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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: FFB in real life VS current sims

  1. #1
    hiohaa's Avatar
     

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    FFB in real life VS current sims

    Though many things have been written about in-game force feedback, I believe there is a real lack of experience being shared, from real drivers, on exactly what the feeling you get is through a steering wheel, in real life.
    That's why I have decided to write this, and I hope it gives you guys a good insight into what you actually feel when driving a race car in real life, versus what we all experience in our current sims, and how it could potentially be improved.

    Having driven a few race cars (single seaters similar to a Formula Renault, a Radical on trackdays), and being a competent driver, I feel this info will be useful in the development of future force feedback, and how the software/hardware interacts (What i hope is, as I don't have a clue about software/hardware development, it would be nice to know how the real experience can be translated to the ffb wheels we use in simracing)

    Real life
    There are 2 fundamental pieces of information that a driver must be able to feel when driving fast - understeer and oversteer. The way this is communicated to the driver through the steering wheel is quite different.

    With understeer, you get 2 key pieces of information. One is the visual aspect, you can see in your vision yourself putting in more steering lock than the car is responding too, so that gives you a clue to back off and tuck the front back in. The other is what you feel through the wheel:
    - lets say you're going into a fast right hander, 4th gear, 100mph. The front tyres start to scrub, or wash out. When you start applying more steering lock to the right, than what the tyres can handle, you start feeling a small 'pulsing' or 'vibration' through the wheel. You can also feel the force pushing left, a strong force, and you're pushing against it. That force, or pressure, you're pushing against, starts to dissipate as the level of understeer reduces.

    This is a huge area where almost all our current sims completely fail, in conveying understeer properly. I haven't tried a frex wheel, or the CSR elite, but I doubt the forces they can produce are strong enough to convey this properly - if they are - they need to be accompanied with a vibration in the wheel itself, to inform the driver in the game that the tyres are scrubbing, or, washing out.

    With oversteer, not much information actually comes from the wheel at all. You feel this information throughout your body, when you're strapped in tight to the car. You can 'feel' the sideways motion, as the rear steps out. This is the first thing that alerts you that the car is breaking away at the back.
    At the same time, you feel the wheel start to self-correct. Lets say you're going into that same fast right hander again. The back is beginning to slip away. You will feel the wheel, almost automatically, counter steering to the left, helping you to correct the slide. The amount of counter steer you decide to put in, or you feel is necessary, is up to you and what you're feeling, relative to the messages you're getting through your body about what the back is doing (this is what the balancing act is, converting the messages youre getting from your body versus what you're doing with the wheel)
    The moment you've done the counter-steer, the wheel completely weights up again, and you feel this weight transfer, back to neutral.

    Now, I know that it would be impossible to simulate the 'body feeling', for obvious reasons. However what we can simulate is that weight transfer felt in the wheel. In our current sims, the transfer of the weight that we feel simply isn't accurate enough to be able to precisely counter steer something, without relying on the visual information. In real life, you could correct a car that's in oversteer completely blind (though I wouldn't recommend trying this...). In all the current sims, we feel that weight of the rear moving left to the right, but the force helping to counter steer is never strong enough, and then that immediate push of the wheel back to centre is not forecful or obvious enough.

    Summary
    In short, the ffb wheel has to be able to convey these 2 pieces of information, understeer and oversteer, and in very different ways, and at high frequency. Obviously I haven't driven a simulator that the f1 teams use, and never will, maybe their FFB is advanced - and maybe ISI could shed some light on this, with rfactor pro.

    I think there's too much focus on motor power in ffb wheels, and not enough on how sharply and quickly, and accurately, the force can be applied.

  2. #2
    LesiU's Avatar

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    Nice post. Thanks. Have you tried Trustmaster's T500 RS wheel? I went from G25 and G27 to it and straight on you feel much better response in oversteering situations in that very first moment, when your car is about to go sideways.

  3. #3
    DeDios's Avatar

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    Great post, thanks really much.
    Personally i hope rF2 will have an improved FFB.

