2,200 miles down the yellow brick road that is the French and Spanish motorways and we have finally made it all the way back to a warm and sunny Warwickshire. Without a doubt that is the most intensive road trip and PR activity I have ever done while working on the DiRT Franchise and while things didn’t always go according to plan we had a great time showing the FIA World RX drivers the latest version of DiRT Rally.
FIA World RX Driver Feedback
Perhaps the coolest part of the weekend was getting the drivers onto the D-Box and getting their feedback on how the game was feeling. The last time many of them had played was back in Holjes and we have made a whole heap of changes to the simulation to respond to the feedback they gave us then. Those drivers who had played back in early July were very complimentary of those changes. They were happy with how their cars were feeling and were satisfied with the adjustments we had made to the tyres. I think it’s fair to say that there are still some areas that we can improve upon but we are a whole lot closer to what those guys get to drive in real life than we were back in July.
There were also a bunch of drivers that didn’t have the chance to play the game in Holjes that came and had a go in Barcelona. Liam Doran, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg and James Grint from the World and European RX Championships and guest driver and two times DTM Champion Timo Scheider all took time to get hands on with DiRT Rally and they were all very complimentary about how the game felt. It’s always good to get a fresh perspective from drivers as first impressions are often the most valuable. It’s one of the coolest things watching drivers using the same techniques that they use in real life to hustle their cars around the tracks we have in game and it speaks volumes to the depth of the simulation the vehicle handling guys have put together.
The reference material we gathered from the circuit and the paddock area has all been stored in our research library and I am hopeful that it will all become useful in the future. It was definitely a new experience for me doing that kind of photography and it certainly gave me a new found respect of the eye for detail that our Environment Creation teams have when they head out on those trips. The good news is that the photos all came out well and weren’t all blurry so apart from the odd one that had @Hatward in it I think they should do the trick.
Flying Finland Update
This is the bit that I am sure most of you are waiting for and seeing as @jamielowesdev did such an awesome job of detailing what we have got lined up there is not a whole lot more for me to add. This week we gave our trusted testers a sneak peak of the update so that they can give us some preliminary feedback before it heads out into the wild next week.
For the most part they have been extremely complimentary of the update. The general consensus is that the new Finland stages and the 2001 Ford Focus and 2001 Subaru Impreza are great fun to drive. These cars come with our new v.2 handling and that has been met with a very positive reception. That also translates into the other car classes that we have updated (60s, 70s, 80s RWD, and 2010s).
The key difference that people have noted is the fact that the Force Feedback now feels a lot less informative in the v2 cars, especially on Tarmac. This is because the FFB is the same but the car now has significantly less downforce compared to what we originally launched with. As a result the car is not being pushed into the ground as much so therefore the FFB is coming across lighter.
The trouble is that if we crank up the global FFB settings then any car with the original handling will feel over saturated so for now we are going to leave it as it is but once the other cars have had their v.2 pass we’ll be adjusting the global FFB to make sure that we get that feeling back.
With the introduction of the v.2 handling we will be resetting the leaderboards of the car classes that are getting the new handling. This is quite a laborious process and one which takes a fair amount of time so there will be a period of time after the update goes live where your times may not show up or they might get erased. It should all be sorted by the end of the day but if you are looking to set fastest times on the Steam leaderboards then you are probably best to leave it until the day after the update.
For those of you who have set great times and are proudly sat atop of the current leaderboards – I’m sorry. It’s one of the necessary evils of progress and hopefully you won’t mind the challenge of getting to grips with the new v.2 cars and setting about getting to the top of those leaderboards again.
Screenshot of the week
Having spent a lot of time in Barcelona in pretty close proximity to a Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 1 I think its influence has rubbed off on me so here is an awesome screenshot from DriftDraft of a Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2 in Greece.
Video of the week
While we were away in Barcelona one of my favourite events – Rally Day was taking place at Castle Combe. Check out this flyby video from @Rallycameraman of the Peugeot 306 Maxi. This is that actual car we used for our DiRT Rally audio recordings:
— Luke Harvey (@Rallycameraman) September 19, 2015
That’s all for this week’s road book. Have a great weekend and make sure you save up some in game credits for those iconic rally cars that will be jumping into your lives next week!