Secrets of rFactor 2

Secrets of rFactor 2

Welcome to Secrets of rFactor 2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into rFactor 2.

Secrets of X is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Automobilista, and Secrets of rFactor 2. The “secrets” part is a little dramatic but there are quite a few tips and tricks I think new users will find very valuable and interesting.

Update 2017-10-12: Initial publication.

What is rFactor 2?

From the Wikipedia article,

rFactor 2 is a computer racing simulator developed by the American independent software firm Image Space Incorporated, released for Windows in 2013. Like its predecessor, rFactor, it is designed to be modified and is used by professional racing teams for driver training and race car development. Much of its source code is derived from rFactor Pro which is also used by professional racers and most of the Formula One teams and NASCAR manufacturers.

And here’s a visual taste of the game,

Getting Started

In Secrets of X, I try to focus on the non-obvious or unintuitive so I won’t be covering basics like getting the game, installing it, tweaking graphics or force feedback. You’re probably beyond that yourself so I’ll focus on the hidden and obscure things.

Continue reading “Secrets of rFactor 2”

Secrets of GTR2

Welcome to Secrets of GTR2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into GTR2.

Secrets of GTR2

Welcome to Secrets of GTR2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into GTR2.

Secrets of X is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Automobilista, and Secrets of rFactor 2. The “secrets” part is a little dramatic but there are quite a few tips and tricks I think new users will find very valuable and interesting.

Update 2017-10-12: Now using AI to AI Collision Rate=”40″ (max) as there’s no FPS loss for me so why not. Added Tips and Tricks > Avoid Time Acceleration to AVOID AI Bug.

Update 2017-09-22: Now using AI to AI Collision Rate=”32″ as I’m no longer experiencing FPS loss, maybe only stock tracks are affected and not HQ tracks. Try running HQ tracks if you have this problem. Added 5. Adding Friction and Damper under Force Feedback > My Personal Force Feedback Tweaking Notes. Added Force Feedback Settings under Getting Started > Modernizing as, while it may seem obvious, I wanted to highlight the need to do more than is available in-game to get closer to modern standards for FFB feeling. Added note about preferring HQ Cars and Tracks due to improved handling and grip adjustments in Getting Started > Modernizing > Mod: GTR2 HQ Mods Collection.

Update 2017-09-21: Added 4. Improving Corner Feeling under Force Feedback > My Personal Force Feedback Tweaking Notes.

Update 2017-09-17 – 2: HQ Cars & Tracks is working for me again after a fix. See comments under Modernizing > Mod: GTR2 HQ Mods Collection. Added Troubleshooting > Enable Tracing.

Update 2017-09-17: Added Troubleshooting section. Noted HQ Cars & Tracks was crashing for me. This works now, see comments under Modernizing > Mod: GTR2 HQ Mods Collection.

Update 2017-09-16: Added Tips & Tricks regarding turning up tire scrub and tire skid volumes and regarding refreshing old mod files if you’re experiencing instability.

Update 2017-09-15: Added Modernizing > 4GB Patch notes. Added GTR2 HQ CARS & TRACKS – 10th Anniversary and GTR2 HQ AI under Modernizing > Mod: GTR2 HQ Mods Collection. Added note that I’ve stopped using the Changing Weather Patch due to suspected instability.

Update 2017-09-14: Added Mod Spotlight > DTM Classics Mod with details for getting it running in 2017.

Update 2017-09-11: Detailed my FFB tuning in the section “My Personal Force Feedback Tweaking Notes”. Important! After a few rounds of FFB tuning I finally feel like I have a simple FFB setup that achieves car stability, quick response, and road feel. Added “GTR2 Crashes – It might Be Other Accelerated Graphics Apps” to the Tips and Tricks section.

Update 2017-09-08: Added “Disable Auto-pit and ai control” under the “Tips and Tricks” section. Noted tweaks in the “Make GTR2 Use More Cores For Better Performance” section under Performance. Added “My Personal Force Feedback Tweaking Notes” under the Force Feedback section.

