Thursday, July 28, 2016

Another New Turbo Sliders Version? Are You Serious?

"Alright, who woke me up with an announcement of the new Turbo Sliders version?"

That was exactly my thoughts after waking up in the morning, logging in to my Facebook, and found out that a new Turbo Sliders version is underway, and has some of the new features including more car-related and server-related parameters, although it wasn't documented beforehand. The best thing was it coincided with SpoilerTV's Character Cup timeline and later the day of Primetime Emmy nominations (which I don't feel like batting my eye on right now save for some I got spoilered as a result of Twitter timeline exploration), but I got to try the game hands-on and would love to tell you what the game will have for this new version. The amalgamation of the three revelations were what causing some Spongar Primitive Spongebob effect on me.

Of course that this isn't final as chances are there will be some fixes here and there since the time of this posting, but there are things that are certain: 1) Big shout out to Ande (Antti Mannisto) for the new version work, and; 2) I have to update ALL of my real-life cars!


Version 2.6.0, the most recent version of Turbo Sliders, recently announced on its Facebook page with the details of what the new version will have feature-wise, as it was on the final development stage. Some of the key features as shown in the Facebook page are as follows:

  • Added the possibility to disable refueling in a fuel race
  • Added possibility to have extra penalty for completely worn out tyres
  • Added new fuel parameter NoFuelAcceleration, acceleration is multiplied by that when out of fuel (This allows us to define precisely how the car will behave after fuel reaches 0%; we can now make it even to stop totally.)
  • Added new car parameter fuelweightviscositycompensation (This one allows us to have fuel effect more "realistic" - when enabled, fuel won't affect car's top speed anymore, but only the acceleration.)
  • Added support for private matches. (The game will now be able to recognize players by their unique IDs. This allows us to define precisely which player can join the server and which can't. It will be very useful for automated competitions.)
  • Added a new car property - downforce. (You won't believe how much natural car's handling with this is, especially for fast F1 cars. It affects grip and braking.)
  • New parameter damagedownforcefactor to tune downforce based on damage. (When a car is damaged, its downforce will become weaker. It will feel like the car lost its front or rear wing etc.)
  • Added /mutespectators [<0|1>] which can be used to mute all spectators. (Yes, now we can mute those bastards separately!)
  • Spectators are automatically advanced to game from the stats views. (Ah, this is a great change! The game won't wait for spectators to download and load a track anymore. And spectators will be able to watch racing without having to press any key during the process.)
  • When enough data, stats view (3 x tab) shows fuel and tyre lap estimates. (Yes, the game will now predict and show you how many laps you can drive with a certain percentage of Fuel/TyreWear.)
  • Added command /colorsfixed [1|0] to be able to make colors unchangeable. (We can now forbid color changing for all those bastards who want to confuse other players by changing the color each race.)
  • Cars have new properties related to smoke and braking. (So many great parameters about this. They all define how a car will behave once a player "brake too hard" and produce the smoke.)
  • Made data transfer faster in lobby. (You got it right - when you're in lobby, files will be transfered by huge speeds to you now.)

As usual, Ande made a good job in working on this version, yet the work of this version wouldn't also be possible without all the testers and contributors who made this new version work finally materialize. There might be some "finishing touches" that would take place some time, but for now, the key features are ready to be served!

Looking at this, I quickly PM'd Whiplash on the TS forum and wanted to test drive the new version to find out more on how these features were implemented. I spent my late night testing the new version with an online racing with Whiplash and magnam. Well, it's not very usual of me going racing online because lags would hinder me, but as I drove the race, there actually weren't any problems, apart from my bad driving. Not that I'm going to surpass Reirom in the first try...


So here comes the exciting part: testing the new version first-hand! Take note that I might not cover all key features as presented as some might be self-explanatory, and some might not yet experienced by yours truly.

So my first experience on trying this version started with your usual Turbo Sliders start screen, only this time the year is changed thanks to some Photoshop wonders, or not Photoshop. It's just all the same but there's an interesting thing that sits on the right side of the Player Select screen: Player ID. Yes, now the game generates a unique Player ID which corresponds to the "Private Matches" feature which will recognize players based on ID so that the game knows which player is which, and no other player will act as a certain player, name-wise. I would imagine that this will prove useful for competitions such as Full Contact Championship.

