WIP Beta released A new *CITY* map - LOS INJURUS 2021-06-21

The large city of Los Injurus welcomes you with an update!

  1. MPL78

    MPL78
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    Bob,

    Looks great as always and can't wait until the next Patreon email!

    Don't forget about the traffic light bug too.
     
  2. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Detailing the highway is done up to the tunnel entrance. The part beyond I won't make quite as detailed, but this gives this a really realistic look. I will have more detailing patterns done in the future, but for now, each one of those darker areas of concrete is it's own decal. There's 100's of them in just a one mile stretch of road, each one meticulously placed by hand. IT TOOK HOURS.

    That said, the end result is entirely worth it; and when it's striped it'll really be immersive to drive down with traffic. The shot(s) below are an area I worked on grading and adding in. I changed the grading and hill crest (of the wider road) position to better suit a truck possibly coming up the side of the mountain/hill/lump/whatever, keeping the grade consistent so you can find a gear and just stay in it for the duration of the climb. That said, it's pretty steep and despite the frequent curves, the highway will definitely be the better option. The shots below also now have road textures, just basic stuff but it's a start. I will try to get these striped before the beta goes out, but can only promise the highway gets it striping before the beta. If I have the extra hour or two, I'll get to these.

    With all this new infrastructure, I will have plenty of places to put modern California / Mediterrainean (SIC) style homes around here, and some businesses and industries, farming/vinyards and the like. Vinyard models will be sourced from the Italy map, as there's not enough use of them to warrant a change to a custom model when the in-game one will work fine (I will go over it to reduce draw calls and customize render distance specifications though, I can be very very good at keeping draw calls down when I try to). You will surely find plenty of places around here for some air-time in the vehicle without even truly meaning to leave the road in the first place, and these plentiful grade changes and hill-crests will definitely aid you in your quest to mimic bird flight - until the inevitable landing and crash, wheels coming off and all, of-course. But that's what this game is about, isn't it? We cannot neglect the main mission objective here, not for a moment, not now, not ever; for this is FUN.
    The last picture is include for comparison to yesterday's / last post's shot of the same area (further out). The road with the big jump I mentioned that goes over the bridge is more consistently graded near the far end (from the camera) now, and will handle high-speeds a little more predictably now.
    --That is all.
    My mower's still not done. It's going to be days... my poor lawn :( THIS WAS NOT IN THE SCRIPT!
    On a brighter note, I'll never want for living in a rain forest anymore...
     
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  3. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    THANK YOU for reminding me about the traffic lights!!! I might have forgotten - in fact I haven't touched it yet. I'll drop the graphic in and clear cache, fire up the game & switch to LOW graphics, then shut it down, restart it and load the map. Then I will be able to do a good test on low detail. Keep mesh detail high if you don't want the map looking ugly though - there's a lot of pieces that disappear fast if you fly over the map (if you drive, it's mostly fine if a tad imperfect yet, typical alpha/beta stuffs). I will make sure to check the signs and the lights before I ship this beta out.
    I DO read the last few pages of posts (here!) before shipping the beta, just in the event I promised something I can either make sure it's all set or put a release note saying 'that didn't make it yet', etc. My memory has been made A LOT worse by some of the meds I take for all kinds of physical-health related things such as but not limited to: inflammation, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, burning nerve pain, diet pills, a rotten gut, etc. I'm up to 7 different kinds of pills plus 2 or 3 benedryl every morning. Gotta love it. Surprised I haven't eaten a hole through my stomach yet. So yeah, my memory got trashed completely by it.
    Luckily I still know things ingrained into my mind that I do often, such as slapping the computer tower when it's bad, 3D-modeling and Beamng mapping - usually some combination there-of, that stuff is doing just fine. I don't slap the computer actually, I'd probably damage my hand as it's rather heavy, but I'd love to sometimes... especially with Windows 10.
    I want my Windows 2000 Professional back, Microshaft, or at-least Windows 7 Pro, those two were absolutely positively perfect. Those two were so functional that nothing's ever topped it for productivity, short of bailing to Unix/Linux, and very clean looking without all these gaudy picture tiles and fancy unnecessary decorations. I'm not 3 I don't need a picture book (tiles in Windows 8.0), I can read thank-you, I like words as they tell me what the heck I'm clicking on. Sorry. Rant lives matter.


    Shouldn't be too long on the beta, in-fact I got the other section of concrete highway on the other end of the tunnel detailed properly. It just needs striping (like the rest of the new stuff). I only have 2~3 hours a night to work on my map in-stead of being able to cram 10+ hour days before the release since the lawn mower tried to go to heaven without me (IT DOESN'T LOVE ME ANYMORE! *cries a river and floods the map again*)... Maybe California needs the rain.

