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 GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION 
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:57 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
I'm very happy to see a new Gene Rally update, and even more excited for the news of a whole new Gene Rally game in the works.

I do have an issue with 1.2b that I'm hoping can be addressed (or maybe I'm just missing something). I'm finding that the zoom level that I set in the track editor doesn't work as it used to, to allow me to zoom in further than the defined track edges. So basically I can't zoom in as closely to the track as I need, even though I want it to cut off the edges of the unused portion of the track's sqaure-shaped region. In 1.10 you had a setting in the .ini file that you could set to allow this, and it was indicated that it would be removed in a future version, which I see that it now has.

Unfortunately for me this really messes with my tracks. When I build tracks I don't always use the full area, and I want to be able to zoom in to maximize the track shape and get as close to the detail as possible. My tracks also tend to use a lower angle to approximate an R/C track and how you would be standing next to the track rather than looking down from above, and the lower angle requires more zoom so the car isn't too tiny at the farther distance of the track.

I'm guessing this has something to do with a way to make the game display a track the same on different resolutions and aspect ratios, and that's understandable. I would just request you re-introduce the ability in the .ini to disable/enable this.

Thanks, and good luck with the new game. I hope you look to the community for guidance on what is wanted, and keep us as closely involved as possible. I would love to see you take the minecraft approach, putting out the game in alpha and adding features gradually, allowing the early adopters to get the game at a lower cost (assuming the game isn't intended to be free).


Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:06 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
Black Rebel wrote:
Did I missed something there? Is anybody working on a new version of GR???

Apparently you didn't read the very first post of this thread. ;)

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Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
You are right, I did not before, just did it now. That sounds really nice indeed and I hope the team working on the sequel consider geeting some help from the older community members for any thing it is needed. Me as an example... :mrgreen:

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Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:00 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
James Burgess wrote:
Developers of the tools are welcome to contact me for updated format information (as other tool developers have already done). Other than that, we do our best to not break things when we make updates (and, indeed, avoid some updates altogether for that very reason) but inevitably, there are some things that need to change - v1.2 was one of those instances. :)

OK, that's good. But don't you think that you are someone who should write new Reader & Merger for GR 1.2b? (maybe included in GeneRally.zip or built in game)
Why? When GR 1.05 was released, this was game for fun and it wasn't that popular. It was in 2003. From this time, GR became more popular and community started to do competitions. GeneRally Savegame Reader (and also Merger) are two most improtant tools - it's impossible to organize competition without them. In 2011 version 1.10 was released. Reader & Merger didn't work properly with it, but it was possible to read and merge saves. But with 1.2, it's impossible.
So, from 1.05 to 1.2 you made a huge progress and added features which help us, players, in making competitions - support for new versions of Windows, timed races, changing palettes, speed limiters, long races and more. That's awesome and thank you for that. So, these improvements helps us making competitions but... with new versions of GR we can't make it, because we can't use tools like Savegame Reader or Merger. Where is logic here?!


Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:39 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
The logic is, that same like when 1.05 was fresh, now again it's up to community do create the tools, which it needs. ;)

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Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:42 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
If James went out and re-wrote all the unofficial addon tools (which, with the exception of the car editor, which hasn't seen any file format changes anyway, are not vital to making things for the game), it would've set the release of GR v1.2 back at least 6 months, for no real benefit. Savegame Reader and Savegame Merger are not official tools, thus James has no control over what they do or if they're kept up to date. In GR 2.0, this sort of thing may be manageable in game, who knows. But I feel your criticism is unduly harsh and flawed.


Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:44 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
It's never the duty of the developer to develop also programs that were coded by different people. For instance, when Microsoft provides a new version of Windows, it's not their duty to update 3rd party programs that are used in it, only official Microsoft programs.

We do have talented coders in this community, maybe some of them can do this.

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Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:34 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
Just what TuomoH said.

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:16 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
I'm sorry for that criticism in my reply here. I wrote not exactly what I wanted to write here - my criticism was exaggerated. I just think that James is a person who is... responsible (no, that's not a good word here) for breaking support with two most important tools in GR community ever - Savegame Reader and Savegame Merger.
So now, I just want to ask a technical question to our GR developer: why support with 1.05 saves is broken? Which of new features makes impossible to read or merge this saves with old tools?


Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:45 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
If everything was 100% compatible with previous versions, nothing would ever actually change!


Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:07 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
If we'll avoid of hysteric reactions, the things consists of at least 3 groups, if I understand the matter right - new features apparent on 1st sign (new object, time races, removed game speed etc), bug fixes spread across the game and code clean-ups and other rewritings of messy code, which both however aren't visible so easily, but make the running more smoothly, effectively or reliably. Any of those tweaks may take a part on the need of update of save file format, I doubt you can have trivial answer looking like list of features, which are the tax for that inconvenience with tools.

As I told, those guys in past needed it, so sat and made the tools. Now it seems people are saying how much they need it, but rather just cry about how James ''broke'' the tools use and do nothing (since 1.10 went out more than year ago, no new tool about this IIRC), so the question is, do we need it so much? So why don't we make it (not just you or me personally, I know, not everybody can do such a thing)? But I simply feel like people from community would be loosing the DIY spirit, which it always was based on (in relation to making tracks, tools, compos etc etc), just sitting, sending requests, waiting for others to care/be active, etc and crying how others do nothing (or in this case that somebody is doing something), but otherwise not moving even by toe to have, what they want. And if they finally receive anything, are often picky or even lazy to leave a simple thanks (comment/rating). Maybe I'm bit too critical with this view in dark tones, but I cannot help myself. :shrug:

This is the case, if we want some tool, we should develop it, keep updated or replace by new developments the discontinued tools, this is the way, how mature community consisting of active and keen members should think about it. Not to blame James for trying doing something for us. :-)

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:52 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
James is doing awesome work for GeneRally community by releasing new versions. I'm just curious what exactly broke support with old saves.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:19 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
Just a question on a bit other matter: ''By clicking the button below to commence the download of GeneRally, you agree to the terms and conditions of the license laid out in the readme.txt file in the downloaded archive. If you are not prepared to be bound by these terms, you should not download this archive.'' (From download button at official site) Is it just in me or really is something Catch-22-styled in the text? :scratch:

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:06 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
I haven't tried it yet :). I'm very happy of your words about progress on sequel and stuff :bg:. Thanks guys :).

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:40 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
Trigger Happy wrote:
Just a question on a bit other matter: ''By clicking the button below to commence the download of GeneRally, you agree to the terms and conditions of the license laid out in the readme.txt file in the downloaded archive. If you are not prepared to be bound by these terms, you should not download this archive.'' (From download button at official site) Is it just in me or really is something Catch-22-styled in the text? :scratch:


I haven't noticed that, it's really paradoxal! :doh: Either James should revise the disclaimer or the readme.txt should be accessible prior to downloading the actual archive.

On another note, this only shows how much we actually care to read the legal stuff... :hide:

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:46 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
First I will thank all guys for their work developing GR 1.2 :bg:

Hoping not being understood too negative, I agree with Lerhond.
I expected the loose of compatibility with major release GR 2.0 - and that will be ok.

But in case of changes in GR 1.2, I see no need of loosing compatibility and so
for all unsupported, but well working tools.

After having a closer look to the track and game file, I found some extra bytes
added in ghostframes for the coordinates, but always filled with useless zeros.
In game file, major data has not changed, but adding some more data (e.g. new palette info)
at the beginning of the file will shift all data some bytes back and make it incompatible.

Perhaps their will be a way, to add new data at the end of file, ignored by older version
but still being readable. I know, programmers don't like such a expedient but we are
talking about the last release before the big update with complete changes.

Being realistic, it is not possible to make a compo with GR 1.2 without new tools.

On the other hand, I think, I can change my Game-Analyse-Tool, so it will work with GR 1.2
and use it as an alternative game reader. With some more info about game file a new
game merger should also be possible.
But is it all really necessary for just one and last update? :scratch:


Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:20 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
majortom wrote:
But is it all really necessary for just one and last update? :scratch:

Certainly:
1.0 - 1.05 - 2003-2011
1.10 - 1.2 - 2011-?, but the ? isn't time of release of any GR2.0, but as long as 1.2 will be possible to run at any computer. Almost decade like with 1.05? Maybe more? People will not abandon 1.2 ever completely and there's no ETA of 2.0, so it worth to make the tools. ;) And because you know, that it's final, then especially it worth, because you can also make a version the tool, which won't ever need update forced by the game itself again.

