GT2 Realism Mod!

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo 2' started by DEADmetal, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. DEADmetal

    DEADmetal

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    I've been struck by a huge wave of nostalgia for PS1 games recently, and started playing them on an emulator. Being an automotive enthusiast, I have special feelings for GT2 (now even more special because of the aforementioned nostalgia wave). But I'm also a huge realism fan, and while two decades ago, GT2 seemed surprisingly realistic, looking at it now from my new perspective, its realism doesn't shine any more, to put it mildly.

    I've tried playing it though. Spent my starting credits on a used R 32 GTS-t Type M, RWD version, with just over 200 hp, and entered a race. My hopes and dreams of enjoying every minute of GT2 replay were going up in smoke on every corner - as if to compensate for the lack of smoke from the front R 32s tires, as they slid while the car was understeering wildly*.

    Thereby my questions are these: is it possible to mod GT2 for realistic handling? If so, is someone skilled enough willing to do it? If so, it would be amazing to have an ultimate realism GT2 mod that people would say is impossible to play with a D-pad (not a question but this statement should describe what I would (very much) like to see (and otherwise experience) made from this game. I really had to stop myself here because I could go on and on about realism mod suggestions, which given this threads infancy, would be inappropriate).


    * Wild understeer - a situation where a considerably powerful RWD car keeps understeering at almost all speeds, even when varying its throttle position, shifting gears and changing steering input quickly.
     
  2. pez2k

    pez2k

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    Long story short, no. Even if someone totally disassembled the game and wrote their own physics engine, the PS1 has nowhere near the power required to run a realistic physics engine. GT2 doesn't even have tyre pressures or temperatures calculated, never mind a full-blown realistic tyre model.
     
  3. DEADmetal

    DEADmetal

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    I think that PS1 performance is sufficient to simulate a more realistic car behavior in GT2. The handling model is arcadey not because of technical limitations of the console - or not entirely at least - but because the game is made to be this way. Even when the hardware allowed to make a very realistic car handling model in Gran Turismo games, the developers still went their projected and marketing strategy dictated path.

    They did this so the average console kid, especially the one who played previous GT games, would not start raging about constantly spinning out of the track. Perhaps the developers wholeheartedly wanted to create a racing game with very limited realism (I really doubt that) but they also wanted to stay safe and make more profit by letting average players win their virtual racers, instead of throwing out the game in anger. Besides, it is easier to program AI and physics this way. Yes, these are harsh words, but reality is harsh as well.

    Why not use a proper simulator to build a racing academy around? Why do it around a game that doesn't fully represent real car behavior? I actually know the answer, but I shouldn't make this a full "lack of realism in console games and marketing influence on games" rant, so back to the topic then.

    Even if a realistic GT2 would be too much for PS1 to handle, I don't see that as a road block, because people who play PS1 games today, are often playing them on emulators - also because later generations of this console support PS1 games. I suspect it being a large technical challenge and a very time consuming procedure, but I don't see your first argument as important.

    Also, tire physics isn't the holy grail of simulation. You can have a realistic simulator, even without tire physics. rFactor is an example.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  4. pez2k

    pez2k

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    rFactor has a proper Pacejka-based tyre model including heating and pressure, I'm not sure that's a good example.

    If you don't want the game to run on a PS1 then I'm not sure there's much point in devoting the enormous effort to writing an entire physics engine in MIPS assembly, you might as well port the models as an Assetto Corsa mod or something, or write a GT2 clone from scratch with an off-the-shelf physics engine.

    I'd also disagree with PD not trying to make something realistic with GT1 and GT2 - they were pretty high up the ladder of sims when they came out, with only much more tightly focused PC titles like the Grand Prix series and Papyrus' games significantly above them. Let's not forget that at the time of GT1's launch, NASCAR Racing 2 and Grand Prix 2 were the two top sims available.
     
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  5. submaniac93

    submaniac93

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    It would probably be much easier to program an entirely new game than to modify the way GT2 was programmed and built. We can probably do some improvements to car stats, but we won't be able to make any major general physics changes in how the game play. To be honest, I'm not personally very interested in upgrading GT2's general physics, because I still want to enjoy GT2. It would feel like an other game otherwise.
    Tweaking the car stats though, i'm all for that.
     
  6. DEADmetal

    DEADmetal

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    Wake up. It's a realism lacking racing game marketed as a simulator and it always was. It has a niche - people who are not interested in more realistic car behavior or people who couldn't handle a more realistically bahaving car. Besides, a dumbed down racing game is easier to play if you don't have any analog input available. They could have easily made cars to oversteer more and that would have not taken more processing resources from the console. Ok, perhaps a more advanced AI model would be a bit more CPU intensive, but not physics in this case.

    I didn't know that rFactor had tire pressure and tire temperature physics, but I meant softbody tire physics like in LFS (which is not necessary to make a good simulator).

    Essentially there would be three ways of making GT2 more realistic:

    1. A least game changing way would be to just make cars way more oversteery when provoked, and perhaps improve physics some, to also allow for understeering behavior, as well as various situations where understeering changes into oversteering. It should be made so that cars were considerably more difficult to handle (to correct oversteer) in oversteer situations. This alone, without additional tire models would add a lot of challenge and force people to play with analog sticks, and use a lot more driving technique. AI behavior should either be corrected or the new physics model could be made to only work for player car (if possible).

    This way, GT2 would become a much more serious game, while still retaining the very important aspects of original charm and feel. It would still be playable on PS1. If by a chance it would be slowing down on PS1, the number of AI cars on a track could be reduced by two and that should fix it.

    2. Another method would be to completely rewrite physics and AI, making the game even more realistic. Perhaps add new features (parts damage and repair or repurchase, tire pressure settings, etc). It would lose some of its original charm and feel. Perhaps it could only be played on emulators or other consoles.

    3. Lastly, like you've said, it is possible to just take a modern physics engine and write a GT2 clone on it.

    I have no doubt that there will be very realistic GT2 clones in the future (my guess is within a timespan of 11 years), because it's such an iconic game, but before that, it would be very cool to see a realism mod done by the guidelines of the first method. I think it would take much less work than making a clone.

    The way I see it, you can make realistic car behavior in a PS1 game and keep it playable on this console, as long as you keep the parameter tracking and updating values within the performance limit. In other words, there can be more physics parameters and more complex algorithms if their update speed is low enough.

    When choosing mods for an old game, I also see a lot of importance of maintaining the original feel of that game, and many times, with its flaws included. Classic games are special not because of how convincing they are, but because of how they feel - because of their atmosphere. So for instance, update the graphics too much and you have lost some of that very important atmosphere.

    However, Gran Turismo 2 was advertised as a very realistic racing game, which means, it's supposed to have a realistic car behavior model. If it actually doesn't have a realistic car behavior model because of PS1 technical limitations, then making it more realistic would take away from the PS1 authenticity of it. In this case, would a more realistic version of it be more enjoyable for a realistic racing fan? Yes, but it would be less enjoyable for someone who wants to experience an authentic PS1 gameplay.

    If however, the developers made it this way not because of PS1 technical limitations, but because of marketing reasons, then making it more realistic would, in a way, purify it. In this case, it would be GT2 the game it could have been if the developers would have been true to their promises of "ultimate driving simulator" and not trying to fit it in a niche, by dumbing it down, to maximize their sales. Then the game would be more realistic and still very much enjoyable for someone who wants to experience a PS1 gameplay, with all its technical limitations and charm.

    Of course, the most unique version of the game is untouched, but by using updated cars (I assume you are using them), you are, albeit in a smaller way, also changing how the game feels. That's all fine of course, because a racing game, which was marketed as exceptionally realistic, and which has real world cars in it, should represent reality quite well, regarding car specs and car handling.

    Aren't you bored of playing it for so long, with this dumbed down car handling model? Don't you want it to give you more challenge? Don't you want to see GT2 in its full glory - being a game it could have been if the developers were dead serious about everything except marketing? Perhaps the real reason because of which you wouldn't like to play an improved physics version of this game is that you are not a racing sim fan, meaning, you don't appreciate high realism and challenge in racing games. Am I right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  7. MMRivit

    MMRivit

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    You talk a lot about what's possible and what's impossible to do within the system's hardware limits, but I ask you: how much of a skilled developer are you to make claims with such confidence? All I'm reading is "change this, change that, reduce number of A.I.s to compensate for framerate drops" like you really want us to believe you were part of the industry and knew the mindset of real devs of the time. You're even accusing the people at PD of making a "dumbed down" game on purpose so kids don't break the disc and stop playing GT games. :boggled:

    You got a nice vocabulary, so I want to see it backed up by concrete sources, not just your opinion.
     
  8. submaniac93

    submaniac93

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    I do appreciate realism in racing games, but I also get bored easily if I can't handle it.
    I enjoy games that are able to balance fun with realism. That is why I love GT, and like Forza, even with their faults. Too-realistic games, unless I have a proper wheel setup, I just don't enjoy long because I get bored. And too arcadey games... well I do like them, but I always feel they're lacking.
    The thing is that I'm seeing the game through what we know and can mod about it, and so far we haven't gotten down to the game's base. We have no control over AI cars apart from what they use and their rubberbanding, their cornering speeds, and how late they brake. We have access to most settings on each car's parts, so what we can do is make changes for example to how high a particular engine can rev after applying a stage 1 turbo/na mod, torque values, a car's base downforce, gear ratios etc. All of the upgrades are reasonably well documented (mostly by me and Xenn).

