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Topics - Cas

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R4K is currently running a race using the Speedgate XSD. We've known for some time about its very particular behaviour when quickly lowering the gears while at high speed. I remember when CTG posted a video in the shoutbox about it and most pipsqueaks felt kind of disappointed, apparently. It seemed everybody expected Speedgate to be a well-behaved, realistic car and instead, it had this quirk. Maybe so much was this disappointment that the car wasn't included in the following year's car set for the tournament.

Since that day, I've been thinking about the car and its qualities and I've started to feel some strange love toward this feature/bug... Specifically, I've began to feel that it isn't any weirder than powergear, which we have gotten used to seeing as something normal in Stunts cars (albeit unrealistic, of course). 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?  Unfortunately, I am not very knowledged about cars internals in Stunts. If this statement is about something else, then how should we call this feature?  Do other cars have anything like it?  How do you guys feel about maybe loving this weirdness a little?

Anyway, this is just a bunch of questions about how we generally feel about this car, but mostly, for those of you who have more experience creating and editing cars and can shed some brighter light on the topic. Thank you!

General Chat - ZSC / Licensing tracks and replays
« on: March 28, 2019, 09:40:07 PM »
Hi, guys. I kept thinking on this since GTAMan15 expressed his concern about uploading tracks and the copyright laws in the EU. I decided I'd write a topic on this to reach a clear conclusion on how we'll handle the software we handle here. In part, the programs we share, but mainly, the tracks and replays, which we continuously produce.

As I understand it, the following we know. Please do let me know if I'm mistaking on any of these points:
1 - Stunts itself is abandonware. Somebody from the original makers or distributors expressed at some point the will of allowing us to use it freely and nobody ever had complained, yet we don't have any official permission to distribute it as freeware. If one day, there is a problem (which is unlikely), we will be told and will have to stop distributing it. There isn't any chance of anybody being fined for the current use until we get a confirmation that we can or cannot distribute it this way.
2 - We can assume Track Blaster and other tools are freeware, because they were made for the community. Yet, for most of them, there has never been any confirmation either.
3 - Some tools are clearly free software or open source. I can confirm here that Bliss is one of them and because Stressed, for example, is posted in GitHub, if I remember correctly, it must be FOSS too. So zero problem to distribute these.
4 - The tracks and replays we have been posting here and in the tournament page are, by default, proprietary. Yet, the fact that the people who made them later posted them to these sites themselves, shows that they cannot expect the community to be punished in any way for downloading and using these files in the way they are normally used. However, should the producer of a track or replay wish to request this used to be stopped, they have the right to do so, although it would cost them money to enforce that. Who would do that?  Nobody. Anyway, it'd be better if there were a not somewhere saying that, by publishing your track or replay here, you release it to the public domain or something.
5 - In any case, posting something that you made yourself can never cause you any copyright problem, since it is your product. As far, of course, as you made it from scratch and not from other tracks and replays. But saving a replay from a track that's not yours shouldn't be a problem either since that is the normal, expected use of Stunts.

While the general rule is that nothing that we're doing is probably going to cause us any problem here, count on me for anything we can do to make it even more sure that things remain that way.

Stunts Reverse Engineering / On corner signs
« on: March 12, 2019, 07:38:00 AM »
So... several times, while racing, I noticed how signs appear before some corners, but not always and I was puzzled, because there didn't seem to be a rule. I had already promised myself I'd do some research on the topic. Not that it's very useful, but you know, I don't like just going through life not understanding why things are the way they are, so here's what I found out:

