Ultimate release of ultimate patches

We are happy to announce a big release day. We have new versions for F1-2006, rfDynHUD and the DDS-Utils. Checkout the full news on our website.

As you will see the Mod is available only via torrents for the moment. In a few days once the big load decreases, we will add traditional HTTP-mirrors.
Speaking of mirrors. We need new mirrors and if you want to support us by hosting our mods you are welcomed. Contact us for details and we will link to you from our site. Please note, that our download volume is pretty high due to the big file sizes, so be aware, that we produce alot of traffic.

Thank you all and have fun with the Mod and the tools!

User-Manual for F1 2006

Back in 2008, when we were preparing for the release of the F1-2006 mod, I hit a dry-spot when working on the user manual. After posting here in the Blog, 658 send this awesome montage, so I went back to work. Working on the manual was always a pain and today I’d like to introduce you to a new idea.

I mentioned beta-testing for the F1-2006 version 1.2 patch is commencing and it will contain two new features.
This is not one of them!

For the 2005 and the 2006 mod we created a full user manual, which was even translated in 4 languages. It was designed to be printed out and it was quite an effort by Michael and Arioch explaining the basic physics, basic setup options and new features on the mod. The writing was good, but even though I designed the book and the layout, I found it highly unpractical. It is hard to use and even harder to maintain.

I really liked the idea of a manual, because the mod as it is is complicated and giving some guidance on how to use would pay of when we don’t have to explain everything over and over again. So I went out 2 weeks ago to find a suitable replacement, which I found with the website generator webgen. Basically I moved all contents from the old PDF into single pages, which generate a full-styled website. This is multilingual, static and can easily be packed with the mod or uploaded on our website.

Here you can see the working prototype/beta of the user manual.
The english version is nearly done, but translations and illustrations are missing.

So much for the theory. In practice I have to ask, who is interested in this?
Right now we have 3 translations for the manual, which can be finished nearly immediately. The only constraint I have is my time, which is always limited and even more for tasks, like formatting manual pages. However I see potential in this.

So my idea is this:
I uploaded the sources of the new Manual to a public git-repository. They can be browsed online, downloaded, forked, then edited, extended, translated, updated, improved and last of all, all changes you do can be reintegrated in the website. Especially if you know how to use git (not necessary, but nice) this procedure is rather simple and wouldn’t take a lot of effort. Of course everybody who contributes to the manual will get credited and together we could actually build a user manual for the community by the community. It’s Open Source/Creative Commons.

This is the theory, in practice, working with the manual requires some technologies. For effective use I suggest git as version-control system, it’s free, it may take some getting used to, but I love it. Secondly, for building the website on your system you need webgen and for this a ruby-installation. No problem on Mac or Linux, but you don’t have it native on Windows. The last thing you need is to learn the markup I used in the source-pages: Textile. This is strong and flexible and allows to do everything we need. git or webgen are not necessary for working on the manual, they are optional. Textile is not, but learning it is as simple as your everyday bb-forum-markup.

The timing may make it hard to include this manual in the next version of the mod. However, making the manual a separate website will make it independent from the mod
This depends greatly on the response I get. So if you like the idea comment here or in our forum or write me by email: dahie _at_ ctdpworld.org

What was going on in March…

The past weeks have been very quiet here in the blog. This had several reasons.

As a matter of fact one was not a lack of progress. At the moment we are working on two fronts.
Andy, AndreasT and myself are reviewing the 1994-cars which have the furthest progress.
We found several huge issues on Pacific and Ligier, which we are correcting right now. At the same time we work hard to avoid the mistakes on future cars and be more thorough. Actually this is worth a lot more to talk about, but not now.

In other news, every now and then we get the question when CTDP F1-2006 version 1.2 will be released. The ultimate patch for the mod was announced a year ago fixing some remaining issues and improving tire physics. During the SLF-Game work on the patch was on hold, which caused the long postponement. Michael ‘Speed12’ Borda, and our betatesters are currently testing the patch to find the last issues.
While the patch itself is mostly maintenance and bugfixes, there will be two new exciting features, we will announce another day. ūüôā

And the last reason for the lack of activity here: I took a week off, flew to Valencia and visited Ra√ľl ‘raulongo’ Gull√≥n, fellow painter here at CTDP. This marks the 4th person from the team I met in person. It was a great little vacation. ūüôā

More to come soon…

Commitment

On this Saturday a year ago, we released F1-2006 for rFactor.

