rFactor 2 – Roadmap Update December 2019
Studio 397 published the December 2019 Roadmap Update for rFactor 2 letting us know what is going on behind the scenes at the Studio 397 headquarters and letting us take a brief look at what the 2020 rFactor 2 development will bring us.
Roadmap Update (Quote)
Before we string up the lights and begin to tell you the Christmas story of our December roadmap, here is the keyhole version for those of you that just can´t wait for Santa: lots of cool stuff you asked for, awesome new series, content surprises #1 to #5, rF2 improvements and the answer to your pressing question “when’s the new UI?” Now that you can see the presents, we promise it’s a lot more exciting when you sit down in your PJ’s and unwrap them one by one. So let’s get busy, shall we (wink)
A quick look out of the window confirms winter’s here- at least in northern Europe. And that means the soothing sounds of our favorite race car engines have been temporarily drowned out by the incessant “Last Christmas” blaring from seemingly all around. But fear not, we haven’t succumbed to the sugar coating yet and the dev elves have been very busy in the simracing workshop – sim racing is not just a season!
2019 – What a year!
Let´s start with a quick roundup of the year. The studio was running on full throttle, and we were super proud to introduce iconic racetracks like Le Mans or Nürburgring to you. Great cars such as new GT3s, Cup cars and a full lineup of new Tatuus Open Wheelers seriously tempted even us to stop working for a moment and just get in there and race all of that awesome content!
While much of the team’s development focused on the UI and the upcoming competition system, 2019 also saw rFactor 2 show off new content at many events and in lots of different competitions, further highlighting our dedication to competitive racing simulation: from our endurance events like Sebring 12h and the rF24h at Le Mans (with a combined prize pool of over 20.000 Euro just in those races), to tournaments and competitions such as World’s Fastest Gamer, A1 e-sports league, ESL Mapfre Racing Series, and McLaren Shadow.
Clearly, investing your training time in rFactor 2 to become one of the fastest drivers in the world really paid off this year, not to mention the several thousand people who watched rFactor 2 esports live! Supporting grassroots and entry-level racing (more on that later) will always be a core focus for us, but for 2020 our goal is to increase top-notch rFactor 2 events and tournaments to provide more regular, exciting broadcasts. This year, we celebrate that rFactor 2 was supported in many leagues and events. Next year, we promise to continue our work on creating “more things to race in!”
2020 – A glimpse of the future
There’s no slowing down for the turn of the year (get it???) – 2020 will be full speed ahead. Watch out for traffic signs on the winding road that is the upcoming year: Ratings ahead!, Daily races in 100m!, Slow down, the ladder! and much more. You probably guessed it already, we are subtly hinting at the competition system.
But as we move onto the next level of integrating our competition system into the UI, we are equally as proud to announce one of our bigger championships hitting in 2020: the rFactor 2 Major Series, featuring 4 major endurance events throughout the year, bringing you the excitement of multi-class racing in a team environment. Different tracks at each event, adjusted classes and hours of exciting racing action is yours coming up. Specific teams, such as the top teams in class from VEC, will get direct invites prior to those events. Everyone else will be able to qualify per event. While those major series races will be partly “stand-alone,” like this year’s Sebring and Le Mans, there will be overall standings across the entire season, rewarding teams that are constantly bringing home points. Our goal is to ensure every endurance racing lover out there has a chance to get a spot in this exciting event in 2020. More details are under the hood, which we’ll reveal when the time comes.
Nothing brings on the Christmas cheer like our winter sale! With rad discounts across much of our content and rFactor 2 at a tinsel-topped 50% off! https://store.steampowered.com/app/365960/rFactor_2/
Let’s take a look at some of the goodies!
- GT3 Power pack 50% off
- GT3 Challengers pack 50% off
- Two Strong pack 30% off
- Le Mans 30% off
- Sebring 50% off
- Endurance Pack 50% off
- Reiza Pack 50% off
- Kartsim 50% off
- Formula E Race Bundle 50% off
Why are you still trying on that ugly sweater?? Go and treat yourself right now!
Audi R8 GT3 2019
We see you peeping through the door! You’ve been good all year (you have, haven’t you?!) and you just can´t wait anymore, so here’s your present*!