1 - Stunts places corner signs only before open corners, but not before banked corners. All three materials work (this I actually didn't verify, but seems obvious) and even open splits. The sign is placed shortly after the beginning of the previous tile (at about 1/20th of the way).
2 - The previous tile doesn't have to be an empty path. It could also be a crossway, a slalom or even a ramp. The end of a boulevard also works. Some tiles can't have the sign, but not because of incompatibility with it, but before of rule number 3.
3 - The sign is only placed if there is a straightway four or more tiles long. Some tiles are not considered straightways, so they break the count and you have to start counting again from one after them. These include the tunnel, all corners (of course), the open split (though notably not the closed split) and all objects that are larger than one tile with the notable exception of up/down corkscrews.
4 - The start/finish line does count as straightway, but if it is located in the middle of a longer straigthway, only the tiles starting from the start/finish line itself will count.
5 - In the event that the sign is to be placed at a ramp tile, it is rised to the height of the ramp at that point and it is brought immediately by the road instead of separated and on the grass as it happens with other tiles. This ensures it's visible. In all cases, it's placed on the right side of the road.

Some things I have not tested yet:

1 - I have not verified that all materials do the same, although I'm quite certain they do
2 - Whether disconnected tracks also exhibit these signs, I don't know, but my guess is they don't because Stunts has to tell in which direction a road is to be driven in order to place the signs. This wouldn't be possible on disconnected tracks
3 - Not yet checked what happens if the sign is to be rendered on water. I guess they do get placed
4 - On this test, I didn't try the case in which the sign appears on a slope, but I remember having seen such signs many times while playing Stunts

If anyone is curious about this or has something to say, it'd be interesting to discuss it! :)

General Chat - ZSC / Uniquely identifying tracks and replays
« on: March 02, 2019, 11:44:58 PM »
What we have
This is about one particular point that could later help for the global registry, but also for many other things. As I had said before in another thread, we don't currently have a way to uniquely identify tracks, let alone replays. For tracks, in ZakStunts, there's the ZCT number, which does a very good job, but it's not perfect, since one track may have more than one ZCT number and of course, tracks from other tournaments or well-known tracks that don't particularly belong to a tournament, don't have to have a ZCT number. Also, fantasy-names, which Bliss usually refers to as "track-titles" are good too, but are long to type and may contain non-ASCII characters and besides, many tracks don't have them, so they are good for looks, but not for general identification.

What could be done
I was thinking of a general track identification number system. There are two approaches at this: one would be to directly assign as many tracks as possible a number directly and maybe even reserve numbers depending on where the track originated or how it's been used. The other is to just start from zero or one and assign numbers as tracks are given them. The first option is more orderly, although the second one has the advantage of leaving no "holes". Furthermore, there's the thing about how to format these track IDs. A decimal number?  An alpha-numeric string?  Maybe a hex number?  Could also be a leading letter and a number. Anybody has thought about something like this before?

I reckon we have a few thousands of tracks counthing what each of us has in their hard drives, plus old tracks from old championships, etc. Four decimal digits should be enough, but could be surpassed with some effort. Five or six should definitely be good. But usually, we're interested in about 500 tracks only. Something like #00921 could look good for a general track number, or maybe like 14-0122 where the first two digits would identify the source or origin of the track. I kind of prefer the first.

On replays
We currently have no general ID for replays, I think, other than them being saved in folders with their corresponding race in tournaments. A replay ID number could contain the track ID as part of it, but could also be completely general or be based on date-and-time when it was first registered anywhere (such us uploaded to a championship). In that case, it'd be complicated to work out the numbers for the thousands of replay files we already have.

On track hashes and circuit hashes
As I was taking I walk, I thought, it's great to be able to quickly compare tracks by using hashes based on all of the bytes in the file. Then, when they match, if we want, we may go ahead and compare the whole thing byte-by-byte to make sure it's the same, or not. But, depending on what we're looking for, sometimes it could make more sense to compare not the whole contents, but only what's on the accessible path of the track. A sequential follow-up of the track and it's branches could result in a parallel cricuit-hash that could be used to tell if two tracks are very similar or just versions of the same track. We could even be able to tell a rotation. Of course, the general track hash is still very important. I'm just saying the second one could be a plus.