Personally, I was sitting in my university to upload the mod to our mirrors and members for the release in the evening. I had a cold and was sitting in the unheated arboretum on the campus, wearing two pullovers and two jackets. The road outside was blocked for several kilometers because of a yearly Nazi-idiot-demonstration, which is held in this district of Berlin. I didn’t see how large it was, but I bet there were more police swarming the streets than demonstration members. The university was open and few individuals thought it was fun just to roam through the empty halls without doing anything. Gladly I found a spot, where I wasn’t bothered – with a cold, fever and a killing headache I did not ask for any confrontation. ¬†So I was sitting on my spot, preparing the release as much as I could, while outside hell was going on, you could hear the surrounding helicopters. Several hours passed, I watched at least two episodes of House MD, waiting for the upload to finish. 500Mbit are not enough! When I left, everybody was gone outside and everything looked like nothing happened.

I went back home, drowned myself in tea and the FSR Promotion Race began. I was phoning with all members in the team. Originally I was scheduled to do the interviews together with Andy, but my voice was loosing me and my headache only got worse. During the race I was just trying to hold out and wait to flip the release switch. I was just glad when we gave the green light and the mod was release. Everyone in the team was celebrating in our team chat, except me, who wanted to bang his head against the wall – you know bigger pain numbs the milder pain. Some pills later I fell asleep.

The next day I stayed in bed, recovering from the exhausting day before and from my cold. I’d call this commitment, don’t you think? ūüôā

3D arms addon for CTDP 2006 1.1 released

Good evening,

After much waiting we release the 3D arms addon for CTDP F1-2006 1.1, thanks to Codan for the installer & configuration tool.¬† Enjoy ūüôā

Instructions

  1. Download from http://rapidshare.com/files/227051946/3d-arms-addon.rar or http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3B206XNA
  2. Extract the contents from the rar file and run the installer.
  3. If you made a shortcut when the installer asked you can launch it directly from there by double clicking on it. In case you did not make a shortcut, inside¬† you rfactor installation navigate to the¬† ModData\CTDP\CTDP06\3DArmsAddOn folder and double click the “arsmaddon” tool.¬† Note that¬† with the upcoming 1.2 release of CDP mod¬†a button will show up in the ctdp control center after installation, from which the 3D arms config tool can be launched directly, but this does not function in the mod 1.1 release as more than likely the button will not show up.
  4. Pick the option to have arms in tvcockpit, arms in both tvcockpit and cockpit view, or no arms.
  5. Drive and enjoy.

Update: As of Version 1.2 of the F1-2006 mod, the 3D arms are already included with the mod and can be activated iwth the ControlCenter.

(Un)remarkable

Personally I see it this way, on release day everybody wants to have it and have it asap. Everybody means between 350-500 people at any given moment for 2-3 days, who expect to download with at least 300kpbs. On a mod our size, the download takes quite a few moments, so you can calculate what kind of load is put on the download servers. (1.2 TB since monday night!)
We underestimated this in the past and therefore decided a torrent-only release. The release was boring, because it just worked perfectly! No outages, no exploding servers, very few people who are desperately looking for download mirrors to catch the mod. In my opinion the torrent-only release is a big success and we will proceed this way on future mod-releases. We already thought about it for the initial release of CTDP06, but with 11 mirrors we were sure, this couldn’t bring us down. You know the story, we were proven wrong and I couldn’t imagine any release without torrents. This one is a quiet release. We released the files out of the blue and so the tracker took off gently in the night from monday to tuesday. Imagine an announced release, the numbers of concurrent users would be off the scale.

At this point I’d like to thank all of you who were or still are seeding. Everyone keeping his programm open and helping to distribute is part of this release and helped to make it as flawless as it was. Thank you!

