Q&A with Slightly Mad Studios: Ian Bell [Read OP]

  • Thread starter Kitten
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11,482
United States
United States
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We are delighted to welcome @IanBell to GTPlanet! Please give him a warm welcome! Ian Bell is the head of Slightly Mad Studios. If you want more information about Project Cars 2, Please check the General Project Cars 2 Thread, and you can look on the official website. Please keep the off-topic to the minimum, Moderators will keep quite an eye out on this thread, and will delete off-topic posts. Please keep the chit chat to a minimum, this will help Ian get to your question. But please, read the Q&A, so you don't ask the same question!


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Important:
Just a reminder to everyone, this thread is for questions and answers, only.

Please respect Ian's time and do not post wishlists or other general comments; we have several other threads just for that purpose here in our Project CARS 2 forum. Thanks, everyone. :cheers:
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Q&A:

7th, February 2017
Topic: Laser scanning, multiplayer and co-op career.
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8th, February 2017
Topic: Oval racing AI, Aussie tracks, track detail levels, optimization, touge and hillclimb, bigger offline experience, tracks carried over from PCars1, Septemberish release date, FFB, Suzuka, dedicated servers on console, steering wheel grinding bug, join in progress bug on multiplayer, invisible walls, AI improvements, reworked audio software, controller optimization, AMD GPU's, dedicated servers on pc, any car on any track, improved multiplayer coding, Porsche/Lambo/Ferrari confirmed, FFB presets, speed sensitivity on contollers, Portuguese track confirmed.
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9th, February 2017
Topics: UDP apps, pitstop animation, better crash physics, modding, tire wear, rip grip, Ian's most exciting feature, car modeling detail levels, improved physics model, Shift assets used, physics bugs (cars sticking together), drifting physics, track count.
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10th, February 2017
Topics: PSN pre-ordering, more official licenses, music, more variety offline, weather limitations, tire noise levels.
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11th, February 2017
Topics: Interlagos announced from fan request on GTP, Brazilian Portuguese in game confirmed, general improvements, driver swaps, DLC frequency and pricing.
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12th, February 2017
Topics: Sourcing laser scans
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13th, February 2017
Topics: Dealing with player feedback, most difficult track to scan, licensing Suzuka, visual damage limitations
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14th, February 2017
Topics: Wind physics, FOV and other cockpit adjustments.
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15th, February 2017
Topic: Vegetation seasonality, flashing headlights while overtaking, AI personality traits and sliders, developing AI rivals, lapped AI fighting for position, overall performance on console, more historic tracks, Formula A/B/C confirmed and more, most cars carried forward from PCars1, dirt/snow buildup on cars, fire, headlights, helicopters, stats, no changing cars while on track, 100% control of setting up cars/classes online, host dictates the rules.
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12th, March 2017
Topic: Not Available Yet
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13th, March 2017
Topic: Not Available Yet
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38,538
Australia
The Bronx
@TheKitten and if there were others to help with this thread. Fantastic work.👍

I'm looking forward to the many fine details of this game. In regards to AI behavior in multi-class racing offline. Will AI flash headlights and/or flick on headlights when overtaking slower traffic and/or when a human player is slower or blocking?
 

sgohsixthree

SRM High Lord Dictator & Emperor Supreme
Premium
3,371
United States
CA
smcinnis
Awesome thread @TheKitten , thanks for setting this up and streamlining the radness that appears to be pCars2.

With Live Track 3.0, how is the greenery affected.


Example... Sonoma is usually sorta brown and yellow, bit this time of year is lush and green. Granted the majority of the tracks will probably be green year round... what about those that are not. Will shrubbery be a factor in Live Track 3.0?

Thanks for your time. :cheers:
 

IanBell

Premium
716
The greenery turns all shades linked to the season you're racing in. So (for deciduous type trees) they'll go through the full range from bright green, to Autumn brown(ish) to snow covered in Winter. The grass and shrubs also follow the pattern.
 
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2,810
Australia
Tasmania, AU
stigsdaddy
Will there be separate sliders for AI pace and aggression? I only ask because the AI in Pcars 1 were far too aggressive at higher difficulties, and it led to very strange behaviour from them, like excessive swerving, corner cutting, and ramming the player off the racing line into corners.
 
38,538
Australia
The Bronx
They don't as yet but that's a cool idea.
As if the shreik of a Zonda race car, coming up from behind, isn't intimidating enough(while driving a GT4 car in multi-class) :scared:. A flashing of the lights helps with those closing speeds and clears a path. :)
 

IanBell

Premium
716
Will there be separate sliders for AI pace and aggression? I only ask because the AI in Pcars 1 were far too aggressive at higher difficulties, and it led to very strange behaviour from them, like excessive swerving, corner cutting, and ramming the player off the racing line into corners.

