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Discussion in 'Racer' started by Stereo, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    A new final version seems to be just over the horizon, so now would be the time to discuss/acquire/perfect the default content for free Racer.

    In the past, Racer has had a few different cars - the GPL Ferrari 312 (and maybe a 330?), the Renault Alpine A110, the Spoon Honda S2000, and then, for the last 5-6 years, the Lamborghini Murcielago. It's also had a couple tracks - Carrera, then Carlswood NT.

    It would be nice if the next final version came with content that serves as a good example of all the features available in modern Racer - so what do you think that should be? (Obviously as it'd be bundled with the game proper permission needs to exist.) Continued work to update the Lamborghini and make it the best it can be? Another car? A different track? If the players get together and work on something, our combined talent can definitely put together something good.
     
  2. Also, the Mac 0.5.3somethingrather version had a prius.

    and you know what I am going to say... More muscle! So I will leave it at that since I do not have much else constructive to add... except that Schuchter could be prettied up or redone and added. :p
    hehehehe
     
  3. I've suggested the 458 I'm working on for v0.9.
    Ruud seemed to like it, model-wise it's probably done - Dave wants to work on the ini a bit more but mostly it's done. Might have another look over it.

    Track-wise...I've been working on a couple (Tsukuba completely remodelled and Dunsfold) but they're no where near completion, however I'm yet to see a really good track lately that would serve as an example. I haven't tried Some1's latest failure yet though haha

    I think that we should really have a couple of examples. Say keep the Lambo, add another car or two. Carlswood on the other hand is sort of horrible. Personally I think we should remove that and find something new that sets a standard.
     
  4. The 458 sounds like a good choice for a car, though maybe even that is too advanced? Seeing as it does have ABS and TC. Ian's idea of a muscle car is a good idea, but I don't see any real choice for that right now.

    I have my Mini, though its not finished, it needs a complete interior, and its missing badges, and it doesn't drive perfect right now. If someone could finish it off that could be the default car. But just throwing that idea out there.

    Track-wise, that's hard really, I mean you could bring Some1's track Factory Test Track up to date and use that. I would say use the track he just released (Mount Autobahn) but seeing as there are kinda some holes in it, that's probably not a good idea.

    I can agree, with keeping the Lambo and putting another car or two beside it. and getting rid of Carlswood is probably the best idea, and maybe like Ian said use Schuchter.
     
  5. What do we need in a default track?
    A drag strip, for testing acceleration, and long enough for top speed.
    Various radius and banked curves to test handling.
    Up/down to test car leaving ground.
    Moveables and animation.

    Anything else anyone can think of.
     
  6. If we are already talking about default content, I think we should discuss the default settings as well. I think the default Racer settings are far from perfect, many things could be tuned to make the best out of Racer. For example, wouldn't it be better, if Racer ran fullscreen by default? Also, the exposure settings, shadow settings, blur etc... all that needs some tweaking.

    Racer.ini configuration file is a mess, it contains lots of deprecated and old settings and the sections are all mixed. I think we could restructure the racer.ini so that the most important settings come first and least important settings are in the end of the file below a "Don't change these settings if you absolutely have to" comment or something...

    What do you think?
     
  7. Thanks for picking this up guys, good to see a discussion starting :) Maybe it has been a bit quiet here lately, but it's always nice to have a debate going where we can point out to Ruud what we think and what we would like to see and do with Racer.

    For me it's actually not a simple matter to point out a single vehicle as a candidate for a default slot - I could push some of the work I've been involved with myself recently because I know it's up to date, decent stuff, but also there are vehicles out there or about to be released that have a really solid selection of features and overall quality.
    Should we perhaps each nominate one, two or three vehicles with a bit of an explanation why we think they would be suited, then a poll after a week or two maybe?

    Tracks are at least as difficult, but I would definitely agree with Boomer in saying that the default location would be best to include a number of vehicle dynamics test sections. In that regard Carlswood isn't too bad, but in the current condition it's more of a mess of random updates over the past few years.

