The online racing simulator
Progress with the Westhill version
(529 posts, closed, started )
Progress with the Westhill version
Hello Racers.

Four weeks since our announcement about the Westhill update that is coming soon, I thought it would be good to give you a short progress report.

Things are going well but, as expected, taking longer than expected.

On my side, as some of you know from other threads, I made a quick 3D mode for red-cyan anaglyph glasses, the kind that can be bought very cheaply, e.g. 4 pairs for £1. Interestingly, it needed a simple pixel shader to make it work so finally I learned to program pixel shaders, which you can do in the HLSL shader language in DirectX 9 (which LFS uses since 0.6F).

Pixel shaders open up a world of graphical possibilities, so it's a good thing to be able to do, and one thing I had to do, for the Westhill patch, was improve the "optimiser" which pre-computes which objects are visible from your position on the track path (except in open configurations, which is why the frame rate is lower on them). This used to be done in a rudimentary software render, but by using pixel shaders I can use the DX9 render which makes the optimiser work better.

With my new found excitement about these shaders, I knew the render of the cars could be done more efficiently. In the current public version, each shiny surface of the car is rendered in 3 passes, using 3 vertex shaders. One for the direct light (affected by the lightmap) one for the ambient light and another for the environment map that makes the cars shiny. I have now made a single vertex shader and pixel shader that render every polygon only once instead of 3 times and this saves a lot of frame rate. I expect to release this in an intermediate test patch next week, along with the anaglyph view mode, and some other updates, listed at the bottom of this post.

On Eric's side, he has been completing the areas between the parts of the track and the access roads. The scenery is at a new level of detail compared with our other tracks. This is partly for the fun of driving in those places in the open configs, and also for a more realistic look and feel of the place as you drive around on the track where you are supposed to be!

It's looking very nice. Eric still has some holes to fill and I still have a list of updates, for editor functions that will help Eric and a few minor things that can go in this incompatible patch. The physics will still be compatible so we don't have to delete all the hotlaps (except Westhill) but the multiplayer will be incompatible.

So, still a few weeks before the Westhill version goes into public testing, but it's all going well. Thanks for your patience and we look forward to releasing it!


Changes from 0.6F to Test Patch 0.6F2
(intermediate, compatible update before Westhill version)

[EDIT : (as already stated above...) I expect to release this next week]

Two new 3D formats in TV / monitor /projector mode :

- red-cyan anaglyph
cheap red-cyan glasses are required
more expensive glasses can correct red (left) eye focus
colour perception is reduced and different in each eye
do not use this mode for a long time

- cross-eyed view
no equipment needed
the 3D world appears small
right eye looks at left image / left eye looks at right image
this is difficult for some people (with normal vision)
stop immediately if you feel any discomfort
do not use this mode for a long time

Skin downloading when watching a replay :

If a car or helmet skin in a replay is not available at LFS World
when you start the replay (with low or high res skins selected)
but you already have the skin in the other resolution then that
skin in the other resolution will be used instead of a plain car

Fixes :

Crash when using a wheel button assigned to /rift toggle command
Crash when pressing e.g. F8 when /press F8 was assigned to F8 key

Graphics :

New car shaders giving higher frame rate when many cars on screen

FIX : Car lighting momentarily vertical as car entered a shadow
Good to hear the progress on this. I wish you both good luck
Thanks for the progress update, we're all looking forward to that
EDIT: there's no link to download test patch?
Thanks for this, "New car shaders giving higher frame rate when many cars on screen" should be interesting, nice to hear - at least for me, as I have some FPS problems when I'm on-grid, on the start of a race.
YAY
Quote from sermilan :Thanks for the progress update, we're all looking forward to that
EDIT: there's no link to download test patch?

OK, it wasn't clear enough but...
Quote from Scawen :I expect to release this in an intermediate test patch next week, along with the anaglyph view mode, and some other updates, listed at the bottom of this post.

Now added some more info at the top of the list of 0.6F2 updates.
0.6F was released just a month ago and we are already getting ready for the next series of test patches! LFS developement is gaining some serious speed lately. Keep it up! S3 needs to finally happen.

Oh and thanks for the progress report, it's good to know whats going on.
good news guys
Quote from Scawen :OK, it wasn't clear enough but...

Sorry... it was written in the "geek" part of the post, which I usually skip 'cause I can't understand a word of it

Tnx
Thanks for the update Scawen
Quote from Scawen : that can go in this incompatible patch.

