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Is Racer development dead? Is the Racer Community?

Discussion in 'Racer' started by Raphael Buthmann, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    I doubt we'll see anything like that from Ruud/Racer/Panthera/Cruden any time soon, simply because they're not professionally required features.

    Until professional sim users get used to the latest and greatest Forza and Gran Turismo titles outside of their job and expect that visual and audio quality in Racer, it'll never be a priority.

    It will eventually happen though. Why did Ruud upgrade Racer graphics several times in the last 15 years? It's required to keep pace with expectations which do slowly change.


    But for now our best bet to get an enjoyable community, solid good looking content that looks, drives, sounds and feels 'good' (maybe not perfect), is to set a line in the sand and call that our target.

    Once we have a solid base that works 'good' in every way possible, we can then work out from that.

    But just trying to continually keep up with a changing target expectations ourselves, and Ruud changing stuff at the same time, and so on, it's just never gonna work.


    Personally I'd have run with Panthera by now had there been the cube maps present and a guarantee of the networking/multiplayer staying in/being maintained.

    With neither of those two being core features moving forward it seems pointless bothering with for what we'd like.


    I still fancy the idea of us making our own sim, maybe over UDK, openDrive, I dunno.

    But either way, WE can still do LOTS with Racer and making some great content. A new open sim is still pointless if we have no good finished original content we can share.


    Just imo, Racer can look and sound just as good as GT6 or Forza 4 with the right content. It can certainly drive and feel as good too.
    Yes lots of polish is missing, but we can get very close. Going looking to perfect backfires or sounds is pretty pointless when we're still driving around on decade old tracks and mostly converted cars we can't easily share etc.
     
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  2. Harey

    Harey

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    Can't say for sure I've played with RC5c much, I'll have to grab a copy and check it out. I know there are issues with RC4, which is kinda of why I had originally said that RC5c would work if it does network alright. Which from what you've said it sounds like it does.

    Your issues sound about like what me and Silver have experienced, or track/car specific issues, mostly that one guard rail on Polish Roads that will ping you off into eternity (probably should look into that). Other than that though, works fine, he usually has to connect to me though. As i recall ports can cause issues with Racer, with any version though. But yeah getting it down to a specific version could help a ton with figuring out a good fix or workaround with the scripts. And I feel as well that this vintage of Racer is about the best you'll find.

    I have been on a Racer server with multiple clients before, but that was a long time ago, like pre-CG shaders and pre-scripts. Maybe the 4 of us (you, Cosmo, Silver, and me) will have to do some RC5c testing online lol.

    Pertaining to Raven, not sure what you mean there the Gallardo's config tool (at least the one I have) is flash based though, and actually if you selected the gallardo in Raven 2 it will run its config tool. IIRC Racer goes by the folder name of the car, not the car's ID, which is used for when you leave Racer and come back in. If we could make it work without having like 5 copies of each car in each color, it would help a lot. I know changing the car.ini with Raven works online, because I've messed with Silver a few times, driving my 75 LTD claiming I have a little 302, then blasting off with a 460 in actuality lol.
     
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  3. Harey

    Harey

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    I'd love to see more tracks updated or created for the current version of Racer. I know there were some good ones back in the day. As well as decent cars as well. Getting cars from places like tracciontresera (did i even spell that right?) can really be hit or miss, some look good and are quite awful, some look quite awful, and drive at best, meh.

    Are you saying a community driven driving sim NOT on Racer? Sounds like it would be a lot of migrating and learning, at least for now I'd stick with Racer.

    I agree actually, personally I've never been good at making the sounds work (I can get a good sound, I just struggle to make it repeat well), but the looks if the shader is set up right on the car and track can be amazing.
    We do need more polish for Racer, I wonder if we bug Ruud enough could he give us something to dive in a little deeper with inside of Racer (or if that's even possible). Of course content could be better as well.

    I know a couple years ago I re-released Small City in and updated format for the community as a whole to update, and it kinda just went to the wayside, be interesting to get more of the community involved in projects to bring Racer up to date.
     
