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Make it easy for player to set up their hardware properly

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by AnssiH, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    There are few very common issues that most people don't setup correctly in racing games, but nevertheless affect very fundamentally how the game feels like and how much you can enjoy it. I think AC might as well be the first sim that actually makes players aware of the issues, and helps them fix them easily. Here's how I see it;

    Removing input lag

    Number one offender in my book. Most people don't understand how to remove input lag, they just assume they can't, and play happily with ridiculously bad input. Case in point; there is no way to remove input lag in Forza and Gran Turismo games, yet almost no one is complaining about it, because they have no idea things could be better. It's one of those things you understand once you notice it, and then you can never not notice it anymore. And when things are set up well, oh boy. This item affects the feeling of the sim so radically, that AC really should make an effort in making people aware of the issue, and explaining how it can be fixed. I see people playing with input lag on youtube videos ALL THE TIME, without a clue. Also everybody reading this; do you notice a difference between the motion of your steering wheel, and the motion of the in-game steering wheel? You do? Then there's lag somewhere to be removed. Reply to this thread if you had lag and whether or not you were able to remove it.

    The usual suspects; flip queue size (ATI terminology)/Maximum pre-rendered frames (nVidia terminology) is set high, and v-sync is on. That combination can cause massive input lag (around 200-300 ms).

    It helps to reduce flip queue size/maximum pre-rendered frames to the lowest possible setting. It may cause little bit slower framerate, but usually nothing too serious, and you get more immediate input response (well, less laggy output rather). This setting could exist inside AC's graphics settings with an explanation, and a warning to check whether the video card drivers are overriding the AC setting.

    Even with the maximum pre-rendered frames at minimum, if you have v-sync on, it can cause noticeable input lag. I'm particularly sensitive to input lag, and I can't have v-sync on with AC with my setup. If you are bothered by tearing, try to use the maximum framerate capped to your display refresh rate. I just tried and that is less laggy than v-sync. I don't care about tearing myself so I just instead go for as fast framerate as possible, to make sure the input always goes through as fast as my PC can cope (even if my display device is only drawing a small portion of each rendered frame). Usually the framerate is so fast this way that there's no tearing anyway.

    Also if you are using a TV or a projector, make sure they are set to "game mode" with no motion compensation features enabled, as they cause lag as well. If you have setup everything right, the in-game steering wheel should look like it is physically connected to your real steering wheel, as in it reproduces the motion immediately.

    Force feedback settings

    It would be very nice to have an ingame app that would allow you to change your force feedback settings. It is quite frustrating right now to find good settings when you have to keep exiting to main menu for every adjustment. I noticed there's a clipping indicator with the pedal position app with absolutely no explanation to anyone who doesn't already know what it is. Either way, maybe a force feedback app would be a more logical place for the indicator. Also there should be good explanations to what the settings are, because the terminology varies between games and steering wheels. I feel having this is pretty fundamental, because most people set their wheels badly, and that affects your experience a lot. Make it easy even for casual gamers to set their equipment right.

    There's also bit of a nag with force feedback settings in that, when I set the forces to feel good with a slow street car (say, the E30), my wheel cannot handle the bigger forces of a GT race car without clipping anymore. And when I set the forces to not clip too much with a GT car, the forces feel too weak with street cars. So I find myself adjusting the overall force strength all the time when I switch from one car to another. This might not be too bad if I had a good way to change the overall force in-game. And/or maybe there could be a way to compress the difference between cars. I do like it that the forces feel so different on different cars, and if my wheel was more powerful there would be no problems.

    FOV & Seat position

    Most people are not bothered by setting a realistic FOV for their input device, although at least in the case of large screens or triple monitor setups, they should be. When you have badly setup FOV, it is hard to read how sharp the corners are as you are approaching them. There should be an in-game helper that would tell you how to set your FOV based on your display size and viewing distance. With the caveat that on small displays you probably want to set unrealistically high FOV anyway.

