In The Driving Seat: GRID 2 Cockpit Mods

By Adam Smith on June 3rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

PC people really are clever and dedicated folks. If they’re not inventing new and grotesque ways to contort the G-Man’s face and limbs, they’re making mods for games that have only been out for a few hours. Codemasters didn’t include cockpit views in their enjoyably silly racing-game-with-a-plot, GRID 2. The reason given was that only 5% of people who played the original ever used the in-car cams and “they are expensive to run due to the requirement for high-resolution interior textures which are seen close-up and require a considerable amount of in-game memory (to store) and processing (to render).” Intelligent sorts have already modded the game, adding cockpit views, and, lo, the interiors are indeed low resolution, but there are already folks working to sharpen the whole thing up. Video under the hood.

I’m one of the (apparent) 95% who would rarely use a cockpit view even if it were available, but I may try this later, just to see if I immediately become better/worse at driving.

Via VG24/7.

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55 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    It has hands! On the wheel! In the game! I call it a witch!

    • TuringMachine says:

      Nah, female drivers don’t get this much attention. A sorcerer maybe.

    • tobecooper says:

      Eh, Inqusitor prolly had them too. Witches on wheels, I mean.

    • Astartes says:

      And it can use manual transmission!

      Burn the Witch!

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      More evidence of the rampant sexism that exists in the gaming community! You can’t blame a woman man, men have hands too! I think the Modder’s had some sensibility as they made the protagonist wear gloves so either hairy knuckles or nail polish who knows? Mind they do look like reet proper girly effeminate hands so you may have a point. ANYWAY that John fella will be along soon wearing a displeasured countenance and inviting you to take a pew on the dunking stool of shame!

  2. Astartes says:

    I don’t usually talk like this, so forgive me, but: Cockpit view or get the fuck out.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Oh my. (faints).

    • Lolsmurf says:

      ²
      I refuse to even spend a f**king penny on devs who remove features of their games.

      ‘Oh modders will take care of that’ Well its them who the money will go to if I ever pay a single dime for this game.

      Next year: Grid 3 => No hardcore mode: ‘ Our statistics which we researched by counting like real idiots showed us nobody ever uses this mode, we decided to remove it’

      In 10 years from now we ll have racing games where cars have a wheel and a steering wheel, thats all. All the other thing are not necessairy and arent being used anyways !

    • Iskariot says:

      I do agree. I never buy racing games/sims or flightsims without cockpit view.

      • DickSocrates says:

        Behind the car view is for people who enjoy games, in car view is for those who study them.

        That’s 100% water-tight fact.

        • Premium User Badge

          JiminyJickers says:

          Or for people enjoy games and use head tracking software.

          And you can use a real cheap one that uses your webcam to track your face like FaceTrackNoIR. It is so much better when playing cockpit view when you can look around.

  3. FF56 says:

    Why is it the fov of cockpit views is always so small? To me that makes it extremely difficult to play which is why I never use it.
    When I sit in my real car I can see the right mirror in the corner of my eye, cockpit views are almost half that.

    • Jekhar says:

      There was a time when this was easily fixed via a fov slider. But with todays (lack of) options screens you are out of luck most of the time. At least “serious” sims like rFactor and their ilk still have that option.

    • NekoBlair says:

      Well, fret not. As you’re not doing your daily driving there, everything you need is already far ahead of you, feel free to be grateful for the focused FoV. Also, the cockpit view makes you sit at the fulcrum of the car’s movement, and that’s another good thing. Moving gauges and what not are, instead, pure car porn that only enthusiasts seem to get.

      When racing really, really fast ( which is something that few people can do, while most of them i’m sure don’t mind the cockpit view at all ), you only have to focus on what matters. Your sides don’t, trust me, they’re meaningless and you just have to KNOW someone is besides you to judge what’s best. Being fast is knowing what’s going to happen even just by feeling, when you accomplish that you can corner and overtake with Dirt’s 2/3 cockpit view even when the mud is on your windscreen.

      Real pro drivers drive with helmets and most with head restraints, they can’t move at all and they’re perfectly happy with that. Remember: if you WANT to see everything you are already going with the wrong mindset, your driving will be reactionary and not proactive.

