Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 90

Thread: A Eulogy to PC1 & 2 (title changed)

  1. #1
    Superkart Pilot
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    710
    Platform
    PC

    A Eulogy to PC1 & 2 (title changed)

    For me 2006 marked a high point in sim racing. One year after ISI released rFactor, a team which was later to be known as Slightly Mad Studios released GTR2. In the space of 12 months they took the rFactor engine and added back in numerous features from previous sims, such as rain, animated driver arms and animated pit-crew, added in a few new features such as Livetrack, time-trials and a driving school. The new Swedish based team which took on the Simbin name, never really seemed to have the same drive and ambition. The RACE series did have some improvements (e.g. much needed wipers) but dropped many features such as day/night, livetrack, and animated pitcrew.

    So things seemed to pretty much stagnate between 2006 and 2012. Kunos released Netkar Pro but this bombed as it was on-line only with very flawed netcode and had all fictional content. Plus it took realism to new levels but in an annoying way rather than a sexy way. What had been Papyrus stopped making conventional boxed games, called themselves iRacing and opted for a subscription service. The on-line service was certainly innovative but the simulation was very much a continuation of their NASCAR series of sims.

    In 2012, after protracted development, rFactor2 burst onto the scene, though burst isn't really a good description. In spite of a long development period, it was released as a beta with many, to use the modern term, broken features. But they really were broken, not just flawed. It should have been the perfect sim. It took rFactor and added all the features people asked for, like rain, animations, a next-gen tyre model, dynamic track and chassis flex, plus "better" mod handling. But while pushing the boundaries forward in many areas, it was also unfinished, lacked some basic features such as a championship, and was difficult to mod for so mod teams stuck with rF1. And finally the graphics were poor. The decision to stick with DX9 made sense when it was made back in 2008, but by the time rF2 launched in 2012 it looked dated compared to other racing games released around that time.

    And the release of rF2 as a beta marked a new era of sims released while they were still in development. The never-ending science experiment.

    Another developer which opted to stick with DX9 was Simbin, which released RaceRoom in early 2013. It too was a beta. It didn't have broken features like rF2. It just didn't have features. No AI, no on-line racing, basically no racing. Literally a hotlap simulator. Except they said it wasn't a simulator but aimed at a broader audience. The game was free but most content was paid dlc, including bizarrely skins for the cars. Of course they added features over time. And what they did add was pretty good. The AI like all AI wasn't perfect but it was among the best. The netcode was also very good. And they set new standards for sound. But in terms of physics it was the old RACE physics but dumbed down. And no weather, no livetrack and no day/night. The attempts to attract the casual player failed. Simbin went bust and was reborn as Sector3. And they dumped the casual approach and went for the simulation approach.

    AC followed this release-while-in-development approach and launched in Early access at the end of 2013. While rF2 had tried to push forward the simulation side of things, even if it wasn't entirely successful or finished, AC took a very different approach, learning lessons from the sales disaster that was NetKar Pro. First it had all-licensed content which was along the lines of a Gran Turismo but on a smaller scale. Secondly it had AI. But the approach to simulation depth was summarized by the Kunos mantra - "everyone wants to drive in the rain at night - but only once". So no rain, and no night. And indeed no pitstops, a 10 lap race limit, no engine temperature simulation, no brake temperature simualtion, no engine stalling and in general - quite a simplified approach to the physics. This meant the AI could use the same physics as the player, though the many other issues with programming good AI meant AC was never really class leading in this area. To be fair, while AC might not use the latest highly complex tyre model, the results were good and the FFB was good. And the graphics were very good. And the prices were low. And the use of all laser-scanned tracks without the iRacing premium was great. And many features were eventually added such as pitsstops and brake temperature simulation. And it was very mod friendly and modders flocked to it in preference to rF2. And it became the leading simracing title.

    So picture the scene in mid 2015. rF2 had not been the big success of its predecessor, but had a hard-core group of fans who were confident in the superiority of rF2 as a sim with its super advanced tyre model, dynamic track, weather simulation and chassis flex. AC dominated the sim-racing market with another set of fans fiercely loyal to the brand and their physics heroes Aris and Stefano. And iRacing had grown steadily from its modest beginnings in 2008 and now boasted by far the largest on-line racing community and also confident in their superiority as a sim with Dave Kaemmer's long history in sims, their own super advanced tyre model and pioneering use of the best quality laser scanned tracks. But we had only one sim with day/night and one sim with weather (but broken).

    Onto this scene bursts a newcomer called Project Cars, produced by a team famous for an arcade racer called Need For Speed Shift. No widely-known physics guru to the fore, and with the sales pitch that sims are unrealistically hard to drive. And to be sold on console, when every PC simracer knows, there has never been a proper sim on console (Richard Burn Rally is of course conveniently forgotten). And yet it sold a million copies in its first month and went on to sell 3 million on all platforms. And it pushed simulation forwards (or at least back to where it was in 2006). It had day/night. It had weather. It had a super-advanced tyre model, It simulated brake heat affecting tyre pressures. It ran the physics engine at almost twice the tick rate of AC. And yes it was super-buggy, and yes while SMS worked very hard over 12 months patching it, it was widely felt to be left unfinished. And yes the default FFB was terrible (and FFB is probably more important than physics for many sim-racers).

