Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FAST FORWARD: 4000 - Number of the Future

The upcoming Turbo Sliders version will now have a maximum track size of track width, which is double the normal. Even though that it is already employed in the current version (although it requires a working mod to play and edit 4000x4000 tracks), driving 4000x4000 tracks will have its own charm. Expect a working version of Nurburgring Nordschleife in TS or an ability to drive Circuit de la Sarthe (from GT3 Endurance Series mod) with default cars in a distant future as the new version is released. It's not just the 4000x4000 track size limit that's highlighted in the game's future release; don't forget that it will also have tire wear, drafting, and now a color change option which can change the red color's status in each car with a player's defined color or not, which is useful because some cars are not meant to have their red colors changeable, like GT3ES and SCARTS cars for example. Last but not least, cars with 360 rotation will now be usable in the game, allowing cars with more "dynamic" lighting to be playable.

Mind you, this post tells the "joy" of making 4000x4000 tracks. Let this post be a "sneak peek" for you to make your own 4000x4000 track(s) whenever the new Turbo Sliders version is out.


When 2000x2000 isn't enough for you and you need to fill the grass on the 4000x4000 track... Wondering how much time would it take for filling the 4000x4000 track with grass using ONLY default tiles? Mind you.

Back then when default tiles were used, making default car tracks requires quite a time, especially if they're 2000x2000 in size. Even if it's a 640x400 track, you need to make sure that each width in each section and even each turn has consistent track width. At that time when I was making earlier tracks (in my RendyTUNED years, starting from Arashi), I somehow couldn't able to do such thing; some sections have inconsistent track widths which can make or break your pair of eyes. However, these tracks are a delight to drive, and puts the legacy in the game itself.

Everything has changed when Photoshop tracks started, with its trend ever growing for years since its first inception and eventually become the majorly-used track types in online racing; F1 servers are the most evident subjects for such type of tracks. Easier, quicker process and more detailed workaround are the main reasons why these tracks quickly stand out from default tracks. From some of Jazzyclub's real-world touring car race tracks, to Keppana's simplistic F1 race tracks, and the more modern, contemporary and innovative TSE tracks, utilizing bigger sizes to ensure a full F1 experience on Turbo Sliders. Despite that, it seems that everyone creates Photoshop tracks and no new normal tracks are being made, so to speak.

With the inception of 4000x4000 track size limit, the work is doubled, unless anyone ever wants to make a very big version of Trooper Speedway using normal tiles and the size of 4000x4000, it would take a long time to work on the track and of course requires great amount of patience. For the record, Trooper Speedway is a track created by Mouse known for its long length, and is used in GPOR Antislider competitions, with three tracks within the series. Due to length, Trooper Speedway is christened as the Nurburgring Nordschleife of Turbo Sliders. Unless there's a normal track that can contend Trooper Speedway, trackmaking using normal tiles is anything but alive.


Tell me if it looks familiar to you.

On the other hand, it opens new possibilities to create even bigger tracks that can't be made with 2000x2000 limit, like the Shuto Circular Expressway track above, which consists of C1, New Belt Line, and Yaesu. I've worked this track since 2012, but in that year I just made up the layout based on the satellite map, and I didn't include Yaesu back then. The track's map is then reworked again this year after I haven't touch this track for almost two years using memories of the junctions and such thanks to me being a Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune player, adding details, junction details, and Yaesu. Take note that it is not the accurate replication of the Shutokou line, but at least I could port what can be considered as the house of the now-defunct MidNight Club. If I were to work the Shutokou with 2000x2000 limit, then the track width would be 30, which is not enough because that would only fit two cars, assuming that one Turbo Sliders car is sixteen pixels wide, unless you're making a Mount Haruna pass or a Rallye Monte Carlo stage for that matter, and that doesn't include the junctions, which have smaller pixel sizes.

Shuto Circular is just a part of my project; still in WMMT context, if this track is finished, I would continue making Wangan line, Minato Mirai, Fukuoka Expressway, Hanshin Expressway, and even Nagoya Speed Ring. The last two names are actually tracks that can even be worked in 2000x2000, so does Minato Mirai. For Wangan line, the thing that matters most is to fit both Wangan line and Yokohane line with 64-pixel road width within 4000x4000 track limit, and for Fukuoka, it's just the separator that matters me. For non-Wangan tracks, I could go for either Circuit de la Sarthe, Nurburgring Nordschleife, or even the Isle of Man track (a.k.a Snaefell Mountain Course). Although Endurance Series mod has got this circuit even before this new version is being worked, I'm not a fan of diagonal starts. I'd like to keep it "straight"...

