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Messages - Duplode

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Stunts Forum & Portal / Re: Competition Archive 2018
« on: July 18, 2019, 12:21:26 AM »
And yes, it'd be nice to have it as soon as possible, but that would mean extra work if you have to rework it at the end of the season. I figure that we could wait till the end.

After reading this, I'm now wondering: why not both?  :) I can arrange a preview release in August, and then prepare a further update for early January, to bring the release schedule back on track.

Also, upload it on Stunts WIKI, as you did the other three versions

The fourth version is now available from the Southern Cross downloads page. Thank you and Marco for unearthing it!

If JTK uploads it to Kalpen in the future, I will change the page so that it points there instead. (Don't worry: I will leave the file in place, so that no one's links get broken.)

I have also published your ZakStunts article about the fourth version, with a few tweaks and the Southern Cross link. Let me know in case you want me to change anything in it.

Stunts Forum & Portal / Re: Competition Archive 2018
« on: July 16, 2019, 01:22:23 AM »
Sorry for the months of procrastination... but I have news! I have finally started to make some real progress with the update: the R4K replays, which I consider the most critical element, are more or less in place now. ZakStunts GAR laps and other replays should follow shortly.

I'd like to hear your opinions on the release date. Given that it is already July, and that I will, at a minimum, wait for the July races to finish before the release, I wonder if I should wait for the 2019 season to end or just release it as soon as it is ready.

Stunts Chat / Re: Stunts pages
« on: July 14, 2019, 07:39:19 PM »
Wow, it's been a while since I last updated this thread! Mentions of Stunts do keep popping up: -- Still-running thread from 2017 in a German forum. One highlight is a pretty Monte Carlo recreation, featuring the MP4/4. -- A hat tip to ZakStunts in a 2018 forum thread. -- dreadnaut told me about this one last year: a Wiki for games, kinda like a modern take on good old GameFAQs. I edited the Stunts article to add a section about the online community; happily, it was approved. -- A post about Bliss on a Czech site. There is a Stunts tag there, and they even have held a race this year! I gotta add it to the Archive!

Ooh, a new forum section! The link to the R4K site is a nice touch -- I didn't know the forum had such a feature.

Stunts Related Programs / Re: Car cards!
« on: July 06, 2019, 08:00:05 PM »
Great! Here go my initial 2ยข:

Text: Is this the right amount of text?

You might want to consider using less text for the "Tips" section, while keeping the same amount of information. A more telegrammatic style might do:

Tips: Can take large corners at top speed. Prone to magic carpets. Great for inside loopcuts due to its narrowness. Though auto gears are tempting, slowing down by downshifting can be more precise than using the strong brakes.

This would allow either enlarging the font size or increasing the form factor.

(On form factors: your sample card has, approximately, golden ratio proportions, 1 : Phi~=1.618. For the sake of comparison, Magic cards are 63 x 88 mm, 1 : 1.397. If you like the allure of the golden number, it is worth noting that 2-1/Phi ~= 1.382 .)

Are top speed and acceleration really important enough to list them like this?

Most definitely! I can't conceive a Super Trunfo card without top speed or acceleration  :)

(I presume the two top speed values are straight line and real, right? In that case, I feel it would look a little tidier to use "154 mph (156 mph)" instead of "154/156 mph", but I don't have a strong rationale for my preference.)   

Are the titles of the categories okay?

I would perhaps have "Best fit" or "Fits well" instead of "Best use", but that's really minor.

What are all the properties a car can have? Fast, Slow (both about cornering and feel, if the numbers for top speed and acceleration stay separate, maybe name them differently to clarify that?), Medium-Fast? (For cars like the F40 and LWT ZR1-GT3 maybe? Or just don't list them as either slow or fast?)

Some of what we mean when we say "fast car" or "slow car" is conveyed by top speed and acceleration, so I think it would be better to focus on handling when it comes to translating that to  a property. There might be a "high grip" property that indicates a car has high grip relative to its straight line performance . The opposite property, "low grip", might be applied to the moderately fast cars in which the lack of grip is most acutely felt (GTO, Countach, GT3, etc.). There possibly also is a place for superlatives ("very high grip"). "Nimble" for the cars that have better than usual handling due to being short (Audi, Lancia, Kart, etc.) might make sense as a separate property, though it does overlap with "Short".

