use. That kinda thing.

              “Simvibe”. Yeah.

              Like

  17. So next steps, all devs need to put all their physics guys on gardening leave, or put them to work refining other code.
    A complete 1 year ban on all physics related updates, ONLY bug fixes, and game element improvements.

    Like

  18. I tried GTR 2 for the first time because of this article. Before that it was forgotten in my massive steamlibrary and was never touched.
    What can i say? It has everything i ever wanted. Drivingschool, carreermode, drivingmodel which feels like a car, modern day cars and a AI that isnt a total desaster.
    Too bad it looks like shit. 11 year old graphics arent that pretty anymore. I prefer gameplay over graphics in general but this game really isnt a beauty.
    But i understand now why so many people are underwhelmed by modern simulators. Dont get me wrong, i invested hundreds of hours in AC, Pcars, Beamng, Dirt Rally and many more. But to see what was possibly 11 years ago is just mindblowing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are some patches for that like sweetfx or something, so that might help a bit. Anyhow, if you decide to delve deeper into the game don’t miss the chance to do some endurance races (you can save during a race) and have fun! 🙂

      Like

  19. Running a single track multiplayer server where events are just hosted like they would be in real life almost seems like heaven if you get 8-10 people to show up on race days. One track , one mod , one set of rules and getting better is actually end game. Talking games as early as 2003…
    Not interested in any new games really princely for a reason stated by James.

    Like

  20. >what happens when your driving skill reaches a level where relentless practice is no longer required?

    You’ve already hit the nail on the head there. I think it’s fair enough that a lot of people are happy with just being given the tools to practice with over and over and there have been moments where your elitism has cropped up just because you’re extremely good, and you being a SMS shill these days has perhaps made you say things that you don’t actually believe or advocate for features that would be utterly useless to you, but you absolutely have a point here: these people are often not naturally fast, and being in a similar position to yours (with nowhere near as much experience, but still with WRs and other highly competitive times in multiple serious titles) I’m primarily hampered by the exact same issues as you.

    There’s nothing to incentivize players like me to keep going in the vast majority of these sims, and without such things, it becomes much easier to notice each sim’s glaring, nasty flaws that shouldn’t exist in 2017 outside of low budget projects like AMS. The fact that it happens to be a serious contender for the title of the best pure sim right now (and my current pick in fact) in spite of an old terrible engine that too many people have gotten used to (primarily because they have no adaptability whatsoever and because their lack of skill makes up for any potential RL experiences they might have) is beyond depressing. I feel bad for Niels since he’s wasting his career working on such a small title, and I feel bad for Reiza since they’re clearly the most competent team out there right now but they’re simply too hampered by inexperience, a small team, a lack of understanding of how to properly market their games and having to cater to one of the most childish playerbases out there.

    I’d been hoping to upgrade my now battered and bruised G27 to something a bit better (easier said than done on a low budget as even a well-paying job like mine is only well-paying in relation to everything else in my country, which is almost at rock bottom by Western standards), but in this current situation, why even bother? Racing-wise, all I do these days is play F1 2017 with my friends. They’re all significantly better than the average simracer and can easily handle the toughest of the tough in any serious sim, but they all feel the exact same way that I do: one of them even uninstalled AC and AMS recently because he was getting nothing out of them anymore, while another still misses GTR2 to this day. Hell, _Motorsport Manager_ is getting significantly more attention out of me than any of these titles these days, solely because it actually gives me something to work towards while feeling like a proper well-developed game, something that I do not get in sims right now. This should not be happening, and it makes me wonder if people are generally happy with whatever little we’ve got simply because 1. they’re not good enough, and 2. they’re stuck playing “serious” “””simulators””” at an age where they should be focusing on their family instead.

    That anonymous comment at the end highlights everything that is wrong with the extended genre right now, since people are gobbling that shit up and deluding themselves more than anyone else in gaming right now.

