While development may have kicked off with Project CARS 2, Slightly Mad Studios remains focused in making its first WMD title – Project CARS – the best possible with ongoing support by way of updates and add-on content. With the recent unveiling of what is perhaps the biggest update yet, and less than one month after the last major update at that, Project CARS continues to grow.
Notable items include the previously mentioned enhanced weather system where all vehicles will be updated with new windscreen rain effects including dynamic rivulets, more realistic looking rain drops, and wiper blade trail effects. There’s also an all-new Multiplayer Spectate Mode which will allow players to spectate multiplayer events they are participating in, and the very welcomed addition of an improved HUD and tire telemetry data – compound, pressure, wear – all visible in real-time.
New & Enhanced Feature Summary
- [New] Friends Leaderboards; players can now toggle between viewing ‘ALL’ and ‘FRIENDS ONLY’ on the leaderboards screen.
- [New] Multiplayer Spectate Mode; players can now choose to ‘Retire to Pit Box’ during a race, and then spectate the ongoing race.
- [New] Xbox One – added an Online Browse feature whereby the player can browse for specific lobbies.
- [New] Force Feedback – implemented the ability via menu sliders for the user to manually tweak the menu spring strength, stationary / low speed spring strength, and overall steering gain.
- [New] The Force Feedback Calibration screen now features a multiple force feedback profile selection system whereby the user can select a base FFB style that suits personal preference, and then tweak it further as desired.
- Enhanced multiplayer vehicle grouping – online races now use real-world vehicle classes. This results in far better vehicle performance matching for online races.
- Enhanced Setup and Pit Strategy system – players are now provided with information regarding current and upcoming weather, remaining session duration, current track temperatures, and more.
- Enhanced HUD and Telemetry tyre info system – players can now see in real time which tyre compounds they are currently using, what each tyre’s pressure is, and how much each tyre is worn.
- Enhanced Cut Track detection system – the system used to detect cut tracks is now far more accurate and ‘fair’.
- Enhanced Replay system – players can now access Photo Mode from within a replay, and can switch between cars during a replay.
- Enhanced Weather system – all vehicles are updated with new window rain effects, featuring dynamic rivulets, much more realistic looking water drops, and wiper blade trail effects.
- DLC Career Contract support – the game now supports the addition of career contracts for new DLC vehicles so that players can use applicable cars in their core career series.
- Implemented support for Leaderboards reset across all platforms.
- Added support for Multiplayer Quick Random to also join in-progress sessions
- Fixed an issue with the browser getting stuck at ‘Looking for sessions’ (PS4).
- Fixed an issue where the Drive button would remain permanently locked when joining an in-progress session.
- Fixed an issue where, when the player progressed from qualifying to the start of the race, the player’s car would sometimes begin moving without player, resulting in false jump-starts.
- Fixed an issue where using the ‘Amateur’ skill filter would at times not show any lobbies.
- Fixed the case where changing the time of day from daytime to night-time in a lobby failed to switch the skill level from NOVICE to AMATEUR.
- Fixed an issue where restarting a Time Trial session would not remove the ‘best of session’ ghost from before the restart.
- Force Time Trial weather on consoles to always be set to Light Cloud to match PC settings.
- Ghost split and lap times are now displayed on timings/pause screen.
- Updated the in-game timings board to provide a visible distinction between the ghosts and the player’s entries: all ghosts now have status set to ‘Ghost’, and the Session best ghost has DRIVER text set to ‘Session Best’
Pitting, Tuning, Setups, Strategy
- Enhanced Setup and Pit Strategy system:
- Players are now provided with information regarding current and upcoming weather, remaining session duration, and current track temperatures.
- In Setup, players can choose to apply different compounds to the front and rear sets. In Pit Strategy, players can now choose to change tyres symmetrically instead of configuring each wheel individually.
- The Setup and Pit Strategy screens will now display an estimation of how many laps the player can expect to run with the current fuel load, and updates in real time as the player adjusts the fuel slider.
- Players can now define pit strategies with less fuel than the initial fuel load. During a race, the fuel slider indicator will turn red to warn players when the strategy offers insufficient fuel for the remainder of the race.
- Enhanced HUD and Telemetry tyre info system: Players can now see in real time which tyre compounds they are currently using, what each tyre’s pressure is, and how much each tyre is worn. Each individual wheel’s tyre graphic will fade out from top to bottom to indicate the level of wear. The tyre temperature display on the HUD now uses a smooth colour gradient fade to more accurately indicate temperature changes and match the display on the Telemetry screen.
- Reworked the naming of several tyre compounds to make the names more indicative of their purpose, and to ensure that front and rear compound names match when set to the same compound.