    Perhaps also the default seat position should be a function of the FOV, because with large FOVs, the seat always feels like it's too far back... (I'm sitting pretty close to a 160" screen with about 80 degree FOV in AC, and always have to move the seat very front to not feel like I'm trapped in the car)

    -Anssi
     

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  3. I swear to god everytime I see the words "input lag" I want to bash my head into a brick wall. Of course you see it in Youtube vids, there is only about a dozen different reasons for this. If you suffer from input lag syndrome (ILS) I truly feel for you; you will spend thousands of dollars on video cards and 1ms monitors and run absolutely minimum video settings in order to get hundreds of fps yet you will still see it. The devs will tell you they separated the threads running physics and graphics yet you will still believe it is adversely affecting you.

    Turn off V-Sync, cap your frames at 61, and if you are still convinced you have input lag then check the box to lock the virtual steering wheel. If you do all these things and still suffer the affects of ILS then either deal with it or be prepared to spend thousands of dollars to minimize it.
     
    kalabaleek likes this.
  4. Force Feedback Settings: I have a cheap wheel (Logitech DFGT) so maybe it is different to high end wheels. I set it once and forget it. 900 degrees rotation in profiler and let game override settings. Default felt fine, moved slider or two about 15% less and it feels perfect. One setting works for every car. I can tell which cars have power steering and which ones don't. Not sure why the OP has to have different settings for each car but that's not the case for a DFGT.
     
  5. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    Yeah, there's no reason to spend a penny in optimizing single milliseconds from input lag, there are just few very simple things that a lot of people don't do, and as a result they have multiple frames of lag from multiple stages of their output, causing hundreds of milliseconds of lag. The remedy you are suggesting is basically the same that I suggested.

    You make a good point though, some people can go also wildly overboard with this, and start to pretty much imagine the lag. The response time of our own perception is surprisingly slow, it's about 80 ms on typical visual stimuli. We are not aware of it because we are basically predicting our actions beforehand all the time. But if you get much faster *unexpected* responses than that, some people report the output seemed to occur before their input (I can try to find citations if you are interested)

    But this thing about input lag only being visible on youtube videos is pretty much a myth, light is light, there's no such thing as camera lag, the camera may only be de-synched with a low-refresh rate monitor. Observe;

    No input lag:


    Input lag:

    (jump to e.g. 35 min mark)

    You'd be surprised how many people just eat up the massive input lag of the latter. What you see on the video is exactly as good as you can get Forza 5, has nothing to do with the camera they were using. I know, I can run AC and Forza 5 with exactly the same equipment, and I get exactly the result you see on those videos.

    All I'm saying is, even though most people ignore the input lag, those same people would find the sim feels much better without unduly lag. In fact they would be quite surprised by the difference.

    -Anssi
     
  6. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    Yeah most definitely there are differences between wheels.

    Are your steering wheel forces clipping with the GT race cars? See the fourth bar on the pedal positions app.

    -Anssi
     
  7. I get a tiny bit of clipping entering a corner but no more or less than with any other car....I'm using 107% overall effects in profiler and 90% gain in AC
     
  8. sinbad

    sinbad Racer


    Ignoring this because of some nonsense about it not mattering because of separation of physics and display is like me telling you your watch isn't slow, only the hands are, so stop complaining.

    If there is a delay between your input and the input being displayed, there is a lag. Call it what you will, everyone knows what input lag means, and if you don't think it makes a big difference when it's there you're either lucky enough to never have experienced it or such a passenger when you're playing that you don't notice it.
     
    stenyak likes this.
  9. I am quite fortunate that I don't suffer from ILS
     
  10. sinbad

    sinbad Racer

    Is that acronym some lame attempt to belittle anybody that has this problem?
     
  11. No, it is to describe the condition which a small portion of the sim-racing community suffer from. If you suffer from it I am sure it is very real and seems to be quite troubling but for the vast majority we never notice nor or we bothered by it.
     
  12. sinbad

    sinbad Racer

    Useful then. I'm glad the "vast majority" are so well represented.
     
  13. cooknn

    cooknn Alien

    With regards to the OP, my setup only runs smooth if I turn VSync ON (but not in the game). If not, I experience tearing even with my frame rate capped. Possibly because I want all the eye candy set to the max. So, I'm content with a smooth 60 fps and have not noticed any lag between my steering or shifting input and the what happens in the game. The shifting animation for paddles is embarrassing though :confused: It's like a second behind reality. I hope they get that sorted by the next update.
     
