The online racing simulator
iRacing
(13669 posts, closed, started )
Quote from The Moose :Hmm, fair enough. Physics wise i didn't notice a whole lot of difference tbh. Certainly not the massive revolution i expected from all the hype.

I've always been of the opinion that physics is always going to be limited by the hardware that is available, so your simply not going to see gigantic leaps in physics. Physics will develop slowly in-line with average PC hardware.

As it becomes more the norm for people to have multi processor systems (i.e. quad core and above) you might see some sims that take advantage of it and introduce more complex physics models.

Laser scanning tracks, real cars, event management systems etc can be worked on right now. But the importance of those things can be seen quite differently by each individual.

If a sim focuses on real content then by default it is going to appeal more to people that know and see that real content either on teli or in rl. For me living in Australia the real content of iRacing isn't that important as I don't relate to it as much as someone in the US. Although the apeal of more realistic tracks is there.

So that leaves the event management systems.

While there is some very good aspects of the event management system that appeal to me, there is also some large negatives. The ones that concern me the most are: the limits on when races occur, and potential lack of competitors.
A couple of questions:

Is it possible to adjust the in-cockpit field of view and move the eyepoint up/down, left/right and backward/forward? All of the videos and screenshots I have seen so far use the same FOV and eyepoint.

Also, does the game support TrackIR?
My POV:

The driving model is very good. As good as or (probably) better than LFS's in most respects. The car feels much more alive and connected to the track, probably due to the bumpiness of the tracks. Watching the suspension work in the SK Modified is pretty much a revelation.

The graphics, if your computer can handle them, are pretty great. That said, this is a sim that will require a lot of people to upgrade. I have a P4 2.53ghz, 1gb PC2700, and a Radeon 9600XT, and the game is virtually unplayable for me even on the lowest graphical settings. The developers recommend at minimum a dual core processor and preferably 2gb+ RAM. For people who've bought a computer recently this will be easy, but for those of us riding out a 4 or 5 year-old system it's kinda crushing.

The sounds are in general very nice. Sometimes a bit tinny and lacking depth, but overall fine.

The damage model is ok as far as suspension damage goes, but as brian mentioned there is no realistic body deformation (I believe there is SOME deformation, depending on the car). There are also some odd quirks in the collision model. Parts of the car body will go through the track, and if you manage to get a car on its side, it will continue sliding for quite a while, as if it has no friction. Cars in general feel sort of "spongy" compared to LFS. If you hit a wall or another car you sort of sink into it a bit rather than hitting it hard.

The structure of the online element doesn't appeal to me at all, but I can see how it would to a certain personality type. Personally I find it way too restrictive, more in terms of the scheduling of the races than in terms of the limitations on car availability (which I actually like).

The oval racing is great, and most certainly has the ARCA Racing boys shitting themselves in fear of the moment iRacing gets a proper big oval stock car. The short ovals are tons of fun in the Legends and Modified cars. The road courses are spectacular too. I spent 2 hours today just testing the rookie Solstice offline at Lime Rock, and I can't believe I'm saying it but that car was a blast to drive.

Overall: Fairly sure it's not worth it to me at the moment, but very well could be something I'll pay for down the line. Their funding is deep, so I have no doubt they'll be around if and when I decide to buy in. This is a sim that will steal a good number of LFS drivers, probably for good. Hopefully it'll bring us a few new ones reciprocally.


EDIT: Kaneda, TrackIR is supported, and I believe FOV is adjustable.
I know you can change FOV, don't know about the others or TrackIR.

To me, the physics are to me awesome, as well as the tracks and cars (I have raced their oval sims since the first so I like it all). As far as the net code is concerned, I think I only had one guy that disappeared on my screen before and he had a 400+ ping. The funny thing was is that he only disappeared a couple times but other than that he was very smooth.

Found a nice quote on the member's site as well:

"We also know that having even more opportunity to get on track with your friends is a top priority, and we're researching possible ways to integrate open practice sessions and private leagues into the service."




@Moose: Now since I guess you don't have "access" to the beta, I just want to say that the Europeans are happy on the iR forum because the Euro-Primetime Skippy races are quite full.


EDIT: I know DWB said that iRacing is pretty hard on PCs, but the good thing about it is that the FPS don't really vary no matter how many cars are on track or what part of a track you are on, it always seems to be very consistant. *might just be my machine though*
Quote from T.Kaneda :A couple of questions:

Is it possible to adjust the in-cockpit field of view and move the eyepoint up/down, left/right and backward/forward? All of the videos and screenshots I have seen so far use the same FOV and eyepoint.

Also, does the game support TrackIR?

FOV yes from about 40 to 135 degrees IIRC.

Eye point, no. It's cockpit view only, fixed position, and fov is the only thing you can adjust. It has the usual look left/right button support. No look behind, but it has a virtual mirror as in most sims.

