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International Competitive Racing Mod Development Thread

Mystical

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Preface

I don't usually do this with my projects (actually never in my entire NR2003 modding history) but I am going to be open on this one. Before everyone starts jumping all over the walls let me temper your expectations, please don't make me regret doing this. I am not and will not be the next Cup 2020 mod creator or whatever, if you are looking for an official Nascar Series mod creator I'm not the one to do it sorry. There is a reason why many modders don't publicly reveal their development of work becasue it usually turns into a fight over requests, when is the mod coming out, and people being 'disappointed' like we saw with the NXS19 mod thread and I don't want to deal with that. I'll gladly ask a moderator to close and shut this thread down if it gets that.

I am making this open becasue this mod will essentially be a Pandora's box of opportunity and as I build it I would like to show the process as I go along with maybe motivating others to make their own mods. You may not like what I am making but it might allow you to see how a mod can be made and make your own as a result.

So yes, if you have probably noticed the past few days I had been 'testing' mod creation:
http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/nr2003-screenshot-and-video-thread.45838/page-365#post-877621
http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/nr2003-screenshot-and-video-thread.45838/page-365#post-878002
http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/nr2003-crash-shot-video-thread.58432/page-73#post-877897

The ultimate goal was a proof of concept so I knew how to hopefully make a real mod after I was sure I could pull it off. I am now confident that at this point I am ready to jump in. I know how to get custom models/texture in the game, damage, lods, and custom flap deployment working. Pretty much all of the core stuff. My biggest issues has been the scripting stuff, its my weakest thing when making mods for games. I am very confident when it comes to models and textures and graphics (basically anything visual) but the behind the scenes hookup stuff always has scared me lol.

I want this to be public so others who may be interested in this mod can follow along, provide input, and if/when the time comes help out with testing. So what is this mod all about? Well look below to find out.

Time to make a mod

The International Competitive Racing mod (currently a placeholder name, may change) is a mod directed towards those who like to paint fictionals and also create fictional manufacturer templates. This is pretty much a painters paradise mod as I like to put it where you can create your own series with their own manufacturers with ease having friendly templates and body shapes that allow easy to apply manufacture textures to make whatever you reasonably want for a stock car. Just like I always do stuff I make this will indeed be a fictional stock car mod. I don't know if we've ever had a fictional mod made as many are made replicating real car bodies but that is not the goal with this mod.

I've personally been wanting a mod that allowed easier fictional template creation. Over the years the real life counterpart Nascar series have gotten more complex and focus nose/rear parts towards each manufacturer. As a result it has made it increasingly difficult for fictional series creators to keep trying to shove that Pontiac on a Toyota nose for example:



I tried to get a Pontiac on say the latest cup 2019 mod and kinda make some template but realized if I'm going to want to go back to the days of having the templates look exactly how I want its going to require an entire mod so thats why we are here.

Some of my favorite mods to paint on were the default Gen4, BR2012, NXS13, and Gen6BR 15 mods. I pretty much want to bring the fun back to the fictional side of things. I've already made fictional tracks for my series so might as well have a fictional mod at this point too.

Goals of this mod

While I am building this mod I have specific goals I do want to hit, they are after all the ultimate reason I even want to make this mod in the first place.

To get a good idea of the goals for this mod here is a breakdown:
  • Car body noses and rears will not be super complex shapes which will allow easy template manufacturer creation. Each body will have slightly different shapes (round, flat, etc) so different manufacturers that generally gravitate towards a certain shape will look best on those bodies.
  • Templates will be configurable so layers such as the default manufacturers that are planned to come with this mod can be turned off and replaced by whatever you'd like to add.
  • Mod will resemble a modern Gen6/7 stock car in Nascar Cup/Xfinity series but is not planned to exclusively be an exact 1:1 replica of those design choices (see below for spec details). Mod will have its own features, style, and custom series expectations. This is not a NASCAR mod but an International Competitive Racing (name subject to change) mod which will have its own sticker logo, body specs, rules etc.
  • A mod everyone who likes painting fictionals cars and creating a fictional series can enjoy either online with friends or offline. Those who do like real paint schemes are welcome to recreate those on this mod but this mod is not meant to be a Monster Cup 2020 for example.
====================================================================
Introducing the International Competitive Racing Mod

Currently the mod is in pre-alpha stage. What this means is everything is still subject to change and the current look of the mod is not final yet. I have modeled the 'core' body at a moderate poly count at this point which will be used as the template for the 4 body makes:






For display purposes the windows were cutout so you could get a general shape but they will not actually look extruded inwards like that for the mod. Model has not been refined so it is still in a very blocky shape, the nose for example will be more smoother.