    Like

    1. “There is nothing to motivate players in sims”… Maybe, I don’t know… The driving experience not being shit?

      You’re adorable trying to justify yourself on why you avoid products that somehow resemble a car behind the wheel. It’s really cute how you think you can drive because you can catch Codies trademark slow motion slides. Congrats for all these WR in the drag strip with unpopular car and track selections LOL.

      Like

      1. >The driving experience not being shit?
        That quickly becomes unfulfilling on its own once you’re good enough, hence why I agree with his early point. And that extends to AMS and AC as well, in which I have most of my records.

        >It’s really cute how you think you can drive because you can catch Codies trademark slow motion slides.
        Should I take that as you admitting that you can’t catch them and thus suck? Only fitting for someone of your intellect to shoot themselves in the foot at the first occasion. Little wonder why the mere driving experience “not being shit” is enough for you since mediocrity is written all over you.

        Like

        1. You know what´s fulfilling? Driving CARS. F1 games don´t give me cars, but fictional atrocities that don´t resemble anything in terms of behaviour.

          As for our driving, put your money where your mouth is. There´s a 0´1% chance of you being better than me. Here´s me driving a random event in PCARS 1.

          (This pole lap, achieved in a 15 minutes quali session where I did like 4 laps, is 3 tenths away from WR despite me driving with gearing completely optimized for heavy fuel loads and race pace)

          http://cars-stats-steam.wmdportal.com/index.php/leaderboard?track=4241994684&vehicle=2976119256

          This is me driving in AC

          (WR by a country mile until 1.14 arrived, won a weekly TT event with 35 laps clocked)

          Before I had a wheel I played these shitty F1 games. I won pretty much every league I entered and was able to attend regulary. Give me 15 minutes to get used to its backwards driving again I will walk all over you.

          Like

          1. Catching “slow-mo slides” in F1 2017 is a hell of a lot more realistic than driving within the infinite grip rails in AC, as any video of Verstappen drifting sideways in China, or Alonso four-wheel drifting through the last corner in Barcelona will demonstrate.

            Playing too much AC results on a very specific “Gestalt”, or reality tunnel, if you prefer, that makes it impossible to enjoy anything else. Give that shit up for a while and allow yourself to experience the beautiful vistas offered by other games. And yes, I said games, because that’s what they really are.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. So fucking true. People *assume* that AC “must be” more accurate than other games because…it claims to be.

              There are several cars in AC that are nearly identical to cars *I have driven IRL*, and the ones in AC feel nothing like them.

              One case in point. The McLaren P1. Having briefly driven an MP4/12C, I can tell you it has none of the weird sloppiness you get with many of the AC street hypercars. Something is either wrong with the tires or they’re injecting a lot of weird extraneous suspension movement info (or trying to simulate weight transfer through the FFB?).

              I don’t know what it is, but a real McLaren is laser precise and feels nothing like the weird, bouncy AC version.

              Like

              1. The illusion of realism and accuracy needs to be maintained at all costs, because without that AC completely falls apart.

                That’s why it’s so easy to find forums and comments sections filled with AC fanboys hypnotising themselves and each other into believing that driving a Formula 1 car in AC is like driving the real thing.

                It’s also absolutely mandatory to reject and poke fun at any sim/game where a similar formula 1 car feels a bit different to the one in AC, even if that car in the other game actually behaves more realistically and feels altogether more convincing than its AC counterpart.

                Like

              2. Bitch, you’re shit.

                You haven’t taken the test drive mp4/12c to the straight line and cornering speeds you can take the mclaren p1 in AC.

                There’s also the difference that you didn’t take the mp4 to the same track in real life and game. Lastly, the mp4 and p1 don’t compare. Just like the 458 doesn’t compare with laferrari.

                GTFO sim racing kondor. Spread your bs on forza forums and forza hobbyist blogs.

                Like

                1. P1 does the Nordschleife in 6:47. MP4/12c does it in 7:28, almost all of which can be accounted for via the power differential.

