Sims – A Mod(erate) Proposal

The following is a re-post and re-edit of a post on I made on Race Department, some time ago (June 1, 2019), during the pre-release period of Automobilista 2. This followed on the news that AMS2 would likely not be an openly moddable platform (due to using the Project Cars 2 Madness Engine), as opposed to how AMS1 was openly moddable. There, I brainstormed some ideas that I think are still valuable to this day and encouraged devs to get creative and help maintain a healthy modding scene. Here, I clean up the writing and present it, again, to raise awareness and to keep it for posterity.

Sims – A Mod(erate) Proposal

How getting creative and resisting binary thinking
can foster and grow sim racing further and faster

Getting Creative Again

I wish the discussion would go deeper than this simple moddable vs not moddable binary choice. There are options that keep modding on the table.

Reiza was creative when they crowdfunded AMS and very generous up to this day. I have no complaints with them. So why can’t we repeat that magic. Let’s get creative again.

Who is this for?

This is really for the devs, perhaps the publishers, and maybe for other simmers, to encourage us all to support open moddable platforms by showing you their benefits, and showing you the drawbacks and consequences of closed sims. By supporting modding, we help grow a healthy, vibrant sim community that brings more value to users and more reach and profit to devs and publishers.

Why should I care?

Mods unlock vast potential on both the business side and the customer side.

On the business side, the shelf-life and therefore sale-life of your product is extended by a significant amount. Consider Codemaster’s yearly release F1 games which might have a shelf-life of 1-2 years after which it’s not worth supporting anymore and customer goodwill for that particular product has dried up. In contrast, consider Assetto Corsa, an openly moddable sim, with a shelf-life of 5+ years, and showing no signs of stopping, growing customer goodwill, and a continuing healthy sale-life. Furthermore, a longer contented customer may be more willing to pay for first-party DLC.

On the customer side, there is greater content volume, extending the enjoyment life of the game, and content is produced and updated for longer, resolving worries about a game at a deadend. Additionally, customers traditionally not served by modern products (think vintage racing series) now have the possibility and access to options to acquire content that the dev or publisher would never think of producing. Customers also receive a warmer and more active community to get involved with which leads back to more engagement and more enjoyment out of the game.

Ask yourself, are you ok with your sim dying within a few years, having limited content, no support, and no possibility of extensions or addon content? Or would you like to see your sim going from strength to strength 5 years from now? And, in some cases like GTR2 or Grand Prix Legends, going 10 years, even 20 years, still selling, and users still enjoying the game and its community?

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Here are just a few ideas I’ve been thinking of that keep sims open to modding…

Continue reading “Sims – A Mod(erate) Proposal”

How to do Family Church at Home

Doing family church at home is easy and simple. There’s very little planning or expertise required, just willing participants. The upside, particularly for children, is they get to see that church is a priority, they see their faith practiced outside the church, and they see a strong example of real-world faith from their parents and their elders. The good news is it’s easy to do family church at home! Keep it short (Yay!). A 20-minute service, all in, will do tremendously more for your family than not having one at all!

In the time of Coronavirus, we’re not sure when we’ll be able to get back to gathering in large numbers. We don’t know how long this will last. In the meantime, traditional church families are most likely not practicing any kind of Sunday morning routine, such as a church service. That’s bad, especially for the children who need to see an example set by the adults of the priority that church and the faith should have.

Here’s how to do family church at home!

Continue reading “How to do Family Church at Home”

YouTube Finds: Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason (Orchestral Wedding Arrangement)

I’ve found a number of videos on YouTube that has struck me as particularly special. Maybe it’s just me but I think they’re unique and deserving highlighting so here they are.

Here’s Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason in an orchestral arrangement,

YouTube Finds: Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major (Piano Duet)

I’ve found a number of videos on YouTube that has struck me as particularly special. Maybe it’s just me but I think they’re unique and deserving highlighting so here they are.

This imperfectly played, imperfectly tuned, and imperfectly recorded rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D is perfect.

YouTube Finds: To The Moon – For River (Rock Guitar Arrangement)

I’ve found a number of videos on YouTube that has struck me as particularly special. Maybe it’s just me but I think they’re unique and deserving highlighting so here they are.

Here’s Too The Moon’s For River in a rock guitar arrangement.

Here’s an orchestral version,

Here’s Everything’s Alright, also from To The Moon,

Wondering what To The Moon is? Only the best retro pixelart adventure game you may never have heard of. The story and music is so sublime it’ll take you along for the ride all by itself. Click here to check out the game. Here’s the trailer,


The Quotable Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The life of discipleship is not hero-worship we’d pay to a good master, but obedience to the Son of God.

