By Andrew Davey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Version 1.0 - October 2001
It is far too easy to simply say 'I can make a great street circuit'. There are three different categories of street circuit: famous or international ones (eg Monte Carlo), fictional ones and local area ones (eg round to the shops and back!) I prefer making the latter, and will concentrate on that throughout this tutorial, because you can always go and look without having to travel too far!
Your first priority has to be to get a good map of the area. It doesn't matter if you scan it or if you download it, just make sure it's the best map you can find.
Secondly, you need to decide the exact route, and if you are going to add things like armco barriers. I personally prefer circuits without them, as it provides a more open feel.
You also need to define the kerbs, and decide on your priorities. Do you want
the kerbs to be usable or look realistic? Realistic kerbs (height=20-40) make cars
take off spectacularly but unrealistically, so are best avoided. A good compromise
is usually 12 high, 1 in for the front of high kerbs and either 6 or 2 high and 4
in for low kerbs. The back parts of the kerbs should be defined as 1 or 2 higher
(or more for deep kerbs), but the width very much depends on the area.
You may wish to have the walls in front of the kerbs, in which case, don't worry about them. If you do use kerbs, the best thing to do is define a kerb strip on both sides in the first track sector, for the whole of the track length. This will allow yo to put kerbs in exactly where you want them, whichever type you want to use.
There are three ways of doing this:
1) Watch on TV (eg Monte Carlo)
2) Make it up (as a fictional track)
3) Live there!
The second option gives you the most freedom, but I prefer the third. I find it fun to imagine the sort of laptimes I can do going around my area. And then I can actually try it.
Street circuits are bumpy. It's as simple as that. However, some have speed bumps
or even humped zebra crossings! These present rather a good challenge for the driver,
as well as for the track designer.
Small bumpiness levels should be set using the bump data table. But you need to decide whether to use this table or set track heights for larger bumps.
CC cars seem to bounce better over bump data bumps, but you can't see them! However, they do stick to track bumps (look at Addie's Bern-Grauholz '98 if you don't believe me!), which can give them a big advantage. But you can see them!
Another limitation is the large track unit. Bumps are usually rounded, and smaller than 16 feet across! So if there's a series of bumps with constant heights and constant spacing, I recommend that you use the bump data table, otherwise use track heights. But don't forget the limited size of the bump data table!
There will always be side roads. There are three ways of dealing with them:
1) Block them off completely
2) Use them as low run-off areas
3) Entend the track widths
Monte Carlo and Adelaide are the best examples of option 2 (from the original tracks). Spa (Turn 1) is the best example of option 3 (from the original tracks).
The best way to get a realistic kerbing effect would be as follows:
Kerbs: Left, Right
Command:Track width change left
Offset into sector=9
Command:Track width change left
Offset into sector=3
New width=(usually same as old width)
Kerbs: Left, Right
Firstly, you need to decide whether to include them or not. They have the direct
result of reducing overtaking, as there is usually only space for one car in a straight
line (except if you use the pavement). Most street circuit chicanes ('traffic calming
measures') usually have such a central line through them. It's best to use track
width changes if you are going to include them, otherwise just ignore them.
There are major texture limitations, but these can be overcome. Road textures
look almost nothing like the standard GP2 textures, so you have to make your own.
Or download some. If you don't have too many textures, you can make them high resolution.
If, however, you have a lot, your bet bet is to use, say, a 128x128 texture, and
make it repeat. Always set length=1 for track and verge textures, as this improves
the appearance. You can use the mirror function if you have markings at one side
of a texture and want to use them on both. This only works for symmetrical roads
though. You can always use the track marking commands if you need to.
For textures such as shop fronts, be creative, but know your restrictions (in terms of file sizes etc.)
Disable the undo feature of the TE. You should save and back up your track manually,
as the auto-backup feature is too slow and too frequent.
Start with a simple base track. You can always add objects later.
Never set a grey texture on a verge that doesn't act as tarmac, as it annoys people (especially me!).
Avoid gravel on street circuits. It just doesn't usually belong there. If you find an exception, let me know please!
Streets are usually quite narrow. so try and make surethey remain that way. A width of 320 is good for a single-lane road; for a main road try 1200-1500. For a motorway or A-road, try anything upto 3200!
Be inventive! If you want to use a school playing field as part of your track, do it! You could put a tarmac route in, or just set a high bumpiness in the data table and leave it as grass.
Here's my recommended procedure for making a street circuit:
1) Know the area.
2) Get a map, and a good one at that. Use it as the underlay bitmap, but be sure to scale it to the correct size.
3) Plan the route (including the pitlane)
4) Decide on kerb shapes.
5) Add the kerb strip commands to the first track sector, if you are using kerbs.
6) Make a basic layout and pitlane, flat, with all kerbs on (you can take some out later).
7) Add side roads.
8) Add main track gradient.
9) Add bumps.
10) Decide on fence distances.
11) Decide on track textures, markings etc.
12) Add a CC line.
13) Add scenery.
14) Add objects.
15) Test it.
16) Enjoy it.
17) Distribute it.
18) Use feedback to improve it.
19) Start your next track.
(c) Copyright Andrew Davey, 2001. You may distribute this document by any means in an unmodified form. If you wish to change it, you must e-mail me first (I will reply as quickly as I can), and have my express permission. I am not responsible for any outcomes of the usage of this document (in short, it's not my fault if you have problems!) Please feel free to let me know what you think.