Rigs of Rods

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Rigs of Rods
Rigs of Rods Beam.png
Original author(s) Pierre-Michel Ricordel
Developer(s) Rigs of Rods Contributors
Initial release 11 August 2005; 10 years ago (2005-08-11)
Stable release "NextStable" / 24 August 2015; 2 months ago (2015-08-24)[1]
Development status Active
Written in C++, AngelScript
Operating system Linux, OS X, Microsoft Windows
Type Vehicle simulation game
License GNU GPLv3
Website rigsofrods.github.io/en

Rigs of Rods (RoR) is a free and open source[2] vehicle-simulation game which uses soft-body physics to simulate the motion destruction and deformation of vehicles. The game was built using a specific soft-body physics engine called Beam, which simulates a network of interconnected nodes (forming the chassis and the wheels) and gives the ability to simulate deformable objects. With this engine, vehicles and their loads flex and deform as stresses are applied. Crashing into walls or terrain can permanently deform a vehicle until it is reset, however not all vehicles in the game are flexbody.


Beam in action
DAF TurboTwin in Rigs of Rods

Rigs of Rods was initially created as an off-road truck simulator, but has developed into a versatile physics sandbox game.

Prior to version 0.28, the game was limited to typical land vehicles with wheels, but plane and boat engines have been added since. All engines allow for a wide range of customization, leaving virtually no boundaries. Vehicles are built using vertices connected by beams. Vertices (or "nodes") are influenced by the stress on the beams that connect them. If a beam is too stressed, it will deform, thus altering the associated nodes position which ultimately alters the appearance and handling of a vehicle. Vehicle configurations are stored in plain text. Simple 2D skins can be made to wrap the vehicle, and can be supplemented with static mesh objects. Recent development has allowed for static meshes to be deformed according to a skeleton of nodes, much like the system in the game 1nsane. This system is known as Flexbody, and has been included since version .36.

The mapping system uses terrain data defined in a raw image file, such as that found in a digital elevation model which can be used to form a realistic surface. Terrains can be made using any other program that can generate a black and white raw image format. This also means that maps can be made from any image.

As a sandbox, Rigs of Rods has no fundamental gameplay goal, but scripting support contributes to missions and game play interaction like the timing of checkpoints along a road or dragstrips. Previously, Lua was supported as the scripting engine, but it has now been replaced by AngelScript [3] since version 0.38. Multiplayer support allows up to 16 users to simultaneously interact on a playing field.

The game has a developer-supported community which forms groups and plans multiplayer events. Popular activities include off-roading, racing, crashing, monster truck rallies, roleplaying, and casual play.

With the newest update 4.7 the game has been given new life. No longer is it just a join and pick a map game, it has a proper menu where you can change settings, map controls and change how your game runs with environmental settings. The game now has many maps and hundreds of custom made cars such as Pontiac, Ford, Dodge, and more. The game also has updated planes, boats and helicopters.


One of Rigs of Rods' prominent features is the ability to be customized in various yet plentiful ways. Most common of these modifications include creating content from scratch, but can also mean modifying someone else's/your own work in order to augment/alternate it.


Vehicles are one of the most popular types of add-ons. They are created using node/beam and can support 3D models/meshes added to them. The chassis' are text files with three basic extensions: .TRUCK (for land vehicles), .AIRPLANE, and .BOAT. Within these text files, many possibilities are at play. Engines, camera views, wheels, light sources, 3D meshes, and much more have their respective position in the file. Some include minivans, sports cars, and even buses. Some vehicles have flexbody as others do not, flexbody will allow them to bend and flex like a real car would in an accident.


Similar to Vehicles are loads. These are also text files, but with the extension .LOAD. These include trailers, containers, pallets, crates, and anything that isn't driveable/operatable in the real world (however, some of these loads have an option to be operated/driven for complicated reasons). These are generally more simple to make due to the nature of not having to deal with engine code, suspension/shocks for wheels, and camera views. "Loads" include trailers, boxes, obstacles such as barriers or cones, and sometimes a snowplow to attach to a truck, or a bucket for a tractor.


