Interviews with CryHam, Q&A.

Interviews with CryHam, Q&A.

Postby ders_on_freegamedev » 11 Nov 2014, 16:33

Hello,

I am writing a review of Stunt Rally 2.5 for LWN.net. I'd like to email the lead developer a few questions. Would that be possible?

Thanks,
Adam
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Re: Would like to interview the lead developer for a news ar

Postby CryHam » 11 Nov 2014, 16:50

I think yes.
Emailed you my email, through forum.
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Re: Would like to interview the lead developer for a news ar

Postby charlie » 12 Nov 2014, 11:14

That's cool. Don't forget to post the link to the article here so we can all read it!
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Re: Interview with lead developer for article.

Postby CryHam » 04 Dec 2014, 19:03

OK.
Here is the link to view the article.
http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/623099/0b4d66d1c7459044/
Well, quite short and just a subset from what I said.
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Re: Interview with lead developer for article.

Postby CryHam » 11 Dec 2014, 21:41

Yeah..
From all the news/posts about SR on various websites, which I saw in last years
(and I do look at most of them, I guess, even translated)
this one was the best:
http://worldofgnome.org/stunt-rally-2-2-challenges-you/
Lots of text, many good screenshots, from different sceneries, and some sentences are so great that I even couldn't write them better myself.

others from there were also okay:
http://worldofgnome.org/stunt-rally-2-3-is-here/
http://worldofgnome.org/new-cars-in-you ... rally-2-0/
http://worldofgnome.org/stunt-rally-1-9 ... e-realism/
Ugh and the rest was mostly garbage.
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Re: Interview with lead developer for article.

Postby CryHam » 11 Dec 2014, 21:50

So, if anybody reads this, before writing such thing, a couple of advices:
- Use latest screenshots, few (4 or more), from different sceneries.
(don't just bloody google for media from SR, we have over 100 screens every release in our gallery, even using the 1 homepage screen looks stupid)
- Is probably still good to include last video (even if it's few versions back).
- I prefer lots of text. If you only write truth, then the more the better.
- Read the freaking Wiki before you write anything (or even ask on IRC if still unsure).
- Don't just copy paste our changelog. If you don't get it, probably nobody else will. Even our fans don't get all of it. Surely this can't attract new players.
- Some people just don't even visit SR webpage before writing or use screens from version 1.6 in post about 2.4 or such, or just copy paste from other site.
(that is just pissing me off, retarded people shouldn't be allowed to post)
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Re: Interview with lead developer for article.

Postby CryHam » 11 Dec 2014, 22:09

Since we're on topic of interviews, I'll put the older videos too, in case somebody wanted to watch it and didn't catch that.
There was like 45 min interview here: http://twit.tv/show/floss-weekly/202 (video also here)
Lots of talking, and a nice experience. But very long ago, Feb 2012. We didn't even have forum back then.

And there was a 2nd here: http://www.category5.tv/episodes/349.php
Very short fragment with me 15min. Was rather a show of SR not an interview, May 2014. Time about SR is since 8:33 to 22:36.
God I hate watching myself on camera. And those also happen to be here late at night when I would normally be sleeping.
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Re: Interview with lead developer for article.

Postby CryHam » 11 Dec 2014, 22:27

Okay back to the original topic, article.
Since there was much more text (even with links) in my answers to questions in our emails, I'm posting those here:


1) What's your name?
My nickname is Crystal Hammer, let's go with this, I don't use my real name, I also don't like it.

Are you male or female?
I am male.

2) Where do you live (i.e. city, country)?
Kraków, Poland.

3) Are you the sole developer? If so, for how long have you been the sole developer? If not, who else contributes?

I am the only developer now and was for most time. I started it about Dec 2009, so nearly 5 years now.
There was a time, like a year, around 2012, when we were 4 guys. We still keep contact and they commit small things very rarely. You can see this in detail here: https://www.openhub.net/p/stuntrally/contributors

4) Do you do this in your spare time? If so, what's your day job?

