So here we are for the final Dev Update of the year! Many of you will already be in 2020 by the time you see this - we however are still at it in what are the very last hours of 2019 in order to meet our final AMS2 milestones of the year! It hasn´t been much of a Holiday Break so far - fittingly I get to switch off the figurative lights before I myself get some downtime to celebrate the beginning of what promises to be a great year. Then it will finally be time for some proper rest time before resuming on January 2nd We aren´t complaining though - or at least no-one has yet to me It is indeed an exciting time as AMS2 is finally coming together it just keeps drawing us back. I have been away from my sim rig for only a few days and I already can´t wait to get back on it On to the mission at hand then, which is to share what we have been up to all the way to these final hours of 2019! Endurance Brasil - What a Series! For the third time this year we have visited an Endurance Brasil race for data research and collecting reference material. It´s always a productive visit and a good time as the Series is incredibly diverse and the participants are almost invariably an accessible, friendly bunch, many of which fans of sim racing as well. This is a truly sui generis series that stand out relative to other Endurance and Sports Cars championships - part of it is due to the sheer diversity of machinery and the garagist spirit that permeates the pit boxes filled with a mix of state-of-the-art GT3 machinery, daring high-performance, custom build Prototypes and some others so unique they are hard to even describe They all hit the track together for races usually ranging from 4 to 6 hours in duration with 2-3 drivers sharing the same car. Most of you will already know that AMS2 will continue to feature complete seasons of pretty much all major brazilian racing series and we very much intend to include this one as well - we don´t yet have an official agreement with the series but conversations are ongoing and it should hopefully be a matter of time as we go into the off-season. We do have agreements for several of the cars present in the series though, with many of them already in-game - and what a mix it is! The regulations (or relative lack thereof) are incredibly permissive and allow for some crazy experimenting - think of 1970s autoracing with 21st century technology and you start to get the idea. The classes ranging from GT4 to P1 Prototypes are sorted on some fairly basic powertrain and weight specs, but within each class there´s a whole lot you can play with. Want to develop a DRS-type system for your Prototype and use it with no restriction whatsoever, basically as long and wherever the driver dares? Go for it. Want to try your hand at creating your own concept prototype? This is the place to do it. Want to experiment with a variety of electronic systems to improve the performance of the car? There´s not much you can´t do! You can even buy yourself an early 90s Ralt Formula 3 car, cover the wheels with some extra bodywork, bolt a Hayabusa turbo on the back and go racing - that´s exactly the concept of the Roco 001 - the crazy thing pictured below which competes in the P3 class. Goes without saying this thing just screams (quite literally) to get into AMS2, so obviously we´re on it The whole series in fact makes for an immensely compelling subject matter for a racing sim and we very much intend to go the distance with it. We won´t quite have the full 2020 field on release (not least because new cars are expected to make the grid) but we´ll have quite a few and gradually build on that over the initial months to hopefully feature the full series in all its glorious madness! Audio Development Endurance Brasil races are also always a good opportunity for some fresh audio recordings given the sheer variety of engines being used accross all classes. From small 4cyl Turbo engines to the V12 on the Aston Martin, with V8s, V10s and everything in between over the various GT and Prototype classes. Over the course of 2019 we had a couple of new hi-fi recorders and mics doing the rounds on various events in Brazil and Europe to boost our audio database which we then use to sample and create sound sets for the various cars in the sim. Most of our preview videos published so far feature samples ported from AMS1 - many of them also sampled from similar real recordings, but some admittedly in need of an upgrade. The new material will gradually make its way into AMS2 up to release and beyond in new sets for the new cars as well as updates to older sets in need of a refresh. Audio will indeed continue to be one of the core development focus of AMS2, not only on the sampling side but also as we continue to try maximize the potential of the FMOD engine as well as we´re able. A picture of the AMG Merc GT3 taking one of our hairy hifi recorders out for a few laps By next month we hope to have a couple of real x sim comparisons to share so you all can hear how things are coming along and get a better sense of the audio experience we aim to deliver with AMS2. Art Development This month we have pretty much wrapped the environment art standards we will be aiming to retain for initial release - these include developments to the various shaders, callibration of climate settings and various predominant textures which serve not only to improve the visual quality of the sim but also optimize resources and performance. These standards will now be propagated to all tracks currently in the sim so that they remain consistent accross the board. The climate settings are particularly relevant so the various locations look their actual part - from the typically british green of Donington Park or the relatively arid equatorian look of Ibarra. The track art passes also include plugging all the extra temporary objects - crowds, tents, fast-food stands, portaloos, rescue vehicles, cars, vans, flags, and all other elements that typically compose the environment of an active venue during a race weekend - not forgetting to observe reasonably accurate placement and design styles according to the track´s location and era: Naturally these standards are ever-shifting as the team continues to find further room for improvement through code tweaks, new techniques and ideas - once enough of these accumulate it will be time for a new art pass in order to bring all tracks to this same upgraded standard - the point of this wholesale approach being to retain as well as possible a level of consistency accross all tracks in the game so that they continue to belong to the same virtual World. Car Livery Updates On the car art front, one area that users have pointed out we should dedicate more attention to is the design of fictional liveries for the various fictional Reiza Series in the Sim, something we intended to address when we announced we were looking for a designer to fill the position. Following applications from several talented designers, we are happy to confirm the team has recently been boosted in this particular dept. and the results are already beginning to show. These include the development of various fictional sponsor logos which will be used accross the various Reiza series - they will also vary to match the era of the cars they´re being plugged into. Below is a preview of the results in action with a couple of sexy-looking F-Classics: For now the work is concentrated on the newer models but there will eventually also be a revision of older models which may be in need of some fresh paintjobs. Timely reminder that you can also join AMS2 Early Backing Campaign and get the opportunity to become part of Automobilista 2 by creating your own livery for any of the various fictional or semi-fictional series in the sim. Mount Panorama Coming For Automobilista 2! We are thrilled to announce that the unique Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst is another World-class race track confirmed for AMS2! The announcement follows one of the polls we have launched in the Reiza51 forum for Backers to influence our choices with regards to the tracks, cars and game features we should prioritize for AMS2 - the polls are still open for backers to vote but Bathurst is already the runaway leader on the Track Poll, so we were more than happy to follow that lead to get the agreement signed before the end of the year. The track should enter production soon but it´s unlikely to make the initial release in March - it should not be long after release though for it to be added in for all AMS2 users to enjoy! Once again Early Backers have played an essential role in granting us the means to secure this license before initial release. We have some other tracks and cars lined up so if you wish to see some more major licenses there is still a few more weeks left to join the Campaign! We are Hiring! We are looking for developers to join the team in both full or part time positions - more details about the positions and requirements here. If you fit the bill and wish to start 2020 in full throttle mode alongside a team of passionate people we´d love to hear from you! Automobilista 2 is scheduled for release in March 2020. You may pre-order Automobilista 2 through the AMS2 Early Backing Campaign - more information on this program and how to participate here. If you are looking forward to Automobilista 2 but would rather wait for release, you may opt instead to add the game to your Steam wishlist via the AMS2 Steam Store page. to receive email notifications upon release and other relevant news. That´s all for December and 2019 - AMS2 is now on the final stretch with only two more Dev Updates before the game is due for its official release. We are very much looking forward to it! In the meantime we wish you all a great 2020, may it be another great year for sim racing!