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Complete Controller Software for Sim (Racing) Rigs

Hello all,

I have a little Xmas present for you. In the past few months I've been working on a software as an integrated solution to control every aspect of our beloved sim rigs. The basic idea is to put your button box in total control of every aspect of the simulation, including tactile and motion feedback, if available. But you can also control your ingame chat system, launch telemtry software, and so on. The possibilities are endless. But since every button box has only a restriced set of controls, I introduced a layer concept, which allow the button box to implement context-sensitive bindings of control functions to actions.

Button Box 5.JPG


Beside that, the software can control all your favorite applications and simulation games and combine them into one seamless user experience. But take a look at the main features:

* Connect all your external controller, like Button Boxes, to one single center of control
* An unlimited number of layers of functions and actions, called modes, can be defined for your controller. Switch between modes simply by pushing a button or switch a toggle on your controller.
* Modes are defined and handled by plugins, which can be implemented on your own using an objecct oriented scripting language.
* Configurable, visual feedback for your controller actions
* Define your own Button Box visual and integrate it with the Simulator Controller using the simple plugin support. Depending on configuration, this window will popup whenever an action is triggered from your controller, even during active simulation.
* Code your own functions to be called by the controller buttons and switches using the simple, object-oriented scripting language
* Configure all additional applications to your taste, including the simulation games used for your virtual races
* Start and stop applications from your controller hardware or automatically upon configurable events
* Add splash screens and title melodies using a themes editor for a more emotional startup experience
* Full support for sophisticated application automation - for example, start your favorite voice chat software like TeamSpeak and automatically switch to your standard channel
* Several plugins are supplied out of the box:
* Support for Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione already builtin
* Fully customizable plugins supplied for total control of SimHub and SimFeedback - change your settings while racing using the dials and switches on your favorite Button Box
* Send your predefined kudos and rants to the ingame chat without touching the keyboard
* Additional support to trigger every function and action from external sources like a voice or gesture recognition software to always keep your hands on the wheel
* Builtin support for visual head tracking to control ingame viewing angle

Every aspect of the Controller software can be configured using graphical tools:

Setup Tab 4.JPG


Themes Editor.JPG


The software is free for anyone for non-commercial use. You can download the latest build at GitHub. Also take a look at the very extensive documentation, including lots of stuff for developers.

And now - have fun. Happy Xmas, a good start into the next year and stay healthy...

TheBigO
 
Release 3.6.6 is again packed with new functions and features.

1. The most important innovation is certainly the extensive integration with Stream Deck, which was requested by the community. At the moment the configuration still has to be done with a text file, but the next release will bring a number of graphical tools. You can find the documentation here: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Si...tallation-&-Configuration#stream-deck-layouts

2. A lot has happened also for the assistants. The handling of weather changes during a session has been significantly improved for both Cato, the virtual strategist, and Jona, the virtual engineer. In particular, the recommendation for tyre pressures when changing tyre compounds now also take into account the development of wetness on the track in the next 10-15 minutes. In addition, from now on, only valid rounds will be transferred to the various databases, so that the historical data quality has a higher predictive power.

3. The "Strategy Workbench" now provides a command for data cleansing, so that all entries in the telemetry database in which fuel consumption or lap times are outside the standard deviation are deleted. Note: It is certainly a good idea to make a backup copy before using this command.

Attention: This release revises the file for the localized identifiers of all controller actions and introduces support for icons. Any changes made by you will be lost, but can be reintegrated after the update. Be sure to read the update notes beforehand.

As mentioned above, the next version in 1-2 weeks will bring extensive graphical support for the configuration of the Stream Deck integration. Until then...
 
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It's Friday again. Today the implementation of the Stream Deck Integration will be completed for the time being. There is full graphical support for the configuration of Stream Deck profiles in "Simulator Configuration", but actions can also be assigned to the connected Stream Decks in the initial installation & configuration with "Simulator Setup". For each configurable action of the many plugins (Motion Feedback, ACC, AMS2, Race Engineer, etc.) you can now individually determine the texts and icons that will be displayed on the Stream Deck(s). As always, details can be found in the documentation: https://github.com/SeriousOldMan/Si...stallation-&-Configuration#controller-layouts

Stream Deck Editor 2.JPG


You will not hear from me for a little longer now. When voting on the next feature on our Discord server, the server solution for team-based endurance races was selected, a feature that I've wanted to work on for a long time. I'm currently checking whether I can offer a cloud-based, pay-per-use version for everyone who doesn't want to go to the trouble or who don't have the skills to host their own server. Don't worry, it won't be expensive. Rather in the range of 20 euro cents per hour of use. However, all of this will take "a little" longer. Maybe it will be something for the first "birthday of Simulator Controller, which will be on December 15th. But just maybe, let's see ...

