News End of Summer 2019 - Development notes

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by J-F Chardon, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. J-F Chardon

    J-F Chardon Sector3 Producer Developer

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    This is a follow-up to the May 2019 thread.

    Summer is short in Sweden, so we try and make the best out of it, and that means quite a lot of vacation days have been taken, and therefore a significant slowdown in development for a few weeks.

    But here we are, back at it, skin maybe still peeling off from sunburns. I hope everyone had or might still be having a nice time out! I for one visited family and friends back in Belgium.
    Is this relevant for these development notes? Well, sort of, as I landed in Belgium the very week of the Spa 24H. I went there on the practice days, 23rd and 24th in order to collect references for no less than 7 or 8 cars.

    DSC_2173sss.jpg
    Transmission sounds still set to 11.

    After those refs were taken, it was time to go up and pay a visit to Aris (Kunos), Paul Jeffrey (RaceDepartment) and Chris Haye (Check his Youtube channel).

    IMG_2354.JPG
    I did queue to qualify for the ACC event, but suddenly had other opportunities to seize.

    Anyway... Here is a quick rundown of the items listed in the notes from May, and where we stand for each:
    1. Cars : The WTCR 2019 car class that we were working on is out and the esport season has started ( Check out the first race stream ).
      We had a couple small updates since the release, and also WTCR 2018 car class received their physics update to match and be raced alongside the 2019 cars.
      What we still have not shipped is the BMW M1 Group 4, which is awaiting liveries, and the updated Volkswagen ID.R, remade according to actual telemetry for which I also need liveries. Discussions are to resume soon with Volkswagen Motorsport regarding livery designs and final sign-off of the new physics. As you may have seen, Romain Dumas and the VW crew have been busy breaking records in China as well!
    2. Tracks : Two of the tracks we've been working on are now finished and being prepared for public use, so expect announcements and previews in the coming weeks. Our artists will immediately move on to new projects as we have reached agreements for four more in the meantime.
    3. Force Feedback updates : Static friction and pneumatic trail effects have been in testing for a while now and I have to hold them back for now as we have to wait for a gap between two competitions before we push changes that affect handling and performance of the cars. Those effects are physics based and the pneumatic trail effect has an impact on the car handling, especially coming out of corners. The next period between esport competitions is December 2019.
    4. Moving / resizing HUD elements : Issues reported on ultrawide monitors are considered fixed. Let us know if you still have any.

    So, what's new?

    1. @Thomas Jansen has been recruited to help in the physics and AI department. After proving his worth as a betatester and delivering flawlessness™ in BOP, Thomas is now a consultant, working hand in hand with @Alex Hodgkinson . He is tasked with things ranging from damper tuning to critical AI physics improvements, such as preventing AI of recent cars from losing the rear so often.

    2. Renato Lipi has been recruited as our new web backend developer. Renato will have a lot on his table with very big tasks awaiting him, such as a migration to AWS, development, along with the rest of the team, of the scheduled multiplayer / rating / career features, improvements to competitions, menus, and so on. I'm confident that his skills, in combination with a true passion and excitement for the projects, will help bring RaceRoom much further.

    3. @Anthony Monteil and @Robert Holm are cooking up some nice updates to the tyre sounds. A completely new set of recordings from Anthony, along with some code changes in the engine from Robert (allowing tweaks per car but also more randomness in the samples) should bring you a lot more information regarding grip levels while you are driving. I tried to demonstrate the progression in this video :

