Studio 397 has released their first “Roadmap Update” for the year of 2017, and they decided to start it off with a bang! In this update, we get our first preview of how DX11 will look in the sim.
S397 has mentioned that development on the conversion to DirectX 11 is going ahead of schedule, with most of the engine being migrated. The system is also benefitting from a new tonemapper, which will show more realistic colors, and a more authentic white balance. In addition, shadows are also receiving a much needed overhaul. You can take a look at the image below for a comparison of the DX9 version, and the DX11 counterpart.
Some of the most apparent changes would definitely be the colors. It seems like the DX11 version has a more vibrant world, with better dynamic range. One thing I found in rF2 was that it was commonly “overblown” in terms of colors, which made it look rather ugly. This, on the other hand, looks a lot more promising! Hopefully this, as well as the improved shadows, better performance, etc, will help rFactor 2 become a stronger title.
We also have more previews of the User Interface for the sim, and it looks to feature a massive improvement. Our first look at the home screen notably features the merging of single player and multiplayer in-game, as opposed to the current way of launching a separate .exe for multiplayer.
Another notable excerpt from the Roadmap is this:
As part of the new user interface we are developing the in-game competition structure. We all know that competition is at the heart of all racing sims, and rFactor 2 has a long-standing relationship with some of the greatest leagues in sim racing covering multiple racing disciplines. Building on this strong foundation, our new competition mechanics intend to encourage frequent racing and greater accessibility, offering a rich career progression coupled with new aligned content.
We are focused on building competition mechanics that are unique and embrace leagues and competitions.
It appears that Studio 397 may be looking to go the way of iRacing and (possibly) Sector3 Studios to introduce an online career element to the sim. That could lead to a stronger incentive to bring a community to the title, as well as the potential to undercut its competition. With no subscription model in play, and no paid DLC (though that will likely change in the near future), that could put rF2 in a solid spot for competition.
For more information on the January Road Map for rFactor 2, you can click the link here. Do you think Studio 397 is steering rF2 in the right direction? Let us know!