With Automobilista now a couple weeks into Early Access, we would like to present an overview of our upcoming plans towards the full release of the sim, and a glimpse beyond..
This post will be updated with more info & previews as we advance, but for now here is what we have to share:
Early Access Development Schedule
We estimate AMS to continue in Early Access until the end of April.
New builds should roll out every week for the beta, and every fortnight for the release version of AMS, generally in between Thursday and Friday. A new build is schedule to be deployed for the public release version of AMS tomorrow (18/03).
Features in development during Early Access
One of our priority goals for Early Access is to develop resources to facilitate, complement & stimulate the community´s continuing engagement with Automobilista.
To this end we are developing a Web Portal, featuring:
- Web-based Multiplayer Lobby: In addition to the current Matchmaker from the Steam client, users will be able to view & join multiplayer sessions from this Reiza web portal (without necessarily launching the game first). This lobby will eventually be accessible from in-game too.
- Official rooms for public multiplayer races, featuring a constantly rotating schedule of official content;
- Leaderboards linked to in-game Time Trial Mode: Set your time in Time Trial and it will immediately sync with the leaderboard for that car/track combo under your Steam name (and update whenever you manage to improve your best time);
- League-Finder : A system for leagues to register their championships in order for potential participants to locate them based on the desired series and schedule
- Official seasonal competitions tied to the real racing series we represent, presenting some special prizes and opportunities to bridge the gap from virtual to real racing.
Parallel to this, we continue to work in the product itself – AMS core focus is to deliver a cohesive racing simulation platform with a large variety of cars and tracks and advanced simulation features.
To add and improve on that core, we also have a few bits to add:
- Driver animations – Integration of this often requested feature is being worked as an option along with a brand new driver model
- DynHUD: Further development along with a few alternative layouts + automatic TV overlays for trackside cameras, & developments to the editor to facilitate user customization
- Drivetrain modelling / damage: New developments to simulate sequential gearshift mechanisms, plus new electronic features such as downshift protection, anti-stall; Gears & gearbox will also have a damage model leading to failure if consistently misused or abused;
- Dynamic track progression: Will become cumulative during the race weekend (with some deterioration in between sessions);
- Turbo modelling, boost / push-to-pass & energy recovery systems will be developed for the cars that feature them;
- Air density model affecting engine, tire & aerodynamic properties depending on track altitude;
- Multiple race heats, including options for adjustable reverse grids;
- Improved corner-cutting detection rules
As usual we will also continue trying to improve the existing platform by ironing out as many issues adding as many improvements as we possibly can so people can enjoy AMS as seamlessly as possible, including the expansion of our user manual (the partial version already available as launch option from Steam).
Content to be added in Full Release
Boxer Cup GT3
The Boxer Cup was voted as the bonus car by backers of the Sim Racing Bonanza campaign. This rear engined, flat-6 Boxer Cup is a 2015-spec car and is meant to fill the gap for a GT3-type car in AMS in style!
One of the final missing bits of content proposed in the Sim Racing Bonanza campaign, theCopa Montana used to be the support series to Brazilian Stock Car, running from 2010 to 2013. The car is based in the old (pre-2009) Stock Car V8 chassis, and has a slightly less powerful V8 engine (350 HP vs 450 HP). The manual sequential gearbox (vs semi-automatic in the main series) brings an extra degree of challenge to the vehicle, and the Montana pickup-style bodywork adds an unique cool variant to our car roster.
Virginia International Raceway (USA)
Virginia International Raceway was voted as the bonus track by participants of the Sim Racing Bonanza campaign, and it will come as an official track to add a very special all-American flavour to the AMS track line-up. This long, winding thrill ride set amongst forests and luxurious resorts includes several layouts, all of which featuring challenging flatout S corners and lots of opportunities for close racing with pretty much any type of car.
Speedland is a new karting facility set in the heart of Sao Paulo, mixing indoor with outdoor environments. This track is one of the fresh additions not previously announced to the AMS line-up.
Mendig Airfield Gymkhana
A semi-fictional racing playground based on a German airfield in the town of Mendig – the venue will include a full traditional “airfield” style racetrack between runways and apron roads, eventually growing to also feature variants expanding through the small village & forests that surround the airfield. The airfield itself will be filled a wide variety of challenges and test beds all types of sandbox physics stunts such as a huge Hotwheels-style ramp, a cross-over Supertruck track, slaloms, skid pads and other variants for general oddball fun & games with cars.
Mendig Airfield Gymkhana is another free, previously unannounced addition to AMS.
Post-release development extras
While the focus remains on completing this fairly extensive plan during Early Access stage towards the full release of AMS, the plans don´t quite stop there – Just like with SCE before, we intend to continue developing AMS throughout the year for as long as it proves to be an affordable venture, with a few extras already being brought to the table. For now these include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Custom Championship tool – a tool for players to create championships featuring their own mix of rules, cars and track line-up;
- Point-to-point support – for Rally / Hillclimb type events;
- Mid-race Saving Option – Offering the chance to save and resume races in single player mode
Content-wise, there will be some further additions to enrich the sim with some further diversity – the idea is to bring more popular / famous international cars & tracks alongside other more exotic options.
The items below are what we can already confirm as FREE content to be added to AMS along the way:
- Formula Vintage – new GP series based in a late 60s F1 car to complete our GP heritage line up, covering 6 decades of the sport.
- Ibarra – Pitoresque old-style Ecuadorian track set in between a beautiful mountainous scenery and the lake Yawarkucha.
DLCs & REIZA MEMBERSHIP PACKAGES
In addition to all the free resources, developments and content presented above, Automobilista will also receive some extra cars & tracks in the shape of paid DLC packages, all sold individually for very reasonable fees, or as a package in our Reiza Membership deals which will also offer some further value for money. More information on these packages will be divulged very soon.