However few people have been about quite verbal about their dislike of the fact, that we didn’t add any webservers.
At first let me tell you, that HTTP-mirros will be in place once the storm is over. We are monitoring the statistics and when the speed of the torrent is dropping, we will add the mirros to the download list. In this case you just have to wait. Yep I said it “wait”. I think it is quite arrogant to expect to ask for webservers at this point. For once, they would just break-down under the load anyway and cause trouble for their hosts (I know the last release had at least 2 consequences) and actually costs alot of money!
Secondly, the nice thing about a torrent-release is a fairness-aspect. When you download, you help to spread the file by uploading at the same time. The moment you download via torrent, you become part of the network and you help to improve it. Especially once you start seeding, you are not just downloading for your own personal interest, but you help others to get the mod as quick as you want it to have. I read several reasons why people didn’t want to try torrents. From “I’m too old” to “they spread viruses” I heard the most stupid excuses. Sorry, torrents are a great technology, and we provided a small headstart if you have never used it before. Expecting webserver-mirrors is arrogant, because you only want the download for yourself, you put stress on the server and fight for every bit of bandwidth. The smart one is, who has the patience to wait a few days. I don’t expect everyone to download via torrent, but I think it pathetic to cry about not getting the mod immediately, when they don’t want to fullfill their end of the burgain. How selfish is that?

This is why I ignore requests for other download mirrors. They will be set up later. Until then, happy bittorrenting. ūüôā

CTDP 2006 1.1 FAQ

This is still work in progress, but it contains a list of things I have seen i.e. frequently asked on various forums.  so here  is a  FAQ that may accompany the manual.   I will update it  in the next few days but here is a transcript of what I got so far.  Any additions you would like to see let me know.

Q. I see no car models and get loading errors after installing the mod

A. More than likely you installed the server version, uninstall it, download the full version
and reinstall.

Q. I cannot change the rev  limit of the cars in the car setup screen and the engine revs are  greyed out

A. Engine rpms are controlled entirely with the boost buttons,  and effectively allows the engine revs to be set in the car while driving, boost 1, maximum revs, boost 9 minimum revs.

Q. My frame rates are very poor, what can I do

A. When racing with full grids it is recommended to set the LOD slider in the CTDP control Center to a lower setting, especially if your ingame settings are at maximum, this applies to high end systems too, reducing visible vehicles and shadows can make a large difference.¬† Unless you got the latest cards like Ati 4870×2 in crossfire or Nvidia gtx280 in SLI¬†it is still¬†recommended setting at the LOD slider to the second highest setting at minimum.¬†¬† The highest setting can be used for test day or when a limited number of vehicles are on track, or for watching replays¬†and making movie files from you replays for high fidelity results.¬† If you do not reduce this slider from maximum, the mod will use large amounts of memory that will push close to the 32 bit limit with large number of drivers¬† (> 25 or so) .¬† In practice most 32 bit operating systems cap at around 3.2 Gb even when 4Gb is intalled ( for various reasons) !

Ultimately this is a high detail mod, and detail comes at a price. To get the best result a PC with CPU core 2 duo 2.2 Ghz (or AMD equivalent) or above with 2 Р4 Gb DDR2 memory, a 256 bit 512 Mb Video card is recommended for a full 22 car grid in order to  maintain reasonably good visual quality with acceptable framerates. For sure  the mod will run on lesser systems, but consider reducing both ingame settings  as well as setting the control center LOD slider to one of the lowest settings and use the autoFPS feature, in this way rFactor wil attempt to minimise framerate dips below a specified value.

Q. The AI don’t work or are very slow.

A. This is a track related issue and has been reported on some tracks. unless you know how to edit mods or happy to play offline only where mismatches are not an issue there is no quick fix at this time.

Q. What’s going on with the upgrades, on some tracks the engines can rev higher or lower than others, different tyre choices and things seem to change randomly from track to track.

A. For tracks that were on the FIA 2006 calender that are suported by the mod,¬†each Team has forced upgrades and air pressures,¬† you can try changing them in the “buy upgrades” tab in the user interface, but it wont have any effect once you go out on track if the upgrades is either Track conditions or Track Configuration these are forced¬† in any case.¬† Other upgrades such as the shift light and mirrors upgrades are optional.¬†

Tracks that are not listed on the FIA 2006 Calender have forced post season physics that is effectively the same as the Brazil version of the cars on a standard air pressure day, this cannot be changed unless you edit the mod which will cause mismatches.

You cannot change any upgrades between qualifying and race, this is particularly important when picking the shift light upgrade, although in version 1.1  a suitable default HUD shiftlight level is now set,  should you change it, always decide your upgrade before loading the track and set it for race !  The shift light upgrade does not change the LED shift lights on the steering wheel in any way,  it is for the HUD only and may also be useful for players using the autoshift driving aid .
 

