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Regarding cockpit views in racing games

gtmax

Member
Jun 23, 2004
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If you personally don't care for them, then your opinion has little merit because for the devs, if there are 10 people that play exclusively on them, they have to put them in. That is to say, give me the option of using them, because if i don't want to, i can then choose not to. If they're not there in the first place, then i'm royally fucked.

Opinions on cockpit views are as diverse as the shit people take. In this here thread i will try to stay as objective as possible. I can do this because console racing games are the only games i truly care about. I ravished Japan and bought every decent ps1/2 racing game i could fine. I bought a JPN ps2 just to get GT3 early and the concept games. But i digress.

For those who don't like cockpit view, they cite their reason as being that the view is too restrictive and it takes away from the gaming experience. This is a blanket statement that doesn't apply to every game, however. It's true that most racing games make the mistake of cutting too much of the screen, but that's not a good reason to hate all cockpit views all of the time.


The problem with teh way devs model cockpit views is that they model what they think the driver sees when in the car. The result is that only half of the car is modeled.

When they also model the A pillar and the unnecessary part of the top of the windshield, it really takes a lot of real estate, making you squint to look at the road. Throw in bad lighting, like in Ferrari Trofeo Pirelli, and you're...fucked.

The horrible, abysmal handling Driving Emotion Type S had a typical, somwhat cramped cockpit view but with a twist. Unlike GT5P, the cockpit view followed your eyesight as you turned. Also, the car's gauges were slightly blurred, giving the player a sense of looking at them peripherally. Ultimately a not so good view but an excellent effort nonetheless.



Advan racing had a pretty good cockpit view in terms of field of view, but it was crappy because it was a generic view for all cars - not acceptable in today's market.

Race driver 3 didn't waste resources modeling the passenger's seat. An excellent cockpit view but missing the car's real gauge, which is needed for me.


Ferrari 355 addressed this issue by pasting the car's real gauges over the cockpit, a little unrealistic but more immerisve than RD3's view.

This view is good since it pans out the entire cockpit. I haven't played this game too much but i think this view might throw me off after a while since it's a bit lopsided.


Every now and then though, a racing game shakes up the genre, introducing uniquely new gameplay features and doing the *racing* part of the game better than anyone else. But much like that tree in the forest, will the game make an impact if no one plays it and the press fails to 'get' it? Alas a perfect cockpit view in an amazing game: Total Immersion Racing:


All the details of the cockpit that you need are there. The track is perfectly visible and your view is completely unobstructed. Of course, it helps that the car is a race car, in this instance. This is how the game does a production car:


They don't sacrifice gameplay for graphical detail, or put graphical details at the expense of gameplay.

In conclusion, and i'll update this post with more cockpit pics of different games, if the devs do their research, they can have a game with hundreds of cars and with a cockpit for each, without sacrificing precious resources like time and money, and giving the players what they want without sacrificing gameplay.

Excellent cockpit modeling, horrible driving angle. Too cramped, limited visibility.
 

Haunted

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Nov 16, 2006
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steamcommunity.com
Is this a spinoff of the Forza III discussion thread?


In any case, FOR.

Adjustable cockpit views are of course, the pinnacle, letting the player choose angle, view etc. I don't remember which games exactly had the option, but there were some screenshots posted in the thread mentioned above.

I'm currently using a mod for Race Driver Grid (the racing game I play the most these days), which moved the cockpit view angle a couple inches forward, so it uses less screen estate while having the gauges still visible, even moreso when you turn your head. It's so good, I find myself using the right stick to look into the rear view/side mirrors instead of using the dedicated "look back" button. :D
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,383
0
0
I think I played Dirt in cockpit view first. Shit was really hard always kept crashing on the sides, haven't touched the game since.

It works pretty well in GT5 Prologue though, when I play the game it's pretty much always in cockpit mode unless I want to look at the graphics.
 

GitarooMan

Member
Jul 12, 2005
15,250
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0
gtmax said:
If you personally don't care for them, then your opinion has little merit because for the devs, if there are 10 people that play exclusively on them, they have to put them in.
Why do they have to, those 10 people will just find something else to bitch about anyway.
 

Diablohead

Member
Jun 4, 2006
43,512
0
0
Haunted said:
Is this a spinoff of the Forza III discussion thread?


In any case, FOR.