Update 2017-09-06: Noted I’ve started over again from Julien Regnard’s FFB guide tuning FFB from baseline values instead of PLR defaults values under the “Helpful Guide for Advanced Force Feedback Tweaking” heading. Highly recommended. Don’t skip it like I did.

Update 2017-09-01 – 2: Added main section Performance and sub-section Make GTR2 Use More Cores For Better Performance to describe GTR2’s single-core use and how to get it to use more than a single core for better performance.

Update 2017-09-01: Added a Table of Contents for more convenient organization and to make it easier to find what you want.

Update 2017-08-30: Updated Force Feedback section to include more details on finding my optimal “FFB steer force average weight”, “FFB steer force exponent”, and “FFB rumble strip pull factor”. Also added “Force Feedback Tweaking Guide for Simbin Games by Julien Regnard” in Force Feedback section.

Update 2017-08-25: Added Changing Weather Patch mod under Modernizing section and added to Mod Spotlight. Updated my latest FFB settings in the Helpful Guide for Advanced Force Feedback Tweaking section.

Update 2017-08-20: Further FFB tweaking of “FFB steer force grip weight” which gives a feel of losing and gaining grip while cornering. Added Tips and Tricks section Use Auto-Clutch With Paddle Shifters. Added main section Mod Spotlight.

Update 2017-08-19 – 2: Added Getting Started sections: Mod: Track update for GTR2 Original Tracks, Mod: New GFX Mod, Field of View, Wheel Rotation and Wheel Lock, iRacing-like Brake Sensitivity for Potentiometer Pedals (eg. G27). Added Adding Game Cars, Tracks, Mods and More main section. Added Force Feedback main section with sub-section Helpful Guide for Advanced Force Feedback Tweaking.

Update 2017-08-19: Welcome to the initial posting of Secrets of GTR2! Check back from time to time as I add things and note the updates in this update box.

What is GTR2?

From the Wikipedia entry,

GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game is a sports car racing simulator developed by Blimey! Games and SimBin Studios (later Sector3 Studios) for the x86 PC and is a sequel to GTR. Since its release in September 2006, it has received widespread acclaim. The game simulates the 2003 and 2004 FIA GT Championship racing series.

And here’s the official game trailer,

Continue reading “Secrets of GTR2”

ICAR Luxury Supercars Experience

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia with some friends on one of those exotic, dream car experiences you can find every now and then. It’s difficult to describe just how good of a time I actually had. As a simulation racing enthusiast it’s always been a dream to do what I do in the virtual world out in the real world. It really was incredible. I’ll cover the day from arrival to registration, instruction to the pits, the course tour to actually driving the course, and finally the photos and videos they take in the car while you’re on the track.

IMG_0375 Check the end of this post for a video as I walk out to the car, run my laps, and come back with a big smile. :)

 

Continue reading “ICAR Luxury Supercars Experience”

Asus Eee PC trackpad acting strange? It’s easy to fix yourself!

I just recently bought an Asus Eee PC 1215B. It’s a great netbook but there are some unfortunate sore spots. Once they’re fixed, it’s pretty great. The first is the trackpad acts wonky after about 15-20min of usage. Crack open your Eee and don’t worry it’s not as bad as you think! My particular issue was silver electrical “tape” on a certain screw that was touching other metal. Others say there’s a pad too close to the grounding metal connector. Either way it seems like it comes down to bad electrical connections. The other problem is my FN keys just recently disappeared on me. Not sure why, still looking for a fix for that.

Windows 7: Not bad

My father has been running Vista for a number of years. We told him it was a trainwreck. He never heard the end of it while he had that computer. And we all see how horrible Vista was now that he has upgraded to Windows 7.

My father has been running Vista for a number of years. We told him it was a trainwreck. He never heard the end of it while he had that computer. And we all see how horrible Vista was now that he has upgraded to Windows 7.