    This is starting to look properly done now. Just needs some random plant life (some will be auto-filled by the terrain engine like the grass is, eventually), and it needs it's striping and some more AI routing. I will be doing the AI routing so that the right lane will be a bit slower than the central & left two lanes of highway, and will be trying to keep vehicles from entering/exiting the highway from lanes other than the one directly adjacent to the on or off ramp. I've got some new tricks up my sleeve, and I tested them when I re-worked the AI at the cloverleaf (that you end up at when you keep going for two miles from where this picture was taken) and it really works quite well. I could have released it unfinished, but what good is it if bridges were missing, roads so uneven you can't drive on them or lacking textures altogether and no AI support??? So I will get striping on and AI in, on the same night likely. I MIGHT be able to finish tomorrow night but I really think I'll need until Sunday to get it done properly. Then it can be out for the new week. If cross-version testing or other testing in my editing version reveals bugs such as the stop signs or traffic lights or something else, it may delay it a day at most but otherwise it shouldn't be a problem. I often can fix bugs in mere minutes but sometimes I get a stumper that I absolutely cannot solve (without seriously damaging stuff when ripping apart the map desperately trying to fix something, costing me progress sometimes), then which I come back the next day and have it nicked in under 10 minutes without much ado. That's the best way to do it. I stopped rushing and making mess-ups, and giving things the time they need to make a properly prepared and finished release that you all deserve. When I rush things get messed up - the whole haste makes waste bit - but there is progress, if a bit slow... and I really honestly like how this new section flows/plays when driving around in the beater Pessima Bob-mobile. Plenty of new hills and curves to slide around on, things to jump off of (unintentional and intentional) and lots of other goodies to turn your unsuspecting run-of-the-mill Pessima into a Honda Accordion in no time flat.
    That said, I will make it up to all for the delay as I've got some good things that were almost done in my modeling pipe-line and some things I bought, which will really spruce up the place quite a bit. These things were almost done when the mower disassembled itself partly while in use (as I mentioned it trying to go to mower heaven - or mower hell - without me earlier), so that really messed things up, for that you all have my deepest apology. However, when an elderly family member who literally has no one else to turn to, needs you, you must be there. That's just how I roll.
    In the end though, you'll have a quality release in-stead of seriously buggy junk that might not even load.
    --That is all for tonight. More tomorrow night. Hoping to get my AI tests started tomorrow night.
     
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  4. geobeck

    geobeck
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    Do you have an ongoing relationship with your pharmacist? Or at least get all your meds from one pharmacy? My wife got to the point where she was on a large number of meds, and our pharmacist helped sort out a few drug interactions with her doctor. A couple of meds were prescribed by a different doc, so communication wasn't perfect. A pharmacist knows more about biochemistry than almost any doctor--their degree takes as long as an MD, but focuses on pharmacology, so they're highly specialized, and can often find interactions a doctor might miss.

    Not saying that it will make a difference in your specific case, but a lot of people miss that link in their medical team. I imagine you stay away from grapefruit. Somehow, that one food interferes with more medications than any other because it blocks one specific metabolic pathway in the liver. (Blood oranges too, but they have less of the problem chemical.)

    It never ceases to amaze me how your "starting to look properly done" would be "good enough, we release tomorrow, forget perfection" in a lot of software studios. You've set such a high bar for the game, the official maps look like early alphas by comparison. Hmm, well what do you know, the game is still in alpha, so I guess that's okay!

    I grabbed most of the resources for West Coast USA for one of my sandbox maps, and was surprised that most of the city in that map consists of single models that encompass entire blocks, rather than modeling individual buildings. I guess that reduces resource demand. Do you use that method at all, or are your buildings all individual models? (I was going to strip mine Los Injurus for resources, but it's just too much for a beginner sandbox!)

    Speaking of your resources, is your commercial content in a particular folder? I may eventually release a map, and I want to make sure I only use what's freely available.

    I understand that completely. That's why my family uprooted itself and moved 1300 km from Edmonton to Vancouver this year, taking me from being the safety guy in a welding shop to the safety guy in Canada's best chocolate factory!

    Looking forward to the next release. Now that I've solved one of my biggest challenges, I'll be taking even more inspiration from your world building.
     
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  5. Slugfest

    Slugfest
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    This won't impact performance, will it? Asking for a friend, who happens to be named GT-710 :)
     
  6. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    No, that doesn't effect anything really. The CPU load is minimal, and the graphical load is really next to nothing. There are already test areas with this (just one currently) and it is fine. They're decals / decal roads, easy render stuff.



    Half the highway is striped, or about that much. Have to do the surface roads in the area tomorrow night. Maybe I can get done early enough with my things tomorrow to finish it, but I doubt it. I really have to sleep if I intend to be doing what I am supposed to be doing tomorrow!
    Of course if it rains me out, I really won't be able to do some of my shop work, as the humidity will be too high, so I might just have a ton of time to work on this - not sure at the moment though.
    This map needs less than 8 hours of work to complete the next beta, and a good two to three hours to test it.
     
