rFactor

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Racing

About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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'rFactor' - Multiplayer Demo Patch Available NOW

by Judy on Jan. 12, 2005 @ 5:52 p.m. PST

Get the rFactor Multiplayer Test demo off Worthplaying (4mb)

About the Version 0.720 Update:

We wish to thank the Internet community who provided constructive feedback on the original MP Test version 0.650. Due to this feedback, a number of issues have been addressed or improved:

  • The original MP Test would not run on some machines due to some misconfigured security software. This problem should be eliminated.
  • The "headless" dedicated server previously required Direct3D and DirectInput. We believe this issue has been addressed but welcome feedback from users with different machine configurations.
  • There seemed to be an unusual amount of disconnects coupled with enormous lag. We have eliminated a large amount of unnecessary networking overhead and ask for feedback on whether the situation has been improved.
  • Matchmaking has been improved.
  • Visual warping has been reduced significantly.

We *highly* recommend creating a new player for version 0.720, because several important defaults have changed.

Note that we have defaulted the "Announce Game" parameter to off. If you would really like to host a game over the Internet, you should go to the Multiplayer settings and enable this parameter. If you just want a single-player experience, please turn the option off.

Please do not exceed your true connection type because it will ruin your experience and possibly others if you are the host. Currently our "Cable/DSL" setting assumes a 256-kbps upload connection, which is not the case for all Cable/DSL users. We highly recommend using the ISDN setting in this case. We plan to improve the connection options in the future, but please bear with us during this MP Test.

Finally, a few new things to play with that are not related to multiplayer:

- Camera spectator mode: Pressing the End key will switch you to the nearest trackside camera with mouse-look enabled. Unlike the past, you will remain at this camera even while vehicles disappear off into the distance. Pressing the End key again will switch you to other trackside cameras. Pressing other camera keys will return you to the previous camera behaviors.
- Rolling and formation/standing starts have been improved significantly.
- A temporary red box will be displayed for finding your grid location (for formation/standing starts) and pit location.
- Please remember that if you do not like the names above the cars, the default Tab key will turn them off.

The rest of this readme file is essentially the same as in version 0.650:


About the Game:

The rFactor public multiplayer test (MP Test) is intended to help us test rFactor thoroughly under real-world Internet conditions. It is not intended to represent final graphics, physics, sound, modding capabilities, or anything else. There are several outstanding known issues which will be listed later in this readme file.

There is one track and three cars available to the user. Modding is discouraged because formats may change. We have disabled everything EXCEPT multiplayer, so there is no single player, career, or replay modes. Night driving and any sort of weather has been disabled.

What needs to be tested in multiplayer? Everything - matchmaking, connecting, dedicated and non-dedicated servers, voting, AIs in multiplayer, performance with low bandwidth and/or high latency connections, in-car chat, etc. If you feel up to it, you can try tweaking your multiplayer.ini file and report which settings work best under what circumstances. The more precise the feedback, the better the multiplayer will eventually be.

Note: To run the dedicated server, you need to run the executable with a command-line option of "+dedicated". To do this, create a shortcut to the game executable "rFactor MP Test.exe" where you installed the game. We suggest that you re-name this shortcut "rFactor Dedicated Server.exe" for easy identification. Then edit the Properties of that shortcut and add "+dedicated" to the Target to read "rFactor Dedicated Server.exe" +dedicated


Features:

- Rules to simulate different types of racing: standing starts, formation laps, rolling starts, racing by time or laps or both, local or full-course yellows depending on the severity of the accident, etc.
- Time Of Day (TOD), with beautiful transitions from day to dusk to night to dawn. This feature is partially disabled in the MP Test.
- Head physics, cockpit vibrations, detailed bump modelling, and seat adjustments all give the user a better sense of speed and control.
- Multiplayer AI, dedicated server with advanced functionality, matchmaking, plug-in interface, and downloading cars/tracks/replays from server (disabled in MP test).
- Replay Fridge replay system allows AVI creation with effects defined through plug-ins. This feature is disabled in the MP Test.
- Brand new upgrade system which will used extensively in career mode and will allow modders to add some bling-bling to their creations.


Known Graphics Limitations:

- Shader source code is not exposed;
- DX9 render path disabled;
- Live cube mapping disabled;
- Night and wet driving disabled;
- Time-of-day limited to 8:00am to 5:00pm;
- Moving shadow receivers disabled;
- Object reflections disabled;


About the Cars:

The ZR is a rear-wheel drive sports car which will be fully upgradeable in the full game. In the public multiplayer test, however, the user is offered a choice of three levels of the ZR. In order of performance, they are referred to by the designations ZRA, ZRM, and ZRZ.

The ZRA is a stock vehicle with no downforce, forgiving tires, and limited tuning capabilities. It's a great vehicle to start off in, especially for less-experienced drivers or those who don't know an anti-roll bar from a candy bar. The ZRM is a step up from the ZRA and has several after-market parts that increase performance and allow most common garage tweaks. Finally, the challenging ZRZ is a fully tuneable racecar with significant downforce, lots of horsepower, big brakes and racing tires.

Please note that options that are grayed-out in the garage indicate that they are either not applicable to the given vehicle, or there is only one available choice.