Thanks, guys for reading my frequent brainstorming. Most people don't like reading long, but I think it's a good idea to just drop this here in case now or anytime anybody would like to think about it and add or maybe I suddenly light up a new idea one of you may have that may be much better than mine. My grain of sand.

I sent a PM to Dreadnaut about a set of related half-ideas I've had. He replied suggesting that I create a topic so that everybody can contribute and I think that's a good idea. Only problem is I can't find the "sent" PMs, so I'll just have to try to remember and rewrite the concept. Here it goes:

It all started when I was trying to enhance the messaging system in Race For Kicks website. I though it'd be cool if I created a PM system there. What stopped me was the thought that we already have way too many ways of communicating. We have the very basic chat system at R4K, but we also have the Shoutbox at ZakStunts. And we have the forum, which can handle PMs too. And we tend to only check one of them most of the time and the others seldom and it's not always the same we check the most. This makes some of us get messages late. Besides, each system has its advantages and disadvantages. So.... the following things came to my mind:

1 - I was wondering if there could be a way in which the R4K site could use ZakStunts username/password as a "passport" system or if we could create a whole new system that both sites could share, so that pipsqueaks don't have to log in to each. This would simplify matters. I'm sure this is possible because I have access to R4K code and Zak and Dreadnaut have access to ZakStunts code, but I don't know how easy or hard it would be.
2 - If [1] is possible, then we might be able to make the Shoutbox and R4K chat system one thing, so we could all check the chat at any of the sites and/or we could create a PM system for both ZakStunts and R4K and share that (even if the general chat/shoutbox is not shared).
3 - Now, if we make PM system for R4K or ZakStunts or both, then the forum's PM system would be redundant. I wonder (and this time I don't know how possible this is) if we could somehow also make the forum work in conjunction with the sites, that is, read from the same PM pool and possibly use a "passport" system compatible with the sites. About the PM system, if this is too hard, it's easy for us to create a very good PM system for ZakStunts and R4K that will be much more powerful than the one in the forum, so we would just use the forum as a forum and PM on the sites.
4 - If this level of unification can be achieved, it can be used for other purposes too. For example, Dreadnaut mentioned an idea of a non-web-based program that would automatically submit replays as they are created for faster interaction in live races. This same client could be much more than that, and allow a whole non-web system to access the community sites and tournaments. A program like this could allow plugins and modules so it'd be much easier to add things to it than it is to add them to the sites (I think). Of course, this could be a risk for the security of the sites if not done properly. It's just an ambitious idea so far.
5 - Bliss has some minimal integration with ZakStunts currently. I could enhance that. Currently, I don't have Wine on my computer, so I would have to reinstall it, which I'm having a few problems with, but I can solve that, in order to compile Bliss or a client program for Windows. I am ready to compile for GNU/Linux, however.

If you guys have any good idea even if vaguely related to any of these points, please add to the brainstorming! :)   And if you know the answers to my questions and doubts, of course, I would like to know. Also, whatever I can do, count on me. I have much more experience with non-web programming, but online, I can reasonably handle PHP, although I've never used databases. As some of you already know, I've been a lone wolf all these years, so my programming style is very particular and I have hermit views :P  I don't get along well with OOP and I prefer to write my own code to using libraries whenever possible. But I'm open minded and can settle to middle-ground, ha, ha.

Stunts Reverse Engineering / DOS and DOSBox memory systems and Stunts
« on: February 10, 2019, 01:19:44 AM »
As I was saying in the shoutbox, I'll post some things I know about how things work in a real DOS PC and how similar or not they could be in DOSBox, particularly as it could affect Stunts. Most of this is just for curiousity, but maybe there's a use for it. Feel free to comment or correct me if I'm wrong.

Memory system
The first versions of DOS were created to run on 16bit PCs, that is, computers that were based on the Intel 8088 processor, which is a cheaper version of the 8086. Both were 16bit (had 16 bit registers and addressing instructions), but the 8088 internally had only an 8bit data bus, which made it somewhat slower. No difference for the programmer.

