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'65 Mod Ai Cars (Not Drivers) Are Faster Than My Default Setup?

GPL 65 Mod AI Lotus 33

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#1 MGWalters

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Posted Jan 28 2020 - 09:51 PM

I've owned GPL pretty much since it came out in 1998 and I've always felt that it is one of the best sims out there.  That's not to say that I've enjoyed it every step along the way.  Using the original 67 cars, I would drive for a while, get frustrated and stop...only to pick it up again months or years later.

I find myself playing GPL again and I'm trying to stay at it this time.  I've discovered the mods and GEM+ and other ways to make it more enjoyable.  I'm currently exploring the '65 mod and have been using GEM+ to adjust the AI Speed so that I can compete in races as I get better.

I just lowered the AI Speed to 1.0 in order to face the AI drivers at their "best".  Of course I expected that it would take me a while to get to their level of driver expertise (if ever).  What I didn't expect was that their cars would be simply faster than mine!

Becasue I've never learned all the details of setups and I've found that hotlap setups from others are sometimes hard for me to drive, I've been driving with just the default setups from the '65 mod.  I figured this was a starting point and that at least I would have the same setup as the AI cars of the same type.

I'm using the Lotus 33.  In qualfiying at Monza, after setting the AI Speed to 1.0, I was the slowest qualifier.  I used the replay and replay analyzer to try to learn where I lose so much speed.  What I found is that the AI Lotus 33 is much faster than my car (using the default setup).  From what I've read, the default setups in the '65 mod are not ideal (using some of the same settings as the 3.0 liter 67 cars instead of setting optimized for the '65 1.5 liter cars).  But I figured that the AI would also use the default setup.  I don't know of any way to figure out what setup each AI driver is using otherwise.

What do I mean by the AI being faster?  I watched the replay of qualifying and I can see, for example:

AI Lotus 33, 4th gear, 10,000RPM, 142MPH
My Lotus 33 (default setup), 4th gear, 10,000RPM, 133MPH

The top speed of the AI car may not be quite as significantly faster, but the speed at many points where we are going "flat out" is higher.  I've tried some downloaded setups for the Lotus 33 and still haven't gotten anywhere near the top speed of the AI Lotus 33.  The speed at a given RPMs and gear is always higher for the AI, and I've tried this while carrying almost no fuel to make sure it's not a weight issue.

So, my questions are:
1) What is your experience with the top speed of the 65 Lotus 33, especially at Monza?
2) Is there any way to find out what setups the AI cars/drivers are using?
3) What do I need to do to get my 65 Lotus 33 to be as fast (car wise, not driving wise) as the AI cars?

Thanks.

Edited by MGWalters, Jan 28 2020 - 10:37 PM.


#2 KARTM

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 06:29 AM

AI are run by a series of fix  parameter files , not an elaborate physic program like the player car, they dont have setups , what you want is not possible , if you want to edit more in detail instead of globally with GEM , you edit the track.ini  theres one in all track file , you could change the top speed and other parameters of the AI

Edited by KARTM, Jan 29 2020 - 06:53 AM.


#3 Cookie

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 06:48 AM

Go to the track database and get some Monza 65 setups and learn to drive them, or race online with real I :D

http://gpltd.bcsims....onza&track_id=7

#4 Saiph

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 08:23 AM

As Kartm says, the AI cars in GPL don't "play by the same rules" as player cars. Back in 1998 when GPL was released, PCs were far less powerful than they are now, and Papyrus knew it would be impossible to create a sim where all AI cars on the grid were running the same sophisticated physics engine as the player cars. If they tried to model all 20 cars on the grid with perfect accuracy, the average processor back then would have melted! So they came up with a system which is, in effect, a simulation within the simulation. The AI system in GPL takes all the general numbers from the "driver.ini" files (for each mod) in the GPL directory, combines them with data for each individual circuit stored in the "track.ini" and "*.lp" files in each track directory, and comes up with its "best guess" as to how the AI cars would be driven by each driver.

Some people say that the AI cars "cheat". It's true that the simplified physics model for the AI cars doesn't take any notice of tyre temperatures. They can drive the first lap off the grid faster than a human player can because they don't have to put up with cold tyres. Also, they don't use setup data in the same way that player cars do (including gear ratios). So, as you've found, the AI speed on some straights can seem impossible to replicate. But if the AI are turning in realistic lap times (see below about tuning speeds), then it's obvious that if they're faster than they should be on some parts of the circuit, then they are going to be slower on other parts. Just as in real-life racing, if you follow an AI car, you should be able to spot where he's fast and where he's slow, and plan your overtaking manoeuvre accordingly.