Also, if somewhere some zeros are and you cannot see their purpose, it doesn't mean they are entirely useless. :shhh:

Finally, Juan's tools are outdated. Is it job of James or Juan to keep them up to date? I'm just curious, how many people asked Juan by email to update those tools to show him, that his effort is still important for us, rather than of blaming James for breaking something. ;) Even maybe, if he's not interested enough, he would allow to a skilled person like majortom to continue in that work like with the game itself happened. :scratch: Here so many options are, how to face the issue (and also so early after release).

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:16 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
I wrote an e-mail to juan :geek: generally ;) com ;) ar (it's the only one I found) and there's no answer. I hope that there's someone who has a working contact with Juan.
Btw, majortom, you could update your Competition Zipper for 1.2b. ;)
I know a person who will try to write SaveGame Reader for 1.2c when it'll be released - have no idea if it'll work, but there's a hope.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:26 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
That's the way I hoped to see us walking! Thumb up for you. :bg:

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:51 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
First off, thanks to everyone for their input - we read it all, and take it all into account. I think Tuomo and Ivo covered all of the points I was going to address, but I'll respond to the points raised by majortom (as he seems to have covered everything):

majortom wrote:
But in case of changes in GR 1.2, I see no need of loosing compatibility and so for all unsupported, but well working tools.

I feel a little bit like I'm stating the obvious here, but just because you can't see a need to lose compatibility, doesn't mean there isn't a need. In this case, there was absolutely no way we could implement the new multiple-joystick support without breaking the player/driver data... this affects the save game. There's no way around it, v1.2 needed to change the save game format. Markku and I weren't prepared to leave the final major version of GR1 without multiple joystick/controller support.

Quote:
After having a closer look to the track and game file, I found some extra bytes added in ghostframes for the coordinates, but always filled with useless zeros.

I did look at your old track-file PDF a few weeks ago, and there are some portions of it that you've identified "useless" data/zeroes, that are actually used by the game-engine. Now, obviously, I'm sure you've updated your thoughts since then, but it highlights the point: just because something appears unnecessary, it doesn't mean it is unnecessary. :)

Quote:
Perhaps their will be a way, to add new data at the end of file, ignored by older version but still being readable. I know, programmers don't like such a expedient but we are talking about the last release before the big update with complete changes.

The data is grouped in logical (according to the code-base) areas in the file - whilst I understand you'd want new data added to the end of the file, sometimes this just isn't possible or viable.

Quote:
Being realistic, it is not possible to make a compo with GR 1.2 without new tools.

To be honest... that's just not true. It was years after GR's first beta release before anyone came out with any tools such as SaveGameReader and thousands of competitions took place before it. Is it less convenient without those tools? Yes. Is it impossible? No.

Quote:
On the other hand, I think, I can change my Game-Analyse-Tool, so it will work with GR 1.2 and use it as an alternative game reader. With some more info about game file a new game merger should also be possible.

As I said earlier in the thread, any utility-maker who needs information on the changes made in v1.2's file format can PM me their email. Please note, we don't give out complete format information, but we are very willing to give the information on what changes have been made. I've already had a couple of people take me up on that offer and their tools will be updated to support v1.2 shortly. Please note, there will be an additional, small data addition to the save file in v1.2c (which we hope to have out in the next week or so). :)


I hope that answers some questions :bg: Compatibility between versions of file-formats is one of the things we're hoping to address in the sequel. We're aiming to end up with a format that we can add data to and remove data from seamlessly, minimising the need to break compatibility. I've already gone back to the drawing board on parts of our new track format (yes, we're planning on having a conversion tool) in light of some of the comments in this thread - so your opinions do matter greatly :)

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Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:29 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
Well this is GREAT! I like this! New sounds are awesome, and even bigger races! WOW! xD

In 1.3 I think, you will be avalaible to save replay, and watch it, in different angles! (Just my idea, that would hhelp video making, and that, to get more players!)


Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:07 pm
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
There will be no GeneRally 1.3, the next major update will be completely new.


Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:26 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
in 1.3, hope there's music.

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:23 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
CuteLego12 wrote:
in 1.3, hope there's music.

See the post right above yours. ;)

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:25 am
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Post Re: GeneRally v1.2 - DISCUSSION
TuomoH wrote:
CuteLego12 wrote:
in 1.3, hope there's music.

See the post right above yours. ;)


oh sorry.

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:33 am
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