                  The fact that you think these cars should drive completely differently shows you’re probably a kid who doesn’t even drive yet. In terms of driving feel, I certainly don’t need to take a car to the exact same track. I’m not saying they generate identical lap times, idiot.

                  It’s fairly obvious that your entire knowledge of these vehicles comes from YT and the online equivalent of product brochures. Come back when you’ve actually driven something that’s non-virtual and can do the 1/4 in under 12.

                  Like

                  1. you judge a p1 in the sim after your brief time with an mp4 12c. Well, if that’s your measure for reality, devs measure is bigger. Since they drove super cars for a whole lot more laps on a track than your brief test drive.

                    Thanks but no thanks kondor, I follow the experience of the devs with real cars they had access to than your brief testing.

                    You try to argue with me that I haven’t driven cars and only look at youtube videos. You haven’t considered the devs did a lot more driving with real cars on real tracks than you? + they studied simulation, engineering, mechanics, and know programming. Now you can go back to your forza and the real tires of forza. Happy simming on forza, kondor.

                    Like

                    1. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the modern single-seaters is AC are just plain wrong. Even a cursory examination of the onboard footage of real life coupled with a fundamental understanding of vehicle dynamics will reveal that the single-seaters in AC bear no more resemblance to the real thing than the single-seaters in gt5 or grid 2.

                      Plus the feel is just plain wrong as the cars in AC feel as though they’re on very thin bicycle wheels with close to infinite amounts of grip.

                      Like

                    2. @November 7, 2017 at 11:13 PM

                      LOL 🙂

                      That was fun. Maybe Ian Bell can hire you both, kondor and yourself. What a team that would make along side James for physics consultancy on pcars3.

                      Like

              3. No, not really. People know AC is better because they ACTUALLY watch F1 and understand how these cars behave and what was the fastest way with them around a racetrack.

                And it really doesn´t take being a hardcore nerd to understand abusing sausage curbs and having two wheels on grass isn´t fast. Or that exiting every corner sideways isn´t fast.

                You watch someone beat a WR in AC and it looks, feels and sounds like a real pole lap. You watch a WR lap in F1 2017 and you see an idiot rapidfire downshifting, abusing curbs a real car can´t dream of using, putting 2 wheels on grass, and generally driving in ways that are completely retarded.

                Like

            2. Oh, there´s infinite grip in AC but the same cars around the same tracks are always faster in Codies games. Cool story bro.

              You are just an average idiot that can´t catch a slide for their life in any sim, so he has to stay way under the grip limits, and then goes on to complain about “infinite grip” just because he lacks any talent to drive on the edge… until someone enters the lobby, puts 4 seconds gap on them every lap actually driving on the grip limits, showing the car can go MUCH faster.

              Then he boots F1 games, where his elderman reactions allow them to complete 2 clean laps in a row, and thinks “this is much better” despite the cars being not even slightly reminiscent of the real thing.

              Like

            1. Wrong. That’s exactly what real race drivers do. In fact, that’s pretty much all they do, especially in the beginning. Or did you think that prospective sponsors and team owners are looking for…modesty?

              Seriously, man. Go hang out at a track some time. We’re talking major egos.

              Like

                1. No, you’re just some guy who’s never set foot on a track, spouting off about how you think race drivers (virtual or otherwise) are supposed to behave, meanwhile labeling people as “autistic”.

                  Sorry for noticing.

                  Like

    2. Try to join a highly competitive league (ACRL for AC, don’t know which leagues are good for AMS or rF2) and prove that your WRs are worth something

      Like

      1. I’m not really interested in leagues at the moment. I get their appeal and I have considered them, and judging from several events like McLaren’s WFG I’d definitely have the pace and racecraft to be up there, but it’s not something that really catches my eye in any way at the moment since after trying a number of serious races in AC (not the regular lobbies), I largely get more enjoyment out of playing with friends instead.

