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Project CARS (Slightly Mad Studios) / NAMCO Bandai

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New viddy i've done.

First, turn up the sound. I don't think theres much better in any racing game. Also check out the slo mo - you can see where they've massively improved the tyre to road contact - the tyres don't sink anymore.

The car handles well too...

Enjoy...

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So more comments from Ben...

Formula A on the FA tyre

1. The brake & steer problem seems to be much abated, although it's still engrained in me from the older build to tip toe in on the brakes. But it's much better
2. However we have a new issue - when you turn in off the brakes AND off the power, the car has a nasty habit of switching ends.
3. Traction feels better and more controllable
4. Braking is amazing and very aggressive on the FA. If anything we have gone too far with the power of the brakes because in an F1 car / LMP it's almost impossible to lock the tyres as soon as you hit the brakes, but we can on the sim. That's either because our brake force is too high or we need greater grip. I did notice that in the default setting the brakes seem to lock the rears first, so perhaps it's to do with a shortage of high speed aero grip because i don't think i'm able to brake any later

But the braking repsonse and being able to drive the car on the pedal is very impressive!

Point #2 - when you turn towards a corner off the brake and off throttle, the rear snaps. If you apply some throttle it seems to steady the platform but that is an unrealistic situation to be in because it's so extreme. There is no physical reason as such for a car to rotate this way unless the tyres were cold, but even then you would feel some grip and hope to recover.

Oddly enough though i find it relatively predictable which means it might be a handling dynamic in the build. When the sim reads a combination of events: off power, no braking - it shuts off rear grip.

5. Turn in - obviously turn in relates to my comment re snap overtsteer. I'm delighted to note that the turn in to high speed corners is improving and at Piratella at Imola, the car darts in and then feels steady under power. We are closing in on the perfect balance.

So the question is: what is going wrong on turn in for the slower corners?

At this point i would like to copy Nic's recent post because it echoes my thought process all along on the drivability of the car as it relates to sliding. I'm a broken record i know, and the team are making progress all the time, but: it will be making of the game if we can get the car to trail its grip away more gently as it skids into yaw. In physics it comes down to a more forgiving traction curve relative to slip angle.

Here's Nic's comments

"it seems that a lot of cars are very unpredictable when pushing hard, mainly due to how the rear responds when turning on entry and traction on exit, sometimes a car feels planted through a corner or on exit etc. but most of the time, they feel very ‘edgy’ and ‘twitchy’, which makes you feel like you are ‘treading on egg shells’ as the slightest of movements can cause the car to slide or have a moment that is very difficult to control or catch.

unstable, unpredictable and unrealistic in its characteristics, as sometimes you can be in a straight line and the car will just snap to a point where you cannot get it back, or sometimes, you are mid-corner and if you turn too much, the car just turns on itself and spins."

IN my view

Some of this will come from the physical tweaks to the handling dynamics - how much grip we give the car at certain speeds, when it perceives vertical loading and most crucially of all - the tyre model.

In short:

1. we still need more grip in a slide and to iron out the snap oversteer when it's not called for.
2. love to see more visual movement in the car in terms of roll and pitch, and to have this tied to the handling dynamics. In the same way that a locked front tyre indicates the bleeding obvious (you have overcooked it!) i feel we would benefit from a bit more sense of roll on turn in and pitch under braking. This feedback should help us dial in our senses of when the car is exceeding its grip level, and the sense of rotation when we slide the car into a corner. Any thoughts on this point?

Lotus 98T

As always i stay close to my first love in PCARS..

The 98T has recovered much of its charm.

Regards my second point above i still have the feeling that the older build of the 98T has more movement, dive and roll but leaving that aside i note some excellent improvements.

1. The straightline wheelspin is much improved and i'm grateful because i thought it was over the top previously
2. The car feels good and controllable on the brakes
3. Traction feels great because the car feels quite forgiving and it makes the transition into oversteer quite gradually.
4. I feel it has some of the turn in snap oversteer that the Formula A has at lower speeds.

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Bit more from Ben with this build (555/556)

Formula A


In General

The FA is like driving an F1 car or an LMP1 in the wet. It feels superb and responsive but when the car is on the limit in terms of traction, the drop off in grip is huge and its easy to spin. There’s some great points too

1. Grip drop off when the car slides is a negative
2. Kerbs: a new and serious issue is that Kerbs are pulling the FA and causing: wheelspin as well as making the car rotate & oversteer. This is completely unnatural and as far as I can tell unique to this latest build as I was caught out all over the shop (*please see below re the 98T on this point)
3. Unpredictable turn in oversteer. When I make a really good late brake for a slow corner and release the brakes in the nick of time, the car unexpectedly rotates into a spin. There must be a dynamic at play here. Crucially however the FA does not have the “Brake & Steer Spinning” phenomenon (but others do*)
4. To work around point #3 I tried going 100% lock up on the decel diff. It calmed some entry o/steer but didn’t affect the trend. For curiosity I also wound the accel diff to 100% lock up and improved some mid corner stability but when I lost traction it just fell off a steeper cliff and my Stiggy Avatar took another trip to the infirmary.
5. On turn in – the FA now has a bit of a wobble when you get close to the limit YES!! Love it. It fires a little warning shot as the tyre thinks about sliding and then doesn’t. This is exactly the kind of feedback from the tyre I love because it’s giving you the opportunity to feel your way into the limit.
6. I had to move the brake bias to 70% front because of rear locking issues – the braking on the FA is bloody awesome.

Separate point on the track – I still feel over-penalised when I run wide and wish this feature could be turned off – I lose 70% of my laps this way (or maybe I just need to go back to driving school ☺)

My main concern here is the kerb behaviour. After driving the 98T on both it’s default and 80’s slick tyre I would be very interested to see how much the FA would benefit from a tyre with more grip..?

Formula B

Default tyre – felt a bit lethargic, prone to locking under braking and too much high speed u/steer.

I flicked through the other compounds and found the wooden front end increased with B-Comp and C – however despite the weirdness of these compounds there was a driveability on the limit. But overall the FB feels very experimental these days.

98T – o yeah.

1. Kerbs – there are NO ISSUES OVER KERBS with this little beauty. The kerbs behave normally and don’t suck you in or de-stabilise the car. This is how it should be.
2. The car is bony and aggressive but much more compliant on turn / in with better feedback through the corner.
3. One issue remains that the traction is heavily dependent on steering angle using the default tyre IE if you exit a corner with some steering and squeeze the throttle, it will snap sideways on the power quite easily and its hard to recover unless you’re Clarke Kent. BUT if you just run round the corner and stand on the gas in a straight line, you head off like a rocket.
4. Great braking
5. Coming off the brakes after heavy braking and going for the turn in – this car does a little kick and I love it. It squirms ever so slighty and points you into the corner. This is about the same point where the Formula A tends to suddenly lose grip – so there’s a key comparison point here.
6. 80’s slick. Love it. OK I realise it just has more grip which probably masks a host of sins but point #3 is much reduced on the 80’s slick which is awesome. It’s much more fun and natural to drive. Braking is unreal on this tyre because it has so much grip but it’s addictive to drive. Nice one!

Formula Rookie / Formula Ford

I saw this and couldn’t resist. I skipped through the compounds until I reached the F3 Lime Green which I found was the most realistic.