  7. geobeck

    geobeck
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    Hey Bob, I've got a question about striping. I assume you're layering up decals on top of decals.

    Do you set the zBias for each decal individually for each road, or do you have a system: base road is 010, wear marks are 020, lines are 050, etc.?
     
  8. geobeck

    geobeck
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    Found another opportunity to add my own little touch to this map. I was driving along the highway when I thought this slope looked too inviting to pass up.

    screenshot_2021-09-19_15-47-48.png

    I switched to a crawler, reached the top, but the downslope wasn't quite right, so I made some minor modifications:

    screenshot_2021-09-19_15-48-41.png screenshot_2021-09-19_15-49-49.png

    Painted it with rockydirt, and there's an alternative to the highway with a nice view.

    While I was up there, I noticed a shelf on the cliff that's on the right in the first pic, so I'm running a dirt track up there too. I know it will disappear in the next release, but it's a fun exercise to modify stuff like this.
     
  9. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    The commercial folder that has things not cleared for re-use by other modders is in /shapes/buildings/metrocity/commercial. The stuff in this folder, if re-uploaded/re-used by other users, can result in a DMCA take-down notice being posted by any number of authors who made the models/graphics/etc which I purchased for this map. Most things I purchase are royalty free and can be used in any way that does not compete with the original model offering (e.g. don't re-upload it and re-sell it as your own, that type of thing, generally considered a non-compete clause). The stuff that cannot be used is as-stated in the commercial folder. If you should find a model or building that needs such a texture, there's plenty of substitutes in the map or in stock maps (houses or buildings such as the fancy houses up on the hill in the nice development - Beaverly Hills as it's called on the spawn screen, these use commercial folder's stucco textures). Textures for models are linked to the MAP TO field in the texture indexes, so you can easily put another texture in there. You can use the materials.cs / main.materials.json files if you like, but just leave the textures and models in there alone otherwise.
    Everything I made, is in the main Metrocity or MRK folder (MRK for infrastructure stuff, Metrocity is the project code name for phase two of this map which is building the city and is where all my buildings of all shapes and sizes are). It's pretty organized in a way but in other ways is getting too big for it's britches so to speak (I know the feeling well), so it will likely get a MASSIVE directory structure overhaul one of these days when I feel like diving into the two-week-long "convert-textures and reorganize the 8gb+ map folder" tasks.
    I am working on a WIP map here with a WIP game. Nothing is perfect. However, I try to set a high bar out of respect for the community which has given so much - not just to me - but to all fans of the game with great mods and great ideas. It's an awesome game, even without a campaign - plenty to do and of-course the obligatory 'who doesn't love the Garry's Mod of cars?' appeal.
    However, I see differently than the authors of the game itself - I see a different goal. A stronger game engine capable of streaming, something that could run large maps and load/unload the assets on the fly like all modern game engines do. This game engine can't unload unused assets on the fly, it can only load them (usually when the map starts but sometimes later). Once you exceed this VRAM or system memory limit (depending on your system and GPU), you end up with 1/4th or 1/3rd the FPS (like sometimes over by the huge airport). So I am begging begging and more begging for this feature. Please help beg for it if you have the time. We need on-the-fly streaming in and out of objects so that unused objects aren't in VRAM, even if it causes a late draw or pop-in (vs a lag fest).
    I have dreamed of doing exactly what I am doing and how I am doing it over around THIRTY YEARS now. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to get in my way of making the best thing I possibly can, even if it takes half a decade! It's also something I enjoy, too, so that always helps things. I don't have ADHD/ADD or something like that, so I don't leave tasks unfinished if I can help it. This helps me keep mapping and not give up or get tired of it (no offense for those who have it, you can master it though and control it if you're strong enough and use it to your advantage to multi-task).
    Remember, I'm not just making Los Injurus City for everyone else, I am making it for me too. I enjoy this map just like many of you do (I hope!, If not please make me aware of it & why!), so I enjoy making new areas as if I was making it for GTA SA back in the day. I enjoyed that game and it is a lot of inspiration for how this map flows and is designed. I played that one MUCH, MUCH more than any other GTA and I don't feel that any IV or V has even come close to character development or map design like they had in GTA SA. There's just some magic to that one, and it really inspired the design of a lot of things in this map. However, I stop far short of plagiarism or blatantly copying things from other games - that's not my style. If I cannot make it and no one has contributed it, I purchase it when I am able from one of several places on the internet. As I've said before, this certainly won't be finished overnight, but when it's done it will be a heck of a lot of fun.
    Oh, and my pills aren't interacting with one another, they already watch for that automatically and so does my doctor (she's pretty good with that!). Grapefruit and some oranges have a chemical compound in them that can cause you to up-take more of the medication than normal, causing a higher than intended dose, which may not last as long as without ingesting the foods mentioned. Many medications are taken that are only absorbed to the tune of 5% by the body, and those foods cause a (sometimes massive) increase in this, which can cause all sorts of problems. I avoid those foods when possible, as I don't want to know what will happen if I do not avoid those foods. Bad things. Enough bad stuff happens without that, so let's not pile on more to the steaming pile that is my physical health right now...
    The buildings in my map are all individual and generally will NOT be grouped unless it's good for draw calls (if they share a LOT of surfaces such as windows and other architectural details that are very complicated to render). I generally keep things individual so that it's much easier to piece the city together in the editor where I can immediately test my work at any moment's notice. West Coast USA used-to be all one giant building model, with all-one-giant road model too. They fixed that after I told them about it (yes, I did) and why it slowed down the map. Now the map is WAY better with the buildings grouped by block. You can split them up easily enough in a modeling program such as Blender or Houdini Indie version (both 'free' but can't use Houdini Indie for 100k + income commercial application or large company). I made my entire city as modular as possible so that it cuts down on the size on disk and the size in VRAM by not storing as much redundant data (such as identical lights, bridges, intersections, so-forth) in the models - which can REALLY add up. If I took my city and made it one big model, it would need a good 20gb or more of video memory. We don't have that yet. Until we do, I am pretty limited - heck I have to run this on medium unless I want some serious slow-downs by the big airport, as I 'only' have an 8GB GPU. I don't plan on updating the GPU anytime soon though, but if anyone wants to trade a Radeon VII 16gb for my 2070 Super 8gb EVGA model (no coil whine!), I am totally open to that as I need the extra VRAM.


