Q&A with the developers of rFactor – Gjon

By John Bayley – Product Development…

Having been knee deep in designing tools and mods for a number of ISI racing sims since 1999, when the chance to work on ISI’s latest leap in racing sim technology came along, well, who wouldn’t jump in. Enter, rFactor. If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to racing sims, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

One of the first things that struck me about rFactor was the SCGT (Sports Car GT) type concept. A game with solid physics, mod-ability, and that immersion factor which makes it hard to pull yourself away from the game. However, with the new technology in rFactor, the comparison pretty much ends there. I’m not talking about technology you just read about in some tech doc (which is all fine and dandy), this is technology that kicks the human senses into high gear the moment you get behind the wheel and head out of the pits.

Over the next few weeks I’ll try and cover all aspects of rF through a series of interviews with the dev team, and no better place to start than with Gjon Camaj….

What is rFactor all about?

rF is the game we want to play. It is being designed in such a way so that we and the community can continuously develop and refine it. rF is a serious simulation that is both challenging and fun to play. The initial installment will feature mixed class road racing, something we have always enjoyed. Future installments will include not only additional vehicles, circuits, new features, and refinements, but also new types of racing.

Why rFactor instead of continuing some of ISI’s other product lines?

rF provides us the freedom to do what we enjoy most and be the best at it. This new start was a much needed opportunity to clean out some closets and lay new foundation stones.

rF will also allow us to work even more closely with the racing sim community, something we’ve always enjoyed doing in the past. It will be the most mod-able game to date that has come out of ISI.

I have always considered our products to be very well architected. With rF we’ve pushed this even further. We’ve incorporated our many years of commercial and military simulation experience along with the lessons we learned putting out AAA entertainment titles year after year. I’m extremely proud of what is brewing in the lab.

What makes the community around your products so important?

Over the past ten years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet allot of people interested in racing simulations. Some were complementary of our products, others were very critical, and a few have become very good friends. But one thing they all had in common that really impressed me was a passion, intelligence and commitment to making the field of computer generated racing simulations better than it was before.

Unfortunately over the past few years, I noticed a push to cater to everyone but this person. We hope to reverse this trend.

How do you plan to compete with blockbuster games out there?

We don’t. Our goal has never been to be the exclusive maker of racing games. I’m pretty sure that would be a bad thing in the long run.

What does the future have in store for rFactor?

We are currently in discussion with organizations, manufactures and teams about bringing their type of racing to rF. Ultimately, I expect to see every car, of every paint scheme, from every year driving on every circuit both current and historical, which has ever held an event where an internal combustion engine was used to decide the winner of a race.

What is it like working on such an ambitious project?

Our nose is pretty close to canvas right now so to be honest, it’s a huge mess. It’s also a work of art. Many of the concepts that I once was only able to toy with are now becoming a reality and it’s a beautiful thing.

We understand we are not able to fully realize all of our goals with the initial release. But we have laid the foundation that will allow us to meet these goals. We also feel we created a development environment from which the community can use as a springboard to create things we haven’t even dreamed of.

 

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Founded in 1992, ISI are a well respected software developer specializing in the fields of computer game development, "man-in-the-loop" simulator architectures, computer image generation, and entertainment systems integration.