      Sorry if it seems like i’m attacking you though, you just provided the input to my rant and i’m actually a bit sorry for that. Eitherway, and that’s still not aimed at you, i’d like to understand WHY people ( not you ) try so hard to actively censor whoever rightfully complains about the lack of that view.

      Eitherway, i’m in no way trying to say that letting people adjust the FoV would be a bad idea.

    • lijenstina says:

      Most likely clipping issues on bigger FOV’s with the hands and the car body.

    • Teovald says:

      (wild guess) maybe in order to reduce the number of polygons to display ?

  4. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    Farsighted Driving Simulator 2013

  5. Paul says:

    If modders actually restore cockpits…wow. Shame on CM though.

    • NekoBlair says:

      Modders are likely going to do a more high res job of it, so i’m actually sort of thankful for CM’s missing work.

      Another good thing is that you’ll see your bonnet from a distance, which is a great thing since they forgot to add proper textures to that view.

  6. Mr.Cthulhu says:

    When I was younger I’d always play ‘realistic’ racing games in third person with a controller.

    Now that I’ve been driving for several years, it just feels wrong without a first-person cockpit view and a steering wheel.

  7. soapgoat says:

    i still think codemasters got their numbers from multiplayer only, where cockpit cam is a hindrance…
    multiplayer seems like the logical reason they would remove so much shit from this game, like not being able to disable assists and such

  8. mr.lutze says:

    “they are expensive to run due to the requirement for high-resolution interior textures which are seen close-up and require a considerable amount of in-game memory (to store) and processing (to render).”

    So basically “herp derp consoles herp derp we care about PC so little that we won’t even copy-paste assets from first game to PC version herp derp”.

    • Caiman says:

      I love it when devs treat us all like idiots with stuff like this, it really makes me want to support their games. Pity a great many previous driving games managed to eke out the resources for an in-cockpit view without turning the game into a slideshow, even on those ancient machines of yore, the 360 and the PS3.

    • Fox89 says:

      How many of the GRID 2 cars were in GRID 1, out of curiosity? Those are the only ones you could copy paste assets from even if changes to the engine in the intervening 5 years didn’t make it much more challenging than that, which they probably would. And even ten only if they still had the license to use those assets.

      So many people who know nothing about game development make assumptions about how it works. “Why not just copy/paste assets?” Same reason you can’t magic a game into existence by wishing on a star – it doesn’t work. I’m sure if Codies could have spent 5 minutes with Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V they would have gladly done so and avoided all this bad press.

      I don’t object to complaints about cockpit cam, it’s the ‘game development is super-easy and everyone is just lazy’ attitude that bugs me. “Surgery? I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Just chuck a new heart in there. Sorted.”

      • Zap Brannigan says:

        And yet a modder, you know, someone without access to the source code, design docs, or people who helped make the game, has indeed made a low res cockpit so soon after the game has been released.
        It may not be a trivial copy/paste job, but it can’t be horribly complex or Codemasters ought to hire this super coder immediately.

        • Fox89 says:

          Made a low res cockpit? Pretty sure they’ve just moved the camera position. The cockpits already have low-res models – you can tell as they are visible through car windows in other views. These don’t take up any extra memory as they’re already there. If you were to start improving that quality to the level you would expect from a commercial game, it becomes more difficult.

          My guess is the consoles couldn’t handle it and it was difficult to justify the man hours that could be spent bug fixing and on other areas of the game for a feature that would only see the light of day on PCs. If modders can make an acceptable solution for that market in their own time, great. Maybe they can even make it look beautiful as if Codies themselves had done it. That, I would expect to take quite some time though.

          • SominiTheCommenter says:

            The consoles can already handle it, GRID The One (With Cockpit View) still works.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    I don’t play many “pure” racing games, just open-world driving games and simulators. But yeah, I find cockpit view so much more natural, even when I didn’t think I would.

    For example, Driver: San Francisco. No wheel support, so gamepad it is. Third person cam seemed natural — wider FOV, you can see what’s around you, behind you, avoid it … But when I tried first person cam, suddenly I found myself just naturally avoiding stuff, taking turns faster and much more reliably, etc. Even though the only feedback was really just visual, you could tell when you’d lost traction, when you got it back, when you should let off the steering and straighten out, and so on.