    It rained, it poured, and my paint refuses to dry. So yeah, I had time to map for some hours, yay!

    Decided to add the opposite side ramps for this interchange in the mountains here. A bit long and drawn-out literally, but still, will be handy to have as I found it was needed while testing. This will be easy access for the housing developments, farms, wineries, and the like out here. The road leading to the ramp isn't 100% perfect yet but it's perfectly driveable never-the-less
    More striping is done include a whole interchange and almost half the freeway as stated earlier. I got some more of the interchange done since I last posted, too
    The decal roads are set according to the render order. I don't generally use bias unless there's an issue. You used-to have to set it, but it's mostly a left-over from before they had proper layering of roads. Lower number decal roads are a higher priority and will draw over-top of higher numbered decal roads in the priority box. Also, don't use solid / non-translucent materials such as those meant for meshes and then try to layer things over-top of it with decal road tools. Problems happen and there ends up with a conflict while rendering. There's essentially two types of textures, solid mesh texture, and translucent decal road textures. You can see which is which when you open up the texture indices and see 'translucent = 0' for mesh or 'translucent = 1' for decal road textures (or translucent textures like railings and windows you can see through, small grass plants that appear randomly on the terrain, and that sort of thing).
    Oh, and I don't think you have to worry about that modification you made with regard to the hill between the highway, that part isn't touched, but areas adjacent to it are (1st shot you showed, on the left of the highway some is changed but not much near there). Eventually there will be a road over the mountain up to Captain Bunsen Burner's evil laboratory building, because every map needs a mad scientist lair.
    .
     
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  10. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    I replaced the sign models that were broken and upgraded the traffic lights file to a new version that's larger than previously (it used to be 3 pixels tall and quite wide as the model's texture 'jumped along' every second or two to make the lights work). This way, folks using lower quality texture details (which shrinks graphics by 50% each X and Y direction, making them ¼ of the size for medium; for low it makes then ¼ of the size in the X or Y direction, causing them to be somewhere along one 16th the size of the original). Models however stay the same size but might drop to lower LOD's if mesh detail is lowered and graphic detail is set low enough. Please do not ever lower mesh detail as it won't really help performance too much, and it really makes the map look terrible on lower model detail, but adjusting the texture detail levels as needed can be just fine. Please adjust texture (not model) detail lower if things get slow for you, especially out by the airport, even if you have an 8gb video card*.
    The issue with the lights not working is caused by shrinking and merging pixels on a 3 pixel wide graphic for lower than medium graphics. This also speeds things up because then it's not processing a non-power-of-2 texture, though that may be negligible on improvement for FPS.
    If they should still be broken (after trying to clear cache, that's important as the cache models are the one the game engine displays, and it won't always 'see' or notice the change!), then I would like to hear from you AFTER the next beta this week / this weekend. I should have it done any day now as I'm almost done with my real-life Mr. Fixit tasks too. I got a lot more done on the map than I thought I would, as I really didn't want to rush things and release something that's "cream of the cr@p" VS cream of the crop.
    Short book of a post today to let you know I'm still working hard on this, but a storm is coming so I have to cut this short.
    Thank-you for your understanding.
    *8GB video cards getting slow near the large airport is because the VRAM runs out, due to the complexity of the tunnel (which is 100~200mb in size per section, but was cut down from 3.5~4gb originally).
    This issue will be fixed, I have it mostly done but the models are not yet integrated. This was helped by removing the guide rails as they're more than half the model detail.
     
