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Topics - Maxaxle

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Suggestions / Damage modelling.
« on: February 07, 2014, 04:54:54 pm »
I've been meaning to ask about this, but it always slips my mind. Put simply, how are we going to render damage? AFAIK there are four ways to do it, and almost all renditions I know of include parts hinging off or coming partially or fully undone:

1. Have multiple prerendered models or textures for different sections of the car. More refined versions include multiple renders of the same type of damage, so a small bump will not completely flatten a section of the car. GTA games often had a chassis part that would not change along with body panels, bumpers, and glass stuck on; each non-chassis part would have exactly one "damaged" model and one "undamaged" model, so smashing into a wall face-first would damage the front bumper and possibly shatter the windshield. Poorer implementations of this include most GTA games in the GTA3 era, whereas Mafia II, Driver: San Francisco (all versions), and Vin Diesel: Wheelman pull it off nicely. Decals are only available in nicer implementations, however.

2. The Saint's Row 2 method, i.e. "wrinkly cars". When a car model comes into contact with an object at moderate or high speed, the chassis is not deformed but the body panels become dented. Model deformation is proportional to the speed of the collision and the exact physics of the collision (so crashing into a car will do less damage than crashing into a wall). Similar to the first method, but damage is not pre-rendered. Decals can usually be applied to the car's model(s).

3. The GTA4 method, i.e. "ridiculously deformable cars". When a car model comes into contact with an object at any speed above walking speed, the chassis and body panels are deformed as if the car was made entirely of steel. Model deformation is dependent on the vehicle in question (it can be coded differently for different vehicles) and is proportional to the speed of the collision and the exact physics of the collision (so crashing into a car will do less damage than crashing into a wall). Damage to headlights is almost always pre-rendered, but everything else can be deformed to your heart's content if the car's statistical health can be kept above zero (in GTA4, you can do this with trainers). Decals can be applied to almost any part of the car.

4. The Rigs of Rods method, i.e. pure softbody physics. When a car model comes into contact with an object at any speed, deformation will occur, but the quality of the damage modelling is dependent on the quality of the original vehicle model. In Rigs of Rods, many of the vehicles that come with the simulator will deform dramatically if provoked, whereas nicer vehicle addons will feature semi-realistic vehicle damage and predictable deformation. Vehicles with more extreme flaws or faced with more extreme situations may spread themselves across large areas like a paste or jelly.

Additionally, Bugbear's Next Car Game features some...interesting...non-prerendered vehicle damage modelling.

Suggestions / NPC behavior
« on: January 27, 2014, 01:49:32 pm »
1. What if the reaction of NPCs to your car and its modifications helped dictate whether they wanted to race you?
2. What kind of NPC "personalities" should we have? Example: NPC A prefers to race when he thinks he can win; he will go up against the most seemingly-stock cars he can see, but he won't check under the hood. NPC B prefers to race against cars with smaller engines, without considering the size or weight of the car.
3. We will inevitably have a "The King" NPC; what should he look for? High-performance parts instead of cheesy stickers? Sporty cars? Cars with chopped tops and shaved-off bumpers?

Street Rod 3 Discussion / Part failure, etc.
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:53:49 am »
1. What should happen when...
a. an engine part fails?
b. a transmission fails?
c. a drivetrain part fails?
d. the brakes fail?
e. the electrical system fails?
2. What warnings or hints should be given? Maybe the car just doesn't sound right if a part is in bad condition?

A Mr. Eli Hyder emailed me a few days ago, basically saying "Hey, I heard you like Street Rod. Well guess what? We're making a Street Rod-style game! Come look at our kickstarter!". These guys are hoping to make it an MMO with loads of perks for anyone who backs it, but (un)fortunately they seem to be coming up short on funding. Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting idea, but IMO it's better to have a working singleplayer or local-multiplayer game before starting on anything massively multiplayer.

