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The two directions onf Racer CG and NON_CG

Discussion in 'Racer Problems & Fixes' started by mdbobbo, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. trackname_noncg or trackname_cg

  2. trackname or trackname_cg

  1. The two directions of Racer: CG and/or NON_CG

    greeting racer Track and Car developers,

    Now that we have two avenues of Racer it would be preferable to show this division with our new track and car naming convention.
    As I test many tracks and cars in the racer community I noticed that there is a real reason to seperate not only our comments on tracks and Cars but also it's naming convention of the compressed files and finally the folders they will reside in when installing each track/car.
    Quite simple really ...
    when making CG versions of Tracks and Cars as well as making comments to that effect in the releases but also appropiately name 7z, Zip, and RAR naming should also show which Track and Car is being offerer and installed.

    The first choice ...
    So a track for example "swiss_roll" would refer to the non_cg track and "swiss_stroll_cg" obviously becomes the _cg version.
    and also with the Cars
    _CG track

    I know some may think me finicky to come out and make a Thread to state something so obvious, but though a ogranised and adhered to naming convention not only in our comments but also in our 7z, Zip and RAR naming and most importantly the Track and Cars installation folder naming can we all enjoy a more understandable division between the two types of Racer versions that are running,CG and NON_CG

    for example if a CG track is loaded onto a racer non_cg computer it's graphics are completely incorrect.
    And when a non_cg track is loaded onto a Racer non_cg computer it runs at a lot faster frame rate.

    for example Zolder ( a non_cg track at present with errors ) has a frame rate in Racer _cg version at 1.xxx fps and placing in the Racer non_cg the frame rate jumps up to between 56 and 100+ fps.
    more of course when you've got a better graphics card than me :).

    That said the naming convention can be changed to either ommiting the _cg from non_cg Tracks and Cars or making the naming convetion as follows

    The second choice ...

    cg track = <trackname>_cg
    non-cg track = <trackname>_noncg
    for the installed folder particularly this way newbies to the Racing community will also be informed what they are getting and for the rest of us what we have already installed, and where.
  2. i have my opinion.. i have no interest on cg thing.
  3. To be honest, I don't see the problem, mdbobbo. In my opinion there aren't two avenues, because nocg shader support is only included for backwards graphics compatibility. New content should first and foremost support Cg shaders, with _nocg.shd files provided mainly as a fallback.

    We have racer.exe and racer_nocg.exe now, because it allows people to enjoy Racer updates in non-graphics related fields without being forced to run Cg shaders as well. This means that ideally, new content comes with a car/track.shd file that supports Cg, as well as car_nocg/track_nocg.shd files for the old style shaders.
    If you can and want to use Cg shaders, you start Racer with the default racer.exe and it automatically loads the default car/track.shd files.
    If you don't, start Racer with the racer_nocg.exe and again, it picks the corresponding car_nocg/track_nocg.shd files and all will be well.

    When you think about updating old content, all you need is a new car/track.shd and a backup of the files which you rename car_nocg/track_nocg.
    Newcomers to the Racer scene will obviously have to learn about this recent change - that's where the community can help out with FAQs and patience in answering the same question again and again, but it's also Ruud's duty to make a clear statement in the readme file for example.

    If you were to start renaming folders now, multiplayer would be a mess (because you'll always find somebody who hasn't changed their folders or changed them differently), people with a lot of content would end up with duplicates etc... it's just making things unnecessarily complicated.
  4. KS95

    RACER Moderator

    I agree with Cosmo.

    Shouldn't Racer be moving forward rather than holding onto the old?..
  5. Stereo

    Premium Member

    Right now the only difference is the car.shd and it's possible to provide both cg and non-cg shaders with a car since about 0.8.10 (racer-nocg.exe uses car_nocg.shd, I think).

    Really I think the push needs to be for cars that are complete and fully compatible with latest betas, the non-cg becomes a part of that. I've seen some releases but it's rare for a car to have both cg and no-cg shaders, most people write one or the other. And really it's just a matter of finding someone who's an expert at the other kind to provide them for you, then package it all together. Tracks are on the one hand, more effort since they use way more materials, on the other hand, most of them are more simple to set up.
  6. feed back from Robbie - a.k.a. mdbobbo

    yeah Thanks guys for the feed back. todate the poll is 50/50 so that's telling me that one person thinks a new file folder naming system would be great and the other thinks that the old folders should be as the are ( for non_cg ) and the new folders show it's trackname_cg reference

    it's not a biggy to me just crossed my mind and since there are some wonderful developers out here, that are still only making non_cg track, it might be good to show the difference in the new track developments.

    then when a non_cg track was published from the 600 or so track already made we could all see which it is _cg or _noncg

    here's why I first thought of the idea as a photo says a thousand words
    the first pic is the Siwss-Stroll (V1.15)
    the second picture is the swiss_stroll_cg
    both played in racer version 0.8.11 noncg
    the third picture is swiss_stroll_cg
    played in racer version 0.8.11_cg version as it should be.