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  11. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Super-duper zoomed out view from the editor (note: bridges disappear this far away, but all bridges needed have been built). The little purple cursor on the right lower section of the 2nd shot shows where the concrete 4 lane highway ended and the dark pavement (two lane per side) began - now it's 3 lanes over the mountain and through the tunnel with two whole new interchanges. I have almost finished the striping. I would reckon I only need one more night on this (possibly two, if bugs persist or I do not have time to finish the next time I work on it).
    I only have AI and it's associated testing to do, plus some edging on the roadways. I've already worked the terrain over nicely in most places (blending the roads in, making sure they have the right color & traction underneath, as that's what you see from far away in this shot unless the mapper tells the roadway not to fade out at distance), and I've done most of the other odds and ends that needed done. There might be a little terrain adjustment yet to do but it's relatively minor.

    When this beta goes live, remember to clear your cache first (and give the thing 5+ minutes time on first load to sort itself out making new cache files, as this map is monstrous; subsequent loads should be as fast as usual however as it only has to write cache files on first load), this way all the new or fixed models can be used properly and will show up as they're supposed to, removing any bugs from the last version that otherwise would carry over.
    So yes, it's all starting to come together nicely now. Took long enough!
    Edit:

    The highway is quite fun to drive with all those curves, can't wait to continue this highway (there will be a lot of this!). I truly mean it when I say so, I try to make each section better than the last. I'm not just making this for all of you, as I've said so many times, I'm also making this for me - because I enjoy it as much as you folks do.
     
    #1991 bob.blunderton, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  12. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Road striping is 95% done. Building, striping & detailing the highway is pretty much done (for this beta). Building, grading surface roads is pretty much done (for this beta).
    Road edging is about 50% done - the highway has been completely done but only about 1/3rd of the surface roads added or revamped have been edged where needed. This'll take an hour or two.
    AI is only 15% done. The rest (of this) needs to be done before the beta can go out as AI support is one of the most-requested hallmarks of this game's map mods. This shouldn't take more than a 2 hours to install and about the same to test. I might be able to finish that tomorrow night. Just glad tomorrow night will be a cool night as it gets VERY hot in here VERY fast when I full AI tests with 25 vehicles or so, the central AC units (we have two commercial units) can't fight the heat of this computer going full-tilt on an AI test. Since the vulkan renderer was added in 0.23, and the directX bottle-neck was removed or somewhat alleviated to put it more correctly, it allows the CPU to work harder. Basically, it turned things up from scorch to burn for me, and I don't fancy being BBQ'ed alive.
    Stop sign bug is confirmed fixed (same for bugs affecting any other signs which were all seen as signs that were half-buried in the ground with no post).
    Haven't tested the traffic light bug, but considering I was the one who suggested the fix to the developers about two or more years back (near or just before I started building this city in 2018), it's very likely that copying the fix over into my folder from the game (which I did do) should fix the issue (which likely requires clearing cache when you run the next update for the first time, same with the stop sign bug).
    I added a few dozen more signs, not just more turn chevrons either. All stop signs and yield signs required are now installed. More signs are still needed but those will likely come after the next beta.
    I haven't added any gantry signs (the ones that span the highway which are almost entirely absent in my map! yes I know this!) here because I am not 100% sure what will all be around the exits. When I have the interchange areas and nearby stuff filled in more (like near the default spawn is), then I can add more of those green highway signs on gantries or at the side of the highway (and now you know why they're only found near the default spawn).

    The new areas are a bit barren and the roads may harbor a small bump here or there but nothing too serious. I already smoothed them out fairly well but obviously with beta territory it might not be 100% perfect. Road edging will be done 'as I have time' either before or after the beta except around on/off ramp areas (interchanges). AI and quality control (and that last little bit of road striping) are the only requirements to be done before beta upload. I did get more done tonight than I thought I would, so this is nicely on-track to come out before the weekend.
     