I also tried some online racing to see whether the lags will bother my race and how far I will fare online after Whiplash told me that there are new, 4K (4000x4000) tracks and a new car, namely the F1 Genesis, to be tested. In the server, there was me, Whiplash and magnam. I couldn't race first because I was still downloading the current track and car. What I noticed when the next race is waiting is that the transfers are now eight times faster: usually downloading a track runs at 2 KB/s, but this time I experienced a maximum speed of 16 KB/s which proved very useful, despite this only applies only when the next race is about to be run and not during the race where normal speeds apply. As for the race, I was trying to familiarize myself with F1 Genesis's hard handling, in contrast to the other cars with much faster handling, something that I also struggled with F1 NG, the more-realistic version of F1 Prime. Only played three tracks, and I don't seem to outpace Whiplash and magnam, but then again, I raced a new car and the tracks were new to me, and I was playing safe only to find out I overshoot like 30-60% throughout the race.

F1 Genesis in action on Tijny's 4K track, Blakemoore, which was one of the tracks I drove during my online testing. I had to say this is the best looking track ever! (Uploaded by Whiplash)
A little about F1 Genesis, the car is a result of perfection after experiments with F1 Prime series of cars, seeking for more "realistic" F1 experience. Since F1 Prime's development, new features corresponded with the newer car attributes for newer versions are incorporated each version, with F1 Prime already incorporated a delay in braking smoke, a 360-image rotation for smoother transition, and disabled the car's steering properties when jumping among others. The F1 Genesis on the other hand incorporates the new Downforce attributes, lower tendency to let out smoke when accelerating from full stop, a more realistic "locked brakes" effect (via smokebrakingbrakefactor and smokebrakinggripfactor), a smoke "cool down" when braking (i.e., whether braking time stacks up each brake for smokelimitbraking to happen), and the fuelweightviscositycompensation parameter where it will only affect the car's acceleration. While the new set of parameters eventually found in the new F1 Genesis weren't explicitly stated (therefore everything was kept secret), it was previewed several times in the Facebook page, first in the Badeend vs. Whiplash montage, then in the Badeend vs. Tijny montage, and finally this video which, while it is a comedic post, also doubles as the teaser of what would eventually come in the supposed new version which apparently is related to the two previous testing montages. Once you get the new version, you can drop by to the F1 Testing Server to get F1 Genesis made by Whiplash!

The new car parameters also resulted in me trying to gather all the cars I've made and adapt them to version 2.6.3 standards, which consist of my current WIPs and my recently-released cars. However, my approach to this physics rework is to take just one car representing one specification group (e.g., Aston Martin DBR9 for Modern GT1, Audi R10 TDI for Modern LMP1, Porsche 991 GT3 RS for Modern GT2, et cetera), so that each group will have a reference in general performance. While the "locked brakes" effect is easy to be implemented, the others got me thinking hard, especially the downforce. As such, I had to research the downforce for cars concerned, and currently I found Haruna's thread on GRIF regarding believable car physics a good rule of thumb. It might not work on TS, but the downforce part gives a rough description of how downforce works based on the car's performance category. Putting a higher downforce level also resulted in a car that's way too easy to handle, eliminating the physics philosophy I hold dear, so tweaks here and there are obviously done to make fetch happen the downforce work while keeping the philosophy alive.

Speaking of this particular parameter called damagedownforcefactor, where damage will affect the car's downforce, I ran a small test involving my WIPs and F1SL cars as the AI cars. This is merely a simple test to find out the effect on the parameter in question, which would see how the car handles under the satisfying conditions for the parameter to work. At 100% damage, car downforce worked fine, but once a handful of damage percentage was collected, the car was easier to slide and the extra grip courtesy of the downforce parameter is lost. Granted, the track I was testing had an "energyloss" parameter which pretty much decreases the damage % over time at a fixed rate depending on the parameter setting. Unrealistic much, but hey, it's testing! Although sadly I forgot testing the fuelweightviscositycompensation feature, but I will make sure that I privately test it in the future.


Apparently, more news on the game's Facebook page came up at the time of this posting. The news in question is the fact that Ande has worked in upgrading the game to SDL 2.0, the latest SDL version. This means that once the new version comes out, the game will be much more stable compared to the previous versions, especially considering that it also needs to be able to run in newer operating systems such as Windows 10. Therefore, this will take a while once more, but projected release would be within 2-3 weeks, if the game couldn't be delivered within a week like they promised.

While you are waiting for the new TS version to come out, I recommend you to check out some of the videos showing the new generation of F1 racing in TS, as well as the teaser for the upcoming Turbo Sliders Formula One World Championship below, uploaded by the one and only Whiplash! Don't forget to follow all Turbo Sliders news by liking the Turbo Sliders Facebook page here!


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