What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?

Posted by Soutsen 
What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 17, 2022 05:23PM
Posted by: Soutsen
@klausfeldmann and others - I'd like to know what features do we have now to make cars to act different from one another, so I'm not talking about the cosmetic stuff like separate helmet shapes, rims or arms etc.

I know there are separate ability/range for drivers as well as the different braking and mistake chances for each of them were added. What about engine power and reliability? Is it separate for each car now?

Secondly there is a GP4 Tweaker tool and the other GP4 Tweaker that circulated in form of folders with the ini files as far as I can remember and they were different from each other.

With the GP4 Tweaker we can adjust pit stop timing afaik, but again is there anyone who had experience testing this one? Is it working at all and how good is it at working with the game e.g. does it make the cars pit stop times to be different at all?

And I've seen Klaus Feldmann was testing a lot the slip stream function of the second GP4 Tweaker that I mentioned and I didn't have too much time to spend on reading these, but probably will try to find some to do that, but anyway it would be great if he would report if the slip-stream feature works at all (I talk about separate slip-stream effect for each of the cars).

Maybe I've missed something cos there are some other tools avaliable like GP4something or GP4whatever and I presume they are adding something too, but I never used any of them except the perf builder assistances.

Cheers and hope you'll let me know. Also would be great if SDI would find some time to integrate separate pit-stop strategies for every car at least, not to mention separate tyre wear or separate wet weather grip level to simulate guys who were great during the rain (Senna, Shumacher, Verstappen as well)

___________________________________________________________________________
For a list of EVERY download for GP4, look here:[docs.google.com]
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 19, 2022 04:55PM
Posted by: Noog
Still no responses Michael? Ok then, here's one of the answers you were looking for:

This excerpt from one of my PFs demonstrates how to create car specific (rather than team specific) R power, Q power and failure rates. I've included two teams just to make it clear but you can work out the rest.

[Team #00]
Name=Lotus,Cosworth
First Driver=1,Ronnie Peterson,16251,389,16281,190
Second Driver=2,Jacky Ickx,15944,338,15837,184
...etc...
[Team #10]
Name=Yardley-Williams,Cosworth
First Driver=33,Mike Hailwood,16080,236,15932,155
Second Driver=20,Arturo Merzario,15797,188,15823,204

[FailureProbability]
Team #00=33364,50046
...etc...
Team #10=16682,65536

[QualifyPower]
Team #00=698,693
...etc...
Team #10=691,689

[RacePower]
Team #00=663,658
...etc...
Team #10=656,654

As you can see, R power, Q power and failure rate works just like Braking Range and Error Chance etc.

Note however, that in my PFs I leave out the default Performance line altogether because the individual settings completely over-ride them, but Team Editor 2.5 doesn't like that, so if you use TE, you can leave it in.

[Team #00]
Name=Lotus,Cosworth
Performance=647,682,83410
First Driver=1,Ronnie Peterson,16251,389,16281,190
Second Driver=2,Jacky Ickx,15944,338,15837,184

But just remember that the Performance line doesn't actually do anything once you have the car specific lines in place.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 20, 2022 10:12AM
Posted by: Soutsen
Thanks, that's good really, but I'd like to know that else can affect AI car in the way of separating their attitude from one another. Klaus Feldmann stated that he believes the slip-stream thingy doesn't work for the AI drivers, and I still haven't toyed around with the pit-stop times to learn how does it actually work in-game. It's kinda sad that SDI didn't make many of the other MD 'Desc' values to be separate for all the drivers cos it would make incredible stuff while simulating the AI races, such as simulating the setup leaning more to the wet conditions (the thing that allowed Panis to win at Monaco'96), different gear ratios for them all and all of that. I mean the game is very good at simulating the AI races but if now we have only grip (or driver skill) and power (engine values) to toy around and some other like the error chances and braking values (I've experimented with that a lot when it came out and this one works quite badly in-game cos the AI cars usually dont go for the risky/bold moves to overtake the extremely early/late braking ones and lose time behind them, and also these separate braking values all based/depends on the track MD values themselves which can be different for all the circuits so them need to be constantly altered/tuned up for each track which makes usage of this one quite unpleasing). And btw as for the error chances - I think there are no error chances for the first lap for all the AI cars, cos even if I set the high error numbers they are getting into troubles only in turn 1 beginning their second lap. So yeah, it would be fun to see more features to make cars and drivers act different with some of them saving the fuel and tyres better or doing better while the wet weather. Hope SDI make something, but I just had such hopes after the previous versions of GPXPatch being released and it's been a long time since the latest one came out... I'm not even talking about somebody creating a tool altering the AI defensive aggressiveness which is coded within .exe cos probably making this one to be separate for each driver is not possible at all.

