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!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The marathon continues

I've finally got grass, trees, terrain detail and rocks stretched through all of what will be the Dead Man's Loop beta. I need to do a little cleanup, adjust some weird track edges, put up invisible walls, add a few high-detail trees to cast shadows across the track and then set out lights for night racing. After that, i'll be able to join the two ends, detail out the small joining area and it'll be done.

I figure i'll leave the track out in the wild as-is for a few months to see if anyone points out any bugs worth fixing. After that, i'll fix whatever bugs come along and then release a final version. It's also possible i'll just leave it be so i can finish the rest of the track in a respectable time, but we'll see.

I'd post some screenshots, but i think i'll just wait until i've got it all finished off and then make a new video. It won't be long now - there'll definitely be a new version to race on this Saturday.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finishing off a lot of DML this weekend

I'll have a lot more of an update after tomorrow, but for now - i've got trees, grass and rocks looking about like this from the town, all the way down to the turn-around. (screenshot from the track builder)