        And yeah, I know the WRs on their own don’t mean squat – it’s why I rarely ever do any time trial laps in any game as in regular race conditions I’m better than that. They’re still a sign that I know what I’m doing though.

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  21. Just to pick up on one small point (and sorry if earlier comments have already done so) but concerning “GTR 2 has existed for over a decade. It does not feature a dynamic racing line like Automobilista does. ” Actually GTR2 does feature a dynamic racing line like Automobilista. SMS have only recently started publicizing Livetrack woth v3.0 in pCARS 2, but pCARS1 had Livetrack v2.0 and the original GTR had Livetrack V1.0 which was also featured in GT Legends and GTR2. The darker track textures used on GTR2 do hide the darkening racing line and the marbles which are very subtle visually. Its not only visual,- it does affect grip – and evolves over the race weekend.

    If you are looking for a career mode, GT Legends has one of the best IMO.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Bit of a sad situation really.

    This is, of course, in complete contrast to the FPS genre, where since the seminal Call Of Duty 4, Modern Warfare was released back in 2007, FPS developers have continued to strive and innovate to improve and increase the scope of their products.

    Admittedly they’ve not always been completely successful, but that’s because you can’t please all the people all the time, especially when pushing the boundries and trying new things, but nonetheless the effort has always been there and fans have always enjoyed the prospect of improved and expanded versions of their beloved games.

    Like

      1. Yeah. The problem they have of course is that it’s hard to keep something the same whilst making it different each time, if you know what I mean. 🙂

        Like

  23. Who cares about sim racing anymore anyway? Farming and trucking sims pulling better audience: http://steamcharts.com/cmp/244210,227300,447020

    You might argue that it does not matter, different genre anyway. I think they can be compared, all are vehicular simulation platforms. The difference is that some offer meaningful gameplay environment with goals, progression and context.

    Some do not.

    Like

    1. It would be ridiculous if Farming Simulator provided nothing but a handful of farm equipment to drive around a single field, beating its chest about how amazing its physics are with every changelog filled with minute changes in the fluid physics of the shite in your muckspeader affecting roll centre by 0.02%.

      No, if I buy Farming Simulator I want to transport hay and feed cows and make cornflakes and spread shite over all the roads, not read about progress on the New Cheese Model for a more realistic ploughman’s lunch

      Like

      1. Hell, even when the Truck Simulator games add ridiculous minutia, they balance it out with major content. “Changed the rear pinion rendering, closed a road that’s under repairs in real-life, re-rendered every building in France, doubled the size of France”, etc.

        Like

        1. A new Spintires came out (“Mudrunner”), and you get 50% off (iirc) if you bought the original.

          Never had so much fun hauling timber in a Soviet 8×8 truck, I gotta tell you.

          Like

      1. I’m sure you’re not serious, but this is definitely part of the problem.

        The definition of “simulation” getting narrower has certainly contributed to the genre being where it is. PCARS, Forza, Gran Turismo: those are all Racing Simulators, in the same way as Euro Truck Simulator is a Truck Simulator.

        If you want those ‘fun’ elements that ‘make it more like a real race’ you can’t get picky about physics and decide that some games that are, without a doubt, inside the simulation genre, are arcade games.

        Like

        1. Sounds like the next patch is almost ready and it really goes after the AI issues in the wet.

          I predict my current fascination with FM7 comes to a screeching halt whenever it drops.

          Like

          1. Ah, they all have their place, y’know. I haven’t touched another racer since PC2 launched, but I know eventually I’ll go try the RaceRoom stuff I just bought and the rF2 GT3 cars, ah ah. Oh well, I’m just happy that I like PC2 so much, and a 1080 is on the way.

            Patch with maybe a trailer for the first DLC?

            Like

  24. IMO the best sim racing experience… FULL experience, including race weekends and everything in between, is Motorsport Manager. This is despite not even being *in* the car. Everything takes on do much more meaning in the context of a tense championship battle with you and your hand picked teams versus the rest of the grid.

