Latest Roadmap Update - July 2017!

Discussion in 'News & Notifications' started by Christopher Elliott, Jul 22, 2017.

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  1. T1specialist

    T1specialist Registered

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    To put it bluntly a game that is intended to be developed only before release can survive with just income from game sales. Because after it is released it is done. But with any kind of on going development you need some kind of on going income. Either you just use your savings or you try to sell something in addition to the base game. Or you just forget your sim racers and start selling products and service to the real race teams and whoever is your business (which has its own risks too). But as time goes on I'd imagine more of your income will come from the products you sell in addition to the base game. Rf2 is not a new game by any means anymore so to fund development it can't just expect to sell enough copies of the base game to survive.

    Another thing to remember that the qualities of the business practises of whoever is developing rf2 are separate from the qualities of rf2 as a sim. What I mean by this is that even rf2 is/was the best sim racing product out there it doesn't mean it had the best development, best sales strategies and business practises. Similarly if people criticize rf2 business decisions that does not mean they are criticizing the sim as well. I'm not saying things are totally unlinked but in a way it is a logical fallacy to take one quality of a game and expect the same adjective to describe everything else. So if I say rf2 made a mistake by trying to sell online passes I'm not saying rf2 was a bad simulator. Just to make that perfectly clear.

    Earlier on I mentioned that you need income to keep developing a game. When rf2 launched it tried to get that income from online passes. Now that the online passes have gone away (good riddance!) there needs to be another form of income. Which is dlc. So with rf2 what we are seeing now is a transition phase. Not just from dx9 to dx11. But overall the way the game is being sold is changing as well. So in my mind it makes just perfect sense that one type of income is changed to other type. From online passes to paid dlc. I can't see this being a surprise to anyone. Sure it sucks if you bought lifetime pass the day before the online fee went away but other than I don't know how do you expect 397 to keep developing the game. I mean, there are ways but we already have info what works and what doesn't. And we know what rf2 did have did not work.

    Paid mods were also mentioned although that to me feels more like a bad carryover idea from isi era than an idea from 397 but it could be another source of income as well. I think paid modding is going to be massive disaster but dlc is a proven method of doing business. It is a business model that seems to work.

    There are of course other examples of working business models in racing games. There is the iracing's service style approach. You pay for what you want to use. And it is a true service in that it offers a clear thing for the monthly fee instead of just being a basic feature ripped off from the base game to be sold as separate item. Or you can sell your whole game in stages. Like live for speed does. Basically each stage is a big dlc but you release them rarely to prevent fragmentation.

    As for failed business models you have simraceway and raceroom. Both of which have been through bankcruptsy at least once. In that business model you try to sell content at high price in drips and drops while trying to hide the real costs behind some kind of virtual currency. Clearly not a route for rf2 in the future.

    But what works is paid dlc. Everybody are doing it. It allows continuous development and it creates nice peaks in player numbers and publicity when the new stuff is out. Seems like a no-brainer for me where to go. Iracing approach won't work for rf2 because the game needs to be designed ground to work as a service. Simraceway approach won't work because it ends in bankcrutsy.

    I was fully expecting dlcs to come to rf2 as soon as the online pass went away. I'm glad it is like this. I was already positively suprised that the radical was free. So it is not going to be that all future content is going to be paid dlc. As much was already clearly confirmed in this roadmap update.

    I think at this point my only concern is that the mclaren gt3 competition car is a paid addon. Rf2 is by far the smallest of the games included in that competition and while the financial motives for making the car paid addon are probably lucrative for 397 (new people coming in and buying the game AND the dlc... and a modern mclaren gt3 is always going to outsell the radical sr3) you also have to ask could it make people drop rf2 out of the games in that competition and focus on the other ones?