Yes, I do this in my spare time, as my hobby. I have a regular full-time job in a business company (I won't name which) as a programmer (C++,C#).

5) What made you decide to fork VDrift? I see that VDrift hasn't had a release since 2012, is that part of the reason?

I was looking for a open source simulation code which I could use. I wanted to create my own game. I really liked the code from VDrift, but didn't like the gameplay much. It's just a different type of game.
They had a new release recently and there is 1 developer still active but at slower pace. See: http://vdrift.net/Forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=9

6) What distinguishes this project from VDrift?

Firstly: gravel. This is a completely different style of driving, all our cars have 4WD, 3 differentials, and slide a lot, it's part of gameplay. In VDrift you drive on asphalt, have more grip and less engine power.
Secondly: stunt tracks. We have a lot (167) of tracks and some of them are very twisted and stunt like.
Thirdly, well the features list. There is many more things implemented like the track editor (used to make our tracks), multiplayer or hovering spaceships to name just a few. See all here: https://code.google.com/p/vdrift-ogre/wiki/Features
But generally, this is just a completely different game and was since the beginning. Sharing only older simulation code from VDrift, few cars, and GPL lincense of course.

7) Most interesting technical aspects of the project.

Not sure, but we do use quite a few dependencies (also making it harder to build on Windows).
We use Boost, OGRE, SDL2, bullet collision (is also used in VDrift), MyGui, and for Ogre: PagedGeometry (for vegetation) and Shiny (material generator library).

8) What do you find most interesting about developing it?

There is plenty of things you can do and I usually never run of things to do. Some are very challenging some are less.
I mostly enjoy creating new tracks and new sceneries (we have now 34), also love when contributors make them.
As a programmer, I usually code the things that I like doing, those which will be fun in game (or a good addition to its features) and that aren't very time consuming. There are a few things that I didn't even start implementing like AI car opponents, visible car damage and others that I found difficult to do (also too time consuming).
It's probably a never ending story of improvements.

9) What development problems have you come across and how have you solved them?

There were several problems. I don't even remember all. I do know 2 big ones. First was unrealistic simulation long ago, which happened to be unchanged since I first tinkered with car parameters. Was solved by understanding the whole car simulation, implementing car performace test in game, and days of tweaking those parameters (for all cars) to have a more realistic car feeling. We had a problem with increasing complexity of our materials also having many options user can change. One of our contributors (scrawl) solved it by writting his own implementation of material generator (shiny) which helped a lot and also made editing materials a lot easier.
Recent thing was fixing the black terrain issue (at least partly). Some research was needed and testing on cards we didn't have. But it turned out to be a small change I didn't know earlier.

10) Do you have any plans to monetize?

No. In fact you even can not donate me.
I don't believe in money, I believe in freedom and a better world without them.
And I don't want to mix things I do for fun with things done for money.
Also, so far nobody ever contacted me, with a desire to donate me. So I don't see a need now.
I may think about this again later. If few people do want that.

11) Do you intend to package the game for inclusion within Linux distributions? I had to download the game from your website.

We are using sky textures that are free but have a clause to not sell them. This prevents from inclusion within Linux distributions. I don't have plans on replacing them, since I don't think there are any of such good quality and with compatible license. More info here: viewtopic.php?f=81&t=5813

12) How can people best contribute to the project?

There are many things you can do to contribute. And it depends on somebody's skills and amount of time.
Mostly I'd like to see more programmers, who in time, could code any new feature, or fix a bug that I can't catch. But this is the most difficult task.
Also testers are welcome, if you can build from sources you are able to test. Best would be to submit a patch fixing an issue or a pull request. Or if you can't, you still can report it. Also you could test new features this way, that will later go into next release.
Artists. If you can make,edit textures, models or deal with already made cars which we can use but still need a bit modeling work and uv unwrap. If you can record new sounds, especially car engines.
Track creators. If you manage to create a nice, good looking, fun or difficult track, it could go into next release.
Translators. Simplest thing to do probably and still a good contribution. We have a wiki about how to do it.
And lastly by reading our wiki and not asking something that is already written there.
Also, just having ideas doesn't help. Helping in making them reality does.

