Automobilista 2 December Development Update: vetture GT1 e Spa-Francorchamps
Il team Reiza ha pubblicato il nuovo Development Update del mese di Dicembre dedicato al suo Automobilista 2. Lo sviluppatore brasiliano ci presenta le nuove vetture GT1 degli anni 90, il tracciato di Spa-Francorchamps e molto altro ancora!
As mentioned in our previous catch-up earlier this month, we have been working hard to deliver a quite substantial update for AMS2 in our 2020 wrap-up - the whole team has in fact been at it through the Holiday season so far in order to tick as many boxes as we´re able in this update, and we are now in process of rounding it up for release at some point before New Year´s eve.
To ease the suspense, we decided to bring this Dev Update forward a bit in order to give you all a glimpse into what you may expect for this final AMS2 update of 2020 - hope you enjoy it!
Back to the 90´s With GT1 Cars
On the content front, the highlight of the new update is the adittion of the 90s GT1 Series, with 3 iconic models (Mercedes CLK LM, Porsche 911 GT1 & Mclaren F1 GTR LT) arriving for AMS2 to bring what many believe to be one of the golden eras in sports car racing back to life!
These late 90s GT1 cars are some of the most exciting race cars ever - we felt very strongly about having them in AMS2 and getting their essence properly represented, and feedback in Beta testing so far seem to suggest we´re on the right track to achieve that.
The GT1s should probably be the highlight of this release but it´s not all - the update will also feature the legendary Mclaren F1 LM - the special edition of the already iconic supercar following its success at Le Mans. With 671 hp, the F1 LM is a mighty machine and to this day the ultimate enbodiment of what a Supercar should be.
As the tyre slogan goes, power is nothing without control and that certainly applies to the enjoyment of powerful sim racing cars as well - with that in mind we have thoroughly revised our street tyre physics in order to make the experience of driving a Mclaren F1 properly challenging, without being frustrating - these changes likewise benefit the Ultima GTR and Camaro SS with which the F1 will share the Street Cars category in the game.
The update in fact features a pretty substantial physics revamp, with all cars receiving updates to an extent or another, so you may want to revisit some of the oldies too!
Spa-Francorchamps Arriving for Automobilista 2!
The physics developments are obviously great value, and it´s in the most challenging corners that they become most noticeable - all the better then that this update will be the one to feature a track with no shortage of such corners, the epic Spa-Francorchamps!
The circuit originally made out of 14km of public roads linking various charming pictoresque villages deep into the Belgian countryside was eventually shortened to its current 7k, but retained much of its flair. Over the past few decades, Spa has become the quintessential race track on the international motorsports scene and arguably the overall favorite for both real and virtual racers alike. It´s only fitting then that possibly our most significant AMS2 update will also be the one to see its arrival to the sim.
The track team is still working hard as they have been all year in order to complete the track in its full glory - it is already in great shape but we wanted to cover some more ground on the art front before producing preview screenies, unfortunately none quite made it in time for this dev update.
We will indeed be running out the clock this month in order to get the track ready for release, and at this point it´s still possible we will opt to release the game update first, with the track coming a few days later - in any case you may expect our track team to continue to pour extra details into it in the days following its release, as they have in other recent releases.
Also worth reminding that even though the Spa DLC and the packs that include them will also see historical variants added to the pack at no extra cost, this initial release will only feature the Modern track as it is today - the 1991 layout should follow by February, with the 1970s 14km version coming later on in 2021.
AMS2 DLC Policy Moving Forward
The release of Spa will be another major milestone on the big plans we have mapped out for AMS2, many of which yet to come to surface. We love what we do and feel privileged to be able to do it, so we always strive to make our work as accessible as we are able to those who share our passion - even though these are already relatively inexpensive products, we do realise that these are specially tough times and that sometimes even small amounts of disposable income can be in short supply.
