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Poll : Should SCAVIER consider a LFS Track Editor/Environment Editor release?

Yes, AFTER tyre physics and other feature are released.
Yes, BEFORE tyre physics and other features are released.
No, just let Eric do his thing.
Obviously there are good reasons to have a track editor at some point in the future.

However, I think Scawens priorities are getting the physics and all the other stuff (e.g. graphics) released so he can finally stop switching between the "old" public LFS and his "development" version. I think he mentioned that a few times by now.
Scawen also doesn't seem to do anything half-arsed, so any work on a public track editor will probably take quite some time/resources combined with steady community feedback-loops. Just take a look at the current mod system and the time he spent working/improving on it.
Quote from joaopaulopt :I don't know if this is possible. Publishing a circuit to download online on a server is not the same as unloading a car.

Oh, absolutely agree with that. I don't know this, but if Scawen didn't anticipate a downloadable car-mod system when he was developing LFS S1, S2 etc. he's outdone himself in the implementation of the whole project. Admittedly, I was not around when it was released few years ago so I don't know how it was on the onset but right now its pretty hassle-free for the end-user. On the plus side, there are always developments.

Of course, track development and integration in to LFS is a whole big deal. But I'm sure eventually he'll come up with a way to seamlessly do that. Hopefully only a matter of time.

Quote from joaopaulopt :It would be easier to add objects to the layout, such as benches with an audience, skin on advertising barriers, things like that.

Yes, agreed. Layouts will always have room for improvement to help build up different driving environment. But then again the question arises, should Scawen spend his time on developing layouts (again) pausing updates on tyre physics and other key areas that he's working on for years?

Quote from joaopaulopt :I prefer to have more tracks created by the LFS after a new LFS update, have more circuits in the LFS and be added to the S3 license and who knows, maybe an S4 with new circuits may come.

I think most of us will agree on this point. At the same time I believe (correct me if I'm wrong), one of the biggest issues that caused LFS to loose the height of popularity was the lack of content. Yeah, tyre physics could use improvements, graphics could use improvements and yada yada yada. BUT all of those were good enough and would keep existing drivers continually engaged and drivers continually attracted if there was a steady stream of new content (cars and tracks). Unfortunately that didn't happen until they decided to open up the whole car-modification scene. If you go back a decade, even talking about "vob" mobs might gotten you banned.

Look, I don't what happened with Scavier/Eric's input towards LFS content, but given the timeline of LFS S1/S2 cars and tracks, a whole lot of cars and tracks could have been released before S3 release (December 2015?) as S2 content, or after as S3 content. Yes, I agree that the open configs and updates are great, but why stop there? Is it the difference between the quality of existing cars/tracks vs anything new they would release? Were many cars and tracks made, but are on hold until tyre physics are finished (to be released as a big update)? Or was development on hold until physics were finalized (that's unlikely, I know). Hopefully one day we'll hear their thoughts on this.

Quote from three_jump :I think Scawens priorities are getting the physics and all the other stuff (e.g. graphics) released so he can finally stop switching between the "old" public LFS and his "development" version. I think he mentioned that a few times by now

Yes. This is key. But by the look of things he's looking after the server side too (I haven't seen Victor posting lately, so I'm not sure what's going on there). Its questionable if Scawen is likely to have the uninterrupted time that he needs for the tyre physics development. And what does that mean for the future of LFS? Should LFS content stay on hold until that time? If Scawen had an end in sight, he would push and get it done. I would assume there's still a long way to go, that may take few more years? That brings us back to my original question - should they consider a release of the track/environment editor in some shape or form for the sake of content release.

Quote from three_jump :Scawen also doesn't seem to do anything half-arsed, so any work on a public track editor will probably take quite some time/resources combined with steady community feedback-loops.

This is what I love. Its their baby. I was just going through the LFS development over the years on the LFS Wiki >here<. How amazing is that? How far have they come for such a niche team?

That said, as I understand LFS is the main source of income for Scawen. I'm not sure about Victor and Eric. But I remember reading that they had to consider alternative jobs since LFS license sales were so low. Where does that end up? Striving for perfection (tyre physics), holding of release of content (or no new content being created?) which sadly drives drivers (ha!) away and keeps LFS out of the mainstream sims.

