Herr Otto Partz says you're all nothing but pipsqueaks!

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Started by Cas, December 15, 2020, 09:51:46 PM

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I'll give my two cents on the differences between the DTM cars, but honestly not even I know at this point.

Speed and acceleration wise I did my testing before release. Okay, I tested lots of things lots of times before release, I have a 41 page document of what can be loosely called design notes. I have data for top speed, average speed and time taken on acceleration over 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 20 tiles of straight road and even tests with titles like "10 tunnels into curve left  into halfpipe" where I note whether I had to release the gas or not (that was a no only on the Mercedes, which also had the highest top speed and the fastest time shared with the Audi). But the following are some of the useful numbers. I introduced differences in the weight, the power curve, the air drag (the Mercedes is slightly higher than the other two, that's an eye on detail for you) and the gear ratios, which makes the differences kind of organic and probably a little harder to fully nail down. I'll publish the numbers here ordered a little different than in the release topic:

0-60mph: BMW 3.15s Merc 3.15s Audi 3.15s
0-100mph: BMW 7.30s Merc 7.40s Audi 7.40s
Half mile: BMW 17.50s Merc 17.45s Audi 17.60s
Flat track top speed: BMW 186mph Merc 188mph Audi 190mph
Real top speed: BMW 199mph Merc 196mph Audi 197mph

So the BMW has a bit of an edge in the roughly 60-100mhp section, tracks with repeated small corners. The Merc should have the edge at the most typical speeds for a race to take place at while the Audi, as indicated by its flat track top speed, has the most acceleration to work with on the really fast bits. But that's really fast. You can do a straight line from the start on one side of the track into a slalom block on the other side and you're still waiting for the Audi's advantage to kick in. The BMW than has the most to gain with high speed stunts. All in all it's pretty close. But just going by the numbers the Merc feels like the slight favorite here. You know, if none of those tiny differences were measurement errors or unlucky shift times or something.

For those people using automatic gears you'll also notice differences in mostly the downshift RPM. The BMW has the tightest settings, shifting back earlier for optimal power, but sometimes this results in that annoying situation where the car shifts back, forth and back again or somesuch because it keeps meeting its shifting criteria. The Merc has the loosest settings to prevent too much shifting, which should give you more time with power on your wheels, even if that power doesn't always come from the optimal gear.

Car length wise the Audi is the longest and also the most of an outlier, the BMW is the shortest. One of the effects this has is jump length. When you want a long jump to make a certain stunt the Audi is best, when you want to land before the next corner while keeping as high a speed as possible the BMW is best.

Cornering is where things get tricky. Really tricky. This is where most of the difference in the feel comes from, and I don't have a proper complete explanation for it. First of all I looked back at the files quite some time after release and I think I found that I didn't actually finetune the steering like I thought I had. I had been looking to the wrong side of the "big" handling number and fiddling with a completely different variable as if it was the "small" handling number. At least, that's what I thought at that point I had been doing. So all cars have the same handling stat. I think. This should mean that the BMW as the shortest car has the best steering, and the Audi the worst. However, it's not just the length of the cars that's different. The bigger cars are also wider. The difference between the Mercedes and the BMW is tiny, the difference with the Audi, also the longest car by a fair margin, is decisively less so. I have no idea what that does to the handling of a car to be honest. If a longer car needs to be wider to have the same ease of steering the Mercedes is at a disadvantage here. There's also the weird issue that during testing I thought I found a "sour spot", a place where you can increase the handling stat and things actually get a little worse rather than better for a while. Now keep in mind I might have actually been messing with the wrong bar that entire time and those results get really questionable. I'm also just in general not good enough at cornering to get very reliable results at these things. I did test laps and such, but how much of my times on those is just variation between runs, or lack of skill because I'm still getting used to new settings?Basically at this point I've decided that these cars are what they are and there's no sense in trying to figure them out.

Now, which do I prefer? You can't ask me that, that's like asking a parent which child they It's the BMW. It always has been. Most of the testing during development was done on the BMW. That idea of the sour spot? All BMW based. But that just raises more questions than it answered. Did I make it the better car? Or is it the car that I think feels best and did I overcompensate for that actually making it the worse car? The favoritism was actually sort of by design. I figured that as the author of the Superkart I probably was a bit more extreme than most in my love for fast and nimble cars. The BMW was meant to end up around my sweet spot, with the other two more towards the "normal" side. Whatever the cause, given the exact same bonus and no track based reason to prefer one or the other (like wanting longer or shorter jumps) I will usually default to the BMW. That said I don't feel like I have an "unfavorite". The Audi may feel a little sluggish, but it's like a good, reliable kind of sluggish. The Mercedes really seemed like probably the best handling one during testing, if there was even a difference at all, plus it has the acceleration advantage at the most useful speeds. It even has the best brakes, and it has the strongest top of the power curve to reduce the losses from overshifting. It should honestly be the favorite. Yet on the track, I don't know, it doesn't feel off, but maybe not quite as spot on as the others. At least to me. Maybe it is just the mental associations I have with these cars/projects.

They're pretty close one way or another. The numbers say if anything the Audi should be the slowest one, but it's also the most like the IMSA cars and such, which could make it the easiest one to pick up. The Mercedes should be the favorite but somehow isn't quite that, and the BMW is my pet car and I can't objectively analyse it in enough detail.

Quote from: KyLiE on December 19, 2020, 01:20:28 AMI prefer the BMW out of the three, but that is mostly because I prefer it in real life.
That is either the biggest compliment a Stunts car designer can get, or a good indication of how hard it is to get a fair feel for these things by driving them. 8)