Simulation - 10/10. Usability - 1/10.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dylbie, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. dylbie

    dylbie Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    336
    I also need to emphasise the fact that my friend who is a very experienced league admin and been running rF2 leagues/servers for years, and myself who is a developer, and has run leagues and been modding rF2 for years, cannot now set up a simple local server to test some cars. We spent two evenings trying to do this and failed.

    The dream:
    A single button in the game, which takes you to a 'local host' view where you can select cars and tracks.

    The reality:
    Hours of trawling though forums posts trying to find a definitive solution, finding you have to enter the setup options of your router, setting up numerous variations of port forwarding in your router options not really knowing what you're doing as there isn't a definitive guide, setting up a loopback adapter again not really knowing what you're doing. And the result is still the same. We're still unable to join the same server as the host can't see the server in the list.

    This is only a single UX issue out of many, but it's this that has tipped me over the edge.
     
  2. Seven Smiles

    Seven Smiles Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    623
    You're right but rFactor has always been like that. It did get more complicated with rF2 though.
     
  3. dylbie

    dylbie Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    336
    I hear this where I work: "It's always been like this" or "It's just the way we do thing around here". I had rF1 in 2006 and it took me a long while to get used to how it worked. It was unlike any user interface I'd come across, but after a while I got used to it.

    Fast forward 14 years, and if anything it's got worse. Unfortunately we now live in a world of instant gratification, where UI and UX are incredibly important. I work designing and building software for a chemical testing company which analysts use all the time in the laboratory. If it's not simple and easy to use, the analysts will simply NOT use it. That is where we are now with rF2. Maybe there are figures somewhere which suggest otherwise, but where I race, most people are giving up. The sad thing is, if it was easy to use, it could easily be the most popular sim.
     
    VirusGR42, Nielsen and Seven Smiles like this.
  4. Seven Smiles

    Seven Smiles Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    623
    Don't get me wrong, I totally agree. I've been writing things to make games easier to use since (it seems) 2001!

    GPLRE.png

    Resurrected by request in 2016 :cool:
     
  5. Seven Smiles

    Seven Smiles Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    623
    Speaking as someone who had a similar role, you'll also know just how hard it is to do.
     
  6. Nielsen

    Nielsen Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    57
    I just found Lazzas comment to this "Empty json Files Problem" in another thread.
    And Im 100% in agreement with the conclusion/proposal that something should be done with rF2´s way of first corrupting these files and then without any useable message refuse to start.
    Without wanting to invoke any hatefull message against the rF2 way of handling such error events I will just say that after using several days trying to solve the problem (including reinstalling rF2 several times in the idiotic Steam environment :mad:) I ended up being so fed up with this game that I deleted any trace of it on my puter.:p
    But as I said above its no big deal (anymore :) ) because there are several other good racing games out there.

    https://forum.studio-397.com/index.php?threads/possible-failed-startup-cause-empty-jsons.61035/
     
  7. ADSTA

    ADSTA Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    831
    @Nielsen, did you let Windows install Steam to the default directory?
    I have Steam installed to its own drive and have for a long time, drama free.
    Do the smart people out there think the Steam location may play a part with these problems?
     
  8. Nielsen

    Nielsen Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    57
    @ADSTA
    No because allready when I installed the first game that stubbornly demanded Steam (guess it was pCars2) I installed Steam to another partition.
    The reason I (still) hate Steam is because you dont have control over whats going on inside Steam and what is specially idiotic conserning rF2 all the redundant(doublet´ed) files you are not allowed to delete if you want rF2 to function..
    Hehe I was probably the last person on planet earth who was forced to abandon my beloved simple and small non-Steam rF2 install because eventhough it allways had been possible to start this rF2 up offline then suddenly after I had installed pCars2 (and Steam but not Steamy-rF2) my little rF2 install suddenly couldnt start.:mad:
    Nothing was changed inside rF2 (I checked) but Steam had probably changed something else on my puter to destroy start of non-Steam rF2.
    Therefore I HATE this invasive program.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    ByTheWay: The way iRacing have solved their co-operation with Steam is way better than rF2´s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  9. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,952
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Is there anything that can be done on the dev side about port forwarding tho?
    To me these are not really a issue since many other games can have a "problem" with it at some point when u host. The whole setting up the server itself and all the package not available thing (especially when it's client side) is the real problem imo
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    VirusGR42, The Iron Wolf and TCLF like this.
  10. Andregee

    Andregee Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    272
    To be fair, that problem is not only Rfactor 2 related. It's a mess in other simulations too and depends of the router software and how it handles the ports.
     
  11. Nielsen

    Nielsen Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    57
    I dont think you are completely fair in this generalisation.
    Im absolutely no expert in routers and port forwarding but setting up a server for NR2003 (iRacing forerunner) is pretty easy.
    And every time I and friends have tried we succeded - hehe and could find the server afterwards:D
    You only have to open 3x port adresses in your router - and then you go.
    No sweat.;)
     
    Ricardo Diz likes this.
  12. Andregee

    Andregee Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    272
    And i had the same problems like in rFactor2 in Raceroom, Assetto Corsa and all other Simbin Games.
     
