The online racing simulator
NetKar Pro [v1.3 released]
(2767 posts, started )
NetKar Pro [v1.3 released]
I was reading a thread earlier this morning about any latest info regarding patches / upgrades etc and Tristan mentioned NetKar Pro was due to be released soonish...

Anyone else looking forward to trying out this sim?

From what i can gather NetKar should be a good benchmark for the LFS Devs to be working towards (or have even passed with their latest patch/upgrade).

Any thoughts?
Yeah, was reading the preview in Autosimsport this morning and it sounds very interesting, I tried Netkar but dumped it because I didnt think it was very good, but pro does look alot better.
One thing I did notice, was the amount of "noise" they were making about the way the sound is produced, I am assuming this is the same way LFS produces sounds too?.

Dan,
Quote from AndroidXP :Look at the latest AUTOSIMSPORT for more info

Is it me, but the graphics seem very bright?!?
Yes, I think Stefano (Kunos) has slightly overdone the textures a bit, but maybe it's just in the screenshots. For example, rFactor looks absolutely terrible in screenshots, but only very bad whilst playing. Maybe Netkar will look better in motion.

There are a lot of things that excite me about nKP:

Visible Tyre Wear - not only different textures that 'fade' into one another to indicate tyre wear and condition, but also variable bump mapping so that the area of the tyre being 'used' is visible and changing. A real tyre looks slightly darker where it's rolling on the ground as camber and load change. It was Android who suggested this to Stefano

Tyre life - when you start a session you have the tyres on that you last used. I'm not sure if there is a tyre limit, in which case most of the time you'd want new tyres, of if scrubbed tyres are modelled as being better.

Setups and repairs take time - Crash your car, and you have to wait for it to be fixed. Wander the pitlane and other garages whilst you wait. Not sure of the total implications of this - I don't want to wait 3 days whilst they ship in a new monocoque...

Doom Mode - first person walking sim. Wander the pit lane. Peer over the pit wall and watch the race. Visit other garages and check their cars out. Not sure if you can 'see' other players walking around, nor how useful this will actually be, but it's nice to see a new feature in a racing sim.

Wheel Tethers - as discussed in ASS, stops the tyres from floating away in an accident. Maybe to stop it behaving in a silly fashion as the bounce model is crap, or maybe because it'll stop stray tyres interferring with other peoples races.

Clickable controls in cockpit. To start you engine you flick the switch. I guess they'll be keyboard shortcuts as not everyone can reach for the mouse when driving, but nevertheless it's something that can only add immersion if you want it.

Advanced Synthesised Sound - sure we have this in LFS, but from what I gather nKP has taken this to new heights, with backfires, resonance, cam timing, throttle opening, and damage all (apparently) effecting the sound. How it compares is yet to be heard, but I think it'll show the way to LFS.


Areas I think it'll fall down on

Tyre modelling - not necessarily the friction model, but the way the carcass moves under load. It's a nifty thing LFS has, and the car rolling onto the sidewall really makes a difference. Also LFS is the only sim to 'feel' like your in a car, and Netkar will either join it as the second or remain in the 'must do better' category.

Damage - no word on this afaik. Wheels can be ripped off, and suspension damage is modelled affect camber etc a la LFS. But whether or not is has bodywork damage or clever stuff like radiator damage etc isn't yet known (to me).

Graphics - will the shaders and advanced DX9 stuff be overused, or used only if absolutely neccessary. One of LFS's strengths is the simplicity of it's graphics leading to a very real look. Not sure if nKP will acheive that, but we'll have to wait til we see it on our own monitors.

Multiplayer - Apparently the collision code is better than LFS, reducing the effect of lag on what would be minor collisions. But LFS is much cleverer in other ways. Speed of joining, ease of chatting, sending setups and skins without creating (much) lag. Whilst LFS doesn't have great collision detection yet, I think it's still the best netcode going overall, and I'd be surprised if nKP beats it, at least at first.

Lack of cars - only open wheelers, although Kunos claims he'll add other car types as and when. But does this mean the code is optimised for open wheeler single seaters? Namie was only any good with the F3000 car. LFS has the ability to model any car type very well (although current tyre issues make the FO8 a bit too squiffy for my liking, although it should never become 'easy'). It makes you wonder if nKP has physics that only work with single seaters...

This isn't a definitive list, so don't flame me if I missed out something big, I just wrote this as it came to my head. I fully expect nKP to be the only sim capable of carrying a candle to LFS, but which one is better (and which one retains the lead as patches are developed) is going to be a close call. Right now, I'd say nKP will have the edge, but only just, and only til the next patch is released. But who knows.

