Saturday, February 27, 2010

Starting into the turn-around

I guess it's just a turn around if i'm making Dead Man's Run out of it, but i'm not. So it's really just a sharp turn that starts the track into Tornado Flats. :P

I would have gotten quite a bit further into this if my wife and i hadn't caught the worst stomach flu ever. I had something like this when i was a kid, but it was nowhere near as bad. The amount of time i can spend looking at a glowing computer screen has been minimal due to a non-stop headache and waves of exhaustion. I'm finally feeling a little better today, but the headache has just kicked into full gear and i've got to get away from this damn thing. In the meantime, here's what will soon get a terrain work-over and become the 'turn-around'.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Got it loaded in RBR

I figured out that custom tracks in Richard Burns Rally can only be played via the RX plugin. So if i go to Options/Plugins and select RBR_RX, i can load the track.

The down-side being - my car spawned under the track and i won the race the same time i started it. So there's some work to do.

I read elsewhere that people have to run their tracks through 3DS Max to get them properly working in RBR. Hopefully that isn't the case, but i don't really know. I suppose i'll be finding out someday soon.


Instead of slowing down to detail stuff, i decided to push ahead with terrain and fences. I've now got the basics strung out to the beginning of the turn around and have managed to get in some good down-and-back runs over the past few hours. The gradual hill down to the turn around is a tough one to get feeling right and i think i'm just going to go with what i've got now. It's better than the first version of the track i did, at least.

Here's a screenshot that doesn't show much, but it's what i've been working on. This is on the far side of the bridge that heads toward the turn-around.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Built the bridge, did some other stuff...

Just finished building the bridge and sticking some trees around it. I also did a vanilla run of terrain down to the turn-around and then went back and capped some sidewalks in town. I need to do a couple hours of detailing between town and the bridge before it'll be done, but it's next on the list. After that, it's onward to the turn-around.

Some screenies:

Tried getting the track into Richard Burns Rally...

...and failed. It's obvious i'm going to have to do some reading and figuring-out before i can get it working in RBR. rFactor just ports right over and it's raceable, but RBR is another matter. I'm sure i'll figure it out, but it's currently a bit of a head-scratcher.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To the bridge!

Got power lines, guard rails and fences strung out to the bridge. I also spent some time tweaking some track nodes to get it all feeling right at a high rate of speed. I have an old memory of hitting a slight hill and then that last stretch of track before town in such a way that i would glide across the ground for 50 meters or so. I had it so the hill that sent me gliding back in the day was sending me flying over a fence in the new version. It's all nice and evened out now.  The glide has returned. :)

A bug in my face

Okay, so the last thing i did last night was export the track and race around a bit in rFactor, getting screenshots. This morning, when i fired up the track builder, a poll at the end of each section of fence i put in last night got turned into a light poll. It's weird as hell and i swear i didn't do a thing to it.

My guess is that it's a bug in the new SObjects (string objects) function in the track builder and some model IDs got mixed up, but who knows. All i know is, i'm going to abandon the SObject fences i've been using thus far and just use walls with textures for my fences. Frickin gremlins in the machine.

On the way out of town

I'm starting to work over the first stretch of road out of town. I've had the track and terrain set for awhile now, but today is the first day i've put up any fences, signs or guardrail. Istill need grass, trees and some texture blending on the terrain, but that's another day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A video of the first town.

I finally finished detailing out the first town and fixing some lighting issues. There's still a little polishing that needs to go on here and there, but i'll get to it later. Here's the YouTube video:

If you're interested in seeing a higher res version of the video, here's a link to the 56mb version: Skoggit - First Town

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ran across this beauty today

It's a beautiful sunny day in Seattle today, so i thought i'd do a lunch run through the Pike Place Market. Along the way i ran across this:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blinded by the light

Oh the joys of lighting. While continuing to detail out the town with lights, bushes, fences and other crap, i've run into some lighting problems. The first one was funny more than anything - if i leave 'collide' on in the properties for a light pole, the light poly will also have hit detection. The fix was to turn collide off on the polls and then place another pole right on top of them. The second pole doesn't render, but it does have collide on and acts as the hit box for the light polls. So that's no trouble - an easy fix.

