Q&A with the developers of rFactor – Terence
By John Bayley – Product Development…
Being a little hungry lately for more specific info on some of rF’s new technology, I figured it was time to hunt down someone who had good knowledge about not only rF’s technology, but technology used by ISI in the past. I knew just the right brain to pick for this one, so I managed to corner Terence long enough to pop a few questions…
What new technology appears in rFactor?
Well, I’m going to let our resident eye-popper, Mr. Joseph Campana, cover the graphics technology in another thread. But I can tell you a bit about the rest of the application.
We’ve put in alot of work revamping the modding system. This includes new ways to define whole games and seasons, a variety of rules to emulate different race series, plus an ability to download mods from a server.
There is a completely new replay system that allows easier editing, special video and audio effects, plus the creation of AVIs from within the game. We are very excited about this feature which I think our fans have been patiently waiting for.
Another key technology has been the development of our multiplayer system which includes a dedicated server. Not only have we improved the more important aspects such as prediction, but we’ve also managed to eliminate some of the most common complaints about our previous games. There are some other interesting features which will reveal themselves in due time.
Of course we are always working on AI and physics. The AI in rFactor are more life-like than ever, and I’ve been personally surprised by some of the dicing required to get by these clever suckers.
Is the physics engine all new for rFactor?
There are some new components to the physics engine, but our main focus has been to realize the full potential of the driving experience. We wanted to improve the sense of speed, and have the user feel the bumps in the road and the air rushing by. We accomplished this by developing several areas, from audio to camera work to the physics themselves. I think that people will find that we’ve polished this technology and taken care of some of the oddities experienced in previous products.
Where do you get the data you need to accurately represent the wide range of vehicles modeled in Image Space products?
From SCGT through our Formula One and NASCAR products, we have had contact with many insiders who shared varying amounts of data with us. Some of these contacts were established by contract with our publisher, while others volunteered information after playing our other simulations. While it was often difficult to obtain certain proprietary data, we would fill in the gaps through research and experimentation. Feedback from certain knowledgeable users was also very beneficial, so we really owe a thank you to the racing sim community for helping us along the way.
What makes rF fun to drive?
Well, first off I don’t think you should take my word for it … please give it a spin! But in my opinion, this game is very fun to drive.
Each car requires its own technique to push its envelope. Some cars are easy to over-drive, which may look cool but wastes time and punishes tires. I hope that our fans will enjoy some of the same wheel-to-wheel racing that we’ve seen in testing.