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///M - OK
03-04-12, 06:34 PM
UPDATE:
Because this thread is meanwhile going deep into special mod details, I just want to do an overview to the already solved points of my wish list.

Answered topics are marked in Italic Grey. Take a look into postings if you are interested in related answers.
Infos and comments for the rest of the list are still welcome :)

Thanks to all racers who gave their reply and know-how, so far!


================================================== ==================================

Hi rFactor community,

I've been entertaining myself with virtual racing for two decades now and have done most of my laps and races in "Live For Speed" in the last five years. Even I've never been deep into rFactor1, I've heard about the guys from Image Space and their product rFactor Pro some months ago by chance. Because of that I thought by myself "Ok - if professional race teams trust on the rFactor engine, I should give rFactor2 a chance and get serious." For me as a real life vehicle engineer it is always interesting to play with the best vehicle dynamics engine available.
So I bought the beta of rF2 and did lots of test rides, races and telemetry work for the last week - mostly in Megane Trophy.
Because we are in beta testing period, I want to take the chance and share my thoughts, questions and complaints with you. This simulation really has the potential to become my favourite one.
Maybe you can give some hints and tricks to improve rF2 even more. I know it’s not a wishing wonderland and there won’t be the perfect simulation which fits to everyone’s needs, but let’s give it a try – maybe some points will find their way into final rF2:

Note:
Because I am new to the whole rFactor thing there might be some (or lots of) things which already exist or can be modified, but I’ve not found those information yet. So I am open for every helpful information.

Also I am not really sure about which things are related to the simulation itself and which are provided by the individual mod.

…and because I am not native speaking English there might be some wrong expressions within the text.


1. Driving

Driving all in all feels quite good, but a bit “damped / filtered”. I don’t feel the virtual car that precise on force feedback (under- and oversteer) and visual. For example vertical vibration when driving with suspension dampers deactivated does not lead to a bumpy view, even if telemetry data shows strong oscillation. When setting “head movement” to 100% it’s ok, but only shows low frequent vibrations.
Tire model seems to be close to real race-tire behaviour and therefore is really challenging (warm-up, sharp stability limit, …)
Change of grip level in and out of race line is feelable, but not visible => getting a visual feedback for race line would be nice


2. Views / camera
Because you have to deal with only 2-dimensions and limited surround view in virtual racing, you need to compensate that with a wide field of view to get a feeling for your surrounding. Cockpit view is only limited for that. What I would need for getting a better feeling for cars around me would be:

View without cockpit should be on same height/position like cockpit view (seat modification would be good for that view, too). There are some posts here relating to that wish…
Looking left and right should be 90° instead of approximate 45° to get a better feeling where your opponent is.
In cockpit view the additional arcade HUD is not necessary and cannot be deactivated without deactivating the right-handed info display
Rear view mirror is distorted horizontal => why? (virtual rear view mirror has normal view)
In addition to existing mirror modes it would be helpful to deactivate normal rear view mirror including frame completely if virtual mirrors are activated
Changing seat position leads to the situation that you cannot see the track in mirror anymore. Mirrors should be set correctly in every seat position



These suggestions may be a bit LFS orientated and my personal opinion, but it helped me to get a good overview for the race going on around me in LFS:

a track layout with position of all cars instead of the lap-based bar at the bottom would support a better rating for the opponent position
Why do the driver names have to be fixed at the top of the screen in height of mirrors, attached on a large line going half over the screen? Just the name directly over the car gives you all the info you need in your central field of view.



Replay / viewers mode / pit mode

If view of steering-wheel is disabled in your settings, you see a looked steering-wheel when watching to other drivers => the wheel should move regular in replay and viewer mode
I am a fan of lap times. After a race it would be interesting to see the fastest lap of each driver besides the complete race time.
A lap time counter would also be interesting in viewers mode when watching to other drivers, especially when you are in pit and curious if the opponent will beat your time or you are waiting for the start of the next race and just want to watch the current race like on TV



3. Online races

One of the main features of LFS is the very smooth behaviour in online mode (ping / lagging). Only because of that you are able to do real close fights with opponents. There is nothing worse than suddenly appearing and disappearing cars in front of you. That is one of the main reasons why GTR Evolution never found its way into my favourite online racers, even when singleplayer mode is good. Unfortunately rF2 is more GTR than LFS when it comes to lagging.
What is the reason for that? Are there to many data transferred to synchronize between all racers? Or may it be dependable on your pc hardware (and if so which component). It would be good to get some reply to that.
Above all modes and layers should be the chat mode. Even if you are in replay, viewers, pit or race mode, you should always get the possibility to chat.



