Sunday, November 28, 2010

Outta town

I realize this doesn't look like much, but it's all of the town through Hicky's Ridge, mostly built. I've got a fair amount of detailing to do to make it look like the town at the start of Dead Man's Run, but the hard part is finished. Now it's just going to be a few weeks of wrangling with terrain as i make my way down to the drive-in.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back at it

Okay, i'm back. I spent the last 2 months getting sucked into work and some epic games of Minecraft, but i'm finally back into the right head-space for track building. I've built myself out of the town in Hicky's Ridge and am starting to head toward the drive-in at the end. If i can keep at it, i might have a rough but raceable version of the entire track ready by Christmas, we'll see. However it goes, i'll post some screenshots in the next day or two that show where things are at.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy weekend for track building

Lately, I've been obsessed with getting the basics of the town and surrounding landscape roughed out. While doing so, i've been building some sneaky extra chunks of track that will build the backside track to Hicky's Ridge. It'll also allow me to build out some cool track variants once i've got the full track done.

Here are a few screens of where the weekend got me. They're scratchy shots out of the track builder, but they show how far i've been pushing things. These shots show the area where the end of Tornado Flats meets with Hicky's Ridge. I've been building out the basics of the town that starts right there as well as a newly designed backside to Hicky's that will allow me to make it all a circuit. All that's in these screens:

Monday, September 13, 2010

First shortcut

Spent some hours with beer and the track this weekend. I've got the basics layed out to the start of the first shortcut on Hicky's and i'm picking up speed. Hopefully i can get to the end of town by next weekend - we'll see.

Here's a screen from the track builder:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chugging along

As soon as i decided to get back to building Skoggit, i got sidetracked by trying to export the current track as DX files. That's an option in the track builder that allows you to export in a format (DX) that can be opened in 3DSimed and then converted to a 3D Studio Max format. From there, the track could be properly polished and some nice work on the terrain could be done - not that i'm going to take the time out to figure all that out now, but i just wanted to see if i could start the process. Sadly, the export throws a fatal error almost as soon as it starts and i haven't been able to get beyond it. I finally gave up entirely and started back into working on the track.

When i first started into the Hicky's Ridge portion of the track, i figured out that the texture blending tool does actually work and that i could make the terrain look a lot better than it does now. Or maybe i should just wait and work it over in Max... i'll figure it out later.

After i was finished being distracted with all that, i finally got back to actually building stuff. I've come to realize, now that i've been looking at it all for awhile - i'm  going to have to build the front side of the track and the back side of the track in tandem. They get extremely close to each other in one area and it's a chance to do some cool stuff with the terrain and objects.

So, i tweaked some of the front side of the track for a couple days and then started in on Hicky's Ridge. I've got the gas station at the start of it all mostly built; I just need to find some gas pump models. There's a gas station model i use at the beginning of the track that i was hoping would fit right in this spot too, but no dice. So i'm piecing one together with the wall tool.

Anyway - i'm hoping to start making solid progress again and stop fiddling with other crap. We'll see. In the meantime, here are some screenshots out of the track builder:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Done being done for awhile.

Well, i managed to last a whole month without working on the track. I did, however, spend some time figuring out how to get an HD video on youtube of a lap around the track (which you'll see posted on the right). I also spent a good amount of time doing other things while secretly thinking about working on the track. So what the hell, i guess i just need to finish this damn thing.

That being said, i'm starting to lay out the Hicky's Ridge section now. I'm only just starting into town, but progress is definitely being made. I'll post some screenshots once i've got something more than a skeleton going on.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Done for now

And another weekend has been sacrificed at the altar of track building. I feel like i just washed up on a beach after a 20 mile triathlon... in my brain. There's sooooo much that needs to be done to get a track ready for release and it's been long haul.

Thankfully, i've got a beta version of Dead Man's Loop done now and ready for public consumption. If you look at the top-right of the blog, you'll see a download link and info. And if you look below that, you'll see some video links (updated with HD video in aug2010).

Some notes of interest:
  • The track files are as big as they are because i didn't pack them up into MAS files. Any time i'd try, the floor of the garages would disappear. I did this shit by the book (as far as i can tell) and this is how it went. I'll see if i can figure it out and upload a new version at a later date. *grumble*
  • Shadows are a relatively new and fun thing that i've been screwing around with. Some of them suck and need fixing, some don't exist, and in some cases - there are too many. It'll hurt performance a bit when the shadows get long (4:30pm, 6:30am etc), but it's not too bad. If you start dropping frames, either switch to a less shadowy time of day or turn down the quality on them. It runs like butter with the shadows off entirely, but it doesn't look quite as nice.
  • You might not recognize the track until you get out on it a ways. I had to build a big garage area and a linking road to get Dead Man's looping into Tornado Flats. If you've been watching the blog for any amount of time, you probably already know this.
  • The default track building sky is used. I might switch it over to the old Skoggit track sky for the finished version or i might get a new one all together. And if i'm lazy... it might just stay the same. It looks just fine imo.
  • There are lights throughout the track for night driving, but i haven't done much of it and i'm not sure if the lights are in the most desirable spots. You'll need headlights on anyway, so it shouldn't be too bad. But yea, a final version will have polished night driving.
  • Speaking of polish - if you run into any bugs or have suggestions - email em to me through the blog or just post a comment under one of my posts. Either way works for me.
  • While i would think there's something wrong with anyone who's still checking MCO related forums on a daily basis, the absolute lack of response to my offer of putting fan screenshots on the track was a little disheartening. I'll still do it if anyone's interested, but the clock is ticking - you've got 6 months! Better hurry... ;)
  • I think i'm going to take about a month off from track building. It's been brutal these past few weeks and i could stand to spend some time on other projects. I'll still hover around here, waiting to see if any comments come along, but there won't be any solid updates for awhile.
  • If any fellow track builders come upon this - i'm always open to learning sneaky tricks or getting feedback from other freaks in the trenches. Let me know what i can do better. :)
***edited to add***

If you want to check out the rFactor, MCOMOD and this track - free for an hour, you can do this:

 - Download the rFactor v1255 Full Install from one of the sites here (1 gig download):

 - Grab the MCOMOD here (requires a login):

 - Get the track from the page you're on right now

 - Install rFactor, but don't run it (no need to until everything else is installed).

 - Install the MCOMOD

 - Install the track

 - Run rFactor and get all your settings right. You'll have a 60 minute trial going, so you'll want to move fast. When you first start it up, you'll be asked to join a league - select MCOMOD.

 - To get enough money to buy any car/parts you want, go to either Testing or Race Weekend and select the Dead Man's Loop track. Once the track loads and you're sitting in the "Monitor", type "ISI_BABYFACTORY" in the chat console and enter it. Once you've done that, back out to the Main Menu and you'll see your bank account go ape-shit. You can then buy any car with any upgrades you want. I suggest the Cobra - :)

 - Once you've got your car and settings all squared away, you can go back to Testing or Race Weekend and race for the remainder of the hour.

That's it for now - i hope you like it! let me know what you think!