___________________________________________________________________________
For a list of EVERY download for GP4, look here:[docs.google.com]
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 20, 2022 07:18PM
Posted by: Noog
> I'd like to know that else can affect AI car in the way of separating their attitude from one another.

Unfortunately, we just don't have the tools to do this very well. Braking Range and Error Chance seemed promising at one stage - and they do 'work', but use anything more than very small values and the human eye soon spots that those tweaks (especially Braking Range) tend to look false, or staged, on the track. To make our situation even worse, there's nothing in the MD that is car specific at all, so really we're left to do what we can with power and grip in the PFs.

I use a pretty sophisticated version of PRBlancos original PFCalculator which uses some little tricks to create more of an impression of 'driver personality' from the real world data (by giving 'exciting' drivers slightly more power and offsetting that with a slight reduction in grip, with some gentle Error Chance tweaking thrown in for good measure, like 500 or so). Conversely, a 'boring' but steady and reliable driver gets a little more grip and loses a bit of power in my model. Generally speaking, I think it works pretty well, without seeming forced - but it can never be quite as convincing as I once hoped it might be. You might want to try a set of my recent PFs one day and see what you think. Most people seem to notice a significant improvement, compared to what we might call the 'standard issue' (ie the default 2001 PFs), but I certainly wouldn't consider them to be perfect; because, given what we have to work with, it simply can't be done.

Another little thing I have built into my PFCalculator is the ability to use car profiles. Basically these borrow a concept from Microsoft Project, which allows each car to be given a profile reflecting gradual changes and characteristics over a full season, ie a car with an 'end loaded' failure profile will tend to suffer most of its retirements later in the season, a car with a 'bellcurve' power profile will tend to be at its most powerful in mid-season and a car with a 'sawtooth' grip profile will tend to be slightly better in the odd or even races in the season and so on (there are seven different profiles in my model in total). This gives a new layer of subtlety to your results because there are essentially 22 cars x 3 settings (power,grip and failure) x 7 possible profiles so it's very difficult for the human eye and brain to spot them in action. Of course, it's not quite what you and I would really like to see (which would be a single variable or group of variables governing the personality of a particular driver) but it's a reasonable imitation in some ways - and you'll always find that the results over the course of a season are very close to what happened in the real world, but with enough variability to keep things very interesting, competitive and enjoyable; whether you are in a top car or even in one of the less capable ones (which I have always felt have often been a bit overlooked in most peoples' PFs).

Of course, as I'm sure we are both aware, where this conversation ultimately leads is to the topic of SDI's retirement. Had he released GPxPatch v4.60, the release he seems to have been working on before he left us, we might just have got where we needed to be, because there were some fantastic enhancements planned, but alas, it seems like that won't be happening now; which is a terrible shame in my view. I mean, that's not a criticism of SDI, because he'd done more than enough for us already to earn his place in the hall of fame alongside Mr Crammond, but I can't help thinking that the one final release could have secured the future of GP4 for another twenty years - and without it, I'm not so sure.

One remaining hope however, might be the work being done on the physics modeling currently. I'm not involved and I don't know anything about it, but from what I've seen so far it's very promising - although whether it will ever become something we can use to create another Ayrton Senna remains to be seen as it's inherently more focused on the behaviour of the cars, rather than the drivers.

Anyway, those are my thoughts; so if you'd like a set of PFs let me know. Just give me the year you require and the race % you use and I'll gladly cook you up a set. (Has to be pre-2003 however. I'm just not into modern F1 so I don't have the RW data to work with).

> Klaus Feldmann stated that he believes the slip-stream thingy doesn't work for the AI drivers

He's done more on this than I, but I agree completely with what he says. That said, I'm not at the point where I don't want to use the slipstream function at all, but I keep its effect quite small, at about 20 or less, because on an older track, like the Osterriechring for example, it's just too damned difficult for me to overtake otherwise and I feel it destroys the 'flow' too much at the default 50 level.

> I still haven't toyed around with the pit-stop times to learn how does it actually work in-game.

Me neither, as I tend to do short races myself. (But for setting the pit lap numbers and the windows I highly recommend TomMks work. I use his formulas when I set them for other people because the default windows are often too short IMO).