Win7 looks very similar to Vista but comes with a major overhaul of both low and high level components. Compared to the Vista machine, this thing is a joy to work with.

The hard drive is quiet instead of thrashing all the time. The responsiveness and general speedy feel of everything in the GUI makes you feel so much better about the tools you’re working with.

And the boot time. Wow. This thing boots to login in less than one minute. Vista took five minutes (it was ridiculous waiting for it). My linux and XP machines can’t match this one for boot times.

So, good job Microsoft. You didn’t produce another trainwreck!

Now how about we work on getting rid of that ugly DRM and getting way more useful GUI options and features. See KDE 3.5’s advanced window options for hints.

If Windows were as productive as KDE, we’d have one less major reason to look to alternatives.

Ubisoft: Are you stupid?

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

I wrote a while ago about Prince of Persia for the PC. Ubisoft was trying an “experiment.” This game had no DRM and they were going to see how well it fared. According to metacritic, and user ratings, it didn’t fare so well. It was a pretty mediocre, uninspired game. It looks like ubisoft has their answer on DRM.

And that answer is apparently a resounding approval for more DRM. And this isn’t just run of the mill DRM. This is ridiculously dumb DRM.

So, I have to ask you Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” But really, Ubisoft’s answer is “Are YOU stupid?”. To get that answer, we’ll just have to see how sales do.

Left 4 Dead 2: Second Impressions

Now that Left 4 Dead 2 is actually out it occurred to me I should write my second impressions on Left 4 Dead 2.

Now that Left 4 Dead 2 is actually out it occurred to me I should write my second impressions on Left 4 Dead 2. My earlier first impressions were quite negative. I still haven’t bought the game and I still don’t think it’s worth what they’re asking. I would pay max $29 for it.

But, Left 4 Dead 2 grows on you. I was wrong about the “shock” sound of the shotgun. Turns out I was using the assault shotgun. Its sound sounds more reasonable as you play it. The normal shotgun sounds like the old one. The AK-47 is especially satisfying for a machine gun.

I’ve also gotten used to the extra things like acid or those guys that sit on your head. I guess I just have to learn the tricks.

Speaking of tricks, here’s a quaint little rhyme to help you deal with hunters.

When I see a hunter,

This will be my creed:

Duck and swing, duck and swing,

Until I make him bleed.

Hey, Ubisoft, I bought PC Prince of Persia, the one without DRM.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back. You deserved what you got.

When Prince of Persia launched, Ubisoft said they were trying it without DRM, and delivered this snarky comment along with it,

Youre right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM well see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and Im sure well see more steps in future to try to combat that.

Community Manager UbiRazz

Perhaps the “Razz” in “UbiRazz” is more indicative of what the “community manager” role is all about. Getting the community up in arms?

Now, this happened a long time ago and I didn’t have anywhere to write about. So I’m writing about it now even though I bought this the day it was released.

Barring UbiSoft’s arrogant behaviour, and yes I will apply the community manager’s behaviour to Ubisoft, they did two good things. First, the lack of DRM. Second, the PC version of Prince of Persia was released at a $29.99 price point. That’s about the maximum I’m going to spend on a game unless it’s an 9+ rating and I know I’m going to like it (I bought the Sands of Time trilogy at full price).

So, I bought it. There. You happy now Ubisoft?

Maybe you shouldn’t be so happy because the game isn’t all that great.

It’s technically sound, which is why industry critics gave it a decent score. Good visuals, new art style, good sound, decent gameplay. But isolated analysis like that isn’t what game are about. Take a look at Metacritic’s user rating.

So, I took your bait, I bought your game, and you did two good things, no drm and price point, but then you released an average game.

What does that say to your users?

It says your no-drm and price-point were gimmicks to sell a poor game.

Nice try, Ubisoft.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back.

You deserved what you got.