1. Default and F3 White were too placid and the car would not slide – so I felt Limegreen was the closest in terms of balance and grip to the real thing
2. View: through the cockpit I feel it’s currently too similar to the FA & FB – it should be skinnier and you should be able to see more of the tyres (I did shuffle the view but essentially it looks the same as the bigger cars and I felt this detail was worth mentioning)
3. It needs to be more aggressive and horrible to drive. It should have more turn / in power so that you can make the car slide if you’re heavy handed
4. It should have less traction / and or more power to get the rear drifting on corner exit
5. This car has the “brake & Steer snap oversteering” issue so that you can’t drive into the corner on the brake. I played the bias etc to no avail.
The FFord in real life is a challenging, twitchy little bastard to drive. It’s bloody bumpy in the cockpit and because the engine is a great big lump sitting high in a small car without the benefit of downforce, the rear is nearly always on the move (*see notes on the Porsche to follow).

I think this should be represented visually and physically with the handling so that it jumps around a bit more, is more responsive on turn in and more lively when you climb onto the power. Also I felt the braking was not aggressive enough and it was hard to lock a front tyre – in RL it’s easier to lock up, but the loss of grip is slightly less dramatic than in the bigger cars.

RUF Porsche RGT8

Now I’ve driven this exact model I confess but it’s very similar to the Porsche 911 GT2 in many ways, being rear wheel drive and close in power – 550bhp to 620 in the GT2. And all 911’s have the same crucial DNA with the big engine mounted over the rear axle.

1. Moved brake bias to 66% front (rear locking has crept into all models it seems but it’s an easy fix)
2. Slightly Too much static power u/steer on long sweeping corners
3. Car is good over kerbs
4. The “brake & Steer snap oversteer” is present in this model which is a problem
5. Power and power delivery feel pretty good

My main comment with the Porsche is similar to the Formula Ford. These are more challenging to drive than the Sim is currently registering. The rear on the 911 hops around and it would be great just to inject some energy into the rear of this car to represent the effect of the sudden changes in grip you get when the 911 breaks traction. The main issue was point #4 which for me should be eradicated whenever it raises its head.

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More titbits

from Ben..

Project Cars Nov 4th

Formula C tyre testing contd.

It took my system a while to upload the new settings for some reason but now I have them in all their glory. I’m seriously impressed, notably by the way the tyre temps work on the FORMULA C

I’m pushing THREE MAJOR THEMES on Project Cars and would be grateful for any feedback on these from the Forum: TYRE TEMPERATURE, FEEDBACK and RAIN

Tyre Temps

I was skeptical about the inclusion of changing grip levels that related to tyre temps until I actually got to try it – the experience is highly addictive and for impatient players like myself it really forces you into a feeling of reality, to respect the Sim and drive it properly. Because the grip starts off low and you gradually build more it tames the instinct to ‘go ape’ and spin off.

The gradual build of grip on the PCARS sim as the tyre temp increases is phenomenal – it takes you to the heart of what racing is really all about.

I don’t want to overcomplicate my feedback but the instant success of the tyre temp introduction compels me to say something about the more distant possibilities. I mention Feedback below, which is my primary interest, but I would suggest we consider a few additional features: new tyres, effect tyre pressures (probably already at play) and heat cycles.

New tyres heat more aggressively than worn rubber and offer a kind of paradox in that they start offering grip when the tyre is not fully up to temperature. It’s easier to make a mistake during this stage and feedback from the wheel is critical to not overstepping the available grip. Higher tyre pressures speed the process of getting the grip / heat into the tyre but there’s a faster fall off in grip on the other side – has this been considered? And finally once the tyres have been through a heat cycle they become more resistant to pressure and heat related issues and are slightly easier to drive, if ultimately lacking the absolute grip level. Then there's wet tyres that do all kinds of strange things as they encounter a drying surface and start over-heating - that would be really fun to include.

FFB

The theme / feature I really want to connect with Tyre Temps and other facets of PCARS is the force feedback through the steering wheel. From my perspective, the steering wheel feels too light when the car is gripping, then it offers resistance when the car slides – this is the opposite of what you expect in Real Life.

Cold tyre accentuate the feeling through the steering in that the wheel starts light and slightly wooden, more bumpy, and you feel vibrations especially when the front end slips when cold. Then as the grip build you start to feel the weight of the wheel increasing as the tyre digs into the tarmac. I would love to see that effect married up with the grip we are getting as the tyre temp increases, because the Dev Team have done a truly spectacular piece of work here.

I really hope we can dive into the feedback situation because it’s something that has always bugged me on driving games, and if we can crack it so that the wheel builds resistance as the grip increases (under braking especially) I believe that it will be much easier to feel where the limit is in some of the trickier cars and in general

Default Tyre

The default has superb transition from understeer to o/steer and I love that part of this tyre – it is so driveable.

Even better – when you get a little sideways I feel that you can crack a little bit of power, make the rear squat down, and cure that bit of rear slide to drive out of the corner. That is an AWESOME feature.

OK the slides on the default are a little bit slow and too easy but I think we can work on that. The earlier stages of development, to me, felt a little bit edgier and I preferred feeling the rear skipping slightly more in short sharp movements that you could correct with quick jabs of opposite lock. So perhaps there’s some room to improve on that side because on occasion I find myself in the middle of the road after an extended rear slide. From my notes I believe the ‘M’ tyre worked this feature a little better.

One negative point is regards the brake and steer conundrum – when you brake late and deep the car wants to swap ends when you steer. This tyre is forgiving to you get away with it and I checked the brake bias but I felt it was correct. I hope we can address this so that the Sim doesn’t light up the rear end in this situation because it makes the car quite confusing when you left foot brake into higher speed corners as well.

The FC is my favourite car on the Sim right now because everything is balanced – from the braking grip, to the response of the steering on corner entry, through to the transition on power to balance the car from u/s to o/steer and make an exit. I hope we will use this platform to bring balance to the rest of the galaxy, as the dark side has been working on some of my old favourites (FA & 98T)

R2 Tyre

The R2 felt slightly edgier on cold tyres but I don’t think that’s relevant to anything. It may have been in my head but it also seemed to take longer to get up to temperature, but I’m new to this game.

In all it seemed to have more front grip and I preferred having the ability to put the car on the apex and control the final metres of braking into tight corners like the corkscrew, whereas I found that harder driving the default. So I loved driving this tyre even more than the default and found driving it very addictive.

R3 tyre.

Holy moly. It’s evil so I assumed this was testing an extreme. Once I imagined that it was pouring with rain my brain adapted much better and I stopped requiring emergency medical assistance.

RAIN

That takes me to my final point. We have experimented with some evil setups and as in this case, I believe they have a role to play as a driving experience on a wet surface where you have learn on a trial by error basis in "treacherous conditions". Are we working on a rain setup that is challenging to drive, because I feel we have all the ingredients but currently the wet race mode seems to be a visual experience rather than a driving one?

As always I greatly value and thoughts, feedback, insults or suggestions!

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Looking at this recent video the cars in replay still seem to transition from turning to straight very quickly.

There prehaps not as natural looking as those in iRacing/GSC/AC or even GT5/Forza but the cams are still wrong and have not been tweaked by SMS at all yet.

