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04.23.2013 Release Notes

This season’s download will be very large – over 3 GB for 100%ers. Due to various updates we’ve made to our process, including migrating to a newer version of our compiler and other changes to improve the efficiency of building our data, many of our data files are now slightly different which has caused a significantly larger than usual season update.

Website:

Race Guide

– The iRacing.com Race Guide provides instant access to all current and future race sessions. Each race is represented as a “block”. The width of each block is determined by the length of the race. The position of the block is determined by the start time of the session. You can view all races in one-hour intervals. To go beyond this interval, use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the “Last” and “Next” Buttons. Click “Now” to reset the guide, and click the Date/Time link to jump to a specific time. Click “Options” to show various filtering options.

You can register for all event types using the Race Guide:

– Click the race button within a race block to register for a session.

– If pre-registration has not begun for a race, you can plan this event as a future race. Planned sessions are viewable from your dashboard.

– Hover over the trophy icon to join Open Practice Sessions.

– Click a series row to show Quals or to register for the next time trial.

– To register for the next Time Trial in a given series, first click on the row for that series. This will expand the area and reveal a “Next Time Trial” button. Click on this button to register.

Car/Suit/Helmet Color Customization

There has been a major overhaul of the Car, Driver Suit, and Helmet customization pages. Features include:

– Rich color selection – paint your car any color you want!

– Randomized colors – let your computer pick for you!

– Car Template Downloads available directly from the car page (where available)

– Direct color hex value input (to fine-tune)

– UI/Code improvements

New Promotions

– Take advantage of money-saving deals when buying multiple pieces of related content! See cars and tracks pages for more information and details.

Club Changes

– Massachusetts and Connecticut club members have become a part of the New England club.

– Members of the Celtic club have become a part of the England club to forum the UK&I Club

– Members of the Western Canada club have joined the Eastern Canada club to form the Canada club.

– International Club members from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan have formed the new Asia club.

New Awards

– Added 10 new awards for increasing levels of official race and time trial participation. These awards are not retroactive so everyone will start at the same place. See you on the track!

Simulation:

Graphics

– Fixed the in-game anti-aliasing graphics option so that it is now passed correctly into Direct3D. Also added an additional setting which allows the quality (the method) of anti-aliasing to be specified. This new AA quality setting is GPU/driver specific, with the lower values mapping to lower qualities. For instance, quality 0 may map to multi-sampling and quality 2 may map to super-sampling on some systems. The number of quality levels available can depend upon your current graphics mode, windowed vs full screen, and also on the “number of AA samples” desired. Finally, the Anti-aliasing “number of samples” setting may now be increased all the way to “8x” in sim – of course doing this will decrease frame rates and consume additional video memory, and is only recommended on very high-end GPUs.

– Reprocessed all of our 3D polygonal models with an improved object optimizer to help reduce rendering overhead.

– Improved the accuracy of the video memory usage that is reported on the graphics options screen. The reported value is still an just an estimate, but it now includes a better guess as to the overhead in use by windows itself. For best performance, on Windows 7 and Windows Vista we recommend disabling the Windows Aero desktop themes which can utilize a lot video memory and are impossible to estimate precisely (select a basic theme instead). On Windows 8, or on Windows 7/Vista with aero themes enabled, there may be substantially more video memory overhead in use than estimated by the graphics engine, and it may interfere with the sim’s performance. If you encounter large stutters or performance drops it may help to lower your GPU memory slider in the options.

– Fixed the options screen so it won’t copy the replay settings on top of the graphics settings the second time visiting the options screen if you close using the “x” button.

– Modified the D3D mip bias selected by the simulator for the base textures to now be neutral (0.0) rather than slightly sparkly (-0.5). This may slightly reduce how sparkly some textures appear in the simulator.

– The user interface now uses the default system mouse cursors, rather than the custom cursor images, when running in a window.

– Increased the number of simultaneous car paint jobs allowed on track at once from 42 to 44. The simulator still allows up to 64 at once if your video memory sliders are both set extremely high (above 2048MB sys mem and 1024MB vid mem).

– Updated the renderer’s loading sequence so that the loading screen can appear more quickly.

Dynamic Shadow Mapping

– Dynamic shadow maps may now be used for car, cockpit, pit crew, and a few other select shadows, rather than shadow volumes! We highly recommend using these new shadow maps instead of the old shadow volumes. There are two new shadow map related graphics options, “Dynamic objs,” which enables them, and “More filtering,” which reduces the jaggy appearance of these shadows outside of the cockpits.

