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TheOneAndOnly
14-03-2016, 15:45
Is a racing sim really simulating the real thing? I am confused about that after reading and posting some comments about updates and patches in the AC vs PCars thread.

I am new to simracing and playing pcars on my ps4 with the TS300.

I always thought that racing sim developers were trying to make a realistic simulation of reality. But it seems not to be that way. I understand after reading some posts that it is considered a good thing that a sim can be tweaked by devs in any way they want to make it more drivable or more fun. Through updates and patches for example.
Assuming they do make the car exactly as it is in real life, is that the point a sim loses the name sim because it is no longer simulating the true caracteristics of the car/track/tires etc it had originally?
Or is there a small blurry area that is taking for granted?
Or is it normal that a sim is not really simulating reality?
Where is the point that a piece of software becomes a arcade game instead of a racing sim?
Is it accepted in the racing community that updates and patches change the originality of cars and tracks and make it less sim?
When there are updates and patches, were the devs wrong all this time?
Do devs start off by making the realistic digital version and then tweak it so its easier to drive?

Or....is it the other way around? Do devs release games that are not realistic and try to accomplish it afterwards through these patches and updates. I hope that this is not the case...then we would all been robbed...

I really am curious what is up with this...Again, i am new to this so i hope you understand that i am a bit confused about this.

danowat
14-03-2016, 15:50
You are assuming that reality is easy to simulate, and that you can hit maximum realism at day 0.

If something is complex as tyre physics was simple to get right for 100% of instances then it would have been done by now, I suggest you do some reading on just how a tyre is modeled, you may then appreciate the nuances in how things are simulated.

Realism is a very specific objective, and I think your idea of just how that is achieved is a little simplistic.

Shinzah
14-03-2016, 15:59
Is a racing sim really simulating the real thing? I am confused about that after reading and posting some comments about updates and patches in the AC vs PCars thread.


I'm going to try to be diplomatic. I might fail, but I'll try.



I am new to simracing and playing pcars on my ps4 with the TS300.


Welcome! I hope you enjoy the hobby =)



I always thought that racing sim developers were trying to make a realistic simulation of reality. But it seems not to be that way. I understand after reading some posts that it is considered a good thing that a sim can be tweaked by devs in any way they want to make it more drivable or more fun. Through updates and patches for example.

The short answer is this: Developers *are* trying to simulate reality, but they are also trying to sell a product. So they need the product to be palatable for the larger playerbases they intend to bring into the hobby. An easier to grasp or get into simulator is not necessarily less accurate, though it has lead to a split in the community about "Harder = Better" which is just a totally misguided approach to anything.



Assuming they do make the car exactly as it is in real life, is that the point a sim loses the name sim because it is no longer simulating the true caracteristics of the car/track/tires etc it had originally?

A simulator is no longer a simulator when it stops being analogous to objective reality. For example, most people wouldn't especially call Forza a "Simulator" because the cars handle very poorly WRT their counterparts.



Or is there a small blurry area that is taking for granted?
Or is it normal that a sim is not really simulating reality?

A simulator can only simulate A PART OF reality. For example, Pcars has an incredibly advanced tiremodel and capable engine model, but it has some small issues with collision physics and things of that nature. RRE has a (frankly incredible) transmission model, but its tire model feels dated. Developers approach what they want to do differently because resources are numbered and you can't just plug a simulation of true reality into a consumer electronic device. Even F1 teams will need days or weeks to build a CFD model, and so in a simulation game there's ALWAYS going to be values that are approximated or innacurate/basic in order to balance resource management.



Where is the point that a piece of software becomes a arcade game instead of a racing sim?
When the developer pays no attention to any point of objectively reality.



Is it accepted in the racing community that updates and patches change the originality of cars and tracks and make it less sim?
It's probable that they didn't make the cars "Less Sim" but either balanced their performance, or updated them to be more accurate. Either way, updates to cars are generally accepted as a good thing so long as they don't totally break the reality.



When there are updates and patches, were the devs wrong all this time?

I wouldn't say wrong. I would say that new data is a consistent thing in the world of motorsport. Motorsports teams get new data every race weekend about their cars. Why wouldn't developers get trickle-down information about cars also?



Do devs start off by making the realistic digital version and then tweak it so its easier to drive?


It's usually the other way around. The initial building of physics is often far more 'unrealistic' and certainly more 'difficult'. There's a lot that happens internally before a car is released. After release, see the above points I made.



Or....is it the other way around? Do devs release games that are not realistic and try to accomplish it afterwards through these patches and updates. I hope that this is not the case...then we would all been robbed...


