The times they are a-changin’

The truth

In every life, there is a point where you have to be honest to yourself and to everybody around you. This point has come now and we (CTDP) want to let you (our fans & followers) know, about our current status. The truth is, after CTDP 2006, a lot of the guys disappeared. In order to compensate the loss, we said CTDP2006 was maybe our most complete mod and will ever be. It was just perfect, it was something nobody has done before and maybe nobody will ever do again. The details and blood, sweat and tears we put into that mod was impressive. Not only to everybody who played the mod. Especially to everybody who was part of the develpment team. But with the release of the mod there was a turning point. Almost four years of develpment demanded its price – and it was very high. While right after the release motivation was high to start new projects, within months we lost many people which caused us to cancel the 2009 mod. Some members quit because they got offers from game developers, some just disappeared and never showed up again, most got job, girlfriend, life.

So what was the next goal to aim for? Our very much awaited 1994 mod should come back to life and should get released at some point. We started the project with our even more limited resources, did a very good research and even built up our own wiki for this season. We were ready to start over, but there is the point we struggled. We thought, it would be enough to give our “old” cars a smart overhaul to get them up to today’s standards, but after had our Wiki and about 5GB of photo material, we discovered, that lots of proportions are wrong and each car has a lot of visible mistakes. Our philosophy turns out as a “neckbraker”. We always wanted to achieve nothing else as the best we can do. And knowing about all the faults it wasn’t good enough for us anymore. So we started fixing the mistakes or even completly redid cars. So far we have 2 cars ready and 3-5 more on a good way. That makes 7 in total, but we’re far from coming even close to a release.

You may ask why?

To answer that question I have to explain what the motivation is the members in CTDP work for.

In a recent comment we were asked if it’s worth the extra time doing all the track specifiy upgrades, liveries etc. for CTDP 2006. That’s a tough question and I think that you can answer it with yes and no. No, because in hindsight it was a huge project that cost us so much time and yes because it’s shows the spirit of CTDP.

The spirit

We are always willing to improve ourself and keep pace with the professional developers in the industry. In case of CTDP 2006 we did something that even professional developers never did before and probably never will: recreate a complete F1 season with every upgrade that was raced during that season. We’ll probably never again create a mod to such an extent but we will always try new ways and technologies in creating our mods.[nbsp] In the end we’re not just modders that create the content, we’re also hackers and gamers. We have certain expectations on how a game/mod should look and feel – like everyone else out there and we work and fight to get the means to do it the way we want it.

Personally if I play a game like Forza, pCARS etc. I look at the graphics – especially the models and textures – and analyze them, to get inspired, to develop new techniques for myself. I wonder how they did this and that and then I try to do something similar to improve my work.

The consequences

The price of the high quality our mods comes in the time and sometimes money spent. Creating more detailed models and textures that look better ingame requires time and skill to create. And to get that skill you need to spend time to practise, improve and experience. To create more realistic physics you again have to invest time and also money to get your hands on books and/or magazines. Creating a mod is much more time consuming than 5 years ago; at least if you go with the time and exhaust all possibilities the engine offers you.

As I wrote above I often take a look at the techniques used in other games or even mods and try to recreate them or even improve them. It’s time that I could have spent in creating another model or whatever. But I think in the end it serves the mod more to create a better looking experience than to release the mod a few weeks earlier with models that look like they were already out of date two years ago.

The consequences – Part II

Our high standards have another negative side effect: it’s hard to find[nbsp] people that have the talent and more importantly the WILL to improve themselves. As every modding group knows members will come and go over time. That’s pretty normal and also understandable – quite often we loose members to the industry. So you’ll try to compensate your losses by recruiting new people. The best thing would be to get someone that[nbsp] already has the skills to work on your level so that you can continue your work without any transition.

As we’re already reached a pretty high quality standard it’s hard to find those people. It’s much more likely that you’ll find some less experienced modders that you’ll have to teach some of the advanced techniques.

I remember back in the days when I started modding with community 3D app that loads in GP2/GP3 models. In this app you can manipulate just the vertics a model had by clicking on it and entering x/y/z co-ordinates. That has tought me the real spirit of modding back in the days and I still remember these days with joy. As for textures, you had your common template and by today’s means you got create a mod within a few weeks.