– The “More filtering” option is mainly intended to be used in the replay settings as it pertains to shadows you don’t usually see close up when driving, and enabling the extra filtering can lower the frame rate.

– At night tracks, the renderer will fall back to using shadow volumes rather than dynamic shadow maps, if enabled.

– At day tracks, with all of the shadow map options enabled, shadow volumes will be automatically disabled, reducing memory loads and improving performance.

– The dynamic shadow maps require certain other graphics options to be enabled as a prerequisite. They may only be enabled if the GPU memory slider is set above 300MB, if advanced pixel shaders are enabled, and with the DirectX 10 shader optimizer enabled.

– The dynamic shadows maps utilize approximately 50MB of video memory. Shadow volumes can easily use 4x that amount in multi-class events, so utilizing the new dynamic shadow maps often results in a smaller video memory requirement than using shadow volumes alone.

– The dynamic shadow maps have a large per frame overhead. This means that at the spots where you may have had the highest FPS previously at a track, it may now be substantially lower with shadow maps. This is simply because the renderer has to do some serious work every frame now even if the camera is pointing off in to space. But in the spots where the frame rate was the lowest previously, it may now be substantially higher! This is where it counts. Many testing systems have shown 25% to 100% increases in FPS at the worst spots in traffic, such as at Spa Francorchamps, compared to two pass shadow volumes. Shadow maps are intended to help out at the worst spots, where it matters, and to smooth out the frame rate, reduce stuttering, and reduce PCI bus contention.

TriDef 3D Ignition

– Added a new graphics option to enable any pre-installed TriDef 3D Ignition drivers to operate with the 32-bit version of the simulator (requires a restart). This option does nothing in 64-bit mode, or if no TriDef installation is detected. The option is located near the top center of the graphics options screen. When checked, it should enable TriDef 3D compatible devices to display the simulator in stereoscopic 3D. A TriDef supplied 3D profile named “iRacing” is requested upon launch, if the profile is not available 3D mode may fail back to 2D mode. The profile is supplied by Dynamic Digital Depth (DDD) inside the latest versions of the TriDef software package. The following link currently points to TriDef 3D 5.7, but is expected to point to version 5.8 shortly, which will provide an improved iRacing profile.

http://www.tridef.com/download/TriDef-3D-latest.html

Custom Car Painting

– The paint directory was reorganized. Now car textures go into iracing\paint\”car_name”\car_xxx.tga. Helmet and suit textures go into iracing\paint\”car_name”\helmet_xx.tga or suit_xx.tga. If that is not found we fall back to iracing\paint\helmet_xx.tga. The old directories and names still load, if the new files are not found.

– Leading zeros are no longer supported on the textures (in the new directories), so if your member id is 13 you must name the files car_13.tga and not car_000013.tga like you could before.

– The decal layer can now be overridden with a car_decal_xx.tga file (or helmet_decal_xx.tga or suit_decal_tga). This lets you replace the small sponsor decals, and the driver’s face among other things. You cannot override certain features such as headlight decals or logos or license stripes.

– There is a new graphics option “Hide car number while testing” that turns off the car numbers, club, sponsors and license stripe in offline testing mode.

– Alpha layers are now supported in the custom paint schemes, so you no longer need to override the entire scheme but can pick and choose the areas you want to paint.

– Larger custom textures can now be loaded (2048×2048, etc) but we do not currently take advantage of the increased resolution. Whatever size texture you provide will be scaled back to 1024×1024 when applied to the car, for now.

New Tire Model

– The way we model tire carcass yaw motion relative to the rim has been improved. This has helped responsiveness.

– The NTM tires (and real world tires) are very dependent on temperature which greatly affects the properties of rubber. We’ve always just used 3 slices of tire (inside, middle, outside) to track temperature since way back in the day, but this is not really sufficient for the NTM, since it is so much more critical to get correct temperature than in the OTM or Papyrus tire models. The tire code now computes temperatures for many elements across the surface. Now tires in the sim compute anywhere from 7-9 slices for our narrower tires, to up to 20 slices for the wide tires some of the cars have. The result is that as the tire contact patch is moving left and right across the tire surface the temperatures used by the grip code are more correct and produce a better, more progressive tire temperature effect. Also, the 3 temperatures we record for visual display are now more accurate too (although there is still work to be done there). This change applies to all NTM tires.