Improvement is always possible. They do not release an "unrealistic" game on purpose, they release a product and then can improve upon it. Developers who release unrealistic games, tend not to use "Simulation" in their marketing approach, instead opting for words like "Casual" or "Approachable", or "Fun" or buzzwords like "Epic Crazy" (they also avoid terms like Arcade or SimCade)



I really am curious what is up with this...Again, i am new to this so i hope you understand that i am a bit confused about this.

I genuinely hope I have helped with this post.

danowat
14-03-2016, 16:09
Have a watch of this OP

https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Charles/Brian-Beckman-The-Physics-in-Games-Real-Time-Simulation-Explained

Parts relating to cars starts at about 10mins in.




A simulator is no longer a simulator when it stops being analogous to objective reality. For example, most people wouldn't especially call Forza a "Simulator" because the cars handle very poorly WRT their counterparts.


Well, most people would be wrong, Forza IS a simulator, whether you like it or not.

Just because it's not a hardcore piece of software, it doesn't negate the fact that the physical simulation systems working in the background are simulating real life, maybe not to the fidelity of something like PCars, but the goal is still the same.

The physicist in the video I linked above worked on Forza tyre physics model.

sbtm
14-03-2016, 16:24
Have a watch of this OP

https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Charles/Brian-Beckman-The-Physics-in-Games-Real-Time-Simulation-Explained

Parts relating to cars starts at about 10mins in.



Well, most people would be wrong, Forza IS a simulator, whether you like it or not.

Just because it's not a hardcore piece of software, it doesn't negate the fact that the physical simulation systems working in the background are simulating real life, maybe not to the fidelity of something like PCars, but the goal is still the same.

The physicist in the video I linked above worked on Forza tyre physics model.

ok then it's a less accurate simulation. So there are plenty simulations out there but their accuracy differs. The more accurate it gets, the more hardware ressources are needed to compute all this stuff.. and because hardware has limitations they need to downgrade other stuff like graphics or so. And then many people will avoid this game / simulator because it doesn'T have fancy graphics.
And then there are some sims that achieve very accurate simulation of physics, tyres, ambient temperature and its impact on performance, air pressure (and impact on performance), drag PLUS great graphics.. and that is called pcars then.

But people who just look at graphics can stick with arcade racers... or Forza .. :-D


And for me a very important thing in a simulation is IMMERSION... that's where the magic happens... when everything comes together .. sound, gameplay, graphics, physics.. when you think you are racing this beast and not playing a game.. that's what a simulation should try to achieve.. imo

Sankyo
14-03-2016, 16:37
I think we had a thread about this before, discussing what 'simulation' or 'racing simulator' actually means. It was clear that just about every person has his/her own personal definition of it, so discussing it can be amusing, but hardly defining hard facts.

Personally, I think there's games. Some games try to mimick real life, and they are therefore simulations. How well they simulate reality, is something that can be discussed at length and can be rated on a very sliding and slippery scale :) So you have good to bad simulations, depending on what they do and don't simulate, and how well they do it. They're still games, though, and for me the most important thing is suspension of disbelief. If my pulse goes up, I'm totally immersed in the battle for positions and the behaviour of the cars is believable, it's good enough for me. Realism is a means, not a goal. At least for me.

kevin kirk
14-03-2016, 16:49
Its sim without some very important parts. G forces and heat and the feeling drivers talk about in their stomach cresting over hills and so on. Most importantly part missing from these games is the feeling of you might get hurt if you screw up and crash. You do things in this game you wouldn't do in real life because you know you arnt taking a chance of getting hurt, hurting someone else and at the very least you might crash a 500 thousand dollar race car. Also when you read things like this,keep in mind that there are a thousand different combination of options settings to play the game. Each makes the game play different and things in the game react different. My game feels differant from yours and yours from mine.

Sum Dixon-Ear
14-03-2016, 17:00
... You do things in this game you wouldn't do in real life because you know you arnt taking a chance of getting hurt, hurting someone else and at the very least you might crash a 500 thousand dollar race car...

For me, this is where the individual creates a fundamental part of the term 'simulator'. I treat the cars, the evolving situations and my competitors (real or AI) exactly as I would if it were on a real race track with the real risks involved. That mindset creates a huge part of the simulation aspect, if you treat something with the respect that you would in a real-life scenario then the simulation becomes incredibly more rewarding and convincing.

Treat it like a silly game and that's all you will ever experience.

TheOneAndOnly
14-03-2016, 17:04
Thanks for the quick replys,

I think i understand the matter a little bit better. Let's say i get the bigger picture now. On this subject at least....my god, there's so much te learn about simracing.
I think that i am developing a serious love/hate relationship with this hobby...
I was so happy to learn THE corner on Brands....I was so happy when i finally got some idea what to do with the ffb settings....i was so happy to see that my friends looked kind of funny at me when i told them that i put on plastic watershoes and racing gloves when i "play a game" on the ps4...
I get so pissed off when the AI does something stupid...i get so pissed everytime i have to manage the hub again and again...