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  4. KS95

    KS95
    RACER Moderator

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    Congrats on the mister or miss on the way @Mr Whippy

    I have to be honest I've barely touched Racer in years. It's still got a mountain of potential, but it's so incomplete and falling behind the other options out there. I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, would rather just fire up AC for a few hours of racing, instead of tinkering at Racer for hours/days (years....lol) and trying to find decent content. I do agree though, the right beta (with the least issues), the right content - Racer can totally take on Forza. However unless Ruud is willing to go open source on us I don't think there's going to be much change or improvements in the near future. It's a shame and a waste of a good sim, but what can you do?

    Anyways, happy new year to you all :)
     
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  5. Harey

    Harey

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    I actually enjoy tinkering, maybe its why I have so many unfinished Racer cars lol. Granted some are started with great interest then I find they lack any information on them to really make them any good. One of my latest projects has been based on a specific car but the engine from another car, kind of a hot rod, but this car would of come before the term was coined though i think.

    And what can we do? Anything and everything we are able to do, make programs that work with Racer to enhance it. We can bring old cars and tracks up to date, some of us could create content as well.
     
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  6. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    Harey, wrt Raven/config tools and that Gallardo.

    I'll just explain what happens and how it'd be better changed.

    I like green, so I choose a green lambo. Cosmo likes red, so he chooses a red one.

    I see Cosmo as green, he sees me as red.

    Add in you playing with a blue lambo, and despite us all having different colours we actually all look the same to each other in game.

    Since networking uses the car folder for the look, and raven variants only work for the local car within that folder, we all get the same car.

    The only solution is many cars. lambo_red, lambo_green, lambo_blue etc. And maybe even lambo_red_silver_wheels, lambo_red_black_wheels etc etc.

    Downloading and maintaining all those cars is a real pain.

    It'd be awesome if actually we just had a new system managed by something like Raven.

    We place cars in a new folder, say... racer/data/car_master

    Raven then reads out car_master and deploys all the files and car folders needed to racer/data/cars

    Yes the folder for cars is huge, but we can tend to not go in there much any more, and let Raven manage them, update them, delete them etc.
    Yes it could get messy, break etc, but hey.

    Then when we play online we just choose the car we want via Raven, which only lists data/car_master cars, and subsequent sub-options, not the huge long list in data/cars.

    We can then play online and see each other properly. It 'looks' just like Raven variants to the user in the Raven UI, but it works right for multiplayer.


    In a way we already used to do this manually back in the 049 days. Stecki had about 10 downloads for his Mini for example. You'd download them all and have to manage/update/upgrade them all manually.
    ALL that could be automated from a master folder. Raven can just reference some config.ini file in the car folder that lists all the files/folders needed for each car. A bit like rFactor options blocks.


    Obviously the car graphics load is higher (mesh+texture), and render load higher (draw calls maybe, so we'd need to make sure cars aren't inefficient.
    As I've noted a few times before, even a rough conversion from Forza3 or something *should* be able to be squished down into 10-15 draw calls quite easily with some extra effort (a few hours)... those cars with about 50-100 draw calls are just not going to play well either way.


    In theory we could do this with tracks too, but since we all want to 'see' the same track in multiplayer, we can use batch scripts running through Raven (or a Raven config.ini per track) to set properties, so we don't need to duplicate tracks entirely (ie, rainy, cloudy, sunny, night time, etc)




    I'm relatively quiet right now so I'll get working on my Z4 again. At this stage it should be quite trivial to make some good progress as all the foundations have been laid. It's just my perfectionist nature holds me back haha, but a finished 3d car would be good for my CV as much as it'd be good for Racer!
    As much as I know I can make a complete car, I'm still going to need lots of input from others so mine covers all the features others think are important too, then we can make sure we can do all the features we want consistently alongside all the others we need.
    Most important is that we cover everything everyone wants in one car imo, then anyone *should* be able to make anything they want and have a working reference, and can then improve from there if they want.