    The way I see competitions is a bit like playerbase in free2play games. Tons and tons of people participate but only one percent drives more than one lap. Now with the car being paid addon those numbers will shrink. Maybe larger percentage of the people driving the car do more than one lap (because the car price is an entry fee) but overall the numbers might decrease massively which can hurt rf2 public opinion. Rf2 already has really small userbase and if the other games in the competition get 100 times more players it might make rf2 tougher to get into any future competitions like this. That being said my only concerns about future dlcs are all about that competition car being a paid dlc. It is not that I'm against it. It is a bit weird is all I am saying.
     
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  2. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    The reason for paid DLC not coming before is probably because they want to implement it with guarantees that it won't get freely distributed. The kind of protection Mario Morais was referring to in the Road Atlanta thread. URD has probably lost many sales due to this.
     
  3. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator Staff Member

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    Calling someone a fanboy (or a troll) is an insult on any forum.
    All I can say is, anyone starting fights on here by throwing insults of any kind - no matter what side you are on, will get a temp ban. If you can't be civil and discuss things without being insulting, then you don't belong on this forum.
     
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  4. DaVeX

    DaVeX Registered

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    People fighting each other for a dev roadmap...seriously?
    Can't we just wait and see?
     
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  5. vittorio

    vittorio Registered

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    I want perfectly simulated cars, if I have to pay I don't care. And I don't want a DLC with 10 cars that aren't perfectly simulated. (like i thought was the case with the lot of AC DLCs)
     
  6. osyres

    osyres Registered

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    There are only 2 ways to make racing complete and successful for a Publisher. 1) esport and competion with license cars tracks and multiplayer rules for lan,events and onlineracing like iracing and other or 2) Mainstream for console,pc,etc and go for big sales like pcars/AC where u sell so many copys that u don t have to do pay or can offer cheap dlc. Overall it looked like they have a big plan otherwise u would not take the titel from isi and put in money. But it seems that they know it right after getting rf2 what the future will be but why take it secret for so long ?
     
  7. Adrianstealth

    Adrianstealth Registered

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    If a software house becomes very successful from making & selling DLC then total credit to them

    as it means they have a good quality product and a good loyal following from a user base buying their products


    Let's keep this perspective even at iracing prices (I say even , these are not a lot but at the high end when compared to others) -a top quality track or a sim-car is around the cost of a couple of beers out or a cinema ticket , AC prices a fraction of that

    PAY these small amounts & keep software supported & alive !

    PS I recently early paid £70 for DCS ww2 content , never would have expected something as large/indepth for free
    (few 100 square miles of accurate terrain as it was in 1944 etc) took them years of development to get it to release, I know I'll get years of enjoyment from it and look forward to updates

    Sim racing is CHEAP
     
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  8. Jon

    Jon Registered

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    Yes, it is cheap. Especially considering how much a wheel costs, the fact that many sim racers have triple monitors or the Oculus Rift, not to mention the computer, graphics card, etc. All this hardware costs many times more than the price of what they paid for the key component, the game itself, without which the hardware would be rendered obsolete. However if you read all the comments in this thread then it's obvious the overwhelming majority support DLC.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that Steam does do several sales a year, and so it's more than likely that during these sales any DLC would be sold at a discounted price. It's also worth mentioning that, unlike iRacing, Steam pricing is country specific. Developing nations pay less for its content, which is why iRacing is only really made up of Northern European countries, the US, and Australia, in other words, nations with a higher GDP per capita.

    I believe those against DLC are simply against it out of principle rather than cost. In which case they should step back, read the many coherent and logical arguments in favour of DLC and reconsider their preconceptions. Others against it may be because they feel DX11 has been poorly implemented and shouldn't be considered stable, so announcing they'll be expected to pay for future content is likely to have added fuel to their already burning fire. At least one of the most vocal yesterday who was against it had only been a member for about fifteen days, so like myself he probably bought rfactor in the recent Steam sale and so feels it's unjust to now be told (or at least hinted) that future content will be DLC. I personally both hoped and expected that DLC would be introduced. DLC is to games what water is to plants; without it they shrivel up and die.