Well, i got my answers, thanks!

BigFred
14-03-2016, 17:15
A game is a simulator if the developer who creates it claims that it is a simulator.

It's then for the world/user base to judge as to how well it achieves that objective.

cmch15
14-03-2016, 17:19
Is a racing sim really simulating the real thing? I am confused about that after reading and posting some comments about updates and patches in the AC vs PCars thread.

I am new to simracing and playing pcars on my ps4 with the TS300.

I always thought that racing sim developers were trying to make a realistic simulation of reality. But it seems not to be that way. I understand after reading some posts that it is considered a good thing that a sim can be tweaked by devs in any way they want to make it more drivable or more fun. Through updates and patches for example.
Assuming they do make the car exactly as it is in real life, is that the point a sim loses the name sim because it is no longer simulating the true caracteristics of the car/track/tires etc it had originally?
Or is there a small blurry area that is taking for granted?
Or is it normal that a sim is not really simulating reality?
Where is the point that a piece of software becomes a arcade game instead of a racing sim?
Is it accepted in the racing community that updates and patches change the originality of cars and tracks and make it less sim?
When there are updates and patches, were the devs wrong all this time?
Do devs start off by making the realistic digital version and then tweak it so its easier to drive?

Or....is it the other way around? Do devs release games that are not realistic and try to accomplish it afterwards through these patches and updates. I hope that this is not the case...then we would all been robbed...

I really am curious what is up with this...Again, i am new to this so i hope you understand that i am a bit confused about this.

If you want an idea how much work goes into the cars, and the level of realism they try to achieve, you could read some of Casey's physics notes here http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?45635-PCARS-Physics-Collection-Information-to-car-releases-by-Casey&p=1246824&viewfull=1#post1246824

IIRC SMS schedules an average of 100 days (I assume @ 8/9hrs) per car. I stand to be corrected but from memory that was the quote.

kevin kirk
14-03-2016, 18:05
For me, this is where the individual creates a fundamental part of the term 'simulator'. I treat the cars, the evolving situations and my competitors (real or AI) exactly as I would if it were on a real race track with the real risks involved. That mindset creates a huge part of the simulation aspect, if you treat something with the respect that you would in a real-life scenario then the simulation becomes incredibly more rewarding and convincing.

Treat it like a silly game and that's all you will ever experience.......yea,watching the Daytona 24 and the drivers were talking about how terrifying it was going into turn one on the road course. We are not getting the crap scared out of us, and thats a big part of driving a race car.

Sum Dixon-Ear
14-03-2016, 18:18
......yea,watching the Daytona 24 and the drivers were talking about how terrifying it was going into turn one on the road course. We are not getting the crap scared out of us, and thats a big part of driving a race car.

Obviously we can't simulate everything... what we can do is treat a racing simulation with the respect that it actually deserves in order to enhance the experience as much as we can.

We can simulate the forces felt through the steering wheel, we can simulate the G forces (to a degree with a motion rig), we can simulate the tracks and environments, we can simulate the sounds of a race. We can make it as convincing as possible... but it's not real. It never will be.

You won't die horribly in a bone-shattering accident or end up burnt to a crisp driving a computer simulation in your house, no.

Angst1974
14-03-2016, 18:23
So you can have a game , or a sim , or a simulator within a game .

There are many aspects of simulation . In the case of a racing sim you must simulate the cars going around the track (physics) The next aspect is the "racing event" ( pit stops , flags , rules , pace cars , etc...) . Then you have the 3rd aspect of the AI . As long as the intent is to make these as realistic as they can then it's a sim . Just because they don't do one or the other , or all 3 very well , does not make it a "game" , you just have a poor sim . It is all about intent .

A "game" is something where you may have realistic physics , but the intent is not to simulate anything real , i.e. You do not drive over power-ups to get a turbo charger or a v12 engine in a sim. So you can have a good physics model in a game as well .

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
14-03-2016, 18:31
I always thought that racing sim developers were trying to make a realistic simulation of reality. But it seems not to be that way. I understand after reading some posts that it is considered a good thing that a sim can be tweaked by devs in any way they want to make it more drivable or more fun. Through updates and patches for example.
Assuming they do make the car exactly as it is in real life, is that the point a sim loses the name sim because it is no longer simulating the true caracteristics of the car/track/tires etc it had originally? You have to understand that simulating cars is INCREDIBLY HARD. It's multiple orders of magnitude harder than simulating for example an aeroplane. Scientist still don't 100% understand how exactly tyres work in real life. They have very good ideas, but there's a lot about them that they're still working on a lot. With current technology it is still impossible to completely accurately model any given part of a car, especially in real time. All simulation models, be it the engine, turbo, gearbox, clutch, differential (oh boy, differentials...), aerodynamics and especially tyres are to some extent simplifications of what really happens, often because doing everything totally accurately is either still something we don't know how to do, or is only possible to do in non-realtime simulation, where you spend an hour simulating what happens during a second of real time.

