After a night of Street Fighter V Capcom Cup finals, I decided to watch some of the Ginetta Cup finals that were streamed yesterday (when I wasn't available to watch live).
First time I watch a pcars esport event, and I was pretty disappointed. I will explained why in the following lines using the PS4 finals round 1 as example (was so disappointing I didn't watch anything else).
Most of all, the game needs a "director" mode (let's call it that). Spectator mode is great for someone who wants to "spectate" the race on his own, but is clearly lacking when you want to show the race to other.
- For "starter" (pun intended), the cameraman currently have to be in race and switch to spectator mode as soon as he is on the grid. So we miss the start (now you understand the pun ... no ? shame ;p) from the TV cam, which is probably one of the more important time of the race, and during the aforementioned stream, we missed 2 contacts.
The game needs the possibility to spectate a race without taking part in it.
- Sometimes, you don't want a TV cam to switch to the next one because some action were taking place on the current cam. Maybe a button press to hold the camera change (only while it is being pressed) could be a good idea. Because switching to the next cars with the current feature makes a displeasing move to the cam which, when done repeatedly, become very annoying.
- The spectator mode UI isn't qualified to show the race to other (and can even be lacking when spectating on our own).
It would gain a lot to be closer to what you have on TV, with position and names in a column on the left of the screen (F1 style) or in a circling line at the top (nascar style). And when following a couple of car battling closely, just the names of the 2 drivers at the bottom with the time difference or something like that (since it's probably hard to find a logic behind that last feature which would work in every situation, maybe it can be controlled manually as I explain in the following point).
- The spectator mode lacks a proper way for the "director" to manage what to show.
I think some kind of external application (kind of the one we had during wmd days where you could change in game weather settings) would be great for the "director" to know what is happening on the track right know.
Like having the map "view", where each drivers would be show with different colors or number related to the drivers list) , being able to see who is battling with who, and being able to switch to them instantly (clicking in the drivers list), without having to circling on each driver between the currently shown car and the one you want to show.
It could even be used to trigger the display of the time difference between selected drivers (since it would be hard to have this function to work automatically depending on the cases).
- There are surely more feature to find, like a warning (or toggable auto-camera-switch) in case of car contact / leaving the track, etc.
- Replays of key moments. I put it last despite the importance, because it's hardly a thing that can be provided by the game itself. At best, I see it as some sort of recording the replay data (not the video) of the last minute (or less), and be able to play it back, changing the spectated car and see/show what happened.
Sure, all these things are quite costly to implement and make them work, but I think that a proper way to stream pcars races would greatly benefit to the popularity of the title, like it did for other.
And in the end, most of these could be probably be done by (very motivated) third party apps developers, if some features are added to the game (spectate from the start, play saved/trimed replay data) and the current API (switching cam to specific cars, hold the TV cam, ...).
On a last note, I must say the commentator controlling which car to spectate, in that aforementioned stream, always took the bad decision to place the camera on the car behind during battles. That meant we always were "a step behind" when switching to the next TV cam, usually missing the beginning of the braking battle.