Teams

– The current team driver is now displayed below the grayed-out [Drive] button to the rest of the teammates.

– The beginnings of “crew chief mode” have been added. All teammates are allowed to view the black boxes while on the Session screen while the driver is in the car, just as they would appear to the driver on the Driving screen. Just use the F* function keys to bring up/change the displayed black box. The black boxes will be read-only to everyone except the driver and the crew chief.

– A check box is displayed above the black boxes, and clicking on this will request that you become the team’s crew chief. If the server accepts your request, you will become the crew chief, and your helmet/name will be displayed above all your teammates’ black boxes to identify your status. (The only reason you would be rejected is if the driver got out of the car, or someone else became the crew chief as you were checking the box). You can give up your crew chief status by un-ticking the check box. If you disconnect, your crew chief status is rescinded, allowing someone else to take over.

– Both the driver and the crew chief are allowed to edit the black boxes, and all changes are sent to everyone on the team. Clearly the driver and crew chief must cooperate with each other, lest communications delays cause them to step on each other’s changes. The crew chief is NOT allowed to make adjustments to the “in cockpit” controls, like brake bias, antiroll bars, differential settings, etc.

Black Boxes

– Fixed the bug where sometimes in the Fuel blackbox if you reduced the fuel value to 0.0 it would reset back to a full tank of gas.

Cameras

– Added a new on-car camera, the “Gyro” cam. It acts like the new in-car camera Nascar has this year, where the camera can stay level while in banking. The camera tool allows any on-car camera to use the gyro stabilization found in the Gyro camera.

Driving View

– We now allow the driver head view position to be adjusted up/down via the app.ini. The limit is identical to the movement that is available via the TrackIR interface: +/- 2 inches (5 cm). Our commercial customers have been able to do this all along and can still do so, up to 0.5m, but the .ini entry has been renamed for general use.

Spotter

– Added an app.ini adjustment to adjust car gap for when to call car high/low. You can find it in app.ini [SPCC] carLowHiPadding=0.25

Controls

– Support 64 buttons per device (up from 32) and make sure we save room for the hat switch buttons. This fixes the Fanatec wheel issues.

– Added a checkbox to the control wizard to help with calibrating game pads and joysticks.

– Adjust minimum force to allow supporting negative values.

– We now avoid issuing certain unnecessary force feedback commands every 60th of a second to cut the USB traffic to one-third, which may help with older wheels.

– The sim now uses the latest Fanatec SDK, which fixes a memory leak and uses less CPU.

Sponsors and Logos

– New club logos for Asia and Canada.

– Added MRN sponsorship.

– Updated and additional sponsor images for Main Performance PC, and Playseat.

Drafting

– All cars have had improvements to their drafting characteristics.

Cadillac CTS-V Racecar

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet Corvette C6R

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

– Rear wing is now paintable.

– Added ride height sensors to bottom leading edge of splitter.

Chevrolet Impala Class B

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet Impala-COT

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet National Impala

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

– Allow open gear selection at road courses.

Chevrolet Silverado

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet SS-Gen6

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Chevrolet SS-Gen6

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

– The driver’s name is now stamped on the windshield.

– A little more downforce with added grill tape.

Dallara IndyCar

– Fixed a bug where the tires had a small shiny square on them.

Ford Fusion-Gen6

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

– The driver’s name is now stamped on the windshield.

– A little more downforce with added grill tape.

– Removed upper Ford logo, as they stopped placing it there in the real series.

Ford GT

– Rear wing is now paintable.

– Added ride height sensors to bottom leading edge of splitter.

HPD ARX-01c

– Added ride height sensors to bottom leading edge of splitter.

Kia Optima

– Now available for purchase!

Lotus 79

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

McLaren MP4-12C GT3

– Rear wing is now paintable.

Modified – SK

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Modified – Tour

– Now has entirely new out-of-car engine sounds.

Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype

– Added ride height sensors to bottom leading edge of splitter.

Tracks

– All of the tree shadows (that render using shadow maps) now cast from actual 3D models, rather than from fixed decals.

Mosport International Raceway

– In-sim logo text changed to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

USA International Speedway

– New lighting, and track and sky textures.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

– New lighting, and track and sky textures.