This doesn't mean the developers don't do the simulations as accurately as they can within the constraints they have. Everything is a limitation, time, money, manpower, processing power on the platform of choice, everything.

The really big thing, almost the most important thing in a sim is the tyre model. That is the single most complex system in a proper sim, and has an immense effect on how the game feels and behaves. And it is incredibly difficult to do.

You also have to understand that for almost two decades in simulators the biggest problem that real racing drivers had was that the tyres didn't behave realistically, they were too difficult on the edge and gave up too suddenly, the drivability wasn't there. It is only in the last few years that things have started to change. pCARS was among the first ones that started to get this closer to reality according to the real racing drivers who were testing the game, making the cars finally feel like they had enough grip compared to the real thing. And since then Assetto Corsa came along and implemented a lot of the same thoughts and iRacing and RRRE have been moving in this direction also.

So it's not really that the companies are just willy nilly adjusting the cars to be more drivable and fun (though there's nothing wrong with fun, real racing cars are fun to drive), it's more that this latest generation of sims has finally broken away from old long held convictions and is moving closer to real life where drivability of tyres is concerned, but this is still an active, ongoing development that no-one has perfected yet. Every company is still refining their models all of the time. We are living on the forefront of new, more accurately modeled sims than ever before, but it's still all a work in progress, even after many decades.


Or is there a small blurry area that is taking for granted?
Or is it normal that a sim is not really simulating reality? Blurry areas and simulating reality aren't mutually exclusive. In many areas our understanding of reality is still very blurry, and there are multiple approaches to the same problems.

Where is the point that a piece of software becomes a arcade game instead of a racing sim?I draw this line between games that try to actually model tyre contact patch physics, suspension geometries, springs and dampers, inertia, masses moving etc. vs. games that use simplified kinematics to give the impression of physics being calculated. For example in most NFS and Ridge Racer games when you push "left", you're not actually turning the wheels of the car left, that angle of attack with the road isn't being fed into a physics system that calculates the coefficient of grip at that particular moment at that particular tyre load and then applies a force to rotate the mass of the vehicle etc. etc. No, what happens is the car gets a command "turn left" and based on some variables the car turns left and some animation is played. This is similar to how when you play a Mario game you push left and Mario walks left with certain acceleration and reaches a certain speed, which is synced somewhat to a simple animation. If this was simulated you pushing left would activate some muscles in Mario's body that would try to move Mario's center of mass to the left, and his feet would try to catch him before he falls, but in a way that keeps the center of mass moving to the left, continously trying to fall but being caught in time (like what happens when you really run around).



Is it accepted in the racing community that updates and patches change the originality of cars and tracks and make it less sim?
When there are updates and patches, were the devs wrong all this time?
Do devs start off by making the realistic digital version and then tweak it so its easier to drive?
Or....is it the other way around? Do devs release games that are not realistic and try to accomplish it afterwards through these patches and updates. I hope that this is not the case...then we would all been robbed...Generally updates are made to improve accuracy rather than reduce it. The more people play the more data can be gathered and the devs can use this to improve their models.

No-one in the history of simulation development has ever made a totally accurate simulation of any vehicle, ever.

Oh, and welcome to the hobby. =)

Angst1974
14-03-2016, 18:45
You have to understand that simulating cars is INCREDIBLY HARD. It's multiple orders of magnitude harder than simulating for example an aeroplane.

Coming from doing flight sims since the c64 days I'll have to respectfully disagree . The weather models are extremely difficult to simulate , and the atmosphere has much to do with how a plane flies . Aircraft are difficult to simulate at the edge of the envelope . Not even thinking about going into weapon system / radar modeling for combat sims.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
14-03-2016, 18:46
Oh, and as for "game" vs. "sim", those talk about completely different things and aren't mutually exclusive at all.

A game is when you give something a framework, objectives, rules, winning conditions etc. So a car race is a kind of game, it's a game of "who can reach the goal first in given machinery following the rules of the game".

A sim is when you try to realistically simulate something, be it how planets move, how atoms fuse, how planes fly, or how cars drive, or anything really.

So if you realistically simulate how a car behaves and put that simulation into the framework of a car race, you get something that is both a game and a sim at the same time.