Real Mode Memory
These microprocessors are special in that they address memory by combining a segment and an offset, not just one address. That is, say you have a 16bit address (pointer). That would be a number from 0 to 65535 (FFFFh in hexadecimal). You have one byte at each address, so you can store a value at 0, another at 1 and so on, up to 65535 byte values. Now, that's only 64K, not much. The classical way to multiply this was to just add memory "banks", so you'd have another register that would hold the bank number. If you had 10 banks, that would total 640K. The problem with this was that it wasted a lot of memory (64K was a lot back then), so Intel, for its 8086, instead of banks, used segments. A segment does not start just where the previous one ends. Instead, it overlaps with most of the previous segment, only offset by 16 bytes. So, for an address consisting of a segment and an offset, the byte at 0000:0000 is the first byte; next is 0000:0001, and so on, but the byte at 0001:0000 is the same as the one at 0000:0010 and the byte at 3000:9A16 is the same as the one at 39A1:0006. Clear?  Well, the purpose of this is to be able to load a program at almost any point in memory so that it'd still run. Stunts is not always loaded at the same address, but the offset at which it loads should always be the same.

On XTs, the maximum addressable memory was 1 megabyte, but because addresses starting at A000:0000 were dedicated to hardware, RAM could only be addressed up to 9000:FFFF, so max RAM was 640K. When the AT was introduced, one thing that was important was to allow for more RAM. This couldn't be done with this old system, so the old addressing system was called "real mode" and a new one was introduced called "protected mode". In protected mode, a segment can start at any point of memory and the segment number has nothing to do with its starting location. Also, the size of a segment does not have to be 64K. Because this is so different from real mode, in general, real mode (DOS) programs can't run in protected mode and vice-versa. Stunts was born in a era in which compatibility with XT was still important, so it only uses this "conventional" RAM up to 640K. But how do other DOS games access "extended" memory?

Extended Memory and HIMEM.SYS
Intel would've liked operating systems to immediately be updated to use protected mode instead of real mode, but things never change that fast. Several tricks came up to access extended memory, but the one provided with DOS usually was a driver called HIMEM.SYS. This driver, when loaded, installed some functions in memory that did things like "copy this amount of memory from this region in extended memory to this other region in conventional memory". The DOS program would call HIMEM in real mode, then HIMEM would temporarily enter protected mode, access memory, copy the data, then jump back to real mode and return control to the program. On the 286, it was not possible to switch back to real mode, so the whole micorprocessor had to be reset, yet preserve the memory, for this to be accomplished. In other words, 286s are extremely slow at accessing extended memory in DOS. 386s and later are able to switch in both directions. Still, switching does take time, so a DOS program that uses XMS (extended memory) is slower at memory access than one that runs in protected mode or one that runs in real mode using only conventional memory.

Expanded Memory and EMM386.EXE
Another popular driver for extra memory is EMM386.EXE. It's story is completely different. Before the AT, if you wanted more than 640K, what you could do is buy an expensive expansion card that you would place in an ISA slot and would add more memory to your system. Because the microprocessor could not address more than 1M, you had to install a driver. Calling some interrupt functions, you were able to change which 16K memory bank from the expansion card were to be mapped to a memory region in high memory (such as C000:0000, for example). These cards were forgotten when the AT came up, but because some programs made use of them, it made sense to create a driver that would emulate these cards with extended RAM. That's what EMM386.EXE did. It was so much easier to use this driver than HIMEM that many DOS games actually require it, even though they came up much later than these expansion cards were no longer used. The 386 or later, instead of switching modes and copying memory, would remain in protected mode all the time and "emulate real mode" using something called "virtual 86 mode", a much faster approach than that of HIMEM (with some drawbacks). But V86 does not exist in 286s. There was a EMM286 driver which worked doing something more like what HIMEM does.

