How to make races more interesting

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MrKyleCollins

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Jan 18, 2017
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Kyle_Pryor_
Idk if this is the right area to share this, if it isn’t I truly apologize.

I’m just curious about what I can do to make my races more interesting and how to do so. For example, when I test ran Daytona there were no crashes and barely any passing. Making for an excruciating event. I have no idea how people make it more interesting.
 

Cynon

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Jan 5, 2017
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Superspeedways, honestly, I find to be quite dull, but I'll help you out with some basics of what to change in the track.ini and why.

1. Hidden Values

Alright, for starters... the following values should be added to [ ai_track ] at the end of the default physics values (meaning before [ ai_track_gns ]). These are from Daytona06, and are why the AI there tends to have more lowlining and blocking than you normally see. Pretty much every track ever made for this game doesn't put these values in the track.ini (which I would imagine defaults them to zero), but they are valid.

ai_offset_long_lookahead = 5.0
ai_offset_lat_lookahead = 1.0

These values are probably fine, given that it's from another Daytona (and basically all Daytonas made for NR were based off the default one as far as I'm aware). I don't think there are any other hidden values that go in the track.ini, but I'll have to check that.

If you don't like what these do, put a semicolon in front of "ai" to disable them. This will mostly stop the kind of "conveyor belt" type racing (where everyone stays in a pack and just shuffles around meaninglessly) a superspeedway produces.

2. ai_dlongpad_scale

Alright, so there's the obvious; "make ai_drafting_distance smaller" refrain, but, honestly, anything lower than 1.2 for a superspeedway is going to create wrecks every other lap... probably.

Time to get to the fun stuff. Like ai_dlongpad_scale. This seems to control how early the AI set up a pass, and in what direction they tend to prefer to pass in. If that sounds like absolute madness, you're right. The closer this number is to 0, the later the AI will pull out to make a pass, and the more likely they are to stay behind a slower car, seemingly. A positive number will mean the AI generally looks to the left side to pass first, a negative number? Well, they'll think about making the right side work more often.

Most superspeedways should have this set to about 1000, which is absolute madness for anything other than a superspeedway. Stick a negative sign in front of the 1000 and see what happens. 8)

3. ai_dlat_pad and ai_squeeze_pcnt

Also known as the; "How are TM Master Cup series races good?" values. The former controls how closely the ai run side by side, with lower being closer. Turning this down by even small increments can have big results. You can make this a negative number if you want, and on some tracks, that's not a bad idea.

You can kind of do that with ai_squeeze_pcnt, but you don't want to do that here. This controls how far apart the min and maxrace lps are from each other. Increase this by... say, by 0.10.

Values here are very LP-dependent, so the same values on different tracks will do different things.

4. Disable ai_line_modifier

Put a semicolon before ai_line_modifier and that's all, but for ovals, you honestly might want to have this. Up to you, but I've seen the AI go for the outside a bit more often with this off. You'll want this disabled for road courses for obvious reasons.
 

Cynon

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Jan 5, 2017
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Probably related to how far the AI look ahead and behind when passing or thinking about it. Haven't messed with them enough.

I say probably, because the one track I've seen those on is Daytona 06, and the AI do a lot of blocking there.
 

Rufio2031

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Jul 3, 2017
55
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I've been messing with them quite aggressively and to be honest I haven't noticed a single difference. I was hoping this would open a huge door. We'll see, I'll keep trying things out.
 
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J.R. Franklin

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Sep 16, 2016
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Superspeedways, honestly, I find to be quite dull, but I'll help you out with some basics of what to change in the track.ini and why.