> It's kinda sad that SDI didn't make many of the other MD 'Desc' values to be separate for all the drivers cos it would make incredible stuff while simulating the AI races, such as simulating the setup leaning more to the wet conditions (the thing that allowed Panis to win at Monaco'96), different gear ratios for them all and all of that.

Well yes, BUT while I'm not smart enough to know for sure, I've a feeling that doing so might not have been possible, because nothing in the MD is car specific.

For me, as a general rule that I've mentioned once or twice in the past, PFs are for calibrating all the CARS relative to each other (including the human car via the Bellini patch) but MDs are for calibrating the TRACK relative to the entire field of cars. They are two completely different things IMO and best kept totally apart from each other. I don't think enough people understand the importance of this (assuming I'm correct that is!).

> I mean the game is very good at simulating the AI races but if now we have only grip (or driver skill) and power (engine values) to toy around and some other like the error chances and braking values (I've experimented with that a lot when it came out and this one works quite badly in-game cos the AI cars usually dont go for the risky/bold moves to overtake the extremely early/late braking ones and lose time behind them, and also these separate braking values all based/depends on the track MD values themselves which can be different for all the circuits so them need to be constantly altered/tuned up for each track which makes usage of this one quite unpleasing).

My view on this is quite simple and I hate to even say it out loud really, but GP4's AI, while it is often brilliant at defending a race position, absolutely SUCKS when it comes to adopting an attacking position. Of course, it's still probably the best there is, but objectively, it's really not that good at overtaking when compared to a human. I'd love to think I was wrong about that, but I've never seen any evidence to the contrary yet - and that, on the bottom line, is why no amount of tweaking will ever create a convincing Gilles Villeneuve or a [insert favourite "crazy" driver here]!

> And btw as for the error chances - I think there are no error chances for the first lap for all the AI cars, cos even if I set the high error numbers they are getting into troubles only in turn 1 beginning their second lap.

I agree. Like car failures, the error chance does seem to be disabled during the first lap - and I would argue that it's not strictly an error chance anyway, ie its more of a "tendency to run wide" kind of a thing. Useful though and in small amounts I like it.

> So yeah, it would be fun to see more features to make cars and drivers act different with some of them saving the fuel and tyres better or doing better while the wet weather.

Yes, again I concur, but I don't think we have the tools.

> Hope SDI make something, but I just had such hopes after the previous versions of GPXPatch being released and it's been a long time since the latest one came out... I'm not even talking about somebody creating a tool altering the AI defensive aggressiveness which is coded within .exe cos probably making this one to be separate for each driver is not possible at all.

There he is again! I always get the feeling that SDI can 'see' when his name is mentioned in a thread - and if that's the case I'd really like him to know how much he is missed here. Like you I really felt we were getting close to something incredible when 4.52 came out (and especially after I read his notes on v4.60) and for it never to come to fruition now would be a real tragedy in my view. But then, I guess we all have our own lives to lead, so much as I feel a real sense of disappointment I am eternally grateful for Rene for building the foundation for what we still enjoy - and who knows, maybe one day he might release the source code for others to take GPxPatch forward; like a proud father letting his child run free in the big bad world to stand on it's own two feet. That's my hope anyway.

Cheers.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 21, 2022 05:28PM
Posted by: Turbo Lover
Great post Noog, interesting to read.



My Grand Prix 4 Files

I'm a total dick. How many people can say that?
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 22, 2022 01:26PM
Posted by: Soutsen
@Noog

I've scrolled through the SDI's recent post history and couldn't find anything regarding his retirement or him abandoning further development of GPxPatch. Nothing on rsdi.home.xs4all.nl as well, so where from you've got info about GPxPatch v 4.60 being developed and abandoned? This is a shocking news to me to be honest cos I thought that as least AI/CCcars pit-strategy could be added someday by him

re-braking feature I recall I've tested a lot to get any use of this feature and I found that it indeed works quite as if some would alter the Magic Data value called desc51 (some called it 'aggresiveness' in the Magic Data discussion thread) but no matter if the car breaks too late or too early, the car behind him doesnt use the advantage of other acting so weird with the breaking and basically forces himself to break too early as well or unable to get use of weird late breaking car ahead. So the only time when it works as it should is if they are approaching the corner side-by-side and the one who has the better breaking gains the spot. I agree that it currently serves more like a visual/decorative function rather than adding something much useful to the gameplay, but still it can be sort of useful for example simulating the Trulli-train alike kind of attitude with the guy being not fast at the corners and getting a train behind due to wrong braking but still having a descent grip (driver ability) and power to not let them by. I need to re-do my tests to remember what values I found to be fitting, but I remember they were not extreme and basically the best one was 0, which was using the original MD value of the certain track.