I think right now they have a good thing going with the car mod system - amazing cars are coming up. If no new LFS tracks/environment releases are planned in the near future - I strongly believe they definitely should be seriously looking at opening up track/environment editing too.

Scawen/Victor/Eric - I love you guys. LFS has brought so much joy in to my life (not just driving, but all the hours spend on the forums, all the people we've driven with, made friends with over the years). I think many people do share the same sentiment. I wish you guys all the best in how-ever you wish to proceed with LFS.
I think at the end of the day, we must always consider and be reminded that LFS was never meant to be an open source/moddable/editable game for the public to contribute to.

And I'm sure the devs wish to keep it that way, not just for the personal accomplishments of all 3 guys but also to not undermine the efforts and tinfoilery needed way back during LFS incarnation.

Also if we have guys that can produce track environments at better quality and rate than Eric, I don't think that'll look too good on the brand values and operational concepts.

So yeah. We can propose and ideate all we want for a user-accesible track editor but right now is probably not the right time to implement such. Maybe when our devs are aged 80....
Just chiming in to greatly support the idea. I see so much potential for this to extend the community and there is attractive business potential for LFS as well. Whether or not it's a popular idea, as a content creator, I personally would not mind having to pay a license for such a tool. Going along with a content review process that I feel the community is used to, this may help stave off poor quality content or unauthorized rips.

Another idea is perhaps an 'S4' product which opens users up to being able to play on community maps. Adding financial benefit to the creators incentivizes the creators, and our dedicated community, by and large, would be happy to pay for the access, understanding how much they get out of it.

One feature I hope for is very large map size capability. I like highways and lonng stretches to just cruise and go fast .

I would love to utilize skills I've learned from making BeamNG maps to a game which in many ways, I love more. If LFS would entertain the idea of a limited test run of an existing editor, I wouldnt mind getting an email about that and would love to help contribute Smile
Quote from TheStigUSA :I see so much potential for this to extend the community and there is attractive business potential for LFS as well.

From a business perspective, what the ways you guys think the release of a track editor can backfire?
Quote from Silverracer :what the ways you guys think the release of a track editor can backfire?

Same with car mods - legal issues,every track will be needed to check for licenced content (if not track itself,maybe some 3D models of buildings etc),meaning there will be so much more manpower and time required - something that has been done with volunteers with car mods.
Lack of reviewers, tracks taking ages to create and approve. To me, this should be a collaborative task, where a few guys would work together on a single track for some time. Would be good if there is a place to store all of the created track assets. Track makers could then use those and keep filling up the archive. Again, the process of checking and approving each asset is a major time investment, but when considering smaller chunks it should be manageable.
Quote from Eclipsed :Same with car mods - legal issues, every track will be needed to check for licensed content

Hi Rony, I appreciate the input - thank you. As per the current approval system, it is possible for a car mod to be rejected after all the work is done. As the track mod/environment mod will take quite a lot of time, this needs to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, I think it would be better if there is transparency from the SCAVIER/track creators right from the start.

For that to happen, the minimum requirements for a track to be accepted for online use need to be defined. This would include licensing, quality, realism - some of of control over things. It could easily turn into Minecraft type sandbox (and that's a whole new topic).

Would something like the following make sense? Several approval stages before the creator spends considerable time working on modelling.

Type of track/environment:

1. Fictitious race track (i.e. Blackwood without open configurations)
2. Fictitious race track/surrounding environment (i.e. Blackwood with open configurations).
3. Replication of existing race track/surround environment (i.e. Rockingham)
4. Replication of existing environment
5. Fictitious environment (towns, cities, highways, touge - anything really)

Just imagine all the possibilities!

A1 - EOI

An expression of interest in the type of environment that a creator is planning. If its fictitious (i.e. without any replication of existing tracks) it is rather straightforward to obtain a pre-approval of some sort.

If it is a replication - the creator must seek and obtain approval from a relevant party. If no such approval is needed - that too need to be proved. This is to ensure that they do the work - not the reviewers. It would be best to sort out licensing requirements (if any) at this stage itself, before any work is started. Once everything is cleared - they would get the pre-approval to proceed.