TrackIR support is in the sim, but was waiting on a new driver release from NaturalPoint to add the support on their side. That was from early May, so if there have been any driver releases since then, it may be supported already.
Quote from DeadWolfBones :The graphics, if your computer can handle them, are pretty great. That said, this is a sim that will require a lot of people to upgrade. I have a P4 2.53ghz, 1gb PC2700, and a Radeon 9600XT, and the game is virtually unplayable for me even on the lowest graphical settings. The developers recommend at minimum a dual core processor and preferably 2gb+ RAM. For people who've bought a computer recently this will be easy, but for those of us riding out a 4 or 5 year-old system it's kinda crushing.

Neglected GFX engine optimisation? I mean, it doesn't exactly look like Crysis.
Ok, so the NDA is lifted, phew.

My short synopse.

Top class physics, the skip barber 2000 is AMAZING
Graphically ok (stutters like a bitch on my machine though)
Interesting license / online racing system, will appeal to those who whore CTRA, won't to those who don't
Great content
Good FFB
Good netcode
Very good feeling of imerssion.

Overall, would I buy it?, no, simply because I don't have the time to commit to such a sim.

If I felt I would have enough time to utilize it as much as I should, I would be all over it, but till then, LFS ticks all my boxes.
Quote from deggis :Neglected GFX engine optimisation? I mean, it doesn't exactly look like Crysis.

I dunno, I think it's mostly due to physics, but the sound and graphics apparently cause a heavy fps hit. Sound especially.
Thank you for the responses to my questions about the viewing system.

A few more questions:

Is it possible to run mixed class races?

How long are races usually?

Are there live referees/race controllers who monitor the race to ensure that it runs smoothly?

Is it possible to spectate races without actually participating in them?

Is it possible to appeal the automatic safety violations? I'm thinking of situations where a car in front of you spins and you go off track trying to avoid hitting the other car. Would you be assessed a safety violation in this case and, if so, can it be appealed?
Quote from T.Kaneda :Thank you for the responses to my questions about the viewing system.

A few more questions:

Is it possible to run mixed class races?

No, not at this time

How long are races usually?

I only raced the lower levels, but in the solstice, they were about 10 laps, or 20mins

Are there live referees/race controllers who monitor the race to ensure that it runs smoothly?

Nope

Is it possible to spectate races without actually participating in them?

Not as far as I can see

Is it possible to appeal the automatic safety violations? I'm thinking of situations where a car in front of you spins and you go off track trying to avoid hitting the other car. Would you be assessed a safety violation in this case and, if so, can it be appealed?

Don't think so


Answers above
OK, lots of opinions, I will add mine if you don't mind

Concerning feel: definitely good, but nkPro and LFS are already very good and I did not expect anything less from iRacing. One thing to mention probably is the force feedback strength as it changes a lot from car to car. The possible settings are from -100 to 100 and I have it currently set to 15 (Red Momo). While in Pontiac you can feel "some" strength, that car has a power steering so it is definitelly a lot weaker at the same ff setting as eg in a Legends Car or Radical. Put the force feedback strength to 50 or higher and in the Radical the wheel _will_ take your fingers off . But in the end, it is all you would expect from a great sim. At one point I was switching between LFS and iRacing, just to see where is the difference, and I have to say, if you are happy with LFS as is, then the price tag for iRacing is probably not worth it.

Graphics wise, I was not blown away. Yes, the tracks are nice and bumpy, but that has more to do with the level of physics simulation than what you see. I would say, it is probably slightly better than nk2k3, but IMHO has unreasonably high requirements for the hardware. LFS in my book looks better, but then again - how would you measure that It is a personal opinion.

Configurability is pathetic in comparison with LFS. You are at this moment limited to basically exactly the same settings as in nk2k3, whether talking about display or controller settings. Eg. for the cockpit view, only FOV is adjustable, nothing else (as was already mentioned before in this thread).

There were a lot of negative comments about the online part of the iRacing. This is what appeals to me a lot. I like the scheduling of the races and the fact that whenever you race online, you score points, and all this adds to your possition in a particular race series. I never really had a time to commit myself seriously to a racing league, because all was then "prescheduled" which was sometimes a problem for me. With this system I can take the qualification and a race separately when I have the time to do it. Also, the incident system makes you think about what you do on the track, so from my experience, everybody on the track behaves with more responsibility.
Concerning pings, I usually had pings around 130ms to the server, but I never experienced lag or really bad warping during races. For me, this is a non issue.

Also, a LOT of things will be missing at the launch, and I know that this would discourage a lot of people, especially if all this "missing stuff" comes as a hefty price tag. To this, I really do not know what to say. One has to make the decision for himself/herself. The first release of LFS had also plenty of features missing and it did not stop all of us having plenty of fun.

Will I subscribe? Probably yes.
Quote from T.Kaneda :
How long are races usually?

Depends on what license you have. With the Class D license, the races are around 30 minutes long.
Now I'm officially wondering how they made their netcode so smooth. Since the packet rate in general is rather limited, this means that any sim has to "guess" the driver's actions between receiving those packets.