- Restrict pit strategy tyre compound types to only those available for the current vehicle.
- Accessing Pit Strategy in single player during non-race sessions no longer pauses the game.
- Tweaks to AI pit logic to ensure they pit in proper mandatory window in races that feature a mandatory pitstop.
- Ensure that the Default pitstop strategy is set to the Active one on each session start, to prevent issues with previously configured and now irrelevant strategies being active.
- Fixed an issue where a damaged headlights would not get repaired if the player had damage level set to ‘Visual Damage Only’.
- Fixed more cases where a vehicle’s default setup would not be correctly applied.
- Fixed an issue that at times caused a setup from one car to be applied to a different car.
- Fixed an issue where, if you customized a setup that was automatically loaded from your saved setups, and then drive and return to pits, the customized setup would be lost and your setup will be reset to the previously saved setup.
- Fixed an issue in online races where the pit crew would ignore any changes made to the pit strategy once the player’s car was stationary in the pit box.
Physics & AI
- Improved AI rain speed realism when using treaded tyres in the wet.
- Increase tyre wear for AI if driving wet tyres when track is drying or dry.
- Improved AI behaviour during crash recovery to further minimize the chances of AI cars getting stuck.
- Various tweaks and improvements to how AI responds to tyre wear in regards to pitting strategies.
- Fixed an issue where, if a player has steering assist on and fuel use set to real, when low on fuel, the steering assist will pull them into the pits as they go past
- Fixed an issue that would cause a car to leave the pits with no visible wheel attached after pitting to replace a lost wheel.
- Fixed the issue with cold and current tyre pressure mismatches in pitstop strategy, as well as cold pressure not being correctly applied in the tyre system.
- Fixed an issue with the player vehicle rolling backwards after entering pre-race tuning.
- Fixed an issue where AI drivers would remain stuck in their pit boxes when using accelerated time.
Cut Track / Off Track System
- Enhanced Cut Track detection system – the system used to detect cut tracks is now far more accurate and ‘fair’. Many tracks were reworked to address specific issues where the cut track detection was either too loose or too strict. Players will no longer receive warnings for driving off track in the grass and other surfaces when not actually gaining time by doing so. The new system provides for scalability in strictness across game modes, to match real life application. The rules enforcement gets progressively stricter from Free Practice to Race to Time Trial.
- Added Career Contracts for core career sport DLC cars:
- GT3: Bentley Continental GT3
- LMP1: Audi R18 e-tron quattro
- Career Invitationals – corrected Russian translation in two Invitational unlock descriptions.
- Fixed an issue with pre-DLC save games not unlocking DLC career content.
- Fixed tyre skid sound when car is sitting against a kerb at zero speed.
- Tweaked the dirt surface sounds.
- Fixed an issue where there would sometimes be missing race audio in a subsequent race if there’s an immediate quit at race start.
GUI, HUD, Telemetry
- GUI – sliders throughout the game interface now supports smaller increments and decrements when changing their associated values.
- Monitor/Spectate screen – the timings table now supports mouse clicks to change the driver that’s being observed. The screen now features the ability to view the selected driver’s info when playing online, by clicking on the new Gamercard button. Fixed several cases where the map would at times randomly freeze and/or be locked on the screen when telemetry overlay is displayed.
- When browsing Leaderboards, changing the car and track being browsed will no longer change the player’s currently selected car and track in the other game modes.
- Reworked the Replay/Spectate/Monitor interface to a more consistent design.
- Main game loading screens – fixed the Road America track logo that went missing, updated the Logitech logo to the new Logitech G logo, updated the Oculus logo to their new logo.
- Driver Network Profile – practice and qualifying sessions will no longer count towards races entered.
- Community Events – added a ‘DLC required’ indicator to events that require DLC content, added an event number indicator.
- Career post-race podium screen – fixed Lap times formatting to use the more logical MMSSTTT formatting (e.g. 01:20.457).
- HUD now reports correct split times to vehicles that are in the pits.
- Updated the Class logos used by Road cars to better differentiate the various road car classes.
- Fixed an issue with the Field of View slider not working.
- Fixed an issue where Cut Track warning messages appeared in the centre of the screen instead of to the side, out of the player’s line of sight.
- Replay Cameras – Azure Circuit – reworked the draw distance and positioning of a number of cameras to fix background issues and views being obstructed by trackside objects.
- Replay Cameras – Hockenheim National – improved the positioning of a number of cameras to fix views being obstructed by trackside objects.
- Fixed a crash that occurred when the player loaded a replay that was saved with an older version of the game.
Controls & FFB
- [New] Implemented the ability via menu sliders for the user to manually tweak the menu spring strength, stationary / low speed spring strength, and overall steering gain.