The next issue has me baffled.

Some sections of the road will properly display the lights and everything's fine. Elsewhere, often not far from properly working areas, i've found sections of the road not taking the light at all and being completely dark. It's especially annoying since the sidewalks and buildings next to the dark roads light up just fine. If the car's headlights are on, they reflect off the road just fine, so you don't really notice that the light polls aren't doing their job. But if you turn your headlights off - the lame sets in.

I've posted a message on the support forums - hopefully someone knows what's up. It's not entirely critical that it get fixed since it's only a nighttime issue, but it's this sort of thing that bother me to no end. We'll see what happens.

Here's a crappy screenshot of the issue. The image on the left is fine, the image on the right is a bastard:

Details details...

Not too much to report from yesterday. I continued my detailing run through town. Somewhere along the way I got the wise idea to shorten the light poles, flip them around and then bury them upside down in front of buildings. In most cases it makes buildings look lit up from the inside - at a distance. I'm now looking forward to finding other creative uses for my new friend: the light pole.

Once I got lights stretched all the way through town, I plugged in the old Sidewinder and just raced back and forth for about an hour. I'm happy to report that it's looking good AND feeling good. Once I'm done detailing through town, I think I'll make a little video to kick up to YouTube.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


While i was dropping models around town today, i realized i had a light pole that actually emitted light (imagine that). So here are some shots of the first part of town at night with more objects and some different cars on display. And speaking of the cars - much thanks to the MCO MOD for rFactor guys for pulling them into the game. Nothing sets off a Motor City track like some Motor City cars!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Getting a little done over the Valentine's Day weekend

My wife and i have traveled to Portland to laze about, buy books, records and be carefree for awhile. During the train ride down i managed to build just the terrain leading out of the first town on Skoggit. I still need to build fences, put in signs/poles, do some texture blending on the terrain and add foliage, but the most important part is done -track and terrain.

Here are some screenshots out of rFactor:

Monday, February 8, 2010

A return to track building

I'll begin with some back-story on just the track building: A little over a year ago i started hanging out around the "MCO MOD for rFactor" message board, and wondering about the old MCO tracks. I think it took maybe a day of posting before i became aware of Bob's Track Builder and realized it was finally possible to rebuild the old tracks.

Immediately upon discovering this, i purchased BTB and rFactor and began watching a gazillion tutorial videos. Before i knew it, i was hideously obsessed with working on a rebuild of Skoggit County Road and got a surprising amount done on it in a fairly short time.

Unfortunately, that particular version of the track builder had some limitations that made the task more cumbersome and difficult than i had patience for. Along with that and the less than adequate number of prefab track models available to the community, i started to slow down. About that time i got a promotion at work and it was clear i needed to stop the track building all together.

Now that i've been gone a year, MUCH has improved with BTB. I've also found enough prefab models available that i can build the towns of Skoggit to look more like the original version. But most importantly, i've got the time and interest to start working on it again.

During the first few days of getting back in the swing of things, i found that my old track project wasn't playing nice with the new version of BTB. After much information digging and many failed attempts at updating it, i threw in the towel on that project and started over from scratch.

It sounds painful when i think about it, but in reality, it was the best approach. I could build it right from the start with a far more knowledgeable method and a whole new set of models that actually fit the track.

Speaking of models, i'm sure some people will argue that i could just build my own. Well, as nice as that would be, i'd never finish building the track if i got caught up in model building. That isn't to say i won't build some here and there when i need to, but i'm not about to build an entire town. If someone ever wants to join forces and help me re-model the track(s) with more MCO themed models, i'm all about it. But until then, i'm just going to focus on getting things feeling right, looking decent and functioning as raceable tracks.

So that's where this blog begins...