We've worked the AI full time for 2 years now. The main aim was to reduce the 'unfair' aggression, particularly at higher AI strengths. We want to reduce the amount of fiddling required by the player to get a great experience this time so we haven't committed to a slider as yet. We actually have 7 different AI personality traits we could place on sliders with a few days work max.
 
632
United Kingdom
W.Yorkshire
nebraska55
We've worked the AI full time for 2 years now. The main aim was to reduce the 'unfair' aggression, particularly at higher AI strengths. We want to reduce the amount of fiddling required by the player to get a great experience this time so we haven't committed to a slider as yet. We actually have 7 different AI personality traits we could place on sliders with a few days work max.

@IanBell im wondering about AI character traits & behaviour - in a full blown championship,i love developing a rival,a few drivers i know and how they drive - theres the aggressive drivers,the ones that do well in qualy and have poor pace in a race,the drivers who are bit wreckless,individual 'notorious' racing teams etc.

Has there been any work on that side of the AI? I noticed in Pcars1 there was SO many differing names in each championship,it was hard to develop any kind of rivalry with someone.
 

IanBell

Premium
716
@IanBell im wondering about AI character traits & behaviour - in a full blown championship,i love developing a rival,a few drivers i know and how they drive - theres the aggressive drivers,the ones that do well in qualy and have poor pace in a race,the drivers who are bit wreckless,individual 'notorious' racing teams etc.

Has there been any work on that side of the AI? I noticed in Pcars1 there was SO many differing names in each championship,it was hard to develop any kind of rivalry with someone.

We do apply varied personalities to them yes. I agree we have far too many names for you to be able to make a 'connection' and remember their traits but that's a consequence of us looking after our hard working 'beta' group.
 
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@TheKitten and if there were others to help with this thread. Fantastic work.👍

I'm looking forward to the many fine details of this game. In regards to AI behavior in multi-class racing offline. Will AI flash headlights and/or flick on headlights when overtaking slower traffic and/or when a human player is slower or blocking?

In addition to this: Has the AI been tweaked in offline multiclass racing to let the player (or other lapping AI) go through better? In PCars1 they seemed to always fight for position even when they are going to be lapped.
 

girabyt3

#PeruvianLivesMatter
Premium
2,120
Peru
Lima
girabyte3335
girabyte3335
Was expecting a Q&A only thread, since the other was about to blow up :lol::lol:

Have a couple more questions for you @IanBell! :D

1. I remembered a "you had one job" moment I had on Shift 2 a while back, when I was doing one of the time attack challenges with a stock Toyota Supra on a really hard and thin desert track (which I don't remember the name), the front right wheel came off out of the nowhere (strange glitch I guess), I mean, the car wasn't damaged at all until that! Obviously I was pissed with either the mechanic, or the game, but now this gave me a question. Will random damage be on PC2?? I mean, blown engines out of nowhere (like old decade, and in some cases, current F1s), tires blowing up randomly as well, or a wheel coming off?? The idea is to make races have a bit more drama, like IRL, since you don't know what would happen in a race, and when, just ask Toyota...

2. Will you still letting the PCARS community do some car liveries?? Some of them were really nice, more even, I'm still supporting my idea of an intern livery designing challenge where the winner gets inmortalized in the game, since you and @theOwl love being here, Mr. Bell ;), and remember one current car ended up in PC1 due to similar reasons :D

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5,006
North Korea
North Korea
A idea from 05XR8 in the general discussion thread: could lube and coolant spills from crashes form part of LiveTrack 3.0? Even after clean-up these patches would have different grip properties than naked tarmac, and your spotter could warn you about areas to avoid. Your tyres could also pick up the clay/oil/cement dust mix, affecting traction for a short while. Personally I think this would be a fantastic use of LT3.0 if SMS could pull it off.
 

IanBell

Premium
716
Was expecting a Q&A only thread, since the other was about to blow up :lol::lol:

Have a couple more questions for you @IanBell! :D

1. I remembered a "you had one job" moment I had on Shift 2 a while back, when I was doing one of the time attack challenges with a stock Toyota Supra on a really hard and thin desert track (which I don't remember the name), the front right wheel came off out of the nowhere (strange glitch I guess), I mean, the car wasn't damaged at all until that! Obviously I was pissed with either the mechanic, or the game, but now this gave me a question. Will random damage be on PC2?? I mean, blown engines out of nowhere (like old decade, and in some cases, current F1s), tires blowing up randomly as well, or a wheel coming off?? The idea is to make races have a bit more drama, like IRL, since you don't know what would happen in a race, and when, just ask Toyota...