In what way it's incompatible then? That the wld directory will be different but other functionality will be the same?

(seen from a server point of view)
Quote from Scawen :Hello Racers.

...it needed a simple pixel shader to make it work so finally I learned to program pixel shaders,...

Made me laugh cause I read it something like this: So yea, been looking at this complex tech and... few days later, it's no longer complex for me - i got this guys, relax all.
That brain powahh

With that thing out of my head I have been thinking if you would agree to include some guidelines on how to playtest when new Westhill track comes out in the test patch section. Things like:
- looking for missing polygons/textures
- AI/race paths,
- performance issues with various LOD settings, etc.,
- split line positions,
- garage assignments for cars,
- working HLVC system,
- oddly placed objects,
- levitating laptops in certain pits (never forget),
- exploitable shortcuts and HLVC system (particularly: making first sector extra fast by doing some shameful line in the last sector of previous lap),
- sound maps (for example: does the sound reverb when driving under a bridge, like in Blackwood straight, or when driving near a wall),
and any other thing you or Eric or anyone can think of. Just to let as many people as possible know what to do right from the start. Along with some obligatory suggestions from us here and there...

Thanks for the report!
Quote from cargame.nl :In what way it's incompatible then? That the wld directory will be different but other functionality will be the same?

(seen from a server point of view)

Well, 0.6G obviously must be not allowed to connect with 0.6F because it has different content, so that means by definition it is incompatible. And as it's incompatible there is a possibility of changing a couple of other things, which ideally should be ready and testable in the first test patch. E.g. an InSim packet to reset a car at a position and direction (with or without damage repaired) and a new bit in the Autocross object creation InSim packet to allow objects to stay exactly as positioned, without lowering themselves to the ground.

Quote from Nilex :With that thing out of my head I have been thinking if you would agree to include some guidelines on how to playtest when new Westhill track comes out in the test patch section. Things like:
...

Just whatever you feel like testing!
Thank you so much for the progress report!

Sico, your time has come!

Oh and dev team, what do you think about that closed South City part?
Quote from Sobis :Oh and dev team, what do you think about that closed South City part?

It would be nice to update South City at some point. With my anaglyph glasses on I was looking around the other day, enjoying the sense of scale and, apart from that unfinished road you are talking about, there are various back streets that could be linked up to make a nice open config. I'm sure Eric would enjoy doing that at some point. I think what is more important now is to get a couple of new tracks out that you will need an S3 license to use, because you need more tracks and we could do with the cash!
Do you feel in a position to be ready with taking pre-orders? :-) (a.k.a. take my money!)
Quote from PeterN :Do you feel in a position to be ready with taking pre-orders? :-) (a.k.a. take my money!)

Well you can always add 12 pounds (or any other amount) to your LFS account balance
Thanks for the update Scawen!
#21 - kdo
Thanks for the infos

+
"New car shaders giving higher frame rate when many cars on screen"

Yes finnaly i will stop lag on a race
Is there any way to move the grids of the rallycross tracks up to 32 capacity? (And Autocross). I'm asking this due to a few instances in which track capacity being increased at these places would have been useful. (NDR's AU1 LFSCART round comes to mind)

Not a major thing, but seems on the surface to be a very simple thing?

Thanks a lot for the update, and look forward to hearing more in the future
Quote from Scawen :It would be nice to update South City at some point. With my anaglyph glasses on I was looking around the other day, enjoying the sense of scale and, apart from that unfinished road you are talking about, there are various back streets that could be linked up to make a nice open config. I'm sure Eric would enjoy doing that at some point. I think what is more important now is to get a couple of new tracks out that you will need an S3 license to use, because you need more tracks and we could do with the cash!

Cruiser's paradise

Good job, lfs is still alive
Super news, very happy but just a little disappointed not to have a new rallycross track in S3.

Sam


Quote from Cornys :Is there any way to move the grids of the rallycross tracks up to 32 capacity?

or since 0.6G will be incompatible allow us to build custom start grid (multiple start positions) ? In that case there is no need for Eric to edit current rallycross tracks.
And perhaps just remove limit of 32 cars if custom start point is used, because in that case there is no need that every car has its garage place
This thread is closed

Progress with the Westhill version
(529 posts, closed, started )
FGED GREDG RDFGDR GSFDG