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First Thoughts (6 replies and 10 comments)

BCohen
5 years ago
BCohen 5 years ago

Hi everyone, I have just recently purchased this sim and love it! Below are just some of my ideas that I have thought about since playing the sim.

[b]BLOWOVERS[/b] - If possible, maybe a little more variation on the blowovers. Maybe the possibility of a double, or landing right way up or landing nose first. Reason for this is to try and make it a bit less repetitive?

[b]PROPELLERS[/b] - Maybe a choice of 3, 4, 5 blade propellers both round tip and point tip?

[b]CHARACTER[/b] - Have the driver in a race suit and helmet and be able to change the colour and patterns on these?

[b]RECALL[/b] - Have a recall system that saves and records your highest top speed and sits on the top of the screen. E.G. Highest Speed, Current game session highest?

[b]TIME TRIAL[/b] - Have a race that goes from the very North to the very South of the Canyon map which would need a boat with good top speed and handling. Would be a bit of fun, kind of like an endurance?

[b]COMPETITION[/b] - Have a table somewhere (on the facebook page or here) that shows the highest speeds attained in indivicual classes. For example, Single 150hp, twin 200hp, twin 300hp, tripple 175hp etc. This would mean we would have several different "speed records" gamers could attempt. Have class records and then an outright highest speed ever attained record?

[b]WIND FACTOR [/b] - Have each map randomly select a wind speed and direction on each session. This could add to another variable to contribute to speeds, handling etc?

These are just my first thoughts, I am really enjoying this sim, its so realistic and us boat racers have been waiting for something like this! Feel free to add on to these suggestions or what everyone else thoughts are?

jackwilliam
5 years ago
jackwilliam 5 years ago

i know the next big thing on the agenda is to implement boat races, and i already tossed out the idea of having it, and it seems like it would be an absolutely awesome race to have in the game. i did this race and it took me about 25ish min (once again its in one of the topics here on the forum)

i recall talking about props and making them more realistic and the amount of work for the little amount of results is quite surprising. i know Todd talked about the propellers and he said that he would want to save that for later due to it being so complex ( i can find what post in what topic if you want me to ).

as for the recall and competition i completely agree, that is much needed. i know that i personally have to just get a well timed screenshot all while trying to balance a boat going 125+ mph. when i first got the sim i dove right into the big horsepower and tried to make the boat go as fast as i could possibly make it go, later i tried to look at the smaller hp and tried to squeeze every last mph from the boat and thought that that was more fun than chasing the "fastest top speed" title.

i agree with you on the character but that's quite a small ascetic piece that should be dealt with later in the game while major components are still being made. i would like it however if he stopped boating with no shoes on.

for the wind factor, that would get quite tricky if it was random. that would completely skew all data for speed and people would have to get lucky when they go into the game to get a good speed run. this means that the user would get to choose whether they want to use it or not, and i can tell you that it would probably get used to boost the speed of your boat (30mph down wind would help). i'm personally up in the air about it, but it would be pretty cool to mess around with.

the blow-overs do seem a little repetitive and seem to happen in the exact same way everytime. i have been able to get all the way back over and land in the water but that rarely happens. how could this be done in the game and still be realistic?

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Just finished the Glen Canyon long course. Just so happened to start it in the north and end it in the south.

https://www.speedboatsim.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Glen-Canyon-Course-3-with-background.png
Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, guys. It's really helpful. I've been thinking much the same way as you both on all this.

Constant speed wind is easy to add, it's just an extra velocity added to each triangle. Making it a little turbulent so it varies somewhat randomly over time (little wind gusts and so forth) shouldn't be too hard. That would indeed make blowovers feel a bit more random. Concerning how the boats flip: This isn't something that's specifically coded, it just does whatever it does as a result of the aerodynamics on your mesh. So the way it flips depends totally on your design, CG location, etc..

Competitions: I've been thinking the same thing, class it up by power/length/number of engines and display the record top speeds in each class. Wind would normally be an issue since you could just set it to whatever makes you go fast, but since we'll have top speed shootout courses it could work by forcing you to have no wind whenever you're making a speed run if you want it to count officially. I.e., maybe you could still set the wind just to see what it does to the boat and get some practice, but it wouldn't count for a record or be displayed to anyone else. The only speeds you'd see displayed are the ones made on the shootout courses. So that would solve the wind problem, I think.

For lapping courses I'll need to come up with something there too of course. Best times, etc.. It's tricky to figure out how to display it in a way that also works in virtual reality which is my main focus here. Will give it some thought, that stuff will be for a later patch.

I expect to release the first patch that won't actually store any laptimes or speeds or anything (no leaderboards yet) with a few courses in the next couple of days. It'll be fairly minimal at first, three courses at Lotus Lake:

1) A mile long top speed shootout course (barely fits on the lake but it works).
2) A short course in the main boat launch bay with a few left turns (yellow buoys) and a gentle right turn (red buoy) that takes a little under a minute per lap if you've got a really hard turning flat bottom.
3) A full lap of the lake that basically follows the shoreline.

I'm making the first courses for Glen Canyon now. So far I've got the full length one running from north (twisty part) to the south. I'll put a shootout course there too somewhere and maybe a long looping course or two in one or more of those big bay areas to give something of an offshore feel for the bigger boats (even though there aren't any waves). If you guys have any ideas for courses you'd like to see, feel free to scribble something on that map I posted earlier. I don't know what racers really like to run and I'm having a tough time finding course maps online. Guess I don't know where to look.