Body specifications

While I am making a stock car I would like to be very clear this isn't a Cup 2020 but just different nose and rear. It will be its own stock car with its own likeness but I did want to resemble the current Nascar bodies at their core at the very least. So far this is what I know I want this mod to look like:
  • Body will have some characteristics from Gen 4 and Gen 6
  • Roof will be more flat compared to the Gen6
  • Rear Decklid will be larger compared to the Gen6
  • Tire Fenders will not flare out as far and be more minimal from sides of the car
  • Larger quarter panel section so logos placed will be big and able to have less distortion caused by tire fenders
  • Shark fin design will be custom
  • Rear Spoiler design will be custom
  • Roof and Hood flaps will be present, an additional flap may be included on the decklid section as well
  • Rear of car will not be canted but exactly symmetrical unlike the Gen 6.
  • Middle section of car body will be the same for each 4 makes in terms of geometry. The front and rear bumper areas will be the only area that each make will differ in design (not counting template decals)


Development, timeline, and helping out


I've been away from doing NR2003 for awhile and just came back like no less than a week and a half ago and decided to just try and make this mod. I am very excited at this point in time to try and do this. Please understand things in life can/could get in the way in the future and I might have to pause development or just completely stop. Right now I don't want to of course and I'm going to go as far as I can so please be patient. I will try to be as transparent as I can in the development and if things get busy I will try to let you know if the mod goes on hold so no one is left wondering.

As far as timeline goes there is no planned time to get this done, it'll be done when I am satisfied with the results and quality. I have modeled much harder stuff than a car for NR2003 before (like my Skyrim/Fallout 4 mods) so that is not the challenge. It really relies on what NR2003 will let me do and keeping things reasonable. I can't promise this mod will be on the same quality level of say the SRD Xfinity and MENSCS 2019 mods but I'm going to try and make my mod the best I can with detail and paintable part options.

When it comes to helping out the team currently stands at 1 (me). I have always liked to do things on my own and at this point in development I don't need any current help so just sit back and enjoy the ride. To breakdown what is covered take a look:

Custom Models: Covered
Custom Textures: Covered
Scripting/compiling: Covered
Testing: Covered
3DS Max Render Scenes/Carviewer X files: Not Covered

The only parts I may need help later down the road on the actual mod itself is in orange with the scripting but right now after completing the proof of concept mod I know at this point how to get all the mod assets in the game. If I try and do more complex stuff I may need to reach out to some of the great modders in the community for help. When we get to testing while it won't be totally closed doors but I really do only want to employ the best. What I mean by best are those in the community I trust. These are people who have been around for awhile, have proven they give quality feedback, and are not just here to 'beta' test so they can play with a mod.

Once the mod is actually done I will need to find an experienced 3DS Max Render scene specialist or carviewer creator (unless I can figure out how to convert my 3dos to that format). This is an extra step for the community so they can have a render scene as I personally do not use 3ds max to render stuff but I know the majority of the community does so I'd like to provide those files.

For now if you have read all of the stuff above and think this mod is for you I'd like if you could answer the questions in this thread: http://www.simracingdesign.com/threads/questions-for-fictional-painters-template-creators.69366/
It will give me valuable info of things I could take into consideration while building this thing.
 

Mystical

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Development post #1

And here we begin with the first development post. The core outer shell body modeling continues as I tweak and refine the shape I am going for. I literally started on this model last night and have put about a good 6-8 hours in as of now. A lot of it has been playing around with the shapes and silhouette more than struggling or anything. I only get this one chance to lock the body down becasue once its done every other part (like the windows, hood, interior) will need to be able to fit it correctly.

