Automobilista 2 – November 2021 Development Update Part 2

Automobilista 2 - November 2021 Development Update Part 2
AMS2 Racin´ USA Expansion Pack 2

Reiza Studios has published part 2 of the November 2021 Development update for the Automobilista 2 racing simulator.

As usual, the Dev update takes us behind the scenes of the AMS 2 development and brings us up to date with some of the upcoming content, features, and improvements that are in the works. Read all about the upcoming AMS2 V1.3 update and the Racin´ USA Part 2 DLC.

Automobilista 2 is currently available via Steam for €36.99. The Automobilista 2 + 2020-2021 Season Pass Bundle is available for €114.28.

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Reiza Studios Quote:

Greetings everyone!

Part 2 of our November Development Update has finally arrived with some fresh good news for Automobilista 2 in our final development sprint of 2021!

And what a run of weeks it has been so far – not only have we managed to hit some of the important developments we had planned for the month, we also managed to find and are in process of resolving some other significant issues along the way – in fact, our plan had been to publish this article already with our first big game update of November, however spotting a rather sizeable physics issue just a few hours before the update was meant to be deployed has forced us back to the drawing board for a few more days, the new Automobilista V1.3 update is expected to arrive towards the end of this week.

On the plus side, V1.3 will now pack even further value to what is already a landmark update for AMS2 – so let´s get into some of what we have been working on these past few weeks!

AMS2 Demo With VW TSI Cup by Acelerados Now Available

Automobilista 2 Demo With VW TSI Cup by Acelerados Now Available

Our collaboration with Volkswagen Brasil and the Acelerados Channel has come to fruition this past week with the release of the AMS2 Demo featuring the new VW TSI Cup, bringing the VW Polo & Virtus production cars to AMS2 – more details on this release here.

The delay on our new game update, unfortunately, has meant the addition of these cars to the main game has also been slightly held back – do look forward to their arrival later this week however with the release of V1.3!

The Big Physics Overhaul of AMS2 V1.3

As touched upon in Pt1 of the November Dev Update, physics & FFB are receiving a pretty substantial overhaul this month similar to what happened earlier in the year in the V1.2 dev cycle, maximizing further knowledge of the Madness tire & driveline models we have gathered in recent months.

Beginning with the latest finding – the issue spotted just this weekend forcing the delay of the update is nothing more than a simple syntax error that resulted in some of the tire models in AMS2 using components that didn´t belong to them. This error – the type you hope not to spot years into the development of the sim – is nevertheless the type of thing that can happen when you are working on someone else´s technology, and part of a learning curve that sometimes can stretch longer than one would have preferred. The silver lining here of course is that spotting and correcting this error will lead to even further progress to what was already proving a very extensive revision of all tire models in AMS2, which combined with the driveline developments have already led to all cars driving substantially better than the current release to one degree or another.

On to the driveline developments: as with tires, we have been constantly learning more details about the complex driveline system in the Madness Engine – a physical model based on masses, friction coefficients, stiffnesses, and pairings, which if not configured correctly for each car can easily result in various handling issues.

The first major development here is fine-tuning clutch LSD disc friction coefficients to eliminate the infamous “sticky” behavior of the differential on some cars, which could lead to the car balance suddenly changing mid-corner; the differential operation is much smoother now, remaining closed when it should, and opening immediately and yet gradually based on your effective locking amount from preload, ramp angles and amount of clutches.

The second important improvement was made to the clutch engagement formula itself – thus far, preload setting in LSD diffs had far too much importance and ramp angles relatively very little. Reason for this laid in a bug in the underlying mathematical formula combining forces from these two setup factors. With that legacy bug corrected, it´s been possible and in fact necessary to update all default differential setups to more sensible ones.

One neat example is the Caterham clutch LSD that could now get inspiration from a real-life Titan LSD designed for Caterhams: a 30/90 ramp configuration with preload adjusted for each driver’s needs. This maintains the Caterham’s trademark throttle steer character, while users will remain able to fine-tune preload to suit their lift-off behavior tastes.