    I personally hope that the DLC will help fund licensing and development for some classic Lotus cars, such as the Lotus 25 and 49, in addition to the classic first McLaren cars of the late sixties. Pretty much every sim has the Classic Lotus license, except the one sim that could really make a version faithful, realistic, and authentic as the original cars. In fact the Spark F1 feels more like I would expect the Lotus 49 to feel than the ones on either iRacing or AC.

    On a final note, Steam does allow for the pre-purchasing of DLC, such as the Porche packs in AC, which were released in stages. Hopefully the developers of rFactor will take this into consideration which may be able to get them the necessary funds in advance to purchase the Classic Lotus licence and subsequently develop the cars in stages. I read that they only developed one version of the Brabham because it was the only one they could get the necessary data for. I'm sure Lotus has more data available for its early cars so therefore more historic variations could be built.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  9. Adrianstealth

    Adrianstealth Registered

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    Agreed AC & iracings historic ordering feel truely half efforts once one has tried the ones in rfactor2

    Think AC & iracing software engines don't have the fidelity to get to the level of rfactor2's or it could be a lot to do with the superior ffb of rfactor2
     
  10. DaVeX

    DaVeX Registered

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    Just a note, S397 stated several times they will follow the "you can race against cars you don't own" route for their dlc system...tracks is a little bit more difficult but we will see,maybe they can do something...(a good example is the Arma3 dlc system)
     
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  11. Stan

    Stan Registered

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    @Christopher Elliott
    "A fanboy (or fangirl) is a person considered to belong to one or more fandoms to a point of obsession" Wikipedia.
    That said, I didn't start any fights, I was just exposing the fact that we are numbers to have issues with stutterings/fullscreen, some of those guys (that I call fanboy's) comes saying it's because of me, I don't want to be rude or disrespectful to anyone (neither at you Christopher), but I am unsure either that you are totally partial on this one.
    Again, I love rf2 and think it's the best of all (even if I praise AMS, also), and by the way it's incredible that I have to justify it...
    Thank you for the warning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  12. burgesjl

    burgesjl Registered

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    rF2 was not going to survive with the business model they had. They weren't selling enough new copies of the game, and then producing only limited amounts of free content and basically putting all your eggs in the basket of modders developing high-quality content either paid or free, just wasn't sustainable. So S397 have done a number of really sensible things so far. They've taken an aging technology base and very rapidly reworked it (DX11, VR enablement and soon to come a new HTML-based UI). They've done that in about one year. Most people developing a new game or new edition of a game, take about 3 years (see SMS). I believe we are beginning to see AC struggle with the need to develop more and more content (a lot of what they have released recently has been of dubious quality) even though they have also gone for volume sales on consoles like SMS/pCARS, and Codemasters F1 franchise. S397 seem not to want to go down the console route, which I think is the right call. Sector3 are also in a bit of quandary about what to do next; they don't have the development staff to really support completely their own graphics, physics, online engines and Simbin have been formed to move the graphics to Unreal Engine (and they have to release a game to fund that, content of which will be in direct competition with the content needed by Raceroom). Really, there IS NO OPTION for S397 but to go down the route of DLC; all that is needed can't be done for free, and they aren't simply in maintenance mode, they have to develop a future. Be thankful the sim has a future at all, because ISI weren't going to continue with it (and its why all complaints about "well we didn't get X that we feel ISI promised us" is irrelevant now).