For those following along all I have been using tool wise is Blender 2.8 with a few add-ons that let me model faster but nothing special. I started out with a cube in blender and have been extruding, adding edges, edge loops, and having the mirror modifier enabled so I can do half the work at twice the speed. As far as references go I pretty much have been free-style modeling and not using like a background car image or anything to follow. I did import another car mod at first to make sure my mod around the same size (so when it goes into NR2003 it won't be too small or large). I did this same thing with my blue box car test as well, thats how I knew the model would be the right size in NR2003.

Since the main post a few hours ago a few changes have been made to the model:
- Hood height has been flattened more closer so its not as tall above the tire rims on the side
- Sides windows slid back a bit along with b-pillar so front windshield could be more curved with the hood
-Additional edge loop added to nose so its more curved now
-Experimental roof rails added, these are taller like Gen4 rails would be with some extra design to them, still deciding on a final look but these would look cool to color to match a paint scheme for sure
-Side walls of the car have been straightened up more and entire top section of car is less an an angle









For anyone concerned the body still looks to blocky its not meant to get more detailed. Adding more edge loops or hitting the subdivide button is the wrong thing to do. Instead the trick is applying smoothing groups which will smooth the edges that you define and keep other edges still sharp as light hits them. I did a quick smoothing and you can see how the car appears to be more high poly buts its literally the same geometry:



Currently the body is at 682 verts and the limit is 1000 before I'd have to start breaking things apart so things are looking pretty good with the poly count that low still.


Now lets talk Manufacturers, the plan with the 4 bodies is to include a featured make for each one with a template that includes a few other makes that can be used right out of the box. Here is the planned ones I'd like to include:

  • Make0 - Slight curved nose (what you currently see in screenshots) - Honda (Accord), Chevy (Monte Carlo or Impala), Nissan (Sentra)
  • Make1 - Harder flat edged nose - Dodge (Charger), BMW (M8), Volvo (S60)
  • Make2 - Slightly flat and rounded nose - Infiniti (Q70), Ford (Fusion), Tesla (Model S)
  • Make3 - Pointy angled nose - Pontiac (G8), Mitsubishi (Lancer), Toyota (Camry)
The ones in italics will be the default appearing make on the template and also the ones I will have the nose/rear modeled slightly for. I say slightly becasue I will design make3 for example have more of an angle for a Pontiac but it would still work great for like a Toyota or whatever other make may fit for it. While I have about 12 listed about these may change or switch makes depending on what fits best.
 
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nascarfreak88

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Brilliant project. Reminds me of back in the day when people would mess with the shading to create some damn good looking templates for all sorts of manufacturers for the original cup mod (and to a lesser extent the COTs). Definitely looking forward to this man.
 

jacobc62

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Honestly, with the last image, it kinda looks like a decent mix of Gen-4, Gen-5, and Gen-6!

Two questions though:
1. Splitter or Valence?
2. Will the mod allow for tire wars, or will the tires be standard Goodyear?
 

Thunder98

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Consider me intrigued. Though one thing that's standing out in my eyes is the roof rails. They feel a tad excessive.
 

Mystical

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Honestly, with the last image, it kinda looks like a decent mix of Gen-4, Gen-5, and Gen-6!

Two questions though:
1. Splitter or Valence?
2. Will the mod allow for tire wars, or will the tires be standard Goodyear?
Glad the model is coming across as a hybrid of the different Generations. Gen4 and Gen6 were definitely 2 eras I liked body wise and I wanted to incorporate some features of both of those into the model. Of course some aspects are my own fictional design (of course) but other things like the decklid and rear being once again large is definitely a nod to Gen4 while the middle of the car is more Gen6 with the side wall going lower to the ground and being a bit more 'boxy' in shape.