    Too much default content would make it more tedious to keep everything updated of course. There would after all be little sense in having lot's of new content that is then a hassle to maintain at a high level, which is why I would say that two vehicles and one or two tracks would be fair. At the moment we have two very different vehicle types in the Murcielago and the Baja - that's great because it shows the technicalities of movables and various shaders and so on, but also represents the wide range of vehicle types we enjoy in Racer overall. Similarly, the garage default location can be nice for screenshots and menu background, but you need something like Carlswood to do any driving. Cleaning up the shader, special.ini, TOD curves and textures on Carlswood can lift it up a good bit, but I understand we might want something new after all those years.

    Dave is nearly done with his Elvington airfield, which offers a lot of room for all kinds of testing as well as a ~1min lap layout. It might be a bit short for top speed runs even on the long runway, but the area is flexible and movables can be placed to form figure eight tests, slaloms, evasion tests etc (would be even easier if we got a separate file to put various cone layouts in, rather than having to work in geometry.ini). It's not very hardware hungry either, as long as we avoid running too many movables for now, but looks fresh and alive. On the downside, it's by the nature of an airfield a bit flat and doesn't have that much scenery or "interesting" objects scattered around.

    Bringing out old tracks like Schuchter is probably not the best way - I remember them fondly too, but they're simply not up to our current expectations regarding road mesh detail alone, which is the most important thing before any glitzy textures or animated objects come into play, in my opinion.

    I'll just put up a few tracks that I use regularly for fun and development work: Carlswood, Elvington, Factory Test Track, Fernstone, Gyral Trophy, Ring2002, Polish Roads, RedRock, Sounds'n'Surfaces, SwissStrollSnow - and a few more specific locations like Chaseyertail and Lunghezza, which were never incorporated into other tracks. Of these, realistically only Carlswood, Elvington and S'n'S offer proper acceleration, slalom, skidpad etc, areas on top of a regular track layout of some sort.
    There are many more nice locations, like Gizmo's Trail, Greentown's GoKartTrack or TheRiver... but for one or more reasons they aren't very well suited for a default choice I think.



    In terms of cars, the Murcielago isn't "bad" as such - but I don't know if it's a nice and easily accessible car for a newcomer. As a showcase of methodology and specific code, techniques, it's actually fine. Dave's a bit busy these days, so I went over the version Ruud included in the last beta and polished it up a bit with some changes to make the handling a little more predictable and communicative, so it would be ready for some action again.

    The 458 is a lovely car, takes a certain amount of concentration to enjoy it properly, since it's quite direct in steering response and offers a lot of power on demand ^^ I don't have the latest version I think, it was quite framerate hungry though in what state I tested it. In any case, I would see this as a possible replacement for the Lamborghini for sure, we don't need two modern supercars with electronic nannies that are impossible to get working right at the moment, I think.

    Similarly, if endo ever gets around to finishing the R35 GT-R's exterior, I'd love to share that as well - lot's of customization, accessible handling, very fast, fully up to date, fun to drive (for me anyway XD ) and so on.

    I've also gotten positive feedback on the Tatra 613 francomk and I released a while back - since it's been a few months now, a bit of dust already collected, but it's quite complete in terms of showing features and being an interesting, unique to Racer kind of vehicle. Speaking of which, the 813 8x8 truck would be even more special, but Ruud hasn't had an open ear for multi-axles, multi-differential 20 tonners lately ^^

    I can also mention skybh's releases (which he doesn't publish on the forum here), which are just loaded with attention to details like working wipers, indicator icons, original manufacturer option packages and model grade choices...

    As a replacement for the suspension movables vehicle, a modern version of FSR's Swift Formula Ford racer seems perfect - compact, light, no slicks or aerodynamic aids, it would complement a bigger, more complicated road vehicle very well.

    Bumper was working on a Citroen BX GTi which is one of the most lovely looking vehicles ever in Racer and again, simple, but high quality fun that would be right for demonstrating what Racer is about and how to use it. Would need a fresh set of car.ini and related bits though.



    Alright, that was a bit more than two or three mentions, but I said it initially, hard to make choice like that, because on the one hand you have to say which one of your kids is the prettiest, the other thing is that I'm never fully happy for more than a day, so ...XD



    Some1: maybe we should open up a thread for this racer.ini stuff specifically? It would be good for everyone if we shared common or not so common settings we use, for what reason and so on. With your example of default fullscreen, I wouldn't really benefit from that specifically since I run in near fullscreen window, having my .ini files and spreadsheets open for developement, jumping around :)

    A new version of Raven would be fantastic for that, since the day I downloaded that I only used the Racer menu for accessing multiplayer really. A tool like Raven can store your general personal info like screen resolution, driver name, live env. mapping on/off, mirrors on/off by default...
     