Tho the original MD values for some tracks can be quite odd simply because most of the track designers are more into the designing the trackside objects, surfaces and all the decorative stuff like textures and so on, while their MD can be off the point, same goes to CC-line which is a very major part of each GP4 track as well. Some of Ripping Corpse or Tojepo works are suffering from this thing for example, like Jarama or Brands-Hatch. The pile-ups at Zolder chicane can be pretty much be solved by altering exactly the desc51 value if I remember it correctly.

___________________________________________________________________________
For a list of EVERY download for GP4, look here:[docs.google.com]




Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2022 01:49PM by Soutsen.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 22, 2022 05:12PM
Posted by: Noog
> I've scrolled through the SDI's recent post history and couldn't find anything regarding his retirement or him abandoning further development of GPxPatch

He mentioned it most recently here (3 weeks ago) but I believe it's been fairly common knowledge for a while now:

[www.grandprixgames.org]

> re-braking feature.....

Like I said, I don't use it. I don't adjust desc=51 much either; but like you say it can occasionally be used to improve a track which tends to have a lot of accidents at certain choke points.

> MDs and track builders

I'm not a track builder, but I know enough to appreciate how much time and effort it takes, so I'm grateful for any new track regardless of how much tweaking I might have to do to it.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 23, 2022 07:58AM
Posted by: Soutsen
Well, I can't speak for the others, but I had no idea SDI is not working on further versions of GPxPatch and adding more driver-dependant functions in it. Adding separate driving errors was very useful, it worked like charm for creating the stabile drivers who are capable of running the round w/o mistakes (tho drivers even with the high numbers like 80-100 sometimes were able to finish the race quite high w/o ending up in the gravel trap simply cos they were lucky with their errors occuring on the straight or slow corners) and I was using this for my own private league that I was playing with my brother and solo on my own. That's tremendously bad news tbh and I agree that releasing the one final GPxPatch version 4.60 would be awesome idea. I'm for the most lack the separate pit-stop strategies, different wet weather ability, tyre wear and possibly a different fuel usage as well for the AI/CC drivers. Seeing SDI is still around occasionally I still hope that he continues to work on something once in a while when he is good on free time, but yeah it's kinda breaking my heart to imagine that the game stays in the way it is now, cos I dont think there is gonna be anyone investing as many time and knowledge into understanding of GP4 as SDI did... :(

Also I think the way SDI explained the work of braking range here...
[www.grandprixgames.org]
...could be used in simulating the inconsistent drivers who can get one great lap but their next one can be much worse depending on their braking range. If I remember correctly during my tests of this function I was using something like this:
[BrakingRangeMin]
Team #00=-500,550
[BrakingRangeMax]
Team #00=-499,551
...to actually understand the impact it does on the drivers, but I wasn't testing the wide ranges such as
[BrakingRangeMin]
Team #00=-990,-1000
[BrakingRangeMax]
Team #00=990,1000

In short - I think this can be a useful feature as well.


>the error chance ... it's not strictly an error chance anyway, ie its more of a "tendency to run wide" kind of a thing. Useful though and in small amounts I like it.
The error chance can be seen with the AI car starting to act shaky all in a sudden - if you've played the GP4 a lot you can notice it quite fairly. Also directors mod AI cameraman can notice these and switch to such cars whether they are starting to face that shaky feeling. They can happen on basically any part of the circuit - for example on the straight and such leave no impact really, but the ones that happen at the certain points of the corners lead to them run wide. I was experimenting with this a lot as well to find out what parts of circuits are dangerous to the cars facing the errors, cos some circuits can be deadly like an old Hockenheim with the cars running wide into the wall at the T1 (Nord Kurve), the corner leading to stadium part (Agip Kurve), and the last one (Opel Kurve). During the one 1-hour race at the vanilla Hockenheim with untouched MD I had something like 8 cars DNF due to crashing out at these.

