Formula E launches first real-time ‘live ghost race’

Formula E

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Formula E is launching a ghost-racing virtual game which will allow players to compete against actual racing drivers using live, real-time data.

Live telemetry from ongoing track sessions will be used to create a simulation which can be used as a game or allow fans to follow drivers using virtual reality. Players will also be able to “jump back in and replicate real-life scenarios and challenges from previous races” as part of the game.

Formula E has enlisted real-time sports broadcasters Virtually Live to produce the broadcast. The game will be available on mobile platforms and PC.

Virtually Live’s CEO Markus Tallenbach said the game “will allow fans to consume Formula E throughout the year on multiple platforms and share their experiences on social media.”

“We therefore look forward to seeing fans of all abilities – whether a casual gamer on their mobile to an ambitious driver in VR – pitting their skills against the Formula E drivers and their friends.”

The championship has not yet confirmed when the game will be available to play. The championship is racing in Zurich, Switzerland this weekend before moving on to New York for its season finale double-header event in July.

The new calendar for the 2018-19 Formula E season, which will begins in December, was revealed yesterday.

Fans who want to participate in the game can sign up for it on the Formula E website.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 24 comments on “Formula E launches first real-time ‘live ghost race’”

    1. Wow. This is really impressive. Carey and team can take a page or two out of Formula-E’s notebook to boost their e-sports activities. Really next level thinking to have gamers/fans actually race real drivers.

      Hats off to their digital team. These kind of initiatives can make a big difference.

      1. +1 to this, a very interesting idea, and one that blurs the line between real and virtual world.

        It makes me wonder to what extent do racing teams use similar data in their simulators. e.g. Does Bottas replay his attempts to pass Vettel at Bahrain, does Max refine his defense against Ricciardo at Baku (ha! fat chance of that), etc.

      2. @todfod next step make the car in front solid but not those behind so that people have to actually overtake (even if the real drivers won’t defend against them). Then have a race seat for the guy winning the previous year e-competition and you will get a lot of attention…

        Nissan did it with some success in WEC and less advance blending between virtual and reality.

      3. @todfod
        Formula E has drawn a lot of criticism for implementing gimmicks, but I can’t help but admire their creativity. Nothing’s completely taboo, which is very refreshing when you compare it to F1: A minor detail is rumoured to be changed, a million people instantly react with at least a million and one contradictory, but strongly felt, opinions, officials issue a statement trying to play down the issue, a stale compromise is eventually decided.
        Meanwhile, in FE: We have a Mario Kart-style boost system, fans can give drivers a boost over Twitter, sim racers can compete with the real FE drivers using real-time data. Admirable.

        1. Mind you, the idea of the “Mario Kart-style boost system” is one that has been rather poorly received so far, whilst the whole Fan Boost system has come in for criticism in the past over the possibility of vote rigging occurring.

          1. I know. I don’t really support either system. But I admire how little they seem to care about all the criticism. I believe that listening to your detractors only tends to streamline your product, making true innovation impossible. Therefore, I think that FE’s radical approach is a good idea in and of itself. Even if some ideas are a tad too tacky for my taste.

    2. But why only mobile, I wonder? Wouldn’t it make more sense to be a desktop or console simulator?

      1. @zimkazimka , it says mobile + PC. It would be reasonable to assume there’ll be a PC to console port, once FE make an arrangement with Sony/Microsoft.

        The game will be available on mobile platforms and PC.

    3. The ghosting feature is nice, but there’s no escaping the fact that the most technically advanced sport in the world has chosen a console arcade game as their ‘simulator’ of choice which is simply ridiculous and in reality just putting the sport down.

      It’s especially bad when there are truly excellent simulator programs for computers out there, like iRacing. F1 could easily have contacted the developer (Dave Kaemmer, a legend in his own right) to make a bespoke simulator to accurately portray the physics of an F1 car and attract the best simracers in the world, but it seems the new F1 owners is interested in quantity over quality when it comes to their eSport series, and that a chips-eating teenager could be champion instead of established stars in the simracing world.