    Sim racing could learn an awful lot from MM. Most of these titles fail at simulating the actual sport of motorsport. Why can’t we have AIs with individual attributes and quirks so that we can have proper rivalries? Or BOPs shifting as a season progresses?

    I hope the boys at Sector3 (R3E is still the most immersive package IMO) are listening to this as they develop GTR3.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I think modern racing sims aren’t modern at all. Just look at games from other simulation genres like Arma 3 and how they’ve evolved over the years and their iterations. There is currently no racing sim with real cloud support, Workshop integration, a native mod manager, etc. Or then you have things like a “seamless” online racing league model like iRacing’s, while the rest of the game is mediocre in other areas. Then you have the console titles which might or might not have things like decent careers or livery editos, often at the cost of subpar racing – there doesn’t seem to have been a decent sweetspot since the first GRID back in 2008. And back then we already had titles like rFactor 1 or Race 07 going through the direction that is the norm today. Not one single racing title has managed to have at least *most* of what people want in a racing game for almost a decade.

    By and large we’re still doing things exactly how we were doing them in 2007, or even 1997. It’s really quite puzzling, because it seems to me like implementing proper customizable and integrated championships would only take a few weeks of programming, yet developers are more concerned with physics minutia which add questionable value to games that already have those with detail. The lack of actual game features is bad not only because of how it reduces the lifespan of the game even for hardcore simraces, but is also keeps people who aren’t so hardcore about simracing away from the genre, by making the entry point so much higher. Of course, that also makes it far harder to sell these kind of games to more people, which mean less money for the developers, which mean less resources to improve their products in anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Excellent article.

    It’s funny that engineering people like yours king Niels don’t do engineering in these eternal science projects.

    The first principle in system modeling is that you need to have a simple as possible model to represent in a reasonable confidence level the real world.

    I’m not against at all to correct stuff like turbo modeling or transmissions flexibility or whatever. But the problem lies when some so called “aliens” can run the so called simulations on levels that are far from reality. This is a clear indication that the basic assumptions of your simulation is, fundamentally, wrong. As I stated in previous posts, there are techniques regarding simulation modeling, testing and validation that they simply don’t do. It’s pure guesseneering.

    People that don’t have technical knowledge usually use logical fallacies to argue about this subject, like “mimimi you don’t have the fear factor in simulation”, as some stupid drivers like Schumacher or Alonso weren’t beasts at the track when infinite training was allowed.

    Recently at RD I read some stupid old age nerds asking for things like “get rid of lookup tables and add real time aero calculations”. This is BS at its finest.

    So, in the end, it’s fun to see the lack of vision of these companies. Instead of focusing on increasing revenues by adding replayability to the game, they keep modeling unnecessary stuff that don’t add to the simulation and to the sales. It’s basic entrepreneurship problem: first you need to create a strong free cash flow, than you can do whatever you want without excuses.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >The first principle in system modeling is that you need to have a simple as possible model to represent in a reasonable confidence level the real world.

      Great insights.

      Same thing was taught to me re: simplicity when modeling physical systems (I was at the Whiting school of engineering at Johns Hopkins for a semester prior to switching to pre-med).

      People get upset when I tell them the tires in FM7 feel a lot more like real tires than what’s often present in AC (for instance). All the complexity in the world means nothing if it’s GIGO.

      Like

        1. Indeed. I was there in ’85. Nondestructive Testing and Finite element analysis. It’s been so long, I just remember snippets and usually in the context of someone else bringing up these subjects.

          Alas, I don’t remember any of my profs. Not even my advisor that helped get me into med school years later. Wait, maybe one? Dr Gryder iirc. He taught intro chemistry but was one of the inventors of the catalytic converter. He was reputed to be worth over a billion but still taught for fun. Hard to forget a story like that.

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          1. My dad started in ’87 and left in the mid 90s.