    Of course, that made it all the more entertaining when I would find one of those challenges that was like “do a 20m jump in first person mode” — like it was supposed to make things more difficult, not less. Especially when the first-person challenges would be tiny little kiddie versions of the big crazy “do a 100m jump” challenges. The ones I already did in first person.

    So yeah. Giving me a real driver’s view really does seem to make me a better driver. Which is odd, because I still haven’t bothered to get my driver’s license IRL, and I’ve never been behind the wheel of anything more than a go-cart. (And I’m quite old enough to make that a pretty rare anomaly.)

    • NekoBlair says:

      You’re sitting more or less in the middle of your car and you don’t have to wrestle with a cam that not only takes you far back from the action, but that behaves diffently than the car itself. That’s probably the reason.

      Being at the fulcrum allows you to judge everything more precisely and, as you said, having just what actually matters shown to you let’s you drive by heart and feel. And yeah, Driver SF is great with all that wheel action and nice animations, what the ( in game ) steering wheel actually does is also some great information for you as you are able to understand how the gamepad inputs are being filtered ( there’s always some “interpretation” of your inputs ).

  10. jellydonut says:

    A bad game made slightly less bad by modders. Good on them – I’d still rather play a proper driving simulator.

  11. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    Cool. I might get it now.

  12. Vagrant says:

    Actually, I wish race sims offered me the ability to blur cockpits like the ones in that video. As someone who uses a sim wheel for racing games, I find dash views extremely distracting & unrealistic. I’ve already got a dash, even it it’s just a wheel & some plywood. The monitor is where my windshield would be in a car.

    When you’re racing in real life, the cockpit is a distraction that disappears from your view as you focus on the road (that’s why gauges have blinking lights). Hood view is the most realistic view., unless you’ve got a head-mounted display. Whenever the Rift comes out, maybe I’ll be praising cockpit views. Until then, cockpit views are like racing from the backseat.

    • NekoBlair says:

      Some games are nice enough to let you hide the in game wheel if yours is detected, that’s a feature that i’d like to see more.

      Hood view might be more realistic from a visual standpoint but i still prefer to be in the middle to better judge how my rear is moving.

    • SuicideKing says:

      NFS Shift does a good job of blurring cockpits, usually when at higher speeds.

      I just can’t find that game anywhere, and have received mixed inputs about Shift 2: Unleashed.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Shift 2 is better than the first game in basically every way imaginable. Physics, graphics, content, career mode, whatever.

    • Jupiah says:

      “Cockpit views are like racing from the backseat.” Thank you for describing my feelings about cockpit views in racing games better than I could. No one focused on their wheel or their dashboard when driving a car unless a blinking light comes on or they need to check their speed or remaining gas or something. If the cockpit view zoomed in so the windshield took up 80-90% of the screen that would be more realistic and immersive than showing your arms and wheel and gauges which only serve to distract you from the the road and shrink your fov.

    • Archangel says:

      “When you’re racing in real life, the cockpit is a distraction that disappears from your view as you focus on the road”

      Thirded. You never “see” the inside of the cockpit when you’re driving. It’s an argument as old as the hills, unfortunately, but I submit to you that half of your primary cone of vision when you’re driving is taken up by an instrument cluster. Hood/bonnet cam is the way to go.

      Actually, wasn’t cockpit view originally for (much) older raster games specifically reducing the renderable screen size for higher performance on ancient computers? Old games used to have huge HUDs for this reason.

  13. F3ck says:

    I like the adrenaline of the up-close view…but I’ll drive like shit. I just know it.

  14. Jupiah says:

    Eh, maybe if I had a three monitor setup with a ridiculously wide resolution I would use the cockpit view in racing games. Otherwise it’s too annoying having a drastically reduced field of view compared to third person view because my peripheral vision is cut off and half my screen is filled with a car dashboard which is entirely redundant because all the important gauges are already being shown on the HUD.

  15. Tetracell says:

    This is awesome. I’m one of those people who play in cockpit view for a majority of my games, but it’s not necessarily for immersion when it comes to racing. Behind the car cams are miserable, and your standard bumper cams and the like put the goddamn thing right in the center of the car. Doing that just feels… off. I don’t see why they didn’t add a cockpit view like TOCA3 at a minimum. That usually only just barely shows the dashboard of the car, maybe a detail or two like windshield wipers, and also sits you down in the proper right/left hand drive position.