___________________________________________________________________________
For a list of EVERY download for GP4, look here:[docs.google.com]




Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2022 08:26AM by Soutsen.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 23, 2022 08:46AM
Posted by: Soutsen
@Noog

Also answering your long message, at my own private league I was playing with my brother I had my own way to imitate such things as different set-ups for the drivers for example if one select to get a stable one with slightly more grip and others with the slightly more power, but again if you're familiar with how this game works, you can notice that even a difference that seems slight like 850 vs 853 bhp (engine power) in fact means quite a lot in the way of how one car is faster than another, and with us using the such concepts as different chassis/engine/fuel suppliers (each affecting the bhp already) there were not too much room for altering the bhp for the sake of simulating the set-up thingy w/o ending up with a complete mess. And for my observations and with both of us already agreed that AI cars cant really find the way of using the grip (driving ability) or breaking advantage, the bhp values are the most effective for their overtaking manoeuvres, cos they are tend to overtake on the straights much more than at the corners (though such tight fights with the cars going side by side in Villeneuve-Pironi style can happen as well, as I've learned during directing races for the GPGSL). So basically the car with the better grip can use it to get close to the car with the worse grip, but then the bhp matters quite a lot. Though the game is quite amazing in simulating the slip-stream effect which applies on AI cars as well. During one of my tests at the old 70's chicaneless Monza I had a qualifying session with the half of the field with the much better grip but with the much worse bhp and obviously most of them ended up being the worse but during one of the runs one of the low-bhp cars were lucky to get out of the pits behind the high-bhp car and stayed behind him due to slip-stream and even overtook that car before the parabolica (tho the better bhp car overtook him back even before the finish line) and therefore he was able to qualify something like 4th.

The most entertaining thing for me while doing that private league was using Excel function =RANDBETWEEN that was able to generate gandom number between the two, so in our league the performance files were quite different between each round, for example one driver had a chance of having a driving error between 15 and 30, and the other between 1 and 100, which basically means that 1st maybe slightly more into having a trouble in general, while other could be able to to a clean race, but at the same time could have a really bad day. In fact it was even more sophisticated than that and our drivers had like 6 columns of such presets and Excel was selecting one of 6 like this:
1 10 15WWWWWW1 1 5
2 15 20WWWWWW2 3 10
3 15 30WWWWWW3 5 20
4 15 35WWWWWW4 10 45
5 15 40WWWWWW5 20 75
6 20 50WWWWWW6 30 100

and firstly Excel was selecting one of 6 for each driver - for example 2 for 1st driver and 5 for second and then selecting the further numbers from these ranges automatically, and that was basically applying to all of the driver abilities and car parts we had, such as driver form, chassis, engine, fuel efficiency, braking min and max ranges and so on with us having to deal to solve the problems in the way of easing the set-up if we had something like too much error chance with getting slightly lower grip but lowering the error chances as well, or upgrading the car parts during the testings - again with the different chances of upgrading them depending on how much room to upgrade there was and other things affecting this like driver experience and rating on testing during the practice sessions and technical director ability and such and sometimes the car could get worse due to incompetent set-up (speaking from roleplaying point of view ofc, but in fact it was just because of the Excel was choosing such rare occasion to occur), but almost all of these were not the strict numbers so luck was playing a big role and race results could be varying in a pleasing way. Using Excel in such form was basically solving the absence of the actual variance because the GP4 variance is working in a different way (as was described by SDI again):
[www.grandprixgames.org]

___________________________________________________________________________
For a list of EVERY download for GP4, look here:[docs.google.com]




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2022 09:14AM by Soutsen.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 23, 2022 08:09PM
Posted by: Noog
Responses to first post:

> I had no idea SDI is not working on further versions of GPxPatch

Yes. Sad isn't it?

> Adding separate driving errors was very useful

Agreed. It was one of the many excellent improvements SDI gave us, but I tend to keep it to 500 or 250 and only use it when a driver using my PFs consistently performs slightly better over the course of two or more seasons than the real world data says he should. I don't have to use it at all in most mods but it's a great way to balance out the little anomalies that can sometimes remain even after I've done the PFs and calibrated the track MDs over a few seasons.

> Braking range

I recall SDI's explanation and to be sure it's a long time since I used the function, but I always ended up being unhappy with it in the game; mostly because of the 'running into the back of people' issue that it seemed to give rise to; even at the very low values I was using, ie <500.

> Error chance = shaky?

I'm not sure you're right about this (although I'm not sure I am either).