Adjustable cockpit views are of course, the pinnacle, letting the player choose angle, view etc. I don't remember which games exactly had the option, but there were some screenshots posted in the thread mentioned above.

I'm currently using a mod for Race Driver Grid (the racing game I play the most these days), which moved the (already excellent) cockpit view angle a couple inches forward, so it uses less screen estate while having the gauges still visible, even moreso when you turn your head. It's so good, I find myself using the right stick to look into the rear view/side mirrors instead of using the dedicated "look back" button. :D
Yea I like the grid cockpits as I get a good feeling of where the corners of the car are, can't mod it on 360 :(

F355 cockpit has always been great for me, you see your bonnet, top of the wheel and the driver hands without much effort or pointless 3d modelling of the entire car insides, the game is old now though so it's partly due to limitations.
 

1-D_FTW

Member
Jun 14, 2006
17,069
0
0
gtmax said:
If you personally don't care for them, then your opinion has little merit because for the devs, if there are 10 people that play exclusively on them, they have to put them in. That is to say, give me the option of using them, because if i don't want to, i can then choose not to. If they're not there in the first place, then i'm royally fucked.

Opinions on cockpit views are as diverse as the shit people take. In this here thread i will try to stay as objective as possible. I can do this because console racing games are the only games i truly care about. I ravished Japan and bought every decent ps1/2 racing game i could fine. I bought a JPN ps2 just to get GT3 early and the concept games. But i digress.

For those who don't like cockpit view, they cite their reason as being that the view is too restrictive and it takes away from the gaming experience. This is a blanket statement that doesn't apply to every game, however. It's true that most racing games make the mistake of cutting too much of the screen, but that's not a good reason to hate all cockpit views all of the time.

The problem with teh way devs model cockpit views is that they model what they think the driver sees when in the car. The result is that only half of the car is modeled.


When they also model the A pillar and the unnecessary part of the top of the windshield, it really takes a lot of real estate, making you squint to look at the road. Throw in bad lighting, like in Ferrari Trofeo Pirelli, and you're...fucked.

The horrible, abysmal handling Driving Emotion Type S had a typical, somwhat cramped cockpit view but with a twist. Unlike GT5P, the cockpit view followed your eyesight as you turned. Also, the car's gauges were slightly blurred, giving the player a sense of looking at them peripherally. Ultimately a not so good view but an excellent effort nonetheless.


Advan racing had a pretty good cockpit view in terms of field of view, but it was crappy because it was a generic view for all cars - not acceptable in today's market.

Race driver 3 didn't waste resources modeling the passenger's seat. An excellent cockpit view but missing the car's real gauge, which is needed for me.

Ferrari 355 addressed this issue by pasting the car's real gauges over the cockpit, a little unrealistic but more immerisve than RD3's view.

This view is good since it pans out the entire cockpit. I haven't played this game too much but i think this view might throw me off after a while since it's a bit lopsided.

Every now and then though, a racing game shakes up the genre, introducing uniquely new gameplay features and doing the *racing* part of the game better than anyone else. But much like that tree in the forest, will the game make an impact if no one plays it and the press fails to 'get' it? Alas a perfect cockpit view in an amazing game: Total Immersion Racing:

All the details of the cockpit that you need are there. The track is perfectly visible and your view is completely unobstructed. Of course, it helps that the car is a race car, in this instance. This is how the game does a production car:

They don't sacrifice gameplay for graphical detail, or put graphical details at the expense of gameplay.

In conclusion, and i'll update this post with more cockpit pics of different games, if the devs do their research, they can have a game with hundreds of cars and with a cockpit for each, without sacrificing precious resources like time and money, and giving the players what they want without sacrificing gameplay.
I think a good cockpit view trumps all. But the bolded part drives me effing insane. WTF is with developers only showing a tiny portion of the windshield? It sucks and unless you really know the track well (so you can drive blindly), it's a big impediment.

And I don't understand the reasoning. When I'm driving, not only can I see the entire windshield clearly, but I can see the driver side window and passenger window out my peripheral vision (even when looking straight ahead.) Looking straight ahead, could I tell you exactly how many fingers were being held up against the passenger window? Not without cheating. But I have enough focus that I could see fingers were being held up. So what's with the claustrophobic viewpoint? Inexcusable.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
91,410
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I drove with it exclusively in 5 Prologue...I loved how the car felt and how the engine sounded from cockpit view.
 

rollingstart

Banned
Dec 12, 2006
38,762
1
0
eviloreisarapist
My favorite cockpit view is the one in Outrun 2. It's not so much a cockpit view as it is a few from where the windshield is, but it still gives you the feeling like your driving the car without hurting your view.