4. Telemetry and setup

After driving some rounds and reducing lap times only by optimizing race line and driving skills, there will be the time when it’s getting interesting: Finding the last 1 or 2 seconds by tweaking the setup. For me as an engineer this is the most funny and challenging part.
I love the Motec plugin for rF2, because it even works in multiplayer mode. Perfect!
Unfortunately you are very restricted in setup possibilities depending on the chosen mod (Megane Trophy as low budget race series is disappointing here)
An additional channel for “Suspension travel left” should be integrated into data logging. In real life the race engineer knows the suspension travel because he can pick the suspension to take a look at it or the data sheet. In virtual racing you do not have that option. This channel would be really helpful in setting up ride height.
When starting telemetry analysis you want to change your setup on a physical basis. Unfortunately the values for suspension dampers are not physical (e.g. N*s/mm). This would be really helpful when calculating damper settings based on FFT or time-based analysis. With unit-free scaling like “-1/3 turn” in Megane Trophy you need to test drive each setting in hope for representative data logging… not very engineering. This point is one of the worst, because it gives you no chance to solve setup problems on a numerical basis.
A virtual test lab would also be really interesting for finding good suspension settings. Especially an inital car drop-down would help to find good bound / rebound settings. Maybe something like that already exists (see VHPA in topic no. 5).
In addition to that I am searching for a test track mod with skid pads and a long straight. Is there anything like that for rF2?
When changing ride height and/or rear wing setting in Megane Trophy, I cannot see an influence on car drag or top speed. How can that be?



5. Online community

I always thought that rF has more drivers than LFS, and therefore there should be more tools available. Until now I can’t find setup tools or really detailed setup guides within the online community. Is there anything available which supports you in modifying setups? For LFS there is a tool available called “VHPA” (Vehicle Handling and Performance Analyser) – maybe there are some rFactor based data already created for that.
Will there be a central, official rF2 website where you can log on to see lap times, world records, upcoming events and other stuff?




I know, I know – a lot of text with a lot of wishes… Because the whole rFactor environment allows free programming, I could try to create the programs and mods I need by myself. But I am not a software engineer :( Hopefully there are other enthusiasts with better skills who already have done the thinking and work for me :)


Hoping for some nice feedbacks and discussions I am waiting for your reply.

Thanks for reading
///M - OK

DJCruicky
03-04-12, 07:17 PM
Great 1st post.

quote "Looking left and right" you can change a line in your player.PLR file. Look for "Glance Angle=". I agree it needs to be higher by default.
You can change mirror angles by holding down Shift at the same time as the seat buttons when on track. Also Ctrl key for the Left mirror, Alt for the right.
Is there a option for the FOV for the mirrors anybody know?

///M - OK
03-05-12, 05:15 AM
Wonderful! Thank you DJCruicky. These are hints I am looking for. I will try your suggestions. Lets see what else we will find out within this thread.

Flaux
03-05-12, 05:47 AM
1. Driving
Change of grip level in and out of race line is feelable, but not visible => getting a visual feedback for race line would be nice

Answer: The Raceline builds up during a session. Just add some AI or go online and you will see that this is one of the parts in rf2 that is really done brilliant.

2. Views / camera
In cockpit view the additional arcade HUD is not necessary and cannot be deactivated without deactivating the right-handed info display

Answer:Check-out the keys "4" "5" "6". Here you can ON/OFF the different HUD's in every cam-view

In addition to existing mirror modes it would be helpful to deactivate normal rear view mirror including frame completely if virtual mirrors are activated

Good call. Would love to see that too.


