Greetings everyone - we´re in November now, and into what promises to be a very exciting month for Automobilista 2! First things first - considering we ended up skipping the October Development Update and the fact there´s just way too much to cover this month in a single article , we´re going to do things slightly different this month by breaking down this November Update into two parts - this is part one, part two should be published on November 19th. Let´s get on it: Volkswagen TSI Cup by Acelerados coming to Automobilista 2! By now most of you will have heard the big news about a project we alluded to a couple of months ago, and we couldn´t be happier to be finally announcing our collaboration with Volkswagen Brasil alongside the good people from Acelerados to bring you the VW TSI Cup by Acelerados to Automobilista 2. For those not familiar with the show, Acelerados is an internet-born TV show dedicated to cars and driving them fast, in a similar mould to the classic Top Gear - the essence of the show is taking a bunch of cars to the Velo Città track in Brazil where they have a pro driver (usually Rubens Barrichello who is also one of the presenters) to drive the wheels off of it and discuss its qualities (or lack thereof). Acelerados and Volkswagen came up with the idea for a game that realistically reproduced the experience the presenters have on the show to give people the chance to perform hot laps with some of the VW models currently available in the Brazilian market and eventually use that base to promote an official E-Sports competition. We were approached to develop the sim but since all our focus and resources currently dedicated to developing Automobilista 2, the only way we could take on that challenge was if we could somehow find a way for the VW-Acelerados project to merge and complement AMS2. That we did, so effectively what you will be getting to begin with is a free Automobilista 2 demo including the VW Polo & its sedan variant Virtus in two specifications each (1.0 TSI & 1.4 GTS), along with Autódromo Velo Città, featuring mostly the same game modes except Championship and Multiplayer - that´s where it begins, what comes next and what it leads to is not to be spoiled in this Dev Update The cars naturally will also be added to the full game as free additional content, albeit there will most likely be a few days in between the release of the Acelerados demo and the main game update that will include these cars. Both of which will certainly take place this month however and we´re very excited for it, as not only the cars will help fill the still-unexplored niche of regular road cars in the game but also for the potential it has for promoting the game and sim racing in general to a wider audience in Brazil. Developing the cars for AMS2 with the collaboration and input from Volkswagen engineers along with the Acelerados guys has likewise being a fantastic experience, with no shortage of access to data as well as the cars themselves. I even got to put one of them through its paces for a few laps at the Velo Città, and such direct experience is always worth some insights! The car is impressively stable on a race track for a popular road car and a peach to drive: In fact getting some real experience jumping into some of the cars reproduced in AMS2 (including a few of the more racey ones ) and collect more such insights is certainly something I intend to do more of in 2022 as opportunities arise - watch this space, and watch out for the VW TSI Cup! Big Update Incoming! You´ll probably also have already heard mentions of our plans for a major Automobilista 2 update later this month - and it is indeed a big one! There is a lot we are currently working to cover in one go, and with many new features still in development or going through its final licensing hurdles the definitive list of incoming goodies for this release is still fairly fluid, to the extent we can´t get into too many specifics just yet - in fact given the dimensions of the changes and the amount of new content it´s fair to expect the big November update to get split into several updates wrapping up our 2021 progress for AMS2, to be delivered in parts through November and into the early weeks of December as we finalize these new features and finalise pending licensing arrangements. Let´s start with some early wins already in the bag - one of which is another comprehensive physics update covering all areas that should at least match the step we made earlier this year with the v1.2 update - a progress that we have since gradually complemented by various incremental developments leading up to this new leap. We have discussed before how even though the Madness physics models of aerodynamics, suspension and chassis used in AMS2 pretty much match 1:1 with pMotor engine of AMS1 with which it shares some common DNA, the tire and driveline models in the Madness physics engine were a complete departure from what we had been using in AMS1, substantially more complex and thus challenging to get a full grasp on - but that in turn also ultimately provides us with bigger potential for a more realistic & engaging driving experience. These two components of the physics engine have been the focus of most of our attention on the physics side of things and also the sources of most of our headaches - and with so much to learn in these fairly intrinsic models, we have since the beginning of AMS2 development been opting to focus on the essentials elements of those models in order to deliver a satisfactory driving experience which related to what we had delivered before in AMS1. With that goal if not yet achieved already well within reach, it was time