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Thread: Future of Project Cars as an eSport [open discussion and questions for SMS]

  1. #1
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    Future of Project Cars as an eSport [open discussion and questions for SMS]

    Hi everyone,

    As I am a new member, I will first introduce myself before starting with my actual post. My name is Rik, I am 26 years old and living in the Netherlands. Currently I am in my last year of college focusing mainly on intellectual property law (Dutch law as well as European/international law). After project cars came out, I decided to buy myself a t300 GTE and a Playseat Challenge to start my simracing adventure. Until now I am still focusing on career mode (trying to learn all the settings), but I will for sure trying some online leagues in the future. Needless to say I am having a blast with this game, so thank you Slightly Mad Studios and all the developers that have put so much work into this game.

    Basically I created this thread to start an open discussion with all stakeholders (SMS, players, pro teams and maybe even possible sponsors) about Project Cars and its place in the eSports scene. At this moment there are some efforts being made with the SMS-R Championship and the collaboration with ESL. I have read multiple posts about this subject in the forums, but it is still not clear to me what the vision of Slightly Mad Studios is in regard to Project Cars as an eSport. Therefore it would be nice if a representative of Slightly Mad Studios could answer the following questions to create some more clarity.

    - What is the vision of Slightly Mad Studios in regard to Project Cars being an eSport in a broader sense (i.e. what are you guys aiming for)?
    - What are your thoughts about the possible prize money and how would you fund the competitions?
    - What are your thoughts about the structure of racing leagues and would you be willing to host/organize a ‘World Championship’ yourself (see iRacing for example)?

    I think that the first question speaks for itself. To elaborate on the second question, serious players and teams will just follow the money. At this moment most serious teams, see for example Team Redline, are putting their effort into iRacing that is probably going to be your greatest competitor. To compare, the World Championship GP Series payouts are (correct me if I am wrong) $10K for 1st, $3k for 2nd and $1k for 3rd. Although they have multiple seasons in a year, the prize money is obviously nothing compared to games like LoL, Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty. On the other hand, I would not argue that it is necessary to provide such high amounts of prize money to make Project Cars as an eSport a success. However, it is important that the races are interesting to watch and therefore (in my view) good simracers are needed to enter the competition. By providing a good amount of prize support, the best simracers will probably change their game of choice and join Project Cars events. In regard to the third question I would like to add that hosting a ‘World Championship’ could possibly be a great marketing tool and provide an example for other leagues hosted by partners and/or players.

    Of course there still some technical details that have to be fixed or implemented in the game to make Project Cars as an eSport possible. However, that is not what this thread is about. I have confidence in the team behind Project Cars that they will sort these issues out and make adjustments when needed. Therefore I would like to ask to limit yourself into posting comments about this to keep this thread focused on the ‘bigger picture’.

    I am looking forward to the answers from the representative of Slightly Mad Studios and the ideas of this community. I will post my thoughts as soon as possible.

    TLDR; Discuss about the vision that Slightly Mad Studios should have or the direction that they need to take to make Project Cars successful as an eSport.

    (As I am not a native English speaker, if anything is not clear please ask)
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  2. #2
    Creative Director Andy Tudor's Avatar
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    Perfect timing Ribo, as I was just about to post up about this in another thread.

    Firstly let's deal with the SMS-R Driver Network Championship...

    The Championship was first initiated in order to provide an avenue where the most devoted & talented players could shine. Immediately at launch we saw this take off as it garnered the attention of a number of pro players and teams.

    With that, we also gained a lot of experience: certain weaknesses within the game were exposed, and we rapidly had to evolve a growing set of rules & regulations in order to maintain the integrity of the season and the trust of the players.

    Along the way, there's been equal amounts of excitement and dismay as players fight for valuable Championship Standings points and high representation in the Power Rankings, whilst also we continue to see areas of the game that are susceptible to cheating and rule-breaking.

    As we approach the end of the season, and given our new eSports accreditation, we're at a critical point therefore where our priority is in ensuring the remaining rounds operate with as much automation and trust as possible therefore. Ie.. with as little need for human post-event verification as possible. If the game penalises you for your driving, then that is the final say. This means addressing two main areas where we see cheating...

    - Using the pits to gain a time advantage
    - Not getting penalised for more than 2 wheels off-track

    We will continue to look at the mechanics of these, as well as the most prominent tracks and adjust where necessary for the remaining rounds.