The latest DOS games used neither of these methods. Instead, a special driver called DPMI or VCPI is loaded just before the game is run. The driver enters true protected mode and installs many memory management functions in memory, then executes the actual game program, which will run in flat memory, meaning it has full access to all of the extended memory without needing to set banks or to copy, just directly. This is a lot faster. Only loading and unloading the program is slower. A disadvantage is that accessing DOS functions now becomes much slower, as you have to jump to real mode, execute the function and return to protected mode, but while utilities do a lot of this, games do a lot less. These programs can run in 32bit native code. In theory, it would be possible to create a 64bit "DPMI" driver, but if it exists, I don't know of it. Latest commercial DOS games date from around 1997, much earlier than 64bit PCs.

DOSBox and memory models
DOSBox is a very powerful emulator. It is also build intelligently. It does not emulate what is not necessary to emulate. For example, the mouse in DOS is accessed by calling its driver functions, so DOSBox emulates the driver, but does not emulate the serial port it was usually attached to, because games normally didn't access that port directly. Same way, DOSBox makes sure memory is address where you expect, but doesn't emulate what would've make it available there in a real DOS computer. I think HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE functions are ready to respond from the moment you run DOSBox. I even believe that some DPMI emulation is already available even if you don't load your own DPMI driver (which was what normally happened with DOS games), but memory access is probably just as fast as if it were direct, because no actual banking or copying is going on and there's no switching between memory modes being made. The microprocessor also may be emulated at a speed that is not typical of a computer that handles memory in the way the emulation is allowing, so some games may get confused about which computer they're running on and execute too fast or too slow. Stunts runs really well on DOSBox, but the default configuration is usually a little bit too slow and you may need to increase its speed to be able to race comfortably. This is because DOSBox is trying to keep emulation slow by default so that speed is consistent with the hardware the game will find emulated.

With DOSBox, some programs will not load at the same memory region as they would in a true DOS machine. If a program loads several modules at different memory locations, they may not end where expected. Most games don't have a problem with this, but sometimes, it is important. For example, the Neverlock crack that comes up when you run Stunts_K expects some relative location for some Stunts modules. If you load something before you load Stunts, such as a different mouse driver, for instance, and it takes up more memory, Stunts may end up loaded where Neverlock doesn't expect it. Both programs will run, but Neverlock will fail to disable the DRM system. If this happens, check to see what is being loaded before Stunts.

Stunts Forum & Portal / SESSION ID via GET in the forum?
« on: October 02, 2018, 09:14:21 PM »
Something weird just happened to me. I was navigating the forum without having logged in and I clicked to see the last message of a post. Then I looked at the address line and, to my surprise, the first parameter in the GET line was PHPSESSID, which was assigned a hex chain maybe some 32 characters long. It really called my attention that PHP would send this sensitive information via GET, which anybody could copy and use to impersonate somebody else and I was surprised also that I hadn't seen this before. So I moved to another topic and the parameter wasn't there anymore. I returned to the same topic and no, it didn't do it, so I don't know how to reproduce it. Why could this be?

Stunts Related Programs / Modern system native Stunts proto-engine
« on: September 22, 2018, 11:27:32 PM »
Guys, I made this very, very simple proto-engine last year and left the project because of a difficulty I know I cold overcome with some hard work. Now I was thinking it's there so I can share it with you and maybe eventually give it another push. What I'm posting is the GNU/Linux 64bit compiled version. I didn't compile it for Windows because I would first have to install a 32bit Linux and then Wine on top and the compiler (I don't know why, but Wine doesn't seem to work with 64bit Linux for me), but I can later get that done and post it too.

Use the arrow keys to look around and the + and - keys to change the height of the camera. Also, < and > can be used to bank the view. The engine uses pure high-level routines, so it could be highly optimised. All calculations are made with floating point numbers so, again, this could fly if intended. You'll notice a problem when drawing very close to the camera. This is my main problem.

