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.

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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,

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We Paid Ransom32

We paid Ransom32, the virus malware that encrypts all your files and demands payment within a number of days to recover them, and we got our files back. Ish. From frantic googling, to panicked backup recovery attempts, to resignation and payment, here’s how it went down…

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Windows Paint: This ain’t your father’s Windows Paint!

Do yourself a favour and give Windows Paint another try! Take a screenshot with the Print Screen key (usually next to Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys) and then crop, resize and edit your picture all in Windows Paint! You can even save in multiple popular formats like JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and, of course, BMP. Who knew!

paint

Better Colour Schemes for PuTTY

Update 2014-09-20: Try the Consolas font instead of the default Courier New. It’s slightly smaller but still quite readable and permits a narrow 80×40 window which I can lay out side-by-side 3 times on my desktop (1920×1080) without overlapping. That’s something you can’t do with Courier New at 80×40. Give it a try under Putty Configuration > Window > Appearance > Font Settings.

Better Colour Schemes for PuTTY

Check out the igvita.com colour schemes for putty. They’re very good and a big improvement on the default colour scheme. If I have to use a terminal on windows, putty is it and these colour schemes really make a difference in the usability of the terminal.

Chrome is winning me over!

Kudos to Google for their work on the Chrome browser. More and more I leave work at work and so my home computers don’t need all the extensions and features of firefox for web development. And so Google Chrome really, really growing on me.

Kudos to Google for their work on the Chrome browser. More and more I leave work at work and so my home computers don’t need all the extensions and features of firefox for web development. And so Google Chrome really, really growing on me.

I think I’ve finally fully switched on my Linux workstation (at home) and my Windows laptop.

Chrome feels very snappy which is important to me when I just want to surf. It also appears very compatible rendering various web pages.

I can’t fault it. It’s a stripped down Firefox with performance as its key goal. You can’t argue with that.

Try it out!

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.

The right tool for the right job: Not so simple.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.

The argument “the right tool for the right job” is as old as they come. It’s similar in spirit to the old adage that you can’t put a “square peg in a round hole“.

The problem is no scenario is black and white.

You’re on Microsoft Windows so you should use .NET? You’re on Mac so you should use Objective-C and Cocoa? You’re on linux so you should use C and GTK?

The right tool for the right job is not just about price/performance ratios, the primary goal of a language, or what a language has tradionally been used for.

You use a programming language for a task because you’re an expert in that language and you can bend it to your will with greater ease than implementing in a new language.

Business understands this. It’s about efficiency not “perl is for data” and “python is for prototyping” and “C is for algorithms” and “java is for apps.”

It’s not black and white.

Microsoft Office might, in a very base sense, be the best tool for the job if you’re dealing with Microsoft Office format files. But the “right tool for the right job” includes conditions like price, licensing, security risk, training, etc.

Licensing is a big issue. The internet and the FOSS movement, from which we all benefit enormously today, was built on open standards, open protocols and open code.

Stallman understands that we’re where we are today because IT pioneers simply found it easier, better and more fulfilling to craft open source and have all modifications on open source returned back to the source.

We have a great computer ecosystem because the right-tool-right-job mentality did not include the idea that one should go with the status quo which is so often the case when people bring up this argument.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.

CentOS 5 + KDE 3.5 = A nice, productive desktop

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

I can’t deal with KDE 4. Not yet. I just hope KDE brings it up to the standards of KDE 3.5 and I hope the distros polish it quite a bit more.  Unfortunately, it has some regressions in the key areas that really affect me (konsole, kedit/kwrite/kate), etc.

One little nitpick against CentOS’s KDE which I never experienced in Gentoo’s KDE: Window focus issues. These issues come up seemingly randomly when switching between konsoles. Try quickly ALT-TAB’ing between konsoles. Quite quickly it gets “stuck”. This cascades into a mouse cursor and keyboard input problem. Clicking around the desktop or taskbar eventually gets you back but it happens frequently enough to be annoying.

But, I found an alleviation to this problem that fixes most of the issues: KDE’s Desktop Settings Wizard. Just run it and it will reset all your desktop settings (you’ve been warned). Select KDE behaviour when it asks. It does seem to have fixed window focus issues. At least they don’t happen as often as they used to.

So, if you’re a KDE 4 refugee looking for a KDE 3.5 desktop like I was, try CentOS 5. It’s probably the last long-term support distro to ship with KDE 3.5. Get it while you can!