Back to Main Page


A page (or pages) of miscellaneous content.

This page: Taming the Brakes - a short story about getting the vanilla cars to more enjoyable levels of braking.

The Multi-Launcher - Multiple Game Versions

 

 

A collection of small, often uninteresting, usually important scripts and tools/apps.


I removed the original (and only) item on here because it was part of the DIS project, which is documented elsewhere on the site.

Taming the Brakes:

For a very long time I had a project in mind and that was to tame the brakes on the vanilla vehicles. The acceleration never seemed too bad on them but the brakes were utterly ridiculous. I am quite convinced you could go from 150mph to 0mph in about 20 feet. So a long while ago, while I was still a member of 5Mods, I wrote a vehicle data extractor. This is something I use every update to extract the new car info, build ModKit ID documents and create addons to test before I merge things into my packs. I just point it at the replace files, type in the addon name, push a button and out pops a basic addon.

  

In fact, this was 2 years ago (where did that time go?) and in the code I had written a comment that said:

// This is where we will create a global handling.meta file. I am going to use this to reduce the braking
// values of all vehicles.

Two years on and the Glowing Brake Disc mod was created and this reminded me how much I hated the game's braking. Everything stopped so fast, the mod wasn't given proper chance to display its effects. So I decided it was time to address the problem. So over the course of the day, I dragged out my old project and noticed that the code to build the handling.meta file was all there... albeit slightly wrong. So I fixed that and that got me a single file with every piece of handling data in it, right up to game version 1493.

So now I needed a tool to do the job. It didn't need to be flashy, it just needed to read in the data, make the changes and then write the changed data. Not flashy is probably an understatement... this was one of my typical "just do the job" tools. This isn't a thumbnail, this is the full size of the app.

The dropdown box has all the handling parameters, so you choose the one you want, set the adjustment amount and press the buttons in order, simple as that. It does some checking to make sure it only affects what the game classes as "CARS", "BIKES" and "QUADBIKES", which covers most things with wheels. I will probably add some checkboxes to select vehicle types at some point... maybe.

I had already extracted the handling.meta files into separate folders but I had an idea. I knew that the game would ignore any handling data unless something asked for it, so I was safe having data for cars that didn't exist in earlier versions of the game. My main modding version is 1032, so this handling file would still work in that. I wondered if I replaced the file in update.rpf\common\data, would that overwrite all other handling.meta files in the dlcpacks folders and the ones in x64v.rpf etc... could I get that lucky?

The answer is yes, I actually could. Adding the single file to update.rpf\common\data set the new values for every vehicle, overriding the files in the dlcpacks folders in the same update.rpf file. This was perfect, a single file in a single location, that could affect every car's handling.

So I booted up the game, spawned the Dominator and off I went, screaming down the road and then on went the brakes. This time, it took much longer to stop and the brakes were glowing nicely. So now it was time to see how the AI reacted... or not, as the case might be. Under normal conditions, everything looked pretty much as it already was but that was to be expected, the AI don't exactly drive fast... until you give them cause to do so that is.

Into the middle of the city I went and out went a couple of BZ grenades into a junction or two. That was enough to get the panic going and that's when the difference really showed itself. Gone were their instant brakes and in their place was less stopping power and with that, came more danger. The results were far more entertaining than normal, head-on collisions at higher speeds, corners being missed by greater amounts, more avoiding tactics being used instead of just stopping on a dime.

So the game's just got that little bit more fun and my brake discs got a lot more glowy (is that even a word?) another successful day's modding. Now I just need to address the addons, which are even worse than the vanilla cars in 99% of the cases... however, you do get the occasional gem that manages to get things just right Zievs' Cobra, Stellasin and Greenaid's Camaros (both of them). But then you get a saloon car that handles like an F1 car and it's just rubbish, it really is.