- Menu Spring – the strength of the wheel centering spring in the front end and in-game pause menu.
- Low Speed Spring Coefficient & Saturation – the weight of the steering at slow speeds (<10mph) and when the car is stationary. The saturation is the maximum force for the spring and the coefficient is how quickly the spring takes effect. To avoid “cogging / notching” effects when stationary its best to leave the spring coefficient high and lower the saturation.
- Steering Gain – the gain (multiplier) applied to all steering effects (steering force, jolts, kerb rumble etc) after they have been mixed. For a clean more detailed experience set at 1.0 or below, for stronger feedback at the expense of clipping set higher (maximum value 5).
- Fanatec – added accelerator slip vibration support for Fanatec wheel rims that support this feature. Added sequential shifter profiles for Porsche 911, GT2, GT3RS V2 and CSR wheels. Added accelerator pedal rumble support for the ClubSport Pedals V3, and fixed brake rumble not working.
- Logitech wheels – added LED support for the G29.
- Custom wheels – reduced the default menu spring strength.
- Handbrake and boost controls assignments are now no longer mandatory.
- Fixed an issue where the in-game menu spring centered the wheel when pausing while driving, which was jarring when both entering and exiting.
- Fixed an issue where mouse controls were producing a deadzone in the centre regardless of deadzone settings.
- Fixed an issue where there was a sudden loss of FFB after a severe collision.
- Fixed an issue where Force feedback was lost when focus was lost to the onscreen keyboard, other overlaid system apps or snapped apps (Xbox One).
- Corrected mapping for keypad ‘.’ / ‘Del’ keys, removed Pause being incorrectly hardcoded to the ‘P’ key (PS4 USB keyboard).
- 125cc and 250cc karts – adjusted automatic gearbox algorithm for better shifting. This reduces the occurrence of the rapid fire downshifts from 6th to 1st when locking the rear brakes.
- Audi R18 e-tron quattro – added the missing gear readout to cockpit display. Fixed ‘quattro’ to lower case in the showroom (licensing).
- Aston Martin Vantage GT3 – fixed the impact test position for the rear centre brake light, to ensure accurate impact damage effects on the light.
- Bentley Continental GT3 – fixed slight asymmetry in rear suspension design which was causing some unintentional cross weight.
- BMW M3 GT – set to use same tyre widths as the other GT3 cars. This helps equalize performance and acts to level the playing field, as this car would have used such tyre sizes if it ran beyond 2012 against the rest of the GT3 cars.
- BMW V12 LMR – fixed engine lifetime numbers to match other similar cars.
- Group 5 cars and BMW M1 – tweaked rain tyres heat and sensitivities to prevent them from overheating in light rain.
- Escort MK1 and DLC BMW 2002 Turbo – rebalanced the AI performance.
- Formula A – added a new tyre set that includes two slick tyres: ‘Soft’ and ‘Medium’.
- Rebalanced the heating and wear across all four tyre sets. Reworked tyre wear to more closely match real world Formula 1 cars. Heating is now more even front to rear. Further rebalancing of the AI speed (now faster) as was required, and tweaks to the base setup to accommodate the heat change and its effect on the balance. The medium slicks make consistent grip between 180-220F, making this compound more useful as a strategic, lower wear choice. The soft slicks are the default dry tyre.
- Formula C – dropped the AI ability in the rain a bit more for this car, as the AI was still too fast in the rain.
- Lotus 98T – new setup to help handle the power better, new rain tyre tweaks for better heating. Some change for the slick heating and inflation pressure sensitivity of the carcass.
- McLaren MP4 12C – adjusted the default setup to match the change to stiffer tyres.
- McLaren P1 – stiffened up the default suspension to help prevent bottoming out at tracks like Nordschleife. Changed tyre walls to Pirelli (licensing).
- McLaren F1 GTR – added suspension animations to limit front wheel movement in order to stop them clipping through the bodywork on large compressions.
- Pagani Huayra – corrected the default dry and wet tyres so that the correct tyre is selected when using ‘Automatic by Weather’.
- Radical SR3 and SR8 – reduced the backlight on the gear LCD in the cockpit to make it easier to read at night.
- Renault Clio Cup – updated suspension tuning and gear ratios to match exactly with correct reference data for the X98CUP Mk.4 car.
- RWD P20 LMP2 – recalibrated oil and water temperature warning lights to turn on when the engine is starting to overheat.
- Various DLC Vehicles – rebalanced the in-cockpit exposure levels.
- Various cars – recalibrated the tyre deformation effect. This fixes many cars which were seeing too little or reversed lateral tyre deformations.