Automobilista 2 - The Big Physics Overhaul of AMS2 V1.3

Furthermore, on the driveline topic, we have been literally “flexing the muscles” of the engine by introducing driveline elasticity – with multiple moving parts between the engine and driven wheels (each with its own finite stiffness) the forces applied on these parts can be immense, as gearboxes multiply engine torque – one can often hear these dynamics at play on real onboard videos as engine noise and transmission whine oscillating as the whole driveline acts like a giant spring under changing loads.

We have revised stiffnesses and driveshaft weights in multiple classes, and in multiple points in their drivelines. This creates an immersive and organic effect that fully depends on what is going on in the physical simulation. If you stomp on the throttle in 1st gear, you will hear revs jump up as the driveline tenses up. Lift suddenly, and the driveline releases its tension audibly. Driving over bumps the engine and transmission noises will oscillate smoother than before as the connection between tires, gearbox, and the engine isn’t as direct.

This isn’t purely for immersion purposes either, as a slight delay in response between driven wheels and the engine can have subtle effects on handling – it means for example that tire slip and engine RPM aren’t the only buffers for sudden forces, which can also dampen some sharp jolts in bumpy braking zones.

In the video below comparing a lap with the Mercedes AMG GT3 around Nürburgring in V1.2.5.1 (left) vs the current AMS2 Beta (right) overlayed with wheel speed telemetry, you can see and hear the subtle but noticeable results of the developments described above:

All of these substantial physics developments along with some adjustments in setup options have also led to a big revision of default setups on all cars – so further good news is default setups being as reasonably well adjusted as they can possibly be as universal baselines for all tracks and controller types.

It does also mean however it will be critical to reset all your setups one more time upon deployment of the next update – failure to do could result in some very odd setups that will most definitely spoil the cars´ handling.

A small price to pay hopefully for what is all around a really big step in the AMS2 driving experience – while physics development remains always an ongoing process for anyone serious about simulation, in V1.3 the physics will have reached a level of maturity that we are confident represents our very best work in this area to date.

Force Feedback Developments in AMS2 V1.3

AMS2 V1.3 will also introduce developments in the game Force Feedback, with the addition of a new “Default+” profile, parallel to the existing “Default”.

FFB can be a somewhat subjective matter – while generally steering FFB in-game should resemble certain traits from real world vehicles – self-centering steering wheel, resistance buildup with more steering angle & ramp up of forces with tire load – in race sims that is somewhat restrictive and often leaves us missing the actual feedback we get in our bodies on a real car through its lateral and longitudinal acceleration. Through FFB one hopes to convey some of that mixed in with the usual steering forces, and the way to do that is where things get subjective.

With the new “Default+” profile we have what we believe to be a good compromise, adding further useful information to what you get on the Default profile.

Aside from additional info provided in Default+, we also did a lot of work on damping, which is inherent to any steering system and something we strongly advise to be used to some degree as it doesn´t take anything away from the feedback, instead of working in sync with the vehicle you drive – it depends not just on steering velocity, but vehicle velocity, lateral acceleration, tires slip, oversteer. All of that is taken into account on damping, making it usable and helpful instead of simply providing viscous-like resistance to wheel turning.

While the Default+ expands on the level of information being provided to the wheel, more in tune with the preference of some users, given FFB´s subjectvity to taste the usage of custom FFB profiles will remain an option – some interesting and popular work is being developed by @Karsten Hvidberg and company you may also want to check out. We had in fact planned to add one of these profiles as a third default option in the game, however, we found out that the memory load from the FFB system is raised considerably by its presence if there is another complex profile present in the “custom” slot, which could lead to various glitches.

We do encourage our users who may still be looking for something beyond what our default profiles are offering to give these a try checking out the Automobilista 2 Custom Force Feedback – Overview & Recommendations thread.

AI Development in AMS2 V1.3

AMS2 V1.3 will bring yet another big step for the AI, with an extensive calibration pass to not only match recent player physics development but also solve several track and car-specific performance discrepancies from the current release.