I'd also like to mention that for me at least, simulations are always free to use the subject of "what would happen if we did this?" So for example if I was fiddling around with a planetary motion simulator and put a planet 1000 times the mass of Earth on Earth's orbit but at twice the velocity, the simulation should show what would happen in that scenario. Such a thing doesn't really exist right now, but it can be simulated. Similarly for car sims I don't necessarily care if something isn't done in real life, I want to be able to see what would happen if it was. So what would happen if GT3 cars were given access to GTE level tyre compounds? What would happen if you put modern slicks on a vintage racing car? What would happen if you ran the Renault RS01 without a turbo? What would happen if you put a really stiff suspension on a normal road car? What would happen if you raced modern DTM and vintage GT1 cars against each other? Which one would win a race, a Formula Ford or a modern supercar? Hell, what'd happen if you put a Formula One car on a gravel rally stage? (F1 cars have been drive successfully on gravel, sand, snow and ice, they just don't do it all the time.)

Many games don't do enough with this sort of thing, some of the worst even limit what cars can access what tracks using purely arbitrary distinctions. Many cars may not be suitable for certain tracks, but I still want to be able to try and see what happens. pCARS used to allow all cars to drive kart tracks (which I really liked), but eventually it became apparent that the pit areas weren't really compatible with spawning cars that big and would have required a huge amount of work to make sure that you didn't get silly things happening constantly when trying this.

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
14-03-2016, 18:52
Coming from doing flight sims since the c64 days I'll have to respectfully disagree . The weather models are extremely difficult to simulate , and the atmosphere has much to do with how a plane flies . Aircraft are difficult to simulate at the edge of the envelope . Not even thinking about going into weapon system / radar modeling for combat sims.On this subject I defer to physicist Brian Beckman:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8GQCZgCNw8

Somewhat realistic flight simulators came out years before somewhat realistic car simulators because they were so much simpler to do. Of course when you want to get every little nitty gritty thing right flight simulators get very difficult as well, and you'd essentially have to run continuous real time CFD to get proper realism out of it. Avionics simulation is whole other subject though, which strictly speaking has nothing to do with simulating flight.

Car simulation is largely so difficult because tyres are in many ways more difficult than wings and 4 points of contact with the ground is also a huge complication. And if we wanted to get really picky, almost everything that'd have an effect on the wings and control surfaces of planes would also apply to modern aerodynamically advanced racing cars as well.

Flight sims are definitely hard, but they have historically proven to be easier thus far. Pushing the limit both types of simulation rise exponentially in difficult though, so as we get more and more advanced the differences do even out.

Dakpilot
14-03-2016, 19:36
On this subject I defer to physicist Brian Beckman:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8GQCZgCNw8

Somewhat realistic flight simulators came out years before somewhat realistic car simulators because they were so much simpler to do. Of course when you want to get every little nitty gritty thing right flight simulators get very difficult as well, and you'd essentially have to run continuous real time CFD to get proper realism out of it. Avionics simulation is whole other subject though, which strictly speaking has nothing to do with simulating flight.

Car simulation is largely so difficult because tyres are in many ways more difficult than wings and 4 points of contact with the ground is also a huge complication. And if we wanted to get really picky, almost everything that'd have an effect on the wings and control surfaces of planes would also apply to modern aerodynamically advanced racing cars as well.

Flight sims are definitely hard, but they have historically proven to be easier thus far. Pushing the limit both types of simulation rise exponentially in difficult though, so as we get more and more advanced the differences do even out.


The vid is very interesting, and gives great insight, but must be taken in the context of 2007, when it was made, the Forza he mentions was probably the original or maybe 2..

As you say a lot has changed re the expectations of flight and car/racing sims, and flight sims done properly, can have extremely complicated physics needs, he does oversimplify things a little there, I think what he tries to get across is that flight sims can be (were) easier to be made 'believable' not necessarily accurately

Cheers Dakpilot

Umer Ahmad
14-03-2016, 20:34
A game is a simulator if the developer who creates it claims that it is a simulator.

It's then for the world/user base to judge as to how well it achieves that objective.

Please! Not even 1 car in pcars has a working horn. How can they call it "simulator"?!?!!1one

TheOneAndOnly
14-03-2016, 22:05
Hey everybody!

I thought i had my answers...another newbie mistake...i have even more questions as the level of input increases :)
Nice to see some "big" names respond that i know from reading the forum for all this time.
I will read the remaining unread posts tomorrow and respond to them!
Thanks so far.