I'm not going to get into all the hype - I'm basing my excitement purely on the facts that have been presented to me, and not rumours bandied about by the nKP community.
Quote from Mazz4200 :Erm, just found this screenshot

http://www.drivingitalia.net/f ... mp;type=post&id=15350

dunno if you'd call it too bright ??

but, just look at the detailing. !!! (esp. the grass\dirt on the tyres.)

i agree, details are very good, the cockpits are spectacular and make lfs in car views look plain dull.

my only concern is that lfs runs very nicely on my "middle range pc" where as all the details within NetKar may kill the performance of my machine.

bring on the demo!!
The way it handles tyres over multiple sessions, along with the realistic repair times are interesting features but nothing that couldn't be implemented into LFS or any other game. Unless there is a tyre limit everyone will just be putting on new boots for each race anyway.

First person view mode is a strange addition to a racing game, but I question how useful it'll be and just how quickly the novelty will wear off. It's already possible to check out your opponent's car from various angles in LFS and rFactor but I can't deny the immersion gained from wandering down the pitlane to do it is a far better idea.

Looking at the fact that Avon is one of NK's partners leads me to believe that overall the tyre behaviour in game should be great, I used to work for them and the data they pour through in the racing department is immense.
Regarding using new boots at the start of each race - maybe they won't. Wouldn't it be nice (not only in nKP but also LFS) if a scrubbed tyre has better initial grip, and longer life (if scrubbed in properly) that a new slick, which is forced to reach operating temperature much more quickly, and on the first cycle?
Perhaps for each race weekend (it's one thing I like about rFactor is that you have a weekend, not just race after race [unless you just want race after race]) you only have 6 sets of tyres, and you have to manage which are you best set, and which are most suitable for any given moment. Perhaps the number of tyres and they types of tyre depend on the car, so the more professional the racing series the more tyre compounds you have available...

Maybe overheating a tyre effects it for the rest of it's life, much like poorly scrubbing in a tyre.

If tyres aren't just replaceable, maybe the number of silly qualifying setups with loads of camber will not be used, because then you'll wear the inside edges and heat them more, meaning the tyre is less consistent as different parts of the tread is used, and having a really worn inner section due to lots of camber might mean that a race setup won't work with this worn tyre very well.

You see, how you simulate not only the 'in-use' side of tyres, but also the effects on subsequent sessions, the life-cycle of tyres, the number of tyres available etc can have a massive impact on how the sim is used. If what I've written above ever gets implemented in nKP or LFS I doubt I'd play anything else again.
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(thisnameistaken) DELETED by thisnameistaken
Sort of.

Basically a tyre is affected not only be wear and age, but by heat cycles and rate of heat dissipation (probably not the right term to describe what I mean).
To get a brand new tyre to it's optimum condition you need to follow a procedure, and that procedure depends on the tyre and the manufacturers recommendations. In essence you start driving on the tyre gently, and gradually build heat into the tyres (not by weaving, that just wears the tyre and heats the inner edges). After a lap or two you put in a fully fast lap and get the tyre right up to temperature, then ease off again and return to the pits. That tyre is then considered scrubbed properly, and will cope with multiple heat cycles before 'going off'. If you take a brand new tyre and run it at full pace straight away it'll very rapidly degrade, blister and chunk, and be useless very quickly.

Not sure about F1 tyres, as they seem to use new tyres most of the time nowadays, and use them hard from the off, but in nearly all other forms of motorsport tyre scubbing and tyre care are EXTREMELY important, and much care is taken.

If you ever get a change to buy Caroll Smiths "...to win" books (Prepare to Win, Tune to Win, Drive to Win etc) then snap them up. He's an american, and therefore relatively clueless about European racing, and they were written in the late 80's, but he's forgotten more about racing than we'll ever know, and the majority of the contents is still applicable. This is where I first read about tyre care, and other books have expanded on it slightly, but his is the one I recommend the most.

Edit, whilst my engine simulations run...: I think simulating the above would be excellent for a simulation. It'll add a whole new dimension to the sim. And I've been thinking about how to integrate it into a sim, as there a number of scenarios that need different things.
1. Quick Races - people probably won't want to bother with selecting and scrubbing in new tyres each race. To counter this you have a preset tyre which is used for every race. To set your preset tyre (cos people will want a different feeling that suits their style) you scrub in a tyre offline and set it as 'default'. You could even have it so that different scrubbed in tyre's were swappable for people that don't know how to do it.

2. Longer Races - Have the option to allow the above default scrubbed tyre, or make people do their own scrubbing. The races are divided into 'weekends' and as such you get x tyre sets to last that weekend. If you destroy all your tyres you either retire from that weekend (i.e. until a restart weekend vote is cast) or manage on shitty tyres.

3. League Races - The default scrubbed tyre cannot be used, and everyone must scrub in the tyres he or she intends to use. Limited number of tyres.

