Its that time of the month when Paul Jefferies from Studio-397 updates the community on the competition element that the service has introduced.
Looking back on the week past, this is what he had to say:
Time flies! Lunar Sale passed quickly, and internally we have been mostly discussing how to integrate some of our hotlap competitions and the upcoming GT Challenge into the competition system. By now we’ve pretty much mapped out how that should work and in the upcoming blogs I’m sure we will get into a bit more detail about this, but we are slowly starting to migrate more of our activities.
At the same time we are balancing what our development team is working on, as we also still very much want to bring a few more improvements to the UI in general as well as graphics updates.
Two features in particular that we are looking at are running sessions where we have a qualification and a race all in the same split as well as qualifications with two races, so we can do sprint and feature races, including reversed grids.
There are a few more, smaller, layout updates coming, probably next Wednesday. That’s all for this week, except that our virtual mailbox was filled with some very good questions again this week. And did I thank my colleague Paul for collating them all? Great job man!
Can we expect a tow system when pressing the Esc button instead of just quitting the race?
Not related to the competition system per se, but we are considering a few features in this area. When you press ESC you either are done for the session, or there is some timer simulating you getting a tow back to the pits.
You say you wish to add weather in future competitions, this is great but also not without its current set of issues, how do you propose to work around the following:
– Will the comp server be set to “Force Weather On” for graphical settings? This is because it’s all too easy to “turn the weather off” in the graphics settings and have a clear view of the road without spray (for example), thus giving a massive advantage to some drivers over others
– Graphically wet weather racing is a performance hog and that’s partly to be expected, but what measures will you put in place on the comp system to warn players that the comp they’re entering may or may not have wet weather? As there are no graphical presets in place within the sim for a “Quick Change” I can foresee people turning up to race with “dry graphics settings” only to see it raining without prior notice and be at an immediate disadvantage as they battle much lower FPS.
Starting with the last question, no, we don’t intend to warn people about that. Instead, I would argue that you need to configure your graphics settings such that you can race regardless of the conditions (weather, tracks, number of cars). The suggestion to fix certain graphics settings is an interesting one. I agree that you can currently gain an advantage by turning off certain graphics. This is in fact a thing that happens in quite a lot of competitive games (Counterstrike, etc.). It will be quite a challenge to have the flexibility to allow everybody to configure the system such that it runs well for them, and at the same time forcing some kind of even playing field. I’m open to suggestions here, but this might end up being quite a significant body of work to be honest.
RaceRoom penalises players for “Quitting” mid race by lowering their Reputation and/or Rating (I forget which), this helps prevent mass disconnects early on and only a few drivers actually making it to the end of a race. What, if any, measures/rating penalties are you putting in place to help prevent “Rage Quitters”?
We basically have this already. If you don’t finish the race, you end up at the bottom in the standings. That negatively impacts your rating, and we give you points based on that. Do you think we should penalize people even more?
Hi, I’ve just made my first race on your comp system (Classics on Longford) and we encountered several heavy rain during the race. At one point, it was 100% rainy with 97% track wet. My question, is it scripted ? Is it random weather? or is it realtime weather?
We currently have tracks set to use “default” weather. This is weather that is setup by the creator of the track. Some tracks will be scripted to be always dry, others have some chance of rain at various points during the session. So apparently Longford will sometimes be very wet.
Will you ever take a pass at simplifying the driver swap process? As it currently sits I feel that the amount of clicks that each person has to do is immensely complicated compared to your competition enabling a driver to simply leave the car, and the driver on deck simply gets in.
We already made it a bit easier in the new UI. I don’t know if you noticed, but if you join a server as a spectator, and you hit “drive” you will be prompted what car you want to become a passenger in. We plan to further simplify the procedure in the competition system, because there we will know which drivers are driving an entry together, so there will not be a need any more to even select a car. The actual process of doing the swap we will probably keep, giving the current driver the freedom to select the passenger at the pitstop, or not.
How are season points regulated ? Is only one result counted, or the average of all, or a hybrid (like in iRacing for example)
So far we have used a system where we aggregate all results of all races and their splits within the same event, and we apply our rating algorithm to rank all the drivers based on their performance. That gives us a rating and a certainty of that rating, and we combine those numbers to rank people. Then we apply points table to that ranking. In short, we try to figure out how good you were in all the races you participated in versus everybody else.
Is the weather fixed for all races to be the same or is there variability or is it even random or linked to outside factors (like plugins that feed the actual real world weather)
As explained in one of the questions above, we use the track “default” weather right now. We intend to add real world weather later, similar to how some plugins now work.
I remember the S397 announced a few years ago that Motec would be available. Will it be available in CS in the near future?
That’s an excellent question. Being totally honest, we got about halfway with that project so far, and it’s currently awaiting further work because there are a few other projects we wanted to prioritize. Our end goal is to have telemetry in Motec and possibly a few other formats available from the CS.
I think there are many unique races, cars and circuits in East Asia and Oceania right now. (SUPERCARS, Super GT, etc….) Do you plan to produce these models near the future?
We’ve done a few and I think there are a few more on our wishlist. We’re not ready to communicate exactly which ones, but by no means do we intend to just focus on one region of the world. We aim to create a global offering. That said, the current pandemic is making it more difficult for all of us to travel, scan and survey tracks, etc, so sometimes we currently have to make choices to postpone such activities or seek tracks we can access. In terms of cars, and series, the world is changing a lot as well. Existing series are transforming, new ones forming. If you ask me personally, I’d love to do the Supercars at some point.
Is there any possibility to see cars like the FR 3.5 or the Megane Trophy join the system as new competitions soon?
We have considered reworking the FR3.5 along the lines of what we did for the races we hosted with The Race. That might still happen. We certainly would like to add a few really fast open wheeler classes above our current offering.
Are we going to see races with race-length based in laps instead of time in the future?
It’s already a feature. Why have we not done it (yet) in the competitions we deployed? I guess we were a bit lazy and the timing of sessions is easier if you just specify a time, so we don’t have to drive all tracks with the chosen cars to get an average lap time.
As we currently have the 70s F1 in the System, any possibility to see “new” classic layouts for already existing tracks in the future? (For example, Silverstone or Nordschleife)
When we updated Silverstone we did add a “semi-classic” layout. Adding an old layout to Nordschleife is more involved, honestly we have not planned that at the moment. We are aware that some tracks in the Reiza pack have some nice classic layouts, but for the current competition we wanted to stick with free content. If there’s enough interest we will definitely visit those tracks as well.
In my humble opinion, more races are missing. The idea of a “season” is very good, but there are people who just want to enter, qualify and run, as simple as that. I’ll give RaceRoom as an example. There are races every 30 minutes and almost every race has more than 15 – 20 cars. There is a very large number of people who want to run, have fun, run one more, one more, without worrying about a “season”. For those who want to race the GT3 Season in Brazil, we have races at 6:00, 12:00, 18:00 and 00:00. Now imagine if I could run every half hour in GT3, it would be MUCH better.
Carlos Eduardo de Araujo
Noted, and you are not the only one giving us this feedback so this is something that is rapidly going up in our priority list.