Full Version: A few questions and proposals for the developers and artists
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The game has advanced a lot in the time I haven’t posted around here. The work done is wonderful. I hope I’m not annoying (too late?). I’ve read around the forum and some threads and I’m curious on your opinions on some of my thoughts. So here’s a list of things I’d like to see for game:

1) A car editor which can handle the game's native format like the track editor. I should be simple way to manipulate car models after being modeled in Blender or other program. It should be composed of a simple material library, and it should offer a way to modify the way the car components are connected one to another, a way to define what a component is within the model (suspension-set proper animations, hood-set open/close animation, convertibles, etc.), set LODs, set sounds and their sources in 3d space, light sources.
It should save its changes into the car.ini. It should also let the user chose between different tire sizes, tire types and rim sizes.

2) Make the track editor more intuitive, to handle track parts like legos, and make it easy to set up textures, materials, physical behavior and levels of detail.
It would be great if the tools can just be placed in the game folder and it would be able to browse the game’s components seamlessly.

3) Can I compile a list of cars requested on the forum sorted into categories(F1, muscle cars, super cars etc.), I’ll also point to the specific thread if it isn’t my own request. This will take some time to do so I’ll post it in parts if you’re interested, editing the first post in the thread.

4) Can I compile a list of feature requests and sort them in a milestone way?
5) Is it possible to put tags in the car.ini file, so the game can put the car in its proper categories?

6) Can Vdrift collaborate with other projects (Speed-Dreams, Stunt Rally, maybe even Flightgear for world data to reduce duplicate effort) to share resources like car models and tracks, even if the prefer a different implementation for their sim and rendering engine. Also it would be awesome for future artists to have modeling kits (chassis, interiors, suspensions, engines) for their projects, so they can just skew their required component to their model needs.

7) Shouldn’t we promote the game and look for help on places like reddit? There are lots of programmers there maybe even some artists.

That’s about it for now.
Hi vdriftfan, I would suggest to create a single thread for each of your requests, to make sure none of them gets lost in the comments, and link them to this thread if you want.
OK, so lets do it in one thread...

1. I've made the proposal to create a blender plugin for car import/export some time ago. The response has been retained... I know everyone prefers to have ingame editors for everything and anything. But adding an effective editor to a game which was not written with such functionality in mind is a bigger undertaking. But if anyone is interested in implementing one, I am happy to assist as much as I can.

2. The Blender script for vdrift supports track export/import and is more usable than the track editor imho. It could be better though, maybe offer a panel like the Supertuxkart blender plugin. In general I think it would be great to have more and updated video tutorials related to car/track creation and modding. Will see if I can allocate a weekend for this.

3. Sure, go ahead, check the issue tracker

4. See 3.

5. There is a ticket in the issue tracker related to this I think. Can you come up with a list of categories, also for tracks maybe?

6. Speed-Dreams and Flightgear are using ac3d as model format. StuntRally uses ogre3d meshes and materials? What about the textures? Can you compile a list?

7. We are currently like 0.7 programmers(me), 2 artists (berzingue, slickx) and 3 translators. So yeah any support is very welcomed. Smile
Thank you for your answers NaN. Also please excuse me for answering so late. I would’ve made the threads. I will write the lists but please don't be upset I won't post really much at the beginning but I’ll gradually make the lists bigger.

1. I didn't really mean an in-game editor but a separate application like the track editor. Is it possible to modify the track editor into a car editor? So you don’t need to work so much on it? It just needs to read the file and edit the car.ini. It shouldn't need a sculpting mode, only tools to define what part is what, defining component materials, and setting up joints/connections/animations maybe, for the car.

5. I’ll go for standard tags like hatchback, super car, sports car, then add more colloquial stuff like muscle car, pony car, and see if I can come up to some way to not overdo the tag thing but still have about 3-5 per car so we can find the car fast by applying some filters when searching for cars or setting up a race. It should also help if the game gets a career mode, so adding cars to the game make them show up in career races and not needing to build a database for specific types of races. It would load them on the fly, by searching the tag. Same for tracks.

6. A list of what of file formats? I’ll look into it. Though we can just import the cars they made into Vdrift. I don’t know much about file formats but their sites document them. I’ll provide the links. Of course, if the communities would collaborate on easing the process, it would be excellent. Flightgear’s community is really active so maybe we could just contact them.

7. Who should post the messages there? Me? Can you give me an example of what to write? I don’t want to embarrass you guys.

Again, don’t be mad at me for being slow. I will post as soon as I can find a detailed yet concise way to sort all the stuff. I won’t get into Need for Speed naming conventions like tuner/exotic. I don’t think you’ll like that. Though the interface you’re working at start looking like NFS Underground 2, which, in my opinion, had one of the best racing game interfaces ever. The interface was great for keyboard/controllers and worked mouse only too.

1. The track editor (the one I know of) is in its core an outdated stripped down version of vdrift game code...

6. Well, you haven't been very explicit in you collaboration statement. Wink So my first guess has been you would mean something like assets sharing/compatibility.

7. Ideally something like this should be combined with a release announcement to have maximum impact. So if we manage to get release out in some near future, it could be combined with a call for coders, artists, translators.
The forum is giving SQL errors when logging in can someone look into that please?

1. There is little chance of this happening right? Even so, I’ll try and see if I can make some mockups for the UI. I will post them if I can make them good enough.

7. So I should wait for a new release before posting on reddit?

6. Well I meant that. The games should be able to import the models back and forth, but also have people work together on the models, especially on tracks.

Speed-dreams doesn't have too many road cars, though it does have racing versions of them (GT and rally).

I was able to import a Corvette C6, some time ago, from Speed-dreams to Blender with the built-in ac3d plugin. The car model had perfectly aligned textures and one cell in Blender equates to a 1 by 1 meter square so I guess you can easily then convert it to the .joe format without any modification except for defining the glass on the models. I’ve read around in the xml file of the cars (which is equivalent to Vdrift’s car.ini) and some of the info can be moved directly, even if they use a simplified Pacejka tire model. There are some problems since they use pretty unrealistic car parameters (suspension - from what I read on the web) to accommodate their experimental sim engine.
Racer and Vdrift have, in my opinion, a more readable car file than Speed-Dreams.
I didn’t try the tracks though. I’ll look into it later.