            I don’t think he got along very well with the department chair, Ross Corotis (sp?).

            Like

        1. Nah, the ones in rF2 are the best I think. And the race tires in AC are OK. AC just has (imho) serious issues with just a few of their tire models (hypercar tires in particular). AMS feels great to me as well.

          I think all the sims (except iR) pretty much nailed down how to model tires as of 3 years ago. Now I just worry that they’ll keep tinkering and fuck them up again.

          BTW, the absolute best feeling street car in AC (feels exactly like a real 911 to me) is a mod using v4 tires.

          Like

          1. you never drove a hypercar to know. some sports or street tyres on a mp4/12c won’t tell you shit about how the tyres feel and should be on a p1, laferrari, 918. Also there aren’t any hypercar tires in rf2.

            Yea, forza 7 must feel the best on hypercar tires, thanks dr. kondor. Maybe ian bell can hire you for physics consultancy along side james.

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            1. I’m done arguing with someone who thinks an MP4/12C and a P1 are totally different just because of their price tags.

              Maybe actually talk to people who own these types of cars? Go to a track day and just hang out. You’re badly misinformed and are basing all your judgments on marketing materials.

              “Hypercar” is just an arbitrary label. It doesn’t magically make a car drive differently.

              Like

              1. So please share to us what a real owner of a mclaren p1 said to you about the p1 in real life and the p1 in AC. Since you hang out at tracks days with multi millionaire car owners.

                Like

    2. @Cuca beludo
      “Recently at RD I read some stupid old age nerds asking for things like “get rid of lookup tables and add real time aero calculations”.

      Im old too but Im not against lookup tables – if they work 🙂
      King Of Eternal Projects: To replace such lookup tables with real time algoritms was the whole point behind King Kaemmers eternal project: Le Grande New Tire Model That Will End All Tire Models.

      “It’s pure guesseneering.”

      Hahaha. Thank you for the word “guesseneering”. Pretty useable 🙂

      http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/new-tire-model-explained-by-dave-kaemmer.30055/

      Liked by 1 person

        1. @James
          “This is so disappointing to read because iRacing has NEVER driven like this and yet Dave’s post makes so much sense.”

          You are right.
          But eventhough I consider him as a clown today these thoughts was probably his (ideal) intentions behind starting iRacings NnnnTM project.
          Because eventhough he is residing at a mental asylum today I respect his original TM creations behind GPL/NR2003 😉

          Like

          1. @BrunoB

            LUT are the way to go for aerodata, engine, and ground handling models.

            You can’t simulate real time aero for a few reasons:
            – you don’t know which airfoil is being used
            – you can’t model real body geometry
            – you don’t have computational power to simulate it in real time.

            LUT on the other hand provides a good source of information and performance. The problem is the way people populate the luts. I’ve seen that many rely on technical data, which is not correct for simulation purposes. This data gives you a good baseline. But non linearities are corrected with real telemetry data. You need to perform specific tests to identify the model you’re adjusting. No sim company does this.

            Just taking random telemetry data and running in end to end aimulation shows nothing related to the fidelity of the model.

            Like

    1. Yeah, but it didn’t model transmission elasticity, or the centripetal force generated by residual brake dust on the wheels, or even the tidal effect of the moon.

      So: Total simcade garbage.

      Like

  27. Well I will be giving up PC2 if the next patch is complete garbage.
    Reinstalled A.C. and downloaded Porsche cup cars, installed Fonsecker sounds, downloaded all the Aussie tracks, used AI helper, skins update, and fuck me drunk I haven’t been this happy since gtr2.
    When you can nail the AI setup just right its as good as online, sometimes better cos of no knobheads and you can race when you like.
    Those Fonsecker sounds are nuts, i will be deaf in no time.

    Like

  28. What’s the point in playing racing games?
    If you’re not getting paid and getting sponsored in a poor man’s NASCAR championship then it is a pertinent question.