    Over 2 years later Project Cars 2 arrived. In many ways it was what Project Cars should have been, but in a world where it takes S397 four years to produce a new UI and it takes iRacing 10 years to do day/night we should cut SMS some slack. Again Project Cars pushed the sim-racing boundaries. Multi-layer brake thermal simulation (which Reiza are just getting a handle on), the effect of altitude on air density simulated, and more car setup options. Dirt, snow and ice physics that were very impressive for a first attempt. And perhaps the piece de resistance of PC2 - LiveTrack 3.0. Of course PC1 had livetrack but 3.0 really took weather and track inter-action to new levels. Of course there is nothing new under the sun and while SMS did pioneer the dynamic rubbering of racetracks back in 2004 with GTR, Livetrack 3.0 does adopt features which were in rF2 and iRacing but which is far more advanced as a package than either. Even ACC which on the surface appears to do the same as Livetrack 3.0 actually does it in a much simpler way. If you ever have time and haven't already I recommend Yorkie's videos on livetrack (episodes 26 and 27 which criminally still have less than 5K views) and the track temperature video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNiYDgv9I8w). SMS went to insane levels for Livetrack 3.0.

    Now of course PC2 wasn't perfect. It was buggy, the AI was inconsistent, the on-line racing features could certainly be better, the sound was getting left behind, the default FFB was much better than PC1 IMO but still was a weakness even allowing for the very different opinions on what is good FFB. The penalty system was infuriating, and I'm sure the default setups being loose put off many. While Livetrack 3.0 is an amazing system, it defaults to being accelerated when the results are exaggerated, SMS seem to have left out quite a few track drains and the aquaplaning and rolling resistance in the wet need optimising. And of course the AI can't dodge puddles.

    But for all its annoying flaws, PC2 offered an amazing range of racing experiences with 180 cars and 60 tracks in one package, and at 45 it was incredible value. While a good section of the sim-racing crowd hated the newcomer with a vengeance, and whether you liked the end results or not, the physics engine and live-track and weather system really pushed simulation forwards.

    So here's to the 5 or so years of Project Cars in the racing sim market. Of course PC2 will remain around, and remain on sale. And of course we can look forward to a polished and developed Madness engine in the form of AMS2,, but I don't feel AMS2 will really worry the likes of Kunos and iRacing. Its just not popular enough. So while many are breathing a sigh of relief that SMS have abandoned the sim-racing arena, I feel the lack of a serious rival to Kunos and iRacing will leave the simracing community as a whole poorer. You will be missed.

    I apologize for this eulogy being completely PC centric. Project Cars was never really just about race simulation on PC. Consoles and Forza and Gran Turismo were always a key focus. But I do not own a console so can't comment on how Project Cars impacted console based sim racers. I'm sure its effect is just as great or greater than its impact on the PC scene.
    Last edited by David Wright; 01-08-2020 at 12:47.

  2. #2
    Superkart Pilot Titzon Toast's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    557
    Platform
    PS4 Pro
    How is this an obituary if there's a brand new game getting released in a few weeks? You haven't even played it yet ffs.
    Education is important but racing is importanter.

    Jockeys I3ollix
    CSL Elite, Clubsport V3i Pedals
    Too much sim for Bagpuss.
    The following 3 users likes this Post: MaximusN, ShadowFalcon, Zaskarspants


  3. #3
    Kart Driver
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    98
    Platform
    PS4
    Cheers mate, spot on! After seeing most of what was presented yesterday, i don't feel the same sense of pitty i felt a couple of weeks ago, when learning about the non pitstop stuff. Performance points based opposition, rumors of removed relevant tracks,no offline custom championship, no mid-session save for endurance races... Actually made it a lot easier for me to deal with it, so in a way, thank you SMS.

    Pcars 3 is just sad. A missed oportunity to have some sort of Pcars 2 evolved with some of the fatal issues fixed: (puddles and AI, offline championships, multiplayer - i dont play in MP but i've seen some complains). Instead, we have a copy of Forza and Gran Turismo, instead of something that used to go head-to-head against AC and RF.

    If there are people that dont mind to race NASCAR cars vs GT Cars on fake circuits...why aren't those people playing GT or Forza? GT has kickass graphics and gameplay, Forza has the "fun and customize your car" stuff. Those are the things that appeal the most to more casual players - and i dont think Pcars3 will top these two titles on those factors. Maybe the gameplay is now on the level of GT, we will see. The market is saturated with games that have a go with real racing but in a very light/irrealistic way. Pcars (and obviously both AC titles) were the only ones that stayed away from this sort of childish way to present racing. Problem is, AC content was low and lacked weather progression; ACC is a GT only game. So, Pcars was truly the one that had it all.