As for both of your questions they are very good ones I've been contemplating. With the front having a Valence or splitter I was almost thinking of both. Basically a very thick splitter. I really loved the Gen4 cars with those visible valences that could be painted on. Like Jeff Gordon's Pepsi cars that had the front Valance, roof rail, and spoilers all bright yellow or that pinkish-orange color. Still to this day one of the most distinct ways I saw a car painted using the car parts and it has always influenced my painting of cars since those designs tool the track. Like with most areas on the car I will try out different things making a post on the options and see what looks good to go forward with.

For tires that I am not sure it can be done with the script having different tire brands per make. I know for a fact you can have tires be in different positions per make but I don't know about the tire textures being different. If it is possible to have each make have a different Tire texture then once I get the tire actually modeled and have the first placeholder texture in we will see what the car looks like with other tire brands. Which ones would you like to see other than Goodyear? Also if you know of a mod that has different brands for the tires then I guess that does indeed confirm you can have different tire brands per make, I'd need to figure that out script wise how to do it.


Consider me intrigued. Though one thing that's standing out in my eyes is the roof rails. They feel a tad excessive.
Yeah roof rails at this time will go through several versions until I/we determine what looks 'cool'. I would like to have something a bit more prominent and different than the norm so when they are painted they stand out real nice for people's schemes (or maybe it will just be me painting on this mod becasue the mod turns out to suck when released lol). One of my goals is not to try and copy paste what has already existed on stocks cars making simply a frankenstein of Gen4 + Gen6 slapped together, this is the one chance to make a fictional mod and do something never seen before yet.
 

Smoke

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Always nice to see someone new jumping on the modding bandwagon. I like what I see so far. The scripting will make you crazy sometimes but if I can answer any of your questions I will certainly try. I don't check in everyday anymore but I will try to follow along. The only thing I could say that might have any bearing is stick to your original ideas as I promise there will be a ton of ideas and changes that will be asked of you. Good luck!
 

andy88

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For tires that I am not sure it can be done with the script having different tire brands per make. I know for a fact you can have tires be in different positions per make but I don't know about the tire textures being different. If it is possible to have each make have a different Tire texture then once I get the tire actually modeled and have the first placeholder texture in we will see what the car looks like with other tire brands. Which ones would you like to see other than Goodyear? Also if you know of a mod that has different brands for the tires then I guess that does indeed confirm you can have different tire brands per make, I'd need to figure that out script wise how to do it.
The Bullring Hobby Stock Mod uses different tire brands for each of the four models. (Goodyear, McCreary, American Racer, and Hoosier). I really like what I'm seeing so far on your new mod. Like Smoke OR said stick with your own ideas for the mod as I'm sure you'll get a million different ideas thrown at you.
 
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martinrace

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As form what I have seen in the past all the mod with more then one tire brand were locked into one model. Until Burnout came out with his Monster Energy Series alpha v1 mod where the tires were mapped on the template that made the tires paintable for all models. Just like you can paint the rimes.
 

crazyboy335

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The OWR07 templates have the tires mapped with the wheels on the template, so you can change the tire branding right on the template.



If this were added I'd definitely use it. I'd love to add companies like Bridgestone, Pirelli, Firestone, and BF Goodrich to my series.
 

Mystical

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Always nice to see someone new jumping on the modding bandwagon. I like what I see so far. The scripting will make you crazy sometimes but if I can answer any of your questions I will certainly try. I don't check in everyday anymore but I will try to follow along. The only thing I could say that might have any bearing is stick to your original ideas as I promise there will be a ton of ideas and changes that will be asked of you. Good luck!
Thanks so much for the support, glad to see some legend mod makers popping in.

I definitely do have some questions, the first one would be it appears some mods have the ability to have paintable tires. I know a lot of my favorite mods had paintable rims as well. Currently the only thing I know how to do is put in a default set of tires with the slow, med, and fast mips with custom textures. Do I need to have 3 sets of tires and each one with the UV mapped in different sections pointing to the paintjob so then I can have paintable tires/rims pretty much? If so, how would I achieve that script wise, unfortunately the tutorial scripts I have don't show a process like that. I do see there is a wheels.3do you can use instead of loading wheels straight from the same pas scene as the car. Does the wheels.3do allow for more customization pretty much?