In the meantime, keep checking our Discord (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H), especially if you have questions about the configuration. And of course, if you want to buy me a coffee, you can do that too.
 
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Big news: The Team Server is here. With this solution, the services of the virtual Race Assistants can also be used in a team-based endurance race, as long as all team members use Simulator Controller and are connected to the server during the entire race. The central server manages the common status and knowledge base of the Racing Assistant and automatically makes them available to all drivers involved when they take over the car for their next stint. As always, you will find extensive information in the documentation.

The Team Server can be hosted and operated by yourself or a cloud server managed by me will soon be available in a pay-per-use model for everyone who wants to use such a service. The costs will be absolutely manageable. Details will follow. In the meantime, you can use a test server to test the connection and administration of your teams and you can also run a short race. You will find details about this on our Discord (https://discord.gg/5N8JrNr48H) in the channel #public-test-server.

Configuration Tab 10.JPG


Disclaimer: With today's release, the Team Server is in the alpha stage. In particular, the handling of the large amounts of data still needs a little fine-tuning, which will follow with the next releases in a week or two. Until then, I would not recommend running a 24-hour race with it.

In addition to this great innovation, there are a few other improvements:

1. Extensive bug fixes in "Simulator Setup" in connection with the Stream Deck integration.
2. Improvement in strategy development, especially in so-called mixed scenarios.
3. The voice output now also supports non-Microsoft voice packages as long as the SPVoice standard is adhered to.
4. Additional languages are supported when using Azure Cognitive Services.

By the way, Kunos published a very extensive update for Assetto Corsa Competizione 2 days ago, in which the tyre model was also heavily revised. As a result, the cold air pressures under comparable conditions and also the lap times have changed significantly on many tracks. On our Discord, in the #tools-and-fixes channel, I have published a small program with which the laboriously collected data in the setup and telemetry database can be brought up to date, at least on average. But if you want to be on the safe side, you can also delete the existing data and "collect" it again.

The voting for the next feature on our Discord server is currently tending towards a new team member, a spotter. Exciting topic, also from a software development perspective.

And now as always, have fun and see you on the track...
 
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With todays release, the Team Server can now also be used for long endurance races, as the data of all drivers involved (telemetry, tire pressures, race progress, standings and positions, etc.) are now stored in the server. Also, from now on, expired data from past laps that are no longer required for statistical calculations are removed from the knowledge base of the assistants. This significantly reduces memory consumption and - as a positive side effect - all data from all stints are made available to all drivers at the end of the race. In addition, quite a few bugs have been fixed and the Team Server has been successfully tested in several longer races. With the next release there will be an administration interface for creating and maintaining accounts, as well as for cleaning up expired sessions, etc. for everyone who wants to operate the Team Server themselves. In a few days, but no later than January, the public Team Server will also be available in the cloud. Use is billed via Patreon:


For € 2 a month there are 30 hours of session time available on the server. That's enough for two 12h races and enough test time in the team. If you want more, you can get unlimited access for 5 € per month.

Another important change in this release concerns the controls of the ACC Pitstop window. Adjustments were made here so that the changes in Release 1.8 of ACC are also taken into account.
 
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No, it's not Friday and yet today is a special day. Exactly one year ago, on December 6th, 2020, the first executable version of Simulator Controller was published on GitHub. For this reason there is an interim release today to celebrate the anniversary. I really had to hurry up to finish a very interesting function for you, because I only had 2 days for development and test. Still, I think it was worth it. You can now have the settings for a pit stop made by any team member in a team race, and that also and especially in the simulations that actually do not support this at all, such as ACC. The telemetry data for the entire session is also available to everyone in real time, regardless of who is driving. The new tool, the "Race Console" is still at the very beginning of development. At the end of the day you can expect a fully-fledged team console, as it is also used by "real" racing teams, a mixture of "Strategy Workbench" and "Race Reports", so to speak, but with the data from the current race. The function of the pitstop remote control is already fully implemented and can be used in a team race.

