The online racing simulator
LFS out there
(13 posts, started )
LFS out there
It's been awfully quiet here so I though about posting something off-topic from the outside world.

I visited last weekend Helsinki International Motorshow last weekend. Nothing really special, new & shiny cars and some less-dressed girls - the biggest difference between previous exhibitions was the strong presence of hybrid drive cars. Every singe manufacturer I visited had brought something to the show; Toyota, Citroen, Lexus to mention few. I wish I had some pictures of those but my camera died on me while trying to capture a Red GT2 car - guess which make

Anyway, the reason why I'm writing all this is that in middle of all those cars I spotted something that immediately caught my attention. AD (a Finnish car parts/accessories dealer) had put up a stand with an opportunity to test LFS with Force Dynamics platform. Something that I've hoped to see and live since the first time I laid my eyes on it in Blackhole Motorsports site.

I'm no good in writing reviews in English, but I can say that after the high expectations I had the "motion simulator" was quite a disappointment. I had the chance to test BF1 in Blackwood GP track, which already was kinda sad - and in addition to that the guy who was setting the platform and the game for me was reluctant to give me manual shift gears, so it was automatic then Actually, when I asked for manual gears he smirked at me funnily - and the reason I was about to find in few moments.

My first consern after sitting into that confortable seat - being that I'm not a big fan of the Formula 1 car - was that I didn't actually have that many starts with my desktop PC and wheel, and wasn't sure if I could fix up the braking points on fly. However those conserns vanished after first look into that HUGE screen infront me - I could not see the track as I've used to. That big widescreen display quite close to me "flattened" the view so I felt like I was sitting on the pavement, which in other hand is correct since it was after all BF1. The lights went green and I hit the pedal carefully because I didn't want to spin on the starting line while 10 pairs of eyes behind me were eagerly waiting for just that to happen. But it was hopeless, there was some sort of delay in the throttle pedal or the deadzone was set to cover half of the trajectory - and I found myself struggling to even make that damn car move. And when it finally did start to move the cradle I was sitting in started to do it's work, in other words bounce me around like crashtest dummy. I was closing up the T1 with full throttle and struggled to grasp some idea of where I was and where I was going...

And there it was, the 100m sign where I had decided to hit the breaks few seconds ago. I slammed the brakes and the nose of the cradle violently dropped down, which created a sensation that more or less matched up my idea of slamming the brakes on racing track with high performance car. I tried to see the apex so I would know when to turn in but I could not, the visibility was really poor (maybe it really is, I wouldn't know). Then, suddly I saw it and managed to stay in driving line and hit the gas right where I'm supposed to - and nothing happened!.. What the... I had to floor it to get a proper reponse Maybe the traction control was set funnily or possibly there was indeed some hardware delay in the pedal - in either case, it really made the driving hard and frustrating.

Closing in on the chicane I instinctively tried to use the paddle to shift up, and was reminded by LFS that the gearbox was set to automatic - I was wondering if it would have felt more "right" if I had manual gears while entering that chicane.. right.. left.. right .. the cradle allowed me to feel some sort of G-forces for the first time during the years I've played LFS. By saying some sort I mean that there was the effect and the simulation, but I can't really tell how realistic it was. My experience is limited to some laps with go-karts on indoors track and if I base my opinion on that it was way off. You truly have to test yourself - for me it was as I said, disappointing.

All in all, it was great to finally try it out myself and maybe after some more laps (and tweakups) it could have gotten better. I only got to do 2 laps after standing in line for quite a long time - it was sad that there were no visible "Live For Speed" -logos around because the stand seemed to be popular, would have been good way to promote the game. And yes, I did <1minute laptime - clearly below average I heard, but didn't make me happy


Oh, and don't miss the upcoming patch - keep an eye on the LFS site
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Silly noobs always take the fastest car and Blackwood. Would think a road car would have been nicer because those things always have lag and trying to mimic the movement of a F1 car and the forces, just doesn't work. It's not fast enough. I think the Force Dynamics and LFS has come a tradition of some sort on Helsinki Motorshow, it's been there for the last few times iirc. Too bad they don't have any LFS stickers on the devise, don't pay anything for using LFS, well, other than a normal license.

Oh, I hope the red car was something like a F430. Wouldn't mind losing a camera for that one.
Quote from Blackout :Silly noobs always take the fastest car and Blackwood. Would think a road car would have been nicer because those things always have lag and trying to mimic the movement of a F1 car and the forces, just doesn't work. It's not fast enough. I think the Force Dynamics and LFS has come a tradition of some sort on Helsinki Motorshow, it's been there for the last few times iirc. Too bad they don't have any LFS stickers on the devise, don't pay anything for using LFS, well, other than a normal license.

Yeah, my thoughts exacly - I think I even whined after RAC but the "marshall" didn't pay attention. Maybe he didn't know who I am

Maybe I should mail AD so that next year there will be some promotional stuff in there too. They dragged a lot of people to their stand with LFS and gave nothing back

Quote from Blackout :Oh, I hope the red car was something like a F430. Wouldn't mind losing a camera for that one.

I knew someone would guess it.. yep, that's the one - I wish they'd let me inside
Shame about the problems you had - the idea is great, but I can picture it not working properly, usually things like that are never configured properly on stalls. They usually get untrained staff.