Paintable rims at a minimum (especially for a paint friendly mod) would be cool, having custom tire brands would be a even cooler. It'll mean I will have to manage my UV space more but I'm up for the challenge, the 3D stuff is where I strive the best haha.

I just noticed you are adding a Lancer into one of the models. I'm all in for this mod! So happy to see Mitsubishi on a car!
Yeah I was researching what manufacturers would be cool to add, I didn't even think of Mitsubishi until I came across this in a google search:



I was like well that Lancer grill looks cool enough I should include something like that with the mod as a template for sure.
 

123456789colton

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Yeah I was researching what manufacturers would be cool to add, I didn't even think of Mitsubishi until I came across this in a google search:



I was like well that Lancer grill looks cool enough I should include something like that with the mod as a template for sure.
Yeah that looks AWESOME! I cant wait for this mod. I just bought a lancer and have to say I'm in love with it haha. And the front end on that kind of reminds me of the real thing. Keep up the good work!
 

Mystical

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Development post #2

Its only been 4 days since this project began and already a lot of good progress with the body has been done. Behind the scenes I've also been preparing the code setting up all the segments for future preparation. While it is kind of skipping ahead since I don't even have all the models complete I'm able to start setting up the names and at least the basic stuff. As with last time a lot of work was done on the body fine tuning and carefully sculpting little by little and I am happy with the results coming out so far. Here are some of the main things updated since the last screenshots were posted:
  • Top of car (this includes side windows and front) were slightly slid back to make a little extra room for the hood
  • Hood lowered and angled slightly more to curve downwards towards the front bumper more so its not a blocky
  • Roof rails were rebuilt, the side attachments are now less dramatic
  • Placeholder roof details added
  • Rear decklid fins slightly lowered, glass section added to the rear one. Front nose smoothed and sculpted to fit the Honda/Chevy
  • Rear decklid fins made thinner
  • Front splitter variation added
  • Front and Rear windows have been blown out (aka detached from the body now)



With everything that has been completed there is still a lot left to do later on throughout this week:
  • Rear bumper will will be lowered a bit so the rear trunk area will have a bit more space height wise
  • Rear Bumper will be shaped slightly more for the make0 Honda/Chevy/Nissan body
  • Tire rims will be smoothed with extra poly's (this one most likely be one of the last things I do)
  • Rear Spoiler variations need to be modeled, currently still the same placeholder one
  • Side windows need to be removed/blown out
  • Extra details such as rear cam and any other fictional pieces I may want to include as eye candy (this would be the last icing on the cake)
  • Hood still needs to be blown out along with the hood flaps
Speaking of windows, there has been some discussion about making the rear windows paintable, this would mean fake windows as they would need to go onto the template. The reasoning given was so things such as logos could be placed on them. Personally I would just want the windows to be like the others and have transparency along with not being included on the template. For those who do want them paintable a good example would be NR4 where the rear windows were fake:


Is there is big demand for something like this or is it ok to do without? As I mentioned earlier the sides of the car just above the rims in the rear are flatter to provide more sponsor space height wise so I was hoping that would mitigate any reason or need to put logos on the windows unless that extra free re-estate is good for a fictional series. If there is one thing that I will agree to is making the car more fictional friendly but keep in mind with every feature added it will increase the pressure to make this all fit on a template.

Up next is the nose, how is everyone feeling about it from the above turntable render video? Does that look satisfactory to work well for a Honda/Chevy/Nissan nose? Remember I'm purposefully not trying to go all out on the nose (as hard as it is to resist lol) becasue every bump or indent I add will make it harder for template creators as they will have to fight with distortion more. Not everyone has 3D Coat or Substance painter like me and can paint decals in a 3D Space with ease. I can always harder the ridge between the hood and front bumper, add side ducts indents or other stuff but I'd like to not go overboard.

More work has been put into the fictional roof rail design, I kept a similar look but lessened the side of the brace parts. Personally I am liking how they look but what do you think? I want them to almost act like a mini wicker bill from the 2000-2001 era with those braces breaking up the air slightly more. I know the model has (sadly) no real aero effect in the game but for fictional purposes when I race at superspeedways the racing is always crazy 3-5 wide with my ai settings so I want the car to look like its the roof rails in part playing a roll in the action on track just as the beloved wicker once did.


