rFactor 2 – Concluding the Year with DX11, a New Patch and Rain 

2017 is coming to an end and with that, Studio 397 has not only delivered the Formula E surprise-release a couple of weeks ago but has now released a new rFactor 2 patch, adding fully-fledged DirectX 11 support and revamped rain effects! All explained in the latest roadmap update!

DirectX 11, now a standard

You are probably tired of hearing us mention DirectX 11 in just about every rFactor 2 post and Studio 397 is probably very tired of making us have to. Thus, as promised, the developer was able to finalize its DirectX 11 build of rFactor 2 just in time for Christmas, bringing DirectX 9 support to an end.

With the latest build comes a new image-based lighting system “creating a richer, more realistic view” which even furtherly enhances the graphical advantage of the DX11 build.

In addition to that, rain drops have been added. But not just your usual run-off-the-mill rain drops. Dynamic, real-time raindrops, which are not only affected by wind but gravity as well. A great example of attention to detail.

Whilst the improved rain effects are great to look at, their physical impact on cars/ tracks has not been implemented yet, Studio 397 is on it though.

The improved HUD made it into the release as well, with many new features, such as a delta bar for getting you hotlaps right.

You can check out the full changelog below!

A pleasant surprise is also that Studio 397 is really putting an emphasis on its 3rd party store, which will allow modders to create, sell and even license content for rFactor 2!

To kick things off, Studio 397 is partnering with Kartsim! More news on that soon.

rFactor 2 is on sale!

Not only is the base game on sale as part of the Steam Christmas sale. You can also get the recently released GT3 and Energize packs as part of a special bundled created for this sale only at a reduced price!

Changelog

Graphics Improvements

Improved Lighting

  • We developed an Image-Based Lighting for Ambient (IBLA) solution that substantially improves lighting in our graphics engine.
  • IBLA acts on the colors of the scene, taking into account information from the surrounding environment when drawing each object.
  • The resulting lighting system gives the final image a more realistic look and it improves the perception of depth for the driver.
  • This new system uses new ambient probes that have been added to most of the tracks. It is recomputed dynamically as weather or time conditions change.
  • IBLA does not introduce any noticeable performance penalties and its features have been exposed to Mod Dev. Furthermore, tracks that do not have set IBLA yet will automatically have a default set of probes assigned to them.

Rain Effects

Cars

  • Added dynamic drops on the windshield and the body of the car.
  • These drops respect gravity, so they will run down the sides, and each single drop will have its own lifespan.
  • The drops also respect airflow around the car when driving, making them move in appropriate directions.
  • The effect is not scripted but generated in real time, and it varies depending on factors like the amount of rain drops falling from the sky, the speed of the vehicle, or the particles generated from another car in front of you.
  • Wipers on cars are now functional and will clear the windscreen in two different user configurable speeds.

Tracks

  • Vastly improved reflections of the surroundings that become visible as the track gets wet.
  • Added blurred reflections for the “Ultra” Road Reflection setting.
  • Improved shaders for the real-road surfaces and added new shaders to match closely the properties of elements like curbs in dry/wet conditions.
  • Added highly detailed puddle maps that allow puddles to form in the appropriate places on tracks.

New HUD Options

  • Added options to show tire wear and ride height as text parameters.
  • Added tire wear percentage to the vehicle status MFD.
  • Increased the accuracy of fuel consumption with an extra digit.
  • Fixed a bug with TireAverageTemp text parameters, which would not show up in the HUD because of a space in their names.
  • Added a “delta best” parameter that you can add to a HUD, showing time lost or gained compared to your fastest lap in milliseconds. Works for all cars (not just player). Included optional text coloring of the text output so positive and negative values can result in different colors.
  • Added a more accurate fuel indication as well as one that shows the fuel you used in your last (full) lap, or zero otherwise.
  • Added a gauge for showing the “delta best” with a range of -1.0 to +1.0 seconds.
  • Added predicted number of laps remaining based on fuel used for last lap.
  • Added current rain percentage.
  • Added minimum and maximum track water depth.
  • Added an option to disable font scaling for the chat and message box (apart from using comic sans, non-linear font scaling is about the biggest sin a designer can commit).
  • Added weather info (rain intensity and min/max water depth) into the MFD for HUD and in-car use.
  • Designed a new default HUD that takes advantage of the new features. (Coming soon)

Other/Fixes etc.

  • The plugin API will no longer invoke callbacks that provide ScreenInfoV01 data that used to allow plugins to render to the screen. Doing this directly has been deprecated with the release of DX11, and alternatives are to either use information that is available in the updated HUD or wait for a new plugable HUD system to be released in 2018.
  • We have removed the “cache” folder from our install, so all content will now be downloaded from the workshop. This means the base install is much smaller. Upon first launch you will be automatically subscribed to all Studio 397 content and while that is downloading the Launcher will show a progress dialog window with screenshots of all content items it is downloading for you.
  • Generating Mip Maps from reflections, this gives smoother reflections as a result.
  • Formula E liveries for TeCheetah, Mahindra and Venturi updated to 2018.
  • Formula E driver helmets updated.
  • Formula E driver suits updated.

Known Issues/troubleshooting

  • Rain effects are visual currently. However, we are working on physics impacts.
  • Some content is still to be updated to include the rain effects such as cars and tracks.
  • Performance is constantly being reviewed
  • Rain drops on external cameras under review
  • If you are experiencing strange graphical issues, delete the contents of your cbash and shader folders  located in \Steam\steamapps\common\rFactor 2\UserData\Log
  • Important: Make sure to update any SteamCMD servers to get the latest!

Updated content with full rain effects:

Cars

  • Bentley GT3 – v1.97
  • Radical GT3 – v1.993
  • Mercedes GT3 – v1.99
  • McLaren GT3 – v1.993
  • Callaway GT3 – v1.97
  • Formula E – v1.993
  • Dallara – v1.96
  • USF 2000 – v1.94
  • Camaro GT3 – v1.94
  • Corvette C6R – v1.93
  • Nissan 370Z GT4 – v1.93
  • Brabham BT44B – v1.95 >>>You need to manually subscribe HERE
  • Brabham BT20 – v1.95
  • Stock Car – v1.96
  • EVE -v1.98
  • Spark – v1.98
  • Formula Two – v1.95
  • Honda Civic BTCC – v1.99 (Physics Update: New tires)
  • Kart Cup – v1.92
  • Nissan GTR GT1 – v1.93
  • Howston G4 – v1.96
  • Howston G6 – v1.96
  • Megane 2013 – v1.95
  • Clio 2010 – v1.93
  • Howston Dissenter – v1.94

Tracks

  • LimeRock – 2.02
  • Mores – v1.82
  • Nola – v1.30
  • Indianapolis – v2.04
  • Silverstone – v1.84
  • Brianza – v2.04
  • Malaysia – v1.82
About the Author

Paul Heidekruger

Bringing you the latest news in the #SimRacing world!