Prontopac
14-03-2016, 22:46
Let me explain it this way. Most likely, I will never drive a Formula 1 car, or in pCars a Formula A vehicle. I most likely will never drive at Sonoma Raceway even thought it is only about 40 miles away. But in a real good racing simulation game I have a chance to do something close to the above. The best part is that I have my own, real driving style. I like to be fast and smooth, which is not an easy combination to bring to a vehicle be it a sim vehicle or a real one.
So pCars to me is about solving my driving style and somehow be competitive. I like to win. So I drive on a track I've never driven on, in a car I most likely will never drive in my life, and within the game I have the opportunity to tune the vehicle to my liking. I can change the braking settings so that I decelerate in a smooth, predictable manner, and change gear ratios so that I can quickly get up to speed. Adjust my front and back downforce, add or reduce tire air pressure, you get the idea.
Eventually, I will arrive at a set of values that will balance understeer/oversteer, acceleration/deceleration, tire wear, and the list goes on, to my liking, my style of driving. And the joy comes from solving the problem and memorizing the tracks, and overcoming the weather changes, and beating out a real player or an overly aggressive AI. And know that at the end of the day, I really look good in a red racing car.

Angst1974
14-03-2016, 23:06
Please! Not even 1 car in pcars has a working horn. How can they call it "simulator"?!?!!1one

Assetto Corsa has a horn , it's the sim , Pcars is a game </thread>

Umer Ahmad
14-03-2016, 23:17
^does it play La Cucaracha??!! No? Then it cannot be sim!


http://youtu.be/Zo6WvPrOxZQ

Sum Dixon-Ear
15-03-2016, 00:04
Assetto Corsa has a horn , it's the sim , Pcars is a game </thread>

Did I read that correctly... a sweaty corset gives you the horn?

Shinzah
15-03-2016, 04:06
Certainly gets me the horn.....

Sankyo
15-03-2016, 10:35
Did I read that correctly... a sweaty corset gives you the horn?

Yep, and pCARS has the dame.

Haiden
15-03-2016, 11:45
Is a racing sim really simulating the real thing? I am confused about that after reading and posting some comments about updates and patches in the AC vs PCars thread.

I am new to simracing and playing pcars on my ps4 with the TS300.

I always thought that racing sim developers were trying to make a realistic simulation of reality. But it seems not to be that way. I understand after reading some posts that it is considered a good thing that a sim can be tweaked by devs in any way they want to make it more drivable or more fun. Through updates and patches for example.
Assuming they do make the car exactly as it is in real life, is that the point a sim loses the name sim because it is no longer simulating the true caracteristics of the car/track/tires etc it had originally?
Or is there a small blurry area that is taking for granted?
Or is it normal that a sim is not really simulating reality?
Where is the point that a piece of software becomes a arcade game instead of a racing sim?
Is it accepted in the racing community that updates and patches change the originality of cars and tracks and make it less sim?
When there are updates and patches, were the devs wrong all this time?
Do devs start off by making the realistic digital version and then tweak it so its easier to drive?

Or....is it the other way around? Do devs release games that are not realistic and try to accomplish it afterwards through these patches and updates. I hope that this is not the case...then we would all been robbed...

I really am curious what is up with this...Again, i am new to this so i hope you understand that i am a bit confused about this.

Simulators come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of complexity. The term sim is a broad umbrella that covers them all. Trying to define sim is pointless. It's better just to rate the simulation experience. If sim was definable, then PCars, iRacing, Forza, and whatever else we're playing at home would be considered games, compared to the top-of-the line, multi-million dollar simulators the professionals use. :) The experience is also dependent on hardware. You can play PCars with a controller, but that's not the same sim experience as playing with a wheel and stand, and neither are the same as playing with a wheel mounted to a triple screen rig with ButtKickers. Is the controller player simulating reality? Does that mean he/she isn't playing a sim? Like I said, IMO, trying to define what sim is is pointless. Judge the experience.

DreamsKnight
15-03-2016, 12:20
Simulators come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of complexity. The term sim is a broad umbrella that covers them all. Trying to define sim is pointless. It's better just to rate the simulation experience. If sim was definable, then PCars, iRacing, Forza, and whatever else we're playing at home would be considered games, compared to the top-of-the line, multi-million dollar simulators the professionals use. :) The experience is also dependent on hardware. You can play PCars with a controller, but that's not the same sim experience as playing with a wheel and stand, and neither are the same as playing with a wheel mounted to a triple screen rig with ButtKickers. Is the controller player simulating reality? Does that mean he/she isn't playing a sim? Like I said, IMO, trying to define what sim is is pointless. Judge the experience.

i don't agree 100%. i call sim when the car (read physic) works in a real way. It can be done better or worse, but it is a prerogative of the sim. i tried only forza4, it is fun, but nothing real there. I can also call sim lack of unreal upgrade. very fun in forza, i like. but nothing real. it is impossibile to win win races against hyper car with a modified civic typeR.

hardware add immersion, but not realism to the game. they add realism in your playing the game. what i meanis taht the best braking point and the best line will be always the same with a pad and a wheel.

