You may have read or watched our retrospective on the much-loved racing sim Live for Speed recently. It’s been 20 years since the sim made its first significant appearance to the public, and to celebrate the developers have released a timely progress report on forthcoming updates.
The Live for Speed (LFS) team has previously teased the addition of day-to-night transitions and enhanced physics, but today (18th August 2022) the official LFS blog also revealed information on two new tracks, as well as further screenshots of the new graphics system working its magic on existing locations.
Live for Speed – Bancroft Autodrome
Based at an airfield in the UK, the fictional Bancroft Autodrome circuit is the first of the new tracks announced for LFS. It looks to be a high-speed venue with apparent multiple uses. From above, it resembles the Top Gear Test Track (Dunsfold Aerodrome), with two wide runways encircled by a ribbon of flat tarmac.
At this early stage, the course resembles a mix between Silverstone and the fastest track in Europe, Thruxton. However, does the prevalence of wide, open spaces in both the infield and outfield sections mean we can expect more than just circuit races at Bancroft? Autocross, drag racing and rallycross course variants would seem to complement the location well, at first glance.
Live for Speed – Fairfield Test Centre
Mimicking auto testing locations like MIRA and the Millbrook Proving Ground, Fairfield Test Centre is set to bring a high-speed oval, skid pan, flowing country roads and suspension-busting speed humps to the sim.
There’s no sign of the infamous Belgian pavé roads thus far, but the screenshots do intriguingly show a Police-liveried tow truck. Could this be a new vehicle type in the next build of LFS, and will a tow function be fully implemented? It would certainly be a boon for online cruise servers…
Live for Speed’s new physics and graphics
The LFS blog post explained that the sim’s physics currently run at a refresh rate of 100Hz, which has proven to create choppy graphics on occasion. The LFS team are now planning to up this rate ten times to 1000Hz, ensuring a far smoother frame rate for players.
The enhanced refresh rate will come with the new graphics system and bring additional benefits in the form of silky-smooth slow-motion replays and – for the first time in LFS history – laps accurately timed down to one-thousandth of a second.
The new graphics will also see the arrival of reworked textures and day-to-night transitions on existing tracks like South City. And the visuals are a marked improvement over the current build of LFS.
Are you looking forward to trying out the next evolution of LFS? Do you have any favourite memories of playing the sim throughout its 20-year history? Let us know in the comments below.