With Le Mans Ultimate set to represent the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, it must include every track from the current season. Handily, the development team already has most of the venue scans and created for its sandbox simulation platform rFactor 2.
However, that still leaves the Algarve International Circuit and Fuji Speedway to be created, and then the existing venues to be brought up to date to match their quality standards.
Today, 8th September, work-in-progress images of the Portimão-based venue have been published alongside an interview with Studio 397 veteran, Art Lead Alex Sawczuk.
The in-game images mainly show the trackside buildings and grandstands, although there is one shot of the plunging entry into the opening corner.
While the track surface is laser scanned, the development team visited the venue during April’s WEC round to photograph the surroundings, with the aim of obtaining additional details.
We were able to visit the major buildings and take extra reference photos of them too,” explains Sawczuk.
“This means we end up with things that you might not see on ordinary photographers’ shots, such as how rubber builds up on kerbs, variation on the grass throughout the circuit, details on buildings that no one else would ever think to take a picture of.”
The latest update also touches upon an updated lighting system, such as the way it reflects during different times of day – there’s a full day/night cycle – and how they aim to increase the ‘ambience’ at night.
Existing track updates
Those existing rFactor 2 models are said to also be improved instead of just being identical to the existing platform.
The main thing for us is to have a standardisation across all the circuits,” continues Sawczuk.
“As they all form part of the World Endurance Championship, we wanted to bring them all to the same standard. Some of the newer circuits the studio has built recently are to a very high level with details not seen in other games.
“Bringing some of our older circuits up to that level, freshening them up and adding new additions has been very important.”
Looking at the Circuit de la Sarthe, for example, it’s pointed out that the team is re-doing the Armco barriers, rebuilding from scratch the pitlane building, adding additional bridges and placing extra buildings around the Maison Blanche area. Spa-Francorchamps will be updated too.
“Spa has been done to a new Point Cloud with a terrain overhaul and the addition of new props like the new grandstand at Eau Rouge and at Sebring for example, we are adding in the WEC pitlane on the back straight as IMSA used the Start/Finish straight pits during the March event,” highlighted Sawczuk.
Images, or gameplay, of the completed venues – either all-new or revised – are yet to be shown as the team works towards a December 2023 launch window. It follows the recent explanation of the co-op and ranked online game modes, plus images of the user interface.
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Source: Le Mans Ultimate