If you look in detail at what the AI cars and drivers are doing, quite often you can see that things are not 100% credible. For example, viewing a replay of the AI cars jostling for position at an overtaking point (perhaps at the entry to a slow corner after a fast straight) can show the AI cars doing some slightly odd things, such as appearing to slide sideways to the left or right to avoid collisions. It's not a perfect simulation when you look at the details. But Papyrus' overall aim was to create AI drivers which would lap at around the same pace (relative to each other) that the real drivers would do.

Papyrus also introduced a scaling system which would allow the overall speed of the AI drivers to be "tweaked" to allow a human driver to keep up with them while learning how to drive. In theory, if you install GPL for the first time and start racing against the AI drivers, the game should take account of your average lap times from the most recent races (approximately 10 to 12, I think) and adjust the speed of the AI cars accordingly. Supposedly, after a few races, you should notice that overall, the AI drivers slow down to allow your lap times to become competitive with the AI grid. I don't race much with GPL as I prefer hotlapping, so I've never analysed whether the scaling system works for me. Some drivers say it does, others disagree. But after driving the game for some years, I can usually finish in the top three in a race against the AI, sometimes winning, most times not. You will often see threads on GPL forums such as SRMZ discussing how to edit various files and tweak various numbers in the data to speed up or slow down the AI cars manually.

For track creators, one of the "dark arts" which they have to learn is how to generate the "track.ini" and "*.lp" files for each track. It's a difficult job, which they usually get right. But sometimes there are updates released on SRMZ which try to improve the behaviour of AI cars.

I think one of the reasons that the GPL AI system is a bit weak is because Papyrus were rushed into releasing GPL for the 1998 Christmas market. Originally, the game was supposed to have a career mode, wet races, pit stops, and various other features. But unfortunately a lot of that had to be scrapped because Sierra forced Papyrus to push the game out to the public. According to some accounts from the time, Papyrus were still testing the AI when they had to ship.

(PS - I've just re-read your post. You mention the speeds for the Lotus 33 in fourth gear. Are you using the trainer version of the car? The full 1965 Lotus 33 has a five-speed box. Or maybe you're giving the figures for fourth gear as it's easier to read them while you're driving? My top speed in the lotus 33 is usually around 165mph, depending on circumstances.)

Edited by Saiph, Jan 29 2020 - 10:50 AM.


#5 jgf

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 11:03 AM

View PostSaiph, on Jan 29 2020 - 08:23 AM, said:

...

I think one of the reasons that the GPL AI system is a bit weak is because Papyrus were rushed into releasing GPL for the 1998 Christmas market. Originally, the game was supposed to have a career mode, wet races, pit stops, and various other features. But unfortunately a lot of that had to be scrapped because Sierra forced Papyrus to push the game out to the public. According to some accounts from the time, Papyrus were still testing the AI when they had to ship....

Exactly.

I think of this when I see some of these new sims that seemingly stay in perpetual beta state, with a "new build" or "latest release" every few weeks but never a finished product (job security for the developers?).  I joined the beta team of GPL in April '98, it was officially in "pre-alpha" state then;  three or four tracks were driveable (though with little to no TSOs, and the ones present had no textures), and three or four cars were driveable, though with only four speed gearboxes and few setup options;  none of the trainers yet existed, and all cars were using a "Cosworth" sound created by Alison Hine.  (I was brought in to create the sounds ...a great excuse for spending several weekends with a  Sony DAT at SVRA and HRS events.)  And from this state in April the game was on store shelves in September (minus my sounds due to contractual problems).  The original timeline, to my recollection, called for a release in spring of '99, but Sierra was insistent on a pre-Christmas release;  thus it was a rush to complete what was already functional and leave the rest for a possible future update (which, obviously, never came to pass).  The trainers represent nothing real world, just lower powered cars with similar handling to their F1 counterparts;  variable weather was dropped, pit stops were being debated (they were rare in '67, was it worth the trouble to include them?);  but the biggest loss, in my opinion, was the career mode,  this would have helped alleviate one of GPL's biggest problems - the steep learning curve.  As we envisioned it, you would start in the "F3" cars, earn enough points in an F3 season and move to "F2", earn enough points in a season there and move to F1;  we even considered limiting your choice of cars depending on how well you performed at the lower level - barely make the grade to F1 and you would not get a seat in a front runner team (of course you could bypass all this and just jump into whatever car you wanted at the start).

