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My first impressions/requests
04-23-2007, 02:45 PM,
My first impressions/requests
To start, Im a real life drifter (I run and I used to game program so this is around my alley (thank god for you guys).

Here are my first impressions:

1) Installation could be easier with that dll issue but Im assuming thats just a problem with this particular release

2) This seems to be a USB steering wheel biased game. Is there any way to make it more keyboard friendly? Im trying to kill time at work and it would look funny if I brought one in. Whats a good keyboard setup? I made mine A/S steering, space is brake. left mouse click is gas, right is E-brake. I wanted to bind shift up and down to the scroll but it doesnt work.

3) The auto tranny is dumb, if im turning in first at the top of the rpm range, itll shift into second then back into first.

4) I agree something is off with the physics. ive heard many people call it perfect but that is a short track to disaster. Never call anything perfect, especially physics. 40mph def doesnt feel like 40mph. And jabbing on the brakes doesnt stop any car in the distance I know in real life. *shrugs*

Edit: Traction physics arent right. Im on a grassy hill with the brakes full on and im still sliding down a hill REALLY fast. The moment I tap the gas, the car stops and starts going in the right direction.

5) Speedo should be to the wheels and collision needs work but many ppl have said that.

6) Can we get just a huge parking lot map to practice drifting?

7) Is the clutch disabled with the auto tranny? I have a hard time shifting but I want to be able to clutch kick in corners.

8) I dont care what people say, the graphics are very good for what they are. If you raise texture depth, everything looks great. Shadows could use some work tho.

9) Oh yea, drifting feels like just an elongated spin out. sometimes no matter what I do, its just doing a really big circle and no input will change that.

I could help map but i dont know what mapping program you guys have. I would help with coding but I dont have nearly enough time for that. Keep up the good work! I look forward to playing and seeing future releases.
04-23-2007, 08:11 PM,
I believe that the issue with the handling dynamics is that a lot (all?) of the models are using the physical hinge points of the suspension versus the instant center. As a result all the cars behave like they have swing axle suspensions at each corner.

I've been trying to tweak the new Impreza model with real numbers. MacPherson strut "sucks" for handling but it is easy to model. The display card in my machine at home is foobar currectly - still waiting on parts. Oh, why didn't I wait a month before ordering my Mac so that I could get a PCI-x display card instead of AGP? Oh well.

Anyway, it is my gut that the dynamic models need reworking and that the system used (VAMOS) is adequate to give pseudo-realistic user feedback through visuals and potentially the force feedback of the steering wheel.

04-24-2007, 10:44 AM,
Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I'll try to address some of them:

1) yes, that's just a problem with this specific release

2) we really recommend that you at least use a gamepad with dual-shock-style dual analog thumb joystick thingies. the keyboard just doesn't have enough fidelity... imagine trying to drift a real car with only a keyboard for inputs.

3) the auto tranny uses a fairly simple algorithm, and i'd recommend you turn it off and use manual shift buttons.

4) the physics could always use some improvement. the biggest issues we have at the moment is that the cars aren't really set up correctly... the brake values, for example, are much to weak for a lot of the cars (as you have noticed). we're planning to focus on a specific car for the next release to make sure all of the values make sense and it's set up for drifting. as far as 40 mph not feeling like 40 mph, try setting the field of view to a wider setting: options->display->advanced->field of view. try wide first... this should improve the feeling of speed.

5) we're planning to implement a new collision system shortly. you're right, the speedo needs to be set to the wheels... it's been on my to-do list for a while, but it keeps getting moved down. i'll try to move it back up. :-)

6) i think that's a great idea, and hopefully with the new track-editor in development, someone will be inspired to do so.

7) clutch kick is tough because with all of the shifting the clutch is engaged/disengaged at a fixed rate. we do have support for an analog clutch, but very few steering wheels have that and i'm not sure if anyone's actually tested it out yet.

8) i'm working right now on a new drawing system that, once it's done, should make adding new graphical features much easier. improved shadows are planned.

9) there are probably a couple of things causing this... first, the keyboard controls are designed to apply smooth movements, and might not countersteer fast enough. second, and probably more importantly, the cars that we have aren't tuned well and in most cases aren't set up at all for drifting... which is a problem in a game that's supposed to be all about drifting!

