Custom challenges [in 2.5]

Custom challenges [in 2.5]

Postby Wuzzy » 25 Oct 2014, 21:46

Well, I can understand that you didn’t like these challenge much. But I had my fun with them. :) It was just an experiment, and it at least worked for me.



Here is another experiment, but this time it is more tested and promising: I present you the “Survival” challenges!

The idea of a survival challenge is to finish a given track with a given number of laps in one piece. That’s all, there are no time, score and position limits, but you have to finish the track. Sounds easy? Ha! Here are the conditions:
  • Only played on tracks where you inevitably take damage in each lap
  • One car
  • Full damage
  • Simulation mode
  • No boost
  • No flip
  • No rewind
  • No reset
  • No repair after finishing a lap
The idea is, you have to finish all laps in one run. If you screw up by, let’s say, falling into the acid pool, you have to start over. It’s some kind of endurance run. Since the car will inevitably take damage, the challenge is not to be fast, it is to keep the taken damage as low as possible. This forces a different driving style. The careful driver, not neccessarily the fast driver will win here. :)


The tracks I chose in particular are:
  • Tox2-AcidLakes (4 laps)
  • Vlc12-LavaPools (4 laps)
  • Vlc9-Craters (3 laps)

Sadly, challenges do not allow for setting rewind, disabling reset or even the repair % each lap. So currently, the player has to manually make the following changes in the “Game” tab before playing:
  • Repair each lap = 0%
  • Rewind (time) = None
Reset can not be disabled at all. So simply don’t use the reset key, if you do it anyways, you cheated. :P
The reason why I consider even reset to be cheating is because this allows for trial-and-error. In some situations you could even undo damage caused by a hard landing if the checkpoint is conveniently located on the landing spot. But the idea of a survival challenge is: No trial-and-error! And no repairs!

Here’s the code for challenges.xml, insert it into your challenges.xml:
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
   <challenge name="Acid Lakes Survival" ver="1" difficulty="4" type="2"
         descr="Drive 4 laps around the acid lakes and finish it in one piece. There is no time limit, but beware: The acid water will damage your car. Please set 'repair each lap' to 0% and turn off rewind, otherwise this challenge is too easy.">
      <sim damage="2" boost="0" flip="0" rewind="0" carChng="0" />
      <car names="S8" />
      <hud trkGhost="0" chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" minimap="1" />
      <pass avgPos="30" prizes="2" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Tox2-AcidLakes" laps="4"/>
      </tracks>
   </challenge>

   <challenge name="Lava Pools Survival" ver="1" difficulty="5" type="2"
         descr="Drive 4 laps on the challenging lava pools track and finish it in one piece. There is no time limit, but beware: The lava will damage your car. Please set 'repair each lap' to 0% and turn off rewind, otherwise this challenge is too easy.">
      <sim damage="2" boost="0" flip="0" rewind="0" carChng="0" />
      <car names="SZ" />
      <hud trkGhost="0" chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" minimap="1" />
      <pass avgPos="30" prizes="2" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Vlc12-LavaPools" laps="4"/>
      </tracks>
   </challenge>

   <challenge name="Craters Survival" ver="1" difficulty="6" type="2"
         descr="Drive 3 laps on the challenging crater track and finish it in one piece. There is no time limit, but beware: The extreme heat will damage your car. Please set 'repair each lap' to 0% and turn off rewind, otherwise this challenge is too easy.">
      <sim damage="2" boost="0" flip="0" rewind="0" carChng="0" />
      <car names="FN" />
      <hud trkGhost="0" chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" minimap="1" />
      <pass avgPos="30" prizes="2" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Vlc9-Craters" laps="3"/>
      </tracks>
   </challenge>

I made three seperate challenges in order to force a certain car. It would be very difficult to balance if I would allow the player to choose a car, the difficulty of the challenge can vary drastically, so a good car chose alone would win half the challenge.

Also, it seems not to be trivially possible to make a challenge where the only goal is to reach the finish line. I have managed to do so, anyways, with a crazy workaround: I have set the position requirement for the challenges to 30. Since this is the worst possible position, you always win, no matter how slow.

I have playtested the challenges and the first two ones are doable for sure. The thrid one is theoretically possible, but extremely hard.