    Please note this is in no way commenting about the TRACK Swiss Roll it's ausom and these comments are about naming conventions ONLY ..

    SO back to my discussion:
    when a developer makes a track and can not due to his/her computer's configurations make _cg tracks what do they call their tracks folder installation names.

    last note:
    The poll that's linked to this thread is never set in concrete it's my first suggestions and should in all fairness have other solutions pertaining to Folder names of the installed track from here on in.

    I am aware that Racer is and will always be moving forward :woot:
    I am also highly aware that some have not got those requirements to make cg versions of tracks and cars
    Thus the disscussion here...

    and again thank you to all for comments toward this thread

    Attached Files:

  7. Hate to say this, but I hope the no-cg support will be dropped in the next final.
    If all the Cg shader stuff in Racer is matured enough, I'm sure, there could be workarounds for lower-end graphics cards that *still* can run hardware shaders to some extent.

    Really, having non-cg content and Cg content will cause confusions among players and what not.

    It's a nightmare to create websites that are compatible with all the different browsers, it's a nightmare to develop games that run on a lot of different hardware configurations, and it will be probably at least a little nightmare-ish to create content for both cg and non-cg.

    Update your hardware!
    (Please don't hit me in the face for that :redface:)
  8. cg/no_cg is the solution and it's implemented.

    My old M3 for example, has no-cg shaders that work fine.

    Anything old-content just needs the shaders renaming appropriately for the non-cg version of racer.exe...

    Ruud hasn't made life easy here, BUT, ultimately, Racer IS moving forward, so the priority is the forward movement. If changing a few file names on old shaders (non-cg ones) is too hard, then the content can't be worth making work.

    The system as it stands is excellent. All we need is authors to provide both shader files...

    If a piece of content is done well, then this extra work is tiny. It literally takes an hour to make a shader file for a car or track, so a few hours to add compatibility is nothing vs the days/weeks/months making a car or track!

    It's a pain for conversions or badly made content that is hard to update, but then if it's content that is so badly made is it worth updating to keep anyway?

    Stecki's old cars take an hour or two to get shaded up for the latest Racer versions (from their old old gfx setups), so that proves it's not hard to do good shaders on good content quickly :D
    (only downside is no access inside AR to change material names etc)... but that is a legacy of people stealing models and doing crappy conversions, meaning people lock their work up ;) :D

  9. Yes, but... the Cg shaders can do more than just.. shade. Take waving flags for example - they need Cg vertex shaders that manipulate the vertex positions in real time. Okay, I guess most non-cg players can live without waving flags, but for example, I recently implemented pretty neat traffic lights (red-yellow-green sequence) through Cg shaders, and on some track that could be the "selling point".

    I just think, that most current low-end hardware can actually run Cg shaders, it's just that Racer has quite a lot of features in the Cg and everything is only developed on nVidia hardware - hence the incompatiblity issues with ATI.

    I had an idea - let's just reinvent all the Racer Cg shaders from scratch using ATI hardware. First strip out all the Cg functionality and try to get a simple vertex+fragment shader up and running without any fancy effects. Then start adding additional shaders and effects and whatnot. All this while maintaining compatiblity with ATI cards.

    One more thing - what about having an option to automatically load hardware-specific shaders? If I remember correctly, GTA4 has some hardware-specific shaders (even for different gfx models of the same vendor) and I believe other games do have them too.

    So, the shaders folder under data could look like this:
    ... or something like that.

    Anyway, If all goes as planned, my girlfriend will get a new PC with an ATI card, so I can test my idea (if I have the time, that is).
  10. Thanks Some1 and Mr Whippy for your valid input, I'm sure it will get read by most on the forum and let them know what they are to expect in the near future.
    As I'm running Nvidia 8600GT herer it's a little bit of a stretch to keep up ( no complaints here though ) just stating my case for all to compare.
    as far as FPS go it's kind of a big difference between _cg at around 16 to 36 fps and _noncg at around 100 to 260 fps.
    just thought your'd like to know the big difference and now I will sort out all the old tracks that work in _noncg and the ones that the cg makes it look as the pics in my last post will come under the list of new cg tracks so we have a list of each and my work will be done

    and please don't drive like that in my street hahaha
  11. Yeah sure Some1, many features you mention are only possible in CG, but they don't stop other tracks just rendering ok with the old gfx...