to flex the muscles of the engine a bit more and begin delving into other substantial resources these physics models offer that hadn’t up to now been fully exploited: features ranging from a variety of tire damage components to transmission elasticity will feature to one degree or another in our November build, and thanks to the support and input of some intrepid internal testers we have not only been capable of making quick progress exploring these new resources but in the process also gain some valuable handling improvements, the most notable of which to the differential model on which is we have now pretty much eliminated the “sticky diff” syndrome some cars still suffered from to one degree or another. Coupled with the improvements being gradually implemented to the various tires in recent updates which in turn will also be expanded on for the upcoming release, the internal feedback so far hints at something pretty sublime taking shape, and while further development and refinements will always continue to be in order, it´s fair to expect AMS2 to deliver a noticeable progress on this front by the end of this month. All these changes do have some setup implications so in addition to that a revision of default setups is also in progress, and with that a fresh setup reset by deleting your local setup folder also be in order - hopefully a small price to pay and it will lead to some improved setup baselines in the process as well. AI Development & AI modding support AI continues to be a front in constant developments and we have made some furtber good progress in this department as well. AI calibration has remained a moving target with so many car-track combos in the game and their ongoing physics development, but we expect to cover some good ground towards that target by the end of the month - thanks once again to the input of our internal testers who have gone beyond the call of duty assembling a comprehensive spreadsheet to catalogue AI performance discrepancies in pretty much every car / track combo offered in AMS2, which is proving invaluable in this calibration process, and will hopefully lead up to a much more consistent challenge vs the player requiring less fudging of the AI Strength setting going one combo to another. Moreover, we are introducing support for users to mod AI driver performances and names to their taste so you´re not stuck with the usual native AI drivers, being able to actually customize drivers from each series with their own names, performance & personality parameters and assign them to specific car liveries. To begin with, users looking to perform these modifications will have to rely on the good old process of editing text files, which they will then be able to add in combo with livery car sets and share them with other users. Other new features include the option to limit the number of new tire sets players have available to use in each event (similar to the feature we had already developed in AMS1), the driver profile page and the Beta release of the much anticipated Multiplayer Rating System - all these however topics for Part 2 of this dev update! Laser Scanned Azure On the content front, we have a neat free development in the shape of a complete revamp to the Azure Circuit, with the mesh (the only one we re-used from Project Cars 2 with just a few modifications) now being completely redone with the aid of Laser Scan data. It´s a considerable upgrade which should feel very different from the original track! Racin USA Pt2 is Coming! Another eagerly expected release is the second part of our very popular Racin´ USA Pack, going further into the North American motorsports scene - this time focusing on faster flowint tracks and its single seater heritage. As most of you familiar with our sims already will know, we do like to pay tribute to incredible race series, cars and tracks that perhaps haven´t been so much in evidence, either due to their local nature or because their hayday in this world having already come and gone a few decades ago, their awesomeness since fading from minds of many current race fans and sim racers. Sim racing offers an unique channel to bring these awesome machines and tracks back to life and to the awareness of racing fans and one of our goals in AMS2 is very much to deliver just that. So with Pt2 we are taking the opportunity to mix some exciting & famous American road circuits with a fairly exotic choice that probably will surprise many, along with an ensemble of 1990s Champ Cars from various seasons in that great decade for American single seater racing. For myself, this is again a trip down memory lane as I´ve worked on many of these cars in and out over the last 15 years for modding projects, becoming some of my personal favorites! The specifics of the pack we will share with you in part 2 of this dev update, but we couldn´t leave you all hanging without a small teaser - a cookie for whoever can guess the car-track combo previewed below We are Hiring! We are looking for artists to join our brilliant track team and help us produce trackside buildings & objects for some very exciting circuits we will be producing in the near future. Key requirements include low-poly modelling in 3DS Max (squeezing out the most of the most efficient poly & texture count), texturing in Photoshop/Substance. Additionally, experience with CATrig animations, procedural texturing with Substance is welcome. If you fit the bill and are interested in joining our team, please go ahead and send us an email with your CV and portfolio @ email@example.com - we´d love to hear from you! That´s it for now - let´s catch up again in two weeks for Part 2 and even more exciting news!