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and hopefully you'll hang around and help us as we focus on a single car and try to tweak it so it actually drifts well!
04-24-2007, 10:44 PM,
What is the current mapping program you guys use? Ill get to work mapping. I am also fiddling around with the car settings and Im trying to figure out a good drift setup.

Does anyone know a good keyboard setup? Im still struggling with it. I know its better to use a keypad but not everyone has that luxury plus you could just buy a ps2 game and get GT3.
04-25-2007, 12:43 AM,
All the mapping is done in your favorite 3D modeling program (we like Blender) and then exported to a format specific to our game. There are some things that can be done to make it easier though, like use the TORCS track generation tool to create the track model. We don't have any good documentation on this yet, because no one has created an original track for the game. All the tracks we have now were imported from other sources, mostly tracks created by the community of other games similar to VDrift (like Racer). There is one original track in the works however and I plan to start one as soon as I finish up the semester and graduate.

By the way, there is some useful information up on our wiki which we've been trying to improve. It might answer some questions you have, but of course feel free to ask here as well.

For keyboard setup, the way I set it up when I test it is like this:
UP: gas
DOWN: brake
LEFT: steer left
RIGHT: steer right
W: shift up, engage clutch
S: shift down, engage clutch
SPACE: handbrake
Q: start engine
P: pause
[: previous camera
]: next camera
,: rewind replay
.: fast-forward replay
`: reverse gear
1: first gear
2: second gear
3: third gear
4: fourth gear
5: fifth gear
F1 - F6: camera views
F12: screen shot
keypad is used for camera movement, +/- zooms in/out

Control Options for keyboard drifting
Analog Button Delay: short, off for slower cars
Speed Sensitive Steering: off
ABS/TCS: off
Auto-shift: off
Auto-clutch: off
Joystick Options do not matter for keyboard...

The big problem with the keyboard is trying to use the pedals and steer with buttons. Steering is especially hard. It takes playing with the analog button delay setting, and "pumping" the keys repeatedly to obtain the effect you desire...

To perhaps explain this better...since keys and buttons are essentially "digital" controls in that they are only either on or off, when you press them, the value goes from 0 to 1, or from none to all. If you use a key for the gas pedal, that's like stomping your foot on the gas as fast as you can, and holding it all the way down. What the analog button delay option does is slow down this can see the difference if you turn on the Input Graph in Options -> Display.

Gamepads are pretty cheap, Logitech makes great USB dual-analog gamepads and they are way cheaper than a PS2 + GT3, even used... Smile I have an older WingMan Rumblepad that I got for $20 a long time ago. Looks like you can get them even cheaper now.
(btw, if you know where to get a PS2 and Gran Turismo 3 for $12 please tell me where Wink )

edit: Reading back over your post I noticed you mentioned you're using the mouse for gas/brake. Have you tried using the mouse for steering? You can set it up so that moving the mouse up/down does gas/brake too. This gives you an analog control for all the things that need it. You're right, the scroll wheel doesn't work right yet, we'll come up with a solution sooner or later...Also, I'd recommend having controls for the brake and the handbrake, if for no other reason that the handbrake sucks on most of the current cars.
04-25-2007, 10:18 AM,
I think I will kill some time at work and try to get the mouse working for controls. I like the idea of having analog steering. I will also try with the gas and brake seeing as it does make sense that slamming on the brakes makes you not turn and go straight into a wall.

What formats do the tracks use? I see the *.trk file but I am assuming thats an edited suffix for your game. I will start making maps as soon as i figure out how.
04-25-2007, 11:34 AM,
Upon further investigation, the mouse doesnt work for me. I read up on it and the fix is to get updates from SVN but I really dont want to install that for jsut the mouse. Can anyone just send me the necessary files?
04-27-2007, 01:15 AM,
I forgot about the broken mouse steering in the latest release. Now you're most of the way through downloading and compiling SVN though, so i think you should persue that, so you can get the other new stuff that's in there.
04-29-2007, 09:18 PM,
yay the mouse works! altho it doesnt remember my gain settings.

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