Also with the bigger limit, it is possible to make bigger rally stages. With this, we could say goodbye to rally stages that use small track width in order to fit that one car that had to have half of the normal size sadly in favor of long stage length, enhancing the rallying experience even further. There apparently is a Rally server that consists of select stages of various environment and you can check out how good you are in those stages because the server will record your fastest time everytime you complete a stage and will eventually calculate your total time if you drive all the tracks in the server. If you'd like some rally section, download Turbo Sliders and search for "Rally server", but not before you download power79's rally tiles first (link above) and try for some runs to flesh out your lines. I remember that I would like to make Rally New Zealand pack, but my indecisiveness of what kind of texture I have to use detered me in putting even one stage in works. I guess I should work on tarmac rallies like Tour de Corse for example, or even Monte Carlo (sans snowy parts on track). I could try slapping some touge tracks and put it into one "Japanese Touge Tour" rally, but that means I had to implement staggered starts on start/finish parts of courses, and this might lose the exact touge feeling, but since it's only implemented on start/finish sections, it doesn't matter anyway.


Even though that this post points out the 4000x4000 track limit feature, the topic isn't limited to that. Turbo Sliders is now in a continuous phase of development, refinements, and additions as long as the game's creator, Ande, is active. Tire Wear and Drafting are self-explanatory, so I guess I'm going to point out the other new features.

Let's start with things that WILL also work in the new TS version aside from the tire wear and drafting, beginning with car rotations. In previous versions, a car can have 64 images to emulate its rotation, which can be found on all default cars you drive. That limit will change as the new version will slate 360 rotation images, which can increase the "realism" of the car. To demonstrate this rotation, below are two images: the left side is a 64-rotation GIF and the right side is the 360-rotation one. You can obviously tell the difference by looking at how realistic the rotation is.

Aside this, there's the "changecolor" feature that can be implemented on custom cars. Here's a short description of it:

"Changingcolor can be used to alter which color is changed for different players. By default, the value is 1, which means red pixels are converted to player colors. If the value is 0, nothing is changed. If the value is 2, green pixels are changed."

Sometimes there are things that can't fulfill its expectations.

Unfortunately, this thing faces a trouble of its own: stripes and gradients won't work when using this color. I've tested on one of my WIP cars and it's revealed that the green color does change, but without the stripes and gradients. The above image shows the should-be colors on the left side and the green color's result on the right side. Even though that this is far from perfect, it has done its job to simply change the green color. In case of putting a custom-colored car whose colors contain red and you don't want to change the red pixels, slapping it with a green windshield color plus using the changecolor parameter could work.

Another new feature is the free camera ability when being disabled by Pro Rules, watching race recordings or when spectating an online race. Simply activate it by pressing Player 2's fire key (Left Shift by default) and the control keys of the mentioned player can be used to toggle the free camera. You can also go back to change the camera's focus to the player once again by pressing the same key. Also when watching a race recording, Shift+Left rewinds the record by 20 seconds, and it can take up a long time if the recording is very long. And if you are tired by how painful it is to press up and down to focus to your favorite player in the recording, next and previous focused cars are now determined by latest race positions, so in case there's a race between A, B, C and D and the race positions go C-A-D-B, next and previous focused cars will all be based on the positions per lap and not the player order.

Finally, other fixes in the future version are following:
  •  New track record format and directory, old records not valid any more
  •  Fixed limit speed being less if accelerating compared to when decelerating
  •  Added AutomaticFullRepairTime (set to get damage fixed automatically)
  •  Lap record messages not given if no times before
  •  Fixed some erroneous lap record messages in special situations
  •  Fixed ghost images not working with certain cars
  •  Exposed parameter -p <n> allowing n local players and added control support
  •  Added /sayadminmono <msg>, sends an admin message with a monospaced font
  •  Fixed /listtracks skipping some tracks in subfolders
  •  /source now searches for scripts under sources/ directory if not in root
  •  Added car parameter 'changingcolor', affects car coloring. Set to 2 to change green instead of red, set to 0 to not change anything
  •  In-game stats show cars in the starting order in the beginning
  •  Fixed Windows XP support and editor DLL issues introduced in 2.5.0
  •  Cannot reduce damage when disabled, fixes AutomaticFullRepairTime issues
  •  Fixed /listtracks showing some tracks two times
  •  Fixed damage bars and fuel bars sometimes being on top of each other.

Hopefully with the new version coming out, Turbo Sliders will have more interest than it currently has. Also stay tuned to this blog for updates on Turbo Sliders add-ons as well as other games.


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