    No pitstops, no car classes anymore (the "performance level" thing is just ridiculous - Pcars 1 had this system and it's something that was highly requested to be changed - and Pcars 2 received a lot of praise for doing this. Apparently, no custom offline championship either - something that was basically promised by Ian Bell when he said that "we have to save ideias for Pcars 3" some time ago.

    So yeah, if you're the kind of guy that really doesn't care about some sort of authenticy and just wants a vulgar racing game, good for you! Glad that the so called "silent majority" can now race their heavily modified AMG GT3 against a Koenigsegg Jesko in historical Monza to see which car reaches 450 km/h first. Glad that you can do the exact same things in Pcars that you could already do in GT and Forza. The rest of us, well we still have Pcars 2 and Pcars 1. We will have to struggle with some of the flaws that should be fixed in Pcars 3, but honestly i rather face inconsistent AI on a track with bad puddles that to see an Civic touring car being overtake by a modified Escort in a fictional Shangai. This game (game, not sim!) is just not for me.
    The following 5 users likes this Post: chastewand, CpPolar268, DaWorstPlaya, f1dgh, Javaniceday


  4. #4
    GT4 Pilot Zaskarspants's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    2,182
    Platform
    XBOX1 X
    I saw the title and thought someone in the pc community had died, very poor taste.
    Xboxx, 58 inch TV, real fov 75, Sim Labs GT1 evo rig, Fanatec DD2, Shifter, v3 pedals, Mclaren Gt3 rim, Sparco Grid q seat.
    Join stoopid time trial challenges for satisfaction https://www.stoopidchallenges.com
    The following 3 users likes this Post: amazed, MaximusN, Titzon Toast


  5. #5
    GT3 Pilot Tank621's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Essex/Manchester UK
    Posts
    3,061
    Platform
    PC
    That was my immediate reaction too, I thought something terrible had happened
    Project Cars 3 Content List: http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/sho...and-Discussion
    Xbox: tankbuster621 Steam: Tank621 Playstation: Tankbuster621
    The following 3 users likes this Post: amazed, MaximusN, Titzon Toast


  6. #6
    GT3 Pilot
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    4,584
    Platform
    PC
    Something terrible has happened indeed

    I agree with almost everything you said David, except for AMS2. Remember, when ACC was first released, its sales was pretty bad, but after it got polished and improved and got more features, it started to grow quickly to what it is today. IMO, AMS2 has way more potential than ACC, just compare their content and variety and amount of features and remember AMS2 does not even have its GT3, GT4 and Touring Cars packs out yet. Let's wait some months and see then if it will be a serious rival to other sims, or maybe even something much more than that. But I agree, right NOW, it isn't.
    The following 3 users likes this Post: BartZ, DaWorstPlaya, mcarpenter


  7. #7
    GT3 Pilot Tank621's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Essex/Manchester UK
    Posts
    3,061
    Platform
    PC
    Quote Originally Posted by cpcdem View Post
    Something terrible has happened indeed
    Maybe don't equivalate people thinking someone had died with a game not having certain features
    Project Cars 3 Content List: http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/sho...and-Discussion
    Xbox: tankbuster621 Steam: Tank621 Playstation: Tankbuster621
    The following user likes this Post: Titzon Toast


  8. #8
    WMD Member John Hargreaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,836
    Platform
    PC
    Also David is no troll, I've seen him stick up for pCARS on many simracing forums over the years in the face of some very negative, and factually incorrect, opinions. I figure he's earned his rant.
    i7-7700K/MSI RTX 3080/Win10 64bit/64Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+Beyer Dynamic DT990 Pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Oculus CV1/HP Reverb/Logitech G29+G25 shifter/DSD P2 button box

    WMD1 + WMD2 Member
    The following 3 users likes this Post: DaWorstPlaya, Javaniceday, JohnSchoonsBeard


  9. #9
    WMD Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,864
    Pcars 3 could had been great, even with some of the drastic changes that are currently in.

    The issue for me is that sms is completely not interested in creating a racing game with some form authenticity. Seeing random cars lumped in one class is so immersion breaking. That’s not even about the other changes that I find it undesirable.
    The following user likes this Post: r_outsider


  10. #10
    Superkart Pilot Titzon Toast's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    557
    Platform
    PS4 Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenium View Post
    Pcars 3 could had been great, even with some of the drastic changes that are currently in.

    The issue for me is that sms is completely not interested in creating a racing game with some form authenticity. Seeing random cars lumped in one class is so immersion breaking. That’s not even about the other changes that I find it undesirable.
    Could have been? How many times have you played it please?
    Education is important but racing is importanter.

    Jockeys I3ollix
    CSL Elite, Clubsport V3i Pedals
    Too much sim for Bagpuss.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •