Documentation provided for modding might be plenty but all spreadout is useless

Discussion in 'Track Modding' started by SPASKIS, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I am commited on learning how to improve the quality of my tracks so I have decided to follow one of the tutorials kindly referred by wgeuze. http://www.mbdevteam.com/download/Tutorials/index.html

    As you will see to start with you can find 20 or so tutorials nicely orderd in... ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Really useful, much better that starting from the beginning with simple things...

    After reading all the titles trying to figure out which one to start with I decided for this one which seemed quite basic: http://www.mbdevteam.com/download/Tutorials/Virtua_LM_Tutorials/gmt2-wizard/frmtutorial.html

    I quote the first paragraph of the tutorial:

    "The purpose of this tutorial is to detail how to use the GMT2-Wizard plugin in the way we conceived it.
    For the installation of the plugin, please refer to the help file provided with the package. The ISI GMT2 plugins V2 need also to be installed. See rFactor website to download them"


    So... I guess I need those plugins so I click in the link and takes to the general downloading page (direct links would be too easy and we don't want that. The mistery of modding would be lost). I click into the developer's corner which sounds to be the one for this kind of stuff...

    To my surprise all the links there, except for the dev mode executables, have few or nothing to do with modding (release notes of ISI content, interviews, videos and just for fun: terrific help for modders I would say) However the required plugin to import gmt files to 3dsmax is not there. No problem, I say to myself, this should be easily found with isiforums search tool...

    I type "GMT2 plugins V2" and this is what I get search results

    Incredible but truth. Mario's importing tool is easily find but I am interested in the official plugin since I don't want to buy trackmaker software.

    I will not talk about search results for more complicated things as for making a traslating or rotating object which should be relativily easy but there is no darning way to find a related result about it. This is whta some people understand as helping ammateur modders.
    I would have this kind of tutorial structure if I wanted to discourage people from modding. The word Empathy does not seem to be in some people's minds when doing a tutorial or when saying that everything is wonderful about this topic.
     
  2. wgeuze

    wgeuze Registered

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    You have those plugins already, jusk take a peek in:
    x:\rFactor2\Support\Tools\Plugins

    :)
     
  3. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    I wouldn't blame the tutorial writers here. For one thing it is very hard to anticipate the level of knowledge of the reader.
    For another (and I think that is what happened with the Plugins link), hyperlinks are always at the risk of changing. IIRC the rF2 download pages had a small reorganization a few months ago, which is probably what broke that link.

    Yes, I have no doubt that people are turned away from modding because information is hard to find.
    I still remember the old old old days of Grand Prix 2 modding when basically we only had one place to exchange info. We also had people maintain the info and create collections of that info.

    Here's a page that's still online nearly 15 years later: http://www.waa63.ch/racesim/TEIC/tsFAQ/index.html

    So, anyone know anyone who would like to volunteer? We do have the Wiki here, but it got too difficult to access and maintain after it migrated onto the forum here for me to keep creating pages.
     
  4. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Not blaming tutorial makers. Far from my intention. I appreciate their labour and I know how much work it supposes. When I made my tutorial to convert tracks, it took me hours. I just wanted to point out things from the tutorial reader point of view to show what could be improved for better help. I have done it ironically to show the typical frustration state after putting some time trying to find something with no success.

    I just want to point out how difficult is in general to find something unless you know where it is. Sometimes due to broken links other times for other reasons.

    Thanks for the link wgeuze.
     
  5. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    Yep, there is potential to do better here.

    So what do we do about it?
    Sit on it and just imagine how great the world could be?
     
  6. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I would love to collaborate in this type of project. It would benefit myself and thw whole community I think. You already now I am not lazy for typing :) .

    If people are willing to teach I would be willing to type :)
     
  7. Johannes Rojola

    Johannes Rojola Registered

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    I would like to be tutorial maker, but I am afraid of giving out false information. Hence, I don't even know everything I should.
     
  8. CosmiC10R

    CosmiC10R Registered

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    thats a great site ethone
    last updated while we were playing F1C LOOL

    that would be a priceless commodity ... the amount of swimming through muddy waters I have done has been rewarding but terribly frustrating at times and I can only imagine how expedient it could get if the knowledge was contained in one place in a similar format.

    I would be happy to help on some level but I have no idea what it would be as Im just learning... to Johannes point I could likely help by being a noob and trying the instructions and verify they work...

    in any case... great idea... don't let it go Spaskis... I really appreciated your tutorial...

    edit... i had a look at the wiki ... some real potential there... I think there would need to be a few people involved... make it easier to get time off... lol
    I think it would likely be easier to keep each topic seperate
    track building, likely a basic and advanced... basic being an oval and adv should be say a 7 turn
    hdr lighting
    materials
    learning to live with 3dsmax lol
    that type of stuff... just thinking out loud here...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2013
  9. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    when the information is in the proper order and structure and not duplicated it is much easier to correct. Not only for the authors but for the people that are always willing to help. When we release our stuff it usually contains bugs no matter it is a tutorial, a track or a vehicle. That does not prevent us from doing it.

