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rFactor 2’s latest test release candidate includes new engine sounds and particle effects

rFactor 2's latest test release candidate includes new engine sounds, revised AI and more options

A new testbed for future rFactor 2 updates has been released, and alongside new sounds includes further setup options, UI additions and AI tweaks.

A new release candidate has been released for PC-based driving simulator Factor 2 – and it includes a spate of gameplay additions.

For those out of the loop, an rFactor 2 release candidate is an optional preview for upcoming features and feedback will assist the development team ahead of a formal launch further down the line.

Chief of which is revised engine sounds. This will be in effect both outside, for replays and esports, and inside the vehicles. In the example shown at the end of a teaser video, the LMP2 machine appears to have more texture to its engine sound, with crisper crackles and pops on the overrun, and further feedback from the transmission.

In that same demonstration, you can see more sparks have been added – reminding us of the RaceRoom Racing Experience update from the middle of last year. The particle effect update also includes changes to puddle splashes.

The ageing Chevrolet Corvette safety, or pace, car has also received a makeover, now with physically based rendering (PBR) for more realistic visuals. It still remains the C6 body style, however.

A key gameplay change is downshift protection. Smash the downshift paddle too quickly in the past and this could over-rev the engine and result in a retirement – exactly what happened to Daniel Juncadella during the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual earlier this year.

rFactor 2 Corvette Safety car, April 2022 update

There are several changes to the user interface. Itself heavily revised in January, new features have now been added to help setup a wet track with greater accuracy, select car options and filter AI opponents. Speaking of which, they are said to be smarter when it comes to tyre strategy – we’ll have to see how that plays out in actuality.

A full changelog is below, also highlighting altered lighting effects and driving line aid. Let us know in the comments below what you think of these upcoming changes.

Release Candidate V1.1128 Update Notes

Client 8551968
Dedi 8551974

General

  • Updated Safety Car added to Retail and ModDev. Old Safety Car removed.
  • Added a visual driving line feature, this can be toggled from settings
  • Removed texture cache to simplify loading a bit
  • Added an option to set the amount of water on roads at the start of a session.
  • Increased the rate of RealRoad calculations by approximately x4.
  • Added a server option to disable faster real road calculations, as this adds approximately an extra 4KBps per client to server overheads.
  • Minor update to default weather conditions for different profiles (Rainy/Overcast/Sunny etc)
  • Updated how road and rain conditions are reported. Old percentage values now snap to a set percent for each tyre of condition, masking the true absolute condition in the game. The Default HUD has been updated to show a text description.
  • Corrected Rear Flap System default wet weather disable point to work with new weather ranges.
  • Fixed an issue where Cameras constrained to specific paths would not work correctly in replays.
  • Extended Freelook mode to allow control via joypads as well as adjustments of exposure, aperture, sensor size and focus.

Graphics

  • Decreased interval of Static Mapper updates from 5 minutes to 10 seconds. This should result in smoother lighting changes at dawn / dusk and as weather conditions change.
  • Corrected Sky Colour to remove Cyan Effect
  • Slight adjustments to exposure for sky colour adjustments when sun at it’s highest.
  • Minor Atmospheric Corrections, including linking AirMass to AirPollution,
  • Reducing Fog Brightness Slightly
  • Reduced Exposure a touch when the sun is around 10 degrees of altitude.
  • Improved cloud selection at different weather settings
  • Minor cloud texture improvements
  • Fixed an issue where Clouds would disappear at really high altitudes
  • Fixed issues with lighting interpolation in sky rendering at Dusk/Sunrise, which would result in jumps in lighting values.
  • Fixed puddle splashes not setting when rain drops are not used (set to off or scene viewer)
  • Fixed lighting on spray during wet conditions, and tweaked particle profile
  • Updated reflections on PBR Road and Curb Shaders
  • Updated Rain Particle settings and fixed rendering on ultrawide screens
  • Passed through particle settings refining Spray, Dust, Smoke and more.
  • Fixed an issue in VR where the scene would over exposure
  • Fixed an issue in VR where replay mode would not render correctly
  • Driver labels now work in VR
  • Sparks!
    • New behaviour archetype concept in the rF2Particles.pcd file.
    • New sparks archetype that brings:
      • Particle movement and camera movement based motion blur that can be clamped to a target camera refresh rate (shutter speed)
      • Movement behaviour based on airflow estimations around the car.
      • Terrain and car underbody collisions.
      • Additional light emission from particle. 
  • New sparks particle effect that gets activated when undertray points of the car scrapes on the ground.
  • Backwards compatibility with existing cars and tracks.