My intention?  To build a graphic engine that could draw any visual from Stunts at game speed with the same technology (flat triangles), but at any screen resolution. What for?  Could be used to generate high-res images of what a part of a track or replay could look like. Could also be the base for a re-creation of a full Stunts engine. If so, I'd like it to be faithful to the original, only allowing plugins easily. We don't want another Stunts-like game. We want Stunts. In any case, we want a Stunts we can more easily mod. For now, it's just a curiousity. Done the old-school way, but with modern OS and compiler support. Take a look and give any impressions or ideas. Thanks!

General Chat - ZSC / Reopening Race For Kicks
« on: August 31, 2018, 06:36:13 PM »
Hey, guys, as you may know, I'm thinking of reopening the R4K tournament. This time, I want to do it in a more organised way, so before I just start up, I'd like to check some things with you and see what the best way would be.

One thing is that I'm planning to make the races more regular and to keep record of the tracks, the final scoreboard, etc. To do this well would require that I do some PHP first, which would make it start a little later (for example, I'd like to make the site auto-record every significant event in sequence, auto upload tracks, etc.). On the other hand, I could just start in a quick-and-dirty fashion with the current system so that we already have a race and work in parallel. What do you think?

Another thing is that perhaps "Race For Kicks" sounds like it's not important and maybe I should rename it just "Bliss", to make it consistent with my editor or give it some other good and simple name. Ideas and opinions are welcome. And I also wonder if it'd be possible to link a sub-domain from as an alias to the site, like say ->, so that it can be more easily found?  This is not necessary, but it'd look cool. If it costs anything to do, we can just leave it as it is, no problem.

About cars, up to now, the idea was I designed a track and picked a car, usually a fast car, for everyone to use on that track. Now I'd like to start with a track for the Kart and maybe other people could design tracks too and the track creator picks the car. Being able to use more than one car on a track could be complex. If that were desired, I'd have to use some handicap system, but I'd prefer it to be at most two cars per track, so the can be picked especially for the track, so the handicap system should be more manual, unlike ZakStunts'. Opinions on this, also welcome.

Another thing I've been thinking for quite a while is running the OWOOT side of the so-called "permanent competition". If you guys want, we could run a joint effort and just make it one thing where both things could be posted, or that could be done later, as the records will be kept anyway. I've read somewhere in the forum that at some point, a few pipsqueaks spoke of resetting the permanent competition, so if that were ever to be done, it would be the right moment for me to start with the OWOOT side. But even if it's not done, I could start that too.

And well... any other thing you'd like to state, say it now :)

General Chat - ZSC / About the Wiki
« on: August 27, 2018, 12:27:23 AM »
Some time ago, I was wanting to contribute to the Wiki. I do have the access now, but I didn't have it clear how it worked. Later, I became very busy. Now that I have time again, I would like to do it, but still some things get me confused. I don't understand the format very well. Sometimes, it's easy, but when I look at the code for some pages, it seems to me like what I'm seeing has to contain some more code that's not there. I get really confused. Also, how to create information boxes and all that... I need a lot of practice. So anybody who could guide me, I'll appreciate it :)

Another thing is, I was wondering whether it's possible to download the whole Wiki to a file that I can read offline. Maybe a PDF or a large HTML file. Similarly, is it possible for me to write a whole page and then upload it to the Wiki?

I remember one confusion I had had to do with creation and deletion of pages. Like removing the contents of a page was the same as deleting it and creation worked somewhat similarly.

Does this Wiki work in a way that's similar to other WIkis?  I mean, can I just look up a YouTube video on editing wikis that can help me?

EDIT:  Mmm... I think I'm starting to realise how it works :)  My biggest question that remains is: How can I make those nice info boxes?  I can see that, for cars, they seem to be made out of the category, but I don't understand how. Trying to figure out. Oh, and how can I have a certain word redirect to another page?