  13. lagg

    lagg Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    704
    Is it possible to run a iRacing dedicated at home?
    I'm serious, i don't know too much about iracing.
     
  14. Andregee

    Andregee Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    272
    No. You have to rent a server, for money of course
     
    lagg likes this.
  15. Nielsen

    Nielsen Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    57
    @lagg
    There is an exeption to this.
    Using a normal iRacing install its not possible.
    But if you as example in a local show/fair want to arrange a LAN race using iRacing - then they have a special customised install that will make this possible.
    Without an iRacing membership for the involved LAN racers.
    But of course as for most anything else in this world its not for free;)

     
    lagg likes this.
  16. krusti

    krusti Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    479
    What sim is the benchmark here? I mean in term of usability.
    Call me mad but i find rF2 (or all the sims based on gmotor) the more user-friendly, relative to the flexibility and the overall complexity.
    I mean, the first time you launch rF2, AMS or whatever you just set the resolution and other few settings, you load a profile for your steering wheel, you change the controls based on your likes and you are ready to go, there are very few tabs in the UI with all the stuff you need, pretty user-friendly imho.
    The first time i launched Project CARS 2 i spent a evening trying to set my pedals which are a different device, until i found the fix in their forum (and is something which is still broken). Even worst when i tried to do the same in Dirt Rally 2. What about the F1 saga, when you have to navigate in the menu through that nosense F1-F2-F3 etc buttons or the "button 6" of your device with 40 buttons lol.
    Let's also don't forget the hours spent trying to find good settings for the FFB, messing with the Jack Spade's files in PC1 and PC2, changing all the settings everytime you change a car following a excel sheet, and still having something which is not satisfying.

    iRacing is the most complex sim, not in term of physics i mean but in term of features, and it's nowhere near to be user-friendly for a newcomer, let's immagine for a new pc user who comes from a console. Setting up a server is easy there, because you pay for it.
    In almost every sim/game you have to open few ports in your router in order to setup a server (you don't need when using a dedicated machine), have you ever tried to setup a server for Project CARS? I mean a server, not a P2P room which goes offline if the host leave it. It's a nightmare. The Assetto Corsa's dedicated server is relatively easy to use, but it's very limited by the lack of features of the sim itself.

    What about modding then? Modding in rF2 is complex, yes, but in the other sims is not even possible to do it. In AC modding is easy and quick, yeah, you don't have to create the animation of the wipers because there is no rain at all (just an example). In AMS the modding is possible but not supported.

    At the end, if i analyze all the aspects of the software, what it can do and its flexibility, and i compare it to the others, i come to the conclusion that the flexibility/usability/price ratio is way superior than the competitors. I don't belive a lot of people are leaving it for the lack of usability, i'm actually using rF2 since 2015 for it. I'll move to something else without any problem when there will be a product which offers more than rF2 in every aspect.
    Of course there are old an new issues that needs to be fixed, small and big one, i think some people are leaving rF2 most likely for this.
     
  17. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,431
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Mine's always been default. I've had the json corruption several times, I know at least one was directly related to a crash, chances are they all were.

    The issue for me is that a game or windows crash can happen for a multitude of reasons, the fault of the game or not. As a developer you can't hope to recover gracefully from each one, because you can't predict what's going to happen.

    But this issue has come up quite a few times in technical support, one of the 3 main json files getting lost/corrupted, and the game is falling over with a strange (for new users, and even some old) error message or no error message at all. I used the studio's own forum bug report forum to highlight the issue, and there's a quite simple workaround (back up each file after a successful startup, restore from that backup if a problem is detected) that would take a maximum of 2 hours for a trainee coder to implement.

    Yet here we are.

    Similar applies for many of the common technical issues reported here. Actually fixing the root issue would be great, but can be difficult and time consuming. Why not 'fix it' from the user's point of view, reduce duplicate error/bug reports, and let people play the game instead of posting on forums?

    That's useability, right?
     
  18. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,952
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    I saw someone saying these files remain open and that's what cause the errors if the game crash, they should be read and then closed on game start and open open again for modification when necessary.
    Or something like that.
     
  19. Nielsen

    Nielsen Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    57
    @Will Mazeo
    I guess this "someone" was me :p
    But ofcourse I dont have access to rF2´s code so..
    But the reason I postulated this is because none of the other games I have used (ACC, pCars2, iRacing, Raceroom) has again and again emptied/corrupted such game settings files.
    Those other games have (ofcourse) also crashed from time to time - eventhough it has been extreeeemely seldom iRacing, ACC and Raceroom have crashed - but my point is that I cant recall even a single time where one of these other games have emptied or corrupted one of its own settings or ini files.
    So for me it sounds reasonable that rF2 are doing something rather bad since its close to impossible to crash this game WITHOUT the game does execute this self-corruption.:rolleyes:
    And an open file that HAS to be closed fully if/when the game is ended fulfill this self-corruption criteria if the game crashes unexpected.:cool:

    Hehe but as allways when we are dealing with such un-normal things you cant allways rely on human reasoning.:)
     
  20. Filip

    Filip Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    625
    This is not true.
    I've had several rf2 crashes, few times I terminated it myself and I never got corrupted json.
    I would say it is almost impossible to get corrupted files.
     

Share This Page