If you’re not a hardcore simracer, you probably have never heard of Reiza Studios. They are a development team consisting of hardcore simracing enthusiasts around the world that have developed highly polished titles like Game Stock Car Extreme and Formula Truck 2013 as well as the “free to play” Copa Petrobras de Marcas. Those titles have built them a loyal fanbase and their commitment to providing free upgrades years after releasing such simulations have earned them a lot of respect.
Earlier today they have launched a campaign on Indiegogo to fund further development of their current titles. They also hinted at things to come, a new simulation that will be released for PC on Steam and will integrate all existing cars, tracks and add new ones as well as offer a DX12 based graphics engine, dynamic weather and track conditions and extensive audio and physics developments.
So far Reiza Studios have done an amazing job building simulations based on a binary license to the engine created by Image Space Inc. that powers their rFactor title. By extending it with plugins and other assets, and because of Niels Heusinkveld‘s excellent car physics they were able to really push the limits of this engine. This campaign will allow them to take the next step by obtaining a source code license allowing further extension and customisation.
New features include various graphics and audio enhancements as well as many large and small tweaks to enhance gameplay. An official multiplayer structure as well as new cars and tracks are also being mentioned. The campaign itself offers some interesting perks, included a limited amount of VIP tickets to the season finale of the Stock Car series on December 12 and 13 at Interlagos, travel and local expenses paid, where you will join the Reiza crew to watch this event.
My involvement in this project started when I got in touch with Renato Simioni from Reiza Studios in March. Bringing rFactor to Steam and enhancing it got us talking about what I, and Luminis Technologies, could do in terms of software development of the simracing engine. Those talks lead to an agreement and work has started behind the scenes to plan and implement some of the enhancements that have been announced. I guess it goes without saying that within our company we have a few simracing and gaming enthusiasts that are very excited to be involved in this!
Two years ago I did a lecture for a Game Design and Production Bachelor study here in The Netherlands, where I taught students about the game mechanics of a racing simulator. Part of that talk also touched the history of simracing, which I also summarized in an earlier blog entry here. Now, two years later, so much has happened in the community that I’m seriously considering updating that story! May we live in interesting times!