I just wrote this as a reply in the tech section, to a thread about rain effects. I appologise, (no not really) for starting a discussion on the subject with some thoughts.
slight appologies to bring this rain subject back to the fore, but I've been thinking about what is fundimentally wrong with the rain graphic.
as I may have said long ago here or on Steam forum the rain effect is a very clever detailed graphic and captures the reality of water on glass very well, and a credit to the graphics team, but I think now I realise why it doesnt work, either on a pancake screen or in VR.
Lets first go to real life and rain. When driving in rain, you have a choice that our amazing eyes and brains can make. Either look at the screen and the rain drops and see nothing outside and ultimately have an accident, or, we humans are able to focus on the solid objects outside, the road, the kerbs, other vehichles and hedges and very effectively blurr out the screen and rain between wipes of the wiper blades to the point it is almost unseen. It's some thing we do unconciously and very very effective at seeing where we are going, night or day, especially if you have a greese free screen and good blades. (Blades is something I'll come back to).
Now back to the virtual world, the screen and the scenery beyond are in one and the same dimension, there isn't any physical 3D distance between them, there isn't a focal point beyond the screen and raindrops to look at, you can not blurr out the screen and see where you are going without blurring out the whole graphical image. I appreciate there are gamers who will praise the reality of the rain but it's not in the slightest bit real as it is.
As a VR user I am unfortunately at a disadvantage to players using bonnet cam or any view that is outside of the cars' interior.
So what am I asking to be done? Hmm, good question, what can be done at this stage in the developement cycle of game?
Is it possible to have an adjustable scale of diminishing rain effect on the screen? So players have the choice? Even to be able to have a setting to remove it entirely, while keeping wet grip levels. At least it is still a wet stage. I'm happy to keep dirt splashes and have to wipe them away.
Can a "rain on screen plus wipers" effect be added even to exterior camera views so the playing field is levelled (that'll cause an uproar for sure in the exterior camera users community). I kind of remember in Dirt Rlly that certain graphic setting levels actually did put rain dops on the bonnet and bumper views.
And so back to wipers, in my days of RL rallying, there were wiper blades made by PIAA these applied a coating of silicon to the glass, virtually removing the need to use the wipers in all but the worst conditions, at speed the water just slides off the screen, rain didn't create huge view blocking drops either, unfortunately I can't buy and fit these superior wiper blades to my Dirt 2.0 rally cars, but the graphics team should really have taken into account that visibility in rain can be hugely improved very simply in real life so why not in our virtual rally world?