When I went to London to see the Wii last november, the had Wii tennis set up so you were playing tennis doubles with yourself (so two people on one team, against eachother), which made it impossible to play, therefore making many who played it at the time get a bad impression.
Helsinki Motor Show
Hello ppl!

This is just a reply from one of the guys working at the fair with the simulator, at the AD stand. First thing to know, even though we wore AD shirts, we don't work for AD. Our company is Sim Racing Oy, but we use the name Speed Club. We were at the AD stand because they had ordered a service from us, which was to draw ppl to the stand and entertain them.

I wasn't working at the time you were there, I know that because in your post you claim to have made a lap in less than a minute, didn't see that happening even once during the HMS, actually never seen anyone do it on our simulator myself (in exception for us, the staff of course =), congratulations for that!

First of all you said "I could not see the track as I've used to", well, for starters, the screen is not a LCD or a plasma display, the simulator uses a LCD projector as you might've noticed. That's the only thing that can withstand the shaking of the device. As you can imagine, with any videoprojectors, the image on the screen is great when there are no other lights pointing at the screen, in example in a totally dark room. This was however obviously not the case at HMS, and that's why the view wasn't as realistic as it is supposed to. In a dark room the view is great, I can assure you.

"Then, suddly I saw it and managed to stay in driving line and hit the gas right where I'm supposed to - and nothing happened!.. What the... I had to floor it to get a proper reponse Maybe the traction control was set funnily or possibly there was indeed some hardware delay in the pedal - in either case, it really made the driving hard and frustrating."

The gas pedal is intentionally really really stiff, you need to apply some force to get the car accelerating, and a lot of force for full throttle. This is so for a reason, and the reason being that most ppl who come and test the simulator have never driven a real F1 car, maybe not even in a game. Same thing with the traction control, we've overdone it so those who are going for the first time can finish the race in one day, instead of spinning all the time. There's no hardware delay, end of story.

"Closing in on the chicane I instinctively tried to use the paddle to shift up, and was reminded by LFS that the gearbox was set to automatic - I was wondering if it would have felt more "right" if I had manual gears while entering that chicane.. right.. left.. right .. the cradle allowed me to feel some sort of G-forces for the first time during the years I've played LFS. By saying some sort I mean that there was the effect and the simulation, but I can't really tell how realistic it was. My experience is limited to some laps with go-karts on indoors track and if I base my opinion on that it was way off. You truly have to test yourself - for me it was as I said, disappointing."

The gearbox is set to automatic, again because most ppl don't know how to shift gears with paddles, and even if they do, they'll be confused with the car having 7 gears, and they'll get messed up before the third corner.

I could go on ranting about the million reasons why we are using this setup, but I'll shorten it for you:
When we are at public events like HMS, it just is smarter to keep it nice and easy, so everyone from the 15 year old kid to his grandpa can have a go, and get the feel of driving a Formula One car. They won't care - or know the difference - if the simulator does 2G or 0.5G, they won't care if the gearbox is automatic or manual etc. etc, all they want is an experience, and that's what we are there for.

And oh, about the simulator being realistic or not, we've had a couple of Mikas who happen to know something about F1, giving the simulator a go, and they thought it really was the next best thing to the real thing.

Just as a suggestion, you could try to gather a group and come to Helsinki to our new establishment which we actually have only started working on, we'll open hopefully in february, if everything goes according to plan. There you could experience the full potential of the simulator, and the other fun stuff that we will have there.

I probably have forgotten half of what I was supposed to write, and written pure nonsense half of the post. I'll get back to you at a later time. Our website (seriously under construction): www.speedclub.fi
You can also contact me via e-mail: joakim . ehrnsten(a)speedclub.fi
Wow Sami...sounds like you peed them off...heheh!

Only kidding, Speedclub, you make some interesting points there, it's a shame you're not in England where I can take a look.
#7 - bozo
Quote from SpeedClub :Our website (seriously under construction): www.speedclub.fi

I can't read a word on the website, but that simulator is something else. The video on the homepage is quite something.
Hot damn!
Just watched that video too - looks fun I must say!
Indeed
just watched the simulator video & all I can do is laugh. What is it trying to simulate WRC? It jerks around like the car is climbing a steep hill, flying through the air, then crashing down on to the ground. F1?

I think they might need to adjust the settings, how much suspension travel has an F1 car got ?? a few meter's or a few millimeter's?

Totaly unrealistic & OTT in my view.
#11 - bozo
Those movements are needed to provide the simulation of the g-forces. If the simulator only moved slightly, those forces would not be experienced. It's the same for those enclosed simulators of F1 cars, roller coaster rides etc. I think that if you were sitting on the simulator, you'd think very differently Ant.
Quote from anttt69 :just watched the simulator video & all I can do is laugh. What is it trying to simulate WRC? It jerks around like the car is climbing a steep hill, flying through the air, then crashing down on to the ground. F1?

I think they might need to adjust the settings, how much suspension travel has an F1 car got ?? a few meter's or a few millimeter's?

Totaly unrealistic & OTT in my view.

This post shows a fundamental flaw in your understanding of how the simulator works. Please take a look into it before you try to devalue the work of others.

LFS out there
(13 posts, started )
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