13) How do you see Stunt Rally as different from projects like Speed Dreams and TORCS?

Well my answer to this is the same as for the question comparing with VDrift.
Stunt Rally is a completely different game. Like I said: VDrift (and also Speed Dreams, TORCS) are asphalt driving games on (usually) real life, closed, asphalt tracks. Their game play is similar to real life races with many cars on track.
Our tracks are mostly gravel (also sand, snow etc.) and are purely fictional shape, made by us. They aren't just flat on terrain, they go in 3D, can have loops, twisted bridges, and winding pipes, cars can go through water or mud areas on road, obstacles can appear in pipes and so on. Tracks and their diversitye are really the main features here IMO.
Also, we don't just have cars. Lately I also implemented hovering spaceships and a bouncing sphere. They add a new and easier game play into SR. Spaceships are very fast and easier to control than cars.
There are also now many sceneries on other planets (Unidentified, Mars, Alien, CrystalMoon, etc.) with growing number of tracks in them.

14) How do you know so much about cars? And how to simulate them?

Well I'm still learning. But it needed few years already.
I knew physics and simulation in games before SR, was my hobby and interest since probably 2007 or so. Learned just from documentation of libraries like Bullet. Also a bit in my first job.
But I can definitely say I learned a lot more, from VDrift's simulation code.
I started around Dec 2009 by editing VDrift car parameters. Then editing tire parameters to get the gravel sliding feeling, not asphalt.
I also looked through few books on that topic, with title keywords like: Car/Tire/Vehicle Dynamics and Pacejka Magic Formula. The last is for tires and pretty popular (but still a bit magic to me). There are few articles about that on web too.
I edited tires about 4 times already, spending weeks for it. By the way also implementing new features in SR like: car and tire parameters editing in game, for speed and convenience of changing them. Added also few visualisations of car simulation in game, which helped in understanding of what is happening during driving maneuvers.
I'm working on a Hard Simulation mode which just started. So far we have Easy and Normal modes.

15) Is it possible to play Stunt Rally without the proprietary sky textures?

Firstly, those aren't proprietary. Those are free textures from here (with a clause to not sell them):
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthr ... -07-update
Quote: "There are no restrictions on using these textures, you can use these for commercial work, and you don't have to name me if you don't want to. the only restriction is that you can't sell them. that's all."

And secondly, replacing sky textures in SR is rather easy. But I suspect that would lower game's quality.
I did lately replace most skies, previous weren't so good, and a bit blured (but same license). This was a nice improvement.
Well, like I said, I value those skies for the quality and I doubt any other exist (being high resolution and good looking).
Surely, if somebody finds any, post on our forum, be sure to know the license before.
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Re: Interviews with CryHam, Q&A.

Postby CryHam » 11 Dec 2014, 23:00

So, I guess, if anybody has a question, you could ask here.
Or if you really wan't to know sth. I'll answer, if it's not below my level ;)

BTW I'm not developing SR since a month again. Probably 1 month still. Who knows.
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Re: Interviews with CryHam, Q&A.

Postby Wuzzy » 12 Dec 2014, 01:57

I'm working on a Hard Simulation mode which just started.

Sounds exciting!
Any details/concrete plans/comments about that?
Bitcoin contributions welcome: 17fsUywHxeMHKG41UFfu34F1rAxZcrVoqH :-)
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Re: Interviews with CryHam, Q&A.

Postby CryHam » 12 Dec 2014, 11:38

Hard sim is supposed to be more realistic (RBR like), difficult, less grip (longitudinal) so wheels spin on road (when starting with throttle) and also lock when braking (in Normal this never happens on road, it has artificially high longit. grip), but also more control when sliding, should be fun. Normal has also that spin out (when turned too much in corner), this is bad, I want to get rid of it, so it's possible to control and steer always.
But it's a big thing to tweak. I want all tracks to be drivable in it.
I'll put more info there viewtopic.php?f=79&t=5482 (lots of questions too).
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