As successful as the previous model has been in sprint and endurance GT racing, the German premium manufacturer presented the 3rd generation of its GT3-powerhouse at the end of 2018.
Paris played host back then for the first outing of the new Audi R8 GT3 LMS Evo and now you can try to master this rocket in rFactor 2 as the newest addition to our already big GT3 grid.
*The 2019 model is free for everyone who already owns the previous Audi R8 GT3- Merry Christmas!
With a revised body, including a new front-end with bigger dive planes, changes to the rear wing size, and profile and other modifications (which resulted in a new rev limit, now at 8600 rpm in 6th gear), this knife is sharpened to the max and ready for another season of racing.
Between the beautiful sea, regal casinos and the lifestyle of the fast and famous, it´s up to you to carve your name into the tarmac as a winner of this challenging street circuit! We hear it´s pretty cool to win three epic races in a racing career, with two of them being in Indianapolis and Le Mans–tracks you can already find in rFactor2–let us introduce you to an amazing looking piece of track along the Cote d´Azur. To make sure you know where to travel for your next holidays, we even named the Circuit accordingly. You’re welcome (wink)
As your engine echoes through the apartment canyons (which probably cost more than an entire GT3 season), you downshift to 2nd gear, your eyes locked onto the tight apex right in front of a stunning harbor scene (eyes on the apex!!), the road twists and turns like a roller coaster. The backdrop of this holiday paradise will keep distracting you as you approach the last hairpin, separating you from reaching the crown. Sounds cool? It is, and it’s your chance to experience right now!
You can grab this fresh circuit in the Steam Item Store or just follow the link here https://store.steampowered.com/itemstore/365960/detail/45/
Tatuus TRS FT-60
This Christmas, we will be releasing an update to the awesome Tatuus TRS FT-60. The car is used predominantly in the Toyota Racing Series, which is a proving ground for emerging talent in the open-wheeler season.
We’re releasing an update to the Tatuus pack! After further evaluating the real car performance, we have updated small things on the F4 and F3 cars. On top of that, we have even added something new! The FT50 was already part of this pack, but now we also have the FT60.
This F3 is putting down 290 bhp exclusively on the real roads of New Zealand in January and February of 2020. We again worked closely with Engineering Consult and Toyota Gazoo New Zealand on the car, but this time we also created five amazing tracks, all of which will be released completely for free in the workshop: Highlands, Teretonga, Pukekohe, Manfeild and Hampton Downs. We will open a server for any competitor in the real series to set a benchmark time and let our online racers have a go at beating them.
FT-60 at Adria
BMW M2 Clubsport
You probably wonder, “is this last months roadmap?”, because it isn’t that long ago that we told you about the amazing partnership with BMW Motorsport and how we build the BMW M2 CS Cup car together with them but we still got some additional news for you on this car.
Just in case the sliding rear wasn’t enough for you yet and you feel like you need some more POWAAA for more angle, we just got the right update for you. From now on, you can not only dive into your future race career with the BMW M2 CS Cup, you can also enjoy the BMW M2 Clubsport, the 450 HP street monster. Live your “Touristenfahrten” dreams with this Bavarian masterpiece and tear up the tarmac whilst you look cool in every corner!
Le Mans Update
Le Mans has been updated to make use of all of the latest graphical developments. This includes upgrading all PBR materials, as well as a complete foliage material update and more. All of this has it looking better than ever before.
KartSim Track Pack
After releasing the brand new track and our updates for Le Mans, we’re still not done releasing tracks. That’s right! It might have gone silent around KartSim for a while, but that doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening behind the scenes. For PFI we have updated the curbs and the track color scheme, graphics, and shaders, as well as roadside advertising. We also updated the AI and advertising for Buckmore and Glan Y Gors.
On top of that, we have three brand new tracks from the European karting scene!
Alongside the Adria International Raceway lies the Adria Karting Raceway, situated in beautiful Italy, just an hour south of Venice. Built-in 2014, it is one of the most modern kart tracks and hosts many international karting events. The track itself sports a nice looking combination of concrete and colored run-off areas and is just over 1.3 kilometers long.
Located in the south of Sweden is the Kristianstad karting circuit, a 1.2-kilometer-long track that was repaved and upgraded to meet the demands of a CIK grade-A circuit in 2012. The track has 16 corners, two chicanes, and a level difference of 6 meters vertically.