Q. The offline AI cars should have the correct liveries for each track but it is not working

A. Not all tracks are supported, in some cases tracks don’t support this feature well, depending on track folder structure, especially if more than one version of a track is installed and contained in the same subfolder. This is an rfactor track issue. Note that tracks that were not on the¬† FIA 2006 calender will use a default livery.

Q. when I buy a car and go out on track the incorrect livery for that round is loaded.

A. Human drivers must still pick their livery from the user interface,
the automatic loading of liveries applies to AI opponents only.

Q. Cars fail to load in the showroom or rfactor crashes in the user interface or soon while loading a track

A. The most common reason is an incorrect or a corrupt installation, or the first item in this FAQ will also cause this, however it will also be caused by a setting for the user interface, make sure that you have always set  UI detail to low.  This setting is contained in the user profile PLR file. Open it with notepad and it as follows,

Low Detail UI=”1″

This file may be found in \UserData\playername\playername.PLR

This has no effect on the display quality of the cars in the showroom or on track.

Q. The mod is huge in size and the liveries occupy a large amount of disk space,
will reducing the texture from 2048×2048¬† down to 1024×1024 and resaving them¬†improve peformance ?

A. Read the manual for more information, contrary to what you may think, the answer is no. You can force texture sizes loaded in by rfactor already due to the DDS mipmap feature, to use a smaller texture size you specify it in the user profile, or change ingame settings, in which case the texture size is determined from the detail setting, but this can also be done independently from model (LOD) detail if desired with some edit tweaks in your user profile .  

There is no need to resave hundreds of textures in the skins folders, unless you want to save diskspace.

Q. On some tracks the car livery looks corrupt or wrong.


A. In some cases it may occur that a track and mod have conflicting textures, mosty due to sloppy and lazy naming conventions, however we have tried to reduce this in patch 1.1 by avoiding common texture names, but there is no guarentee that some tracks somewhere will cause such issues.

Q. Why do my replays crash

A. while we have attempted a fix in patch 1.1 relating to music files which worked as far as we know,  should it still occur try removing the music mp3 files from the music folder in the first instance to see if it resolves the issue.  The music files are located  in Music\CTDP2006.  In some cases it may also be caused by a corrupt replay file.

Q.  Do I have to launch the mod from the CTDP control center ?

A. No. If you use the CTDP control center to change settings and launch rfactor directly from its own shortcut it will still use those settings and work . In fact should you have any issues or crashes you may like to try this as an alternative to see if it resolves it. The launch rfactor option in the control center is there for convenience and a way to easily add other startup options to rfactor.

Q.  The steering wheel rev lights since patch 1.1 no longer light up all the way to red, sometimes only green or yellow, why ?

A. This is deliberate, the rev light wil only come on fully on the max available revs on max boost 1, just like reality, the rev lights on steering wheels rarely come on in race conditions. Typically on boost 6, the recommended race setting, green and yellow rev lights will come on before the limiter,¬† letting the driver know that the engine is in the “save” zone.

Q.  The cars that have a rev lights on the dashboard  like Mclaren do not work in TV cam view but only in cockpit view

A. This is not a bug, but an rfactor limitation, there is no fix, although there is a kind of fudge workaround by making the cockpit view the TVcam view if you know how.

Q. When starting a championship sometimes the wrong track loads or rFactor may crash to desktop

If the track is not installed this may happen.  Tracks will not work unless they are exactly named to match the names in the championship list, so while one version of australia will work another may not. We have tried however to use mostly commonly available tracks that are downloadable from http://www.rfactorcentral.com and http://www.nogripracing.com . You may use championship manager to customise a championship, but as such, due to track AI inconstistencies, and the fact this mod does not come with a trackpack, championship mode is not supported and untested.  Better result are achieved by running each round separately, find an AI strength setting  for each track, typically 95 Р100% gives realistic AI laptimes, running it that way is the best solution. The rFactor AI track learning feature will also help to stabilise AI.

Q. When I go out onto track with multiple AI cars, all the opponent cars are the same as the team I am driving.

A. Before track loading under opponents ensure you select CTDPF1_2006 to get all Teams out on track.  By default when a vehicle is selected, only the vehicle filter of your own team is selected as possible AI opponent.