  4. #4
    CdnRacer's Avatar

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    I really don't know why what I'm about to state is so difficult for people to understand. IN A REAL RACE CAR THE DRIVER RECEIVES FEEDBACK FROM MORE THAN JUST THE STEERING WHEEL. FFB will never be realistic, and should never be realistic.

  5. #5
    Dave Millard's Avatar

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    Realistic is a relative term.

  6. #6
    DeDios's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Millard View Post
    Realistic is a relative term.
    yeah, i agree.
    Surely you can't have same overall sensations like reality..that's why we need the most detailed FFB at steering wheel.

  7. #7
    Carbonfibre's Avatar

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    I also have strong opinions about this... well it's been said by CdnRacer and DeDios already.

    FFB should give you as much information as possible, even more so than in real life, to compensate for the lack of every other force that you don't get from sitting behind a computer screen.

    Also, it's loads more fun when FFB is used to it's full potential and doesn't just exist as a dynamic centre spring.

  8. #8
    lespaul20's Avatar
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnRacer View Post
    I really don't know why what I'm about to state is so difficult for people to understand. IN A REAL RACE CAR THE DRIVER RECEIVES FEEDBACK FROM MORE THAN JUST THE STEERING WHEEL. FFB will never be realistic, and should never be realistic.
    Unless I read the original post wrong, the post was specifically referring to steering wheel FFB. Reread paragraph 7. I completely disagree that FFB can't be realistic, it can and should be as it's only 1 of about 3 feedback cues we have using a sim. Saying a component of a sim should never be realistic completely contradicts the definition of the term simulation and is insanely ridiculous to say so.

    I think the OP has a very valid point but I think Tim has stated that FFB has been improved over rF1. And to be fair, FFB can only be as good as the object creating it, namely the mod.

  9. #9
    rci808's Avatar
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnRacer View Post
    I really don't know why what I'm about to state is so difficult for people to understand. IN A REAL RACE CAR THE DRIVER RECEIVES FEEDBACK FROM MORE THAN JUST THE STEERING WHEEL. FFB will never be realistic, and should never be realistic.
    this has to be the most retarded spew i have ever read in this ISI forum.

  10. #10
    LesiU's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lespaul20 View Post
    And to be fair, FFB can only be as good as the object creating it, namely the mod.
    Mod creators have no influence on FF code in rFactor. You can only sort of "tweak" it with front susp geometry (which you should not do) but that's all... I have few cars with 100% proper susp geometry and FF works as in other good mods (which is so-so, compared to other sims), so I would say - FF can be as good as sim developer have it implemented

  11. #11
    CdnRacer's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfibre View Post

    FFB should give you as much information as possible, even more so than in real life, to compensate for the lack of every other force that you don't get from sitting behind a computer screen.:

    THIS!!!! Carbonfibre gets it! Why can't the rest of you?

  12. #12
    rci808's Avatar
     

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    you just told us that FFB should not be realistic.

    ....nevermind

  13. #13
    rci808's Avatar
     

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    battle of wit with an unarmed person.

  14. #14
    CdnRacer's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by rci808 View Post
    battle of wit with an unarmed person.


    lol. I don't understand a word you're saying dude. If FFB were to be realistic then it would be numb. Pretty simple. Of course you're obviously a keyboard warrior who is always right. You win dude! You're the man. Move along please.

  15. #15
    lespaul20's Avatar
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by LesiU View Post
    Mod creators have no influence on FF code in rFactor. You can only sort of "tweak" it with front susp geometry (which you should not do) but that's all... I have few cars with 100% proper susp geometry and FF works as in other good mods (which is so-so, compared to other sims), so I would say - FF can be as good as sim developer have it implemented
    I suppose I was commenting with the assumption of a plugin like RealFeel being used, which I've read rF2 would build off of, and in that case susp geometry is important as it takes input from the steering rack. In the end I guess it requires both parties to accurately implement the force. I expect rF2 to give mods better tools.