Without terrains, none of the above content would have an environment to be interacted with. Terrains are defined by RAW image formats (usually .RAW but .PNG images are sometimes used). The heightmaps for these terrains must be grayscale or else they will not function properly. You can use any program to create terrains as long as it exports heightmap images compatible with Rigs of Rods. Textures and water levels also come into play when making terrains.


Objects are 3D mesh files (in OGRE mesh format) that are non-interactive and that can be placed onto a terrain. This would include buildings, roads, bridges, structures, scenery, and sometimes trees/vegetation.


There are tools for creating vegetation for a terrain in accordance to a heightmap. This includes grass, trees, shrubs, and bushes. Throughout the course of development the plant life has gained a lot more of an updated, "realistic", style of trees and plant life.

Mesh Terrains[edit]

Usually more system-intensive than normal RAW-powered terrains, mesh terrains are a possibility. However, these are considered "laggy" in contrast to traditional terrains.

Texture Editing[edit]

Most vehicles, terrains, and content has a texture file(s) that are wrapped around the 3D mesh or node/beam structure. With any image-editing program you can alter these images to your own ability. A majority of the game's textures are in .DDS format to save space yet maintain superb quality. An alternative to these can be .PNG or .JPG formats. A common problem users encounter when skinning (texturing) a vehicle is that a vehicle's 3D mesh is mirrored, so the texture gets mirrored in accordance to the model.


Rigs of Rods has a Multiplayer feature that has existed since version 0.33.[4] It is accessed via the Configurator in-game, and gives you options to select a server, select a nickname, enter a user token, amongst other features. Rigs of Rods Multiplayer once had vehicle-to-vehicle collisions[5] but it was later removed due to the instability of it. However, vehicles can still latch/hook onto each other and even pull themselves to a certain extent in Multiplayer. Multiplayer is subtly different from Singleplayer modes; for example, pre-spawned loads that would appear on a map in Singleplayer does not appear in Multiplayer. In an addition to that, other things like animations, and sometimes flexbodies, will not work in Multiplayer (these are subject to change, however). The Multiplayer mode is mostly used by users who like to operate vehicles together such as cruises, off-road fests, and what-not. Although, there are now races with leaderboards possible in Multiplayer.[6] There are mixed views on whether Multiplayer is stable or not. Some experience smooth gameplay whilst others often run into connection problems.

Mutiplayer is disabled unless you enable the setting in the network menu.


Rigs of Rods hosts a forum community[7] of over 60,000 users. This forum is the first resort of all Rigs of Rods-related issues/topics, such as news, creations, communication, and development as well. The most perceptible use of the Rigs of Rods Forum is to distribute/share add-ons and modifications. There are many forum threads that have work in progress and released creations, made by third-party users for the most part. Users will also often share their content and footage in video/image form for others to see. The Rigs of Rods Forums are also used for releasing official versions and news for the simulation.

Critical reception[edit]

Physicist Brian Beckman described Rigs of Rods as "one of the best driving simulations I have ever seen."[8][9] Rigs of Rods was featured in PC Gamer UK in the Christmas 2007 edition.[10] French magazine MicroSim previewed Rigs of Rods in their June 2008 issue.[11] Rigs of Rods author, Pierre-Michel Ricordel, was invited to talk about the game at the French convention, Libre Software Meeting on July 10, 2009.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Vorotnikov, Artem (24 August 2015). " released!". Rigs of Rods Team. 
  2. ^ Ricordel, Pierre-Michel (2009-02-08). "Rigs of Rods is going Open Source". Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  3. ^ replaced by AngelScript
  4. ^ "Rigs of Rods Multiplayer 0.33". 2011-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Rigs of Rods Multiplayer Collisions". 2011-11-19. 
  6. ^ "Rigs of Rods Races". 2011-11-19. 
  7. ^ "Rigs of Rods Official Forums". 2011-11-19. 
  8. ^ Dr. Brian Beckman (2007-08-31). Dr. Beckman discusses physics in Rigs of Rods (YouTube). 
  9. ^ http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=314874
  10. ^ Stone, Tim (December 2007). "Keep on truckin'". PC Gamer UK. p. 106. 
  11. ^ "Rigs of Rids Control of heavy lorries". MicroSim. June 2008. 

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