Its still about a year away, but at the same point, Kunos released vids of the new 500 Arbath which looked very smooth (and was used as an example on the pCARS forum). Theres still loads of changes to come so i wouldn't worry just yet.

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Some notes from Ben

My test focused on the machines that have seen most of the development of late, including: Renault 98T, GT3 cars including Mclaren, BMW, Mercedes, Zonda R and a dabble in the McLaren MP4 road car plus the Lotus 78.

I’ll look at them individually and then open some broader suggestion on the steering wheel feedback, braking characteristics and some other dynamics!

98T

The old girl is back. X

The 98T has gone through some revolutions but I’m delighted to see that the old charm has returned along with some seriously cool upgrades.

Default Tyre

The Positive Notes

Turn in is pointy, sharp, and generally mega. It makes the car feel lively and you have the ability to put the car wherever you want – that sense of complete control is a winner.

On power – the transition from mid corner understeer to oversteer is progressive and you soon forget the challenge the dev team faced in creating this feature. You can really drive the car through a corner and gradually feel the rear breaking away – it’s superb.

The Negative Notes

When the car slides laterally it goes on for too long, especially if the car goes into a tank slapper and the weight switches across the rear axle, making it difficult to recover. In my view this still suggests that we need more grip when the car is sliding and more sense of the speed scrubbing off as a result of the slide – that reduction in speed from the scrub adds to the sense (and the reality) of recovering grip and I feel we are too light still.

On the default tyre I feel the 98T is too unstable still when you combine braking and steering, for example under high speed braking into the Tamburello Esses @ Imola (yep I still haven’t left my Imola testing base camp!)

The car feels too lazy and sloppy on the default tyre – almost like an overheated wet tyre rolling on the block, the car rolls around and doesn’t feel tight enough. The oversteer as a result feels too cumbersome – it should be shorter sharp shocks of controllable oversteer.

Steering – it feels a bit dead and I think this is a general theme that we should really pursue. Is it possible to have the wheel get heavier when the car is gripping and go light when it’s sliding?

80’s F1 Slick

An instant sense of improvement on the negatives I set out above.

Positives

The car feels tighter and the oversteer feels more aggressive, the car feels more responsive and there’s less sense of rolling around.

Transition from u/steer to o/steer is epic! More please, and if we could combine it with more steering feel it would be truly erotic.

Negatives

Oddly enough I missed some of the pointiness from the steering that I had felt in the default tyre. The turn in is superb with the 80’s slick but it did lose something in the aggression and predictability of the turn in by comparison to the default.. Could we have the best of both?

On cold tyres I noticed that this tyre wouldn’t let me combine braking and steering very well (it would spin) but this characteristic phased out as the tyres warmed up. QED – does that mean that low grip in the Sim causes the brake & steer spin problem? I thought that was interesting.

Once I got used to it – I felt the car should feel tighter, stiffer and more aggressive in terms of snappy slides. It’s much better than the default (less lazy) but I feel we should go a lot further with this.

Set up Conclusions

I ended up running zero brake mapping and with too much front brake for my inner preferences, but it was more predictable as a result. I would ideally crank in some more rear brake to bring back some liveliness to the rear axle but owing to something I discovered in the BMW GT3 I am avoiding too much rear brake for now.

I stiffened the springs and the car reacted very well to this, which was interesting. It followed its line through the corner better and was slightly more reactive to throttle. However, the spring changes did not improve the rolling sensation.

Grip Test Tyre

It felt like it had more rear grip at first.. I may have confused this though with the feel that front grip was actually reduced.

So the Grip Tyre had more u/steer everywhere and when the rear did break traction it wasn’t progressive.

The imbalance from reduced front grip proved too much for my meager skills and my avatar died horribly. There was less braking / stopping power and I saw more sand in the gravel traps than during a weekend in Blackpool.

In short I didn’t like it but it helps point the way forward!

• Final notes – no idea what button I pressed but all of a sudden I was required to use the clutch to leave the pit lane! Feels very realistic and the bite point etc is really well constructed.
• Not enough engine note change when a rear tyre is locked or rears spin up
• Need More tyre sound & feedback

Mclaren MP4

I jumped in this by mistake and from my first impression I would assume this car hasn’t been worked on yet. However I did want to say the engine note and the graphics are superb!

Zonda R

Initial impressions

1. positive because of the steering which felt more elastic and lifelike.
2. When the rear tankslaps it seemed to have a realistic change in speed / rate at which it twitched. Hard to explain but the rate of slide varied and I felt I had some control
3. There’s a good sense of understeer, it feels natural and for reason you can really gauge it but honestly I’m not sure why I felt that in the Zonda.
4. When the traction breaks the transition from u/steer is very good / controllable. This is especially good in slow corners.
5. Graphics are amazing

Negatives

1. didn’t feel that I could lock the tyres under heavy braking – not enough bite basically.
2. The power feels a tiny bit tame.? Maybe would benefit from some more grunt in the mid range to liven things up on corner exit

GT3 Range

I get the impression Casey has spent a lot of time here and there’s a major pay off.

McLaren GT3

Sounds amazing!

Positives

The transition from u/steer to o/steer is beautiful on the way out of slow corners.

The sense of reality is superb especially when braking into corners and you feel the car respond, though occasionally I felt the car was a bit too unstable doing this.

I noticed that when the car had some wheelspin in a medium speed corner that the o/steer died out of its own accord – this was very realistic and I didn’t lift off the power. It was as if the scrub naturally killed off the o/steer.

Negatives

Too much high speed understeer – especially entering Piratella and the high speed right towards Acque Minerali. The front end washes out immediately and the real car just wouldn’t do this, it has far more initial turn and a graduated progression into u/steer from a high level of grip.

I felt the car needed more braking bite and was unable to lock a tyre under braking.

Tyres

I tried the hard tyres and felt there was less grip and it was less satisfying to drive, although I was able to lock the tyres in this config. I moved to the soft tyre and with the McLaren felt that the balance was largely the same (which I contradict later) because the front end was still the limiting factor for me in the higher speed corners and I felt the braking potential was limited.

GT3 Rain / Greenflash Tyre

I know nothing about this tyre but am assuming that it’s what it says on the tin: a rain tyre!

Braking: heavily reduced braking grip.
Turn in: much reduced turn in grip

In theory the above statements should be correct for a rain tyre, but they felt a bit artificial without the addition of any straightline wheelspin.

Traction & steering weight are the two main barometers by which to measure the available track grip and in the wet they are essential, as well as all the sights and sounds from puddles, rain and spray to give you an insight to the standing water levels.

I suppose this is why I felt disconnected because the steering feedback is light all the time and the traction didn’t match the reduced grip under braking & turn in.

Laterally, the rear end was quite loose but also quite unpredictable and difficult to control. In reality there would probably be more initial understeer when you accelerate out of a corner and again the level of this would register in the driver a sense of available grip – if you keep pushing the throttle in spite of the fronts skidding on the wet tarmac then you will move towards a nasty rear skid.

We don’t currently have that initial u/steer, steering feel, or the reduced straightline traction – but we have a good start!

Would love to discuss this with you Casey because I realise its probably one of your toughest missions.