    People should not be afraid to make mistakes as long as their attitude to solve problems and listen to the people stays there. Remember we learn from our errors much more than from our successes.

    When I now watch the tutorial I made for converting tracks, I realize that several things I do it quicker and better now. Modding not only goes about knowledge but about tricks as well. The method itself is very important hence since it contributes a lot in time saving which is generally a big deal when building a new a track. In this sense a lot of people can provide very good ideas. For example creating a track with the correct meshing for realroad is really simple in BTB and can be later exported to other tools like 3dsimed and max that can better handle available shaders.

    Track modding tutorials need also a procedure list as well as a tip and trick section. It is not just plain theory. I will prepare an index of how I procede when I make a track. For sure it will be conditioned to the tool I use. I would like to see people's comments and suggestion about it and the differences when the same job is being done directly in 3dsmax for example.

    Enviado desde mi GT-I9505 usando Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  10. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    So people have done various tutorials, probably in response to specific questions, someone else has collected some of them on a page and offended you by putting them in alphabetical order - did starting a thead here whingeing about it actually help matters? Are you trying to shame people into action?

    What's on that page represents work done by people for others - like you, they already know what they do, they gain nothing from making a tutorial for it. It sounds like you think they should have done more, apparently without actually contacting anyone and saying "hey, how about listing them in <this> order".

    I hope you are understanding when you do your tutorials using tools a, b, c, with extra notes from someone else regarding tools d, e, and f, and then someone comes along and complains that you didn't cover tool x. It's great that you're using your experience of following existing tutorials to improve the design of your own, but having a whine about the others as well is a bit silly.
     
  11. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    You are not understanding anything of what i am whining of. I complain about the order and accessibility to information. Accessibility goes about the content being there and being easy to find. And yes I complain about putting things in alphabetical order rather than a more logical structure. Any problem with that? IF YOU DONT THINK IT IS NECESSARY DONT WRITE IN THIS THREAD ANYMORE. IT LOOKS LIKE SOME OTHERS THINK THE WAY I DO.

    I might be direct when I write but I am defending something that is affecting me directly. Dont need lessons from you or any other saying that everything is nice the way it is. Actually it really does suck.

    Enviado desde mi GT-I9505 usando Tapatalk 2
     
  12. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    OK I have opened the "2010" folder since is the version of 3dsmax I am using. The readme.txt says this but does not say where to find that MAS file:

    New Feature: gMaterial plugin now uses ShaderGFX.mas to get it's shader list. This is an unencrypted mas with shader description files.
    I use the search tool trying to find that mas file and these are the search results

    I check within rf2 installation (not caught in the same one for the second time) to see if, as the plugins, it is also there and gratefully it is. However I don't know if I have to do something special with it. I see that there are eight files in it.

    Would it be to hard to explain what we need to do in the readme file? I don't really care if the plugin uses this or that. I just need to know what I have to do.

    When you write something for someone else to read, you need to try put yourself in his head and try to think as the potential reader. This is called Empathy. Some people write as if they would be the target reader. In tutorials and instructions this is one of the key factors for being a good or a "not so good" one. This is an advice and hopefullt someone will retype that txt in the future.
     
  13. wgeuze

    wgeuze Registered

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    Are you reading something different? The explanation is correct to the letter.

    I kind of get your frustration in a quest for clear documentation, but be careful not to push it too far. Before you know it you want people to do the modding for you ;)

    Empathy is a 2 way street a bit as well, people who are trying to run before they can walk for example can get as much as they want but they are the ones who need to learn the basics first. If it is too much trouble opening the material editor in max, they've gotta ask themselves if they didn't miss out on a step somewhere.
     
  14. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    Or you make others shy away from even bothering the next time around. I really don't feel like investing time to set up a Wiki or re-work tutorials.

    I thought we were going in a good direction earlier here, now I'm not so sure anymore.
     
  15. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I repeat just in case, something is not understood. Probably I did not explain myself.

    I have never used 3dsmax before. It is not my intention to become an expert in it either. I need it because for doing some things it is the only way which is supported and by which a correct gmt can be exported. (If later, I get to dominate it and like it better for building a track than the tools I am using now, I will but I don't know yet since right now I am a complete dummy with 3dsmax now)

    For this, I guess that I need to prepare the tool with the required addons to be able to export these gmts.

    From my ignorance I don't really understand the sentence I quoted. I did not mention anything about the first sentence since as you say is straight forward: use the compact material editor. I still don't know what one or the other editors are but when I get to that point I will use the compact material editor.