Modding is constantly evolving and games like rFactor2 will provide us with new[nbsp] features that we want to and should take advantage of. Complexity and difficulty have become harder and where more possibilities were created, the amount of people who is actually able to use them diminishes.

The consequences – Part III

So if you haven’t stopped reading you now know how CTDP ticks, how we define our spirit and what consequences that spirit is asking for.

While we still have talented guys in our rows, it’s not enough. The amount of work for 24 cars is just too much. The IFM mod was a good way to see if we can effort single car mods with just one model and it was a good testing ground for us to get known to rF2 and its new techniques and limitations. So what are our learnings from IFM, if we reduced it to the team work and not to the technical part of the job.

The part of the team that is left, did a great job and we covered almost 80% of our todo’s.

Who is actually part of CTDP right NOW?

  • Stefan Triefellner (3D artist, Physics artist, 2D artist)
  • James Bendy (2D artist)
  • Dennis Schmidt (2D artist) – inactive atm
  • Andreas Neidhardt (3D artist)
  • Daniel Senff (2D artist, Website) – inactive atm

Volunteers who help us on occasion:

  • Michael Borda (ISI)
  • Luc Van Camp (ISI)
  • Tuttle (3D artist, 2D artist, Physics artist)
  • Ben (2D artist)
  • radu teo (3D artist)
  • AndreasT (Research)

Friends long gone or M.I.A:

  • afborro
  • Codan
  • Gonzo
  • Raulungo
  • Shaun Stroud
  • Paulo
  • Ennisfargis
  • Roberto Yermo
  • Eugenio Faria

What does that mean?

Maybe we have luck and 20 new, talented and well experienced members will join right after that post. But that would be something quite unrealistic to expect and actually not easy to handle as well ;). So for now, we will focus on IFM and then we will decide IF, HOW & WHEN we continue work on CTDP 1994.

It’s also possible, that IFM is CTDP’s last mod ever released. If CTDP will be gone, we want to see it go in glory and on a highnote, but we will let you know, as soon as we know. It will not be a decision easily made.

Thanks for your attention, patience and your support.

Your CTDP Team (everybody who was & is still part of the team).

Written by
Andreas ‘Neidryder’ Neidhardt

Signed by
Daniel ‘Dahie’ Senff
James ‘Juluka’ Bendy
Pier ‘tuttle’ Murru
Stefan ‘erale’ Triefellner

IFM 2009 : Revised helmet model

Today we want to present you the helmet model of our IFM 2009 mod. It was originally created by Eugenio Faria and was part of our F1 2006 Mod as well as the F1 2007 BMW F1 car we created for ISI as an add on for rFactor 1.

So this helmet has quite a history. Back then in 2006/2007 it was top notch quality. But for our current project we revised the model to bring it up to our current quality standards. The result can be seen below. We will post another blogpost with an interactive comparison as soon as (CTDP)Dahie is back from his well deserved holiday.

IFM 2009 : First liveries

In this blogpost we will show you some progress we made on the liveries. James and Dennis did a great job on the Jenzer and JD designs. As the liveries aren’t exactly the same like in Formula One most teams share at least a basic design. They also had to recreate most sponsor logos from hand as in IFM a lot of rather unknown companies were involved.

Also most of 3D work is finished. We’re currently making some minor tweaks here and there and are working on the LOD objects. So stay tuned for more IFM news in the near future.

Introducing: IFM – International Formula Master 2009

First of all, let us introduce you to a our latest project a little bit.

IFM – what is it?

The  International Formula Master (IFM) was the successor of the F3000 International Masters series. It was held as a supporting series during  the European WTCC races from 2007 till 2009. The series was a junior  Formula series which was thought as a stepping stone into the GP2 just  like the Formula 3 Euro Series. The cars were manufactured by Italian based company Tatuus and were comparable to smaller single seaters like the Formula 3 cars. But they looked more like a small version of a  pre-2009 Formula 1 car.

The  series was thought to run at least 3 more years, but FIA launched their own junior formula series in 2009 (Formula Two) and many teams and  drivers left.