Mercedes SLS GT3

Default

Impressions: feels grounded and responsive like the MP4. Not enough steering feel and has a similar tendency for high speed u/steer and lack of turn / in power. Felt slightly weaker under braking

Traction: the steering from the rear sensation felt realistic as in the real thing you’re practically sitting over the rear wheels. Somehow this translates well into the Sim!

However, if you get into a tank slapper where the slide switches direction the Merc handles this quite badly and it spins. There’s just not enough grip in that scenario.

I really noticed that the Merc had the brake and steer instability issue. So it spun easily on a downchange into the hairpin and when braking into the esses (@ Imola!)

Soft tyre (brake mapping to zero)

This livened up the handling for the Merc quite a bit in general. The brake & steer issue persisted but the soft tyre generally suited the car well and balanced out the front end of the car, providing more control over where you placed it.

BMW Z4 GT3

This car is bloody fantastic in every department!
Default Tyre

Graphics – it feels like you could touch the interior it’s so detailed. It may be shallow saying this but it really sells you into the sense of actually being in that car. Then the handling backs it up!

I’ve focused a lot on the way PCARS machines handle in the most challenging situation, which is braking from high speed into a tightening corner and then making another hard turn, and over a sequence of bumps. This is noticeable at Imola in the fast right hander after Piratella.

The BMW absolutely nails it. The front end is predictable at high speed, so you can select a line and stick with it, then when you climb onto the brakes the creep to the outside of the curve is reasonable and predictable. Then you take the plunge into the second right-hander up the hill. In real life this corner is all hands on deck – it’s fast, bumpy and you’re asking everything of the tyres and suspension to cope with the bangs and bruises as you hammer kerbs whilst late braking and turning. I’m well impressed with what the BMW delivers here and it stands out on a higher level amongst not just the other GT3 cars, but as the best car in our range!

Power – fantastic. The power delivery and transition from u/s to o/steer is sublime. Brilliant control.

This is also greatly helped by the ENGINE NOTE – which goes silent when you lock the rears under braking and cries out when you get wheelspin. This is an essential ingredient, and the go kart desperately needs this 24 carat gold quality.

There is some understeer in the high speed corners but it’s predictable and more on this below re tyre choice.

When you make a car this good it makes people like me greedy because it’s getting close to perfection. So my additional notes for the BMW only apply to this machine because it’s on another level from the others currently.

1. On power – perhaps we need a hint more power, or a fraction less traction to liven up the corner exits at low speed and a bit more spice out of medium speed corner exits.
2. A little bit more turn-in power would be good. Don’t want to upset the balance, but some of the crazy turn-in of the 98T on default would be good because it feels very natural and free.
3. More aggressive response over bumps as you apply power, shorter sharp snaps of oversteer. If we can build some of that in then we have this nailed.
4. More feedback required in the steering wheel – heavier as it grips, lighter as it slips

This platform is fundamentally awesome – we are on the path to victory.

Negatives

1. Not against the car – but for some reason in its environment I noticed that the grass is like driving on ice.

Soft tyre (brake map to zero)

My favourite moment with the Z4 is the first lap on cold / soft tyres. The feedback is more alive and the car jumps around a fraction more, the way I want it to all the time.

I prefer the soft tyre on the Z4.

Braking: As I started to really push the Z4 I found it coming a little unstuck at the rear under braking into the Tamburello esses. I corrected this by moving the brake bias forward to 66% but then felt the car was less alive under braking elsewhere.

Fundamentally it seems that the sim is not currently differentiating between braking at high speed, and braking at low speed. We should be able to cope with more rear brake bias without losing stability under braking into fast corners, because when the downforce is high and really working it keeps the rear in check – but when the braking force is heavier and braking into a slower corner you would expect to get some instability at the rear.

Currently we are having to use quite a lot of front brake to alleviate the nature of the sim. Many builds ago I recall the 98T was really lively at the rear under braking down to low speed, but equally it was supported at higher speeds.

Summary

For me the big themes that will bring the Sim into reality are:

1. Steering sensation – heavy in grip, lightening in slip
2. Braking dynamics – more rear stability at high speed, and generally when braking and steering
3. Sound – the engine notes of the BMW should set the bar for all our cars. Silence when you lock the rears, screams when you wheelspin
4. Lateral grip vs straightline – more diferrentiation between the two when the car slides – this will improve our wet tyre. We still need more lateral grip in the slide, some models more than others.
5. Aggression in the slides. Need to feel more stiffness in the suspension, more movement, more signals that the car is on the limit before it breaks traction.
6. More turn in sharpness at times.
7. More braking bite – I feel we have gone softer on braking bite and would like to have the ability to lose tooth fillings when I hit the pedal too hard with the settings at 100% brake pressure and zero mapping, then to dial it back accordingly.
Like I said I’m a very greedy customer! So whilst I’m at it, please could everyone vote for the Macau Guia circuit to be added to the Sim, then we will have every top track in the world.

And Nic...

So this post is going to be based on Build 626+ and will cover AJ’s new F3 Slick Tyres from last week using the Formula C. As you will all see in my above posts, I previously covered the Palmer Jaguar using the same tyres.

Formula C

General Balance

So from past experience with this car, I have always struggled with the rear, I find it very unpredictable on entry and mostly when on power at the exit of a corner. The unpredictability of the rear on this car; makes it feel the most unrealistic ‘open-wheel’ car that we have at the moment. I feel that this issue is not tyre related, but related towards the mechanical balance. I see one main characteristic that I feel is causing the unpredictability issues, that characteristic being over rotation.

The rotation of this car occurs in two parts of the cornering process, which is initial entry and end of mid-corner to exit. On entry, the rotation is very instant and snappy, which in some cases is great as it helps minimise the understeer and points the front into the apex early. Most of the time the rotation is instant and snappy, but allows the car to over rotate instantly also, which causes snap oversteer and the feeling that the rear is ‘floating’ and not sitting/‘squatting’ down. If you counter-act the over rotation on entry, then the mid corner stability of the rear is good, which is why I do not see this as an aero issue or a tyre issue, it is almost like the rear is too stiff regardless of how much you try and soften it.

The stiffness of the rear is also what affects the car in mid-corner to exit, as if you are on power on exit with a little bit of steering lock, the rear keeps wanting to rotate even if the steering lock is minimal. As I said previously, I do not see this as a tyre or aero issue, I feel that we just need to get the rear to squat more, which will make the car feel a lot more realistic as at the moment, the unpredictability and over rotation of the rear makes you feel like you are ‘treading on egg shells’ every time you turn in.

Tyre Testing

Circuit: Derby Park National
Mode: Free Practice

So as I did previously with these tyres on the Palmer Jaguar, I did my tyre testing at Derby Park National to maintain consistency with my feedback.

As you will see with my previous post asking a question to AJ, I feel that we now need to start making 2 different variations of the F3 Slick tyre to suit both cars, not only balance wise, but also how the tyres come up to temperature. With the FC, as the aero produces more load on the tyres in general compared to the Palmer Jaguar, the tyres would start to come in within ½ to ¾ of a lap depending on track conditions and temperatures, but would be at optimum by 1.5 laps.