Please playtest them as well and tell me what you think about the idea. :)
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.4]

Postby CryHam » 25 Oct 2014, 22:21

Interesting. I like the idea.
Just a quick thought, 4 laps on any track with jumps without rewind seems like a nightmare, there is some randomness when landing after all.
I'd make a challenge with all 3 tracks but 2 laps.
I'll write the code for no rewind and damage repair value.
Any other tracks for those? 3 is not much for the new catergory Survival, which I'd like to add.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.4]

Postby Wuzzy » 26 Oct 2014, 01:31

Just a quick thought, 4 laps on any track with jumps without rewind seems like a nightmare, there is some randomness when landing after all.

I managed to win Lava Lakes Survival, so you can, too! But you need practise to win it. You are probably so used to using rewind that you forgot how to jump properly. :P

IMO landing did not seem so random to me. But if landing is really random as you say, than that’s a pretty serious problem in Stunt Rally, since it makes the whole game more luck-based than skill-based. And rewind does not really fix it.

I do not want to water down the challenges, except maybe the last one (but not by reducing the laps, more like by changing the car).

I'd make a challenge with all 3 tracks but 2 laps.

Certainly not. The challenges all have different cars. And since you can’t force a different car mid-challenge, I split it into three challenges.
Besides, the challenges are hard. Just because they only have one track each does not mean you will finish them quickly. :P
So it also makes kinda sense in seperating them.
And you don’t forget a crucial concept here: If I reduce the number of laps even by one, this drops the difficulty, because you can now take much more damage per lap.
Example: AcidLakes would become way to easy. Instead of 25% damage per lap, you can now take up to 50% damage per lap.


Whatever. Did you playtest the challenges so far?

I'll write the code for no rewind and damage repair value.

Great, thanks!

Any other tracks for those? 3 is not much for the new catergory Survival, which I'd like to add.

Not yet, sorry. I started with those tracks with direct damage stuff: Damaging fog, damaging surface and damaging liquid. As far I know these three tracks are the only ones which have these properties. If you can suggest a track which somehow damages the car every lap, please tell me!

For now, I’d be fine with the endurance category. A new tab would be a good idea, but on the other hand, adding too many challenge categories clutters the tab bar, and forces you to scroll through it, which is really annoying. So I am a bit undecided on this one, lol.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby CryHam » 26 Oct 2014, 17:49

Right.
Code done. Fixed rewind 0 and added dmg_lap for repair value.
Also added challs into Extreme category, IMO fit good (extreme weather and track conditions).
I drove 1st, is cool, ended with 93%.
But 2nd and 3rd are like impossible.
How many times did you drive those tracks?
On 2nd, IMO it's impossible to demand perfect jumps without any damage, and you can't jump across already with 80% or so, 3 laps (or even 2) would already be a challenge.
Those are freaking terrain jumps, took me like an hour to make them, still won't be perfect.
BTW. Crystal scenery has terrain damage and a very high damage factor. Could be a challenge on Cry1.
Edit: Ah we have the technology, I'd like to have a replay of you driving those 2nd and 3rd. Anyway IMO should really have 2 laps.
OK finall offer, 3 laps on LavaPools, 2 on Craters (and gets lower difficulty).
Is on master, also added 1 on Cry1 (2 laps with XZ).
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby Wuzzy » 26 Oct 2014, 21:54

Here are my replays (ca. 10 MiB each!)
Lava Pools Survival: http://rghost.net/download/58733622/170 ... aLakes.rpl
Craters Survival (modified): http://rghost.net/download/58733701/b83 ... raters.rpl
Those files won’t probably be online for long, I only uploaded them to make my case.

Sadly, the replay system seems to be quite buggy for now. The craters replay makes a “jump” at the beginning, but I did not reset. Also the damage suddenly goes constantly up in the replay for no reason.
And on Lava Pools, the shown damage is constantly shown to be 0%. :/

I won Lava Pools Survival as presented, but I have given up on Craters Survival for now, I admit! I have chosen a different car for this challenge: LK4. This car is much better for the terrain.

Here is a strategy guide:
It’s a matter of technique and practice.