    The second sentence, however, I still don't understand and for me is not as straightforward as you say :(. Since I think the plugin mentioned refers to the ones I have got in the folder where the readme is, I have understood that I need to do something with that Mas file to make 3dsmax export gmts, which is the goal of getting to that 2010 folder in my case.

    After that, I have got stuck since I did not advance to the next sentence. Actually, until this point in the post I am writing I haven't realized it explained what I needed to know. As you see I always proceed step by step: both for the readme and for replying to your post (thanks for your explanation) I am not changing the above paragraphs since it is the way I was feeling when I was writing it. Since it started as new feature made me think it was something additional rather than a continuation of the sentence above. In my notepad I could not read the end of that sentence since it was to the right of what the screen showed. If I had seen that, I would have realized. Sorry, my fault. However I think it would be more clear this way. As it is now, the words "notes" and "new features" can be confusing, I think.

    Note: gMaterial and gTexture plugins do not work with new slate material editor, please use the compact material editor.

    Note: The first time the Material Editor is launched and a gMaterial is selected, you will be prompted for the location of the ShaderGFX.mas file. (New Feature: gMaterial plugin now uses ShaderGFX.mas to get it's shader list. This is an unencrypted mas with shader description files)
    Use ModDev\Shared or Core\Shared as your location. The gMaterial editor has a button at the bottom to reset this location. After restarting Max, you will be prompted for a new location.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2013
  16. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    I just opened 32 bit version (64 bit version provided an error related to something about converter so I in case unsupported I went for the 32 bit one which did nor give the error)

    As the program starts the tutorial guideline appears with lots of videos and nicely ordered :). This is the type of tutorials we deserve for modding.
    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=6837309&linkID=9241175

    I would like to prepare an equivalent to this page for track modding (with plain images first) and hopefully we could be implementing already prepared stuff with some reviewed content of course to adapt to rf2 new capabilities. Hopefully the intention of this thread will be clear now.
     
  17. CosmiC10R

    CosmiC10R Registered

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    Hey Spaskis,

    They are all great ideas and I think the intention of the thread is pretty clear... I think the guys are saying that everyone needs to be respectful and patient for the amount of work this will take... Being impatient with people who are taking time out of their day to help is only going to end up in losing the opportunity to learn from those that have the knowledge.

    I think the real opportunity here is to improve the way we all communicate with each other... sometimes the forum seems to come off as very impatient and disrespectful likely through no real intent but either way it is something that needs to be worked on and in society in general... well maybe not the politicians, we should all likely be a little more impatient with them ;)
     
  18. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    We don't "deserve" any tutorials, we will have to make them ourselves. ISI does not have the resources to hold everyone's hand
    I do not think you're going to motivate many of us to help you by complaining about how crap the existing tutorials/readmes are and what you think we're entitled to. 95% of the tutorials or development resources we have came from the community.

    You presumably learned a fair bit about 3dsimed when you started out with that program. Now you will have to learn some basics about 3ds max. The plugins for example only work with the 32bit versions of 3ds max.

    Good luck getting the page ready. I'll be watching. ;)
     
  19. wgeuze

    wgeuze Registered

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    Just a tip, if I were a tutorial writer who is reading your posts, this would be enough for me to say, **** it. I'm not going to spend my time on this guy. Just saying, this stuff goes both ways. If you don't want to spend the time, don't expect other people to :)

    Ouch :p

    @Ethone,
    Fully agree on that post.

    @Spaskis
    These videos are, atleast to me, legendary, and I hold them to very high regard. They are done by 3Dbuzz, guys which have been at it for a long time, and for a reason. They are aimed to a very broad audience from total beginner to advanced user, as their pace also shows. There's always an expert, and the 'narrator' of the video, as you will, who, especially in the earlier videos, plays the role of the beginner asking typical questions which most writers of tutorials take for granted. If you have the time, I sincerely recommend these, to anyone, as they are very informative, a pleasure to watch and listen to, to the point, and just plain good. Hard to beat these guys in what they do :)

    http://www.3dbuzz.com/training/view/legacy-series-3ds-max
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2013
  20. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Thanks for your comments. When i wrote deserve, I refer that we need them and that the work we do for our own fun and for others to enjoy should be somehow facilitated. Working for free stops being nice when you need to overcome big difficulties by yourself and other benefitted parties that could help are not willing to collaborate.

    I would like isi to collaborate for sure (help when needed) since their knowledge can be highly required. I am willing to lead this project (doing tutorials and collecting others with their authors permission) with all the work which involves if that way I get to learn the knowledge I actually lack of. Probably some others would benefit from it and the whole rfactor community would be enriched.

    However, the fact is that I will need help from you and without that help the project will for sure be a failure.

    The main reason I made my track converting tutorial was to thank Dave Noonan and gelp him promoting 3dsimed for the interest he showed and the help provided with my first rf2 conversion.

    Enviado desde mi GT-I9505 usando Tapatalk 2
     

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