  8. I'm building a few tracks for Racer, I think the best one that everyone would enjoy would be my Elvington airbase. Kinda like Dunsfold, but good.

    Mega long straight, holds real track days, cone layouts, Ten of the Best competitions, loads of real-life events are held there with cars.

    I've been working on it a while and it's kinda close to being fairly well finished. I'm 100% happy to have any content made the default in Racer. The only downside is, it's not a 'proper' circuit... but most we have are either fantasy and un-finished, or conversions...


    Anyway, if people like it when I release it, great.


    As for cars, again, whatever we have need to be fully featured as much as possible in my view. Lambo is lacking an interior, which is a shame, but it's also fairly old now. Cam's F458 is a better example, but it needs detail work all over to get it ready and all the features perfect to use as an example to others!

    Ie, the FPS cost seems quite high for what you see a lot of the time, which is weird... Racer is weird in that regard right now. 6 F458's on a good track would kill my FPS. That isn't good. Does that mean the F458 is too HQ, or Racer isn't optimised right, or a bit of both?

    A default car really needs to be a good example to others for LOD to use, techniques, gfx memory etc. No good setting an example that makes FPS horrible :D
    But to be sure of that we need to make sure that the GFX in Racer are optimised too... I have these niggles that something is not right (newton?) and costing loads of FPS!

    I'd love to build/setup an F1 car for Racer, since we have nothing racy in Racer any more.


    I'm generally liking Racers default settings these days. I change very little. Audio falloff, the centre squeeze, and 1 side of the envmap live updated every frame, and that is me happy :)
    The rest I do via Raven (screen res/draw distance etc)

    Hmmm

    Dave
     
  9. KS95

    KS95
    RACER Moderator

    I'd like to see a choice of 3 different types of vehicles. With what's available to us I'd say the F458, something light and nimble like an MX-5 or MR2/S (a certain member here has a very good example..) and something classic like the Mini (instead of another RWD).

    Track wise, it needs to be multi-functional (as Boomer said) and different types of roads would be nice too (thin and twisy + fast sweeping corners).

    That's my relatively unoriginal 2 cents :)
     
  10. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    Physics calculations go up quite a bit per car too. With 8 identical cars on screen I'm getting about 1/6 the 1-car FPS though which kinda says each car takes nearly as long to render. And physics jumps from around 5% to 50% of the CPU.
    [​IMG]
    Also the dude with a car on his roof managed to do about 200 metres like that before another AI hit him and it fell off. :p (I believe they're all driving into the sand because the brake balance is not letting them brake very hard.)

    Anyway. We want Racer to perform well - particularly with the content it's bundled with. So what kind of standards do we set for that? That goes towards racer.ini as well - the content should look okay with some of the more intensive features turned off (shadowmapping, bloom, blur).

    A simple open-wheel racer, like Formula Student, would be a neat thing to throw in. Designed for racing but without most of the complicated electronics, so it would be easy for Racer to get it right.
     
  11. What I look for in potential default content:

    - original work, preferrably unique to Racer, fully permissioned
    - clean structure and show-worthy layouts (.ini files, texture mapping, shader efficiency)
    - nothing missing (readme, nocg-support, etc)
    - nothing obsolete (.bak/temporary files...)
    - no excessive filesizes (.tga with RLE compression, .dds format where quality doesn't suffer noticably, .ar compressing .dof files...)
    - good performance on "reasonable hardware" (that might be a tough one to decide...)
    - as much as possible no qlog entries (including fallback and obsolete lines)
    - no particularly odd behaviors (always going to be something weird in our physics environment)
    - supporting a sensible amount of current features where it applies (collision mesh, suspension movables, damper and engine braking curves, wipers, animated driver [head], backfire, scripted animations, scripted vehicle dynamics, customization options via batch/flash/..., for tracks, track coordinates and matching TOD behavior, movables, triggerlines, traffic [if Ruud ever tells us how]...)
    - relatively wide scope of usage



    Stereo: I don't know how you judge your progress on the Simca, but that would be a good candidate for a default vehicle in my opinion as well.
     