    4. AI improvements: We acknowledge that the more demanding physics we have been delivering are likely too much for the AI to handle properly. There are plenty of places where AI now easily gets in trouble, so we're addressing this issue from an AI physics point of view.
      What we need to avoid is for this job to put us in a spot where AI cars differ quite a lot from the player's car, making racing feel unfair as AI appear to have much better cornering grip, braking or power.
      To prevent this but also improve AI in general, @Robert Holm has experimented and came up an interesting self-learning AI. The way it works is that we take a car and we throw it on a track, then we tell the AI to drive and run tests to autotune itself. It all happens in a few seconds and the following measures happen:
      • DECELERATION / BRAKING
        Performs brake tests and compares measurement with what AI thought would happen. Useful for preventing AI from hitting you in the back.
      • ACCELERATION|
        Performs acceleration tests and compares measure against prediction, this will for example improve the calculation of slowdown penalties or the decision of when to issue a stop-and-go penalty after cutting the track.
      • LAP
        AI performs a timed lap and logs it for developers to gauge the effects of their changes (for example, matching real world laptimes)
      • CORNERING
        Keeps track of how far off the line the AI went and the amount of understeer. Used to prevent AI from cornering too early or too late.
      • RADIUS
        A complex set of tests for grip levels per corner radius, allowing AI to be fine-tuned so they are not dead slow in hairpins or lightning fast in medium radius corners.

        I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the team achieves with this new tool.
        Watch it in action here:
    5. Physics - Current projects are:
      • GT3 overhaul (Release December 2019)
      • DTM 92 / Touring Classics (Release TBA)
      • VW ID.R modifications for an eventual release in store (Release TBA)
      • Working on new cars as well that I can't disclose.
    6. Art - Always complicated to talk about what our talented artists are working on as they're always the ones with the top secret stuff in their hands... Just know that we have 7 or 8 cars in the pipeline at the moment, along with official liveries of the 2019 season of three racing series (for cars that we already released). As touched above, two tracks are in their final development phase. Two more are lined up afterwards, currently receiving art polish and tweaks.

    7. Damage - As you know from previous notes, we have suspension damage and flatspots in beta, and the only thing that was holding it back was the need for a modification of how damage options are handled. Right now, you have two settings to set for damage: visual and mechanical. That will go away and in the future you'll only have one damage setting with three choices: "Off" - "Minimal" and "Full". If you want suspension damage and flatspots, you'll have to go on "Full", while "Minimal" will give you damage like you currently have it. That modification is now done and we only have to wait until a gap in esport to push these game-changing updates. The next gap is in December. So that is when we'll push those.

    8. Dedicated Server - The following doesn't require a gap in esport competitions and therefore will hit your server machines very soon.
      1. Chat box - The server admin can now read and send chat messages. Messages from the server admin will be shown as originating from 'SERVER', like in this example:
        In the server interface:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-35-41.png
        And in-game:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-35-25.png

      2. MOTD - The server can now be set with a Message Of The Day, a text-only short message that will be shown to players joining the server (in practice and standing start qualifying). Communities can now use this to show server rules or their website / Discord URL, etc.
        There is some basic html formatting available. For example, the following:
        Code:
        <p>Welcome and thank you for testing.</p><p>Do not forget to report bugs on <FONT color="#f75ee8"><b>bugtracker.sector3studios.com</b></p></FONT>
        Will result in this aspect:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-28-29.png

      3. Weight Manager - We're adding an example of what can be done using the Dedicated Server's API with this tool. Feed it with a results file from a previous race and in a matter of a few clicks, you can set success ballast for the next championship round, saving you the trouble of manually going through their ID's and usernames.
        We're adding a field to input a formula allowing for quick automated weights attribution. Example here with this RRVLN race result where we give ballast based on the finish position in class, with a maximum of 50kg:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-48-49.png

        Another example of a formula that doesn't have such a drop in ballast between 1st and 2nd:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-51-3.png

        Here's a list of the helpers currently in testing, allowing for creativity in the formula:
        upload_2019-9-15_13-52-23.png


      4. Pre-determined starting grid - As I write these lines, I'm not sure yet if it works as we added it this week and we haven't managed to organize a race with the betatesters yet. The goal of this feature is that you should be able to set the starting grid of your MP race and skip qualifying altogether. Either set the grid manually, or point the tool to a leaderboard with your league's team name and it will fetch all the players with that team name on that leaderboard and automatically generate the starting grid. Hopefully it passes QA swiftly.
        upload_2019-9-14_18-19-31.png
        An example import with a WTCR championship round from https://www.racingfr.net of how the starting grid can be imported from a leaderboard and then edited manually with a couple of clicks.
    9. Discord : Let's mention it every month: Check out the RaceRoom Discord channel. Link here --> http://discord.gg/raceroom
     

