The online racing simulator
How did Eric come up with those tracks?
(105 posts, started )
How did Eric come up with those tracks?
Hi there,

just out of pure interest. I just came across this video (http://www.virtualr.net/gamerm ... ive-for-speed-still-alive) where the guy talks about all tracks in LFS being fictional and it came to me. Seriously, it must be so much harder to come with your own tracks then to simply rebuild any exisiting track. Obviously, people prefer real tracks since somehow the purpose of a simulation is to simulate something real. But to come up with your own tracks, you can not just be a good modeller but first of all you must be some kind of a track architect.

I mean, there are people whos main job is simply to design tracks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Tilke

Especially since Erics background before LFS was Lionhead and if I remember correctly mainly Black & White (http://www.lionhead.com/games/black-white/). Yes the game had great graphics/worlds for the time but I dont think its comporable in any way.

Obviously the cars are fictional in LFS as well, but lets face it, cars look good or bad (highly subjective) but during racing it doesnt matter so much. The tracks must simply feel right, have a proper learning curve etc. Just thinking about it, I am amazed

my 2 cents.
Eric is simply really good when it comes to track development!
#3 - Eric
Hi Warper,

Thanks for the kind words.

I agree with you that it's much easier to build real tracks because the circuit design has already been done, tested and modified. We don’t have that luxury when it comes to fictional circuits and that’s where all the headaches start, unless you are unusually gifted..... which I am not. Most of what I do design-wise is down to a bit of trial and error. When I think I’ve dialled into a design that I still enjoy driving the next day, I’ll continue to add the scenery.

But your reference should always start with real circuits. When we acquired the Rockingham Track license it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about track geometry and over-all track design. Now I look back at all the existing LFS tracks and I can see lots of ways to improve them, which I WILL get around to at some point!

Btw, I didn’t build any of the worlds in Black & White. I was a character animator, which I still consider to be my main, natural talent if you can call it that.


Eric
How did Eric come up with those tracks?
talent + hard work + time + desire
The track I've driven the most in Assetto Corsa (other than Nordschleife) is Blackwood, even with all the official laser scanned real tracks available.
I need some coffee, I am now starting to see very weird things
Quote from Eric :Btw, I didn’t build any of the worlds in Black & White. I was a character animator, which I still consider to be my main, natural talent if you can call it that.

We should be looking forward to some animated marshalls and spectators then

And yes, I also admire you for having imagination to create such tracks. It's obviously not easy as just drawing a circuit map on a piece of paper and it's done.

Although I hate some of the corners in LFS and the level of detail on some is not up-to-date, I like the tracks overall. So I hope Eric will indeed rework and improve the rest of the tracks at some point.
Quote from Flame CZE :So I hope Eric will indeed rework and improve the rest of the tracks at some point.

Indeed! What Eric did to Westhill was absolutely amazing, the level of detail (judging from the pictures) is really, really good. Can't wait to see other LFS tracks get an update that they all deserve.
Quote from Flame CZE :
Although I hate some of the corners in LFS and the level of detail on some is not up-to-date, I like the tracks overall. So I hope Eric will indeed rework and improve the rest of the tracks at some point.

Actually related to that I'm wondering which sections / corners Eric prefers or doesn't like. For instance tracks like Fern Bay, Aston and Kyoto all have these kind of fast flowing corner sections with elevation changes which are really nice (and challenging with some cars to get right) to drive. And there are some chicanes (the infamous FE Green one, or KY3 on the oval exit) which are not really chicanes but more like close your eyes and pray.
Quote from cargame.nl :I need some coffee, I am now starting to see very weird things

Well, honestly, I didn't, but I do understand though


@OP

I have actually a question ( for everyone, if someone knows ): Do you need for every single piece of road what it exists in this planet a license to obtaining the "exact" road, whatever it is. Wouldn't it be easy to just look google maps to see some roads and copycat them? ( I know, sounds stupid, but what even more stupid is, it actually works lol )

EDIT: and of course, modelling them is an another story
Have to say that the tracks are a big part of LFS' appeal to me. They're part of LFS' identity, just like Autumn Ring or Grand Valley will always be synonymous with the GT games. As much as laser scanned tracks are awesome for immersion and realism, fictional tracks give sims a world of their own, when done properly.

So thanks for your great work Eric

Quote from three_jump :Actually related to that I'm wondering what sections / corners Eric prefers or doesn't like.

Same here.
Quote from Eric :Hi Warper,

Thanks for the kind words.

I agree with you that it's much easier to build real tracks because the circuit design has already been done, tested and modified. We don’t have that luxury when it comes to fictional circuits and that’s where all the headaches start, unless you are unusually gifted..... which I am not. Most of what I do design-wise is down to a bit of trial and error. When I think I’ve dialled into a design that I still enjoy driving the next day, I’ll continue to add the scenery.

But your reference should always start with real circuits. When we acquired the Rockingham Track license it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about track geometry and over-all track design. Now I look back at all the existing LFS tracks and I can see lots of ways to improve them, which I WILL get around to at some point!

Btw, I didn’t build any of the worlds in Black & White. I was a character animator, which I still consider to be my main, natural talent if you can call it that.