Competition 2018 / Z206 - Relativity
« on: August 26, 2018, 11:59:49 PM »
Alright. This is my little monster. I asked for an up on the Jaguar and a down on the LM to make sure we don't end up racing 4 minute laps here. As I said, it's a long track, even longer than 4am (ZCT166), but I've built it based on the same principles. I'm sure you guys will find the way to go around it in less than 2 minutes. My personal lap so far is 2:25 and a few pennies with the Jaguar.

Overdrijf!  Nice that you are back!  It's great that you've been the first to try this track :)

Guys, talking about the dual-way switching in the shoutbox, I started to think of whether it was known by the online Stunts community since inception or if somebody brought it later and then, how other tricks or ideas came up, in which tournaments, which was the first track that had this or that, etc. So I wanted to share my part for the record and if anybody else would like to tell about themselves, it'd be nice.

How I met Stunts
I first met Stunts in late March or early April 1993, shortly after I got my first computer, a 386DX 60MHz. I had no games in my new computer and a friend at school told me he had many and that he could copy some to me. You see, in Argentina, in the 90s, not only piracy was very common (as it is in most of the world), but really there wasn't any other way to get software and most of us didn't even know what we were doing was piracy. So my friend came to my place with a big box of 5 1/4" diskettes and passed me about 20 games, including Stunts, which became one of my favourites.

My early view of the game
I remember I found Stunts very hard to handle, so I was extremely careful and slow. My playing mostly consisted in being able to get to the end of the track in one piece. I really wasn't concerned about the lap time. I would always use automatic and I almost always used fast cars. I couldn't see the point in slow cars, I didn't understand them. Indy was the one I used the most and sometimes P962 or Jaguar. I used to build very long tracks with obstacles with the purpose of the pipsqueak not surviving. For a long time, I didn't know that the terrain could be edited, but I found PowerGear relatively soon. Very much at the beginning, I used to race against the computer, but that soon became to easy, so another thing I liked doing was creating awesome crashes, some including the opponent, and saving the replays.

While playing with a friend of mine, we accidentally came across PowerGear from time to time. He was the one who realised how to make it happen at will. Because his surname was "Dantas", we called this trick "Velocidad de Dantas" (meaning "Dantas' speed"). This was probably in late 1993. I had been poking at the binary data in the tracks for some time with a binary viewer I had made and noticed two things: one was that replay files contained the whole track and another, that tracks contained the terrain, not just a terrain number, as I supposed. The first discovery led me to create a program to extract tracks from replays. The second, made me think of building a terrain editor, but before doing that, I had the strong suspicion that this could be done within Stunts. One day, while I was at my friend's house (the same friend), I guessed that SHIFT+F1 should put the editor in terrain editing mode. Because we didn't give much importance to lap times, I didn't care about penalty time and so, I only knew about some tricks from the community.

Online community
I remember having found a Stunts tournament but not trying it very early. Perhaps still in the late 90s. I don't remember what the site was like, so I can't tell which it was, but it wasn't ZakStunts or WSC. At some point of 2005, my younger brother (known in the community as Nach) was part of the forum "La Cueva de los Clásicos" of which Paleke and AbuRaf70, among others, were members too. I think it was through him that I got to that forum and from there, to Paleke's WSC. We participated in the rest of that season and the whole of the next. There we learned to really race. In WSC, the official car was always Indy, so that part didn't change for us. The tracks usually did not have splits and besides, with the OWOOT rules, something like dual-way switching would have been considered invalid, so I was still unaware of that. Through Paleke, I found ZakStunts and registered, but I liked OWOOT better than free-style at that time so I didn't participate much in ZakStunts. In 2009, I wanted to make a come-back, but there was no more WSC, so I became active in ZakStunts and everything else I learned here.