    Checking RC5c (or somewhere around there) does everything we need will also be important too. That'll need a bunch of us to multiplay at some point with scripts (FF scripts especially, I know my FF script was tweaking Cosmo's FF once haha!)
    The Gallardo is quite script heavy, but fairly well optimised, so if we can strap different scripts onto it to check things out and it all remains reliable then we're good to go I think.

    Checking ATI support will be handy too, as long as we can get ATI users mostly happy that'll be good. I think RC5c was quite reliable in this area. But testing certainly required. I'm all nVidia (760/1060) here.

    I've got a few tracks as WIP, at least one can be finished up to work ok. Again the most important thing is adding in everything we reasonably want to use. Shading, sounds/surfaces stuff, any scripting for cool stuff like moving objects etc.



    Hmmmmm

    Dave
     
  7. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    Uh well that was a boring read of all the release threads from around rc3 >> rc10 haha.

    A stark reminder of how bad that string of releasing was too from a 'stable' version pov.

    RC5c is my fave, but RC4 seemed quite solid too. If RC5c networks just as well as RC4 I think it'll be the one to run with though as there are a few extra nice features there!


    Ruud defined all of these RC versions as release candidates to potentially have one become a V1.0 Free Racer.

    So I think it's appropriate to say our V1.0 Free Racer is something around RC4~RC5c.

    I know it's 4 years old, and in a way if we'd have called it our V1.0 back then we'd probably all be happy and have lots of content, but such is the danger of this progressive development cycle and never drawing lines in the sand!

    If Panthera suddenly meets what we need in the next year or so it'll be relatively trivial to move content over I'm sure.
     
  8. sti228

    sti228

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    I don't try RC5c but RC4 looks and work very good for me. Just need some cars converted from FH3 :D
     
  9. Harey

    Harey

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    I didn't even look through all of them, just kind of figured I'd take your word that RC5c is a good one. So I tried out RC5c, the HUD text was nice to have white (one of the few features of RC4 I dislike). But I noticed the car I tested with showed up with the missing texture pattern on it, despite there being no Qlogs. The same car works fine in RC4, so kind of a knock against RC5c.

    Haven't tried network with it yet, but I'd imagine that its going to work similarly if not exactly the same to RC4.
     
  10. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    Oh that's weird on the missing texture. Graphically at least I know RC5c is solid here as I've done so much work with it.

    I'd be interested in taking a look at the content soon. Still configuring my new laptop (alongside my desktop) for working on Racer stuff!

    I can't think of anything that should stop us making great looking stuff though.


    I'll have to download a vanilla version alongside my tweaked version and make a log of all the tweaks I've made. It needs to all be properly documented so we can make the upgrade for people from a new RC5c (or RC4) to our new V1.0.

    I probably also need to do that to make sure I'm fresh with it all in my memory as it's a few years since some of the tweaks I've made!

    Thanks

    Dave
     
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  11. Harey

    Harey

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    Me and Silver tried out RC5c with direct IP connection last night, and it was a bust. the brakes were stuck on with his vehicle (he can connect me to but vice versa has never worked). So naturally my recommendation is to use RC4 based on that, though I prefer the font of RC5c. Didn't try to the multiplayer lobby as I've never had good luck getting that working myself.
     
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  12. Cosmo°

    Cosmo°

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    Did you try Shift+R on your (the host's) side after the clients joined? That seems to have become a requirement for Dave and myself with more recent Racer versions, otherwise the client would be stuck at the grid position.
     
  13. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    Yeah we always had issues post joining. Once people are in, a reset (shift R) seems to resolve any problems.
     
  14. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    Harey, did you and Silver try rc5c again and do a host reset once you were both loaded in?

    I'm gonna start working through an rc4 and rc5c update/tweak path to what I'd call a Racer V1.

    Sadly the track and car will be unfinished beta, but for now it'll get us going a bit in a consistent environment for development work!

    I'm doing it either way as it's fun and I just like the feel of Racer (feels more real as I come back to sims again after almost s year out) and as a sandbox for tinkering!
     
  15. Harey

    Harey

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    I don't think we ever did. Maybe over Christmas vacation we could try it over again.

