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RFE Plugin Series 1.1 for rFactor

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Slow Motion, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Slow Motion

    Slow Motion

    Hi guys, I'd like to present to people that don't know RFE what are the benefits using it on the "old" evergreen rFactor. And also I like to invite all you track makers, that dedicate time to build tracks for the rFactor Community to make your tracks ready for RFE Plugin Series. The basic update is very easy and in any case the track will work with or without our plugin. In addition is possible to update the track to the reflections, giving a better look in case of rain.
    Here is a quick info about the enhancement made by RFE to rFactor... and if you want to know more in detail what is the RFE project you are welcome at symracing.net forums.


    RFE Series is a set of plugins created with the purpose of Enhancing rFactor. We all know what rFactor is, and most of the times such a complex engine (simple enough to run on a home laptop) has been be tweaked to create the most amazing and realistic games. However, not all the possibilities have been explored yet. There is a lot of work to do, and the only way we can do (as long as the game code has not been publicly released, will it ever be?) is using plugins that provide the missing functionality we all love to see in a game.

    RFE Series is currently in design stage, and it is more a vision than a product right now. The plugin series has been divided into several components, providing each one a different set of features that can be used independently, or in conjunction with other components.

    RFE Plugin Series Components:

    Probably you have seen it or have heard of it. The RFE Weather component provides changing climate conditions to rFactor. This component is released as a pair of plugins (RFE Weather Client Plugin e RFE Weather Server Plugin) that will work together to enhance the environmental changes during a rFactor session. Weather is something that should affect to all the participants of the session, and this is the reason because RFE Weather applies mainly into the server side, and is released as a plugin for the dedicated server. This addition will enable the variable weather system and will centralize some of the physical and visual aspects of a changing environment. however, it is not possible to have a complete weather system running only on the server and a client plugin is needed to provide all the functionality not already covered in rFactor.

    RFE Track component will bring the rFactor track to live. Currently, rFactor's track is a very static element, and changes are only applied to the tarmac temperature. With the addition of the weather system, the track will support a drying line, however this is not enough. We do want a better track, a track that you first have to learn, and the you have to know, more close to a real track.

    Tires in simulation are a very important factor, however in rFactor these elements does not have the attention they deserves. The RFE Tire model component will make tires behave completely different. Tires will degrade and wear affecting not only the physics, but the visuals. Flatspots will appear and affect the driving conditions, but that is only the beginning of a set of changes that needs very heavy testing and more exploration. The temperature and wear will affect parts of the tire (currently they affect the tire as a single part), and other physic aspects like geometry will be introduced into the driving calculus, making the tires something that you must know when you try to get the most of them.

    Current rFactor steward is good, but for sure that it can be improved. It is that simple, rFactor steward control is very limited, and this component will improve the options and features of the steward system not only in qualifying or race sessions.

    During our time using rFactor, we missed and suffered one of its big missing features: being able to synchronize in real time both server and client instances to remove all the mismatches caused by editing any of them. Actually, during all the tests performed while developing the RFE plugin series, this is one of the 'most wanted' features.

    For any detailed info, in addition to read the topics into our RFE forum (symracing.net), please feel free to email to me: slowmotion@symracing.net

    Thank you
  2. Kennett Ylitalo

    Kennett Ylitalo

    Thanks for the info, i think a lot of us are interested. Could you upload "RFEupdatingTrack_BasicTutorial_2.4.pdf", instead of having to download the whole package? Most of us would like to glance at it first, just to see what's needed.

    EDIT: Yeah, we need more info.. Like in the past, i've asked for it but you point us to the website... Personally, i need to know more from the technical side.

    Also some kind of demo pack with a track that's using RFE and the plugins + easy instructions is needed. Not many are willing to do a lot of work to make it work just for a test.... Sorry for once again criticizing but if this is as good as stated, it's a shame if this kind of small thing hinders this project.. What you need at least is a review from someone in this community.. and you don't ask reviewers to start researching how to make it work..

    Like i said, i'm pretty sure i'm not the only one interested in this. But i haven't heard from any one that they have actually tried it.. And i think i know why... Just make it simple, provide easy to install demo pack, easy to read tutorials etc. And post the links here, not on a separate website. I can promise to review it and you'll get a lot more people interested.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Slow Motion

    Slow Motion

    Kennett, I understand your point of view but I avoided to fulfill this forum duplicating info that are a very well explained into the RFE forum and tutorial, that I think are the appropriate locations to discover RFE. I have no problem to explain here something more, hoping do not annoying anybody.

    RFE enhances rFactor adding several factors and using several plugins that work together.
    About the weather: we added variable conditions to the whole environment. It means that the sky changes from sunny to monsoon, that rain falls with different intensities (1% to 100%), that temperatures (ambient and track) changes from -100 to + 100 Celsius, that fogs is variable and affects the scenario... etc...
    About the track: the drying line changes in wetness as well as the whole track from 0% to 100%... that now on the wetness affects the tire grip, as well as the temperatures and some coefficients of rFactor now work better than before. That clouds' shadow affects the track temperature (and ambient too), etc...
    About the vehicle: now on rFactor with the RFE plugin supports several different compounds in the right way, with some coefficients now working and useful for the grip... and also the look of each compound (side, tread, etc...) can be different and you can view your and other vehicles with the tires in use.
    These are only a little part of what the plugin is doing just now, then we have tens of new features ready (like flatspotting, wear, reused and limited number of tires... working for visual and physical aspects, the visual and physical effects of the wind, etc...) but this is a hobby for us and the development is going very very slow at the moment, so we cannot collect these new features for a public release.