    Ideally, traffic lights would run on the track scripting, rather than via shaders... since they are more a feature than eye-candy like waving flags... hmmmm...

    Not sure on the shaders split... it sounds like a great deal of work to maintain in this transitionary period.

    Personally I don't think Ruud should waste his time filling in support for ATI hardware that won't support a common API fully. What happens if ATI abandon more cg support in future to reduce costs? Ruud goes back and trims back feature sets for ALL users, just because the ATI users are limited?

    I know this is a hot topic, but I'm just going to buy an nVidia card. They are better generally in my view, and offer the support I need. I'll happily pay a premium, or give up 'benchmark' performance, to have a solid card that will do anything asked of it in any API thrown it's way!

    Now, if Ruud and his team can get shaders that work just as effectively on the limited ATI software (since it's the ****ty drivers, not the hardware I guess?), as they do on the nVidia stuff, with nice results, then that is a good way to go (assuming ATI don't trim more support in driver updates etc)
    It seems like that is what has been achieved (hopefully), with a move from array CSM to atlas CSM!

    I just worry that trying to work around ATI who don't properly support the cg API is risky becaus as above, if drivers start making differences and so on, it's going to be really difficult to support the ATI stuff reliably... I say vote with your feet/wallet, and stop supporting ATI by buying their products.

    It's harsh to expect Ruud to support D3D fully and abandon support for Mac/maybe Linux, because ATI can't be arsed to offer support for a generic API like OGL or cg properly!
    While ATI skimp on their drivers/support for CG they are always going to be a risky gfx card for Racer use, EVEN if Ruud goes to lengths to use only CG that ATI support TODAY... things might change tomorrow :(

  12. Hehe, maybe Ruud should just add the "nVidia - The way it's meant to be played" intro for Racer and check that the user has an nVidia card, and if not, just show a middle finger to the user? :D

    Just checked, GTA4 has the following folder structure in it's shaders folder:
    where each folder contains almost a complete set of (precompiled) hardware shaders (90+ files).

    Obviously, they have used somekind of shader development and management tools to make their life easier developing the shader, but still...

    So, which way is it... no-cg Racer for the ATI users and Cg Racer for nVidia users?

    I don't think ATI is going anywhere, it still has better performance-price ratio, just the OpenGL drivers suck a bit.

    BTW, I'm running on a nVidia GTX285 here.
  13. KS95

    RACER Moderator

    I don't see what people's problems are with buying nVidia. Let's be honest, in the end, it's much better! And if you still disagree with that, then perhaps you'll buy one just so you can run Racer in all it's glory!!
  14. That sounds like fanboy talk. :/
    It is also not a decent solution.
    In the Union of Soviet Socialist Racer addicts, you do not buy Nvidia; Racer makes you buy Nvidia!
    Also, lol? http://www.geeks3d.com/20100405/infrared-pictures-of-the-geforce-gtx-480/

    Either way, I do not care if others use Nvidia cards(I actually flashed a GF6200 256MB and stuck it in my PowerMac G4), but I want to use an ATI card in my primary computer and would prefer not trying to make other people switch for a silly reason.

    ATi and Nvidia are basically the only players in the gaming graphics card market nowadays(Intel do not do gaming graphics no matter what they say), we should not be trying to kill one of them off because that would lead to an evil monopoly. (you know it damn well would be super evil, both companies have displayed concerning tactics while the other was getting through a setback in the past)

    Either way, OpenGL games and other OpenGL content *should* damn well be able to run just fine on pretty much any platform, anyone who tries to undermine that needs to be pushed out on an ice floe naked with no way of escape.
    Otherwise we may as well just all switch to direct x.

  15. I've just bought a new Nvidia card. Yay.

    I don't care I could get 50% more 'speed' with the ATI, because I just want a well supported solid card with good drivers, not something to run benchmark apps in D3D only.

    Ultimately it is the user being so fickle that they buy on benchmark results per unit cost, and don't consider the full range of things they need a graphics card to do, thus ATI make a card that is fast for your benchmarks and ignore good support for other API's like OGL.

    Now, if you didn't know that ATI did that, that is fine, just buy an Nvidia next time, or an ATI with good OGL support... (if they exist)

    Expecting Ruud to develop for your naff graphics card that can't support OGL properly, when the purpose of Racer is cross-platform support, and is FREE, is expecting too much.