Last but not least for feedback in this dev post is the valence/ splitter. I've taken a bit more time to concept out a few variations which one do you like best? (I didn't smooth them out so they are a little blocky still)

Short valence and short splitter:


Tall valence and short splitter


Tall valence and long splitter:


Short valence and long splitter:


Of course there are just some rough ideas, I can always make another crazy shape, make the valence even taller or whatever. Personally I like the tall valence and shorter splitter the most or the default currently on the car.

For those following along so far I've only been modeling in blender 2.8 still. So if you are making your own mod the process is just a focus on refining that outer body shell still and making design choices. Of course if you are not making a fictional mod you probably won't be doing as much concepts as me as you probably are following a reference image. Either way there is no way to rush this process no matter how well you model. Its all in the details and every vert you move can dramatically change the shape of the car so its careful smoothing and iterations to get a final result.

Another tool introduced is Atom Text editor which is what I use to edit and create the script/code for the mod. It really does not matter what text editor you use but I like atom becasue I can collapse lines of code right out of the box and I like the dark mode theme it has. I will get into the coding part more in future dev posts but if you want to skip ahead to you can always watch the videos Cosmin made or Burnout videos as well.

I am quite surprised with myself and how the car is coming along, not that I doubt my 3D modeling ability but I still amaze myself when I see the model and realize it will be in the game eventually. I think its looking pretty good already. Currently the body shell is only at 800+ verts so we are still under the 1000 limit! Best part is once I blow out the side windows and remove the bottom part of the mesh the count will go lower or even out after I add the extra details on. I will then do some poly cleanup at the very end and merge a few of those verts that really don't need to have so many edge loops. I'm not trying to sculpt a roman statue here, if the body looks good enough I don't have to hit that 1000 limit just for the sake of it.

Well that wraps up this dev post, it was quite a bit to take in. Coming up in future posts I'll be talking more about the UV's and how the template may possibly look, the template dimensions, and what this could mean for details with the painting space. Also I am happy to report this mod will include paintable rims AND paintable tire brands. Someone on Cosmin's Discord reached out to me and shared the code to do this. I've already integrated it into my script for preparation. I'll be sure to show all the tire details in the future when we get there.
 
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crazyboy335

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Looks awesome so far. In my opinion I'd either axe the valence entirely or go with the short valence and long splitter.
 

jacobc62

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Tall Valence, no splitter would be preferred, though the shorter splitter could work. The car model does look very awesome though!
 

Thunder98

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The rear windows being paintable don't really serve that much of a purpose from what I've seen over the years since the main thing I see people utilize it for is to do Russ Wheeler's scheme from Days of Thunder. The roof rails look much better now, not too distracting compared to before. Jacob already said what was on my mind as I wouldn't want a splitter either, so I suppose I'll go with tall valence/short splitter.
 

nascarfreak88

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Looks awesome so far. In my opinion I'd either axe the valence entirely or go with the short valence and long splitter.
Tall Valence, no splitter would be preferred, though the shorter splitter could work. The car model does look very awesome though!
Might depend on the purpose for me. For a road racing series it might make more sense to use a splitter while for oval series a valence might be better. That could be an interesting option and include both (e.g. like how the IR18 mod includes changeable files for left/right fuel ports and ST/RC wings, or how Cup2000 allows you to switch between wicker and no wicker. Or for that matter, how the old COTs could swap from wing to spoiler). Would be a cool element of customizeability on behalf of the user. BUT, like I've said before I don't mod so I have no idea if that would be feasible.

And re: paintable windows, personally it doesn't matter much to me, especially since that doesn't seem to really be a thing anymore in the real world. Even then though, I'm ambivalent.

Looks interesting so far, can't wait to see what becomes of it.
 

MrDude68

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Add me to the list of "no splitter" votes, but I won't complain if you decide to use one. Short splitter/tall valence is the best combination out of what you presented, imo.

All of this is really, really cool, by the way. I can't wait to see what the templates look like once those are done.
 
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