  16. SuicideKing says:

    Just reading the forum thread. Looks like they have the textures included in the game for the cockpit view, they just didn’t enable them.

  17. engion3 says:

    Stopped playing this game after completing several races where classic cars beat new m3s. Also if you look at the ratings of cars they make no sense. A Gulf GTI and a 70’s Charger are almost the same weight according to the game. I can deal with a more arcade feel but that’s just overboard.

  18. SuicideKing says:

    That rewind system looks very annoying

  19. pilouuuu says:

    Well, actually I don’t mind the cockpit view being lo-res because the focus is on the track.
    Modders… making PC gaming better since 1873.

  20. dannyland1 says:

    The reason only 5% used the cockpit view, in my opinion, is because those idiots didn’t make it the default camera a la NFS: SHIFT. Debut your selling points at the start of the game you goons, don’t hide it in the options.

    I would also like to point out, we’ll probably get GRID 3 very soon since the “next-gens” are coming out.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      The NFS:Shift “helmet cam” IMO is vastly superiour to any other cockpit cam in games (including shift’s own cockpit cam). It negates the need for head tracking software, which is a big plus imo (Since I currently don’t have it :P)

  21. Sic says:

    What’s the point of a car game if it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a car?

    Like Astartes said, cockpit view or GTFO.

  22. Premium User Badge

    liquidsoap89 says:

    HECK YEA!

  23. TheSplund says:

    Hmm, I might now consider buying it – it looks quite fun now it’s got the in-car.

  24. neolith says:

    “they are expensive to run due to the requirement for high-resolution interior textures which are seen close-up and require a considerable amount of in-game memory (to store) and processing (to render).”

    As long as we’re talking about a PC game I call bullshit on that.

    The textures and their resolutions for a cockpit might need careful planning, I’ll give you that. But the rendering? Come on – a cockpit consists of a couple thousand to a couple tenthousand polys in a case like this. Neither the amount of polygons nor the overdraw they produce when occluding the rest of the scene are a problem for ANY dedicated graphics card on the market.
    For years now the hardware has easily been powerful enough to cope with this kind of problems.

  25. sabishi_daioh says:

    I like that they added this back in, but I’ll be interested whenever we have cockpit views that actually give me the view I would have from the seat instead of just blocking half the screen with a dashboard.

  26. Milincho says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52xU01wy7SU

    This mod features:

    1. New physics and car settings/handling for higher realism
    2. Immersive Camera Views
    3. TrackIR support
    4. No Intro logo videos
    5. No Engineer speech during the race
    6. Realistic used tyres textures
    7. Auto reset remover (free roaming)
    8. HQ Settings

    Gameplay Video with TrackIR in Cam4 (Extreme Immersive)
    http://youtu.be/52xU01wy7SU

    Replay comparision with Cameras 1-4 (no TrackIR used, although you can use TrackIR in replays too)
    http://youtu.be/5MfTKV5Jnso

    Replay comparision with Cameras 5-7 (+ Replay)
    http://youtu.be/gJ19NRn8oLw

    Replay comparision (9 Cameras)
    http://youtu.be/I2syBXyD_UY

    Download 60fps demo videos here:
    http://rapidgator.net/file/34f685777e312507281dd1e95d41d413/Gameplay_ExtremeImmersive_Full_TrackIR.mp4.html
    http://rapidgator.net/file/e2a363c5d555f4bdd0b8fff19cea6099/Gameplay_ExtremeImmersive.mp4.html
    http://rapidgator.net/file/71d6217bc96dec5fe3c9f3dfa159838d/Grid2_BayetasMod_Immersive_Head_4cams.mp4.html
    http://rapidgator.net/file/69048da3de20593774c4146e4124d570/Grid2_BayetasMod_Interior_Bumper_4cams.mp4.html
    http://rapidgator.net/file/c8930ba7b6a3ed33d78120c5721fb6b9/Grid2_BayetasMod_Bonnet_Chase_4cams.mp4.html
    http://rapidgator.net/file/b412e8b4cdf8083169cfc6841c509884/Grid2_BayetasMod_6cams.mp4.html