When the opportunity arose to have a Q&A with Marcel Offermans from Studio 397 after he saw my article on my thoughts about the future of rFactor 2, it was clear to me that I should take the opportunity to offer this directly to the community and try and get some “real” questions/concerns answered. Thanks to everyone for their questions and thanks to Marcel, again, for taking the time to answer them. I know you’re extremely busy.
Hi Marcel, thank you for affording us some time to answer some questions directly from the community. We’ve collated the seemingly most prominent/requested questions and brought them to you.
Luke on Facebook asks: What expertise will Studio 397 bring to rFactor2 (other than more development manpower). Any current features that can now be expanded on with Studio 397 onboard?
Marcel: Within our company we have a broad expertise in all kinds of areas of software development. Specifically for rFactor 2 we are looking at integrating better with the cloud, and providing a more intuitive user interface. But we also have products that can help us gather and process statistics, and even e-learning, which could be used to build a driving school. These are just examples, in general we will bring in the people based on their expertise in specific areas, but we are also talking to people outside our company, specifically experts in the simracing community.
Traind on the ISI forum asked: What do you see as the priority for rFactor 2 over the next year?
Many asked: Will anything change with the pricing structure. If so, do you know what will change for standard and lifetime purchasers?
Marcel: Many people in the community have asked us to review the pricing structure, so that is one of the things we’re doing. Our priorities for 2017 are to get DX11 and VR support in, to make the user interface more accessible and to start building a better on-line matchmaker. On the content side we want to bring some series and popular tracks.
Many asked: Will there be DLC’s, maybe including laser scanned tracks? monthly subscription? online cost?
Marcel: We are working on a system for “paid content” that can be leveraged both by the community and ourselves. That will allow us to get more licensed content into the game. We will obviously try to ensure this content is of high quality, so we are considering both laser scanning and leveraging 3D CAD data. As an example of the latter, we are quite proud of Silverstone, which is very accurate and beautifully detailed.
Ivan Baldo asked: Any plans to better manage track cutting, terrain contact, dangerous spinning, etc. like for example having an “incident score” and allowing to set a maximum for it in the dedicated server?
Marcel: The short answer is: yes. This seems a logical progression of the on-line aspect of rFactor 2 and will hopefully ensure that everybody drives like a true gentleman.
Jimmy and Stephen on Facebook asked: Will we see hybrid simulation added to rF2 at some stage?
Marcel: At some stage, definitely, since real racing is moving more into the direction of hybrid and electric cars. We will probably start building such systems as our new cars require them.
A very hot topic on the ISI forums was: Realistic clutch and gear shifting is not yet implemented but it was being worked on by ISI. Will Studio 397 be completing this feature?
Marcel: We have already been talking with ISI about this. It is one of the more popular features on the “physics” wishlist.
MarcG on the ISI forums asks: RF2 has undoubtedly the best AI of any current racing simulation, but as with everything there is always room for improvement. So my question is, will you be looking to expand upon and further improve the AI code (both road and oval) in the future?
Marcel: Behind the scenes we are already working on improving the AI on ovals. We will keep trying to make improvements in that area so the AI remain fun and challenging to race against.
@buddhatree on Twitter asks: I’d like to know if there are plans for pre-configured offline championships or better yet, custom championships. Thanks.
Marcel: This too is a popular feature which we’re exploring. My current vision on this is that it will probably be easier for us to add once we’ve updated our user interface.
Nazirull Safry Paijo on the ISI forums asks: Are there any plans to enable the ability to limit the number of sets of tires per race weekend?
Marcel: We have not looked into that, but we probably will. It is not just a matter of limiting the number of sets, but also keeping track of their wear, because in those conditions you also want to be able to re-fit a used set. Then there are rules like if you flatspot a set, you are allowed to pick another “similar” set. So then it gets more complicated quickly. Another way we could solve this is by making this part of a rules API so people can plugin the rules for a specific series.
Emery from the ISI forums asks: How long until the first release from Studio 397? Will it be content or a core update?
Marcel: The first release is planned for this year and will include a lot of patches and small improvements that have been in development since the last release. This will be the first Steam only update. New content releases are also planned, but we can release those separately.
Many asked: Will there be any any plans to the cloud cover/rain change the surface temperature? How about window wipers with rain on the window?
Marcel: Yes, we are aware that temperatures are not “hooked up” to the physics engine everywhere. We will change that. As far as wipers and rain on the windshield, there was a tech demo a long time ago, but ISI was not happy with it yet. We will probably take a fresh look at this after the move to DX11.
One for the modders: are there going to be further developments with gJed?
Marcel: Yes, these will be improved alongside the DX11 developments.
Many asked: Will there be any VR beta or is the target still a Q1 2017 for anything VR?
Marcel: That is indeed still the target. Obviously, like with any new feature, we will first share it with our test team. We might do a public beta too, if that helps us deliver a better end result. At this point that is still too early to tell.
Thank you very much, Marcel. We look forward to the future of rFactor 2!
Marcel: You’re welcome!
You can buy rFactor 2 on Steam now by clicking Here