Hey gals and guys.
I was always interested in setting up the car in games, but what frustrated me the most - was lack of the data to visualize what`s going on with the car, telemetry. Now that we have that in DR 2.0, I was looking forward to downloading apps for it. Yeah, right, no success. I guess the game isn`t that popular. So I started developing my own. Not having touched coding for 6+ years, I became rusty but managed to put together something. It`s still in, Alpha phase but I wanted to share the progress with you and see if there is any interest for public release. For free of course, we already paid enough for the game itself.
Long story short, here`s short video of the tool (sorry about crappy quality, I was on my laptop with tons of dev tools open).
I`ve seen one other tool, Dirt Telemetry that was for DR1 but also works with DR2. And the problem was overlaying the game. With my app, I`ve managed to emulate the full screen mode and setting the telemetry on top of it, so it looks like the game itself. The window background is black and you can move it around to set the position. When the stage starts, window becomes transparent and only telemetry is visible. Also it`s completely click-through, so game won`t lose focus if you hover or click on it - the game doesn`t see it at all. It`s still emulating full screen mode, removing the borders and maximizing the window (taskbar is on auto hide). Overlaying true full screen mode involves tempering with the game itself and rendering in DirectX - too much hassle for the time I have (plus, it`s considered cheating so wouldn`t be surprised if Codemasters took some action )
Now, about the telemetry itself, here`s a main window, I`ll explain the data shown.
Layout represents the car (obviously :D).
Wheels numbers show difference between car speed and that particular wheel speed. When accelerating they`ll be positive and negative during braking/deceleration.
Wheels change color to reflect: stationary, acceleration, deceleration and locked. It`s pretty neat being able to see what each wheel is doing real-time.
Brake disks change color based on temperature. There are no numbers for disks as I haven`t noticed any degradation in brake force in relation to temperature. For anyone concerned - max value is 650 degrees.
Vertical bars next to wheels represent suspension. Upper is compression, lower is rebound, respectively for each wheel. Getting the values here was tricky. DR2 telemetry only gives suspension position in relation to car. So if you lower or raise the car, tool won`t know it. So at the start of the stage telemetry will say that suspension position is -15, but tool doesn`t know if that is because it hit a hole or it`s by setup. So at the beginning of each stage tool will take start position as relative and apply the offset. The issue with that is that at some stages car will be on an uneven surface so some dampers will be extended or compressed than others. The tool tries to average it out between wheels, but still there`ll be some small differences.
Axles represent the differential. It doesn`t show the difference in torque but difference in speed of each wheel. Play with the diff lock ratio to see the impact. Open the diff and the slider will move much more on loose tracks. Center diff represents difference in speed between averaged front and back wheel speeds.
On left and right side there are "Fast" and "Slow" indicators. They represent which compression setting is currently active. In game (and real life) dampers have separate valves for fast and slow bumps. That means that depending on velocity of suspension travel - one or the other setting will be applied. Slow bumps are 90% of race, fast bumps are for hitting holes or that one straight in Argentina where you flat out over humps. If you record your drive, you can see when the fast damping is active and adjust either your settings or ride. Threshold can be set in game, and is for now hard-coded for default value in tool (0.6m/s). I`ll add option later to manually set it so it reflects your real setting (in a case you have played around with settings for fast bumps). (In the video you can clearly see Fast being activated as I french kiss the hill flatting out at 0:43 or when my tire decided to abandon the vehicle)
The lower slider is lateral G force, the right hand side, long one is for longitudinal G force. Nothing fancy, but it gives some info for tuning your car.
Lowest middle line is stage progress bar. I run clean HUD except speedometer, so it comes in handy on longer stages when I puncture tire - to change the tire or bite the bullet?
Handbrake is there, but doesn`t have direct representation in data, so the tool calculates it. If back wheels are locked, and speed is greater than 0 and front wheels are doing something and some other parameters I forgot. But it`s pretty accurate.
Last there are gear indicator, current speed (yes it`s in imperial, yes there will be option to change it ), RPM.
Note that there is no input visualization: Throttle, Brake, Clutch, Wheel. That by design as I`m developing additional overlay window to replace in game one. That window will be detachable and user will be able to position it anywhere on the screen, as you can do with currently show telemetry window.
Now, I`m pretty bad with math and vectors are science fiction for me, but we do have data for that also. Namely: Velocity, Roll and Pitch vectors. If you have any application for it, maybe I can implement it. Here`s a question for all of you:
What would you like to see in the tool that would be useful given the data we have? Maybe I can implement it as I dust the rust away from my coding skills.