    As you'll have seen, the top of the Championship Standings are getting tighter, and the season is attracting the attention of new eSport teams every week so it's imperative that the remainder of the season sets a good example and creates a great base for the future. With the addition of our dedicated eSports Co-ordinator, Joe, our new regular web feature "DRIVE", and our plans starting to coalesce for the final round it's our intention to double down on the season and getting back to full health.

    The roadmap to this is:

    - Taking a look at the remaining rounds and their susceptibility to potential cheating, and making adjustments
    - Making some tough decisions on current rounds for the benefit of the season long-term (eg.. voiding Round 15)
    - Seeing what additional tech can be done for future Feature Updates (eg.. continued work on our Cut Track Detection System)
    - Expand and enhance communication of the championship via this forum and a new dedicated eSports website

    Actually, let me stop there for this evening as I want it to be clear that we're taking the SMS-R Driver Network Championship very seriously and I believe the participants would appreciate knowing as such before moving on to other topics such as ESL and our live events.

    I'll return to this thread subsequently to cover those (will make it easier to quote from smaller posts like this rather than one large one too).

  3. #3
    WMD Member FACT0RY PIL0T's Avatar
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    Id like to see for example a F-A only series championships, and select other car only series championships, instead of a mixed bag or both mixed bag, and specific series.

    I work full time 80+ hours a week, and have kids in school and college ages 16-21 that im running around doing stuff with, and dont have time to do random cars all the time, but probably could get away with 2 classes F-A and something else.

    Thanks for some info on this Andy.

    Just my 2 cents which may be worth a half a cent if that.
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  4. #4
    Creative Director Andy Tudor's Avatar
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    Yes, new series such as a Formula Gulf Championship where everyone uses the same car and a default setup are all things we're looking at to include in future.

  5. #5
    WMD Member fresquito's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, Andy, and of course thanks to Ribo for opening up this discussion.

    My take on Project CARS and eSports is that the game is not yet ready to go eSports with all the garantees. I know the team is doing their best to be there as soon as possible, but I think it's still a long way off. I think before going eSports, the game needs to secure online leagues being a certain thing. Because these are the grounds where the game will prove itself worth it or not. And at the moment the game is certainly not in a state where cassual online leagues can happen without a lot of extra work.

    I'll explain my experience and how we do things:

    We do all our thing through the DS. People need to inscribe to a race in our website through a system developed by ourselves. Once inscribed, they need to pick car and livery through our forum. We keep the data for these and have to check whether people is using them in the race. We have created a Team system through our website. We have also create a Rule Book for Practice, Qualy and Race. We run our sessions one after another. If there's a problem between Q and R, we need to order the grid in the first lapsb before starting the race. After the race people need to save the replay and report whatever action they think it's worth reporting. They need to record a video where the action is seen clearly. They also need to provide extra info on time and place of the moment in the replay, so the marshalls can check by themselves on their replay. All these reports are managed through our website, with a system developed by ourselves. Once everything is said and done, we have to manually gather all the times and apply them to the table. Again, we have developed a table system by ourselves, that makes all the calculations for drivers and teams alike.

    If you take a look at what we're doing, there's simply nothing the game is helping us with. The penalty system is barebones, to say the least. The options for managing the lobby are very few. There's no easy way to manage teams, drivers and data other than doing it by hand. The replay system, that's the base for the marshall activity, is broken and, even if it wasn't, it simply doesn't give the info needed, like being able to show the drivers names (that's why we need to keep track on the liveries) or being easy to navigate.

    I don't really think we're doing anything that someone wanting to organise eSports wouldn't do. And we're having lots of troubles doing that, the inconsistent state of the game right now aside.

    In order to make eSports a thing for Project CARS, My opinion is that SMS need to push a lot in all these areas. I hope they do.
    Last edited by fresquito; 29-09-2015 at 11:53.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Tudor View Post
    A lot of text
    First of all, thank you for the reply Andy. It is also good to see that SMS is continuously making an effort to improve the game and ensuring fair play.

    Next I would like to make a brief comment about the SMS-R Driver Network Championship. As I have understood (from what I have read on the website), the championship currently consists of time trials for different tracks and the reward will be to be inducted in the Driver Network Hall of Fame. This means that there isn't any monetary compensation for the top of the leaderboard if I am correct. In my view it would be interesting to hear from the current participants why they are active in the championship and what they are trying to gain with participating in this championship. Of course it would also be interesting to hear from players that decided not to join the championship as to what their reasons are for not joining. In my opinion the SMS-R Driver Network Championship is a good starting point to create interest and trying to figure out some difficulties along the way (i.e. the potential cheating you mentioned), but it should not be the direction to take when SMS wants to make a succes of Project Cars as an eSport. As I will mention in my future post (still working on it), the biggest problem you have with this championship that it is impossible to cast properly. Making your title a succes as an eSport means you have to make it possible to cast your tournaments/races and making it interesting for viewers to watch. Furthermore, simracing has the advantage over other successful eSports in that it could be a lot more interesting for sponsors because of the possibility to change the livery's of the cars and possibly even the boarding on the tracks.