Replay / viewers mode / pit mode

I am a fan of lap times. After a race it would be interesting to see the fastest lap of each driver besides the complete race time.
A lap time counter would also be interesting in viewers mode when watching to other drivers, especially when you are in pit and curious if the opponent will beat your time or you are waiting for the start of the next race and just want to watch the current race like on TV

Answer: Press the right mouse-button while you are on the opponents name in the Timing-Monitor



Hope that helpes you even further. - Take care!

jtbo
03-05-12, 08:03 AM
Megane, rear right:
SlowBumpRange=(28343, 359.35, 41)

So lowest setting is 28343N per meter that is, 28.343N*s/mm I guess?

there is 40 settings (1 being first setting, again from my memory which is not so good as it used to be), each setting is 359.35 units more than previous, so maximum is 28343 + 359.35 * 40

From that you should be able to work out what each of these are and maybe make list on paper so you can have your "shock spec sheet" handy when needed, something that I would think would be nice to have with every mod car that uses these kind of custom values :)

Again for rear:
SlowBumpRange=(28343, 359.35, 41)
FastBumpRange=(7024, 11.9, 41)
SlowReboundRange=(20447.4, 2281.78, 49)
FastReboundRange=(3405.8, 50.6, 49)

And for front:
SlowBumpRange=(14000.0, 420.0, 41)
FastBumpRange=(2800.0, 10.0, 41)
SlowReboundRange=(11978.4, 2064.135, 49)
FastReboundRange=(2276.5, 46.63, 49)

There are also settings for each value in HDV, but I think this post will come way too long to put all up here, but they look like this:
SlowReboundSpecial=(16,"-1/3"," turn","") which means that setting 16 will be that -1/3 turn for front. it is same for rear too.

It would be really much better to have spec sheet delivered with the car, so one would know bit more about setting, more understandable at lower class racing where they sell you used race car and say it has landy shocks at rear with diff oil inside them...

Hopefully that will help a bit, it is still bit work to work out each setting and beware, I might remember that setting -1 thing wrong, I have always mixed it up so my explanation might be one setting off, fairly easy to correct of course.

///M - OK
03-05-12, 08:17 AM
Perfect - will have to do a lot of homework today evening :-)

jtbo
03-05-12, 08:44 AM
Attachment might be also helpful, password is mpower .

Attachment has megane hdv file included, inside file browse down to section labeled frontleft and from there you can find all those settings and units, it might be bit lot to take in at first, but almost everything is in SI units so you should be probably ok with all that.

JuanitoRPM
03-05-12, 10:11 AM
In the player.plr file of the rFactor1 you can see this line. I dont know if it is present in player.plr of rFactor2.

Damper Units="0" // Display dampers (shocks) in garage as: 0 = setting (e.g. 1-20), 1 = rate (e.g. 1000-9000 N/m/s)

///M - OK
03-05-12, 02:43 PM
Ha - thanks for the file and the perfect password, jtbo. How did you know this? :)

///M - OK
03-05-12, 02:50 PM
@JuanitoRPM:
Thats a really helpful information and that option is also available in rF2, but it only changes the bump units in settings menu "advanced" (e.g. third spring) but not in "suspension". Is there a special option for that menu?

///M - OK
03-05-12, 06:55 PM
@jtbo: Are there also special Megane HDV files for engine, suspension and tires? In the file you've provided are some links to such additional data. If so, could you please send it, too? How do you get those files?

jtbo
03-05-12, 11:33 PM
Ha - thanks for the file and the perfect password, jtbo. How did you know this? :)

Not too hard to guess ;)

To get all files open, you need to open MAS2 tool, located at rf2data\Support\Tools (mas tool is like zip tool, also mas is kind of zip archive, but bit more and not much of zip, but container nevertheless)

Use that tool to open Megane_MAIN.mas that is located at rf2data\Installed\Vehicles\Meganes2009\1.0

Remember not to make changes to that MAS file as that would render your Megane cars useless. There is thread about getting meganes into dev mode, which should help a bit to get meganes into editable form.