How do you call what the Speedgate has, First Gear Powergear?

I don't think there is an established name yet. "First Gear Powergear" sounds appropriate.

What's a good word for not wide?

I'd say "narrow".

anything else?

An important one is "Off-road", for the cars with better than usual handling on non-asphalt terrain (LM002, Melange, Lotus).

Text formatting: What do you think about the size, font (current font is Arial Nova Bold), distance between lines etc?

There probably is a nicer font than Arial, though I'm bad with picking fonts and would have to research before giving an useful suggestion. The vertical spacing between the lines in the "Tips" feels a bit too small; shortening the text, as suggested above, might help.

Outer line color: I'd like to do something with this. I was thinking, maybe have different colors for fast and slow and powergear cars? Something like that, so it reflects certain categories? Otherwise we could use one of the series of related colors to show a gradient, lighter=faster or something? Or just match it to the car's color? EDIT: Oh, oh, we could make it a difficulty rating, how hard is this car to master? It wouldn't be spelled out on the card, because that's discouraging, but there's still an automatic omnious vibe from a red or black card. Probably have 3 or 4 steps. Something straightforward like the Jaguar is easy, something like the Vette (poor cornering combined with rigid powergear, 6 gears) is hard.

Colours for categories is perhaps a little more in line with TCG tradition; still, I like both ideas. One way of combining them that might work would be using a star rating on the top of the card to suggest difficulty (it would be akin to a mana cost in a TCG, with a high rating conveying "this is costly/complex/difficult to pull off, bu the payoff can be fearsome").

Fill for text space: I don't like completely white, I do kind of like taking one color from the picture and letting it run through like this (it looks a little weird, but also kind of cool) but I'm certainly open to other suggestions and variations.

I think it is important not to use contrasting colours for the background of the main text box, for the sake of readability. Different shades of the same colour, on the other hand, might be fine. One thing I can envision is picking an image (it could be a single one for all cards, or something car-specific like a detail from the dashboard) and tinting it monochrome with the card background colour. 

Picture: My idea is to have a single non-animated picture. A screenshot from outside the car, stretched from 320x200 to 640X480 (but oldschool pixelated stretching, no mixing colors), the way the game was meant to be viewed. There should not be a replay bar or dashboard in the picture. Minor modifications are allowed (I can do those) to remove things like the "replay" text or the mouse or to make details like Crashper's face above look better. The picture is best if the car, in its iconic primary paint scheme, looks really big in it (my example is a really small car the zoom doesn't go any closer), if the situation portrayed fits the car (the kart in a corner, the Lancia on dirt or ice, the Indy in a huge jump...) and bonus points for style if it's a picture from some sort of historic replay (the one above is from Renato Biker winning ZCT131, a race with almost all karts, on a track designed by the designer of the kart (a cool guy by the way, that designer)).

Sounds just right to me.

Competition 2019 / Re: ZCT215 - Wateris
« on: June 30, 2019, 09:32:30 PM »
I'm not sure if there is a secret to it; you have to fall from the edge of the loop at just the right angle so that the nose is deflected downwards. It is bloody hard and I kinda hate it, too  :D

Stunts Questions / Re:
« on: June 04, 2019, 12:40:30 AM »
Do you wish us to add this version for download to our page?

If you want to do it, that would be great  :) I think of Kalpen as the canonical place to download the various PC versions of Stunts, so it seems fitting that this version should be there, rather than in an arbitrary place like my site.

Stunts Questions / Re:
« on: June 02, 2019, 08:44:16 PM »
I do feel Kalpen is the natural home for this download. In the meantime, I can upload it to Southern Cross next time I update the site (which might take a little while), if no other site takes it up beforehand.

