RaceRoom – Summer 2020 Development Notes
Two days ago, Sector3 Studios Producer Jean-
I am a little late with this one, but here we go.
Sector3 Studios Quote:
I usually start with a progress update on all the things mentioned in the previous dev notes, but as it’s been so long since the last ones, it doesn’t really make much sense. Everything in those old notes has been shipped… I suppose that rather than re-hashing what we’ve done and delivered, you probably want to read about what comes next and what we’ve been working on recently and will work on in the coming weeks and months.
Before I do that, I’d like to start with two topics that I believe deserve a few words:
What was up with all those recent patches and maintenance periods?
Regarding the high frequency and duration of maintenance and small patches with seemingly little content or features, it hasn’t escaped your attention that with the lack of real racing happening in this first half of the 2020 season, a lot of requests from partners and opportunities arose to organize and deliver virtual racing events. The size of the team here at Sector3 doesn’t allow us to simultaneously work on multiple fronts and we, therefore, have had to delay certain content releases and shift our priorities in order to ensure delivery of those partnership deals. All in all, we had to take the servers down more often than normal in order to push content on time for those many events. However, with real racing resuming, the situation is slowly going back to normal.
Cheating in RaceRoom?
RaceRoom has anti-cheat measures, despite what you may hear from trolls out there. It is an always-online service and therefore if you do cheat, chances are high that you’ll get caught and we will lock your account. Forever. We don’t really joke around with that. If you get caught, then that’s it.
Yes, we do have advanced anti-cheat measures and yes, accounts are getting banned regularly.
Since RaceRoom is free to play, It’s usually on free content lobbies and free competitions that you’ll find cheaters before they get detected and banned. People with purchases don’t really tend to cheat at all due to the fear of losing their accounts for good.
So yes, it is possible to cheat in any game and no, games having a fancy 3rd party anti-cheat system is not a guarantee of a cheat-free experience. It all depends on the tools available to detect but most importantly to ban and keep the cheaters away, and for that, you can count on RaceRoom.
The 11th August 2020 Update
Today we are pushing a RaceRoom update (The full changelog can be found here.)
The update has a heavy focus on AI improvements but you will also find very welcome updates to some tracks, further improving their accuracy, as well as a brand new layout for the freshly renamed DEKRA Lausitzring.
Oh, and by the way, we’re also using this update to prepare RaceRoom for an upcoming new track release.
A Ranked Multiplayer tab has been added on your player profile page. It centralizes all your ranked racing history and progression graphs. You can click a data point or a race in the list to view the full results of that particular event.
This is the first iteration and we will definitely keep improving it from your feedback.
Related to Ranked Multiplayer, the dedicated server now features a Scheduling assistant. The feature was developed as part of our development roadmap towards fully automated multiplayer racing series with matchmaking, but we’re making it public for all the league administrators out there who will surely find the feature useful to plan their dedicated server spawns ahead of time.
The next steps
While the recent public updates may appear slim in features, we’re not slowing down behind the curtains.
We’re almost ready to deliver some pretty solid sound improvements. The update will make the cockpit atmosphere feel so alive, you’ll wonder how you could ever like it before. Word from the beta testers was they can hardly force themselves to drive with the old sounds now that they have had a taste of what’s to come. Expect those improvements to ship with our next update, along with the Audi and BMW DTM 2020 cars. In the meantime, I’ll try and make some preview videos.
Our currently active tasks for the Sector3 programmers are:
- Move the remaining Scaleform menus to web (so far car setup and replay menus are done, and the most complex of all is in progress: the options menu). This is part of the steps towards a more modern UI that will allow faster iterations and development of features such as signing up to ranked multiplayer races, etc.
- Gameplay modifications to Push to Pass and DRS in preparation for DTM 2020 cars. As you know we currently have a unique button mapping for both DRS and PtP but the DTM 2020 cars have both systems. They also come with specific regulations such as one unique PtP activation per lap or DRS allowed in qualifying that we need to replicate.
Then we do have more long term tasks that have been started, but here we venture into features that I can’t currently put a binding ETA on, as we’re on and off those tasks at the moment. We will try and finish some for our December 2020 update. Those end of the year updates is traditionally more feature-oriented since the holiday break also means a break in esports competitions and community league racing and we are then free to make deeper changes to how the game behaves.
- Engine mapping – Ability to prioritize power over fuel efficiency from the cockpit.
- Manual inlaps – AI no longer taking control of your car at the end of a race. We currently have this working in single-player but still need work for multiplayer.
- Manual rolling starts/formation laps – Still needs a lot of work as we only have a prototype of it right now for single-player mode only.
- Investigation of driver swap feature – So far it does look like a difficult one for sure and one that will require network code improvements.
- AI’s in Multiplayer – We have made some good progress on this but currently still have to add quite a lot of data communications regarding non-player cars. This feature will probably have to be on hold as well as pending network code improvements.
There are also many things that don’t make it into public changelogs but still occupy us. Things like allowing our servers to force showing certain packs of objects on the track for partners and sponsor logos, or spending some time with our colleagues over at SimBin UK to answer some questions and assist on physics and sounds.
On the content front, we are obviously focused on DTM 2020 cars at the moment and the liveries are being painted. It should only be a handful of weeks before they are released. We also have physics improvements in the works as well as brand new content that is better announced at a later date.
Hopefully, we get to show you previews of what we’re working on a regular basis in the future. Stay tuned for that!
Official Webpages – game.raceroom.com – sector3studios.com