With the last main release arriving back in December, Image Space Incorporated recaptured our full attention yesterday when it released rFactor 2 Build 982.
Typical of an in-sequence update, this new revision brings widespread changes and new features. Build 982 actually goes beyond ‘mere’ updates as it puts control of race structures into the hands of the community via a plug-in structure.
Undoubtedly the headline act of this build, the rF2 dev team has now baked in its plug-in rule system. A device worthy of a news feature itself, the aim of the plug-in is to put the rule choices into the hands of players and organisers, taking it away from the main code and setting up flexibility. Putting definition to this practical application, the new system will mean that league admins can go ahead with customising events. Or in the words of the announcement, we’ll no longer have to wait for ISI to develop and add them!
Adding a hint of caution, it does sound as if this new functionality is at a good stage but also looked upon as being a piece of work in development. That said, go ahead, use it, then report any problems and offer feedback on the rFactor 2 forums.
Likewise, if you’re part of a mod team or merely want to understand more of how rFactor 2’s many parts work, spend some time at the rFactor 2 Developer’s Corner. From Photoshop templates, 3ds Max files and PDF docs to interview links and all manner of rF2 resources from the last five years, there’s a LOT of content ready and waiting!
Away from the clear highlights in the change list, ISI has reported significant advances with the AI. Partially noted in the list below, these improvements include less unnecessary braking or slowing down and a better capability when drafting or racing in a pack. Build 982 also sees progress with detection of the cars being on two wheels. Fortunately, the team didn’t forget to consider apply an ability to recover from that situation either!
Speaking of the pack, rFactor 2 Build 982 raises the default vehicle limit from 30 machines to a tremendous 45! Apparently, the majority of 64-bit systems nowadays have enough memory for so many cars – which with the reference to 64-bit, we take to mean 8GB or more. Do note though that anyone running a 32-bit operating system will reach the memory limit somewhere between 25 and 30 cars.
rFactor 2 Build 982 Notes
- The new ‘Internals Plug-in v7’ has been included in rFactor 2 Build 982. This build represents the first major step in migrating our game rules out of the base game and into plug-ins.
- Maximum number of vehicles for the ‘All Cars & Tracks’ default mod increased to 45.
- Added a configurable control for “Skip Formation”.
- Added AI self-preservation reaction to preventing tipping.
- Increased effect AIW parameter AISpec has on AI acceleration and top speed.
- Added cockpit readouts “BESTLAP” and “LASTLAP” for modders to use.
- Clean up of AI multi-line pack driving. More tolerance of nearby cars when slowly moving towards grid or pit spots.
- Assume any future Thrustmaster wheel will need its FFB direction reversed and do so automatically. If for some reason that is wrong, open up the Controller.JSON file and set “Steering Effects Strength” to 9999 instead of 10000.
- FOV now stored per vehicle.
- Added steering wheel ranges to plug-in telemetry.
- Now recognises GDB track type of Oval in addition to the original Superspeedway, Superspeedway Oval, Speedway, Speedway Oval, Short Track and Short Track Oval varieties. The app code doesn’t actually differentiate them, other than to identify these track types as not being a road course. The differentiation between Oval and Road, denotes certain conditions e.g. include a spotter on oval courses, formation conventions (inside/outside on ovals, left/right on roads) and AI shifting behaviour.
- Added a plug-in interface to view some Pit Menu data.
- Expanded the virtual vehicle creation to optionally include vehicle description and a vehicle number.
- Adjustment parameters for multi-view are now available in the config.ini file. You must manually edit the values in this file until an in-game tool is available.
- For performance reasons, rF2 now forces vehicle body collision model to be below a certain limit, automatically varying LOD if necessary.
- Fix for the “WCCLOUD.GMT” multi-player loading error.
- Fixed mod sig missing when server publishes to matchmaker.
- Corrected some controller detection and rearrangement issues.
- Addressed an issue where a matrix in AI physics drifted away from being orthogonal.
- Some improvements and fixes to replay and resume-from-replay for non-race sessions.
- Potential fix for skin transfer icon mistakenly showing completion of a skin that wasn’t successfully applied.
- Gold player file now stores Mod name instead of RFM file name for “Game Description”, since we can’t guarantee that each mod will have a unique rfm name.
- Fixed occasional AI tendency to needlessly decelerate while transitioning from the main path to the pit path.
- Fixed an issue where a client would lose the connection during a race, rejoin for a race restart only to find that the client didn’t know their correct grid location.
- Fixed rear-view tone mapping.
- Adjust post-gamma.
- Fix for dirty side views in multi-view.
- Fixed extra slashes at end of Shader dir in viewer.
- Optimised more HDR processes.
- Improved spotlight priority sorting.
- Added multi-view adjustments. Values in Config.ini as well as parameter to disable new functionality (to retain use of older FOV options).
- Fixed for FXAA not working since last release.
- Additional SLI optimisations when using reflections.
- Made the UI consistent in-game with regard to the names of the Steering Help levels.
- Added indication to the Tuning page’s upgrade tree list when upgrades are required on the track.
- Created a more informative password failure screen.
- Added a ‘remove forced upgrade’ button to the Tuning page for easy reversal of user-created force upgrade actions.
- Reduced button font size to fit within a button’s boundaries.
- In multi-player mode, cars will now reload if using the car switcher only to change upgrades.
- Fixed recall of the column ‘sort’ state for the matchmaker list.
- Fix for a number of pit stops being reported as ‘zero’ in multi-player.
- Added admin command “/forwardseconds X” in order to fast-forward time by ‘X’ seconds, where X is from 0-65535.
- Added admin commands “/pitbydriver” and “/pitbyteam”.
- CLI options for the Launcher: +connect=”:” and +dedipass=””
- Fix for the driver editor so that you can go back to Main Menu from track-specific parameters menu.
- Gave the camera editor an ability to change track-side camera names.
- Created AI limiter slider.
- Look for digital flags up to the number of corner workers so that track builders don’t need to name digital flags consecutively.
- Fixed a potential bug with a custom rFm file when creating a mod with the wizard.
Along with many cars, templates and tracks, the latest Demo and core file-only Lite installers for rFactor 2 Build 982 can be found on the rfactor.net Downloads page.
ISI continues to offer rFactor 2 through Standard and Lifetime licences. The Standard licence gives one year of on-line access for $43.99 (USD), with annual renewal charged at $12 (USD) per year. A Lifetime licence costs $84.99 (USD) and carries no further costs for on-line play.