Just to be clear, all this next update will have are the courses with a basic lap timing system in. You get a message near the top of the screen telling you what to do, then another one telling your laptime each lap and finally the full race time when you finish. No leaderboards. I'll add more later, but that looks like a good point to make a patch. Once you guys have played with it a bit it and given me some feedback on it, it'll be more clear where to go.

There's also a course helper of sorts, a little triangle that pops up next to the next buoy you're supposed to pass. It sits on the left/right side so know which side of the buoy to pass on. You guys of course won't need that, so you'll be able to just toggle it on or off with the F9 key. I like it to remain clean looking without all the arcade type readouts all over the screen, especially for VR/Oculus Rift users when/if they start showing up to play too.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Here's the post on props with a mild edit or two:

Props are indeed using the single triangle blades like you see in the design screen (really each blade is two triangles back to back). To have cupping and all this type of stuff, the blades have to be more intricate than just one poly per blade, of course. One day I looked seriously into doing that, but the CPU requirements go up very quickly when you increase the resolution of the prop very much at all. The prop is critical because the forces and so forth are computed 10 times as often as the rest of the boat (1000 times per second for each prop). Even with only 3 blades, that’s 6 triangles, effectively 60 from a computational work perspective because it’s computed 10 times as often as the rest.

So even if each blade had only 6 triangles in it (12 being double sided), still not enough to do much with cupping and so forth, that’s like adding 360 triangles. Put three engines on it and you’ve probably got more triangles effectively than the entire rest of the boat. Possibly add more boats to the scene later for racing and well… We only have so much CPU power.

The prop is very expensive. When I can get to moving some of this physics work onto a compute shader, this stuff may practically come for free and then the prop and boat poly counts could potentially scale up big time. So the props are going to stay like they are until I can get into moving some of the physics work onto the graphics card where it could potentially run much, much faster. I want all those prop options too, but it just isn’t workable on the CPU yet so it’ll have to wait.

Prop rotation: Yes, it makes a big difference in the handling. The first time I ran double props they were inwards, then I tried outwards and the boat was noticeably more stable. Not sure why, I suspect it’s got to do with pfactor effects, but haven’t taken a closer look. The current default configuration for all this was arrived at by experimenting with the rotations and seeing what seemed to work best, same goes for the triple engine setups.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Unfortunately it's looking like the competition side isn't going to really be doable without writing custom server code which could mean spending months on a backend just for this purpose. I'm using a plugin to handle server communication at the moment, and it can't do this type of thing. It can store info for you as a player, but you wouldn't be able to retrieve info for other players, so there's no way to say in game who's got the best top speeds/laptimes and so on. I've asked the plugin author for more info, but until he writes back and says otherwise, it looks like the best it can do is have a single high score for the game. That might work for top speeds only, but things couldn't be split into classes. Laptimes at the various courses would be out too.

So at the moment it looks like leaderboards aren't realistic without diving deep into the server side of things where I have zero experience and tons to learn. Maybe some day much further down the road, but at this point it's looking like it'd be better to focus on other areas and forgo the leaderboard stuff. I'll keep poking a bit more, but that's how it's looking at this point.

jackwilliam
5 years ago

thats a shame to hear, hope that it can be ironed out fairly easily.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Good news: Top speed shootouts are possible and will be available in a patch today. It's not classed or anything fancy, just all boats/players against all other boats/players, but it's better than nothing.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Leaderboards for top speed shootouts, I mean. 🙂

jackwilliam
5 years ago

sounds great!
definitely going to try it out first chance i have today

jackwilliam
5 years ago

so how do you get onto the leaderboards? ive made a few passes and none have showed up on the board

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

If the leaderboard shows up at the end of the run, it should have submitted your score. You're the second person to have it fail to show up. Seems to be working for some people and not others, don't know why yet but am trying to figure it out.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Could you try something for me? Log in here at the website and then try a top speed run and see if that makes it work for you.

It looks like new customers are able to log scores, but old ones aren't. I've been talking with somebody about this, and I'm not entirely sure yet, but it may be the case that the login cookie in-game becomes invalid so players that bought it some time ago aren't actually getting logged in, so their scores don't post in the shootouts.

It'd be helpful if you could try that and let me know if it works. Maybe try logging in, then out, then back in again here at the website, then start the sim and try a top speed run.

I'm working on redoing the login system which will force folks to login every time they play. It should remember you most of the time and auto-login though so it's hopefully not too much of an inconvenience. Not sure how else to do it though if we're going to have leaderboards. If folks aren't logged in for whatever reason their scores won't post, so it looks like it may be a necessary change now that we've got leaderboards.

jackwilliam
5 years ago

just tried that and it didnt seem to work, i tried it twice and with different boats.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Patch 1.211 released. This will hopefully fix the leaderboards for users that had problems getting results posted. Please reply in this thread if you still have any problems with the leaderboards.

To get the patch, run the sim by right clicking and choosing "run as administrator." It will download it automatically.

See change log for details: <a href="http://www.speedboatsim.com/change-log/" rel="nofollow">http://www.speedboatsim.com/change-log/</a>

Duncombe1
5 years ago
Duncombe1 5 years ago

I'm still waiting on the download to reach me.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Looks like you've logged in and played since you wrote. Everything ok now?