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May Developer notes

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

Yes, I did miss the opportunity of writing one in April… Last month is a big blur for me while we were dedicated to the Volkswagen ID.R project and putting in long hours. I was mostly just focused on that while the team kept cracking on with more good stuff.

So let’s catch up together with what they’ve been doing. But first let’s recap the status of all the items discussed in the March 2019 thread:

Progress update on the March thread:


Adjustable Tyre Pressure – Shipped! How are you all liking this? We’ll be adding this as planned to all new cars and reviewed cars in future updates.

Flat spots, suspension damage and damage settings – Still being fine tuned in betatesting, and the damage settings revision is probably going to be the most time consuming to make as it involves UI’s, backend, and some refactoring of the game code.

New dedi features – Shipped! So, how many griefers have you banned?

Shared Mem updates – Shipped! Check out the 3rd party apps section for all kinds of awesome.

In-game web overlays – Shipped!

Oschersleben new layouts – Shipped!

Fanatec SDK update – We had some last minute modifications to allow toggling LED’s and Displays in various ways. Support for the DD2 is already added, so we’re looking good to include this in the next game update.


What we’re working on at the moment:

Cars : Esports, esports, esports! We are currently busy on the 2019 season of the FIA WTCR.
I can’t show you much as things still need to go through approvals and all, so here’s a blurry car. Which car can it possibly be? 
 
We’re doing our best to complete this 2019 set and have them available towards end of June, so expect the esports WTCR 2019 to start soon after that.

Then, probably later due to BOP requirements and WTCR taking priority, we’ll be bringing you a BMW M1 Group 4, to fight alongside the Porsche 934 RSR.

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Of course, let’s not forget the Volkswagen ID.R ! Our initial version of the car will receive several adjustments in physics. The real car has now been on two practice sessions around the Nordschleife and the telemetry and comments from Romain Dumas will allow us to bring the car closer to its real performance. We have several visual updates to the car that are ready to ship, such as adding the DRS box. 

Once the ID.R physics are completed and published, a second round of the Volkswagen ID. R Challenge will open with the updated car, and it will likely be finally available in the store around that time. https://youtu.be/DMrs_fKeztA

More Cars : Sadly can’t say much else than “more cars are being licensed for a release in 2019” at this point. Until papers are all in order, it’s all a bit hush-hush.

Soon™ cars : The next update should see the release of the Formula RaceRoom X-90. Designed to bring you back to the visuals and sounds of the early 90’s formula series, this car will come in three engine flavors : V8, V10 and V12. Do I need to tell you they all sound awesome? After endlessly lapping the Nordschleife in the relative silence of the highly technological VW ID.R, this one will turn your ears back on.

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 I heard you like blurry cars.

Tracks : 4 active projects at the moment, and not enough time. Sorry but still can’t disclose anything until we get closer to release.

Force Feedback updates : Working on two separate areas of FFB improvements.

One started as a bug fix and quickly turned into a feature as we realized the static friction (the fact that turning the steering wheel should be more difficult when your car is standing still) wasn’t working at all. As a result we not only now have a working friction, but also a proper fully simulated power steering. Turning off your engine and power is even taken into account. Rumor has it that Anthony is even going to add a sound sample for turning wheels.

The other is about introducing pneumatic trail effects. ( wiki and some other source that requires aspirin) This will give some very welcome information about the amount of grip available on the front wheels.

Moving / resizing HUD elements : Since the release of the in-game overlays feature and its ability to handle moving widgets around the screen, many asked why this wasn’t possible for the regular HUD. This will now be possible. (except for the top position bar, which occupies the full width of the screen and could only be moved down in a very impractical fashion to whoever wanted to see what’s happening outside of the car) You will finally be able to move and resize that big virtual rearview mirror!
Small feature for LED / wheelbase displays: Some 3rd party tools offer the ability to push custom information to the steering wheel displays such as Fanatec’s rev LED’s. It was unfortunately cumbersome for the users of those apps to prevent RaceRoom from sending data to those rev LED’s and diplays. We will offer new controls that will allow those users to cycle through different modes for rev LED’s and displays, allowing to just turn them off completely.
More dedi features : We’re currently testing a live penalty system allowing the league admins to hand out penalties during a race: Slowdown, drive-through, stop-n-go or just plain Disqualification. We’re also working on the ability to read and send chat messages directly from the dedicated server manager UI.
Discord : Thought I’d just mention it here: You NEED to join the RaceRoom Discord channel. Link here –> https://discord.gg/Zz9Zymz 

We’ve just restructured it a bit to bring it more in line with the current standards. 