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  2. Scout

    Scout Well-Known Member Beta tester

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Stickdeath1980

    Stickdeath1980 Active Member

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    I'm guessing car series ADAC WTCR seeing as you have them on board :D #maybeAustralianTCR :D
     
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  4. RoccoTTS

    RoccoTTS Well-Known Member

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    Lots of interesting stuff coming Soon™. Looking forward to all of this.
     
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  5. HomieFFM

    HomieFFM Well-Known Member

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    esport meme.jpg
     
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  6. HomieFFM

    HomieFFM Well-Known Member

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    ....I'm super hyped, awesome news thanks for sharing everything on a free day, looking forward to everything :)
     
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  7. Nico Kunze

    Nico Kunze Well-Known Member

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    That alone was worth the wait for me :D
    But plenty of other nice stuff as well :)
     
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  8. Jorgen Wahlby

    Jorgen Wahlby Well-Known Member

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    R3E are going places nice to see :D
    Thx for the update on what we can expect during the cold and windy autumn that lays ahead of us ;)

    30703168482_37dab3a73e.jpg
     
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  9. Christian Göpfert

    Christian Göpfert Topological Agitator Beta tester

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  10. fischhaltefolie

    fischhaltefolie Well-Known Member

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    Great announcements, especially recruitment of two new s3s-members.:)
    Some kind of mystically is this::eek:
    upload_2019-9-15_15-37-52.png
     
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  11. Karting06

    Karting06 Well-Known Member Beta tester

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    The art of writing takes time!
     
  12. J-F Chardon

    J-F Chardon Sector3 Producer Developer

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    I did start that thread at that date, it sat as a draft until I just moved it :p
     
  13. Xon3

    Xon3 Well-Known Member

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    THANK YOU !!!
     
  14. Cheeseman

    Cheeseman Well-Known Member

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    I really hope new features or even content aren't going to be limited by esports gap.

    I hope this genre will not end up like Real Time Strategy with every developer chasing after esports where the fun of playing a game is all forgotten.
     
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  15. Karting06

    Karting06 Well-Known Member Beta tester

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    It's not limited by esports. It's actively developed (and tested).
    But it can only be released during that gap.
     
  16. Stickdeath1980

    Stickdeath1980 Active Member

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    Are they massive change's that will affect them? meh Esport's pretty much everyone drive same OP car not great to watch/Maybe sometime's.What i'd like you see is a racing incident replay system as iracing has in there replay's hell even iracing's replay system in this game would help alot because most of the action is missed or the com's guys don't know what's happend.The presentation need's to be on par with the other sim's/games or just a new engine
     
  17. yoori

    yoori Well-Known Member

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    J-F says he took references for 7 or 8 cars at Spa 24h and there still no wish list in this thread? I'm disappointed in you guys.
     
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  18. ducman888

    ducman888 Well-Known Member

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    Glad all enjoyed their summer break, congratulations to those new additions and thanks for the exciting update news. How do I look forward to December without wanting winter to come? Fingers crossed on Mosport - CTMP, Watkins Glen, Sebring or Road Atlanta.

    no longer need to be disappointed @yoori
     
  19. Trickle

    Trickle Member

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    By "soon" you mean december? That is the time frame that I get out of the notes.
    And the reason for this late date are those competition things. - Which for me is a kind of a bummer.


    The changes to the dedicated server and quality of life improvements however sound very promising! =)

    Anyway, thanks for keeping us updated J-F!
     
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  20. HomieFFM

    HomieFFM Well-Known Member

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    In League of Legends (for example) e-sport takes place on a fixed version of the game, meanwhile they can countinue to release updates and new things without affecting the competition. Wouldn't this also be an option for R3E?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019