Controls:

You should take care to set up your basic driving controls - steering, brakes, and throttle. It is also recommended that you review your Controller Rates, especially Speed Sensitive Steering. For the most realistic setting using a steering wheel, we recommended a Speed Sensitive Steering value near 0%. However, inexperienced users or those driving with the joystick or keyboard should try something in the range of 50-100%.

Similarly, you should review your Difficulty settings as these will affect your driving. Driving aids such as steering help and braking help cause the game to partially control your steering and braking input. They are only recommended for novice users who do not know the track layout. Other aids such as Traction Control, Stability Control, and Antilock Brakes won't guide you around the track, but may help prevent erratic inputs from destabilizing your vehicle.

There are many features of the game that you can access through the following default keyboard commands:

Insert - Switches between cockpit, roof, and nose cameras on the vehicle
Home - Switches between other onboard cameras
End - Switch to camera spectator mode, or move to next trackside camera
Page Up - Switches to swingman camera
Page Down - Switches to trackside cameras so you can view the race from a spectator's point of view

Number Pad 2 - Moves swingman camera closer to ground
Number Pad 4 - Swings the swingman camera around the car to the left
Number Pad 5 - Resets swingman camera
Number Pad 6 - Swings the swingman camera around the car to the right
Number Pad 7 - Moves swingman camera further from vehicle
Number Pad 8 - Moves swingman camera higher in air
Number Pad 9 - Moves swingman camera closer to vehicle
Number Pad Minus (-) - Changes camera to the vehicle in the next lower place
Number Pad Plus (+) - Changes camera to the vehicle in the next higher place
Number Pad Enter - Returns to your vehicle

F12 - Takes a screenshot and stores it in the root directory of rFactor as "GRABxxx.BMP"

1 - Vote Yes on a proposal in multiplayer (running on a dedicated server only)
2 - Vote No on a proposal in multiplayer (running on a dedicated server only)
3 - Get ping value to server
4 - Toggle your mirrors on and off (may help framerate)
5 - Toggle the HUD (Heads Up Display) statistics display
6 - Toggle the HUD tachometer display
7 - Toggle the HUD multi-purpose display
8 - Toggle TV overlays
Enter - Cycles through the information displayed on your dash or HUD

T - In car chat
B - Look behind you (does not work on all cameras)
V - Look left (does not work on all cameras)
N - Look right (does not work on all cameras)
Tab - Turn off vehicle labels

There are many other controls not listed here that you may find useful or cool. Please check the Controller Mappings page in the options for a full list of available controls.


Monitor:

The monitor is the display you see immediately after loading the track. There are many things to do here when you are not driving. We will describe the monitor as seen by a multiplayer client (what you will see after joining a multiplayer game):

In the upper-left portion of the screen, there is a scrollable list of drivers. Left-clicking your mouse on any driver will cause the camera to switch to that vehicle. Right-clicking your mouse on any driver will display the full list of laptimes for that driver, if available. Hitting the button in the upper-left corner of that list will expand the display to show the number of laps and time for each driver.

In the lower-left portion of the screen, you may chat with your fellow drivers. Type a message in the black bar at the bottom and it will be sent to your competitors. Hitting the button in the upper-left corner of the chat display will expand it for easier reading.

In the lower-left corner of the screen, there are three buttons. These buttons allow you to propose actions and vote on them when you are connected to a dedicated server (note that some multiplayer games may be on a non-dedicated server, where the person running that server has complete control over the actions). One example is when someone would like to move to the next session (from practice to qualifying, qualifying to warmup, or warmup to race). Hitting the middle button and calling a vote for the next session will give other clients the opportunity to vote yes or no. If a majority of clients vote yes, then the dedicated server will move the game to the next session.

In the lower-right portion of the screen, there are many options and information to explore. You can visit the garage, where you can tweak your car to perfection, or you can re-configure your controller settings. You can also review the server's settings, such as the rules and length of the race.

In the middle-right portion of the screen, you can see who you are currently viewing (and change it with the button if you like). You should also check the current session and how much time is left in it. At the beginning of the race, it will display the number of laps or length of time (or both) of the race. With that information you can make a quick adjustment in the garage for fuel before the race starts. Make sure to enter within 30 seconds or so, or the race will start without you and you will have to start from the pitlane (and wait until the pit exit goes green).

In the upper-right portion of the screen, you can watch others drive around. Clicking on the display allows you to use your normal camera keys (see above) to switch to different vehicles and cameras.


Known Issues:

- If you set up your options to run through the night, you will experience an instant switch from afternoon to morning at some point during the night. While the "time of day" may be midnight, we have intentionally disabled night effects so it will appear to be either afternoon or morning.
- The dedicated server uses a few settings from your player file without the option to change them as you set up the dedicated server. We intend to improve this process in the future to reduce confusion. For the time being, however, we suggest that you run the game normally first (without the "+dedicated" command-line option) and create a non-dedicated multiplayer game with your favorite settings.


In General:

- Always install a new build in a fresh directory
- Run rfConfig, have desktop and rez both be in 32-bit. Try fullscreen mode for speed.
- For internet games, select Internet as game type on Join page.

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