With the PJ, at the moment it takes around 4 laps to properly get to optimum, which is not bad at all, but the progression in grip level for both cars may need to be increased. What I mean by this is that the first two corners out of the pit-lane are like you are on ice, which is correct and is how you would expect, but the ice feeling is still present for the rest of the out-lap, with no progression in grip level until the second lap. All I would like to feel is just a little more bite/ grip all round after the first sector of the lap to get the feeling of the tyres starting to come in but still being cold. The grip level progression should then keep increasing a tiny bit corner by corner, with the end of lap 2 being where you can start to push resulting in the tyres being at optimum by lap 3.

All of the above of course depends on track and air temperatures but I can go into more detail on the temperature area when we are ready.

F3 Sick - A

Ok so in fairness to AJ, he has done everything I asked for in this tyre after I gave my feedback from the R3 tyre a couple of months back. There is less traction in the middle of the tyre making throttle application very important with less lateral stability when the outside of the tyre is used. This to me improved the Palmer Jaguar in the cold tyre phase as it loosened it up a bit for the first lap or so. In the FC’s case, it has not so much hurt or ruined the car, but I feel that the lack of traction in the middle of the tyre is a little too low for the first full lap. Out of the pit-lane, the traction is as you would expect (low for the first couple of corners) but as I said earlier in this post, there does not seem to be any grip increase during the first lap with still low traction and wheel spinning in 2nd gear to no improvement in lateral stability through a corner.

By the start of lap 2 there is an increase in grip level with traction improvement as well as an improvement to initial front bite on entry and mid corner. When this tyre gets to optimum, the traction is at an OK level when the tyre is put under lateral load on power, but there is a lot of movement, which makes the rear even more unpredictable and adds to the over rotation issue making it worse.

In addition to grip increase levels and grip progression as the tyre heats up, I have noticed that ‘lighting up’ the rear tyres (not literally setting them on fire tongue.png) but spinning them up, does not build the temperature of the tyre up enough to what it should, as even after doing ‘burnouts’ to try and get the temperature up, the temperature decreases/returns to the same level afterwards (sometimes increases, but only by 3 degrees.) This then means that when you come to accelerate again either in a straight line or out of a corner, there is no improvement in traction. In real life, just spinning the rear wheels up once or twice makes a difference to the traction, with throwing the front tyres into shock (stabbing/throwing the wheel into half lock) creates heat and improves initial bite straight away.

Basically what I am trying to say is that we need, wheel spins and front tyre ‘shocking’ to increase bite straight away (only slightly) but at the moment, with the heating model as it is, you can only get heat into the tyres by driving fast, which completely cancels out the whole tyre preparation process before you can push on them.

Overall, this tyre I feel is too loose and too unstable for this car which does not help the over rotation issue, it is not a bad tyre completely because there is good front bite and not too much understeer and works well on the PJ, but with mechanical balance being off on this car, the tyre does not help.

F3 Slick - B

This tyre I feel is more suited to this car than tyre A, there is a lot more overall grip on the out lap and during the cold tyre phase, which is what I would expect. The main difference on the out lap I can feel is the front tyre, which has a lot more bite and stability mid corner but with still some understeer to let you know that the tyre is still cold. What I think is really good and in some ways answers my feedback from earlier under tyre A, is that as the tyre has more overall grip on the out lap, it allows you to push quite early, to the point where you are starting to push after the Old Hairpin, which I feel is pretty good and how it should be depending on conditions.

As I have said that it has more overall grip than tyre A, I do think it is the same in other areas of the tyre. There is more traction/grip in the middle of the tyre when you get on power, which is good, but with the same level of lateral stability when the car is on power and using the outside of the tyre. This I feel helps the ‘over rotation’ issue in one area and affects it or makes it worse in another area. With more grip on the rear when the middle of the tyre is used and more grip on the front, the car feels more stable on initial turn in and early entry, but loses traction and lateral stability as power is applied from mid-corner to exit. Once the car is straight and power is applied, traction is at a good level.

The easiest way to explain this is a feeling of ‘drop-off’ where the car feels stable when the middle of the tyre is under load, but as soon as lateral load is increased passed the middle part of the tyre, the grip level drops off to give power oversteer and instability. Do not get me wrong, the positive of this compared to previous tyre behaviour in earlier builds is that even when the grip level drops, the slide and movement is still controllable. If this was the case a couple of months back, I would be saying WOW, big improvement, but because we have made massive leaps forward since then to now, it is almost that I am not surprised with the improvement and want to make it even more realistic. smile.png

Overall, this tyre I feel is much more suited to this car then tyre A, purely due to the improvement in overall balance which I feel is more towards how the car should feel.

F3 Slick – C

Ok so I find this tyre very interesting, at first glance I would say this tyre is the worse out of all 3 with regards to performance and behaviour, but I also feel that this tyre has an interesting foundation that if developed could be very good. This tyre for sure has the least amount of grip than all 3 tyre compounds. It has less grip all round with a lot more initial understeer and less traction both in the centre and the outside of the tyre. This tyre has very little grip as I have said, but what caught my attention was how the lack of grip from the front tyres in the first lap or so helped with the over rotation issue I have been having. This meant that on the first lap, on turn in, the rear felt a lot more natural and stable, but as the tyres started to heat and grip up, this then brought back the over rotation issue to the point of over rotating at high speed. I would say that the lack of rear grip overall with this tyre is way too low for this car, but the lack of front grip on the out lap really helped with the over rotation issue and this is way I feel that there is a good foundation to work from with this tyre.

Overall, I think the first characteristic to sort is the rotation, as this is what is letting the whole balance of the car down by making it touchy and twitchy. All 3 tyres are at a very good level as they are all still able to cope with a car that is trying to rotate everywhere. I personally would like to sort this issue out and then do another A/B/C tyre test because I really do not think it is the tyres that are causing the issue.

If I were to summarise with how the car feels now, I would have to say tyre B is the closest in terms of realistic feel, but C is the most affective in helping with the rotation issue in the first lap or so. Grip progression level and change in the feeling of grip is what I would like to see as I explained under tyre A, with temperatures rising as you go through the car preparation process before you push. At the moment, car preparation counts for nothing as the grip level stays the same until you drive fast for a couple of laps.

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Well he we are back with another trailer video (with a new more "mature" logo - i presume in a move to distinguish maturity, obv).

Be aware the trailers and photos are done on incredibly powerful PCs although are done totally in game (the game can be played at 8K Ultra HD and has in-game real time cam effects such as vignetting, FOV/Bokeh occurence) - but actually in a race with 40+ cars will hit framerates massively - you'll note few post mass car races although i do.

I'm still not sure what the final car count will be on the consoles.

Some words from Ben and Nic on the Feb release builds and cars listed atop quote. I'm posting these to highlight the depth and intricacies required when making such a game by what i feel is a very dedicated and passionate team. I like to liken these to a WIP akin to what the One mag used to print.

From ben..

FA, FC, Z4 GT3, RWD P30 LMP, Caterham R500


Casey Notes:
Actually, the Asano LM11 and RWD P30 LMP cars have the update too, and the carbon-carbon heating model is pretty good for them. Might be worth testing them against your experience there at the same time, Ben.

Andrew Weber: The FC has two new tires for you now, r6&r7. They are identical to each other except for how they do their heating. However, since heating in our model is critical to feel and behavior, not just overall grip level, they feel different. They also manage different, in that how you can heat them, and back off and cool them, is a little different.



TGI Friday.

I’ve completed some testing, survived some intensive care with a few of the more experimental tyre compounds and I hope to provide some useful gut feeling on where we are vs real life racing.