    Knowing what we can do right now, I know we could change the AI's car specs to make the game tougher on the player. Although tires, suspension, LSD and very technical stuff aren't yet fully documented because there are a lot of hidden values (ones you can't set through the settings menu) that we haven't been able to determine what they do when changed, we could technically change the way cars handle a little bit through modifying those (but that would require rewriting thousands of parts to do)
    Whatever we do however, we can't adjust the base math behind the game yet. We can't change gravity, or how the AI is programmed, traction control, and other major physics related stuff. We can only adjust what's already made.

    I love GT2's handling model. It's not perfect, it's not very realistic, it's easy to use, and that's exactly why I still play the game. However I do think the game is way too easy. Borderline boring in fact, judging from the 100% playthrough I did a few weeks ago. So making it tougher, or say.. have the AIs more competitive.

    I am using some modded cars, but it's only aesthetic changes. I don't have the tools to change car specs in a permanent way, as they've yet to be released by Pez. So my personally modding so far is only through paints, and even then, i'm trying to stay true to the time the game came out, meaning nothing from after 1999. What I would love to do regarding car specs is to adjust parts to reflect actual race versions of cars. for example, the Peugeot 306 race mod, which is the Maxi. I would like to give the car the necessary upgrades to achieve 9000rpm, 280hp, and stuff. Or give the 406 a 6-speed transmission for its BTCC race mod. I would also try to make more accurate sounds for the game. Stuff like that. This is what I would do to make the game more realistic. Also add more paint variety (for example, there are 8 NSX 1997 models (Honda and Acura) that have the same body, and barely any changed between them. So we can make them all unique by giving them real life JGTC 1997 paints.

    You mention how the game was released with only marketing in mind. I would like to disagree in part. you have to remember that the game came out in late '99, right before the PS2 was scheduled to release. And that it was rushed out due to PD wanting to have a launch title for it. Also because as Pez stated above that the standard for game realism in simulation were very different compared to now. Having delved into GT1 and GT2, I know for a fact that they're actually very advanced in how they were made and programmed down to GT1 parts that give power having settings to adjust power in 16 increments fro very precise power adjustability. Sure, that has been simplified through math for GT2 - that one uses multipliers as well as a setting to auto calculate the position of peak torque according to the RPM range.
    Looking at PD now, i'm sure that given more time, GT2 would've been different to what we got. But not god-tier, decade-defying.
    It was marketed as a "real driving simulator" at a time when there were virtually none, especially on consoles.

    I guess it's overall a matter of perspective. I would gladly give a try to a GT2 clone, made with more realism in mind and all that, but I wouldn't change the actual GT2 too much, because it would feel like an entirely different game to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  9. pez2k

    pez2k

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    I'm starting to think you weren't playing GT1 at launch back in 1997, because it absolutely was the most realistic thing you could get on a console, that's the whole reason everyone bought it. There were plenty of games with generic Japanese cars in, but GT had a realism and authenticity that stood out amongst the crowd.

    Sorry, but this is stereotypical sim racer elitism, that anything that you don't consider painfully hard to drive is 'dumbed down' and anyone who doesn't like it 'doesn't appreciate a challenge'. It's a very condescending and uninformed way to go on frankly - historically, even a lot of race drivers trying sim racers would be put off by how unrealistically unmanageable the cars were.

    And what would that achieve? A low-end Skyline is not an particularly oversteery car, it's a run of the mill family car, and they're designed not to kill people by spinning off the road. Most cars are set up for safe understeer at the limit, including racecars.

    Again, this falls into the trap of thinking that simulators must be hard to drive. I manage to drive to work every day with 350+bhp and RWD without getting sideways everywhere, does that mean real life is 'dumbed down'?

    Another bit of that 'realism is paramount' stance again, thinking that changing the game away from its original design (whatever it is) is somehow 'purer'.

    LFS is not a great benchmark either - the whole reason that they've spent the last 8 or 9 years working on their near-mythical new tyre model is because the old one couldn't realistically simulate the first real car they added to the game. Their model isn't soft-body as such, it's a physical model that I believe is a simple brush-based style - very advanced for 15+ years ago when it was written but even Dirt 2 and Forza 3 were using models like that.

    Games rarely, if ever, use the full player physics model for AI. Not only would it be massively expensive in terms of power, you'd also need to write AI that could actually drive a car.
     
  10. Nismonath5

    Nismonath5 Premium

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    Well said! :tup::tup:
     
  11. LeGeNd-1

    LeGeNd-1 Premium

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    I think the PS1 has more than enough power for simulation. Grand Prix Legends and Viper Racing both came out around the same time and they were both the high benchmarks of simulation at the time. Compared to today sims of course they are lacking, but the basic driving is still top notch.

    I don't think making GT1/2 more realistic is going to achieve anything though. We already have subsequent Gran Turismos for that. What GT1/2 excels at is a rough representation of realism, as best as you can, with 800 cars back in the late 90s era for mass market. Hell, we don't even have wheels for PS1 so making it overly realistic is just going to make the game undrivable with a controller.