2. Will you still letting the PCARS community do some car liveries?? Some of them were really nice, more even, I'm still supporting my idea of an intern livery designing challenge where the winner gets inmortalized in the game, since you and @theOwl love being here, Mr. Bell ;), and remember one current car ended up in PC1 due to similar reasons :D

project-cars-ruf-ctr3-gtplanet-2.jpg

I dream of 'having one job'.
 
5,006
North Korea
North Korea
@TheKitten

Great thread but FYI, some Q&As are currently repeated in the first post spoilers. :)

Also, some other SMS devs have contributed important answers in the general discussion thread (eg Bruno, The American) so perhaps those should also be included?
 
272
Germany
Germany
Some further questions on the AI, @IanBell:

1. The maximum AI strength in pCARS1 was rather weak and easy to beat, at least for me, especially if I went deeper into creating my own car setup. Will the maximum AI strength be raised for pCARS2?

2. Do the AI drivers use different setups depending on the track? So e.g. a low downforce setup for Monza and a high downforce setup for Barcelona?
 
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5,006
North Korea
North Korea
We've worked the AI full time for 2 years now. The main aim was to reduce the 'unfair' aggression, particularly at higher AI strengths. We want to reduce the amount of fiddling required by the player to get a great experience this time so we haven't committed to a slider as yet. We actually have 7 different AI personality traits we could place on sliders with a few days work max.

I personally like the option of sliders (with resettable defaults, naturally) for just about any variables in games like pCARS, and there must be many other players who feel the same. The 1-100% AI strength slider in pCARS was a superb addition when that was patched in for consoles, so being also able to control aggression (and other traits) in a similar way would be fantastic. This also goes for graphical tweaks and audio mixing, for example the ability to increase the exhaust note in the cockpit view, or at at the very least alter audio mapping so that the purer, throatier chase-cam audio could be used in cockpit mode.

I guess this level of user control carries some risk but it is very nice being able to tailor a game to personal preference.
 
32
Australia
Sydney
A very small but simple idea.

Is it possible to create multi key bindings for controller and wheels? With the limited number of buttons on a controller/wheel. If you could assign lets say Y + up/down(dpad) on a wheel this could set it as brake bias forward & rearward. While you could just press the up/down on the dpad on its own, and you could bind different actions to that eg headlights, wipers. effectively multiplying available keys to use on your controller.

Could this be possible? Cheers.
 
41
Belgium
Belgium
@IanBell :
1 Can you make it possible to change our online race name , I made my playstation account years ago , but want something more original. :-)
2 If i set up an online race , can you expand the option public/private to public/private/friends (and friends of friends).
so friends who start later can find the race instead of 1 person has to invite everyone everytime over and over.
3 I only started 6 months ago with project cars en bougt the goty edition , so al the stuff for a good price , but can you make a deal , so people who start the new game , pay a little bit more en can get the DLC's for "free"?
It is cheaper to buy the whole game again then buy all the stuff one by one.
4 Karting Genk and Mariembourg in Belgium would be nice :-)
Best game/simulator so far for me! keep up the good work!

wil you guys be @ the simexpo in september on the Nurburgring?
 
16
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
CookPasBabtridge
@IanBell

This might not go down well among some of the more hardcore sim racers but will there be a simplified car set up option for those of us without the time or knowledge to adjust so many settings?

Increasingly these days, I just haven't got the time available to put into my racing, so a quick setup option would be a welcome addition in my opinion.
 
2,883
United Kingdom
Near Reading, Uk
JohnSchoonsBeard
Hi Ian

I understand if this is something you'd rather answer in the WMD 2 forums (which I contribute to where I can). Is there any chance those of us WMD 2 members who only have PS4 and PS4 Pro (or Xb1) will have a chance to take part in testing before launch? Unfortunately I won't have a PC good enough for the next couple of years.
 
2,810
Australia
Tasmania, AU
stigsdaddy
We've worked the AI full time for 2 years now. The main aim was to reduce the 'unfair' aggression, particularly at higher AI strengths. We want to reduce the amount of fiddling required by the player to get a great experience this time so we haven't committed to a slider as yet. We actually have 7 different AI personality traits we could place on sliders with a few days work max.

If there's one thing the first Pcars taught me, it's that it's nice to have options. Trying to balance them well out of the box is great, but it would be perfect if we did have the option to alter their aggression independently of the difficulty level.
 
1,698
Poland
Gdynia
MroczMR
Unless a miracle happens we'll be running the same resolutions. Scorpio is a whole 'nother' kettle of fish though...

So the performance on console (PS4) is similar to the ProjectCars 1? It would be great to still have 30-50 car grids on bigger tracks like lemans.