"Nukedrop" on RENNSPORT Track Mods: "You End With A Way Better Finished Product"

RENNSPORT Spa-Francorchamps.png
Image credit: RENNSPORT

Content is coming: Thus far, RENNSPORT does not offer much variety when it comes to cars and tracks, despite revealing new additions at its Munich Summit just ahead of the start of the closed beta. The event also gave the first bits of insight into track modding, the specialty of Tyrone Hesbrook, who has been working with RENNSPORT in this regard. For RaceDepartment, he gives exciting insight into the processes involved and talks about the potential of mods in the simulation.

Known for his Assetto Corsa track mods, @Tyrone - Nukedrop Mods was contacted by RENNSPORT developers on RaceDepartment. "They wanted to involve me early on", remembers the author of circuits like Sebring 1966 or Toronto Exhibition Place 2021. As a result, he had the opportunity to look behind the scenes and has also gotten a first impression of the mod tools the RENNSPORT team is developing. "I have seen parts of them but not worked with them, it was very much a hands-off, demo. It looks like they may be a separate app or a plugin for the Unreal Editor."

"Unreal does a lot of stuff better"​

Unlike Assetto Corsa, which uses a proprietary engine by developer Kunos Simulazioni, RENNSPORT is built on Unreal Engine 5, which uses more hardware resources, but also opens up more possibilities – which is also true for modders. "Unreal does a lot of stuff better than the KS editor. We can use physically based rendering, and PBR materials within the editor, also for trees Unreal has premade foliage systems that work with weather and wind", Tyrone explains.

While the mod tools should make life easier for modders, but "you still need to work your way around Unreal and know a few things about 3D modeling", says the modder. Compared to working on AC tracks, "you could say it is the same amount of work, but you end with a way better finished product."

RENNSPORT Summit Nukedrop Tyrone Hesbrook OMEGA .png

Tyrone "Nukedrop" Hesbrook (left) and @omegas.tracklab at the RENNSPORT Summit in Munich. Image credit: omegas.tracklab

Even more detail should be possible via the inclusion of Nanite: The system automatically calculates LODs – simplified versions of objects that are displayed as they move further away from the player's point of view – "but more like a sliding scale", says Tyrone. This means there should be no visible steps in simpler versions of an object being displayed when moving away from it. On the other hand, near-unlimited detail is possible when moving very close – essentially, objects can be as detailed as they need to be at any given distance without eating up more hardware resources than they have to.

Track-Specific Code​

Access to the enormous library of Unreal assets that use this feature could be a way to ensure a certain quality of mods without having to have a quality control team in place. "Modding is going to be super important for RENNSPORT", says Tyrone. "And quickly being able to use the same assets as top tier game studio, means a basic project will look a lot better, even early on in development” WIP circuits or beta versions should get a more complete look already as a result.

Cathedral Rock Assetto Corsa Nukedrop.jpgCathedral Rock RENNSPORT Nukedrop.png
Tyrone's Cathedral Rock circuit in Assetto Corsa (left) and in RENNSPORT. Image credit: Nukedrop/RENNSPORT
Note: This in-development screenshot of RENNSPORT and Track Mod is illustrative only. It may not reflect the final product's quality or appearance. There might be significant changes and improvements made to the final product.


This can be added to with further details via track-specific code: Not only does this make it possible to include different lighting and shaders in certain spots of a specific circuit, it also allows events to be added in. Tyrone gives an example: "You could drive up to another car, honk your horn and challenge them to a street race that way." Possibilities like this should open the door to open-world maps and track-specific effects in certain places, allowing for more functionality baked into tracks, but also more authentic visuals.

AC Conversions Are Possible​

Upgrading existing Assetto Corsa tracks is also going to be possible – and quite easily, too. "You can take an AC track, finish some of the necessary steps in the Unreal Editor, and then one or two clicks on a tree are enough to replace it with a higher-quality version", explains Tyrone. "That means it is completely possible to complete an AC track and then take it to RENNSPORT. However, it would not be as good a finished product compared to a circuit that was built for RENNSPORT from the ground up."

What is going to be possible regarding car mods, on the other hand, remains to be seen. "I do not really know too much yet about RENNSPORT car physics", Tyrone admits. "At the moment, RENNSPORT mostly has GT3s, but it is not their end goal, clearly they want to expand to other racing categories and street cars. It might be a good starting point to get their physics right in GT3 and extrapolate from there for other cars." With the Praga R1, a prototype vehicle has also been revealed at the Summit in Munich – a potential sign of things to come.

While the closed beta may be underway, the simulation is not yet available to many sim racers. Once this changes, modding might pick up some pace rather quickly, though – especially if RENNSPORT keeps aiming to make the process for creators as easy as possible.

Your Thoughts​

What do you think about Tyrone's insights into track mods for RENNSPORT? What potential does it open up in your opinion? And which track would you like to see in the sim? Let us know in the comments below - and make sure to check out Tyrone's work on RD if you have not done so already!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

"Upgrading existing Assetto Corsa tracks is also going to be possible"
Thats not upgrading but stealing
if you add more trees the track is not yours anymore ...this is how the music industry works and its very time consuming, unless you or others dont want to enjoy another great game, you can go on debating its stealing ...as long as they dont get selling the things they will add its okay for all I guess
 
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if you add more trees the track is not yours anymore ...this is how the music industry works and its very time consuming, unless you or others dont want to enjoy another great game, you can go on debating its stealing ...as long as they dont get selling the things they will add its okay for all I guess
Even if you're not going to sell it, using other people's work without permission is still stealing
 
Everything ever made for AC will be brought over to Rennsport. With permission or not.