At the same time, AMS2 does feature many premium cars and tracks now which are quite costly to license and produce - sometimes releasing them as DLCs are the only viable way for us to offer them, and that will be increasingly the case as we go into 2021 and the arrivals of some major Expansion Packs.
Looking to best concile that reality with our wish to keep AMS2 as accessible as we can manage, we are opting to leave DLC tracks available for all users when running single player championships that feature those tracks. We are also evaluating a way to make DLC tracks available for all users in multiplayer races when joining as a client (this however most likely won´t be implemented in time for this upcoming release).
DLC tracks will remain exclusively available for owners in other game modes, when creating a multiplayer session and eventually for users who wish to add them when creating custom single player championship seasons.
Please keep in mind this may change as things evolve over the course of AMS2 development, so if you enjoy the game and want to see it continue to grow don´t miss out on grabbing the DLCs if and when you have the chance, specially during the seasonal Steam sales as the one currently ongoing
Core Game Developments
That covers the content side of things, but the upcoming update features a lot more in core game developments - besides the aforementioned physics revisions, below are some of the other highlights to look forward to:
The User Interface has received a very nice cosmetic facelift and all background screens are now available in up to 4K resolution.
We have implemented some much-requested quality-of-life features such as options to customize camera position and FFB Gain per vehicle.
While there has been no further developments to the Camera System in this update, we have revised a lot of our content to address issues with track surfaces and / or car suspension when these were contributing to an excessive amount of oscillations in cockpit view; while it remains important to tune your camera options to your personal preferences and some track / car combos make for inherently bumpy rides, we expect issues on the content side of things to have been greatly minimised.
AI Development has continued to be one of our top priorities, with a lot of AI performance callibration passes in parallel to the ongoing physics revisions, along with some further AI behavior code developments. We are now looking into the AI behavior under blue flags to improve their ability navigating traffic in multiclass races, most improvements will probably only make it in for our next update late in January but some early developments may possibly arrive already on this release.
On the Multiplayer front, we have made some valuable adjustments to the netcode in order to improve reliability in close racing, with Multiplayer tests in AMS2 Beta so far seeming to confirm good gains have been made.
Championship Mode will receive a big boost with several new championships being included in the next update both for the real and fictional series included in the game.
The Custom Championship tool which had been planned as one of the highlights of this update unfortunately won´t quite make it in time for this release - even though the structure for users to create and configure their own championshp seasons is mostly in place, it still needs a few more weeks of work for all customization options to be supported and for the feature to be fully tested - thus we´re opting to keep working on it a bit longer to include it a more feature-complete version next month.
The Custom Livery system has received some further tweaks and a complete template package for all cars in the game will finally be available in time for the update deployment.
Last but not least, we have some very cool developments coming up to further boost the value of the superb Weather System in the Madness engine - the first of these featuring in our next update is a more accurate probability system when running Random weather in a session, which ensures weather variations are more realistic to the climate of the track´s location - this allows for setting up races with unenscripted weather, without the risk of running into unlikely weather variations.
This is the first of several interesting developments incoming on the weather system front in future updates - more to come!
So Long 2020 - Here We Go 2021!
This update will conclude the work done in the first year of AMS2´s dev cycle - 2020 has obviously proved a challenging year on many levels for many people in all walks of life, so we´re pretty relieved to have made it through and delivered on the majority of our plans for the year - we like to think the game has seen considerable progress made in all fronts since its release, and we´re very pleased with its overall status as of this upcoming update.
At the same time, we remain aware there is a lot of work still to do in order for AMS2 to fulfill its great potential and to make it attractive to a wider range of sim racers - we go into 2021 with that goal firmly in mind, and confident that by this time next year we´ll have moved considerably closer to it. This is still just the beginning!
An updated 2021 roadmap will have to wait a little longer as we have been fully consumed by the ongoing work on this next update, but we should have a lot of interesting news to share already by the end of next month - stay tuned!
For now, we´d like to thank everyone who have been along with us on this ride so far, and wish you all a very healthy and Happy New Year in 2021 - may it fulfill all its promises!