  14. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    Then it's probably all just in driver preference. Some people don't like to have force feedback at all after all. The Thrustmaster TX is not by any means a high end wheel, it's probably similar in power output as yours. It's impossible to compare the settings because the wheels work differently, but for those who have similar wheel, I set 100% on the driver level and something like 60% in AC (the individual effects all on 100%) to only get some clipping over the curbs on the GT race cars. And then the slower cars feel quite weak in force feedback, and I always want to up the forces from the menu.

    It's really not a big deal though, the more important bit is it would be quite a bit more convenient to be able to setup the forces in-game where you could instantly feel how your changes affect the feel.

    -Anssi
     
  15. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    Yeah I mean, let's not pollute the thread with the "ILS issue" (maybe even call it "imagined lag syndrome"), it's completely different from what I was talking about in the OP. There are a lot of people who don't know how to set up their hardware correctly, and by default will get hundreds of milliseconds of lag. Basically what you see on the youtube video I linked to. You can all see it right? It's not a magical camera picking up the picture from the TV later than the driver's hands, that's exactly how millions of people experience racing games, and they think it's the high end in driving simulation because simply don't know better. The guys on the video are not complaining because they know they can't do anything about it in Forza, they just have to deal with it. You see them testing the wheel and being bothered by it, but then trying to get over it. That's not how a good sim should be.

    You've also seen some people complaining that AC has got the most terrible physics they have ever felt? I'm willing to bet a lot of those are simply cases of badly set hardware. I have sat people who have never driven race sims or played games much for that matter, in front of properly set up AC, and they were quite amazed that finally they could actually stay on the track, unlike in Forza or GT. You must not forget that VAST MAJORITY of gamers are not race sim aficionados, and they have no clue what things might affect their difficulties. 100% of the people I've seen having troubles with Forza have blamed their driving skills instead of laggy input. The issue has not been fixed in the past 5 titles, because no one is complaining, because they don't understand the problem. At the same time, I do not think those people also in real life spin into the nearest tree every time they try to drive a real car. Also it is amusing to think that, if you had a real car with its steering wheel attached to the steering rack with a rubber band, causing the same amout of lag, that car would never ever pass inspection to be road legal. Is that how people should experience a racing sim?

    Here's probably a greatest example of my complaint; professional game journalists testing Gran Turismo 5 with a professional rally driver with 20 years of experience (jump to around 7 min mark to see GT5 action);


    Massive input lag, he can't drive straight, wheel setup to all hell, and suffering from the ridiculous 50/50 default brake balance in GT5. They are speaking finnish but he is basically wondering why is it not going straight, and why doesn't the brake pedal respond immediately... but ultimately not the game journalists or himself have any idea that the game and the hardware is completely whacked off. Instead they assume this is the high-end in racing simulation, and they constantly try to explain it to themselves by the game being "so real". This kind of perception is so ridiculously common, it would be about time to destroy that myth.

    From a game developer point of view, it would get you more favorable views more often to the game, if you help people understand and sort out their issues. You have to point it out to them, "look at this indicator. If it doesn't move when you move the steering wheel, something is wrong". It's that simple.

    -Anssi
     
  16. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    That's interesting, I haven't tried turning VSync on at the driver level. Do you mean it behaves differently for you when you turn it on in the game?
     
  17. cooknn

    cooknn Alien

    Yes. even at 60 fps I would experience the occasional stutter. Almost like a frame got stuck then let loose. I solved that by using a little program called D3D Overrider that allows me to have VSync and Triple Buffering. Everything is smooth now. And beautiful. With the power of today's graphics cards and all the bandwidth we have now, multiplayer should be a blast. Can't wait :D
     
  18. Stereo

    Stereo Alien

    I dunno why, but I'm a lot more sensitive to input lag than screen tearing... I can see the difference from input to screen in the Talk & Drive (it's not large, so only visible when he wrenches the wheel). And I can see it when I'm playing AC (I've got it set to cap 60 fps and 1 frame prerendered so not much I can do there). But I've never really noticed screen tearing in any game regardless of fps.
     