It’s how the modding world operates now… unfortunately. I’m hoping I at least get to convert my own projects before the “3Dsimed ninjas” do their damage
 
Aren't Rennsport going to be "gatekeepers" for mods? Like you can only download mods from their in-sim store - so they can control the quality and quantity - and the price might not be $0 - just lower than their own DLC...

People seem to be assuming that it will be an open modding platform - but it's more likely to be a tightly controlled "closed" platform so that Rennsport can generate revenue. And you'll, no doubt, have to have a current subscription to actually use any of the mod content.
 
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I would have agreed with both of your opinions about modding being open and free. But it’s not fun anymore seeing your own creation being used as fresh content for popular YouTube channels where you don’t even get a credit or mentioned at all.

The one who really changed my mind about this was Jarno Opmmer or whatever his clown name is. The “what if F1 returned to Kyalami” vídeo where he goes on and on about the track, but not once he said where to get it, who made.. or even a link in the description. But hey, I could get a link to all his socials…

At least if my stuff is behind a paywall, the clown would have to pay to use it.
 
I learned UE4 and it is unbelievable easy to build scenarios. UE5 seems to be even easier. Otherwise, years later, I tried to develop tracks for AC and the difference is day/night comparing to UE.

If Rennsport's developer don't fk-it-up with their business model, this simulator have everything to be the next uncontested king in the genre... unfortunately, their more recent declarations corroded all of my expectations. But I still want to believe... it's just hard to do lol
 
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"Unreal does a lot of stuff better"​

Unlike Assetto Corsa, which uses a proprietary engine by developer Kunos Simulazioni,
I think from ACC, the Jedi series, Hogwarts Legacy... we have seen what kind of issues Unreal Engine can give, how performance is nothing to be happy about and how it's not as of a stable engine that Epic Games wants use to believe it is.

I am glad Kunos Simulazione is taking back control again by developing their own engine for Assetto Corsa 2. This will open up more control in other areas for developers of mods which in my eyes is more important than initially just having "better graphics".
 
I think from ACC, the Jedi series, Hogwarts Legacy... we have seen what kind of issues Unreal Engine can give, how performance is nothing to be happy about and how it's not as of a stable engine that Epic Games wants use to believe it is.

I am glad Kunos Simulazione is taking back control again by developing their own engine for Assetto Corsa 2. This will open up more control in other areas for developers of mods which in my eyes is more important than initially just having "better graphics".
Finally someone mentioning the awful UE performance
 
Seems a very cheap trick by Renn & Stimpy - to lure away/buy the favours of AC modders to add some graphical muscle to old AC tracks and then call them their own in the hope that will get them ahead of Kunos's AC2 release, and thus damage AC2 sales. It remains to be seen whether sim racers care about ethics.
 
Seems a very cheap trick by Renn & Stimpy - to lure away/buy the favours of AC modders to add some graphical muscle to old AC tracks and then call them their own in the hope that will get them ahead of Kunos's AC2 release, and thus damage AC2 sales. It remains to be seen whether sim racers care about ethics.

a) making a modding platform on a newer engine before another game comes out (that haven't said anything about their mod support) is just good business sense. Why should they wait for Kunos to decide what they're doing with AC2?

b) obviously everyone has differing views about what passes their ethical code and where on the very grey spectrum of different content they sit, but you can hardly claim all AC content is ethically sourced; it wouldn't take long to find conversions from AMS, PCARS, rFactor 1 and 2 as well as plenty of others.
 
I would have agreed with both of your opinions about modding being open and free. But it’s not fun anymore seeing your own creation being used as fresh content for popular YouTube channels where you don’t even get a credit or mentioned at all.

The one who really changed my mind about this was Jarno Opmmer or whatever his clown name is. The “what if F1 returned to Kyalami” vídeo where he goes on and on about the track, but not once he said where to get it, who made.. or even a link in the description. But hey, I could get a link to all his socials…

At least if my stuff is behind a paywall, the clown would have to pay to use it.
I have a very simple rule to my mods, there is a license included, if you fail to accept that license don't use my mod, if your actions do not comply with that license the risk is yours.
 
I just want to see a new free and open modding platform, and I think whichever one is the least restrictive and most modder-friendly will be what is mass adopted. And to me, the pros (good free mods) vastly outweigh the cons (mod theft drama).

I'm also fully aware that mod theft drives away good modders. And I've dealt with this myself at really toxic levels. For example, thieves that will never stop rebranding and disparaging the work they steal. But long story short, the wider community came together to ban them from all notable sites/discords, and they ended up becoming a meme. And the memes are not only hilarious, they also inform new players so they know to avoid. So in the end, although they remain shameless, they're forever miserable they've been denied the attention they seek, and the real modders aren't really getting screwed by them.
 
Boy did these Rennsport guys changed their tune. Before it was all in esports! Esports is the future!

Now it seems they are hellbent on getting the AC userbase over to their game, doing a totally 180 and showing even ROAMING mods!

I am really curious to see what will they do to prevent mods from basically being ripped, even if they are supposedly pay mods, and how will they get away from potential lawsuits from the IP owners.
 

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