    How much will you be able to alter with the update/tweak? I know Silver would like better ATI support.

    unfinished beta has always kind of been Racer at least, you can use any of my cars if you want as well. :)

    Racer is fun. I haven't touched it in a while because I've been busy. I still have at least one vehicle in the pipeline.
     
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  16. Silver Ranger

    Silver Ranger

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    If I can get permission from some of the authors of my conversions we could include them. The 1970 Super Bee, the 1959 Chevrolet Impala, and the 1970 Chrysler 300 that would make great additions after some tweaking and polishing.

    Update: I just received permission to release the Chrysler 300. I could use a distraction from this stomach bug I have so if I feel up to it i'll polish the car up tomorrow. If I don't feel like I may release the car as is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  17. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    I have two decent machines here now (desktop and laptop) so I'll have to do some server/client testing in RC5c and basically figure out how to set up a dedicated server and clients behind my router, and have things work smoothly (I guess my server can use 25000, and my own personal client another port so the packet forwarding can be set appropriately to each IP, or not as my client will be on the same subnet as the server, hmmm)

    Then I can leave my desktop running the 'revised' RC5c (V1) with a WIP track and some WIP cars we can develop with, and then I can play through my laptop.
    Then also some links to the content with rigid version control and changelogs haha!

    I'd really like to run with RC5c because I'm very familiar with it but I completely agree we all need to be on board with it and test this networking stuff... Racer is absolutely at it's best sharing content and enjoying it together.

    I still remember those heady days of the Gallardo, Snowball's Golf rally car thing, the A3 3.2, and a few others, all racing around that little figure 8 track, and it being smooth and flawless and fun for hours on end!


    What kinda IM do people use these days? Or better to start a dedicated thread on here about it?
     
  18. Harey

    Harey

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    If we can get RC5c to play ball with network play then we can go with it, because I know graphically there's a fairly large gap between RC4 (which works on networks) and RC5c. Only other real issue I have with 5c is it doesn't always report back its graphically issues (for example, missing texture, or shader block) but maybe that's something we could play with, not sure how much we'll be able to tweak here.

    I remember being part of a separate forum and we'd race cars and make fake money that we'd spend on mod's for the cars or another car. I had the classic red Mini, and it was quite good. I also remember racing around the HY Camionnette's, that was hilarious. Of course more recently me and Silver have been cruising around, usually sharing private projects, pushing cars harder than they should on corners.

    Me and Silver are on Steam any more (used to use Skype), that way we can also do in game chat, though we never used it with Racer (can't remember if I've ever tried launching Racer with Steam). My name is Harey on there (I know there has to be others with the same name as well, my profile pic has a stylized version of the name).

    I'd have to look at what I have sitting around for vehicles that could be released though, can't remember for sure what i have.
     
  19. Mr Whippy

    Mr Whippy

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    I imagine we'd have two sets of content. Just content that works in it ok and we can enjoy etc, and then V1 content which is fully specified with all the features used, optimised shaders, config tools etc.
    Maybe eventually we'd have lots of V1 content, but at first it'll just be a handful of content tops.


    The goal mostly being that V1 is just as useful for seeing Racer at it's best, as it is for development because it'll use everything and we can make sure everything works, so anyone coming along to make XYZ car will very likely get it working ok as there are examples of how to!


    If we can just make it so people want to make their cars for Racer because they can get them fully working, and then they can enjoy them together on interesting tracks, we're away.

    Dave
     
  20. Harey

    Harey

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    So if I'm understanding you right, more or less like currently where we have content that is made for 0655 and content meant for 090, except what is expected of that content is set a little more in stone with the V1. As for config tools, that too should be set in stone. Naturally I'd like to see my "Raven 2" become the standard.

    One of the things I'd like to see is scripting to function in multiplayer, not sure if we'd be able to do it or not of course.

    I can agree with that, if we can get people that want to make content (not just cars of course) for Racer, we'd see more activity here. I have at least a few cars to bring up and put some polish on. I'll see what other kinds of treasures I find in my folders though.

    Edit: Also another thing that could be helpful is standardized folder naming format for tracks and cars.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017