- Various cars – graphical issues addressed, updated to use the correct tread textures for various tyre compounds
- Modern street cars – new stiffer tyres for improved drivability, to more closely match the real world experience. This makes these cars more fun and engaging to drive. Made tweaks to the individual setups of the FWD and most Supercars to accommodate the change.
- 4WD/hybrid vehicles – enabled visual backfires.
Notable items here are across the board, whether it be the rebalanced tire mechanics or improvements to the AI’s behavior, this particularly set of enhancements should be readily noticeable and will make for a more engaging experience than what’s offered now. We’re also given a look at what could possibly be included in this month’s DLC add-on with the BMW 2002 Turbo.
- Azure Circuit – reset the AI track grip for the faster Formula A cars, and tweaked the driving lines to help with AI getting stuck in barriers.
- Bathurst – fixed an issue where cars would collide against invisible objects in the pit lane, and fixed an issue with black shapes appearing in the rear view mirrors on some parts of the track.
- California Highway – reworked the allowable driving surfaces in the final section on the double lane highway to allow the player to drive on both sides.
Dubai layouts – fixed a graphical anomaly on the track surface.
- Glencairn East – fixed a false cut track warning that would trigger while driving on-track.
- Nordschliefe – fixed an issue where AI attempting to leave their pit spots was being blocked by cars in the pit spot directly in front of them.
- Ruapuna layouts – improved the texture quality on the distant trees, and reworked the wire mesh on the marshal posts to prevent them from turning opaque at a distance.
- Sakitto GP – unblocked pit lane and added pit lane directional signage.
- Sakitto International – fixed an issue where the AI would run too wide and collide with the barrier in the downhill left handed sweeper.
- Silverstone layouts – fixed a false cut track warning at the pit entrance.
- Snetterton 200 – fixed an issue where the player would receive a cut track warning when entering the pits’
- Spa Francorchamps – fixed an issue where a number of bollards marking track limits had stopped appearing.
- Watkins Glen layouts – fixed an issue where the pit entry would trigger if a player drove very close to the pit wall on the main straight, and fixed a few graphical pop-up issues.
- Various tracks – Imola, Oschersleben GP, Oschersleben C course – cut track detection adjustments.
- Implemented support for Oculus 0.6.0.1 SDK.
- Added support for a separate Graphics profile “GraphicsConfigOculusDX11.xml” when running with the Oculus Rift. This means that you can now set your graphic details to high/max when playing without the Rift, and turn the details down for optimum performance when using the Rift and the game will maintain both configurations and apply the applicable one automatically.
- Auto disabled Crepuscular rays, Vignette and full screen raindrops.
- Fixed excessive object pop-in in Oculus Rift mode that was caused by the modified field of view used in VR.
- Shadow support – further work towards getting shadow support fully implemented.
- Fixed SLI/XFire windowed mode performance issues – SLI/XFire isn’t available in windowed mode, but several Renderer paths were still active, resulting in reduced performance, most notably for Oculus Rift which fakes a windowed mode.
- Added a command-line option “-vrnomirror” that disables the desktop mirror. This will gain around 3-4% performance.
- Fixed the issue where non cockpit view cameras were not incorporating the head-pose position correctly, which caused the camera to be spawned very low down.
- Fixed the issue where the view in the Oculus Rift froze when returning to the main menu after a race.
- Fixed the issue where using FXAA caused black/opaque rendering when using Oculus Rift.
- Players are no longer disqualified for running out of fuel after finishing the race.
- Fixed an issue that would award players with a race win when skipping session after a false start.
- Fixed an issue with 24Hz 4k Monitor modes causing the graphics code to fail to load.
- Added support to enable Opponent Car Reflections by using the “-insane” command-line option (PC).
- Jumpstart tolerances adjusted to make the penalty more realistic when the player starts moving his vehicle before the green lights.
- Fixed an issue that caused vehicle windows to appear invisible in the player’s rear view mirrors.
- Fixed an issue with Real-time weather not working (PC).
- Fixed a crash that occurred when power cycling or when disconnecting and reconnecting a wheel (PS4).
- Anisotropic filtering adjusted to improve the visual quality of some materials, mainly brick walls which were appearing blurred at some angles (PS4).
- Fixed an issue where car bonnet reflections at times were out of sync with the environment being reflected (PS4).
- Implemented background DLC check optimizations to eliminate instances of stuttering in Main Menu (Xbox One).
It’s worth noting the patch has not been finalized and is still in the testing stages which of course means the details can change between now and the announcement of its imminent release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms. The release of the update is still a few weeks off at best and until a time it’s officially confirmed and subsequently released feel free to stop by our Project CARS forum and discuss the sheer volume of the upcoming update.