LFS does this by not guessing anything at all and simply leaving the last controller input active till the new packet arrives. Then as soon as it does, the position is corrected and the same procedure starts again. From that description alone you can already see the problems and how it can easily become jerky/warp-y with higher or non-stable pings. It's also the main cause for slight contact lag launches, once the corrected position of someone else happens to be in your car. This method has the positive effect of working with the most recent information and being true to the physics, well, at least if you can overlook the instant warping as necessary evil.

iRacing however seems to be totally smooth up to the point where the cars vanish due to a horrible connection. There's only two and a half ways I can see how this would work.

Number one would be a more or less big packet input buffer, with iRacing using the packet information delayed, so that it basically "knows" what the driver will do next and can accordingly interpolate/smooth out the shown car. The negative side is of course that the driver inputs are by default delayed even more than through the ping alone, though you could minimise the problems by keeping the buffer size dynamic, depending on how good the connection is.

Numero duo is an AI that drives for you between the packets, but that alone would cause problems since the AI can't possibly always make the same decisions the actual driver does, leading to errors between the predicted and actual position. If you wanted to keep things smooth, you'd have to say "ok, my error, will fix it without the user noticing", and basically make the AI drive back to where it was supposed to go. Now the problem is of course that an error made by the AI could have dire consequences or be simply so far off to what the driver did, that it would need a miracle to catch him again "legally". If legality is no problem, then you could smoothly warp the AI to the correct position, with the huge drawback of defying physics and with that losing any visual credibility.
Or you could do the whole thing without the AI and simply smoothly warp the player to the desired location, adding and removing some problems at the same time.

Though I guess the drawbacks of #2 would've been noticed by the LFS playing testers by now, so I think they use the first technique.

Any other ideas?
I think performance would be better if there's option to turn off stuff like dynamic incar shadow.

Really want to try it out, but guess won't have a chance besides subscribing.
Quote from AndroidXP :Any other ideas?

How about predictive analysis of some sort in relation to driver inputs (using say the last few packets and extrapolating what the next might be) and track position in regard to driving line / opponents etc.
But that would mean you could make wrong predictions, how would you then correct them without warping?
You can't possibly ever know where the next position of a car will be 100% it would just be a matter of which method produces the least amount of errors?
Anyway LFS's netcode is very good upto about the same point as iRacing from the comments people are making. Cause I can race smoothly (I ask people and they say they see no lag) with ping of around 380 - 420ms so jerky movement of cars happen due to lost packets or very high ping in LFS. Seems in iRacing that car just disappears momentarily in those circumstances.
But the beta testers say it is absolutely smooth with no warping whatsoever. Which doesn't mean "few errors" but "no errors" regarding the car position rendering. Which only leaves my proposed method #1, if I'm not overlooking something
I didn't see any warping, certainly not to the levels you can get with LFS.

How it works, I have no idea though....
Quote from AndroidXP :But the beta testers say it is absolutely smooth with no warping whatsoever. Which doesn't mean "few errors" but "no errors" regarding the car position rendering. Which only leaves my proposed method #1, if I'm not overlooking something

See above

Also don't forget that iRacing has unlikely been fully stress tested yet, at least to the same extent as LFS. It's not abnormal to be on LFS with players from opposite sides of the earth on all types of connections (wireless, dialup, etc) so in that regard its remarkable we don't see more problems.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't iRacing endevouring to keep players local as well. This would eliminate alot of the potenial lag problems straight off
Quote from Glenn67 :Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't iRacing endevouring to keep players local as well. This would eliminate alot of the potenial lag problems straight off

Not for now I think. Remember that the servers are still exclusively US based, which means all packets would have to travel to the US and then back to the client, even if you're racing your neighbour. I doubt they have a P2P setup, so racing locals would have no benefit other than a similar timezone.
Quote from Glenn67 :Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't iRacing endevouring to keep players local as well. This would eliminate alot of the potenial lag problems straight off

Consider yourself corrected. All the iRental servers are stateside, so with a field full of Euros or Ozzies, everyone will have higher pings due to the longer relay.
[edit] slooww.. curses Android
Quote from AndroidXP :Not for now I think. Remember that the servers are still exclusively US based, which means all packets would have to travel to the US and then back to the client, even if you're racing your neighbour. I doubt they have a P2P setup, so racing locals would have no benefit other than a similar timezone.

Ah ok

But still that is better than LFS for most of the out of the way places as in terms of the internet the US is the centre of the world so hence is likely to have less problem laggers than if it were located in Europe.
My pings to US servers are about 200ms to Europe they are 380 - 400ms...

It's not better for you Euro's though
I get a roundtrip to iracing.net of 169ms. That's probably adequate for racing, though it's on the outside of what I'd be comfortable with in LFS. I don't know whether their gameservers are located similarly though.
This thread is closed

iRacing
(13669 posts, closed, started )
FGED GREDG RDFGDR GSFDG