On Lava Pools Survival, you should take about 15% damage after a good lap, and it should stay at 15% (for that lap) after you took the second jump. A good jump should never damage you. Which leaves you with about 60% damage when you are approaching the final jump.
The 2nd jump is tricky, but it’s all a question of technique. You have to drive straight and jump at a speed of 120 km/h. It is possible to reach this speed when you leave the curve before the ramp with a speed of 120 km/h. If you still don’t manage it, you can practice in single race mode and try the jump over and over again, by using rewind. I managed to win with 60% damage.

On Craters Survival (using the LK4), the trick is to drive as fast as possible through the hot zones, to drive as high as possible, and to never, ever leave the road. With LK4, I managed to win with 3 laps with about 94% damage.


About difficulty, I would really like to hear the opinions of other players.


I hope I can post a couple of other challenges soon. Some “normal” challenges, unrelated to Survival.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby CryHam » 26 Oct 2014, 22:26

Cool, I've started making some new (normal) challs too.

Yeah. So that's the problem, with LK4 you have higher center of mass which is taken for damage from height fog on Craters, FN has it lower, will take more damage, IMO this, and well it's just impossible, I usually damage full in start of 3rd lap so it has 2 laps.

And for the jumps on Lava Pools, such perfection isn't fun / playable, it's tedious. If I can't make the challenge, I won't put in into SR. And I will stop trying let's say after 4 tries which also is an issue since you have to drive 3 laps perfectly to try last.
Also having 160 tracks I would like to unfocus from perfection on 1 tracks with few laps.
Variety is good. Repeatability is tedious and less good looking. Also time needed for testing a challenge is smaller which matters for me.

I think there aren't many hardcore SR players, are there? Many people have problems with staying on road itself.
But if anyone sees a need for hardcore challenges post here :).
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby CryHam » 27 Oct 2014, 12:54

OK I added new challenges, are on master. Not very tested, so testing welcome, could be a bit too easy or too difficult.
Also I can now announce that every track is used in some challenge.
Will deal with champs later.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby Wuzzy » 27 Oct 2014, 18:27

OK, I now post my promised challenges.

I start with a simple stunt challenge, “Easy Jumps”. The name says it all; such a challenge was oddly missing. ;)

{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
   <challenge name="Easy Jumps" ver="1" difficulty="2" type="4"
         descr="Short tracks with easy jumps. Perfect for the aspiring stunt driver.">
      <car names="N1|FN|S8" />
      <pass avgPoints="13" />
      <hud chkArrow="1" chkBeam="1" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Mos3-Air" laps="2" passPoints="9" />
         <t name="Des3-Passage" laps="2" passPoints="9" />
         <t name="Des5-LowJumps" passPoints="9" />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>



The next challenges are vehicle-specific challenges. They only allow one vehicle, this is intentional. I chose tracks for which I thought they fit to the vehicle at best, either in gameplay or in scenery (or both).


Here are challenges for TW and TU, with a lot of in-pipe and on-pipe tracks:
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
   <challenge name="TW Pipe Challenge" ver="1" difficulty="5" type="5"
      descr="The TW is able to drive pretty well on pipes. Race with it through demanding on-pipe tracks.">
      <car names="TW" />
      <sim boost="0" flip="0" damage="0" />
      <pass avgPoints="16.0" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Tox1-Radioactive" laps="1" passPoints="9" />
         <t name="Wnt14-DangerRoad" laps="1" passPoints="17" />
         <t name="Atm7-Industrial" laps="1" passPoints="12" />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>

   <challenge name="TU Pipe Challenge" ver="1" difficulty="3" type="3"
      descr="Race through pipe-only tracks with the TU. Really fast, even without any boost.">
      <car names="TU" />
      <sim boost="0" flip="0" damage="1" />
      <pass avgPoints="16.0" factor="1.2" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Des13-Winding" laps="2" passPoints="18" />
         <t name="Sav10-PipeCurl" laps="2" passPoints="16" />
         <t name="Sav12-Infinity" laps="2" passPoints="18" />
         <t name="Can5-Obstacles" laps="1" passPoints="8.5" />
         <t name="Aus2-PipeCoil" laps="2" passPoints="18" />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>