Why are we doing this mod?

With  rFactor 2 coming up with lots of new features, we needed a “small”  mod  to test out all the new things and every aspect especially of the  new  packaging. The car was made by Stefan ‘erale’ Triefellner back in 2009. The 2008 version was  finished pretty quickly, but as the car always was supposed to be a rFactor 2 mod work was stopped eventually. With the upcoming rFactor 2  release it was clear that the mod would be picked up again so he gave it  a small touch up and brought the car to its 2009 spec and we started to experiment doing new shaders, materials and testing out all rF2  related  features. Within the upcoming weeks we want to show you in a  devblog series our progress, maybe a few experiments with new material  settings and so on.

What about the release?

Our current plan is to create a few liveries and helmets and release  the full grid with placeholder cars together with templates. This way  the community can create the missing or even own liveries/helmets and we don’t want to invest more time than needed for IFM and focus on F1 1994 (which is  still  our main priority for rF2) instead.

Here is a small teaser picture for our blog readers :).


Inside F1 1994 – Early season suspension

With this post we will start a new blog series called “inside F1 1994”. This blog series will show you some interesting technical aspects of the formula one season of 1994.

Today in inside F1 1994, we want to shone some light on the early season suspension using the brand new modeled Ferrari 412T1 from our modeler Erale.

As with most cars running a high nose, the lower front wishbones locate on to a central point to tidy up the under-nose airflow. Hower, unlike other system which are attached using a pair of closely-positioned uni-ball joings, Ferrari designer John Barnard actually links the wishbones using a male/female joint on the knife-edges, reaping the benefits of increased stiffness. The drawing also shows how Barnard has been able to locate the master cylinders inside the chassis bulkhead, by already working to the 1995 regulations. Ferrari also ran a third front suspension configuration at Imola with the secondary dampers encased in a metal cradle. Again, increased stiffness appears to be the main benefit, along with more predictable damper movement.

Trying to reproduce the 1994 cars as close as possible we tried to recreate the suspension, a very significant part of the model, as good as possible according to our reference pictures/drawings. We have a thread in our internal forum to show progress and discuss upcoming issues or a lack of references.

Erale made a few screenshots in 3ds Max and Andreas T made comparison pictures to show what erale modeled accurate and what needs to be changed.

Here is the final outcome:

The accuracy of the suspension is not only important for the model, but also for the simulation of the suspension geometry in rFactors physics.

1994 Progress Update

It’s been a while since our last update. This has several reasons. With rFactor1 quite outdated and rF2 not really on our horizon and summer comming in europe, our motivation is currently not as high as it was during the F1 2006 development. Nevertheless the inner core of the group continued working on this mod, slowly but steady. Here is some of the work we did the past month.

First thing is the helmet shape.  Our 2006 helmet shapes were done by Eugenio Faria who did a great job on them. But for 1994 we needed something completely different. We took the Senna helmet as reference and created a pretty nice looking shape. As it was our first own helmet to model we ran into a few difficulties during the modeling process as well as during creating the mapping.

To be prepared for rFactor 2 and its animation capabilities we also created a complete new, rigged, driver model. We will present that later when we have something more to show than the blank model.

James (Juluka) and Dennis (mediocre) already started painting the 94 helmets. (These are just screengrabs from Maya)

One final note about the mod and its platform. We are aiming to bring this mod as a rFactor2 mod. But we’re still looking around for other possibilities. We don’t know enough about rF2 yet and with another Simbin game coming (the gt game announced a while back) we’re still not sure which platform is going to make it. We’ll decide that as soon as rF2 or other promising platforms are available.

Dossier 1994: progress & problems

It was pretty quiet in the last few weeks. We were working on the Ligier and we’re facing a new challenge. That is we need more hands than we have right now.

So CTDP in general has a problem. While we developed our workflow over the years, we found ways to cope with the big amount of work in our mods and to organize this work. The mods can not be done without good organization.
Still all our infrastructure doesn’t help us with the issue the team is currently facing.