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Feels like I should reach 10 to look as busy as in March.

Source:(https://forum.sector3studios.com/index.php?threads/may-2019-developer-notes.13174/ )

March Developer notes!

Back in the days when we were SimBin, we had a dev blog. Then later we had dev streams. The downside is that it all takes a long time to prepare and we’re busy making RaceRoom better! So we figured a written and more modest update from time to time was probably the best approach.

So I’ll be posting every now and then to update you about what we have in the works. I need to make it clear that the fact we have something cooking that gets presented here does not mean it’s around the corner, or that it will definitely come out in the next patch.

Without further ado, here’s your March 2019 dev update !

1. Adjustable tyre pressures

Yes. You’ve read this right. We’re finally adding it.

As you can understand, this means a lot of development and testing of the physics engine and its variables to ensure the effects of pressure adjustments are proper and do not lead to exploits.

As a result, we will be turning this feature on following a per car basis, after each has passed QA tests.
Priority is set on the new car as well as car classes that are receiving a physics overhaul or are just popular.

The sub-optimal aspect of this feature is that we haven’t had the opportunity to re-design the car setup menu yet. Therefore you’ll find the buttons for it have been crammed in there. The way this menu is laid out at the moment didn’t really allow for a clear presentation of asymmetric pressure settings. You’ll have to pay close attention that you’re adjusting the correct tyre. We want to re-design this menu altogether whenever we have time.

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Here’s the list of the car classes currently in beta with tyre pressures:

  • Formula RaceRoom Junior
  • Unannounced Formula car
  • Touring Classics
  • WTCR
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991.2)
  • Porsche 911 Carrera (964)
  • GTR2
  • GT4 Clubsport Trophy
  • Group C
  • Group 4
  • Mercedes DTM 1995

2. Flat spots

When locking a tyre for too long, the caused friction can eat through your rubber and create a flat surface on the wheel.
This not only has an effect on the grip and wear but will also induce some vibrations depending on the size and depth of the spot. Flat spots usually get worse over time as you will find that the affected tyre will lock up even more easily, eventually leading to a puncture.

Here’s the list of the car classes currently in beta with flat spots:

  • DTM 1992
  • Formula RaceRoom Junior
  • Group 4
  • Group C
  • GT4 Clubsport Trophy
  • GTR2
  • Porsche 911 Carrera (964)
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991.2)
  • WTCR
  • Touring Classics
  • Unannounced Formula car
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This new feature is currently being tested for bugs but also feedback is being collected regarding how easy it is to get one, how much the wheel should vibrate, how it sounds like, and so on. Currently considering making it optional, which you will read about in chapter 4 below.

3. Suspension damage

Back in 2013, RaceRoom wouldn’t let your wheels come off your car, no matter the force of the impact.
In recent RaceRoom updates, you might have read about optimizations to the damage code, improvements to the collision detection and its effects on mechanical components.

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And if you play regularly, you probably noticed we have some bugs to fix with regards to that. (Debris on track not clearing out from the track for example)

We’re not done yet. What we have in testing at the moment is a brand new system designed to accurately render effects of bent axles and broken springs.

Impacts will deform the alignment of individual suspension parts and affect the handling of the car in sometimes dramatic ways.

This is of course another feature that needs to sit in beta long enough to ensure you won’t suddenly receive unwanted camber or toe-in from harmless door to door racing.

Look at this driver… Will he even make it back to the pits to repair?