The Alaharma circuit, sometimes also called the Mika Salo Circuit as it was designed by the former racing driver of the same name, is one of the most beautiful outdoor karting tracks. Located in Finland in the beautiful town of Alahärmä on the banks of the river Lapuanjoki, the 1-kilometer long course winds down the river and has several corners that challenge even the most experienced drivers.
Circuit Zandvoort got a small update, with some fixes and the inclusion of the 2020 GP banner near the end of the main straight. We wanted to make sure the final version of this layout was current. As you are probably aware, the track is currently undergoing changes. Expect more news about those early next year!
This release marks the 3rd major installment of our PBR revamp of the graphics engine. Last winter, we introduced PBR to vehicles via a new car paint material system, and in the summer we released Le Mans, our first track to make use of the technology. This winter, we bring the next step in the evolution of the environment shaders.
The major feature of this release is the introduction of pre-processor defines for shaders. This means we now can have a handful of shaders with many configurable options. We can enable and disable maps, configure which UV each map uses and change large parts of the logic carried out by the shader on a per material basis. This allows artists much greater freedom to achieve the results they are looking for.
As a result, we’ve added various tweaks and improvements to the full suite of PBR shaders, improving our solutions for Terrain, Road, Foliage and more.
On Roads and Curbs, it is possible to fully configure the strength and full PBR profile of Dust, Marble, and Groove effects as well as controlling the impact of detail maps across the road. It is possible to pre-bake wear into the road, allowing for a more natural feeling “green” road with subtle variations. It’s all real road compatible too, dusty parts of the road will clear off as vehicles drive over it!
The terrain shader is now more powerful, allowing more maps to be blended and the option to use a “splatter” map input in addition to vertex color, as was used in the past to control the blending. Distant shadows can be pre-baked, and we have added translucency options to give an improved low light look. This all allows for more natural blending patterns and adds more depth to the scene.
We’ve taken the time to improve billboard lighting on foliage, adding more depth to trees, as well as giving a silhouette glow to them as the sun goes down.
Finally, a complex blend shader gives us the ability to blend different materials together. This is put to use across the scene Gravel Traps to Advertisement hoardings. For example, on Gravel Traps we can input two sets of maps, one for the fine pebble details, and a second to achieve the raked pattern. These blend together to add more depth and allow the lighting to be more accurate. Advertisements can be set up with profiles, so a single albedo map with the sponsor logos can be used across all kinds of different surfaces whilst being able to configure a unique profile for each surface.
In terms of lighting, we have taken some small steps hereafter the preliminary results of the lighting review. The whole pipeline has been adjusted to work with real-life albedo values, which meant existing content had to be completely reworked from the assets side. We have also addressed some issues with the direct light and ambient light balance.
All that said, there’s still much work to do. We intend to complete our lighting review in the new year, and also look at improving the PostFX.
Finally, a common question we receive is when will we offer modder support. This is a very important subject, and we want to offer that support as soon as we can. When we roll out modder support, we wish to have proper documentation and be sure that we are not going to make wholesale changes to the way things are setup shortly afterward. As such, we expect that modder support will not come before the next stage of the graphics pipeline development is complete. As there is still a large chance that things may be significantly re-balanced and cause major work to content already making use of these developments.
Public Beta of the new UI
Rfactor 2 has always deserved a real ecosystem to showcase its core attributes. A place that is minimal without being sparse, and useful and intuitive without being cluttered. It might sound somewhat abstract, but our vision of a ‘UI’ has always been the visual representation and feel of ‘simulation’. Essentially, we’ve created a building block that has the flexibility to accommodate any new features that will come. Since taking over the development from ISI back in 2016, we immediately redefined our graphical identity. From that point on we continued to further redefine rFactor 2 in many other ways, bringing in great “triple-A” cars and tracks, overhauling the graphics engine, and improving on and adding new features all along the way…
But our starting point was always ‘the new UI.’ It served as a basis for the overall design charter – we knew right away that how rFactor 2 is perceived depends heavily on how well it visually brings across its true potential and the possibilities it contains. We put great care and effort into making sure ‘your sim’ shows in the best light.