Suggestions / Multiplayer, from the ground up.
« on: January 19, 2014, 12:53:37 pm »
So, let's say a player is ready to go online. To start with, how should multiplayer be handled?
1. Should hosting a game broadcast said game to a given master server?
2. What should be serverside and what should be clientside?
3. What vehicles should a player have access to? Should the choice in vehicles be dependent on their singleplayer progression? What about customization?
4. If the host has a file the client does not have, what should be done? If the host is instructed to send the client a copy of the file, should there be a size limit?
4.a. What if a client brings a file that the host doesn't have? Should it be uploaded to the host?
4.b. What if a client brings a file that neither the host nor the other clients have?
4.c. What about conflicting files?
4.d. Should the server be able to put limits on custom cars, i.e. HP limits, weight limits, size limits? What about power-to-weight?
4.e. Should custom cars be forced to have multiple LODs to accommodate players with slower computers? Should there be a way to forcibly reduce all car graphics on slower computers to ensure a good framerate?
5. What should the GUI look like?
6. Would it be possible to allow a chat message to be typed while driving with a joystick or similar peripheral, assuming that all controls are mapped to said peripheral?
7. Should kicking, banning, etc. be voted upon if no moderator or admin is present?
8. What punishments not covered in 7 should be available? Forcing a specific color set on the car of a rule-breaking player?
9. What gamemodes should be available?
10. What about custom addons, scripts, gamemodes, etc?
10.a. What client addons should and should not be allowed?

Suggestions / Multiple stencilling techniques?
« on: December 25, 2013, 12:43:27 am »
Long story short, let's say you have a specific paint pattern you want to add to the side of your car. How would the game handle this?
1. The stencil for the pattern "wraps" to the car, preventing distortion but preventing interesting patterns.
2. The decal acts more like a spray nozzle for the paint tool, which allows for trapezoidal distortion of paint patterns depending on which way the camera is pointed.

The first one is fairly rare in games, but the second approach can be seen in any TrackMania game that includes car painting (i.e. 90% of them, not including the first one).

Perhaps an engine lift could be shown lifting the engine out of the car when replacing the engine itself, or maybe the transmission could be shown being removed from the bottom of the car, when working with the transmission?

Car Talk / Best non-American Muscle Cars?
« on: December 16, 2013, 05:47:50 pm »
I know that seems oddly specific, but I've always kind of wondered what would happen if there was a Street Rod game set in anywhere but the U.S., which would (obviously) change the car set completely.

Region by region, here's my understanding of car "demographics" by country (in the 1970s):
Australia: Mostly Australian-built GMs (Holden, Ford, Chevrolet).
Asia (in an overall sense): I really don't know. Toyotas? AFAIK not as good as cars from the U.S. or Europe. Prime exceptions: Toyota Celica, Toyota S800, Mazda RX3.
Europe: European cars, mostly. Smaller and often more efficient and/or safer than their counterparts, since Asia's cars weren't QUITE up to spec yet. AFAIK for some reason, European V6s tended to be less efficient than their U.S.-made counterparts.

I'll start with the easy-to-understand and slowly move on to indecipherable nonsense.
1. Maybe the player should be able to own multiple cars and own/rent multiple places to park, with free parking being "just park it on the street here"?
a. Street parking always runs a risk of about 1%/month to 5%/day (depending on where you park) of causing damage to your car, and there's an ever-present risk of part or car theft (depending on where you park). Parking in the worst areas of town with the doors unlocked is a great way to loose cars, whereas parking in a quiet area with power locks and an alarm lets you park almost indefinitely. Improper parking, however, always carries a risk, similar to the risk of having a car stolen, and the consequences range from a $50 ticket to being towed.
b. Parking lots work similarly to street parking, but anything fenced-in or with restricted entry lowers the theft rate significantly (almost to 0%). Fenced-in lots tend to be permit-based, so the player will need to pay for a permit and keep it updated at the risk of being towed.
c. A garage, rented or bought, will ALWAYS have the lowest risk of being broken into, and it will be impossible (or NEARLY impossible) to have the car damaged in any way. Security measures range from a rotten old door with a busted lock to a nice sturdy door with a deadbolt and security system, and the player is allowed to store things in or (in the case of buying garages) modify the garage to their liking. Perhaps housing could be added?
d. There should only be a maximum of five showrooms or extremely fancy garages in the game. These showrooms often have the option of being tended to by mechanics and detailers (who have to be found, hired, and paid) to keep your car(s) in perfect shape and impossibly clean, and almost always include security measures to prevent thieves from getting to your car(s). Be careful about who you hire, though:  some thieves are very good at doing whatever it takes to get what they want, and some of your opponents (mostly the well-off ones) are willing to hire people to sabotage your car(s).
2. Wherever a car is parked, it will always be affected by its environment. For example, a car parked on a busy street will collect dirt like nobody's business and slowly have its paint damaged or ruined by the sun, rain, snow, etc; salted roads will also cause very slow body and chassis degradation if the car is not kept clean. Even a car left in a garage will collect dust, if the garage is not kept clean and "sealed" somehow.
3. For every car you buy, you'll have to do paperwork and pay taxes on it. Don't worry, this isn't Papers, Please; the paperwork is filled out automatically, but you have the option of "accidentally" underestimating the car's worth (for tax reasons), at your own risk. The smallest punishment for this is a funny look from someone at the DMV, or being asked to fill it out again with correct/"correct" information. At worst, you'll be cited a month or two down the road.
4. The ingame calendar should include every important date, including the dates of big races, paperwork deadlines, bill deadlines, paydays (for your employees), and anything the player wants to make a note of.