    I'm sure Ruud will try his best, but asking him to support Racer with the kinds of resource that a big company probably spends thousands of hours on, is going too far. Ultimately I'd prefer Racer to be the best it can with OGL, and if ATI fail to support OGL well enough to support Racer, then that is ATI's and the ATI owners loss unfortunately :(
    How far will we go to let ATI ruin Racer? What happens if they abandon OGL support on some cards? That is my worry... Nvidia seem strongly behind OGL, but what if ATI change more in future? How far should we expect Ruud to go to support ATI's limited OGL support?

    ATI are the idiots here by not supporting a common industry standard API, blame them!

    I've had loads of gfx cards over the last decade now, and ALL the best ones have been nVidia. I've never been happy with or owned an ATI for long, except for my 9800pro!

    Buy cheap, buy twice I guess, or buy on d3d benchmark speed/$ only, and you'll get stung when you want to play an OGL game!

  16. KS95

    RACER Moderator

    Well said, lol.
  17. I think Ruud will do his best to keep ATI users happy, but is it a risk worth taking when choosing your gfx card if you are a big Racer fan anyway?

    Given the need for a new gfx card, it's not like choosing nVidia is a bad choice. Maybe on bang per buck it's not so great, but buy on quality, not benchmark 'quantity' I say :D

  18. KS95

    RACER Moderator

    Well my nVidia GT210 is probably the most budget nVidia graphics card there is, £35! Works like a charm.
  19. While reading this post please keep in mind that i am not angry, nor am I trying to hurt other people's feelings or anything like that. Sometimes stuff just sounds worse in text that it actually was intended due to it being simply text.
    I do not want a big fanboy flame war here, I just do not like most change. :p

    The only reasons I would have to upgrade my card now would be Racer and e-peen(eyefinity falls under e-peen too ;) ). Those reasons are not good enough at the moment for me go and drop $250-$350 CAD on another card be it nvidia or ati.
    I got my card in 2007 and it still works really really well.(and runs quite cool too) I am very happy with it. Racer and e-peen are it's biggest limits currently.
    I am not getting an incredibly cheap card either, if I get a new card now I want it to last at least three years. Sorry KS95, but a GT210 - while much newer than my card - would leave me off worse than what I have now overall. It is great that you are happy with it and your dual core rig but I would not be happy with it.

    Racer is quite great when it is working properly and you have some nice cars and tracks loaded up, but it is not the only thing to take into consideration for me.
    [joke]Not living and breathing Racer means that I have no place saying anything atm. haha :p [/joke]

    Software quality you mean? Nvidia is not immune from some hardware defects in their recentish cards. Though that comes and goes with both brands.
    As for my card not being quality, the only ATI caused quality issue I can remember having had with my 3850's hardware or it's drivers has been this CG stuff recently.

    Now, that being said I do totally see where you are coming from. Going by what I have said above this card is three years old and now I should just get a new one. I was actually kind of expecting to have picked up a 5850 earlier this year but it never happened. Sure the performance(prolly cause they are all console ports now >_< ) and epeen increase would have been massive and I love the idea of going eyefinity but my 3850 still runs new games very nicely and with TrackIR I have no need for more displays in a few games that really could have used em before.

    Simply put, if my graphics card's hardware and software works for the vast majority of the stuff I want to do with it then it stays.
    Aside from that, I am going to be spending some time fixing up my Firebird and learning how to weld. I am not going to be working on my car and upgrading my PC at the same time. The Firebird and welding take priority over PC upgrades unless I encounter a PC hardware emergency.
    *shrug* It is not like I am ready to replace my gfx card anyway. Perhaps when I am done rebuilding my 'Bird and it's engine I will be ready for a Radeon 6850 or 6870.
    hehe :thumb:
  20. My £240 Nvidia gfx card (8800GTX 3/4gig) is almost 2yrs old and died about a month ago, ergo the new one.

    However, on benchmarks, a 250GTX today is about £90 and performs slightly better. Such is progress here!

    OK, not an upgrade per se, but it just shows that good performing stuff is relatively cheap if you just want a really good compatible fairly fast card. I've bought a GTX275 for now for £160... I was stung buying that silly EXPENSIVE gfx card as I never really appreciated the extra power until recently anyway... :)

    I'm just of the camp that Racer is free and many people love the fact it works on Mac and Linux. If ATI can't provide support for a cross-platform API like OpenGL properly, then Racer shouldn't be seen as being at any fault.

    I think Ruud is doing his best for ATI users, thats great, but I hope we don't see Racer significantly visually limited because of ATI's narrow minded support of OpenGL!