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Live Tony Gardner Interview

Yesterday, iRacing President, Tony Gardner gave a live interview in ISRTV show answering some doubts about the present and the future of the company and the sim.
Seth Whitaker wrote a fast transcription of the most important topics.

Q: How is S2 Build Going?
A: On Schedule and on track for everything discussed so far. R8 LMS, Merc GT3, MX5, FR2.0 DX11 and a few suprises.

Q: New Faces in various videos & photos about office expansion. How are staff numbers growing?
A: last 18 mo, hiring technical people aggressively. 6-7 new people in last year. 50 full time and 10-15 contractors.
Currently Sitting in new conference room. Gained 4000 sg/ft office space knocking down a wall.

Q: What are new people focused on project wise?
A: 3 new software engineers, 2 web engineers, 1 artist, 1 new animator & database engineer to push projects forward faster.

Q: General company health question…
A: Investing lots back into product. Signed a new 5yr lease on current office.

Q: As new features have been added over the years, many havent found a home in the current UI, leaving us to dig through the app and render ini files. With new UI coming will more of the hidden functions be brought to the forefront?
A: Yes, new in-sim UI will hopefully make finding and using many options much easier. In future, the website will generally go away as everything will eventually move to one cohesive application.
Backend services are being built from the ground up with modern technologies.

Q: Hows the progress on the new website?
A: taking longer than estimated. Wont roll out whole new experience at once, will roll out things piece by piece. New In-Sim UI will likely show up first where users will be able to opt-in to test out the new functionality.

Q: Hopefully rolling out this year in a multi-build rollout?
A: Yes, hopefully this year. New simgle application is built and working and can be used at office, but need to polish all the final features into it.

Q: Going to Sim Expo?
A: Yes

Q: Some cars are getting old, any point do you think you may retire cars not just from series, but from the service completely? Assume it takes a lot of dev time to keep them up to date?
A: Good question, some cars are continuing to get a graphics refresh. Maybe someday some cars may go away, but no need in currently.

Q: Add manufacture logos to in game standings?
A: Yea, wouldnt be hard to do.

Q: Any plans to partner with people like WEC.
A: Yes, working with manufaturer with LeMans type content.

Q: LMP1?
A: Yes, looking into it.

Q: Assume getting LMP1 content is difficult due to things changing all the time?
A: Yes, definitely a problem. Will never be able to compeletely keep up with all cars. Have cars on their target radar.

Q: How long does the full process take working with manufaturer?
A: Many months, iRacing is not a high priority to big manufacturers. Legal process takes a while, teams need review contract then agree to data. Some contracts have not been singed because of data (referencing BTCC probably).

Q: As a fan what do you want to see in the Sim as soon as possible?
A: #Dirt. I want to see all the stuff you want to see. Performance & sim stability. Moving forward on damage model but need to make sure performance is tuned properly.

Q: Are parts falling off still on target for new damage model?
A: Yes, still a goal. Main goal is to make damage model more accurate. Current model is based on sphere zones. New model is moving to real convex shapes.
Spent a year just on collisions with track surface model.
Wanted to base new model based on actual stress factors on each part.
One car is complete with new damage model
New sparks will properly bounce off surface rather than re-absorb like we see now.

Q: Will this reduce unrealistic crash physics
A: Ideally. For example, an indycar can actually break into multiple parts with enough stress and that type of model is the end goal.

Q: Favorite pizza toppings?
A: Salami. #blameOtto

Q: Gotten your hands on Oculus CV1 or Vive
A: Yes, CV1. Will work on integrating support after DX11 rollout here soon. Dont know about Vive Yet.

Q: Any possibility of a seperate mobile launcher
A: Yea possibly.

Q: Any tracks you might go back and rescan? (Daytona, Lime Rock, Silverstone)
A: 2 different scenarios.
1. Going to work on graphically upgrading old tracks (VIR)
2. Would like to go back and rescan changed track and start from scratch at some point.

Q: Are DX11 upgrades universal or do engineers need to touch each track individually.
A: Each needs to be done individually, but each is not a ton of work. Few hours per track.

Q: Update on IMOLA?
A: In progress, close to done. Didnt miss, making the build by much. Could be a mid season release or June. LeMans in Progress still too.

Q: Looking at upgrading 5 car types per race?
A: Have actually had 6 cars in wk 13 races. Performance is main concern. Sim doesnt see it as 5, it sees it as 30 cars because of all the skins. Big hit on performance. As tech moves forward the limit will continue to increase to 6 and 7 etc.

Q: What will be the first DX11 enabled project?
A: Optimization will be first. Then they will work on day/night, rain ect. Will sit down in next 30 days to discuss which project to tackle first.

Q: Fixed vs Open series balance?
A: Happy with current balance. People like to do both.

Q: Rockingham UK status?
A: On list to-do. But has bounced to low priority. Doesnt think NASCAR series guys would want to race on it here.

Q: Could you open up the Ring in a 24/7 road series where you could take any car and run hot-lap?
A: yes, cue loose lips. Were creating something called ‘Time Attack’. Take a single car on 12 twelve tracks and take your top time from each and there will be leaderboards for every car. There might be a pro tier with money behind it (ala DWC).

Q: What is future of iRacing in terms of e-sports?
A: Audience is growing, but people will more likely want to watch real racing vs sim-racing. Will take time to really catch on.

Q: Any discussions with any e-sports partners?
A: Yes, we’ve talked to some e-sports venues and could see it happeneing sometime in the future.

Q: multi-lingual support?
A: Would be nice yes, but its a lot of work. Some areas of the website storefront car multi-lingual. The language support isnt the difficult part, its the technical behind the scenes which is hard.

Q: Will there be a car viewer available to create more accurate skins?
A: Yes it is a part of the new UI.

Q: Will iRacing ever ad moto gp?
A: I can sit here and say yes to everything, but yes its something we would like to do in the future. Controllers are not great right now and most bike games are not as fun as they look due to clumbsy controllers.

Q: Can we expect to see more vintage cars?
A: Again, yes we hope to.

Q: Confirm all new content for next build.
A: Yes 99% sure all new cars will make it. only one which might be slightly behind is MX5, If it doesnt make wk 13 they will push it out wk 1. Sometimes approval process holds up releases of cars even when cars are completely done.

Loose Lips alert: we’ll have flashing headlights in this build. I’ll give you guys a little something small.

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