Car Talk / Cars you'd like to see ingame, if only to point and laugh.
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:36:54 pm »
Since the game is set in the '70s, I have at least a few suggestions.

AMC Gremlin:

AMC Pacer:

Ford Pinto, since an AMC hater I am not:

Classic Mini Cooper, because it's not at all meant for drag racing:

We've been had. Someone figured out how to register a billion new spambot accounts and now I can't find anything useful.

Any ideas?

Street Rod 3 Discussion / "Interstate Street Rods 3"?
« on: March 05, 2013, 12:15:54 am »
The following topic assumes you know about Interstate '76 and the upcoming fan version, Interstate Outlaws.

Let's say for a moment that Interstate Outlaws was combined with Street Rod 3. What would the outcome be, besides ridiculously '70s? Perhaps you'd be able to damage (and repair/upgrade/sell/etc.) certain vital car parts, like in Street Rod, but with weapons and ammo alongside normal car parts? Or perhaps you would install your "cup holders" (makes it less likely to be headshot'd with a pistol) and "heated seats" (more ammo) yourself? Maybe more off-roading-oriented parts would be available.

What do you think?

Suggestions / Homebrew car mods?
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:51:59 pm »
I bet SOMEONE in the '70s tried to modify their car's parts to try to make it go faster, but didn't bother buying nicer replacements for said parts. Perhaps we add a crafting-menu-thing from which to attempt to modify or build car mods? Some mods would simply be "grind excess bits off of XYZ part", which would increase performance slightly at the cost of part strength (not what state the part is in, but how quickly it'll wear down), whereas others would be complex, like "Build homemade blower" (the resulting part would be ~$100 cheaper than a manufactured one, but would perform 15% worse, would wear out more quickly, and would be 25% heavier), or "remove emissions controls", which would make the car noisier and slightly faster at the cost of having a chance to be pulled over by police.


Car Talk / Best muscle cars ever?
« on: February 01, 2013, 09:41:27 pm »
I'm not going to say that horsepower makes the muscle car, or that looks make the muscle car, etc, etc, but I'll break it down into three categories. Anyone can enter two cars per category, but please don't gush unless you've had hands-on experience.

1: Performance.
2. Look and Style. How well does it turn heads?
3. Lasting Value, also known as "reliability", a word not often associated with muscle cars.

Example entry (not a real entry):
Under "Look and Style", I'm entering the Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, specifically the 1970 version.

Although Driver: San Francisco's rendition was less than impressive performance-wise, the overall look of the 442 is unmistakable and fairly unique, to the point that it has appeared in four separate Grand Theft Auto games.

Suggestions / Controller Support
« on: January 09, 2013, 11:01:37 pm »
I know I might be thinking of stuff that's way down the road, but what if SR3 supported controllers in the way TORCS did/does? Perhaps even a way to control how touchy button/keyboard steering is?

(if you're not familiar with TORCS, go download it!)

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