Q. When racing tracks in some cars autoshifting fails to work, why ?

A. This is a bug that has come to light in version 1.1. Brief test shown that it affects Ferrari on non 2006 tracks, Pick a shiftlight upgrade that is lower than the max rev available for now and it will work.   The default setting for the shiftlight upgrade appears to be incorrect for some cars, but it does not affect all cars. At this time it is not known which Teams/cars are affected by this. Tests have shown Midland/Spyker is correct, Ferrari is not.

Q. Which tracks work with the mod ?

While we haven’t tested them, All tracks work, in theory, the only differene will be what upgrades are imposed as¬† explained in the question relating to upgrades.¬† Some track/cars may have AI issues, given the autoshift issue in 1.1 as stated in the previous item.¬†Also some tracks the AI may not work due to issues with the track itself.¬†¬† See this thread for further information http://devblog.ctdp.net/?p=526¬†. Some common tracks that are known to work with the upgrades are (amongst others):

CTDP Bahrain  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Bahrain%20International 

Sepang GP4 http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Sepang%20GP4 

Albert Pack-GP4 http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Albert%20Park%20GP4 

2006 Imola GP http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=2006%20Imola%20GP 

Nuerburg http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Nuerburg 

Barcelona http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Barcelona 

Monaco http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Monaco%20New%20Layout  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Monaco%20EMG 

Northamptonshire http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Northamptonshire 

Montreal http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Montreal%20ISI,

Indianapolis  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Indianapolis%20GP4 

Magny Cours  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Magny%2DCours%20GP4, http://www.nogripracing.com/details.php?filenr=907  

Hockenheim http://www.nogripracing.com/details.php?filenr=1004 

Hungary http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Hungaroring%20EMG 

Brianza (Monza)   http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Brianza 

China http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Jiading http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Shanghai 

Japan/Suzuka  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Suzuka%20GP4 http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Suzuka%20EOAA 

Interlagos  http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Interlagos%20EOAA http://rfactorcentral.com/detail.cfm?ID=Interlagos%20GP4 

This is by no means the entire a list but something to get you started.

Q. A mismatch is reported when joining a dedicated server, why?

A. Due to  a collision geometry error a mismatch will be reported when the LOD slider setting in the control center graphicsettings tab is set to medium High.  Three ticks from the left or exactly set in the middle . Use either a lower or higher setting will resolve this.

Q. I am missing car sounds for the safety car

A. When using an rF lite installation the safety car has no sound due to missing sound files.  Copy the sound folder  GameData\Vehicles\Sounds\50V8FPEngine from a full rfactor installation to your CTDP installation will solve this.

Q. Where are the moving arms.

A. They are on their way in the next 2 – 3 days ūüėČ

Update your setups to F1 2006 1.1

With the new patch come several updates to the physics which require changes in your setup. I asked Michael to shed some light on how to approach this changes.

Well, I’m not sure about what setup changes are required entirely. The default setup seems to work okay, obviously performance is not optimized entirely though.
For setups that were optimized, there are a few things you need to change in your setup. Ideal tyre pressures will now be 3-4kpa higher than before. For example, if you were running 109kpa front and 102kpa rear @ Monaco, you should feel comfortable with 112-113kpa front and 105kpa rear. @ Barcelona, maybe optimums were around 120kpa front and 111kpa rear, with the revised physics you’ll be looking around 124kpa front and 114-115kpa rear.
Engine boost maps have changed so you’ll need to run about 6 boost for the race, with boost level 1 for qualifying.
The new traction control allows more slippage but can also cut more engine power than before. This might mean you want to tighten up the rear of the car a little bit more. You may also want to consider changing your “TC upgrade” level.

Some teams like Super Aguri and Toyota have suspension revisions, you’ll probably need to alter suspension setup slightly to compensate for balance issues.

Tyre choices are likely to change and your selections will need to be revised. Operating temperature should still remain key to your tyre choices.

Larger brake ducts increase cooling slightly, you may be able to get away with a slightly lower duct setting, keep in mind you should always try to keep brake temperatures below a peak of 1050C where possible to avoid excessive wear.

Otherwise, physics changes have not been major, so if you were happy with an old setup, it should not be affected too badly.