As for AI, I doubt any sim has been released with acceptable digital drivers;  for most of us it is an ongoing project no matter how good the default AI.  But all Sierra/Papyrus sims used basically the same system, and all suffered from those cars being able to move laterally to avoid each other (I sincerely doubt they move at all to avoid me) and from starting with warm tires.  And many have complained of GPL's AI being "robotic", which is true of all Sierra sims, watching an AI race is like watching slot cars;  which leads to another reason for GPL's steep learning curve - we, the players, had to learn the art of "four wheel drift", which the AI never use, so many players tried following the AI to learn the ropes and found nothing but frustration.

#6 JonnyA

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 04:07 PM

In the 1965 Mod, by default the AI cars accelerate faster than the player car. In the top level GPL folder is a file called gpla65.ini. Open this up and in the Physics section half the way down you'll see a parameter called 'inertial_factor'. Changing the value of this to 0.270000 sets the AI to match the player's acceleration (in my experience). Make sure you note the default value first so you can change it back if you want to, I think the default is 0.20000 but I'm not certain, you'll have to check.

#7 Saiph

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 05:04 PM

View PostJonnyA, on Jan 29 2020 - 04:07 PM, said:

...... In the top level GPL folder is a file called gpla65.ini. .....

Interesting. I've had the '65 mod installed on my machine for years, and I've never seemed to have any problem with it. But I don't have that file anywhere on my PC. :idunno:

#8 MGWalters

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Posted Jan 29 2020 - 05:29 PM

Thank you to everyone who responded! Very educational and saves me the frustration of trying to figure out what "setup" the AI is using. Also helps me understand why the top speed of the AI cars (not just the aggressiveness) varies with the "AI Speed" setting in Gem+.

I did use 4th gear as my example for comparison but that was just because it was an easy reference on the front straight at Monza. I am using the F1 '65 cars and the example speeds I showed are not top speeds.

In addition to the helpful information about WHY the AI doesn't use the same (or any setup) and possible ways to adjust it, the biggest thing I've learned from this discussion is to not use the AI drivers as my mentors for getting faster. I can't do a lap in exactly the way they do. So, I'll focus instead on trying to learn from replays from human drivers. This is especially educational when I use replay analyzer to merge my best lap with another driver's lap and see how we compare.

Thanks again to all. It's so cool that GPL still has this great community!

Edited by MGWalters, Jan 30 2020 - 12:16 PM.


#9 webfoot

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Posted Jan 30 2020 - 04:11 AM

View PostSaiph, on Jan 29 2020 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting. I've had the '65 mod installed on my machine for years, and I've never seemed to have any problem with it. But I don't have that file anywhere on my PC. :idunno:

:yikesss:

Surprised at that Saiph.  Each mod has a "gplai.ini" equivalent.

Here is a copy of my copy (dated 2004 so probably fairly original).

Attached File  gpla65.zip   5.28K   6 downloads

Edited by webfoot, Jan 30 2020 - 04:11 AM.


#10 Saiph

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Posted Jan 30 2020 - 07:38 AM

MGWalters, I'm glad that we've clarified a few things for you. Yes, the AI are not the best examples to use as teachers for GPL. Much better to use human replays, but also learn to get a good "feel" for the cars yourself, and find out what driving style suits you. I remember the first time I tried going around Curva Grande at Monza a bit faster than I did previously, and I found myself hanging the tail of the car out and getting into a nice, controlled, 4-wheel drift. That was when I realised I was starting to learn a bit more about the GPL cars, and it was a really nice feeling.

Thanks for the info webfoot. After my previous post I searched around on my hard drive, found the '65 mod v2.0.2 installer, and extracted all the files to a temporary working directory using Universal Extractor. I then used WinMerge to compare the files with my GPL installation and found a few oddities. Most of the differences were due to updates (such as improved car models), but a few files were missing, including "gpla65.ini". I've now copied over the missing files.

I wonder how I've been able to run races against the AI without the AI file? Probably GPL defaults to using "gpl_ai.ini" if there's no mod-specific AI file. I also wonder how the file went missing in the first place! Also, I noticed that I don't have an AI file for the '69 cars ("gpla69.ini") or the '66 F1 cars ("gpla66.ini"). I will check those out too, it's possible the mod makers didn't create those AI files and relied on the default one.

Maybe it's time for me to bite the bullet and do a completely clean re-install of GPL from scratch. The only problem is that there have been so many updates and improvements from the community over the years that I'm not sure I could re-install them all in the right order! An embarrassment of riches! :D

('Scuse me for hijacking the thread slightly! :cry: :shutup: ;))

Edited by Saiph, Jan 30 2020 - 07:46 AM.