Eric

is it need license to take some real street to be track?
When I saw the updated Westhill screenshots, I could easily see that the improvements were based on lessons learned from building Rockingham, I was highly impressed by it.

By the way, whenever you want to do animated marshals, I volunteer to be the motion capture subject!
Quote from dekojester :By the way, whenever you want to do animated marshals, I volunteer to be the motion capture subject!

can you even move fast enough?
#15 - Eric
Quote from three_jump :Actually related to that I'm wondering which sections / corners Eric prefers or doesn't like. For instance tracks like Fern Bay, Aston and Kyoto all have these kind of fast flowing corner sections with elevation changes which are really nice (and challenging with some cars to get right) to drive. And there are some chicanes (the infamous FE Green one, or KY3 on the oval exit) which are not really chicanes but more like close your eyes and pray.

I quite liked “close your eyes and pray” corners back in the day!

Without getting into too much detail, it’s mainly some corners on the the faster circuits. I won't start quoting each corner because I don't want to turn this thread into a request for corner changes.

Before The release of S2 and GTRs, I was working with S1 tyre physics which had very little grip before Scawen improved on it. The classic case is Westhill which was challenging with the old Pre-S2 tyre code but just became a flat-out drive with the current physics. My fault, partly for not thinking ahead design wise and not having the experience. Anyway, I’ve addressed most of the design issues I’ve had with Westhill, so hopefully no-one will fall asleep at the wheel this time.

As a side note, I have no idea how the revised Westhill will drive with the old tyre physics that you guys are using. I’ve been testing with the new tyre physics for a few years now and I refuse to drive the old one, which has just doesn’t have that visceral tyre feel and response compared to the new tyre physics.


Eric
#17 - Eric
Quote from dekojester :When I saw the updated Westhill screenshots, I could easily see that the improvements were based on lessons learned from building Rockingham, I was highly impressed by it.

By the way, whenever you want to do animated marshals, I volunteer to be the motion capture subject!

We haven't touched the animation system since the very start of LFS, I think. But if Scawen feels inspired to improve it and have marshals running around the circuits, then we'll be contacting you for sure!


Eric
Quote from Eric :We haven't touched the animation system since the very start of LFS, I think. But if Scawen feels inspired to improve it and have marshals running around the circuits, then we'll be contacting you for sure!


Eric

PLZ! relase it before u improve it
Quote from Eric :
[...]
Before The release of S2 and GTRs, I was working with S1 tyre physics which had very little grip before Scawen improved on it. The classic case is Westhill which was challenging with the old Pre-S2 tyre code but just became a flat-out drive with the current physics.
[...]

Love current Westhill with the LX6 though
Quote from Eric :We haven't touched the animation system since the very start of LFS, I think. But if Scawen feels inspired to improve it and have marshals running around the circuits, then we'll be contacting you for sure!


Eric

Would be nice, i remember GP 1/2/3/4 by Microprose. But how they act in that game, no marshall would do today. Today you mostly see the flag light indicators...
What i would like to see is an animated pit crew instead of marshalls... but when i think further about it, the "lollipop man" would be enough and will not eat so much rescources than a full F1 pit crew and if we are right: normally you have to look at him only


Back to tracks: LFS tracks are nice, you just have done a mistake with a few chicanes . Ask any (real) racer out there for his favourite corner, his answer will be a fast corner (Eau Rouge, Becketts, Suzuka Esses) and LFS has much of it!!!
When i have a look at South City: Never saw a such fluent to drive street circuit! Your masterpiece in my eyes!
But my personal favorite is *keep on track or die* Fern Bay because its fast and challenging to drive, just the chicanes are bad or misplaced.
Quote from Eric :...
As a side note, I have no idea how the revised Westhill will drive with the old tyre physics that you guys are using. I’ve been testing with the new tyre physics for a few years now and I refuse to drive the old one, which has just doesn’t have that visceral tyre feel and response compared to the new tyre physics.


Eric

Thank you for the teasing
Quote from Trekkerfahrer :Would be nice, i remember GP 1/2/3/4 by Microprose. But how they act in that game, no marshall would do today. Today you mostly see the flag light indicators...
What i would like to see is an animated pit crew instead of marshalls... but when i think further about it, the "lollipop man" would be enough and will not eat so much rescources than a full F1 pit crew and if we are right: normally you have to look at him only

Yes, just give us some light boards like in F1 for automatic yellow/green/blue flags with insim controllable red/white/SC/DWY instead of some fat marshal trackside
#23 - CSF
Quote from boothy :Yes, just give us some light boards like in F1 for automatic yellow/green/blue flags with insim controllable red/white/SC/DWY instead of some fat marshal trackside

I was going to make the Deko joke...
......Character animator? I have to deal with a lot of animated characters, but that's a little different.
So you mean we really CAN have pedestrians and small animals run on the tracks?

By the way Eric... You know, in Jamaica, they have a race track down the road from Lennox Louis's house? Yeah... not as cool as Fern Bay.

You make good tracks man.
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Quote from Matrixi :The track I've driven the most in Assetto Corsa (other than Nordschleife) is Blackwood, even with all the official laser scanned real tracks available.

bl has this strange quality about it that makes it feel like home

How did Eric come up with those tracks?
(105 posts, started )
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