1. Hidden Values

Alright, for starters... the following values should be added to [ ai_track ] at the end of the default physics values (meaning before [ ai_track_gns ]). These are from Daytona06, and are why the AI there tends to have more lowlining and blocking than you normally see. Pretty much every track ever made for this game doesn't put these values in the track.ini (which I would imagine defaults them to zero), but they are valid.

ai_offset_long_lookahead = 5.0
ai_offset_lat_lookahead = 1.0

These values are probably fine, given that it's from another Daytona (and basically all Daytonas made for NR were based off the default one as far as I'm aware). I don't think there are any other hidden values that go in the track.ini, but I'll have to check that.

If you don't like what these do, put a semicolon in front of "ai" to disable them. This will mostly stop the kind of "conveyor belt" type racing (where everyone stays in a pack and just shuffles around meaninglessly) a superspeedway produces.

2. ai_dlongpad_scale

Alright, so there's the obvious; "make ai_drafting_distance smaller" refrain, but, honestly, anything lower than 1.2 for a superspeedway is going to create wrecks every other lap... probably.

Time to get to the fun stuff. Like ai_dlongpad_scale. This seems to control how early the AI set up a pass, and in what direction they tend to prefer to pass in. If that sounds like absolute madness, you're right. The closer this number is to 0, the later the AI will pull out to make a pass, and the more likely they are to stay behind a slower car, seemingly. A positive number will mean the AI generally looks to the left side to pass first, a negative number? Well, they'll think about making the right side work more often.

Most superspeedways should have this set to about 1000, which is absolute madness for anything other than a superspeedway. Stick a negative sign in front of the 1000 and see what happens. 8)

3. ai_dlat_pad and ai_squeeze_pcnt

Also known as the; "How are TM Master Cup series races good?" values. The former controls how closely the ai run side by side, with lower being closer. Turning this down by even small increments can have big results. You can make this a negative number if you want, and on some tracks, that's not a bad idea.

You can kind of do that with ai_squeeze_pcnt, but you don't want to do that here. This controls how far apart the min and maxrace lps are from each other. Increase this by... say, by 0.10.

Values here are very LP-dependent, so the same values on different tracks will do different things.

4. Disable ai_line_modifier

Put a semicolon before ai_line_modifier and that's all, but for ovals, you honestly might want to have this. Up to you, but I've seen the AI go for the outside a bit more often with this off. You'll want this disabled for road courses for obvious reasons.
Hmmmmm.... very interesting. I'll have to do some testing with these on my short tracks and see if I can get the leaders to make/attempt more outside passes and especially when they come upon lapped cars. However, my thoughts are that there are so many factors that go into how good and competitive a race with the a.i. will be such as Lps, car ratings, track.ini settings, etc. All of which factor into the equation. Once in awhile we track editors "stumble" upon the perfect combination to really make the A.I. click. My guess is that that is what happened in that Daytona_06 track you're referring to. But, as always, I like to keep an open mind and am always looking to learn something new that might really open a door to better racing.

I'll end with this... my biggest complaint is that many times the leader gets way out in front and just runs away with it. So I've tried to tweak the A.I. to evoking more contact and cautions to bring the pack back together again. However, there's a fine line to doing that. What may be a "reasonable" amount of cautions in my testing with the rated car sets I use, may turn into a wreck fest for someone else using a car set with different ratings.

Dialing in A.I. is one of the most difficult aspects of track making due to the many factors that can dictate how it comes out.
 
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Rufio2031

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Jul 3, 2017
55
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Yeah J.R. you're exactly right. You could fine tune something so perfect, but someone else could use slightly different settings and it could be completely different. On top of that you have so many people all with different expectations of what AI racing should be like. I don't exactly know how or why BBMC tracks get a decent mix of cautions, but I think it has to do with typically having a slightly higher ai_line_modifier than usual.

I should've mentioned I also tested ai_longpad_scale and again didn't see any real difference. My interpretation of ai_longpad_scale is pretty much exactly what it explains itself as. It's how quickly they apply the brake. Now, at the same time, I've had limited success with getting much out of this property. It's typically one I mostly leave alone. If I want them to drive in the corner further I typically rely on the deceleration_grip.
 

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