My contribution as a programmer
In 2006, while I was participating in WSC, I started writing my own track editor, which used the same graphics as the internal one and ran in DOS. I showed it to Paleke, but never published it. It was far from complete. I called it "Castunts". The most interesting feature it had was the terrain brush that is now present in Bliss, although it was more buggy. In 2010, I tried to find a permanent solution to the issue of NoRH verification. For this purpose, I created a DOS program called Vizcacha, but I found that it didn't behave the same way from a computer to another, so I had to give it up. The community gave me a hand testing it. In early 2015, I was planning to come back to ZakStunts after a hiatus, but didn't want to return empty handed, so I started to build a new editor that could run natively in Linux, DOS and Windows. The first version was called Cas-Stunts 2.0 (because of the old Castunts) and was released on 7 March 2015. On 5 Octover 2016, for release 2.4.4, the project name was changed to Bliss.

... and as a competition host
From middle October till late November 2016, I hosted Race for Immortality, a single race on the track called Bliss, with the purpose of registering the lap times of the pipsqueaks that wanted to participate so that they could be use for time estimations by the Bliss editor for every track. Everybody had to use Porsche March Indy and it was an OWOOT race. Perhaps a couple of months later, I started hosting Race for Kicks, with rules similar to those of WSC, but there wasn't a complete season; just a few isolated tracks. The tournament is currently in hiatus as of May 2018.

I'm interested in...
I would like to know if there's a topic or a graphic with the different competitions in choronological order or a history of how each formed, when and by whom. The wiki does have a lot of info about this, so I figure I could try to reconstruct this, but a more personal, subjective insight would be interesting to read. Also, what was the knowledge of tricks like PowerGear or dual-way switching when the community was formed, if there were other names for these tricks, how we ended up agreeing on these ones, etc. Anything historical, like... Let's make as if we were about to write a book about the Stunts community XD

Competition 2017 / ZCT195 - Who built this thing?
« on: October 05, 2017, 03:51:07 AM »
Well, this is the first time I open the topic for a track. Duplode, if I forget something, feel free to edit. Here I go: :)
As usual for my tracks, this is a fast and crazy circuit, in which I've tried to include as many stunt combinations as I could. I made sure that wherever you are, you always see something around, be it scenery or stunts from another part of the track. I had estimated that the car of the race was going to be Jaguar, so I made sure the double-jump could be performed with it. Lotus seems like another plausible option, although you'd have to skip the jump.

After the race start, I realised GAR was going to be difficult. When I tried to make a GAR lap, I had a hard time. If I go carefully, trying not to crash, then I don't have enough speed for the double-jump when I get there. That's the main thing. But I think you guys are more experienced than I am and you'll manage to make it :p

Stunts Forum & Portal / Dark backgrounds
« on: February 02, 2017, 09:49:58 PM »
Hey, guys... is there any way I can set up my account in Stunts Forum to display with a dark background theme?  I don't tolerate bright light very well, so I choose dark background whenever I can (my desktop wallpaper, my console emulator, the sites and programs I create, etc.), but nowadays, everything's so bright online!  I'm glad the ZakStunts site isn't like that.

Stunts Chat / My old tracks
« on: February 01, 2017, 05:44:18 AM »
It's already been about three times that Marco and I mentioned to each other that we have old tracks that we've made long before the Stunts online community was born, nearer the time when Stunts first came up. So well, here are some of mine. I have a lot more, but I'll share three for now, for all of you, specially for Marco!

These three are very typical examples of the way I used to build tracks back then. It was 1993 and 1994. My driving skills were not good and I certainly was not fast, ha, ha. I used to make tracks with the idea not of trying to get a new record, but making it difficult to survive the track. So they were usually very long and contained many stunts... completely inadequate for racing. I also liked exploiting track element combinations and creating split points that would take you to a trap :P  Madryn and Terror are older tracks. You can see I still had not figured out I could change the terrain. Cities was created later.

While selecting among my tracks to post here, I found that one (called "Newdies") is of a reasonable length to be raced (although it also contains a number of very long alternative paths). I may post it later if we'd race it.

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