    Sector3 have taken some flak for the vRP (not real money) model, and I think this has held them back. They sell packs and individual content, btu there is always going to be some overlap. For example, you buy an ADAC GT3 pack and a DTM pack, and whilst there is no overlap in cars their would be on tracks. So, I think we need to recognize a real difference in cars and tracks and how you approach them. For cars, I see an attraction for 'series packs'. For tracks, this becomes a problem so really you have to sell them individually. My biggest problems with any of the simulators right now, is the availability of tracks and especially tracks of high quality (and especially laser scanned). AC don't have enough, R3E have just about enough, pCARS have just about enough but lack completeness (e.g. only say 4 IndyCar tracks, 1 oval) and rF2 lags all of these by a significant degree. Also the rF2 cars have so far been not of the same quality as the other sims (with the exception of the FRenault 3.5 2014 and a couple of others). The biggest talent gap exists right now on track builders. ISI tried to overcome this with their 3PA program and unlicensed 'real tracks' made by modders. S397 need fully licensed content to succeed and have a big enough studio to make the content. And soon they are going to run into the content made by modders that really infringes on the real licenses (URD etc.) that they will have to take down from the Steam Workshop as a result. They need to figure out how to take that content and get the real licenses, and incorporate it into DLC. (SMS and iRacing already employ contractors to develop content). Even iRacing have struggled to produce more than 2-3 road tracks per year (admittedly the largest they could build being Nurbs Nords and Le Mans, so they could have done 3x that amount of tracks). S397 is so far behind on this, and frankly, they won't get there with Mores, Atlanta and New Orleans. Right now they have Portugal, Malaysia, Silverstone and Indy and half-attempts at Interlagos, Bathurst and Montreal. The track content gap is massive, and they have to figure out a pricing model that gets some revenue and also covers the licensing AND all other developments.
     
  13. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    Another consideration in building up the content library is the ability to manage updates for that content. This is especially important with an evolving game engine. rF2 has undergone at least 3 major engine changes which generated pressure for content to be updated (automatic HDR, CPM, and now DX11). AC is also running into this as they change the tire model and AI behavior. Then there are the minor content updates to fix mistakes, make use of new data or features (steering system, engine map, etc.), and make artwork improvements.

    Studio 397 can't follow pCARS example and release a new game to update their content unless they choose to ditch the current licensing agreements, so they're slightly hamstrung in options. Which means that to compete successfully and grow the amount of content, they should improve automation for updating the existing content, to decrease the amount of staff time required.
     
  14. DaVeX

    DaVeX Registered

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    But they can follow the Reiza one and I think they are close.
    The real problem is they are trying to fill holes and the gap with other sims all together (due to time lost before) so the logical move is dlc even if still in development...
     
  15. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo Registered

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    this would be great, and no more worshop cache please


    By the way this
    "Specifically, APIs will be made available to allow sanctioned leagues/competitions to integrate with our overall structure, providing visibility and consistency. "
    Sounds like chosen leagues will be there, so please if it's like that at least allow all our stats to be saved in this system even from leagues that aren't "sanctioned", it makes much easier for us to see people's skill that may be needed in some leagues (like a Pro-Am GT3 league)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  16. hitm4k3r

    hitm4k3r Registered

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    I agree with you to some extent and especialy the track content could be a tad more focused, but I don't consider there to be a massive gap in track content and it's quite obvious that people either just don't know the most content or oversee alot of stuff. You have many more tracks in the game itself than you might think at first glance and with mod content you get alot more than you have time to race actually. We have four historic tracks alone of pretty damn good quality, and not to mention that you get quite alot of track layouts per venue. What's up with the Kart layouts? Is Matsusaka really not good enough? I think what would be nice though is to get more historic tracks for allready lisenced content (Silverstone, Interlagos and Zandvoort especialy) or to build modern versions for historic tracks (Brianza, Montreal, Monaco etc) . That's something where Reiza really excelled with their Legendary track DLCs. I also don't think that it is wise to allways do the same stuff as other developers. How many more games do we need with a modern FIA track? Why not concentrate on North American tracks that fit the Indycar and USF? Why not create a Mclaren that fits in the historic car roster together with the Lola T70 or the F1 and F2 cars? That's just an example from the top of my head, but one of the things that makes especialy AMS interesting is the fact, that you get alot of interesting new content not seen that often before and especialy not with that quality.
     