#11 KARTM

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Posted Jan 30 2020 - 08:39 AM

wasnt familiar with the 65  mod   even if its the oldest  "new " mod , i gave it a try at monza ,east london and  well to be honest the AI pace  are unrealistic , on the original 67 in F2 on the new 68 mod ect , i am able to qualify on the front row  ,but in the 65 mod  im way out dead last , maybe its because it was the first new mod  and they were off with the physic of the player car  anyway  i would say that 1.1 gem setting would be  a realistic target and pace

#12 webfoot

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Posted Jan 30 2020 - 10:15 AM

View PostSaiph, on Jan 30 2020 - 07:38 AM, said:


I wonder how I've been able to run races against the AI without the AI file? Probably GPL defaults to using "gpl_ai.ini" if there's no mod-specific AI file. I also wonder how the file went missing in the first place! Also, I noticed that I don't have an AI file for the '69 cars ("gpla69.ini") or the '66 F1 cars ("gpla66.ini"). I will check those out too, it's possible the mod makers didn't create those AI files and relied on the default one.

Mods defaulting to gpl_ai.ini, if their specific version was missing,  would also be my guess.

All the mods have their own version of the file.  I tried to document them here....   http://srmz.net/inde...65

View PostSaiph, on Jan 30 2020 - 07:38 AM, said:

Maybe it's time for me to bite the bullet and do a completely clean re-install of GPL from scratch. The only problem is that there have been so many updates and improvements from the community over the years that I'm not sure I could re-install them all in the right order! An embarrassment of riches! :D

Ha, I have exactly the same situation.  I think the only way would be to keep my current "monster install" preserved as a reference.  But I'd rather spend time driving than doing a whole re-install of everything.

#13 MGWalters

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Posted Jan 31 2020 - 07:45 PM

View Postwebfoot, on Jan 30 2020 - 04:11 AM, said:

:yikesss:

Surprised at that Saiph.  Each mod has a "gplai.ini" equivalent.

Here is a copy of my copy (dated 2004 so probably fairly original).

There are a couple of weird things I've found about this file (gpla65.ini).  One is that Webfoot's file has the intertial_factor set to 0.2, but my file had it set to 0.05.  I've read other threads about this and have seen 0.2, 0.08, and 0.05 all being reported as the default value for the 65 mod.  At any rate, I changed it to 0.25 in my gpla65.ini and suddenly the AI drivers drove a lot like me!  In fact, I sort of felt sorry for them, since I'm not very good, and reduced it to 0.20.  With this setting, I would need to drive my fastest Mona qualifying lap (so far) in order to get in the front row.  That seems about right.  I'll need to get better to finish in the top 3.

The other weird thing is that I tried deleting my gpla65.ini to see how it worked for Saiph.  Strangely, not only did it create a gpl65a.ini for me when I ran the mod (which seems weird considering that Saiph didn't have one ever after running the mod) but it was NOT a copy of the default gplai.ini.  It was the same gpl65a.ini that I had deleted.  Not sure where that came from.

View PostSaiph, on Jan 30 2020 - 07:38 AM, said:

MGWalters, I'm glad that we've clarified a few things for you. Yes, the AI are not the best examples to use as teachers for GPL. Much better to use human replays, but also learn to get a good "feel" for the cars yourself, and find out what driving style suits you.

Is there a good source of 65 replays?  I figured there would be tons of them but I mostly just found broken links, setup files (but not replays), and, in one case, replays that were .wmv video files, but not the original .rpy files. At any rate, I do find that watching replays (even the AI) leads to me trying things that I thought were "impossible".  Curva Grande is a perfect example.  I experienced a significant decrease in my best lap times after I realized that I could keep the speed up around 135 going through Curva Grande.

View PostKARTM, on Jan 30 2020 - 08:39 AM, said:

wasnt familiar with the 65  mod   even if its the oldest  "new " mod , i gave it a try at monza ,east london and  well to be honest the AI pace  are unrealistic , on the original 67 in F2 on the new 68 mod ect , i am able to qualify on the front row  ,but in the 65 mod  im way out dead last , maybe its because it was the first new mod  and they were off with the physic of the player car  anyway  i would say that 1.1 gem setting would be  a realistic target and pace

That's really good to hear.  Without changing the gem+ AI_SPEED or the gpla65.ini inertial_factor, I was guaranteed to qualify last.  I had gotten to where I could have a pretty good grid position and race with the gem+ AI_SPEED set to 1.15 but I felt like it was my fault that I couldn't do better with the default setting.  I was going to just drive with it at 1.15 (with my goal to get it down to 1.1) but now I'm probably just going to change inertial_factor to 0.2 instead.  This helps me compete but spreads the field out less than changing the gem+ AI_SPEED.

Thanks, everyone!

Edited by MGWalters, Jan 31 2020 - 07:49 PM.






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