  16. #16
    lespaul20's Avatar
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnRacer View Post
    lol. I don't understand a word you're saying dude. If FFB were to be realistic then it would be numb. Pretty simple. Of course you're obviously a keyboard warrior who is always right. You win dude! You're the man. Move along please.
    Why would it be numb? Pretty sure real drivers feel feedback from the steering wheel.

  17. #17
    LesiU's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lespaul20 View Post
    I suppose I was commenting with the assumption of a plugin like RealFeel being used, which I've read rF2 would build off of, and in that case susp geometry is important as it takes input from the steering rack. In the end I guess it requires both parties to accurately implement the force. I expect rF2 to give mods better tools.
    Yes, that's true but even rffb and good susp geometry it just doesn't feel as good as could be (compared to other sims, especially nkPro) so we are still missing something.
    By the way, Force Feedback seem to be one the most underestimated parts of physics in rF. Hope that will change with rF 2

  18. #18
    CdnRacer's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lespaul20 View Post
    Why would it be numb? Pretty sure real drivers feel feedback from the steering wheel.
    Obviously they are getting feedback but they are not getting the same or even near the same feedback as you are getting with your g27. Carbonfibre described it perfectly and if you still think that FFB in a racing sim is realistic or SHOULD be realistic I don't know what else to say. Lateral grip on the tires is key to good FFB. If you think a real race car driver relies on the input he is getting from the steering wheel to determine if he is getting the most out of his tires you're wrong. Plain and simple.

  19. #19
    Lazza's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lespaul20 View Post
    I suppose I was commenting with the assumption of a plugin like RealFeel being used, which I've read rF2 would build off of,
    No, they said the FFB will be 'more direct', in the same sense as something like RealFeel. It's important to remember RealFeel doesn't do any calculations (apart from range and smoothing), it just uses ISI's 'Steering Arm Force', which in turn responds better to some suspension designs better than others.

    I find the OP interesting, because I'm sure I read in a number of places (from real racers) that the force pushing against you actually starts to drop slightly before you reach the maximum grip/turn threshold (something rFactor allowed you to adjust for in one of the earlier updates) and therefore continues to drop as you enter understeer.

    As for oversteer, having the wheel actually give some kick into the slide sounds logical and would seem to work as a fair substitute for the 'seat of the pants' feeling when the back steps out (heck, I've felt that when driving over some small bumps at 50kph and I've never raced a real car in my life) but no doubt some people would think it's unrealistic because it sort of helps you. But short of having seat FFB I think it would be good for 'feel'.

    Anyway, we'll soon see what rF2 has and how good it is (but I think more input from experienced real-life racers would be good for the discussion)

  20. #20
    blakboks's Avatar

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    I'd actually JUST started a thread of the same topic just a few days ago, posing the question of 'true' FFB vs. 'compensated' FFB. To me, it's similar to a discussion on FOV. Yes, REALISTIC has its merits, but on the computer, in the simulated environment, you have to comprimise. With FOV, if you're on a 15" monitor with a realistic FOV setting, you can't see sh*t, so you have to set it to a higher FOV to be able to properly see the corner apex. Not a problem if you have a 5-projector wrap-around screen system. So, a realistic FFB model would be great if you have a 6-axis articulated motion simulator to give you the seat-of-the-pants feedback. However, for those that don't have a motion simulator, it's probably better to take away from the realism a little bit to 'simulate' the feedback through the steering wheel instead.

    Since there will always be people who are willing to sacrifice some of the 'simulated' stuff for realism, and I'm always one for choice, like someone said in the other thread, a FFB model that's configurable between 100% 'real' FFB and one that maybe over-compensates the seat-of-the-pants feeling is ideal.

    Very much appreciated feedback hiohaa, seeing as many of the dev's race in real life as well, I'm sure not too much of it is news to them, but it's always good to share experiences as there may be something there they've missed. Plus, probably not everyone in the community has had the real world racing at the limit (and I'm guessing sometimes over ) experience that you have. So most of their experience with real world feedback comes from well-below-the-limit driving (like my own).

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