    Like

  29. Our expectations as humans are always too high.
    Which is a good thing, because it propels us forward.

    The here and now is compared to the past in sim history . The peaks will not come back, but they did not went away.

    How to convince the makers of the sims is politics. Its disgusting for and from both ends.

    We need to concentrate on the formula, that is to be achieved. Commerce is driving the companies, but perfection in products is the consumers highest preference.

    I see PCars2 is not as well received in sales as probably expected by the marketing.
    Thats an example of the only politics a creating company must understand.

    We consumers just keep on hotlapping in our virtual reality. I hope everybody enjoys the drive.

    Like

  30. I kinda feel the same way as this article. I’m 58, started racing games on PS1. I got Game Stock Car about 5yrs ago that turned into AMS and will never go back to console. The driving feels great but when I do go on there.. start to get bored after about 40-60 minutes. The subtle updates are great, but I need some incentive to keep my interest longer.

    Like

  31. I was playing the arcade Outrun last night on a £40 Raspberry Pi. Didn’t give a fuck about tyre physics, AI behaviour, wheel compatibility, or baked weather cycles. And you know what? It was great fun
    That’s whats missing from a lot of games these days. Too far up our own arses trying to recreate every last pebble in the gravel trap and build accurate tyre flexing models. At the expense of creating good old fashioned enjoyment.

    Like

  32. Kondor999 = 32 Replies of 199 Total Comments

    Kmanitou81 = 14 Replies

    You gotta both start to masturbate or realise you are losing your lifetime replying to anonymous comments, WTF dudes seriously you are writing so much that you are probably also impersonating all the other replies, i mean can we be somehow sure that´s it isnt only you Condor impersonating others….Maybe you are Austin are even the same person…shit starts to get trippy

    Like

    1. They are actually the same guy, and he´s also samefagging likes because he thinks that somehow helps. And he´s also the same anom that says F1 2017 is “accurate”.

      There can´t be 3 people THAT stupid in this World.

      Like

      1. Busted!

        I admit it. Every comment, every alt is mine.

        This is all I do. I don’t even have a goddamn steering wheel.

        Hey, maybe I’m conducting a study on paranoia. So far, you two are excellent test subjects 😉

        Like

  33. What are you even on about? Driving school? Unlockables? You need incentive to race? You don’t need practice anymore? Then go fucking join F1 and race for Ferrari or something, they’ll give you enough incentive. But if I’ll ever see you not finishing in the first place because of your skill not being quite on par with every other F1 racer, you will have to shut your “fake news” blog down and your blabbering mouth up along with it. What a poser… Not needing any practicing at all? Why every single being on Earth needs practicing, but not you, Ogonoski? Who the hell are you to be saying that? Besides, what do you need a driving school for if you don’t need practicing?

    As for me, I drive in sims not as much for practicing, as I do for the enjoyment of driving at speed itself. Ever heard of cars being fun as they are? Not because you can unlock something with them, not even because you can be faster than somebody else. Simply because it’s fun to drive the goddamn’ things themselves. If you don’t understand this… You should keep away from the sim world. Doesn’t matter whether you were on board for long or not, you simply don’t get it.

    Your GTR 2 is nowhere near to any of the newest sims in terms of how it drives. The driving experience is incredibly bland… Also, I disagree with your mentioning that rF2 was fine in the beginning. It was a bloody mess. Only the most recent update finally made it feel like it’s a freaking car. On freaking rubbery wheels! On the freaking goddamn’ tarmac. The way how it felt initially, it was just a plain crap. Just like the early AC that you praise so much. They were both undrivable. AC is still crap (but it was still worth updating the TM that one last time). rF2 is finally ok. Because of what? Because they still kept refining the physics. Not your idiotic driving schools, unlockables, nor achievements. And they should very well keep on doing that! Despite what you or your alts will be suggesting otherwise. Get your hands off sims. You don’t know how to use them. You don’t know how to derive fun from them. Just turn around, look elsewhere and start walking.