      1. the most technically advanced sport in the world has chosen a console arcade game

        @balue – err, this is about FE, not F1, so an arcade game is probably a fair fit :-)

        1. If this is about fE and not f1, then his comment about some nobody winning the championship —and nobody caring in the process— is pretty spot on…

      2. Why would they limit themselves to sim racers – a fringe group? They’re a business, they want to reach a lot of people.

      3. Full simulators are not exactly widely enjoyed and are very niche. The more arcade like racers are more accessible and enjoy a wider audience for that very reason.

        1. This. F1 (and other formula) cars are actually really quite difficult to drive; completely inaccessible to the majority (myself included, and I consider myself a fairly decent sim-cade racer).

          But when I hopped in the Renault in Forza (sim-cade, so not even full-sim); I just didn’t have the skill to build any real speed. Needed to push to get the downforce working but really just didn’t have the level of concentration required. More importantly though; I haven’t got the time to spend hours building up my skill, circling the same car around the same track lap after lap to get the hang of it. In that 1 or 2 hour window of time I might be lucky enough to get once or twice a month, I just want to *feel* like I’m racing F1. Enter Codemasters.

    4. This has been coming for a little while and will only get better. I would imagine that it is being developed for F1 also.

    5. I’m sorry if it might sound harsh but this is BS.
      Whoever knows a little bit about video games, knows that in order to achieve a game like this you need an experienced team (Codemasters / Polyphony Digital / Turn 10 etc.). There are plenty, why not chose any of these?
      Going to their webpage indicates they have absolutely nothing in their Portfolio except some VR patents..
      No game ever done. No experience.

      What you will end up getting is a passive VR app allowing you to sit down and just look around you.
      IF they really achieve adding controllable cars, then you’ll end up with a buggy and ugly mess making “Taxi 2 the game” look like a masterpiece. This will be no Simulation so real life data means nothing. And whatever they show before realease is nothing more than PR stunts. Making a game look nice in a presentation video is easy (No man’s sky…).
      It’s sad but that’s just how it is. You don’t give a project like this to a company without any past experience on the subject (Quality Gaming) if you really want it to succeed.

      1. My concerns as well. I don’t know why the people behind FIA’s gaming efforts are trying re-invent the wheel. They should be selling licensing to respectable racing sims and allow any organization that wants to host an FE/F1 e-competition. Treat the different racing sims as they treat venues throughout the season, and let the cream rise to the top.

        Honestly when I read that they’re releasing a mobile option, it screams “gimmick” to me. They’ll be developing for the lowest common denominator, effectively alienating sim racers in order to attract “normals” who will probably open the game once or twice and then forget that it exists.

        1. They already have licensed out—the cars, drivers, and teams of the 2017/2018 season of FE are available as official DLC for rFactor 2. And FE is available on Real Racing 3, indisputably the premiere racing game on mobile.

          Given that they’ve already in rFactor, it makes sense to chase the mobile market. Millions of people play racing games on their phones—millions more than play “respectable racing sims”.

          1. Formula E cars are also in Forza (6, not sure about 7?)

      2. Agree with this.

        Not sure if it’s the camera moving, but look at the car pivot @ 1:11 in the video.

        Hopefully it’s better than we expect – I’d play it :)

    6. Tony Mansell
      8th June 2018, 13:00

      Bagsy race Hartley when he comes across in a few weeks

    7. The first time I ever tried to do this was at Monaco circa 93 with the microprose grand prix game. It was such a thrill to watch the race while playing a race in the game – driving through the tunnel while watching them do it on TV. It really made me feel like I was there. I was very young and not very good, I think I only completed 10 laps before crashing and giving up even with braking assist on (I used to put a weight on the A key and just do the steering with two fingers, so cute :P). But it was always a really cool concept for me to pretend to race in a game against the real life drivers.

      As an adult now practically I think it’s all a bit of a silly idea, I’d much rather race in a proper online league against opponents you can actually race against rather than a ghost. But still, if it captures the imagination and attention of even just a few young kids like it did for me – well, that’s mission accomplished in my opinion. It really doesn’t have to be a simulator game at all and I think it’s a wonderful initiative :)

      1. Hehe, I did the exact same thing with those Microprose games – start the game the same time as the race! Great fun!

        I was lucky to have a basic steering wheel and pedals and would play 2/3 100% races back to back as well – don’t know how I even managed it.

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