Team Dashboard 1.JPG


There is also another new tool in the luggage. This helps with the administration of a team server - important for everyone who wants to operate their own team server. If you don't want to go to this trouble, have a look here: https://www.patreon.com/simulatorcontroller
 
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Today comes probably the last release for 2021. And with the "Race Center" it brings the wet dream of every endurance team. But even professional sprint racers who are accompanied by a race engineer during their races will love this new tool. The "Race Center" gives all team members full insight into all telemetry data of your car during the race, even if they are not currently driving. They don't need to be inside the simulation at all to use the tool. Furthermore, "Race Center" gives you an overview of the race and your performance as well as that of your competitors and allows the remote control of important settings, e.g. for the upcoming pit stop by team members who are not driving right now. This is a huge relief for the driver. Since pictures say more than 1000 words, here are a few screenshots.

Race Center 1.JPG


Race Center 2.JPG


Race Center 3.JPG


In one of the next releases, some more strategy functions will be added, in particular a simulation of future racing using the Monte Carlo method. This procedure, which is also used by Cato, the virtual racing strategist, allows the optimization of over- and undercut scenarios. For a comprehensive overview of the functions of "Race Center" I recommend, as always, a look at the documentation.

For understandable reasons the "Race Center" needs the Team Server, which was introduced in one of the last releases. So that you can start your team race straight away, the team server I manage is available to everyone from today. This runs on Azure, which is unfortunately not without costs, therefore: https://www.patreon.com/simulatorcontroller. But as mentioned above, you can also run your team server yourself. Simulator Controller is and will remain an open, free software.
 
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Now I've managed to put together a release in time, before it goes into the holidays. Today's package includes some many new features for the "Race Center". All algorithms of the strategy simulation are now integrated so that during a race in the event of an unforeseen situation (e.g. weather change, accident), the previously developed strategy can be dynamically adapted and passed on to the virtual assistants for further processing, regardless of who is driving the car. The currently implemented version of the strategy simulation uses a multivariance analysis, a second method based on the Monte Carlo approach has unfortunately not been completed yet. This will come in one of the next releases in the new year and will make it possible to develop a strategy based on the data of all your opponents (lap times, constancy, etc.) that will allow the greatest possible number of free air laps in your stints. Beside that, there are also some visual improvements in various tables and a few improvements in speech recognition.

At this point I would like to thank you for your interest in my software, for your support and also for your patience, because the overall package is still quite a challenge, especially when it comes to installation and configuration.But with the now almost 450 users who downloaded and installed the last version, we have already built a strong community together. And we are getting more every day.

With this in mind, I wish you quiet and relaxing days and a happy new year.
 
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Another unexpected release for 2021 but I promise this will really be the last. This time there is a new planning function for the "Race Center", with which teams can determine in advance who is likely to drive which stint and when. This stint plan can be derived semi-automatically from the strategy and is automatically synchronized with the stints actually driven. In addition, there are a number of improvements for the Team Server, which is leaving beta status with this release, and the Strategy Workbench now also allows the planning of a strategy for a car / track combination for which no telemetry data is yet available.

Race Center 13.JPG


Outlook: In the "Race Center" the Monte Carlo analysis for strategy optimization is still to be completed and then it finally goes to the spotter.

And with that I wish you a happy new year. See you again in 2022.
 
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First of all, a happy new year to everyone!

This week's release is more or less a maintenance release. A whole series of measures in the Team Server and especially in the "Race Center" improve the stability and behavior, especially when laps or stints are missing, e.g. due to disconnections. Beside that, keyboard keys and other triggers are now supported in "Simulator Setup". With this you can e.g. define a "virtual" button box, which is ultimately represented by the keyboard. Another important new option comes to the aid of everyone who previously had difficulties opening the pitstop dialog under control of Simulator Controller and changing the settings there. Together with several users, I have discovered that not every Windows installation is the same (what a surprise). Therefore, several communication strategies has been implemented and are now available for Simulator Controller and the individual simulations. Usually one of them is the right one for the respective system.
 
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The work on today's release took a little longer, but it was worth it. The new method for "traffic analysis" during dynamic strategy development gives you a tool that is currently only found in the hands of professional racing teams, and usually for a lot of money. This analysis method uses a stochastic prediction model based on the so-called Monte Carlo method to predict the development of the race and thus allow the race strategy to be optimally adapted to this situation. This method is particularly valuable in endurance races, but of course it can also be used successfully in sprint races, as one or the other F1 race in 2021 has shown.

Race Center 14.JPG


And there are again many small improvements:

1. A complex tyre wear model was integrated into the strategy simulation.
2. The racing rules for pitstops have been expanded.
3. The frequency with which Jona complains about damage to the vehicle has been adjusted.
4. Many improvements for post-race reports.

And another good news: Work on the Spotter has also already started. However, it will take another 2-3 sprints before a first usable version is available.
 
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