For all the above you could have the option to 'save' a certain number of tyres, to simulate the room where the car is stored. So if you have some nicely scrubbed tyres, you save them in one of 6 slots that you can choose to use in any subsequent race. but if you use it you put wear/damage/cycles on the saved tyre, so you might want to discard it.

Overly complicated? Perhaps. Adds a LOT to the racing? Definately? Off putting for newbies? Not if you allow this default scrubber tyre idea, the sharing of tyres and a good initial default that comes with the sim.
#11 - troy
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(thisnameistaken) DELETED by thisnameistaken
First videos of nk Pro, altough these are recorded with digi cam so you can't say much about them.

http://www.drivingitalia.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=26287

I think from the screenshots it looks kinda too metallic.

Quote from tristancliffe :Advanced Synthesised Sound - sure we have this in LFS, but from what I gather nKP has taken this to new heights, with backfires, resonance, cam timing, throttle opening, and damage all (apparently) effecting the sound. How it compares is yet to be heard, but I think it'll show the way to LFS.

You probably know but it has two different sound engines, most likely generated and sampled. I'm looking foward to the generated engine and how it compares to LFS. Also interesting to see which engine other players like and which modders will choose.

Quote :Namie was only any good with the F3000 car.

I liked the F360 Modena. Altough I'm not into formula cars anyway. There's already that GT '70 mod under work for nK Pro.
If you could shave the new tyres in nkpro, that would be awesome too :P, i used to shave a lot of new slicks, its a pain in the ass but it helps a lot with initial heating and off the line grip.
Paid!!!!

Looks and sounds absolutely stunning, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we'll wait and see in a couple of weeks whether it's a true rival for LFS or just eyecandy...

Just hope Scawen, Eric and Victor love competition

Edit: Watch the promo movie and you can just make out the wheel tethers working!!! How cool is that...
Sounds stunning? I hope so about the generated sound engine but I can't really hear anything from that promo movie... if those even were actual sounds from the game. Is there ingame movies released? I know those Lanciano movies but those are crap digicam quality.
That promo movie and the Lanciano movies are the only ones at the moment...
Looks like they still want to hide something. Or mask unfinished parts? All I saw in that video was some (albeit nice looking) driving with a ton of filters and sound effects. I was barely able to make out any original content

Demo will tell...
Quote from AndroidXP :Looks like they still want to hide something. Or mask unfinished parts? All I saw in that video was some (albeit nice looking) driving with a ton of filters and sound effects. I was barely able to make out any original content

Demo will tell...

Your last sentence says it all: Demo will tell. I don't think hiding anything would make any sense as there will be a demo and chances are that you will get an evaluation by somebody you trust when it comes to multiplayer.
As for the vid itself, it was a fairly typical promo video and no treatise on nK's technical aspects.

I'm waiting for PayPal to process my funds, but then again I'm in the nK camp if in any.
http://forum.rscnet.org/showpo ... p=2839922&postcount=5

Quote :]What will be included in the NK-Pro Demo???
The demo will be the final product, therefore there will be a single download with everything included.
The unblocked items will be:

-1 car, the slowest one
-1 track
-Times and AIM display will be switched off in the demo
Everything else, obviously also the possibility to use the MULTIPLAYER part, will need the purchase of the license.

Pretty lame because of the lack of MP. Obviously they want people to buy the license.

Quote :Perfomance with the following configuration:
AMD 2600 XP (2Ghz)
1GB RAM DDR
ATI 9600 Pro 128

At 1280x1024, without anisotropic filtering and Anti Aliasing (which are not of great use anyway as the image quality is always high), in Trackday mode (only one car on the track), with all details at maximum, you get approx. 50/55 fps and never below 45. In doom mode you get 70 fps. Testing multiplayer with 4 more persons (5 cars in total including my own) you stay always over 40 fps, mantaining the smoothness also during race start. And this is without LOD's, that means that all cars were being drawn at maximum detail independant of the distance

Sounds like as rock solid code/gfx engine as LFS has.
Not bad price, 30 euros if you make a preorder. It doesnt have much content thou, could buy it for a litle snack while waiting updates for LFS
#22 - avih
Stunning video
The wheels seems a bit on the thin side, but other than that, looks great
Well, I plonked my £21 down on it, not because of the video, or because of the old NetKar (which I hated), but because I am a sim addict LOL.

Dan,
This is what LFS needs:
Will there be an "EXTREME" mode for online play?
We'll have the modes super sim, super real, super natural, super ayu which will be selectable from the server options. In the super ayu mode you won't be able to use ESC to return to the box, you won't be able to change gear ratios and other heavy setup modification on the run, i.e. the "heavy" changes will only be made after the session ends.
I think I'll wait for the demo

Maybe it's a scam

EDIT: No I won't

NetKar Pro [v1.3 released]
(2767 posts, started )
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