APR193
15-03-2016, 12:34
Its all about opinion. For me there are loads of different levels within the title sim and many different aspects that contribute to it. Forza (I'll use Forza as a comparison to Pcars as its a game I know well) for me is a sim in the sense that braking distances, traction, car weight, understeer/oversteer is different from car to car. You also have stuff like fuel usage etc and using certain techniques can save fuel and so on.

Games like Pcars take it to the next level though in that you have all of that but there is so much more depth to it. You need to warm a new set of tyres up, keep them within a certain temp range etc. Not doing that affects how the car drives and the game plays. There's also tyre wear, the way track conditions change the feel of the track/car/tyres etc, none of that is noticeably apparent in a game like Forza.

You've also got the way the games are set out. Forza is full of 'splash and dash' races with a mix match of cars normally over very short distances. Pcars takes you through the path of a race driver, from practice sessions into qualifying and then the race, which are normally longer than in Forza and consist of cars that are run to a specific set of regulations (race cars are anyway).

In my opinion even games like Codemasters' GRID series are a sim to some level, as with its car class structure and race weekend format it simulates real life motorsport. Although I think the term I would use is "has stimulative tendencies"

"Sim" to me is much more than just about the driving physics.

pollinho123
15-03-2016, 12:40
I wouldn't use the word 'real', just because it's not possible to achieve 'real' behaviour. Realistic would be the correct expression here. Don't want to troll, but since we're basically discussing the definition of a word we should keep precision high.

At the end of the day we're still talking about software that uses digital input and numeric calculations to emulate reality, so there will be inaccuracies, that you can't avoid. Just try to integrate an mathematical function with numerical values and then differentiate it and you have the first little error. Not a huge one, but it will add up and your 100% accurate representation of the real thing is gone. So even if we had an working and accurate tire modell based on physical laws it still wouldn't be perfect.

Doesn't spoil the fun, though.

Sankyo
15-03-2016, 12:58
I wouldn't use the word 'real', just because it's not possible to achieve 'real' behaviour. Realistic would be the correct expression here. Don't want to troll, but since we're basically discussing the definition of a word we should keep precision high.

At the end of the day we're still talking about software that uses digital input and numeric calculations to emulate reality, so there will be inaccuracies, that you can't avoid. Just try to integrate an mathematical function with numerical values and then differentiate it and you have the first little error. Not a huge one, but it will add up and your 100% accurate representation of the real thing is gone. So even if we had an working and accurate tire modell based on physical laws it still wouldn't be perfect.

Doesn't spoil the fun, though.
Given the fact that often nature is not exact, not being able to simulate with 100% accuracy is nothing to worry about. When deviations are small, we probably won't ever notice the difference because our interaction with the virtual car is quite severely hampered by small screens and inaccurate and limited hardware. On top of that, modelling tyres (probably the dominating factor in sim racing modelling) is not an exact science to start with, so modelling inaccuracies disappear in the general uncertainties anyway.

Cheesenium
15-03-2016, 13:54
Even if you have a supercomputer, you will probably never get an exact answer/measurement that you might get in the field as numerical approximations in these software are not designed to give you the exact answer, but an approximated solution based on certain boundary condition(or conditions you set at the start) that you set. There are many things in this world are extremely complicated to simulate where even the experts that spend their lives studying these things still couldnt understand how it works entirely or could agree with other experts in the field.

One of those things are tire physics that is an extremely complex simulation to deal with, especially on your console or PC. The other things that I know that are incredibly complex to simulate are soil mechanics, waves simulation(where numerical approximation on computers are so inaccurate to the point most actual study are still being done on physical models where they make small scale models on a paddling pool with a wave making machine on one end), fluid dynamics, and so on. I remember my soil mechanics lecturer said to me, even if you get an answer that is 75% larger than his, it can be considered as a really "close" solution due to so many possible factors that might be affecting your calculation.

With some knowledge on numerical approximations and knowing how pcars designed the physics, I think pcars physics is probably one of the best, probably along with rFactor 2 that does a bit more than pcars. SMS did design a lot of the core physics that is based on more computationally intensive first principle calculations so you get a more accurate and progressive simulation like the tire grip changes gradually through a clear day to rain or you can feel the grip losing progressively when you push the car too hard. It is not perfect but many tire grip changes in pcars are a lot less likely to snap suddenly with little warning. Most other games use less computational intensive analytical solution that might have some inaccuracy and issues like a lot of game's driving physics tend to have twitchy steering at very low speeds or odd grip drop off when you push the car near it's limits. Shift 2 had massive problems with huge tire grip drop off after a certain point of pushing the car to the limit.

Boskapongen
15-03-2016, 13:56
Easy answer: They are all games, in category simulators :)

TheOneAndOnly
15-03-2016, 14:01
Again thanks to everybody!

