Last friday we released our latest v0.9.4 update. While this update hasn´t added any new content or features to the sim, there has been some valuable progress in particular to graphics & Artificial Intelligence.
@Alex Sawczuk has been spending some quality time developing the shaders & RGB settings in order to improve lighting & color accuracy across the 24h cycle. The changes are subtle individually but all add up to a noticeable overall improvement – the environment is more lively and the slightly desaturated & bluish haze from previous versions is now gone. The changes are mostly already present in v0.9.41, and along with @ilka ´s beautiful new sky/cloud sets, make for some pretty nice sights:
A lot of man-hours & late nights have also gone into fine-tuning AI performance and behavior in close racing conditions across the board – as a result v0.9.41 features our best, most well-rounded AI yet.
Road to v1.0
Things continue to progress nicely towards v1.0, some are further along than others but while official release will not represent the end of new features or content for AMS, we´re pushing to wrap up a rock-solid v1.0 within the next few weeks.
With single player gameplay now mostly in pretty good shape, focus now is on wrapping up remaining functionality tasks, adding a few more options & ironing out the most significant bugs.
Multiplayer in particular will be at the forefront for v1.0 – the AMS Dedicated tool is already available for those who own AMS via Steam Tools, and if you are a league runner you may also PM me for a free Steam key for the Dedi Tool.
Content-wise, things are progressing at a nice pace – there´s a good chance the new Formula Vintage series will be added in time for v1.0 (and not post-release as estimated in the original dev roadmap). Below is a preview showing how the 3D modelling is coming along:
The beta is already up to v0.9.5 and it features two new pieces of content – the Copa Montana, which is the last piece of content remaining from our crowdfunding campaign back, and the wonderful semi-fictional Mendig Flugplatz, a vast scenario roaming in and around a german airport, which will present some very unique challenges,
Unfortunately we have had a setback with implementation of driver animations as the developer in charge has left the project, so that´s one feature unlikely to make it in time for v1.0. This remains an important development for AMS though and we´ll be aiming to add it post-release.
Virtual Xperience – Automobilista Web Portal
We´re pleased to announce the Virtual Xperience portal (VX), the place we hope will help stimulate the community´s engagement with & around Automobilista.
From VX you´ll be able to check the multiplayer lobby and join sessions, register & find a league for your favorite car in a time slot that suits you, measure your hotlapping skills in the AMS leaderboards, join one of our official public servers, share your setups & replays and more.
The most complex VX module is the AMS leaderboards and its integration with the game, so this is what @Luis Miguel, @Dave Stephenson & @Thiago Izequiel who are the headlining this project have mostly have been focusing on – currently only AMS Beta v0.9.5b is hooked up with the leaderboards so those who have it can already get your times up there We hope to integrate the system into the next EA release as well.
The leaderboards are linked to the Time Trial mode, which as you may have seen is effectively a practice session run under fixed configurations (but not fixed car setup) – noon time, max track conditions, no AI, no tire wear or fuel consumption – the sole purpose is scoring hotlaps to the leaderboards & future hotlapping competitions. Player times are automatically synced up with the leaderboards via Steam, and you can check how it ranks against the others both from the in-game monitor while running a time trial session, as well as from the Virtual Xperience leaderboards, selecting the car / track combo you´re looking to check out.
The other VX modules are coming along as well but these will be topics for our next dev update,
Further good news is that VX should be hopefully nicely complemented by developments being made to the Sim Racing System to better integrate it with AMS – @Henrique Alves has presented more info about it here.
DLC development – Presenting the “Brit Pack”
Very glad also to confirm the Brit Pack as our initial lot of premium DLCs for Automobilista.
Besides the previously announced 3 tracks (Brands Hatch / Cadwell / Oulton Park) and theUltima GTR (both road and GT versions), we will also be adding the MCR Sports 2000 and several Caterham models to the roster.
As usual our target with AMS is to assemble a package that delivers the most diverse & fun racing experiences possible, and with the upcoming premium DLCs we aim to retain that focus, at the same time expanding into more international & well-known tracks. England is arguably the mecca of european motorsports with some of the most interesting tracks and cars in the world, and the brits happen to make up a sizeable portion of our user base so it´s only fitting that our first premium pack revolves around a sample of their vast motorsports scene. Most importantly, these kit cars on these tracks represent some of the most fun to be had on four wheels, and that´s what we´ll be push to capture in the sim
The 6 components of the Brit Pack will be sold in a package as well as individually via Steam, with prices at release ranging from US$ 1.99 (for the MCR) to US$ 4.99 for each track, or US$ 19.99 for the complete pack.
You can however secure all this content, plus all the other upcoming premium DLCs byacquiring our membership packs , currently selling for US$ 54.99 (full membership including base game) / US$ 24.99 (membership upgrade for those who already own AMS). Please note that these prices will still be upgraded to US$ 59.99 / US$ 29.99 respectively in time for AMS v1.0 release, so those who have not yet joined in should push not to miss the current pricing. The membership pack also grants access to the Reiza 51 dev forum, Beta development version of AMS, and the chance to try out all this content in advance as they reach beta status.
Worth noting that while some of this content had already been announced earlier on, the Caterhams and the MCR 2000 have just been added to the roster – that makes our membership packs pretty smart investing for those who had already bought into it at the original US$ 49.99 / US$ 19.99 pricing, as these extras will come at no additional cost to them (or indeed for those who participated in our crowdfunding campaign last year). With a couple of potential additions to the DLC roster still in the horizon, you should expect us to continue our trend in which the sooner you buy into our offerings, the more value you get for it
The contents of the Brit Pack are all officially licensed and we´re working in close proximity with the car manufacturers to ensure maximum accuracy; Alex has recently done recon trips to Brands Hatch & Cadwell Park, with Oulton Park scheduled for the end of the month.
The team is already well advanced on Brands & the road Ultima as you can see below:
We estimate the initial components of the Brit Pack to become available soon after v1.0 release, sometime in july, with Beta hopefully before the end of the month.
This about covers it for this June update – this was a big one! We hope you all enjoy the news. I look forward to catching up again in July, hopefully with AMS v1.0 release already behind us