There is no guarantee of the quality of initial creation. However, sorting out the above licensing issue would open the opportunity for others to re-create tracks (hopefully with much higher quality) at a later date. There are bound to be duplication of tracks - which is not necessarily a bad thing.

A2 - WIP

The Work In Progress approvals would be timely/completion stages (25%, 50%, 75%, 95% etc.) to ensure that the requirements are met. This would help the creators to see what they need to do to ensure that it will get approved - or to stop (without wasting more time) if they don't have what it takes.

A3 - Testing and review (LFS Community)

The track/environment would be open to custom access/LFS community to test and review, provide feedback to the creator - just like the current system for car mods.

A4 - Testing and review (SCAVIER-appointed review team)

The track/environment would officially reviewed by the appointed team (I'm not too sure how that part with the current car mods - but I would think it would be something along the lines).

A5 - Testing and review (SCAVIER)

Unlike a car mod, as a track mod would have a huge impact on LFS - I would think that SCAVIER should have the final say. But they could choose to get involved in the process or leave it in the hands of their review team.

I understand that when (if?) the track/environment editor is released, everyone and their mother will be making stuff and requesting approvals. Obviously there will be both positive and negative aspects with this. Positives - just like some car mods, there are going to be some absolutely amazing creations come out. Negatives - just like some car mods, there will be delays in approvals, people ripping stuff and trying to trick the requirements and generally wasting everyone's time.

There are some options around this:

1. Limited release of the track/environment editor. People who have proved themselves at making high quality car mods can request access to the editor - SCAVIER has the discretion).
2. No one said the track editor was going to be free - set a price for it (at least for the initial release until). That will stop everyone and their mother making stuff.
3. This is going to be LFS' cash cow. Linked to 1 & 2, SCAVIER can offer remuneration depending on track/environment/quality/size etc. created. They might consider the possibility of paying their reviewers considering the amount of time/effort required for the task.

This is just me rambling on a Sunday evening. I'm sure all of you who have been at this continually for the better part of two decades have more to add.
Quote from rane_nbg :Would be good if there is a place to store all of the created track assets. Track makers could then use those and keep filling up the archive.

What does this mean? Do you mean something like a repository for the objects for the environment? Trackside stuff, guardrails, trees, streetlamps etc.? If so, yeah, that would be ideal! Just like the auto-x objects, there would be user-made objects that can be shared across any track/environment.
Yes, exactly that. Some sort of shared library of original 3D models, to be used in creation of every track. Ofc, the assets could be continualy updated. Here there is no such thing as too many or a low quality. Even a simple green bush, or a rock pile is welcome.

Access to this library can also be paid to lfs team, shall they chose to host it and maintain. Something like car skins in lfs world or similair stuff.

One concern though is track graphical optimization. It must look acceptable and at the same time have decent frame rate, as the rest lfs tracks. This I think is the hardest part, lfs dev team has much more experience than any other potential modder. Their input durring various stages of track creation is crutial. So other than some legal guidelines, we would need also more technical things like limits on triangle count, track digital size and so on. The same goes for assets and the total allowed number of them in a track.
Honestly having an open object library (where things go through a similar process to cars) might be a great way to avoid rights issues/theft from other games.
Quote from gu3st :Honestly having an open object library (where things go through a similar...

This is what crossed my mind as well. But if we take another step, we have the huge layout square and the other large car park I can't remember the name of now, it could be enough to open the objects list in the editor for modders. If people were patient enough to create mountains and mountain passes from concrete blocks, having the option to import 3d objects (or create from scratch) would mean super detailed tracks (keeping the triangle limits, like with the car mods).

Besides some kind of object explorer, "only" the option for custom textures (analoguous to car skins) and terrain types (grass, gravel pit, asphalt etc.) have to be added. To me, who is not educated in game development at all, seems like a way smaller task than creating a full-fledged track editor and a method to load new tracks. These could be handled like AX layouts, like they have been for years. Object count limit has to be increased of course.
(Joe mama1256) DELETED by Scawen : not adding anything