These three challenges feature the V1, V2 and V3 in space environments. Check out V1 Space Race, the first track is on Uni3-Cloud and this is reaaaally fast. :)
{l Code}: {l Select All Code}
   <challenge name="V1 Space Race" ver="1" difficulty="3" type="6"
         descr="Race with the V1 hovercraft through some very fast tracks on foreign planets.">
      <car names="V1" />
      <hud chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" />
      <sim boost="0" flip="0" />
      <pass avgPoints="24" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Uni3-Cloud" laps="2" passPoints="22" />
         <t name="Mrs1-Mars" laps="2" passPoints="19" />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>

   <challenge name="V2 Space Stunts" ver="1" difficulty="3" type="6"
         descr="Race with the V2 hovercraft through some tricky tracks with simple stunts on foreign planets.">
      <car names="V2" />
      <hud chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" />
      <sim boost="0" flip="0" />
      <pass avgPoints="25.5" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Cry1-CrystalMoon" laps="3" passPoints="28" />
         <t name="Sur2-GreenStar" laps="1" passPoints="19" />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>
   
   <challenge name="V3 Space Curvy" ver="1" difficulty="4" type="6"
         descr="Fly the V3 hovercraft through curvy tracks on foreign planets. Challenging for hovercrafts.">
      <car names="V3" />
      <hud chkBeam="1" chkArrow="1" />
      <sim boost="0" flip="0" />
      <pass avgPoints="20.5" factor="1.1" />
      <tracks>
         <t name="Mrs3-Hot" laps="3" passPoints="15"  />
         <t name="Uni6-Wild" laps="1" passPoints="23"  />
         <t name="Spc1-Minerals" laps="1" passPoints="20"  />
      </tracks>
   </challenge>


The challenges are tested more or less. Maybe V3 Space Curvy needs a few tweaks, but the rest seems OK to me. Playtesting is of course welcome! :)

It is my long-term goal to have a single-vehicle challenge for every vehicle in the game, in order to actually “showcase” a single vehicle in it’s “best” or “most fitting” (subjectively spoken) environment. I started with TU and TW because the extreme vehicles are pretty much underrepresented in the challenges.
But as I said, it’s a long-term goal. Creating a challenge takes time, especially balancing it. :)


Also I can now announce that every track is used in some challenge.

This is great news! Good job, CryHam. :)

I haven’t playtested your new challenges very much, CryHam, but I can say the following things:
  • Space Trip should allow checkpoint beams and checkpoint arrow, because the on-pipe segment of Aln1 is tricky and it is hard to find the correct way without a guide.
  • Alien Stunts has no description
  • Asphalt Cities should allow Asphalt cars, because: Duh! ;) And the gravel cars should be removed, this class is already pretty well represented in other challenges. And there would be simply far too many cars to choose from for this challenge.

On my early tries, I got the following scores:
  • Asphalt Cities: 14.28 with M3
  • Dark Habit: 13.01 with S1
  • Space Trip: 11.37 with ES
  • Unusual Places: 10.6 with ES
  • Gray day: 25.56 with V2. That’s 4.56 points more than required for gold!

I haven’t tried many times yet, so I surely will improve the lowest scores later.

EDIT:
I managed to improve my Gray day to 27.48 with the V3. The track scores were, starting from the first: 16, 30, 33.4.
With the V1, I got a score of 25.39, track scores: 17.2, 27, 32.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby CryHam » 27 Oct 2014, 22:56

Right. Thanks.
Updated all that in challenges.xml.
Also made Unusual Places 2 laps and bit less requiring.
Space Trip seems barely ok with UV, probably really hard for TU, TW. ES is there just if sbdy had enough of those cars :)

Didn't yet test your new challs. Will do.
We have a Lonely jumps chall in Easy tab seems similar to your 1st.
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Re: Custom challenges and championships [in 2.5]

Postby Wuzzy » 29 Oct 2014, 20:56

More challenge results:
  • Canyon Side: 12.05 with FN
  • Winter Chill: 14.87 with HR (and I still used rewind several times. I suggest 15 for gold)
  • Tricky Heights: 12.57 with FR4

Some simple change suggestions for existing challenges:
  • Horrible Weather: Disable minimap to make orientation in fog more challenging.
  • Winter Chill: Enable checkpoint beams and checkpoint arrow because you can’t see (except on minimap) where you have to drive on the icy part.
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