I personally don't think cars and tracks can be considered development. They are indeed new content, but they're more like expansions rather than actual implementation of new features or upgrade of current flawed ones. There's a reason for this: people would get bored of new cars and tracks. Let's imagine that Scavier release nothing but new cars and tracks until 2010: after a while, people would just get sick of it and quit.
Now, the things can will really make LFS move on are those new features and upgrades of current flawed ones. And Scavier know it, only they don't spend all of their time on that, probably for marketing purposes (VW Sirocco).
I hope that a lot of other things will come in the patch which will bring the Sirocco. The expectations are running high, and hopefully it will not have been in vain.
New tracks is something LFS needs dearly, new cars not so much. But the idea of going into 2010 without new tracks is what makes people sick. To say that people would get sick and leave if LFS got what it needs the most is just an indicator that you don't have no idea what you are talking about when you speak for others.
The expectations surely seem to be high but if you look what has happened since the last physics patch in 2006 there is not much to be optimistic about.
Well, ask yourself this. What would you prefer between:
1. A fully functional LFS (with all the assumed S3 additions) that has no other cars or tracks than what we currently have;
2. An LFS with a lot of other cars and tracks, but no other functionality than what we currently have (which means that is currently flawed isn't fixed).
Personally, I much prefer #1, but I can't, indeed, speak for everybody. I, however, feel like I speak for some.
Well, not instantly, but Scawen has fixed objectives for S2 to end beta phase, and that implies physics changes yes (and other functionality changes), but also includes VW Sirocco, which is after all completely optional and is just there to get some marketing done. We're kind of getting a bit of both (cars and functionality), the only problem is timing. I believe Scawen has very good ideas, that has never been in question, the main thing I question is how fast all of this is being made. Therefore, I'm not sure the Sirocco comes at a very good moment.
It has from this end user's point of view.
In the last year, the only changes I've noticed are:
- Minor physics updates to a few cars
- New interiors for a few cars
- Replay controls
I'm sure there is more somewhere in the future (and I really look forward to it), but it is stagnant at the moment.
Let me also answer the predictable responses.
- Yes, I know the next patch will be released when it's ready.
- I know the devs don't like to rush things.
- I agree that I have already got my moneys worth, that I knew what to expect when I bought S2 and the developers owe me nothing.
I'm just a fan who's concerned at the slowing (currently stagnant) development cycle.
You got your semantics wrong, farcar. Developement isn't stagnating. For all we know, Scawen could hack more lines of code per minute than ever before.
What you think is stagnating is Scaviers communication, and honestly, I can't see that either. We know, despite not in great detail, that Scawen wants to get rid of the alpha badge, which means that he wants S2 (NOT S3 mind you) to be feature complete. That implies two things: most features he wanted for S2 are in game. Also, he is going to fix the issues those features have now, like the weird collision behaviour with barriers etc.
Also, you have to keep in mind that LfS is much more complex than it was some years ago, so even a tiny feature might take svereal times longer to implement at a working state than it took ever before.
Thus, the equation "Less features per patch = stagnant developement" is simply wrong.
The only problem I see is that you are bored with LfS as it is, and want something new to make it fresh again. Now that's not really a problem in my eyes, because I myself lived through that, and it caused me to stop racing all together. Until a new patch arrived.
Have to admit that everytime I see a statement like this, or a thread like this one, I always get the feeling that I might´ve missed something and that all the other sim titles have advanced tremendously without me knowing it. So let me make this little comparison exercise, and feel free to correct me, if I say something wrong, since I don´t play this other games:
Iracing - cost several times more than LFS, 5 years in development, millions of dollars spent and was released without pit stops, no flag system, no driver changes, and so no chance for endurance racing, no mechanical damage that I'm aware of, no weather changes, no real clutch simulation... But for what some people say, it´s as real as it gets... Netkar Pro - the most similar to LFS in terms of concept and development team. After more than 2 years from its release, users are still waiting for a patch that solves some of problems that were present in the release and that lead to a very small community of players. It looks like this patch is coming soon, but no one knows if is still in time for this simulator to grow, or what kind of future it will have in terms of development... RFactor - development has stoped since the release of patch 1.255 in 10 Dec 2007. It looks there´s an RFactor 2 coming, but at least that I´m aware of, there´s still no time frame set for its release, or what features will be present. Don´t think that we can say that it is, in its current state, better than LFS, except for the fact that we can create mods for the game, wich is another thing discussed to death in this forum, and that we know it won´t happen soon in LFS. GTR EVO - the latest Simbim/Blimey (never know wich one makes what), titlle. Never played it, but it just looks another re-release of the same game that´s being sold, with some minor changes and updates since GT Legends (GT Legends, GTR2, Race, Race07, GTR EVO).
So, in it´s current state is it possible to race in LFS, with enough and well developed features, the same way or better than the other sims available in the market? YES.
Does LFS have any major bugs or flaws that prevent the use of the software, the way it's intended to be used? NO.
Is there any real, undeniable fact, like a statement from the devs, that the development has stopped or is slowing down? NO.