I've always considered the shaky CC cars in t-cam view to be a 'track-specific' thing, ie more of a graphical bug that doesn't really affect the performance of the cars. For example, you see it a lot at Estoril (some versions much more than others) and also at Detroit (or is it Phoenix). One or two other tracks too; usually where the corners are quite tight. Seems very track specific to me (but I could be wrong), whereas, what I observe with the Error chance value is that you can be following a car for a few laps and you notice that he has a consistent tendency to take most corners just slightly on the outside edge of the CC line. Sometimes he gets worse as time goes on until he runs off, but at other times he can start off going wide and drift back onto the line as the race goes on, or he makes a slight mistake, recovers, and gets back to normal. Either way, I quite like it because it gives the impression that he's trying just a bit too hard; like he's getting stressed that you're right behind him - which is a beautiful bit of realism IMO!

(Ever notice how, if you're in a quick car and you pit for new rubber, when you come out and start chasing a slower car and gaining ground on him consistently he'll often run off just before you get into an overtaking position? It seems to happen too often for it to be a coincidence and again [rightly or wrongly] I see it as another masterful piece of programmed realism).

But referring back to what you said, have you ever driven a race at one of the Paul Ricard's (not sure if it's the 88 or the 90 version or both) where in just one race out of say 30, all the CC cars seem to run off at turn 10 (the Virage de la Tour)? They actually seem to miscalculate something or other on turn 9 but it escalates from there and most of them end up in the gravel at turn 10. It's really weird to watch. You can race the same track again, with exactly the same PFs and MD and it doesn't happen at all, but just now and again they all get it wrong (well not all, but about 40% of the field do). I mention it because it seems to me that the GP4.exe itself has it's own randomised Error Chance variable somewhere and it would be great if someone could find a way to tweak that.
Re: What GP4 parameters can be controlled atm?
Date: May 23, 2022 08:15PM
Posted by: Noog
Responses to second post:

> even a difference that seems slight like 850 vs 853 bhp (engine power) in fact means quite a lot in the way of how one car is faster than another

Yep. This is why in my PFCalculator, I allocate power on the basis of championship points scored by each car, BUT I feed those values back into the grip in a negative way to re-balance things. So in 2001 Schumie gets the most power (because he gets the most RW points), but I modify PrBlanco's original grip calculation formulas to give Schumie correspondingly less grip automatically to stop him being excessively dominant. Similarly, I have limits in place to ensure that the best car (ie Schumie), only gets about 5-6% more power than the worst car - but at the same time I ensure that even the grippiest car on the track only has about 7% more grip than the worst - then with those parameters in place, I use the real world race weekend data to create the PFs. It too sounds like a total mess when I write it down too (funny that eh?), and to make it even more confusing I actually have several other more minor modifiers to weak things still further, but it works! Schumie still looks quick on the track (because he does have the most power), but the backmarkers remain perfectly drive-able for the human, for the most part, because they end up with a lot more grip than they would have done in the original PFCalc. In a nutshell, I think of it as a balancing act. I give something, I take something else away, over and over and I end up with a set of PFs which mirror the original championships quite well without being predictable and stale. Prog rock with added spreadsheet you might say.

;-)

> Excel function =RANDBETWEEN

Yes; good stuff. I did a set of PFs for someone creating a fictional season last year which used this function quite a lot and made extensive use of the 462 unique profiles I mentioned above as well, which were also given a random element. It was fun to do and we ended up with four different sets of PFs - and all you had to do to get four brand new sets was re-open the spreadsheet. I might polish it up, lock it all down and release it one day, because it was great for creating totally unpredictable one-off seasons. (Ahh, if only we could link up and play online...). I even constructed an integrated second division too, so we could have promotions and relegations at the end of the season! Sometimes our imaginations reach beyond the boundaries of the game itself.

> Game variance versus what we'd like variance to be.

What I do with that is I limit (proportionately) what the maximum calculated variance can ever be (500 usually), then I deduct 250 from the grip of all cars to centre it around zero (in a sense) rather than simply being an addition to the grip. I'm not sure that's an entirely logical thing to do but I remember in one of the first mods I ever played with the PFs released with whatever mod it was and Manfred Winkelhock flew past me on the outside at about twice my speed in one race and I sat there thinking WTF has got into him? It turned out the variance values were really high - so ever since then I've tried to mellow it out a bit, while keeping enough of it around to create a few surprises now and again! Basically I try to make the real world results the main determinant of the game results over the course of the season, but at the same time I like the individual race results to be able to vary quite a bit without looking too ridiculous.
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