I still like a full cockpit view like GT5p or PGR3 because I'm greedy like that.
 

Haunted

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Nov 16, 2006
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Wario64 said:
DiRT's and Midnight Club LA's cockpit views were great.
TDU's was pretty cool as well.

Especially since the chase cam seemed a bit off, like it was bound too tightly to the car, not allowing it to sway an inch to the sides when taking a corner, I've played that entire game in cockpit view only.


I remember playing PGR3 as one of the first games on the 360 and just enjoying the excellent cockpit modelling and the (in hindsight) relatively heavy motion blur when turning your head and looking through the windows on the left/right. :D


Y2Kev said:
I drove with it exclusively in 5 Prologue...I loved how the car felt and how the engine sounded from cockpit view.
That's actually pretty huge. A good cockpit view not only changes the experience visually, but also the audio. Vibrating, feeling the engine sound as opposed to the chase cam, which often sounds meek in comparison.
 

Grayman

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Feb 7, 2005
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I am in between on the cockpits. I like when they are there but I seem to race much better in bumper cam because my view is not restricted.

I believe that STUNTS was the first game I played with a cockpit camera.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
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I can't play in chase cam because I need to hear the engine more fully and loudly, yeah. I love these games but, well, sort of suck at them (at least competitively-- I'm fine in the single player) and I need to know when to shift based on what I hear since my instincts are garbage....and I don't drive in real life lol.

I usually play bumper cam, but I love the cockpit view.
 

Grayman

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Feb 7, 2005
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Y2Kev said:
I can't play in chase cam because I need to hear the engine more fully and loudly, yeah. I love these games but, well, sort of suck at them (at least competitively-- I'm fine in the single player) and I need to know when to shift based on what I hear since my instincts are garbage....and I don't drive in real life lol.

I usually play bumper cam, but I love the cockpit view.
This reminded me that I was annoyed at how cockpit and bumper have different sounds in GT5p.
 

TTG

Member
Dec 17, 2006
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The main problem I have with the cockpit view is that I don't get a very good sense for what the car is doing. When you are in a real car, you can feel the g forces, feel wheels slip or lock up, feel yaw etc etc. In a game there's no effective way to do that. For example, correcting oversteer is much easier for me with the chase cam, I can see the rear end step out and immediately correct it. Now, if I was in the cockpit view, I would correct it eventually, but I feel like I do much better with the chase cam. There's also the occasional problem with visibility as the OP mentions.

Cockpit view is fun, but when I'm trying to get some real fast laps in, I always go back to the chase cam. It's especially fun when you're driving in cockpit view with a car you own in real life and slam into a wall at 140mph. Weird feeling. :lol
 

Haunted

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Y2Kev said:
I usually play bumper cam.
Oh.

You're one of those.

TTG said:
The main problem I have with the cockpit view is that I don't get a very good sense for what the car is doing. When you are in a real car, you can feel the g forces, feel wheels slip or lock up, feel yaw etc etc. In a game there's no effective way to do that. For example, correcting oversteer is much easier for me with the chase cam, I can see the rear end step out and immediately correct it. Now, if I was in the cockpit view, I would correct it eventually, but I feel like I do much better with the chase cam. There's also the occasional problem with visibility as the OP mentions.
That's pretty much what I'm like. Chase cam for those cases where I need to win and for the most possible efficiency, cockpit view for everything else - when I'm trying to have fun driving or immersing myself in the experience.


edit: and I love how Grid gives you the option to "lock" yourself to cockpit view for a couple extra points of respect. :D
 

mikekennyb

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Sep 6, 2006
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When I first used the cockpit view on PGR3, it absolutely blew me away. That was what sold me on the game, and is the best example I've seen of it so far (PGR4 was at the same level of quality).

Also, I remember unlocking a Ferrari in NFS Hot Pursuit 2 and getting an in cockpit view with steering wheel, gauges, the works (which I don't think was available in all of the cars). SO AWESOME
 

Threi

notag
Mar 22, 2007
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1,220
depends on the game, but generally I don't like the field of view (constantly having to check my blind spot) so I tend to use bumper cam more often for as little restrictions as possible.