Driver personalities have been extended with some initial parameters defining an AI driver´s ability in managing tire wear, racing in wet weather & cooperating with blue flags.

Furthermore, V1.3 will introduce the option to mod AI driver names, livery assignments & personalities – you can read more about this new feature on this topic moved from the beta subforum for those looking to get an early understanding of how to go about it.

Multiplayer Rating System Hitting Public Beta in V1.3

Last but not least in our big list of V1.3 features is the introduction of the driver profile page alongside the long-awaited Multiplayer Rating System – albeit in Beta stage in this initial release.

The system is heavily based on the legacy system featured in Project Cars 2 with several adjustments – more details about it to be shared in a dedicated thread shortly before release.

Automobilista 2 AI Development in AMS2 V1.3

We are also working with third party Multiplayer services to best integrate our system with theirs, which should hopefully see the arrival or organized scheduled races in AMS2 in the not-so distant future.

Furthermore, we have also been collecting some valuable feedback from the community for further Multiplayer development, some of which we are pushing to deliver as we progress through the public beta of the MRS – not everything will arrive in a matter of weeks, but we do hope to be fulfilling at least some common requests in the near future.

Racin´ USA Pt2 Arriving Soon!

Automobilista 2 Racin´ USA Pt2 Arriving Soon!

As previously announced, the second part of the Racin´ USA Expansion Pack is due to be released shortly after V1.3 and before the end of this month.

This time, we will explore what many consider to be the golden years of American single seater racing, as Racin´ USA Pt2 will feature a number of Reynards, Swifts and Lola Indycars & Champ Cars from the 1990s, along with three iconic road courses.

The cars will make up what we will call the “Formula USA” class in the game, in three generations – Gen1 will feature models from the 1995 Indycar season (the last before the series infamously split), Gen2 will have models from the 1998 season when Alex Zanardi reigned supreme, with Gen3 featuring models from 2000 – the performance peak of the Champcar era, enabling historical feats such as Gil de Ferran´s closed course record average speed.

Automobilista 2 Racin´ USA Pt2 Arriving Soon!

The 3 tracks to feature in the pack will be Watkins Glen (which even though was not raced by these cars during the 1990s, is still one the greatest road courses in the USA fully warranting its place on the pack); the unique Cleveland temporary road course, set on the Burke Lake Front Airport with a fast, flowing and very bumpy layout serving as stage for some memorable wheel-to-wheel battles; and the third one remaining under wraps for a few more days as we finalize some licensing requirements.

Racin´ USA Pt2 itself will be a slightly staggered release, the Gen2 cars along with Cleveland & Watkins Glen will be released at the end of this month, with the remaining models and the third track arriving just before our Christmas wrap-up; there will be further additions to this pack later on in 2022, as the arrival of Racin´ USA Pt3 will introduce oval tracks to Automobilista 2, which will see all Formula USA models in Pt2 receiving their oval spec variants.

While Pt3 of Racin´ USA will take a bit longer than originally planned into 2022, the delay will see more tracks being added to the package than originally planned – at no extra expense for those who already bought the full Racin´ USA Expansion Pack!

Price for Racin´ USA Pt2 will be the same as Pt1 in your local currency.

New Manufacturers Joining the Party!

Automobilista 2 New Manufacturers Joining the Party

We are happy to confirm we´re in the final stages of licensing arrangements with Nissan, which should see several models from the brand coming to Automobilista 2 if not already on v1.3, very soon after.

There are at least two more major manufacturer deals we are looking to wrap before the end of the year, all of which leading to various existing classes in the game being expanded with new competitors over the course of 2022 – watch this space!

Automobilista 2 New Manufacturers Joining the Party

This covers the main topics we had to bring you on this Dev Update, even if not quite all we have in store for the remainder of the year – we will cover these remaining goodies in our final Dev Update of the year early on December, by which time you will all hopefully already be enjoying AMS2 V1.3 & Racin´ USA Pt2!