    I always say that I don't care what kind of number crunching goes under the hood in a racing game, as long as the feeling of driving is right. And the feeling I get, when I drove in GT1/2 20 years ago gives me the same joy as when I drive in Assetto Corsa today, and when I drive in real life. That's all that matters.
     
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  12. pez2k

    pez2k

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    The PS1 was a lot less powerful than a contemporary PC - even something as simple as GTA1 had to be cut down for the PS1. To compare, minimum requirements for GPL CPU-wise were a 90Mhz Pentium, while the PS1 ran at ~34Mhz (although on a different architecture). The PS1 also only had one eighth of the RAM required for GPL.
     
  13. JSHuiting

    JSHuiting

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    I guess the Driver release both on PS1 and PC explains allot aswell.
    Eventhough it got nerfed to oblivion, it still lagged on the PS1.

     
  14. submaniac93

    submaniac93

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    The PS1 version is so much better... but at least PC has mods. Also, D1 pc came out way after the PS1 ad i'm pretty sure was rebuilt from the ground up, because it's not very accurate to the PS1 version (talking ambiance and stuff, not modeling, although that also changed a lot and not for the better sometimes)
     
  15. JSHuiting

    JSHuiting

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    How is the inferior version of 2 identical games "so much better" :confused:
     
  16. submaniac93

    submaniac93

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    Is's got working music (most PC versions came without music or it didn't play at all. I've never been able to have it myself), civillian cars that produce sounds, wheels that are correctly oriented when you flip your car, and many little things that the PC version lacks.
    The rest is my personal preference. The gameplay feels better, the brighter ambiance is less boring. The music is a lot less forgettable than the PC's soundtrack. Any of the advantages the PC version has (better resolution, albeit only 4:3 ratio, the ability to choose the car you want to drive once you complete the game etc.) are countered by emulation and cheats.

    The only thing the PC version really can't be beaten at is the fact that it's possible to edit the textures of the cities and cars, as well as replace the car models with custom ones hanks to some fanmade programs.
     
  17. JSHuiting

    JSHuiting

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    Reading that i guess it's more of a nostalgia thing as that's just nitpicking.
    Perhaps why i prefer the PC version myself, after i played that one i bought the PS1 version, and i still remember how dissapointed i was.

    Also i believe the lack of music is due to the game being pirated, it needs the disc for sound files like music.
    http://drivermadness.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1162
    GTA 3 and VC handle piracy the same way.
     
  18. submaniac93

    submaniac93

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    Definitely part of it is nostalgia, but i really feel like the PC port is duller compared to the ps1, regardless of that. As for the music yeah that's most likely the reason.
     
  19. fideliswagner

    fideliswagner

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    [QUOTE = "DEADmetal, post: 12439007, member: 300224"] Recentemente, fiquei impressionado com uma enorme onda de nostalgia pelos jogos do PS1 e comecei a jogá-los em um emulador. Sendo um entusiasta do automóvel, tenho sentimentos especiais pelo GT2 (agora ainda mais especial por causa da onda de nostalgia acima mencionada). Mas eu também sou um grande fã de realismo, e enquanto duas décadas atrás, o GT2 parecia surpreendentemente realista, olhando agora da minha nova perspectiva, seu realismo não brilha mais, para dizer o mínimo.

    Eu tentei jogar isso embora. Passei meus créditos iniciais em uma versão R 32 GTS-t Type M, RWD usada, com pouco mais de 200 hp, e entrei em uma corrida. Minhas esperanças e sonhos de curtir cada minuto do replay do GT2 estavam saindo em fumaça em cada esquina - como se para compensar a falta de fumaça dos pneus dianteiros do R-32, enquanto eles deslizavam enquanto o carro estava subestimando descontroladamente *.

    Assim, minhas perguntas são estas: é possível modificar GT2 para manipulação realista? Em caso afirmativo, alguém está qualificado o suficiente para fazê-lo? Se assim for, seria incrível ter um realismo final GT2 mod que as pessoas diriam que é impossível jogar com um D-pad (não uma pergunta, mas esta declaração deve descrever o que eu gostaria muito de ver ) feita a partir deste jogo, eu realmente tive que me parar aqui, porque eu poderia continuar e falar sobre as sugestões do mod realismo, o que, dado este período de infância, seria inadequado).


    * Wild understeer - uma situação em que um carro RWD consideravelmente potente mantém a subviragem em quase todas as velocidades, mesmo ao variar a posição do acelerador, mudando de marcha e mudando a direção rapidamente. [/CITAR]
    Whether difficulty or reality pilots the Speed 12 without TCS ..., and the Lotus Motor Sport Elise even more difficult - = that neither with TCS is stable