Considering the size of our mods and that CTDP is a project done only in free time, it often surprises people that we only have a core team of less than 10 people. 2 Modeler, 3-4 painters and 2 physics guys, 1-2 programmers and a beta tester. Many of them have been in the team for more than 5 years or even from the beginning. Additionally we used to have many people who join the team to help and we have sort-of freelancers, who help, but didn’t join. No problem, there is space for everyone. This is how CTDP has always worked in the past 9 years.

Working on projects like ours often takes a long time. Modding has become very professional and for several members it has been there head start into business. Keeping the motivation is very important and so is finding new members.
The work on the 2006 mod was a drag for many people and we were happy when we finished it back in late 2008. Unfortunately working on new projects – 1994 and 2009 – did not bring alot of new energy as we had hoped.

Right now we are in the situation that we need new blood. We are working hard on 1994, but we need new manpower to help with the work, we need more hands. The mod will not have the same amount of content as the 2006, but it is a challenge for other reasons. The lack of good reference material requires us to perform very thorough car reviews and these reviews leave more work, than Andy alone can handle.

Who do we need? First and foremost we need dedicated and motivated people who are interested in season 1994. We need new modelers in Maya and/or 3D Studio Max, not necessarily with knowledge about rFactor-export, but sure it would not hurt. We need people who know TYPOlight/Contao and want to help with our websites. We need Java-Programmers who want to help with the continued development of the DDS-Utils and rfDynHUD. We need people who can continue work and don’t start everything from scratch. We need people who communicate (team language is English) and are critical towards their work and the work of their teammates. We need people who are willing to help and are disciplined to finish their work. And if one or more conditions describe you, then WE NEED YOU!

Nevertheless on the brighter side, there were also progress in the last few weeks. As I said above we worked on Ligier. 6e66o was so kind to take the car out for a ride in Montreal and made some shots. Thanks for that! The helmet shape is still temporary but one of our new members, David Alby Medina already started to work on a proper replacement 🙂

Patch v1.1 for CTDP 2006

Good morning!

As you guys may know we’re working on the CTDP 2006 Patch v1.1. But it has become more than a patch. There were some physics changes as well as a lot of graphical bugfixes. Caused by physicchanges old setups can be useless.  So at the moment we’re testing the patch to see if we resolved all the bugs we had in our bugtracker. The whole patch will be around 700MB. There will be a v1.1 fullinstaller as well as a new server edition. While the patch installer became pretty big, the server edition is really small. 13 MB contains everything you need to run a dedicated server with CTDP 2006. But you have to remove the v1.0 DSE Installation first BEFORE you install the new, small DSE version.

About a possible releasedate… well you guys know us 😉 It’s done when it’s done, but you guys can be sure we have something special for you on releaseday. The patch and the fullinstaller will be released as torrent only for about a week. After v1.0 release we had 15 http mirrors and ALL of them crashed after a while because of the heavy traffic. So torrent is our only choice for this time.

Continue reading Patch v1.1 for CTDP 2006

Sound Issue

Hi guys,

We want to clear some things about this now. First of all, the whole CTDP Team is the opinion, that Michael Ode did a good job on our sounds. But this topic is very sensetive that’s why we decided to add more sounds to cover all tastes. That’s why we added the ISI BMW sounds and asked FSone for permission of their sounds.

Now Luca de Leo appeared and said we don’t have any permission. He gave permission to FSone and they are not allowed to give permission to anybody else. Well we’re sorry for that, but how could we know that? We asked the Fsone guys.  We went the offical way to get permission so we couldn’t know.  So there are two options now for us. Delete it out of the mod or add the credits with the next patch. We hope to get in contact with Luca,soon to sort that out. We announced the use of these sounds long time ago and more than a few times,too. So we’re wondering a bit why there was no e-mail or no try to contact us about that issue.

The unofficial MMG Soundpackage was not part of our release and we didn’t know anything about it. If anybody wants to add more sounds to the mod using the ControlCenter function we have no problem with it but PLEASE, ask for permission!

To make one point clear, we did nothing wrong, we thought we gave credits to the right persons for the sounds. We’re sorry that this situation now happened but we couldn’t know.


Luca gave us permission now when we add him to the credits next time we update the mod. Thanks Luca de Leo for giving permission for the use of FSONE sounds!