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  13. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Road striping is done.
    AI work has been started, all bridges and tunnels in the new area now have AI. I'd reckon that about 1/4th to 1/3rd of the AI work in the new section is done. I am very VERY tired (literally can't stay awake) so I will finish up the rest of it and have time to test it tomorrow (hoping I will, anyway). Then it should be good to go.
    There's a short temporary section of highway at the end of this phase of improvement, where it now meets the darker pavement of the old (2016~2017) highway from Socal map version. It's plenty driveable but it will be changed the next time I update the highway. I really need construction barrels for this (I have them, I just haven't imported them into the map yet, there may be some in the WCA sources too). Do expect a bump or two on temporary sections, as that'd be normal and again it's just my effort to join the old to the new so people can drive the loop properly. I don't like to leave sections disconnected for no good reason when I could spend an hour or two making them connect and then the map plays much better.
    Other than that, the traffic light bug mentioned before should be fine now. I will double check but I am sure you folks can keep me posted when the beta gets out.
    It's looking like 'some time Friday' the supporter beta will come out. Whenever my very slow (and throttled!) internet decides to get done with it.
    Do not report the gas station texture (around the gas island bases and building curb) that does not work, it's an ECA model and it will be replaced with a custom model or at-least quite changed before too long, so I haven't bothered with it as it's somewhat hard to notice.

    Some spots are more crude or unfinished than others. Sorry about that. However, that said, ALL is driveable and should be pretty smooth, and the highway sections improved with this update are super-fun to drift if you're into that. Even if you're not into drifting, unless you go the speed limit, you'll probably be doing some drifting anyways even if you haven't chosen to do so deliberately.
    I will close today by saying it's a blast and I'll definitely be producing a LOT more of exactly what's coming in this update. I love building it, and I love driving on it when it's done - and bringing others hours of enjoyment and a de-stresser from a hard days work is just the icing on the proverbial cake. So I really hope you guys will enjoy this considering it's almost 20 days late - will try not to have that happen again.
    Having a life is over-rated. I'd rather not (have a life outside of the PC, with the way things are going) but I'm the only one left who can fix (almost) everything. Thankfully winter is around the corner and in another month or two we'll be hiding inside a lot more often, so that means more time to map & more progress making fun stuffs for the rest of you.
    EDIT:
    Added the dirt road, which the AI will be aware of, but won't often choose to go on it. Should be pretty entertaining when they hit the low spots carved out by runoff. Passable with a car if you take it easy.
     
    #1993 bob.blunderton, Sep 23, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
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  14. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Ouch ouch ouch... just got a chance to sit down here at about 5 minute til 8pm, so it won't be out in the morning tomorrow. I will try to get the map done tomorrow morning and early afternoon so I can upload it during the evening and get it out (hopefully) by Saturday morning (or as soon as it finishes). If I get it started by dinner time it shouldn't be out later than noon the next day due to very slow upload.
    Thought I'd have time to finish that tonight but didn't happen, mower fought me tooth and nail to the very last bolt. BUT, it runs better than it ever has, and way better than any time I took it for a tune-up to someone else. It's got a small vibration somewhere on the deck BUT it's a million times better than it was (I think I can fix the vibration issue with a few more washers on the suspension bolts to keep it from doing the shimmy shimmy shake as much). It even cuts in a LEVEL manner, something it hasn't done since... 2013/2014? It used to vibrate so much my ash tray fell out of the cup holder a few times. Doesn't do that any more. Basically everything attached to the 54" deck is brand new now... it took a good week or two to fix, being that I painted it and all after grinding off all the paint with a wire wheel on the bottom and a large part of the top too, and gave it two coats of rubberized solidifying under-coating after two coats of rustoleum's best (does not remain tacky, dries like paint, good for pickup beds and not easily scraped off, these mowers come from the factory like that). The top has 3 coats of paint and two coats of gloss*. It almost matches the mower, it's a tad darker BUT it is way better than rust, and it's the closest thing the store had. What's the best part? It actually CUTS the grass now, in-stead of just hamster-punching it to death. The old blades were duller than butter knives. If it can do that much good for an almost 10 year old mower, I am sure it can spruce up your's too & fully recommend it if you have the time, the place, and the means/knowledge to do so.
    I'm not supposed to be doing physical labor, here, or anywhere, that includes repairing things - but as I said previously I am the only one that knows how. I can use the exercise too, but all through it my body was in agony and I almost collapsed a few times after standing up too fast. The pain was nothing compared to what I have now though... oh dear - wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
    That said, if I do take the day off from physical labor tomorrow, I will have extra time for working on the map, but will make time in the mid-day regardless to at-least finish it up and get it uploaded as it's way overdue. However, that said, this update has quite a bit in it & hopefully it will make folks fairly happy. I hope so anyway.
    If it is not complete by at-least 9pm tomorrow, I will be packaging and uploading it anyway, and upload 'a fix' for it (a patch) when it gets completed. It's been far too long.
    ...and now back to my regularly scheduled AGONY (no pity please, this is par for the course, I deserve it for taking so long to get this map out).