Physics

  • Implemented enhanced cooling system for oil & water with new parameters in the .hdv file The new model includes:
    • Direct heat transfer between water and oil
    • Oil radiator
    • Switchover Thermostat
  • Separated front and rear brake ducts
  • Added configurable gear shift protection
  • New algorithm for wet road calculations effecting how quickly surfaces get wet and dry, taking into account drainage, humidity, ambient temperature and sky weather conditions.
  • Updated tyre grip calculations on rubbered in areas when surfaces are wet

AI

  • Added AI Dry Tyre strategy (Random Dry Tyre in Practice, Softs in Qualifying and try to pick an appropriate tyre for race strategy in race)
  • AI now check if to change Tyre Type just before the pit road entry rather than at the start of the lap
  • Fixed various issues around AI Tyre Selection when session changes and weather changes – such as not switching to wet tyres when it was dry before but now is wet.
  • Fixed an issue with calculating road conditions when changing session where they would not fully compute.
  • Fixed an issue where cars that don’t allow pit stop refuelling would run a full tank in practice and qualifying
  • Prevent AI from leaving pits in closed session
  • Fixed an issue where if there was a set of valid wet tyres, intermediate tyres would default to dry tyres.

UI

  • Always show official sticky servers in the server list even if filters are active.
  • Enabled “Restart warmup” button also when event is in race session.
  • Updated button layout in session controls and setup summary.
  • Added fading out of screen when leaving event or replay.
  • Added condensing of tire name when too long to fit in event standings table.
  • Added help text when hovering over various settings
  • Added music to showroom
  • Changed breaking of long chat lines so they only break on full words
  • Fixed getting stuck in assign control pop-up after assigning tab key
  • Disabled user text selection everywhere except in text fields
  • Added highlighting of assigned control key values when hovering over with mouse
  • Improved transition between different profiles in graphics and gameplay settings menus
  • Refined styling of car classes in event screen
  • Refined styling of car classes in fullscreen standings ticker
  • Disabled “Default max wheel angle” setting when “Max wheel angle mode” is set to automatic
  • Disabled “Steering wheel range” setting when “Range set by vehicle” setting is enabled
  • Hid the car selection list when the drive/spectate pop-up is showing when joining a server directly with a join link
  • Changed searching for cars and tracks so that the list scroll position is kept at the top after search (clearing the search text will scroll to the selected item)
  • Enabled car selection on server during a practice session
  • Made it possible to add multiple custom graphics profiles
  • Made it possible to add multiple custom gameplay difficulty profiles
  • Always sort “All Tracks & Cars” to the top of the list in singleplayer series selection
  • Added fallback image for showcase tile in case the actual image cannot be loaded
  • Updated showcase, news and store tiles background image positioning and scaling
  • Added option to expand server chat window to full height
  • Setup notes for the highlighted setup (the one you clicked on in the setup list but not yet loaded) are now shown on the setup summary page
  • Setup notes can now be typed in the setup summary page (the setup still has to be saved to save the changes)
  • When saving a setup, the folder for the current track will be selected by default (instead of the folder of the loaded setup)
  • Removed automatically expanding all found items in car and track selection after search
  • Added highlighting of selected opponent filters
  • Fixed multiplayer screen with drive/spectate pop-up showing too soon when using +connect to join a server, and if and when content install is still in progress
  • You can now select car upgrades directly from the car selection screen without going to the showroom (both in singleplayer and multiplayer)
  • Disabled singleplayer grid position setting if qualifying is enabled
  • Added two new gearbox graphs:
    • Top speed per gear
    • RPM after upshift
    • The existing graph, gear spacing, is kept as a third option
  • Fixed occasional blank page in the first launch wizard when going to the exit screen and back
  • Reordered difficulty settings and sliders
  • Singleplayer RealRoad settings are now enabled only when the weather preset is set to “Scripted”
  • Renamed “Steering effects strength” setting to “Force feedback direction”
  • Singleplayer “Race Laps” and “Race Time” settings are now disabled/enabled based on the “Finish Criteria” setting
  • A singleplayer session can now also be enabled by clicking on the disabled session button in quick event

Modding

  • Added IBL Visualizer Debug tool to Scene Viewer (already present in ModDev)
  • Added Texture UV Mip Debug tool to Scene Viewer (already present in ModDev)
  • Added AI Vocal Strategy Player File debug option for Mod Dev (Pit Strategies, Tyre Changes and when selected what they are doing – can be expanded in future).
  • Fixed overcast preview mode (note: this is not exactly the same as in game)
  • Updated sample wet masks at Loch Drummond

Sound

  • New 3D Sound Engine
  • Increased amount of simultaneous effects to 256
  • Environmental effects and filtering system
  • Proper cockpit filtering
  • Autodetection of open and closed cockpits for environment effects and filtering
  • Sound effects such as skid, kerbs, gravel, wind, suspension and many more now work online and in replays
  • Support for full surround sound setups
  • HRTF support (Binaural headphone experience)
  • Improved VR experience
  • Backwards compatible
  • Many new sound effects
  • Support for trackside broadcast microphones
  • Every car now causes audible ambient noise around the whole track
  • Brand new, modern, customisable file format with much more freedom for audio designers
  • Improved debugging tools for dev mode

Formula Pro V0.93

Added TEST version which includes shift protection, push to pass, and engine cooling and brake duct cooling split

Dallara IR-18 V0.93

Added TEST version which includes shift protection, engine cooling and brake duct cooling split

Source: Studio 397 blog

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