LMP

Having raced LMP (in P1 and P2) on and off for ten years this is a category I hold close to my heart and have been waiting for the PCARS Sim to live up to the glory I know that it can achieve. I’m delighted to report that the recent changes feel, to me, like the move from analog to digital, the car is awesome.

Audio – the new engine note is much, much better than the lazier drone of the early model and I know that sounds a little like judging a book by the cover but I don’t care because I rely on engine note to drive. Don’t be fooled – The Stig never listens to music, other than the piston variety.. boom boom, tish.

Vision – I much prefer the cockpit view and can now see where I’m going. Laugh all you like at my caveman observations of the past, but I did finally work out how to move the POV! This view is much, much better and it feels like home whereas previously I felt the cockpit was in the way and the POV was somehow shrunk to fit. There’s more depth and more feel – a bit like the contrast between the good view of the Formula A vs the lesser view of the Formula B.

Engine – the power band feels like it’s longer, I might be imagining that but I prefer having a longer power band to work with, so it’s a thumbs up.

General handling – I find it crisp, responsive and easily controllable.

Traction – I’m happiest about the controllable power, which is an improvement and the car is usable in the drift at low and medium speed.

Negatives:

Braking – even with 100% brake pressure I can’t lock the tyres, so something must be amiss? Braking grip is about right in terms of stopping distance, but obviously we need to be able to overcook it.

Turn in – I would like more turn-in power. The Formula C is a good comparison on this (see below) where the dev team have achieved a high end of turn in power, such that you can lose control. I would like to have that opportunity in the LMP.

I tried max front wing and dialed back the rear wing and played with some stiffness settings but no dice.

Other notes: the car spins the inside wheel over apex kerbs – this would not happen in real life at these speeds and it would be good to try and rectify if possible. In reality the kerb should hook the car around the corner and assist rotation, moving to oversteer in a neutral car depending on the corner etc. At times the kerbs really upset the car

The car has too much power understeer – this is a trend I note below on the FC also.

Formula C

My thoughts on the FC are rooted in my experience of Formula Renault and Formula Vauxhall which I believe are close to this little beauty. Very proud of the handling on the FC, the dev team are doing some great work here.

I believe I figured out the discrepancy between my feedback and Nic’s as far as turn in goes, with me calling for turn in and Nic reporting instability on t/in. I think its to do with the issue of braking and turning into the corner at the same time. The FC does turn in better than most, but I would still like more turning power when I want it – on turn in and continuing from mid corner. The reason the FC feels unstable as Nic has observed (I think – tell me different if I misread this Nic!) is because it loses rear stability under trail braking, or even engine braking, and the rear steps out on turn in: QED it feels like the car is rotating too much when you steer. But I believe it’s a braking problem, one that we fixed on the Formula A.

I should point out that I was unable to cycle through the FC tyres in the ‘Time Trial’ mode, only in practise mode. In fact I just re-visited this and found that I was unable to save the selected tyre at all this time round so something weird is up here.

On the other cars I was able to do this and the tyres loaded at operating temps straight away. Per the original notes I made here’s the best that I can manage.

Default tyre (which the settings on my system keep crashing back to)

In time trial mode, on hot tyres – the car feels excellent. The only issue I have with it is that you cannot combine braking & steering or else the car spins and I know we can address that given the handling of the FA.

Handling: once you drive around the brake & steer issue, the car enters high speed corners quite well, and really does well into medium speed corners. I drove at Brands GP & Imola and the bumps and drops are very realistic in the FC.

The car then develops understeer especially at high speed at corners like Paddock, which is a little frustrating. It would be great to get more of a balance on the throttle and keep the car on a knife edge all the way through the turn.

It does do this at Graham Hill Bend but I get the feeling there is something in the Sim registering u/steer on the FC and the LMP at times when we could do without it.

On COLD TYRES.. the car is all over the place. The Formula Renault takes a while to build it’s optimum heat profile for a lap time, I think it takes about 3 or 4 laps, but you are fully on it by the end of the first lap. In F3 you would be up to temp and fully lit by the end of the out lap, certainly by the second pass of the pits. On the FC the car has very low grip and it takes too long to build temps and build grip. Even at stone cold temperatures you would have more than the Sim is giving us and I spent a lot of time in the gravel.

I think we are overstating the cold tyres effect and personally I would prefer to be up to speed much faster. I don’t know what the rest of you feel.


Previous notes - I don’t fully trust them anymore because I can’t replicate them in the settings menu, but here goes:


R4.. the car had big understeer, low braking grip, low traction and was like driving on ice on cold tyres - it liked to flip onto its roof when i understeered out of corners like Graham Hill

R5 – ice rink

R6 – this felt like a good wet lap. It was drivable in a straight line (certainly by comparison to R5) but had very little grip in the corners. For wet weather driving this is accurate because it should be pretty stable on the straights but with reduced cornering ability – however you did this is worth noting because we want to avoid a total reduction in ALL grip for the wet. Cornering should suffer the most, but longitudinal grip and braking is less affected.

R7 – fun! An even better wet lap. Less traction but it was user friendly and if you enter the corner too fast you spin which is just how it should be. This is how it feels to drive a wet lap in one of these.

Formula A

I love driving this..

Default tyre.

My heart sank when I drove the default. The turn in was poor, it lacked feel, it u/steered in mid corner, the braking grip was gone and the front tyres felt wooden. Fortunately faith was restored shortly afterwards by..

FA tyre

This tyre is almost perfect. The car has tons of feel in the braking area, crisp turn in, no brake & steer instability and it has a phenomenal level of feedback through the steering.

The traction out of low speed corners is improved also. I had kind of accepted that the Sim might not be able to support a gradual drive, and gradual slip into oversteer on corner exit – but on the FA tyre I’m not so sure anymore because I’m starting to drive it normally now. From my perspective that is the final piece of gold we could strive for, just matching that transition on the throttle as the car sets into yaw with the vicious snap.

(previously I described the ideal as the rear tyres twitching into shorter sharper shocks, and I think the FA tyre is a step closer to that)

I would still like more TURN IN power, the ability to make the car slide on turn in if I want it to by shoving the steering hard.

R0 tyre. Unstable with no braking grip or traction, worse than default.

R1 bad u/steer and vicious snap o/steer

R2 no grip

R3 insane low grip but midly more predictable because it seemed to have more FFB for some reason. A note on FFB, it still works back to front by going from light to heavy when the car slides but I still find it a useful guide.

R4 – quite positive but it has reduced front braking grip and less traction. That said it's really cool to drive because you have to train your braking foot and the understeer teaches you to be smooth. It gives a great comparison to my favourite, that clearly being the FA, which has superb brakes , awesome brake release and you can just drive the hell out of it.

I wasn’t sure how much energy was going into the other tyre compounds, for me it feels like the FA and the R4 are where it's at but i will spend more time on the others if they are relevant


BMW GT3

Slick Soft

I’ve commented previously on the superb nature of this car. The recent changes seem to be a step back on a couple of points:

1. you cannot combine brake and steer – both into high speed corners and at lower speeds or on change of direction. It used to do this beautifully so I don’t know what happened there
2. can’t lock the brakes

The traction / power application is excellent but without the natural corner entry it’s not driving the way it used to.