Tires are mainly in TGM files, there is tutorial for using ttool to generate tires, also on car modding section there is thread about ttool which contains lot of stuff, which reminds me that I need to put that into my signature too so it is more easy to find.

Then TBC is used for tire start up temp and rim size from my memory (remember that my memory is not the best)

engine.ini is one that contains engine information, it is in order of rpm, backtorque, torque. Dave Purdy's physics editor can be used even with rF2, but any new features need to be adjusted after saving file with editor as tool does not know about those new things.

Suspension geometry is in .pm file, to get it more visual get suspension edit tool http://jtbo.pp.fi/tiedostot/rfactor/SuspEdit_v2_build_20.rar which I can't remember who made, I just host it as it seem to disappeared from other hosting locations, it is also for rF1 but works fine for rF2, imo.

Note that with .pm file all geometry currently possible are some form of a-arm, live axle is possible but it still is left and right 90 degree a-arm binded together, you can emulate struts with a-arms but adjustable 4-link is no go, at least not with bars in realworld locations, might be possible to emulate with a-arms but I doubt settings are impossible to get into it.

Thread about tire making:
http://isiforums.net/f/showthread.php/2796-The-tgm-and-ttool

Megane to devmode:
http://isiforums.net/f/showthread.php/3418-Getting-Megane-to-devmode

This is my own project of getting in formulas for damper calculation, as you have probably understanding how to calculate these things in real world, it would be really helpful for me if you could look over and note any errors you can spot in my formulas there? After that latest version I did read that 60% of critical rebound should be about maximum to go, so that is not yet included in tips
http://jtbo.pp.fi/tiedostot/rfactor/all_calculators_v3b_volvo.zip

Damper data is so hard to come by, that I had to start with such tool to get some pointers of range, but I have had no chance to compare data generated against realworld data so this makes it bit of guesswork and so far feedback has been quite small about it, so if you find it interesting and have time for it, take a look and shout back what you find, it will then serve whole community as I'm sure lot of cars at least in rF1 were quite rough on this area, maybe with tool it can be helped a bit ;)

///M - OK
03-06-12, 07:12 AM
Thanks for all the work you've done, jtbo. Can't give you that much reputation for that as it would be necessary.

I will crawl through all that information and come back to you with some feedback and maybe helpful tools/analytics. Even I am a powertrain engineer, I will take a look at your formulas and maybe find a friendly collegue from suspension department who can give me some additional information to that.

///M - OK
03-07-12, 05:56 PM
Ok - I did some homework:

The good thing about VHPA is (besides that it is freeware), that you can create your own vehicle data even the tool is optimated/prepared to LFS. So hopefully I won't be kicked out here for introducing a LFS orientated tool here :rolleyes:

If you don't already have it, I recommend you to download it. There comes a good tutorial with it:
http://www.vehicle-analyser.com/

So I used all the information I could find in jtbo's links to create a data file at least for Megane. The file is attached and can be copied into vehicles folder and imported to VHPA (File -> User vehicles -> Load)

Unfortunately there are some information missing to complete all the data. Hopefully somebody can give me those information I didn't find within all the files so I can do the rest of my homework.

Which information do I need:

reference height (see tutorial for explanation)
drive-train efficiency
engine brake coefficient (see tutorial)
wheel to spring motion ratio
wheel to anti-roll bar motion ratio
inclination
camber offset
frontal area
Cd
Cl
Info about aero devices


Lets see which information will be provided in here...

Here is a link to a German wiki for how to set up your settings step by step with detailed information about damping (Yes - it is a LFS tutoiral, but you can use it also for other things ;))
http://de.lfsmanual.net/wiki/Erweiterte_Setup_Anleitung
Maybe you can test Google translator for getting the info translated into English.

@jtbo: Here you will also find some information about the rebound/bound ratio. As you already mentioned correctly, a ratio of 0,6 seems to be a good value for efficient damping.

NOTE: VHPA should work with every car data, but because it is optimated for LFS I cannot guarantee that the results match the physics of rF2 exactly. But lets give it a try...

Jerry Luis
11-09-13, 04:46 AM
Just to grt my login