As seen at Blue’s News, the HL Rally 2 project, a rally racing mod for Half-Life 2, has been sadly dropped. Under development since early 2005, the mod planned to do for the sequel what HL Rally did for the original: namely, deliver some fun online racing action.
Given the stock game’s inclusion of reasonably realistic handling vehicles, one might be inclined to think that this would be even easier than the predecessor. That’s as may be when it comes to offline action, but it’s apparently in the online realm where things went wrong. The official HL Rally 2 site lists the problems they were encountering:
- Vehicles were controlled by the server making them latent and not fun to play on the Internet
- Predicting the vehicles on the client failed as the client and server simulate the physics differently, causing the vehicles to get rapidly out of sync
- Correcting the predicted vehicles position made the game feel unresponsive and caused the vehicle to travel unexpected paths
- Valve themselves said that it was currently impossible to predict and therefore network vphysics objects accurately (think of the barrels in CS).
- The SDK does not allow for direct modification of physics
- Could not implement manual transmission due to SDK limitations
- RPM calculations were erratic and more often than not incorrect
- RPM values could not be recalculated accurately
This list of issues should sound awfully familiar to those who have spent any time racing online in many ISI-based games like F1 2002 or GTR, namely warping and other related issues. It’s a shame this one won’t be available for offline racing at least.