Now, what can we build on it? :P

*Puts on pestering end-user hat*

I pine for the day when I no longer have to clone and then massage the database in order to do stuff like this  :)

From having looked at Speedgate's RES file, I'm pretty much certain its downshift bug exists because of an abnormally high maximum RPM (byte 33h), well beyond the end of the torque curve. When you downshift a high-revving Speedgate, you don't get engine braking; rather, the car keeps its speed while revving higher than would otherwise be possible. If you do that while driving at a sufficiently high speed, you get powergear-like behaviour, which I haven't yet investigated closely enough to be able to describe in detail.

I looked up Speedgate in the wiki and there's a reference about a "mild pseudo-anti-powergear". Does this line refer to the same feature I'm talking about?

Not really; I wrote that passage long before we noticed the downshift bug. I believe the first pipsqueak to take advantage of that bug was Gutix, in his winning Z104 lap, though back then I think few, if any, among the rest of us understood clearly what was going on.

Anti-powergear refers to the ramp slowdown feature of the Countach. The Speedgate, like some other cars, is affected by slowdowns when landing from jumps at very high speeds. Nowadays I'm not actually sure if the same bug is involved in both cases, and I probably wouldn't use the term "anti-powergear" were I writing that article right now.

How do you guys feel about maybe loving this weirdness a little?

I find it rather difficult to warm to that bug because it feels too close for comfort to powergear on demand, which I tend to think of as a Niva-class anti-feature. In the past, I have even thought about publishing an alternative Speedgate with a working rev limiter... On the other hand, it could be interesting to explore which driving techniques would be needed to use the downshift bug to its fullest extent. And in any case, I will give Speedgate a go in the current R4K track  :)

Both this and Cas' investigation about corner signs have been moved to this board, which in turn has been renamed to "Stunts Reverse Engineering", as it had been suggested.

Competition 2019 / ZCT212 analysis
« on: April 07, 2019, 09:00:01 PM »
Top 4 analysis for ZCT212:

Code: [Select]
0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1 22.30 22.55 22.70 22.70
2 39.20 39.45 39.95 40.25
3 53.60 54.20 54.75 55.55
4 60.10 60.65 62.15 61.95
5 68.55 68.90 71.15 70.15
6 81.60 82.50 85.90 86.65

0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1 22.30 22.55 22.70 22.70
2 16.90 16.90 17.25 17.55
3 14.40 14.75 14.80 15.30
4 6.50 6.45 7.40 6.40
5 8.45 8.25 9.00 8.20
6 13.05 13.60 14.75 16.50

0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1 0.00 0.25 0.40 0.40
2 0.00 0.25 0.75 1.05
3 0.00 0.60 1.15 1.95
4 0.00 0.55 2.05 1.85
5 0.00 0.35 2.60 1.60
6 0.00 0.90 4.30 5.05

Two remarks. Firstly, this was a tough track, with multiple spots where one subtle misstep (for instance, a fumbled gear change at the loopcut) could derail one's plans entirely. Carrera tracks do have a penchant for being unforgiving, one (in)famous example being Z86. Secondly, the final cut was absolutely decisive, as comparing FinRok's dream line by the first roof and Marco's spotless take on the second tunnel with everything else reveals. In particular, I have lost a podium place by not realising quite how much that would matter enough (my purple sectors 4 and 5 weren't worth much when followed by a somewhat careless final cut -- in fact, I had to abandon a partial replay with even better sectors 4 and 5 because I couldn't pull off a sufficiently good sector 6 before the deadline).

General Chat - ZSC / Re: Licensing tracks and replays
« on: April 02, 2019, 02:03:37 AM »
3. Stressed is GPLv2-licensed; Cartography is MIT-licensed -- both are FOSS.

4. Adapting JTK's phrasing: I hereby declare all tracks, cars and mods ever designed by me free for download, copying, usage (especially racing), copying, modification and distribution, unless explicitly specified otherwise *.

*: Worry not -- other than the programs I have released under GPL or MIT you won't find anything specifying otherwise in the things I have published up to this day.

(The readmes of my cars include phrasing like "by the community, for the community" that, however imprecisely, already expressed that intent. I usually license stuff I create which isn't code as CC-BY-SA; around here, however, the only license I feel like reaching for is the WTFPL  :))

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