As before the Hard tyre has the same characteristics at a lower grip threshold which falls below what the real thing feels like. c



Caterham R500

The grip threshold feels too low and it generates wheelspin in the straights which it makes it quite a challenge!

The car is more controllable in the drift, BUT once sliding the snap back in the other direction as grip returns is powerful and extremely hard to control.

I find the nose wanders around a bit too much which in conjunction with the instability (grip wise) makes it hard to hold a steady course and get cosy in the corners.

Brand Hatch

Finally a note on the track – super job. Westfield feels a little tighter than I remember it, ahem, and I think we might feel the apex bumps at Clearways a little more but the rhythm is bang on. I was especially impressed with Surtees on the Indy circuit where the team have done a mega with the camber changes and the general layout.

Conclusion: it would be great to eliminate the brake & steer phenomenon from the Sim and i think we should discuss the cold tyres situation, as i feel this is being overplayed - it made the Formula C feel like an F3000 ! We have a little work on the kerbs but i noticed that the FA on the FA tyre hooked in on the kerbs quite well. And please can we be allowed to run wide on the track without being penalised? The track marshall is v v cross with me a43.gif

That aside - the LMP and the FA are just mega, and from those platforms i think we are close to nailing the final details.

Also from Nic.

Before I go on to comparing both tyres, I want to start by talking about the feeling of the chassis and how it is behaving, which I feel is affecting the overall balance. As you all know from previous builds and in the early stages of this car, we had issues with ‘Over-rotation’, which I felt was due to the rear being too stiff. Previously the issue in rotation occurred during the mid to exit phase of a corner, which made the rear snap causing a lot of instability and unpredictability. As both the R6 and R7 tyres are at a better level to where they produce better overall grip and the fact that AJ has already gone one step in softening the rear, this rotation issue is a lot more ‘tame’ and manageable with the tyres gripping up really well and making snap oversteer moments controllable. This all being said, I still feel that ‘over rotation’ is still present and is still a minor issue, but this time on entry to medium and high speed corners. If you read my last blog about the Ginetta G55 and how braking and applying steering lock affects the car’s balance in a big way by causing the rear rotate, well it gives you the same sort of feeling, but without trail braking and applying steering lock, (Without provoking it).

The over rotation I feel gives you an unrealistic change in balance as well as sometimes giving you inaccurate turning power to were the rear over rotates for you, giving you a more positive front end. As this happens, it takes away the factor of using the aero of the front wing, which is what makes single seaters in general corner better than any other type of car. Although the rotation on entry takes away some of the feeling of the areo, through high speed corners as well as mid-corner of medium speed corners, the feeling of the areo helping the car is present and feels very nice.

In a nutshell, I feel that the rear is still a little too stiff even with the car set to soft. My main aim/point is to minimise the ‘unprovoked rotation on entry to medium and slow speed corners and instead let the aerodynamics of the car work harder to give more of the feeling of the areo pulling you through the corner, which is present already.

F3 Slick – R6

This tyre I feel has brought improvements to its behaviour during the ‘cold tyre phase’ with minimal amounts of grip out of the pits, which require careful application from both the throttle and steering. This tyre compared to R5 in the past has less of a wild snap when cold but can snap if the wrong technique is used during the cold phase, which improves realism. In terms of grip progression, this tyre does have a minor increase in feeling throughout thought the first lap, but it is not until mid-way through lap 2 that the grip starts to really increase/change. Once the tyres have reached optimum temperature, I think the car feels the best it has ever had, with a lot more consistency to the tyre, which gives consistency to the overall balance from lap to lap.

The only characteristic I would improve at the moment is to increase the initial bite of the front tyres through slow and medium speed corners, as there seems to be a lot of laziness/understeer with a feeling of the tyre not biting on entry or holding on through the corner. To put it more simply, through hairpins, full lock needs to be used and even then it feels that the fronts just float and do not bite, taking the car forever to turn. The feeling through medium speed is a little different as there is some sort of initial entry bite, but with a lot of wash mid corner, again taking forever for the car to turn.

F3 Slick R7

So personally, I do not feel that there are any big changes in comparison to R6, only the fact that the tyres heat up a lot faster, giving you pretty much instant grip after the first coupe of corners. Performance wise, after the shortened ‘cold tyre phase’ has finished, the tyre feels the same as R6 with the same behaviour e.g. lazy front bite but good all round stability and traction, but the tyres do tend to go off quite quickly with a tendency to overheat after 2 – 3 flying laps.

The way I see both of these tyres is that, as one takes longer to heat up than the other, it almost simulates tack and air temperature with the hotter conditions allowing the tyres to come in faster, but drop off faster too. If I was going to pick a tyre based on the feeling of the cold tyre phase and the time it takes to come in etc. I would chose R6 as this has a more realistic timeframe and behaviour, but I would not count R7 out because we do need to add in the characteristic of tyres heating up faster and going off sooner in hot whether and vice versa.

All in all, this car is really starting to impress me, with more realistic tyre phases, to more realistic tyre and chassis behaviour, resulting in improvements to the overall balance and overall consistency. Front tyre bite and the over rotation issue is what I would look into improving for the future.

Ginetta G55 GT3

Ok so this car has a really nice general balance. From my experience with the G55, it is very sensitive to changes to the setup, which means that, when you change one minor setting e.g. stiffening the front anti-roll bar by one step, you can immediately feel the difference. The good thing about this car being so changeable is that you can adapt and play around with the car to suit you, e.g. setting the front to be more positive and pointy or the opposite to make it more lazy and forgiving.

This car is also very reactive to ‘trail’ braking (carrying the car in to the corner on the brakes), depending on how smooth you are determines whether the car will stay stable or not during the braking phase. The positive of ‘trail braking’ into the apex of the corner, means that you can brake as late as possible and still get the car stopped at the right point. The downside of ‘trail braking’ with the G55, is that if you are braking whilst applying steering lock, the rear rotates, causing oversteer and a loss of time. This characteristic is present in pretty much all cars, but personally for me, I feel that braking whilst steering lock is applied, affects the balance of this car more than others I have driven. I have my car set up to be quite lazy on the front and stable on the rear, but applying brakes with steering lock reverses the balance quite dramatically. Once you have found a consistent balance and feel confident with the car (IRL), you can start to use trail braking with steering lock applied to your advantage to get the car to turn if understeer is an issue.

As the car has some downforce, it means that corner speeds are a lot higher, so carrying speed into the heart of the corner and stopping it at the right point is crucial for the exit. The initial turn-in power of the car is a lot more aggressive than what I have driven in the past, but this does not unsettle the rear (depending on how you set the car up) the front is positive on initial entry, but then starts to push/understeer mid-corner, stopping the rear from rotating any more, this can all be changed in setup, but from how I have my car set, this is the general feeling.

This car in Pcars I think has a very good base foundation, it has some of the characteristics I have pointed out above, such as a positive front end on initial entry with mid corner understeer and good stability all round. What I have noticed is that, a lot of the cars instability is on power when the outside of the tyre is under load, this makes the car rotate pretty quickly with a lack of traction and reminds me of the same sort of issue I was having with the Formula C a while back.