    Quote Originally Posted by FACT0RY PIL0T View Post
    Id like to see for example a F-A only series championships, and select other car only series championships, instead of a mixed bag or both mixed bag, and specific series.

    I work full time 80+ hours a week, and have kids in school and college ages 16-21 that im running around doing stuff with, and dont have time to do random cars all the time, but probably could get away with 2 classes F-A and something else.

    Thanks for some info on this Andy.

    Just my 2 cents which may be worth a half a cent if that.
    I would agree with you that SMS would need to make a choice for a specific car class for their championship to make it more clear for people outside the community what the championship is actually about. To comment on your statement about your busy schedule, well maybe eSports isn't for you as top players invest multiple hours a day in training. Although, you could be mixing eSports up with play into a competitive setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by fresquito View Post
    Another bunch of text
    I would agree with you that the framework for Project Cars as an eSport is not there yet. On the other hand, Project Cars is still a fairly new title and SMS is (which is understandable) trying to figure out which direction they want to go. Your post is already going into really detailed stuff, that obviously has to be addressed at some point, but I think it would be wise to focus more on the bigger picture here.
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  7. #7
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    Hi everyone. I've found this thread looking for the owner of http://www.projectcarsesports.com/ XD
    My name is Daniel Muñoz and I'm from Extremadura, a Spanish region in the south-west of the country. We've created here a real sport club in 2010 (DDR) and colaborate with real motorsport federations in promoting simracing for years. Last summer we worked for GAMERGY3 event in Madrid and used PC-PCARS as a platform (you can see me in that web photos!).

    Obviously, this 'game' is not iRacing and I reckon the main problem is that simracing can't not be considered a 'regular' eSport. ESL website is trying to match simracers as 'players' and this is not the way racing works. It's important to start gathering teams, leagues and racers into a framework for this to became an alternative. Please, don't stop working on this!

    Meanwhile, the eSport events are the only option. We made a choice for the real competition: face-to-face drivers, stewards... live!
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  8. #8
    Marketing and esports Manager Joseph Barron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazz_on View Post
    Hi everyone. I've found this thread looking for the owner of http://www.projectcarsesports.com/ XD
    My name is Daniel Muñoz and I'm from Extremadura, a Spanish region in the south-west of the country. We've created here a real sport club in 2010 (DDR) and colaborate with real motorsport federations in promoting simracing for years. Last summer we worked for GAMERGY3 event in Madrid and used PC-PCARS as a platform (you can see me in that web photos!).

    Obviously, this 'game' is not iRacing and I reckon the main problem is that simracing can't not be considered a 'regular' eSport. ESL website is trying to match simracers as 'players' and this is not the way racing works. It's important to start gathering teams, leagues and racers into a framework for this to became an alternative. Please, don't stop working on this!

    Meanwhile, the eSport events are the only option. We made a choice for the real competition: face-to-face drivers, stewards... live!
    Hi dazz. We're working on all of things you have mentioned. You will see a variety of improvements to the way the ESL events work in 2016, as well as some improvements to our own in-game championships and more live events.

    Thank you for your comments and do keep an eye out for more news about the future of Project CARS eSports!

  9. #9
    Kart Driver Th3Pr0ph3cy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Tudor View Post
    Yes, new series such as a Formula Gulf Championship where everyone uses the same car and a default setup are all things we're looking at to include in future.
    That would be much appreciated. I don't want to spend lifetimes figuring out an appropriate setup for every car and track. I want to race, otherwise I would have bought a racing engineering game... another way fixing this problem could be: make the used setup accessible to everybody .. clicking a time at the leaderboard and you can download the used setup for this record, or even better directly apply it to the car if wanted so...
    Last edited by Th3Pr0ph3cy; 24-12-2015 at 18:44.
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  10. #10
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    I think a good starting point would be a) driver's rating. That way you can pinpoint all the players that ruin races, and B) schedule official sessions. I know it's a iracing thing, but man does it work like a charm. I know the current system is p2p base but if perhaps pcars 2 could be rework into something of that style..... Paaaaaarrrtttty!!!!
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