  19. col_sagal

    col_sagal Rookie

    Quoted: "The usual suspects; flip queue size (ATI terminology)/Maximum pre-rendered frames (nVidia terminology) is set high, and v-sync is on. That combination can cause massive input lag (around 200-300 ms)."Some people out there (a few I recognize) are using SLI and 3D when the game is designed for it. It is my case and therefore I use 120Hz for the screen and somehow I use Vsync on with Nvidia adaptive settings. I have read here that with SLI enabled changing pre-rendered mode is not working. I have mixed result with setting it to 2 with FSX and F4 BMS. Why 2 because I've read that with 2 GC it is the minimum. So what is your recommendation in this case? My point is that the developer of AC should fix/improve this issue without the end user having to change settings like that. In addition in some cases it is not working.
     
  20. col_sagal

    col_sagal Rookie

    Another clarification I would like to make. There are according to my definition two kinds of lags. The first one is annoying but relatively minor. It is the one described by most of the people in this topic: you move your wheel and you realise that the one in the game is move 1 s after your moved your physical one or your change your speed on your wheel and your see it on the virtual cockpit one second later.
    Then there is the very embarrasing one I described where what you see on the screen is very slow (up to 5 times slower than in reality) that is evidenced by a 0 to 1000 m in 1"43 with for example the BMW M3 GTR.... This kind of lag one may experience in other games like fps when your setting is too high for your configuration. The solution is to lower the setting. Unfortunately lowering the setting with AC is not really efficient, the only think that works a little bit is to disable AA and use FXAA. That is basically the only solution to drive in 3D in AC. The problem is for me, that it signs a very bad graphic engine or whatever you can call it. If I experience it now from the view from the cockpit while I'm the only one on the track and while the crowd is even not modeled, I'm pretty sure the rest of you will experience it when there will be 20 cars on the track. OK some of you are going to say, it is not for tomorrow and maybe not before two years from now and by that time we may have upgrade the processor, mainboard, memory and GC but still. For an early access, when the graphic engine is so badly developped I'm quite upset and quite worried for the future. Once again I ran F1 2012 in 3D on 3 screens with all the 19 other cars with fps from 25 from 40. So what is the problem with AC?
     
  21. AnssiH

    AnssiH Gamer

    Col sagal, it's a bit difficult to understand what you mean by screen being "up to 5 times slower than in reality". From the rest of your post, I'm assuming you basically mean you get very low framerates, lower than you'd expect based on F1 2012.

    It's impossible to say where you are getting your slowdown exactly without being able to properly analyze what the AC graphics engine would be doing on your hardware. Different engines just do things differently, moving the bottlenecks to different places with different hardware. That is why video card benchmarks are run on many different games. And that is why Kunos, or anyone, cannot have things working well for everybody out of the box; different hardware combinations cannot be completely catered for.

    I hear Kunos is planning to do some optimizations still, but it is impossible to say whether they will affect your particular situation at all. I would guess there aren't any massive optimizations left to do, based on how well it runs on most typical hardware.

    Being that you are running with SLI in 3D on 3 screens, you do need some serious grunt to run that fast. If you are experiencing a sharp fall off in framerate between F1 2012 and AC, it is possible you simply run out of video memory with AC, because it just so happens to use it differently than F1. Try to set all the detail settings off (HDR; motion blur, reflections...), and see if that makes things fast enough. Then try to enable them one by one, and see if you get a sharp falloff with some settings. Those settings may be exposing a bottleneck in your system, possibly your memory.

    And also, you mentioned you run F1 2012 at 25-40 fps, that means you frame lengths are relatively long, and with SLI apparently you are forced to have 2 prebuffered frames because its doing alternate frame rendering? That's a pretty long output delay... I don't have much personal experience with SLI setups, but I know some people experience stuttering because the frame lengths can vary a lot, and I'd expect that problem to be more pronounced with low framerates. Maybe trade your SLI setup in for one fast card with more memory than your current single card has, and try to push to 60 fps with your three displays in 3D? That would have to be pretty much whatever is the fastest thing out there right now...

    -Anssi
     

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