  12. Alexander Knoll

    Alexander Knoll
    NEVER GIVE UP!!

    Hello all,
    i think a mix of your all suggestions should be the right way....
    Look to LFS...in Demo mode you have a nice little Formula car (FBM) witch brings a lot of fun...you have a little "street" FWD car with the XFG and a RWD car (XRG)....the street cars are more or less with the same speed/performance....its fun to drive with them...and to race FWD vs RWD ^^.
    With the Blackwood track you have a nice layout with nearly every thing you need...fast and slow corners, chikanes, up and down hill and a long straight....
    ....so for me its the best choise....
     
  13. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    Hmm. Things that aren't done yet.
    Model:
    - interior
    - textures
    INI:
    - aero
    - suspension
    - tires
    - cameras
    - check with strict logging
    Other
    - audio samples
    - nocg
    - glass shader
    I would say interior textures are the biggest stumbling block, I just don't want to make them. :/ Due to it being a fairly unusual car I have even less access to interior pics. The engine/gearbox is the only part that's really solid, though the torque curve could be tweaked if I found a realistic one.
     
  14. Any more opinions on this topic, or did you all lose interest already? ;)

    Basic questions I think remain: Update current content and/or come up with fresh stuff? For new (unreleased) content, what are your specific suggestions?

    So far we have:

    - Ferrari 458 (4)
    - Lamborghini Murcielago (3)
    - Mini (2)
    - ??? light, compact, "MX-5", small formula car... (4)

    - Carlswood (1)
    - Elvington (1)
    - Factory Test Track (1)
    - Schuchter Raceway (2)

    I counted all the mentionings in this thread that I felt were "definite" - a few posts contained two vehicles, ie "Murcielago plus a small formula type car".
     
  15. I'd probably be happy to finish off my mazda 2, maybe the focus RS would be kinda fun.

    Ideally something like LFS where you have one of each distinct car type would be cool.
    So a sporty RWD car, a FWD car, a open wheeler and I forget what else. But those three would be cool.

    Track wise it'd be nice to have 2: a racetrack and maybe an airstrip. Elvington is very nice - big and pretty.
    We really need a nice up to date racetrack though.

    In answer to your question...I think new stuff would be best. Updating old stuff is difficult and more than often produces sub-par results (not to say they can't be great - see Dave's lambo update)
     
  16. Alexander Knoll

    Alexander Knoll
    NEVER GIVE UP!!

    nothing else..."only" this three.....in DEMO mode...
     
  17. Another week has gone by with only a little bit of interaction. Come on guys, offering your opinion doesn't cost you more than a few minutes to put together a decent post - nobody's asking you to provide finished content on your own and right now :)
    It doesn't matter if you feel your preferences would be unpopular or too complicated or whatever. If we get enough "samples", there's a higher chance that we can find compromises that a large part of the community can agree with and ultimately represent what Racer really stands for.

    For example, I haven't seen much love for the Baja model so far - it's obviously unfinished, but to me at least, this kind of vehicle class is very exciting and apart from showing off and explaining the suspension movables system, it can also be used to motivate Ruud to push forward with proper suspension articulation, wheel collision, improving the visual suspension model implementation etc. I also think that few petrolheads would turn away from an 800hp desert racer that does 200km/h in terrain most people would have trouble walking in... that's pretty cool stuff with unique challenges and a lot of freedom in the design department. I've been playing with the setup for a while now, so there's already a base if somebody wanted to join in and expand the graphical side of such a project.

    Basically, it would be nice to hear from more people :)
     
  18. Well if you insist... Ferrari 458 + Carlswood (major improvement needed) also in that part before the drag race we can have like a brake test or some bump for tests,

    Thats all i can say really...
     
  19. I'm happy to finish up Elvington when I get time, so that'll offer a good all-rounder location.

    I'm not sure if it offers enough to be default content though... not that Carlswood does, but maybe we want something that has a bit more variety.
    I like the idea of Millbrook testing ground for example, that would be great to have in Racer... big project though!

    Dave
     
  20. For me, we should have several default cars, an small FWD car to begin, an another with more Hp
    Same for tracks, factory test track is good for testing the global handling of the car, and speedtest 3 for max speed, acceleration etc...
    For the second car i would suggest to keep the lambo or choose the 458 even if i never drived it in racer