TGMutils library published

With rFactor2 comes a new and complicated tire model. While it supports many new features it’s also a lot more complicated than in rFactor1. Together with erale, we had the idea of creating a tool to edit the tire definitions (TGM-files) more easily. We started a prototype, got many new ideas and the proof-of-concept worked, but due to my time constraints I didn’t continue development. However, since this is a topic where smart utilities to help modders can be developed and are welcomed, I decided to give you a head-start by releasing parts of my prototype.

I published the TGMutils to CTDP’s GitHub. This small library is a TGM parser to read the rFactor2 tgm files and store the data in a Java class. This library can be integrated in your software to import TGM files. This only covers TGM import, TGM export is not implemented. The parser is fully tested using jUnit. At this point this library could be interesting for Java-developers, but not users. I licensed it under at MIT License. So you can use it in your projects, fork it, extend it and make something of it. I’d be very happy. 🙂

Status of F1-1994

Work has been progressing quite good on the F1 1994 mod. After finishing his stint on the Cylon, Andy picked up the Pacific and is reworking the car to bring it ingame, He’ll try out a few new techniques and smoothen the car. Hopefully there is some new stuff to show you soon, more than just the model-previews we had so far.

So far there were 3 teams, whose textures haven’t been touched at all. Jordan, Footwork and Lotus haven’t been assigned to anyone until last week. So far we only had the low-resolution dummy texture Marco did last year. I began work on upscaling the Footwork texture. I found an issues, which forced some remapping, so I have no screenshots of the progress at the moment. Daniel ‘Codan’ Fredrich signed for the Jordan car, but there is nothing to show yet either. Lotus was taken by James ‘Juluka’ Bendy. He actually specializes on track textures, but asked for a chance to be involved in car textures and this was perfect, but more on this later.

We welcome Stefan ‘erale’ Triefellner to the physics team for 1994. He worked together with Andy on the Cylon and we could convince him to join in with 1994. The work on the physics hasn’t actively started yet, but he is currently collecting research material.

At this point I’d like to thank Christian, who contacted us a few weeks ago. He had a subscription of the Italian F1-Magazin “Auto Sprint” from the year 1994, which he began to scan for us. This is very helpful for technical data as well as photos. The amount of data you find on the internet is limited, so the more printed sources we can get the better. So if you have similar subscriptions about F1 in 1994, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are also all ear about book suggestions.

Destiny struck on the weekend, when our Subversion server died. We use Subversion to version-control all our source files, which is a great way to keep everyone in the team on the same page and have backups. From what we can tell, we have no dataloss, except the history of the past 2 years, all the latest and uptodate data are save and secure. We are currently setting up and configuring a replacement so work can continue without much break.

So much about the status of the mod. Next post will have some pictures again. 😉

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.

Patch 1.1 Progress part 2

Good afternoon,

Some you may be wondering what is it with the patch, moving arms and what else , when when and when 🙂  Probably you know us well enough by now, that it is done when it’s done, but I’ll give you a little update.

The patch has been in testing  now in the last week(s) or so.  We’ve also had some feedback from top leagues such as FSR since the initial release, such that we have been able to tweak the physics. This has been mainly in the hands of our Physics Guru Michael Borda (aka speed12) , who probably had to endure most of the stresses for this patch,  but ultimately we are limited in resources, and we have no intention of releasing it without feeling the job is done.  Nevertheless,  the iron is getting hot, and the time drawing nearer , so completion looks more likely by the day.

The cars wont feel very different from the base release, it is mostly minor tweaks, but the tyres have had quite a significant overhaul with better heating and tyre wear.   So now you really got to test those componds every race and decide which one works best for you over a stint. 

In addition, the tyre slip curves have been improved with increased resolution, to provide a more precise TC response, this means that both for the non-TC and TC drivers,  this gives a better feeling to the driving experience, however, it has alse been received with some mixed feelings, hence, the TC system is currently being tweaked, and hopefully finalised today. Your previous setups for V1.0 will probably need revising, personally I have found this to be the case.

On the multiplayer side of things,  I have been working on making a compact version of the dedicated server version.  An idea I had some time ago that dedicated servers don’t need to  nearly as big as the actual mod itself, this will make an interesting story that I’ll write about some other day.  However, while this idea is true, it didn’t come witout some issues in testing, which hopefully have now been resolved.  Currently, the uncompressed version of the dedicated server is around 70 Mb, around 10 times smaller than the compressed version of the installer for the V1.0  dedicated server release.  After encrpytion this server size will increase by 20% or so, but still, the dedicated server installation would be less than 100 MB uncompressed.  It is however still in the hands of a few testers, to see if this  idea holds ground in all scenarios, before we can definitely promise this compact version, but we hope so, and it is looking more likely by the day.

This kind of server installation is useless as a client, you simply wont see any cars in the showroom if you tried, it is for the dedicated server only and nothing else.

As said before the moving arms will also be released,  we only need an installer for it, but it will not be on the same day and will not be part of the main installation, but as promised, shortly after.

That’s about it from the CTDP world and patch V1.1.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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

Oblique cars in multiplayer

This is about an issue that has been reported several times in very many occasions. We’d like to take the time now and talk about the problem. It has been reported, that sometimes during online races the cars begin to drive oblique. This looks very strange and obviously neither good, nore realistic.