  17. Eddy

    Eddy Registered

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    Tonight i had a very nice off line race against AI with the Caterham, in a sim that is still getting better every update with a mod that i got for free due to the fact that the modder mr @tjc made with love in his spare time and shared with us. Also people like @Postipate , @Slow Motion and @woochoo (sorry all i don't mention but the list would be to long) work like mad to give us lovely mods to enjoy all for free.
    So what is this in relation to the DLC discussion, well i am pro DLC just for the reasons said by many people before but on the other hand i hear what the con DLC people are saying. Well con people nobody is going to force you to buy DLC's you can just stay enjoying the game with the content you already have and what will come to us all for free because of these passionate modders we have around.
    please look at what S397(and ISI for that matter because they are still around) say on this website: https://www.studio-397.com/about-2/
    i quote:
    Extensibility
    We are also an open platform, allowing our users to create content of their own and share it in a workshop. Through a plugin API we enable all kinds of extensions, such as support for motion platforms, integration with advanced spotter tools, broadcast and live timing pages. We love to engage with our user community on these topics and promote lead users innovations!

    And i think that will stay that way. So for all pro and con DLC's there will be much to enjoy for now and in the future, at least that is what i believe.
     
  18. stonec

    stonec Registered

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    Those historic tracks in rF2 are all more or less unlicensed I believe. Why else call Monza "Brianza"? For the modern counterparts, I'm pretty sure they'd need a license to do the track survey, that's probably why it hasn't been done yet. Modern Monaco might be a bit difficult to license and get data collected for, but hopefully we'll get at least some of these classic tracks with the new paid model. I'm pretty sure having free content was the main reason they had to say no to many tracks previously.
     
  19. burgesjl

    burgesjl Registered

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    hitm4k3r and Eddy, I think you make good points. I've had these issues with iRacing in that they don't cover enough of each series they have (say, half the F1 tracks, half the IndyCar tracks) for a coherent set. I think going where some of the sims are not, is a good strategy. Whilst iRacing is best known for NASCAR (it has all tracks and all cars), they actually have done a really nice job with short track oval racing like Late Models and such which is not to be found anywhere else, and now they are doing the same for dirt ovals. So yeah, maybe its more historic content or lesser known series they should target. If I look at the rF2 historic content though, again I see the issue with both the open wheelers and the old (Lola) sportscars, there aren't enough tracks and so now you end up having to go for some dubious modder content. There are good modders out there. I used to race IndyCar mods and we had folks like iDT (zero-g, doug lynch etc.) who made most of their tracks. But all of them had some issue or another (pits, often) we actually ended up having to hack files to fix for league races. S397 have elected to go down the modern GT3 track with the Macca, so now they have to follow that path through. I'm not sure what series they will replicate, because iRacing have Blancpain and Sector3 have ADAC. When they release Zandvoort, they'll have a grand total of two of the tracks on those series. I don't see they have enough openings in the 'popular' current series against the other titles. Sector3 have ADAC GT3, WTCC, DTM. Reiza have the Brazillian series, the rest is a hodge-podge. AC suffer from having to buy about 5 packs to get a coherent set of cars and tracks e.g. for GT racing. I mean, its nice having an old Ferrari and a few old Loti F1s but you couldn't run a series with them. There are a decent number of old GPL, GTL etc. fans but it was well known each of them struggled to sell enough to work standalone, so you'll need to go after several. We know ISI had old IndyCar licenses. But I have a feeling most S397 users are European, even though ISI are from Ann Arbor, Michigan. It all needs a lot of careful thought and planning and I don't envy them trying to pick a sustainable path, though of course hope they can.
     
  20. Obbzy_XR_

    Obbzy_XR_ Registered

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    Think there is scope to add quite a few licenced series to rF2. F1, under Liberty, is keen to further their reach, and sim racing would be an avenue they would explore. V8Supercars (or just Supercars) is also looking at the sim racing arena to expand it's popularity. There are numerous other series around that could be utilised. Also, there are historical series such as F1 of pretty much any era, Group A touring cars, Classic Indy & NASCAR, World Sportscars, F5000, Historic touring cars of the 60's & 70's... the list is almost endless.
     
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