We are reviewing the code deep down, making changes such as damaging your powetrain if the impact affects a powered wheel. Also, the more worn your tyres, the bigger risk of getting punctures from collisions with other cars, from driving on dirt, gravel or grass, but also from driving over pieces of sharp carbon fiber left on the track by your fellow racers. For that, we’ll also have a caution flag warning to signal the presence of debris.

4. Revisions of damage settings

Because the above mentioned features can lead to added frustration for the least hardcore simracers among us, we will make sure those new ways of ending your race prematurely are optional.

One of the early design choices from back in 2013 that we’re now set to overcome is the way damage settings are defined. Right now there’s a separation between Visual Damage, and Mechanical Damage in the menu. This doesn’t make much sense any longer and we’ll change to have something like this instead:

  • Damage setting: None – Minimum – Complete
    • None = no visual damage, no mechanical damage, no punctures, no flat spots, no parts falling off.
    • Minimum = mechanical damage and visual damage are on. No punctures, no flat spots, no suspension damage or wheels falling off
    • Complete = everything on

5. Dedicated server features

Our dedicated server has been lacking when it comes to features you’d expect as part of a base package.
We’re fixing this, and adding more.

Here is what we’re working on adding:

  • Session info block:
    • Added list of connected players with their user ID, with a live count of their incident points.
    • Added ability to kick a certain player out
    • Added current session and timer
    • Added a “Next Session” button and a “Restart Session” button
  • Car selection list:
    • Added car specific weight ballast (for your personal BOP adjustments)
  • User management block:
    • Added user specific weight ballast (for leagues with success ballast)
    • Added management of banned users
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The weight penalties will also be visible from the game itself, through the addition of a ballast column in the timing screen.

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6. Shared memory API – Massive update.

As I’ve touched somewhere on the forum, our next update will break 3rd party applications that use our shared memory block.

If you are a developer of such applications, please have a look at the attachment ” r3e_sharedmem_preview_march2019.zip ” to get an early look at the changes.

The goal of this update is to expose all the possible telemetry you can dream of, and extend the possibilities for apps and overlays.

7. Support web-based in-game overlays

If you have watched or streamed a multiplayer race with your game client started as spectator, you are probably familiar with the fact that the overlays showing are done via web. We are adding a transparent web page on top of the game and we make it show whatever feels relevant at the time.

With this ability to overlay webpages on top of the gameplay and thanks to the sheer amount of data we’re adding to our shared memory block, we are experimenting with fully customizable HUD’s.

Just like for the broadcast overlays, we will ship the feature with an example app that will showcase some of those new possibilities.

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8. Oschersleben – New layouts

We wanted to get this out in time for the ADAC esport championship, but with the time constrains and the track being featured early in the series, we couldn’t make it happen in time. But good news is that it will come eventually, and for free to anyone who already owns the track.

  • A Course (already available)
  • “Motorcycle” A Course (fast turn 1 chicane)
  • B Course (shortcut after turn 3)
  • “Motorcycle” B Course (fast turn version)

9. Physics updates

@Alex Hodgkinson is always busy. When it’s not about upcoming cars, it’s of course about bringing improvements to the ones that are already out there, to re-ignite interest in them as the often suffer from the comparison to the feel of the newly released cars.

One of the updates currently in development is the DTM 1992 & Touring Classic classes.
In order to respect the true specs of these cars, we had to sacrifice the balance of performance between those two classes. This means that the BMW M3 E30, present in both, will eventually be present in two different flavours. More on that will come from Alex himself when we’re closer to release of these.

We are also busy adding support for electric vehicles in both the physics and sound engines in very close partnership with a major player in the industry. More on that soon!

A lot of things have to change when you suddenly don’t have more than one gear and no fuel to burn!

10. Fanatec SDK updates

We are spending time with our friends from Fanatec to implement their latest SDK and make use of nice features they offer on their hardware such as special switches or ability to show yellow flag warnings through the steering wheel.

Source:(https://forum.sector3studios.com/index.php?threads/the-march-2019-developer-notes.12862/)

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