    Of course we have several limitations for the reasons above: we know how to enhance / fix them, but we have no time. A couple of these points to be fixed are to stop the rain under the vehicle, tunnel, etc (but it is not mandatory in front to the current result we had), to develop a better way for using transparencies (that allow the reflection of the objects on the wet track), because at the moment only "planar" tracks work right (also if there are some tricks to walking around the issue), the drying line is dynamic but not live and the wet surface doesn't yet cools tires...

    To work the plugin needs rFactor legacy original version 1255F (the "new" 1255C and Windows 8 are not allowed with the current RFE version 1.1).
    In addition tracks and mods must be updated in order to benefit the RFE plugin, but in any case both updated mods and tracks can be used without the RFE plugin.

    In these few lines I gave only a partial idea of what is the RFE project and how much is large... and also for this reason I kindly asked for reading the RFE forum. As any software / program / game you cannot think to have all under your control in few minutes! But now I try to give you more detailed info about the track stuff.

    To update a track at a basic level is really very very very easy and fast, but to do this you need to spend a couple of hours the very first time following the basic tutorial step by step like a dummy, to learn which are the files / coefficients affected by the update.
    To do this the very first step is to download the basic pack (the one you found): http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=104
    Then, after you have updated a track, following the tutorial step by step, you can try it with one of the mods available... like the mod we used more than one here ago to present the plugin: http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=192
    Here you have 2 classes... one like formula renault and one like F1.
    And, for sure, FOR LAST you must install the RFE plugin Series: http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=466
    Also in local you can use the rFactor UI (where the plugin adds the chance to select the weather with several options)... but if you like to have more control and you want to use a modeler tool, we developed it. It is available only to registered user: http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewforum.php?f=35
    If you can also download a track ready to RFE with or without reflections in case of rain... I can suggest TARANTO 2 MARI or AIR_A track that are samples for track makers too and you can find them here: http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewforum.php?f=30

    We and several programmers that joint RFE (Technical and Certified Partners) developed several tools to help people in several activities and to reach a level of simulation closer to the real life. For this reason we have now several tools to create scripts to manage the weather variability as well as to manage the plugin and also to update tracks in a semi automated way (RFE Track Adaptor): http://symracing.net/rfeseries/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=312

    But the love that you can add in updating a track MANUALLY to RFE, discovering and "inventing" new particulars is something that a software never will make... and, of course, like in building a track, the result of a track updated to RFE or created thinking to RFE is something of "special" for a track maker.
    For this reason I tried in the past to invite you guys that are active in making track of high quality and that I think have pleasure in making track, to release the new tracks ready for RFE and to update your best tracks.
    And you all can also give a big help in discovering new ways for having better results (but this is something that you can understand only updating tracks, finding the limits and trying to walking around).

    To end this long post (hoping that nobody will blame me for that), I can give you some practical info: I wrote the tutorials for the track planning them for a track built by BTB, but also taking care for any other possibility also if they are almost "infinite"; with or without the source (BTB project) in less than 5 minutes I update a track and you will do the same once the procedure will be familiar; using the RFE Track Adaptor an automatic update takes less than 1 minute and the manual additions no more than 2 minutes; time to update a track with reflections is variable, depending of the availability of the source, the kind of track (flat... where are positioned the elevations, etc...) and can vary from 2 hours to one day.

    As I said, we have tens and tens of tracks updated to RFE but only few updated by the authors and my personal wish is to have other great tracks updated by the authors, also to discuss, after you will be familiar with the features / limitations of RFE, other way that better look.

    Now I hope to have give to you guys a better and detailed idea about the RFE project, but only reading the posts into the RFE forum you will find the answers to any doubt. And here I'm ready to help you, here and there.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Kennett Ylitalo

    Kennett Ylitalo

  5. Slow Motion

    Slow Motion

    thank you Kennett, but this is only the first step. Let me explain: I hope and I'd like to involve you guys that love to make tracks for 2 reasons. One regarding RFE: more we are, the more the RFE community grows and rFactor(1) will live a little bit more; and to have more tracks well done and ready for RFE is one of my goals. The second one is also a little bit personal, because to be close to persons that love to make tracks, that share their knowledge, that do something in a so passionate way is always positive. I use BTB since long time ago in few "windows" of free time as I'm really busy to work onto the RFE project and I'm really proud to have met an incredible person like Iñaki Lopez (that is the true "dad" of RFE). This project is collecting a lot of persons that are very professional and, first of all, that really love what they are doing to contribute to the project itself. You guys are really welcome and please, do not hesitate to ask me for any kind of info once you will be a little bit confident to know how works the update of the tracks to RFE.

    I wrote the tutorial thinking at first to BTB because of its friendly and unique way to be managed and also because it gave me the opportunity to create a standard to update tracks.

    Currently be careful to use the beta cause its little bug regarding how export gmt objects with semi-transparent textures (DDS 5 and also 3). This little bug is also hidden into the way BTB creates/manages the gmt and (just for sample) a track made by the beta of BTB cannot updated with transparencies following the easy same procedure of a track made by
    Now on, if really Brendon was back (?) I really hope that he will fix this bug also for a not-RFE use of the tracks that contains semi-transparent objects like fences...

    My hope is to see a day BTB able to manage in a native way the new features that we have added to rFactor... but this is only a dream at the moment and it will depend of the decision of Brendon to continue to develop BTB and to answer.

    Again I hope this long discussion is not "off forum" here. In case I ask one admin for knowing it.