Live For Speed however is all Cockpit.
 

Chrange

Banned
Jul 29, 2007
3,826
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0
If you personally don't care for them, then your opinion has little merit because for the devs, if there are 10 people that play exclusively on them, they have to put them in.
:lol You really think they HAVE to spend time and money working on something if there's an incredibly small percentage that will only play that way? You must be great with budgeting.
 

KevinCow

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Oct 6, 2007
23,358
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I don't really care for cockpit view, but I can't see any reason why they shouldn't include it for those who like it.

My major gripe with racing game cameras is when they don't let me zoom out far enough. The Burnout series is a major offender to this.
 

itsgreen

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Mar 28, 2007
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Think it is kinda a BS point though... saw a reaction from Che in the Forza 3 topic saying 'it's a lot of effort' etc etc. I don't doubt this for a second, BUT.

The reality is that in most racing games the cars aren't even built (afaik) by the developers. They are basicly off the shelve models they buy at some asian 3d-model-car-factory-thing.
 

AndyD

aka andydumi
Jan 24, 2007
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Thrakier said:
Yep, me too. For some reason it "clicked". I was able to do better round times in cockpit view which was never the case before.
Same here.

I think it has to have a tradeoff of view and realism to account for the TV size vs. real life positioning of head. And a nice slight turn of the head into turns is also great.

Most importnat is good mirrors. They need to be real as that is one of the crucial advantages with cockpit view, seeing all sides at once.
 

TTG

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Dec 17, 2006
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itsgreen said:
Think it is kinda a BS point though... saw a reaction from Che in the Forza 3 topic saying 'it's a lot of effort' etc etc. I don't doubt this for a second, BUT.

The reality is that in most racing games the cars aren't even built (afaik) by the developers. They are basicly off the shelve models they buy at some asian 3d-model-car-factory-thing.

I don't mean to hate on Forza or Turn 10, but a lot of shit takes a lot of effort. :lol

It comes through quite a bit in Forza. The driving model is up there with ANY other console racing game, but the rest of the game is barely average. Sorry to say.
 

Ranger X

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Jun 10, 2004
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If you want to have the word "serious" anywhere near your racing game you need a cockpit view that's it.

And lol at people complaining about the view. It's a screen you're playing on and not your 180 degree vision.

My fav cockpits are TOCA3 and GT5. They simply rock and focus where it needs to focus.

.
 

Haunted

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Nov 16, 2006
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CrushDance said:
Just like damage it's not necessary but it's a nice feature.
Oh Crushdance, will you ever stop posting things that make me want to quote your tag?


Damage modelling is fucking crucial for a sim-racer.

Ranger X said:
If you want to have the word "serious" anywhere near your racing game you need a cockpit view that's it.
word.
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
Jan 18, 2007
46,582
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Thrakier said:
Yep, me too. For some reason it "clicked". I was able to do better round times in cockpit view which was never the case before.
Exactly. This is why it works. I hate hood or floor cams in racers as well as cockpit views. GT5 did what it did right for me at least. I can actually handle the car better. Need to try GRID and see how that one is.
 

CrushDance

Banned
Sep 9, 2006
15,027
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Haunted said:
Oh Crushdance, will you ever stop posting things that make me want to quote your tag?


Damage modelling is fucking crucial for a sim-racer.


word.
You kind of missed the joke, I was referencing the other thread. Anyway bumper cam works best for me, cockpit view feels to cramped in most games.
 

TTG

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Dec 17, 2006
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Haunted said:
Damage modelling is fucking crucial for a sim-racer.
Hmmm. What would you say if the next Forza or PGR team decided to make a choice, damage or cockpit view. I guess the excuse would be that they only had time and money to do one but not the other. Which one would you want?
 

nib95

Banned
Feb 26, 2007
34,618
2
0
Hell yea baby! Cockpit views FTW! GRID's cockpit view imo was too cramped and oddly angled. I think GT5P did it a lot better.



 

xDEILGYREx

Banned
Dec 8, 2008
170
0
0
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If I could zoom my view from the cockpit in and out, I would vote for it.

But usually the cockpit view takes up too much screen space, obstructing sometimes 1/3 or more of your view of the road. This obstruction makes the faint camera movement upon initial tire slippage harder to see (or you'll pick up on it a fraction of a second later than you'd want to.)

