Secrets of Automobilista

Secrets of Automobilista

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

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 2017-10-15: Added Getting Started > Essential Content > Mike’s Essentials (SimRacing604).

Update 2017-10-12: Initial publication.

What is Automobilista?

From the game’s website,

AUTOMOBILISTA puts you in the driving seat of an advanced racing simulator to deliver a uniquely diverse motorsports experience!

AUTOMOBILISTA is extensively complemented with one of the most diverse selections or racing vehicles to be found in a racing game: only in AUTOMOBILISTA will you be able to jump from a rental kart to a 800-HP open-wheel race car; from drifting a Rallycross Evo X to jumping ramps in a Supertruck; from mastering the driving basics in a Formula Vee to managing a full 24h race in an endurance prototype; back and forth through time with historical and modern content including a sample from several decades of open-wheel racing…

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 Automobilista”

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 2018-07-26: Tip: For in-cockpit FOV adjustments try the Multiview Adjustment tool by pressing CTRL-= while in-car in the pits. Thanks to this post on isrtv.com for highlighting it.

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”

Bisection Search Like A (Human) Boss

Bisection search, or binary search for us developers, is a technique for finding the best value within a given range of values.

 Technically speaking, Wikipedia says the “bisection method in mathematics is a root-finding method that repeatedly bisects an interval and then selects a subinterval in which a root must lie for further processing.”

This post describes tips for when you need to bisection search manually by hand (by “feel”), as opposed to when it can be automated by, say, a computer algorithm.

For example, say you’re very thirsty and need water fast so you pour yourself a glass of water: Pour too fast and it spills but too slow and it takes too long. You want to pour fast enough to quench your thirst as soon as possible but not so fast that it spills. The speed of pouring is your range of values (eg. slow to fast) and the consequences of the speed of pouring (how long it takes and if it spills) are your criteria to decide the best value. You try pouring the glass slowly and it’s too slow: Pour faster. You try pouring the glass faster and it spills: Pour slower but faster than the first time. You try pouring the glass “just right”: It’s fast enough and doesn’t spill. You’ve found the best pouring speed by bisection search!

Update 2020-10-04: Added link to Bisection Search Calculator Spreadsheet

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

Continue reading “Bisection Search Like A (Human) Boss”

How much FFB can you feel in GTR2? 1/1000th of a percent.

[This is a repost of a thread I started on RaceDepartment.com and just wanted to have on my blog, as well.]

Update 2018-01-25: I’m a fan of Simracing Youtuber Jimmy Broadbent and he recently noticed my RaceDepartment post How much FFB can you feel in GTR2? 1/1000 of a percent (also a blog post of mine) and posted a video about his direct drive experience on GTR2 using the force feedback settings I recommended in that post: GTR 2 – How Does It Feel With A Direct Drive Wheel? Check it out, he seems to like it! I’m really happy to help some people get more enjoyment out of this oldie-but-goodie game.

I thought the GTR2 fans would find these results on the precision of GTR2 FFB interesting. For the record, I run a SimXperience Accuforce direct drive wheel. Precision probably wouldn’t be as noticeable on belt/gear wheels.

I’ve been tuning force feedback and recording details on my blog and, in any game where I need to tune value ranges, I find myself doing bi-section searches and testing the result to find what suits me best for a particular FFB parameter.

Here’s my latest testing on this parameter in the UserData PLR file:

FFB steer force grip weight=”0.71696″ // Range 0.0 to 1.0, recommended: 0.4 to 0.9. How much weight is given to tire grip when calculating steering force.

Note 0.71696 is basically 71.696% given the 0.0-1.0 range. GTR2’s PLR files apparently have a precision of up to 5 decimal places or 1/1000th precision thought of as a percentage.

How did I end up at a super specific value like that? Well, here’s the bi-section search it took me to arrive at that value:

FFB steer force grip weight=”0.78000″, 0.785, 0.7875, 0.6875, 0.7875, 0.6875, 0.7375, 0.7125, 0.725, 0.71875, 0.715625, 0.7171875 (better), 0.71640625, 0.716796875, 0.7169921875, 0.71689453125, 0.716943359375, (0.7169189453125+ vs 0.7169677734375++), 0.71695556640625 (*, **, ***)

Yes, at every step I could tell the difference (note the “better” notation, and the “+” and “++” notations). I was choosing what gave me a better feeling of grip level while cornering.

Those last two values were (when rounded) really 71.697% and 71.696%: A 1/1000th precision difference that you could feel in the wheel.

Some might be skeptical, I understand, just be aware this is really only perceptible when you’re going hard like say for fastest lap in a qualifying session. Precision of ffb matters at that point.

Personally, I find it really fascinating to push an old game like GTR2 from 2006 this far and find out it can deliver that kind of fidelity on a modern direct drive wheel.

*Yes, to update those values I have to exit GTR2, edit the PLR, and start GTR2 back up again. A real pain but worth it when you start to feel the car as it was meant to be felt.

**My “bi-section searching” deviates from a strict bi-section search in that sometimes I experiment and try values that aren’t strictly a bi-section the previous two values. I find this can help when I’m frustrated with the feel and need to find my bearings with a bigger jump which I then narrow down again with a regular bi-section search.

***If you’re interested, I’ve attached my PLR so you can see all my modified FFB values. The car was HQ F575 GTC and the track was HQ Brno. I run 60hz vsync.

Credits

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 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 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 2020-09-02: Added Controls and Hidden Keyboard Shortcuts section.

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

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”