    *My paint job sucks royally, most folks could do a better paint job if they painted only with their rump, but it'll stop the rust & look okay, and the mechanical work is plenty good enough... that's about all that matters. It also saved us from having to buy a new 700~800$ mower deck PLUS another 200$ of hardware that goes onto it, that wouldn't include the paint or or parts but I *THINK* they come pre-painted. All in, it's somewhere around 10 days to 2 weeks time and 200~250$ or so total. That's a savings of around 700$, and no labor fees and better yet no having to haul it on a trailer around town. That's quite a bit of savings, and maybe it'll help me keep the lights on over here.

    That is all, just thought I'd touch base with you folks and let you know. It will be uploaded tomorrow night regardless if it's done or not, but it might not finish until noon the next day, or there-about. It will be checked every other hour or so (unless I'm sleeping) so as soon as it's done, you will have the email if you're a Patreon member / supporter of the project OR if you contributed something in the past (contributor emails or messages depending on how you're contacted can take up to 48 hours post-release, though if you want it right away get on the Patreon if you have the means, for those on direct message it's usually almost instant as those take mere seconds to type out and send).
    I will also finally have time to check the message notification thing and respond to folks questions, complaints, and so-forth, and any private messages sent. Sorry I've been too busy to get to that, so expect those to all be answered by Monday or Tuesday at the very latest, there's over 70 of them now.

    EDIT: Stayed up a bit though very very tired - got all the road edging done (so it looks somewhat real as the asphalt blends to grass or other natural terrain). Took a bit over two hours, not quite three.
    Also fixed some of the bumps over by the new police dept & warehouse buildings, where the road slope was not graduated but suddenly started/stopped, sending the vehicle flying and causing quite a bit of damage. I hadn't finished enough of that area up and thus didn't get that done before the last beta shipped out. It's fine now. No more random invisible car launcher in the middle of the road - there's already enough stuff to launch vehicles off of here.
    Only the AI routes (25%~33% is done already in the new areas) + full / heavy AI testing has to be done. Thankfully it cooled down outside and is only hitting 70~75F max over the next 5 days to a week or so. I am quite thankful to get rid of the 85~95F and 100% humidity weather we've been sweltering to all summer. Can't get outside work done easily in that without overheating one's self, and I have to be very careful of that.
    No fun getting roasted out of the room the computer is in because the AC lost a fight with the heat-belching PC. I am very very thankful I am able to test the AI when it comes down to it, an old quad core just won't cut it anymore.

    Computer build advice posted for new folk's convenience:
    For using lots and lots of AI, get a 6 core 12 thread chip, it's the best bang for the buck while still having enough cores. Try and get an 8-core chip if you can even if it's one generation older, but 6c/12t is plenty good enough for 95% of folks and likely still more than needed for a majority of those same people. Make sure to get a half decent 30$~50$ air cooler on intel chips to go with it so that it does not throttle, same for AMD chips that come without the cooler (many of the chips 399$ and lower come with one already that is competent enough). I don't recommend liquid or water cooling unless you're quite experienced, but it does keep temps up decent. The best route is to find a really good 30~40$ air cooler and dump the rest of money saved (not spent on liquid coolers) into the GPU/CPU. No sense spending a ton extra for an overclocking computer when you could have just bought a better CPU that won't BBQ you as thanks for the effort.
    You don't need a snazzy GPU to run this map. 4gb GPU will likely run fine on medium detail, but high detail textures can use over 8gb of GPU memory (VRAM), so be mindful if things slow down after some time and switch those texture details down a notch. A 1gb~2gb may be able to run things on lowest or low (respectively), but you can test this for yourself as it is not official.
    16gb of system memory is usually just fine for most all BeamNG maps, unless you're going to purchase more than an 8 core CPU, using all those AI vehicles used-to use over 16gb in 2019, but I haven't checked memory use since then as it might be better now.
    Please keep mesh (model) detail maxed, the map is made with that in mind and will look & run great unless you have a really, really old (core 2 duo) CPU.
    Doesn't matter if you buy AMD or intel, just make sure you can keep the CPU cool, and that it has enough cores to run all the vehicles you desire VS what you can afford. Think two AI vehicles per core when you have a 4ghz (nominal / close to it) CPU. Laptop processors usually can only do one vehicle per core, but I don't recommend heavily using AI for long periods on a laptop as you could shorten it's lifespan if it is not designed as a gaming laptop. Plugging into AC wall power helps keep speeds up, too.
    This map is designed with reduced draw calls in mind, which should keep speeds up for almost everyone. If you know what you're doing, use the experimental vulkan renderer if possible especially when using a lot of cars as this will reduce the impact of one CPU core doing all the rendering. Vulkan splits render/draw calls between a few CPU cores VS just one with Direct X 11, and really really helps with very detailed and/or very large maps.
     