Of course that, LFS needs some of its features to be improved, that some need to be introduced, that new content is added, to keep people interested in the game. No doubt about it... But what I can´t accept is that people say that there´s no future for LFS, or that development has stopped, just because they got bored of game... LFS is a racing game, and a good race is always a good race, and depends much more of the people we´re racing with, than the track or the car you´re using. And there´s still the chance of good races in LFS, the same way it was before, as long has we find the right place and the right people to race with, being it in some public server, or the CTRA, or some of the many well organized leagues that exist in the LFS community. And this depends much more of each one of us than the devs of LFS...
Just my opinion...more an hypothesis than anything else. I repeat this is opinion not information:
I think Scavier may have received some requests to do some specific adaptations of LFS for firms or events, like for example the WW Sirocco, the formula BMW...maybe a special version with custom tracks for entertainment places specialised in racing simulation. Such places open in many countries recently.
LFS is their property and they can do whatever they want with it, they did not promise anything excepted continuous improvement at their own pace. And they obviously do it regularly.
Of course such adaptations are great opportunities for them, they brilliantly diserved it, but I suppose it is rather annoying for them to communicate about it, because the licensed community could feel neglected. The best thing they can do is let people find about it unless it brings some new content to the licensed/demo version.
We all know how people are....the less we pay, the more we ask
Stagnation is not quite the term you are possbily looking for in that context.
Every development curve runs asymptotically against completion.
You do big steps in the beginning, the closer you get to perfection, the tinier your steps become.
All we can hope for is that the dev´s find a way to solve zeno´s paradox - but i´m positive about that too.
You must have missed the first bit of my post where I said I was speaking from an end user's point of view. Scavier might have a shedload of stuff ready to roll. Your speculation might be right or it might be wrong.
I'll reiterate by saying that not much has happened in the last year for the users.
Yes, that is a problem. I bet the bit where I said 'I'm a fan concerned at stagnant development' helped you come to this conclusion.
I'm always willing to look like a fool for more LFS content. In fact, it a patch is released before Christmas, I'll get the words "Thanks very, very very much to Scawen, Eric and Victor for the new patch. " tatooed on my schlong, and I'll post pics in this very thread!
Very good point. I for one would much rather physics updates are restricted to significant change releases only. For me a simple change to tyre wear or clutch heating for example are too small to justify causing such an impact to the current users. Also, subtle changes tend to be appreciated less and so a steady trickle of such changes don't really register in the community consciousness and don't do much to appease those looking for quicker development.
Personally when a physics change comes out I expect to have to completely relearn how to drive the cars because there has been a significant change to the handling characteristics.
NB - note that when I say physics changes I mean changes to anything that might change the way a car behaves on the track. That would include things like changes to grip levels on curbing/in gravel traps; wind/weather effects; collision handling etc not just intrinsic car handling properties.
Similar thing to changes to existing track layouts, IMO they shouldn't really be done for the sake of it just to prevent "stagnation". They are also a double edged sword for the devs because they tend to split the community, with some liking the changes and some not.
As far as content updates go, I would suggest that to "appease" the masses it would probably be best for the devs to release them as and when they are ready rather than holding them back to major releases.
Having said that there still should be some logic applied to the releases, such as only releasing interiors changes when the interiors for all cars in a particular group have been completed etc
On a slightly different note, one thing about LFS that I've never been too keen on is the use of multiple layouts per circuit. I know it's a simple way of getting a lot of "different" circuits on to a single screen, but I find it really confusing when trying to learn layouts as so many of them have similar names. I often find myself taking a wrong turn as I have difficulty remembering which way the national layout goes vs the historic one for example. I'd much rather we had more circuits, and limited the layout variations to maybe two per circuit, (eg National/Club and GP/International). That would be a lot less confusing IMO. But then I'm an old git with a rapidly failing short term memory problem !
And what makes you think you shouldn't be bored after playing since 2005? Expecting to still have fun in a game after playing it that long is a bit unreasonable, isn't it?
This all seems to resemble a bad breakup where one side is refusing to let go and keeps wanting back to the good times when the love was fiery and intense, and everything was new and exciting. That time has passed. LFS is already screwing around with all your friends and having a jolly good time doing it. It's over. Time to let go.
That is simply not the case, physics changes only require a small amount of releaning. If you can drive you can drive
The main reason you don't see frequent physics updates is because it effects lap times and therefore the HL charts, league qualifying etc, which will and has upset alot in the past. For me I hang out for physics changes more than content even, the physics is the reason I'm here. So to see advancements and feel those advancements is what keeps me wanting more I'd be like a pig in mud if there was a new physics change every other week
Not for me if I'm honest.
A wealth of new content, new tracks to learn particularly, would hook me again. Minor physics changes to an already acceptable code would be little more than a curiosity. It would have to be revolutionary or impossibly better.
I agree, I know Scawen mentioned that he was working on parts of the cars(bumpers/wings) falling off for the next patch. If this includes aero damage, I would be much more excited for that than for a new track, which would probably get old quickly.