So a public beta is not the first step, we are well on our way already, but it’s the first time it sees start lights and, more importantly, it’s a preview of more exciting things to come!
In this first beta phase, we’ll be looking at getting your feedback and ideas, so please do post in our forum thread here.
To access the new UI you will need to subscribe to a special branch on Steam – here’s how to do that;
Right-click on rFactor 2 in your Steam Library and go to Properties.
Click on the tab at the top of the window ‘Betas‘ and from the drop-down select ‘Public-Beta‘
Now in the background rFactor 2 will now load the Public Beta branch, it may take a little while the first time!
Sim Formula 2020
After no fewer than ten 15 min races, thrilling starts, a pile up in T1 and a change of format we have five winners already invited to the InterClassics event in mid-January!
Well known sim racers: Risto Kappet, Jeremy Bouteloup, Hany Alsabti, Zbigniew Siara and finally Jarl Teien will be fighting on track for a prize-pool of € 10.000 + everyone is already a winner of Sprint pedals from Heusinkveld. The race will be streamed from location, and Rene Hoogterp will be calling all the action there.
InterClassics will open January 16th at 12:00, where you are able to give it a go – and work to become the fastest on track. Friday you can meet the pros and get some precious tips and tricks. Saturday you set your best lap and then finally Sunday you can see the finalists duke it out from 13:00 CET.
ALL Cars updated
Our entire updated roster of cars, ensuring full compatibility with the new UI icons display system. Because cars should shine bright and proudly show off their armor in their new home!
We also snuck in some other updates to a few cars, you can read about it in the changelog below. In short, minor updates for GTE’s to improve close racing and other minor fixes.
ALL cars have been updated with new icons and logos compatible with the new UI.
- StockCar 2015 – v2.00
- Howston G4 1968 – v2.00
- Howston G6 1968 – v2.00
- Indycar Dallara DW12 2014
- Nissan GT500 2013 – v2.03
- USF2000 2016 – v2.00
- AC Cobra 427SC 1967 v2.01
- Chevrolet Camaro GT3 2012 – 2.00
- Corvette C6R GT2 2009 – 2.00
- Kart Cup – 2.01
- Honda Civic BTCC 2013 – v2.00
- Formula Renault 3.5 – v2.00
- Renault Clio Cup 2010 – v2.00
- Brabham BT20 1966 – v2.00
- Howston Dissenter 1974 – v2.00Pan
- oz Roadster 1999 – v2.00
- Nissan GTR 2011 – 2.00
- Formula 2 2012 – v2.00
- Skip Barber – v2.02
– Added rain effects
Tatuus Pack – ALL Tatuus – Added upgrade.ini into unencrypted .mas for league use
- Tatuus F3 T318 2018 – v1.06
- – Separated WSK and Asia as opponents
- Tatuus USF-17 – v1.07
- Tatuus PM-18 – v1.07
- Tatuus FT-50 – v1.07
- Tatuus MSV_F3-016 – v1.07
- Tatuus F4 2018 – v1.07
Steam Store Items
GTE – ALL: Diffuser adjustment in GTE cars to reduce aero push oversteer of leading car.
- Porsche 991 RSR GTE – v1.99
- Chevrolet Corvette C7.R GTE – v2.05
- BMW M8 GTE – v1.81
- Aston Martin Vantage GTE – v1.11
- Oreca 07 LMP2 – v1.69
- Norma – v1.76
- Audi R8LMS GT3 2018 – v1.51 – Changed naming to reflect 2018 in the car list
- Bentley Continental GT3 – v2.55
- Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R – v2.51
- Mercedes AMG GT3 – v2.51
- McLaren 650S GT3 – v2.43
- Aston Martin Vantage GT3 – v1.47
- BMW M6 GT3 -v1.45
- McLaren 720s GT3 – v1.43
- Porsche 911 GT3R – v1.41
- Radical RXC GT3 – v2.55
- BMW M2 2020 – v1.31
– Fixed collision box
– Added ‘Clubsport’ upgrade
- Formula E 2018 – v2.03
- McLaren Senna – v1.07
Once again, we like to thank you for your continued support. We are hugely passionate sim racers and look forward to bringing more developments and surprises throughout the year – Happy Holidays!
Official Webpage – www.studio-397.com