Jesus is our end. Knowing that we go the narrow way thru the cross gate to eternal life and the narrowness will make us certain.

The Quotable Ben Hur by Lewis Wallace

As philosophy was taking the place of religion, satire was fast substituting reverence; insomuch that in Latin opinion it was to every speech, even to the little diatribes of conversation, as salt to viands, and aroma to wine.

What children we are, even the wisest! When God walks the earth, his steps are often centuries apart.

Men speak of dreaming as if it were a phenomenon of night and sleep. They should know better. All results achieved by us are self-promised, and all self-promises are made in dreams awake. Dreaming is the relief of labor,the wine that sustains us in act…

Would you hurt a man keenest, strike at his self-love; would you hurt a woman worst, aim at her affections.

We learn to love labor, not for itself, but for the opportunity it furnishes for dreaming, which is the great under-monotone of real life, unheard, unnoticed, because of its constancy. Living is dreaming. Only in the graves are there no dreams.

A man drowning may be saved; not so a man in love.

ADATA Ultimate SU650 960GB SSD Corruption/CHKDISK

UPDATE 2018-11-20: Turned out the drive was just bad and I had to get it replaced. The other one seems to be fine so far.

I recently bought two ADATA Ultimate SU650 960GB SSDs about a month apart. The first one hasn’t been a problem. The second one, which I unfortunately made my boot drive, has been corrupting the file system and forcing my Windows 7 to run CHKDISK and fix TONNES of errors. I may have now found a solution disabling Write Caching on these SSDs.

It occurred to me, while searching for a solution, that maybe it wasn’t getting data fully written to its NAND before it lost power. That reminded me of Write Caching and so I tried disabling that. After half a dozen warm and cold boots, I think it may have solved the problem in that Windows forces the drive to write the data before Windows shuts itself down.

You can find Write Caching via the Start Menu > Computer > [Right-click your desired drive] > Properties > Hardware > Properties > Change Settings > Policies > “Enable write caching on the device”: Uncheck this option.

Good luck if you’re having the same problem and trying this solution out.

Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro

Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro

Welcome to Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources, and other helpful information as I get to know it.

Secrets is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Race 07, Secrets of GT Legends, Secrets of Automobilista, Secrets of rFactor 2, and Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro. 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 2021-02-12: Added Games > Kart Kraft section with Force Feedback settings.

Update 2021-02-12 (2): Added AccuForce Duramold Steering Wheel review. A good, cheap replacement wheel for the stock Leather or Alcantara for when it wears out.

Update 2021-01-01: Added Games > Assetto Corsa Competizione > Reducing Weird FFB Tick in Scrubs/Slides.

Update 2020-10-19: Added Games > iRacing > irFFB – Alternative Force Feedback section. irFFB provides a SoP (“Seat of Pants”) effect. SimCommander provides this as the Rear Traction Loss. Worth a look for iRacers trying to improve their ability to catch rear-end slides.

Older updates are archived at the bottom under the Updates section.


What is the SimXperience AccuForce Pro?

The AccuForce Pro is a force feedback steering wheel system used mainly for sim racing on PC

From the SimXperience website,

The AccuForce Pro V2 Steering System Kit is a complete Plug-N-Play package of our most advanced and realistic direct drive force feedback system. With unparalleled realism and the most advanced tuning features on the market, the AccuForce Pro not only delivers significant advantages for hardcore sim racers but is an effective training tool for real world drivers as well.

Here’s a taste of what it is and how it plays in games, from Inside Sim Racing and their short review,

Getting Started

In Secrets, I try to focus on the non-obvious or unintuitive so I won’t be covering basics like getting the wheel or installing it, unless there is is something of note to comment onm. You’re probably beyond that yourself so I’ll focus on the more obscure and non-obvious things.

Continue reading “Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro”

Secrets of GT Legends

Secrets of GT Legends

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

Secrets of is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing and which has grown to include Secrets of GTR2, Secrets of Race 07, Secrets of GT Legends, 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 2018-09-02: Initial release

What is GT Legends?

From the Wikipedia article,

GT Legends is a sports car racing simulator for the PC developed by SimBin Studios (later Sector3 Studios). It is based on the 2005 FIA Historic Racing Championships for GTC and TC cars of the 1960s and 1970s. This is a modern-day championship for historic cars, and so the circuit designs in GT Legends are those of the modern era, contrasting with games such as Grand Prix Legends which are actually set in historic times.

Here’s a taste of the game from the trailer,

Getting Started

In Secrets, 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 GT Legends”