Well, it was a lot to read and watch but i am up to date on the posts here now :)

I am starting to get more understanding for the bugs and little things in pcars. I still think that is was released too early...simply for the fact that console gamers are not used to games that are so complicated that they can be somewhat buggy at first and actually needs updates and fixes for it to iron out a bit. I think that there are a lot of pcars console copy's on the second hand market now....i saw within a week after release 3 second hand ps4 copy's at my local game store! For a lot of people (kids) it was totally not what they expected. I kinda knew what i was in for but a lot of people weren't.

I like to thank Shinzah, Remco van Dijk and Jussi for there extensive explanations wich where very understandable!
I will be looking into the setup thing that Jussi is doing on the setups website. I have a little bit of experience with setting up cars in GT over the years but as soon as i saw how pcars worked it went straight out the window. So i am for almost a 100% in the dark when it comes to setting up a car the right way. I am using internet info only to experiment with. I dont have the skills to do it on my own. The past two weeks i have driven the Gulf 1000 and the Ginetta gt5 a lot because they feel very good to me as they are already setup in the game. I understand that there is a huge difference between the two cars/classes but i like both of them. While driving these two cars i wish that i have the ability to set up the other cars somewhat the same. I know that every car is different but i mean that i would like them in the same range/level/feel...i hope you understand what i mean.

Thanks!

pollinho123
15-03-2016, 14:07
Given the fact that often nature is not exact, not being able to simulate with 100% accuracy is nothing to worry about.
Nature is exact, our models are wrong ;)

I do agree that the difference is not huge and propably wouldn't have any impact on the gaming experience, but was referring to the whole 100% and 'real' thing which you simply can't achieve.
I'm perfectly happy with the level of simulation we have right now and little inaccuracies are to be expected and nothing to worry about.

danowat
15-03-2016, 14:16
Nature is exact, our models are wrong ;)

Nature may be exact, but it's very hard to predict to a high degree of accuracy, in my day job (mechanical engineer) I have seen things happen (especially high temp airflows) that defy logic!

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
15-03-2016, 14:33
Nature is exact, our models are wrong ;)I'm not supremely well versed on the subject, but AFAIK quantum physicists would say that in many areas nature is random. =)

Bealdor
15-03-2016, 14:41
I'm not supremely well versed on the subject, but AFAIK quantum physicists would say that in many areas nature is random. =)

That's because it sounds better to say "it's random" instead of "we don't know what happens (yet)". ;)

Jussi Viljami Karjalainen
15-03-2016, 14:55
That's because it sounds better to say "it's random" instead of "we don't know what happens (yet)". ;)That's what they originally thought ("hidden variables theory") but they already proved ages ago that the phenomena are truly random. =)

Haiden
15-03-2016, 15:06
i don't agree 100%. i call sim when the car (read physic) works in a real way. It can be done better or worse, but it is a prerogative of the sim. i tried only forza4, it is fun, but nothing real there. I can also call sim lack of unreal upgrade. very fun in forza, i like. but nothing real. it is impossibile to win win races against hyper car with a modified civic typeR.

hardware add immersion, but not realism to the game. they add realism in your playing the game. what i meanis taht the best braking point and the best line will be always the same with a pad and a wheel.

True. But hitting it with a controller isn't anything like hitting it in real life, with bumps affecting your ability to set the wheel on a line. You'll never see a controller in a professional simulator. The wheel, with it's FFB, is a close approximation to the actual driving experience.


Nature is exact, our models are wrong ;)

I do agree that the difference is not huge and propably wouldn't have any impact on the gaming experience, but was referring to the whole 100% and 'real' thing which you simply can't achieve.
I'm perfectly happy with the level of simulation we have right now and little inaccuracies are to be expected and nothing to worry about.

If nature was exact, you would haven't deformities and other hiccups. :) Nature is fairly consistent, but not exact.

pollinho123
15-03-2016, 15:06
Seems like I wasn't 100% accurate there. Not sure if that makes me a simulation or not :D

Diamond_Eyes
15-03-2016, 15:49
Is a racing sim really simulating the real thing?

I think we are on a journey together. Its a gradual thing, over the generations. Despite the fact (gaming) simulation market is protective/competitive, if we share stuff then we can learn faster. Learning includes trying things, making mistakes then readjusting the original assumptions. Any credible simulator must provide all your senses with (simulated) information. The vision side of things is getting there (VR) but I guess more work is needed on simulating the sensation of acceleration/motion (we have crude butt kickers and ffb wheels at the moment) and there's the soundscape and maybe smells.... who knows what future might bring.

All major transport industries use simulators for training and testing so there's a demand and progress away from gaming

Sankyo
15-03-2016, 16:42
Nature is exact

Heisenberg says "no" :p

balderz002
15-03-2016, 21:18
Heisenberg says "no" :p

More importantly:

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