Personally, I don't need to see the whole steering wheel on the screen, since I'm already holding one in my own hands. Whether it was the Madcatz Dreamcast/Playstation 1 wheel, the PS2 Logitech Driving Force, or the MS FF wheel. All of which I've owned.

This view looks the least intrusive of all the pics:



For the amount of time it takes to model all those different cockpit views, I'd rather have a dozen or more licensed tracks instead and a simple hood view.
 

Haunted

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Nov 16, 2006
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TTG said:
Hmmm. What would you say if the next Forza or PGR team decided to make a choice, damage or cockpit view. I guess the excuse would be that they only had time and money to do one but not the other. Which one would you want?
Oh man, that's harsh. :(

I'd say damage modelling takes priority. Damage modelling has more of an impact on the gameplay (cars that veer off and are harder to control because of damage, collision physics (hugely important!)). I have a hard time picturing myself playing a sim-racer in 2009 onwards that doesn't even have a damage model, tbh. :lol

But I'd still be pretty miffed that it doesn't include cockpit view and would look yearningly towards my Grid box, which does both exceptionally well. :p

Gbeav said:
If it is so crucial why do most games I've played in Forza 2 have it turned off?
Don't ask me, ask those fools who turn it off!
 

Gbeav

Banned
Aug 18, 2007
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Haunted said:
Damage modelling is fucking crucial for a sim-racer.

If it is so crucial why do most games I've played in Forza 2 have it turned off?
 

soldat7

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Sep 12, 2007
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PGR3 has done cockpit view the best. PGR4 had some strange camera positioning with many cars, but it's hard to fault when you watch the rain coming down and your wipers kicking into action.
 

jett

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Jun 6, 2004
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Weird that the OP doesn't have pictures of GT5, clearly the racing game with the best cockpits EVAR. :p
 
Jul 28, 2007
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TTG said:
The main problem I have with the cockpit view is that I don't get a very good sense for what the car is doing. When you are in a real car, you can feel the g forces, feel wheels slip or lock up, feel yaw etc etc. In a game there's no effective way to do that. For example, correcting oversteer is much easier for me with the chase cam, I can see the rear end step out and immediately correct it. Now, if I was in the cockpit view, I would correct it eventually, but I feel like I do much better with the chase cam. There's also the occasional problem with visibility as the OP mentions.

Cockpit view is fun, but when I'm trying to get some real fast laps in, I always go back to the chase cam. It's especially fun when you're driving in cockpit view with a car you own in real life and slam into a wall at 140mph. Weird feeling. :lol
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. This also applies when I use a wheel.... even the GT force ones.

I wonder if making the camera always face the correct path on the road (restricted by a neck's rotation of course) would help immerse people even more ina cockpit view instead of always being glued staring at the windshield in front of you. For example: if you take too sharp of a left turn, the camera actually focuses more to the right letting you know you need to correct the steering and get back and at that point the camera centers itself again. Maybe there's already something like this out there, I dunno.
 

Brashnir

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Dec 31, 2005
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gtmax said:
If you personally don't care for them, then your opinion has little merit because for the devs, if there are 10 people that play exclusively on them, they have to put them in.
Bullshit. It's a simple business calculation.

If the revenue generated by number of people who will be turned away by a lack of cockpit view exceeds the cost of including the cockpit view, a developer would be best off if they included it. If not, they're better off not including one.

And I guarantee you, 10 people is not enough to offset the cost of developing a single vehicle interior.

I think the number of people who want and expect dashboard views are growing these days (and there are certainly more than 10 of them) but I'm not so sure that there's enough of them to make it a smart business decision for every racing game.
 

amar212

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Jul 13, 2007
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What is missing here:

PROJECT GOTHAM 3



Great job there from Bizzare.

PROJECT GOTHAM 4



Evolution of above.

FERRARI CHALLENGE TROFEO PIRELLI



Not neat as competition, but distance and overall visibility are pretty good.

And this is from Wii version:



SUPERCAR CHALLENGE (new game from the same guys who made Ferrari Challenge above)



Pic above shows selection of available views, notice the distance change between FC above and SC.
 

Steppenwolf

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Dec 14, 2007
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OP if realism is so important to you why the hell do you restrict yourself to console racers? That makes no sense at all. PC is where the racing sims are.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
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sorry but GT5P did it best , GT5p cockpit view spoiled me and it's the best ever .