    Like

    1. No I understand pretty well that after the third hour of sitting in your boxers turning solo laps on an empty track, racing simulators can get really boring.

      Let alone eight identical games.

      Like

      1. Well, they get boring faster than that, actually. For the day… But the next day they are fun to drive again. Or maybe next week… Somehow, I still get back to them after some time. Maybe it’s because I have other kinds of sims that let me to have some change of activity before I’m back in the mood for virtual driving? That might be it. But you also seem to have other types as well… Like those football/baseball or whatever titles you kept mentioning.

        Tell me… Do you enjoy driving a real life car? What exactly do you enjoy in doing that? Considering there is a lot of restrictions on how you can employ it…

        Like

  34. Once again. I’m not saying sims are not for you because you suck at them. I personally don’t care if you are the only fast person on this Earth Senna would hope to be. You may be that (or at least claim you are), you may be not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you don’t enjoy sims for what they are. You want elements to be introduced that barely have any relevance to simming. Because you are bored with just having physics (which is still ways from being even great, not to mention perfect), just being given a car and a track both properly modeled. You don’t know what to do with them. Given a car and a road in real life will you feel as bored? Then maybe cars are also not for you?

    Yeah, it will be nice to start adding many other things to car sims after the work is complete on the most essential part. But none of the sims is there yet! Not a single one feels like there’s nothing left to add to the modeling of the cars. It’s more like you wrote in some other article: one sim has this better modeled, the other has that… But we are still waiting for the one that does all of that well enough. At least I am waiting for that. Whoever thinks GTR 2 was enough of a sim… why on Earth don’t you just stick to GTR 2 then? If I thought it was as good, I’d have no worry in the world.

    By the way, have you tried playing RPGs? Sounds like the genre you’d love.

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    1. “Yeah, it will be nice to start adding many other things to car sims after the work is complete on the most essential part. But none of the sims is there yet!”

      No see that was the point of the article.

      There was literally nothing wrong with how NASCAR Racing 2003 Season drove in February of 2003.

      There was literally nothing wrong with how GTR 2 drove in the summer of 2006.

      Developers could have easily went “man, our physics are great, let’s flesh out the rest of the game and make subtle adjustments to how it drives if something comes up.”

      They didn’t. They went “let’s revise the tire model six times.”

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      1. Well, you see, they drove just fine for you, but… does that mean everybody else enjoyed them? I would definitely take even Assetto Corsa over either of those for the driving feel. And I hate it the most out of all the recent driving sims.

        I gave GTR 2 much less time than either to GPL or GTL. Never tried its “driving school” either. What’s the point? From my perspective, it’s just a mediocre semi-sim racing game. You cannot imagine how happy I was when things like LFS started fleshing out… Finally, a new generation of sims! But then I quickly started growing disappointed. Because, again, “it wasn’t quite there”…

        Same thing with flight sims. How many years is X-Plane in development? And while I’m glad the rendering engine received that much needed overhaul, the physics engine still feel like “DCS light”, and that’s while DCS does not always feel natural either. Looks like there is always a room for improvement in that regard.

        As for making a game out of it… Some other people need to take care of that. Apparently, neither the other Austin, nor ED, nor ISI, nor KS, etc., none of them have a budget for that. Maybe some two decades later the engines will finally reach the stage at that you could genuinely say that the physics is as good as it can possibly be, and THEN the work on making a game out of it could start. But not before that… Not to mention, I would certainly not want features like unlockables to be included. Taking a job in a game for no apparent reason? Thank you, but just no.

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        1. Oh, and it looks like you would prefer AC over GTR 2 as well… Otherwise, what is the point of this whole argument at all when there is GTR 2 — the perfect racing game, right?

          Like

  35. You probably won’t read this and if you do, you probably already know this, but they are still making plenty of great mods for gtr2 over at nogrip. Don’t know if they still do leagues, I’m not good enough to race humans yet

    Like

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