© Maranellofan

The issue, that cars begin to lean to one side during online gaming is known, but unfortunately, that’s not an issue we are responsible for, but a bug or rather a shortcoming of rFactor.
You see our mod has one of the most advanced physics ever developed for rFactor. Our physics-guys went into great length, to use every option available to simulate the driving as realistic as possible. We are at a point, where we touch the limits and unfortunately this tilting is one sign of rFactor giving up on us.

Basically it is caused by 3 factors:

  1. the damper settings. We have the option to either use unrealistic values to workaround a graphic-bug, or keep the realistic physics and accept the bug, which is only caused sporadically. We chose the latter.
  2. the setup: It’s not really clear how, but the setup has some influence on the problem, but it doesn’t cause it.
  3. the track: The modelling-detail of the track-mesh influences how precisely rFactor can calculate the correct position of the car-model on the track. On tracks with low surface detail, low face count and large faces, the scanning looses precision and can also cause this bug.

Obviously, we are not happy about this either, we were in contact with ISI, but obviously they won’t fix it untill a possible successor of rFactor. We also can’t do the track-modelers/-converters job, to deliver good tracks, who don’t cause problems. Also, as far as we know, we are not the only modding team having this issue.
So you have the option: either accept the bug or check for damper-settings in the physics files, play with the values and find a change, which avoids the bug, but still gives you tolerable driving.

League physics requests

I have been sending out the league-physics-token in the past 2 weeks. I got more than 35 requests and I got a few things I’d like to ask for:

  • Please don’t write more than one mail. I can’t check every name and every address if I already send it, if you are already in the list or if you are new.
  • Please don’t hurry! I am a busy man and it may take 1-3 days to respond. So hurrying, won’t get you faster.
  • Talking to other members of CTDP may get you a file, but at the end it will be confusing, because I can’t check who already got the token, who mailed for it.

I caught up with all requests so far. Please mail me again, if I haven’t responded to yet.

Thanks for your attention!

Identical physics for leagues

Ok, speaking with Michael revealed, he actually changed the league physics before the release from near-equal-physics, I talked about it, to complete identical physics. The cars also have the same wheel-base, which results in the cars floating slightly, this is an inconvience, but one you’ll have to live with. I’ll write to the leagues today, who have been waiting impatiently so far.

Regarding Server Edition

It’s one of the questions we got the most during the last few days, so let me clarify it here.

There won’t be an Equal-physics aka Server Edition!

It’s a long discussion, that began when we release F1-2005 1.0 without SE, continued when we released with SE and is still up. Our opinion was, that the SE hurt the mod. We spent alot of time working out the indivudiual carphysics and we did so even more on the F1-2006 mod. SE destroys that.

At the end the discussion is about whether it’s worth building physics for every team. 10 years ago, this wasn’t the default and Simracers tried everything to get individual physics for each car. Today with multiplayer being a must this has changed. It’s no problem having unique physics for each car, but people want to drive F1, while degrading it to a standardized equal-car series. I could imagine the same peoples outcry when they hear plans for standardized components, engines and aerodynamic rules. But hey I get off topic. CTDP put alot of effort into the physics and we won’t castrate them.

On a technical node. We included so many team-dependatand variables in the physics, like the suspension-model and brakes-model, that it’s impossible to have equal-physics. At best “near-equal”-physics.

Next word goes to leagues. our stand on the issue is related to public servers and public downloads. For leagues we have the option to give out a “near-equal-physics” patch, on request. While we don’t endorse it in public racing, we see the necessity in league racing.

And finally just to clarify. The “Dedicated Server Edition” is the original mod without any textures and sounds. Thereby it’s “only” about 750mb big and can be installed on rF-Multiplayer-Server without taking up 4gb of hd space.

Update: With the release of version 1.2 of the 2006 mod, we introduced a tool to create your own equal-physics variant of the mod inherited by a car of your choice. Check out the mod deriver in rFactor/ModData/CTDP/CTDP06/mod_deriver/

Read me, oh my god, read me!

Some time ago there might have been a discussion like this. We sat the other day and thought aloud…

Gosh, this mod is gigantic and this mod is complicated and all the upgrades they are complex, people will be wrecking their brain.

What can we possibly do?

We could write a readme or a manual!

… but who is gonna read this, actually?

Yeah, dumb idea, but wait… what if we release them beforehand?

Hm, this might work. They are killing us to get the mod, so maybe we can hold them off for a few days AND convince them to read just by giving out the readme and the manual a few days early.

Let’s do it …

So, uhm enough said.

Manual for CTDP F1 2006

This covers the first roll out, setup advise for engine, brakes, tires and more, the ControlCenter, some basic FAQ (nothing new actually) and the everlong credits list.

And Readmes in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

(And don’t ask why we totally forgot to make a translation in our mother tongue 😉 )

Thanks to our translators! Oh and while I was already credited here 2 weeks ago for my work on the Manual, I have to pass it to Codan, who jumped in, when I had to jump in for some other guy in a different project. Also kudos to Michael, Gonzo and Arloch, who spent the time writing and explaining how the setups and upgrades work.

Ok, and now I fall in my bed and wonder what I have forgotten… guess I’ll learn tomorrow morning.

Update 4. Dec 2008:

Ok, we addressed some of the bugs in the manual, thanks for the feedback! Alex added some addition plr-settings for texturesize and mirrordetails. I added 2 FAQ-entries, which came up here in the comments.

We also added the German translation of the readme. 😉