From my experience with the G55, the initial throttle application is the most important part of the acceleration phase, with too much throttle too soon, spinning the rears up and unsettling the car, modulating the throttle in the first part of this phase is what is important to stop wheel spin and once this phase has finished and traction has been found, the car is stable on power even with minimal amounts of steering lock applied at the same time. This does not seem to be the case with this car so far in Pcars, as the first part of the acceleration phase is correct and gives you the correct feedback, but once you are full throttle and need to apply steering lock, the rear loses traction as soon as the outside part of the tyre is used. This is what I feel the main issue with this car is at the moment. Trail braking is good so far with this car and has the affect of balance change if you turn in on the brakes. All I would change at the moment is the tyres by giving them more outside grip on power under load, and less overall grip at the start of the cold tyre phase, as at the moment, they do take time to come up to optimum grip where you can get the best out of them, but from cold, there is still too much grip available. Lets start with adding outside tyre grip/stability on power and then see how the car feels from there.

Mclaren MP4 – 12C GT3

This car again has a very good general balance. I find it more forgiving than the G55 with more stability from the rear tyres when under load and under power. Compared to the G55, braking feels more accurate, as it gives you the ability to ‘stamp’ on the brakes before they start to lock up, where the G55 has a tendency to lock up instantly. In the wet, the G55 would be more accurate, but in the dry, the MP4-12C seems to have the upper hand in terms of braking feel. The main downfall of this car is the overall grip generated from the tyres. From cold, it seems that the front tyres are affected more and feel more realistic in this phase than the G55, but as the tyres start to heat up, there is not much gain in overall grip level, as the tyres still scrub a great amount and do not give you the feeling that you could push for a time on them.

In some respects, as I was using the Soft Compound, I would aspect the same sort of grip level to the BTM days when at optimum, but with instability and not a grip level that lets you get away with everything. What I am trying to say is that, the soft compound does not seem to bite much at all, initial turn-in has some bite, but the push and scrub mid corner is worse than the G55 and not something I would expect when the tyres are at optimum. What I am beginning to find is that due to the understeer and scrub of the tyres, more steering lock/ input is needed, which causes the fronts to scrub even more, causing them to overheat and resulting in them dropping off and feeling even worse.

As the understeer has caused overheating, I do not feel that we get the proper use of the ‘Optimum grip window’ where the tyres are at their best before they drop off. It is almost like we have ‘Cold phase’, where the tyres do not have much front bite and does not improve in grip level over the course of the lap, but produces more rear stability than they should. Optimum phase’, which feels the same as cold phase but with a little more initial entry bite and ‘tyre overheat and drop off phase’, which just makes matters even worse. What we need to feel is Cold phase, where the car is sliding around, horrible to drive at first, but starts to grip up throughout the first lap. ‘Optimum phase’, where the tyres are at their best with maximum grip and performance and ‘Drop off phase’ when the tyres are past their best, which could be caused by, pushing to early from cold, (when the tyres are not fully up to operating temperature), over use, or overheat.

These 3 phases are the basics in tyre feel and is something that needs to be focussed on for all cars. If we get this right, or to a good level, then the overall realism will be improved massively. I think the general balance is great with great feeling under braking etc. Focussing on the 3 tyre phases I think is the next step, as it is the tyres that are letting the car down at the moment.

Mercedes SLS GT3

Ok so this car is very similar to the other two cars above, again there is a very good general balance, which I do not think is an issue at all. The car is very responsive and very readable, meaning you can feel what the car is doing at all times and can react to its movements. The front is very positive on initial entry and feels that it holds the same positivity for a little longer than the other two cars by feeling like the front is planted for a longer period of time before the push/understeer comes in. In terms of rear stability, the car feels very similar to the G55 with most of the instability coming from the outside part of the tyre under load, under power issue, which needs to be improved like I have said previously above. To me, the default gear ratios feel way too long with no option to change/ improve them, this may be known and maybe caused by the fact that Casey uses the real gear ratios used in Real life, I am not sure what his thoughts are on this.

This car to me feels the most positive, most controllable and most responsive than the other two above, but with still improvements needed on the tyres that I feel will make a massive difference if we can get them closer to realism.

Overall, all 3 are great cars and as you can see, all of them just need fine tuning with one issue (the tyres) being the main component that is affecting all of them. The balance and improvement in brake feel has been a great step forward, maybe taking a look at the G55 could be an option to see if there is anything different that is causing a different behaviour characteristic during the braking phase, but other than that, a great job with great improvements.

I will post some vids of mine own to show some raw game play at expected resolutions (well 1080p) when i get time. They will be in the manor or races rather then trailers as i don't have the time and i'm not very good. They may have 70s retro porn music though.

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I'm really enjoying this as of late. I had about a year hiatus from when I last played it properly and it seems like they've really come a long way since.

Does multiplayer for Team Members (build 691 now I think?) actually work? I probably check it a couple of times a day and I haven't seen any servers yet.

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Yeah I remember playing it last time I gave it a whirl, had some desync issues but there were plenty of people online back then at least. I'm absolutely loving the Mustang Cobra at the moment, bloody hard to see out of it at times though.

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Video of 3 laps at Imola in FB - i must say i recorded this with NV Shadow so the video is stunning but YT ruins it.

Ensure you choose 1080p.

And TV cam of same event...

Play at same time for "DUEL EFFECT" (as i can't be arsed to do that in Vegas).

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Yea afraid so. Also - have you got Assetto Corsa?

Grab that on Steam instead. Thats amazing and at the moment drives slightly better then pCARS if you ask me (the wheel feedback is great and so more immersive).

They've got a weekly update thing too - Ferrari 312T is out Friday...

Don't forget Rfactor 2 either ;)

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Man I'd be tempted by rFactor 2 but it seems pretty pricey for a life-time membership, and I still don't really understand why they'd charge for online features though I admittedly haven't done much research. It'd be nice to have had a setup similar to the original rFactor. Same reason I don't race iRacing anymore, it's too expensive as a hobby for me for the small amount of time I can put in to it.

Assetto Corsa is extremely tempting. I love netKar Pro, it's one of my favorite sims in terms of realism so I expect pretty good things from them. It's shaping up to be a great game too from what I've seen. You think it's worth grabbing Dimahoo?

I've spent a bit more time with pCars over the last couple of days and although it has come a long way, there are still some pretty big problems, namely with the tyres constantly scrubbing and the strange low speed abnormalities that seem to happen with a lot of the cars. And I haven't tried it since it just got updated, but that Focus RS was dire! :lol:

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Without a doubt AC is worth it, yeah. It handles so well and if you liked NKPRo you'll be right at home. Now has AI events too and some great stuff lined up.

The current car line up is amazing but don't spoil yourself by jumping into the quick stuff first as the slower cars handle really well. Replays are near perfect and feature 2 cams sets per lap (like GT)

You know how in NK Pro - the cars just drove as you'd expect? you get all that, lovely FFB, AI, some nice tracks (not many but more to come), and a solid car list (your not bothered theres only 20 odd because you know and me both know the effort gone into making them drive).

Not to much vintage yet but that'll come. Spa, and RUF are due soon with the 312 (and AI improvements) due Friday.

I think AC will kinda spoil your pCARS enjoyment actually. It seems to run at a better fidelity which in turn gives better tactile feedback and it looks better in replays at times.

I'm not entirely sure if pCARS will improve here but AC seems...well just a bit smoother.

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