    #1994 bob.blunderton, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  15. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    I should have no issue finishing up the AI tonight and testing it until the PC roasts me out of this room. I will then upload it by midnight tonight after heavy testing. So expect a notification when it's done & available. My internet is 1mbps~3mbps on a good day so it'll take A WHILE, it could take a full day if it is really slow. So just in-case you get worried, just know it'll be there for you to enjoy soon.
     
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  16. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    I am currently putting the finishing touches on this beta. I will be testing for an hour or two, or however long I feel I need to ensure things are working correctly (within reason!) and has no serious flaws present.
    I will upload this beta shortly after, and sometime tomorrow (hopefully it won't be Sunday) it'll be done and I can send it out. I have absolutely no clue what-so-ever how long it will take.
    AI work is 95% done. I only have to do the outside-most lane of the 3-lane sections of the highway - a mile or two each direction. That shouldn't take more than mere minutes.
    I will then restart the game engine to test, hopefully I didn't mess it up (much).

    One day I'll actually fix those bridge LOD's to kick in later. The 'dark' areas running the length of the asphalt lanes mark where the AI will go, for the most part.
    For the record, in the picture below where it is highlighted RED (and the opposing lanes) is a TEMPORARY connection to the OLD highway that dates back to SoCal in 2016/2017. This will be subject to change, and doesn't have lane markings currently as it would be a waste of time to put them in. This area will change next time I do some more highway improvement in phases like I've been doing.

    Don't worry, the entrance/exit ramps here will stay in some shape/form, but the concrete end of it here where it meets the highway obviously will be subject to some change, too.

    --That is all.

    EDIT: Seems to work great in 0.23!

    Testing has concluded that this beta is in satisfactory condition and all is good to go!
    I will be starting the upload in a few minutes. It could take 10 hours - it could take 24 hours - who knows, but luckily the weather is fairly clear and cool! I had to shut the window as the blinds were soaked with condensation* between this computer's heat and the cool 45~50F degree air coming in. Perfect night for AI testing, this is the warmest room in the house now and the cats are bunking up in here for comfort.
    Patreon project backers (supporters) will get the notification as soon as I see it's done. Contributors will follow shortly after (this is staggered usually, also to keep the file server from going full-tilt).

    If anyone's got a 3000-series Threadripper, I'd like to know how much traffic they can run on it under Vulkan graphics renderer (a beta would be provided). The new 5000 series Threadripper chips (if they call it that) should be even quicker than the pretty darn good 3000 series due to less lag time (less 'hops' and less latency) on L3 shared cache and system ram access (benefit of Ryzen 4000 [OEM] and 5000 series cores).
    The reason I ask about the Threadripper is I know someone considering one. Let me know if you have one and would volunteer to test this out. They're way out of my league on price but they really are unstoppable chips once you get past the rather not-for-gaming lack-luster 1000 or 2000 series Threadripper chips (those are more for science, research or modeling stuff and so-forth, but the newer 3000/5000 and up series can game with the best).

    *All that moisture condensing from hot air vs cold air, I didn't want a thunderstorm in here!
     
    #1996 bob.blunderton, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
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  17. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Beta links are live for Patreon members as of NOW, just sent it out.
    THANK YOU for your support - and also for your patience.
     
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  18. sinsforeal

    sinsforeal
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    Hey Bob so I read that you use vulkan instead of dx11. I was just wondering how you managed to get it to work? For me on a 5950x I feel like performance is slightly degraded. I have windows 1809 and the latest bios for my CPU was there anything else you had to do to get it working better ?

    edit : I managed to get it working don't know what I did different but it works today and runs better than dx11. So with my 5950x and 3200 mhz ram I am getting about 11 fps with 40 cars spawned in your map. Assuming it would scale with more cores since we are using vulkan now perhaps a 3990x would get maybe 4x that? Maybe less since I noticed that it was using only 70 percent of my cpu and even when I lowered it to 30 cars it was still using 70 so it wasn't quite using everything but I would think maybe 25-40 fps with a 3990x with 40 cars assuming it scales the proper way. Also for some reason in vulkan the water seems to flicker whilst in dx11 is doesn't don't know if that is something you perhaps also experience.
     
    #1998 sinsforeal, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  19. silvermanblu

    silvermanblu
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    So Bob. I had some very limited time to rip around the new flood channels. Easily one of my favorite aspects of the map. I noticed something that is sorely missing.... Los Injurus has had a pretty rough past. The flood channels could do with some graffiti and debris. Old couches and burnt out car chassis, that type of thing. I have tons of other ideas but I don't want to flood the thread. So keep it up, it is one of my favorite maps
     
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  20. sinsforeal

    sinsforeal
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    Seems like the ai is having some difficulty at this bit xD
     
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