Thanks to the '55 Mod team for their test support and especially to Stefan Roess for hosting the website.
BTW, Stefan has cooked up a nice surprise for everyone too.
What Is It?:
The Night Patch changes the sky from day to night then back to day in order to simulate a 12 or 24 hour race during any length GPL race. It works during qualification and race for all mods, all country .exes, and the D3D7v2 and OpenGLv2 rasterizers.
Its most obvious use is to simulate 1967 Sports Car races that ran at night; however, there is nothing wrong with using it elsewhere such as a 1965 F1 race at Monaco or a 1971 CanAm race at Road America.
How Does It Work?:
The Night Patch uses GPL's Fog Effect which, before now, could only apply a fixed density, gray colored fog throughout qualification and race. This patch not only changes the visibility, but also the fog color to simulate day (light blue), sunset (pink), night (black), and sunrise (light yellow). Normally, the fog's density and color are constant as set in the track.ini file, but the Night Patch automatically and continuously changes the density and color on-the-fly and track.ini file settings aren't needed.
See the separate Fog Effects Notes file for a history of the Fog Effect in GPL and more techie stuff.
How Do You Use It?:
See this link to my website which contains the link to download the Night Patch and how to add patches:
I place the Night patch in one of the Options directories to make it easy to turn on and off with GEM+'s checkbox.
Important--the patch only works with v2 rasterizers!
What Should You Expect To See?:
The Night Patch continuously adjusts the Fog Effect during qualification or race. It uses an "event time" which is the actual time for a qualification period or an estimated time for a race. Here is the change schedule:
1. Day Color: Begins at qualification and race start.
2. Day Color To Sunset Color: Begins at 33% of the event time. Lasts for 60 seconds.
3. Night Fade In: Begins as soon as the day to sunset color change is complete. Lasts for 60 seconds.
4. Night Fade Out To Sunrise Color: Begins at 67% of the event time. Lasts for 60 seconds.
5. Sunrise Color To Day Color: Begins as soon as the night fade out is complete. Lasts for 60 seconds.
6. Day Color: Begins as soon as the sunrise to day color change is complete. Lasts until the end.
Day to sunset color change and night fade in beginnings are adjusted for longer qualification periods, but the fades and transition durations are fixed at 60 seconds in order for the patch to work during short Novice races.
As an example, assume you are doing a Pro-Short qualification which lasts for 30 minutes.
1. Qualification Start: Day color.
2. 20 Minutes Remaining: Day color to sunset color transition begins.
3. 19 Minutes Remaining: Sunset color to night fade in begins.
4. 18 Minutes Remaining: Night begins.
5. 10 Minutes Remaining: Night fade out to sunrise color begins.
6. 9 Minutes Remaining: Sunrise color to day color transition begins.
7. 8 Minutes Remaining: Day color begins.
For the race, a similar schedule is followed, but the race time is estimated by using the track length and number of laps. As an example, if you were doing a 100 lap race, the day to sunset color transition would begin about lap number 33. The night fade out to sunrise color would begin about lap number 67 so you would drive 34 laps at night. Note that these lap numbers aren't exact as they are based on the race time estimate.
The patch works during replays. All the replay buttons such as fast forward, pause, .etc, and the time slider work normally and the Fog Effect is automatically updated. If your replay includes qualification and race segments, the patch will automatically recompute the event time accordingly and display the corrected Fog Effect based on the new event time and current elapsed time. You can use a saved replay as well as the normal qualification/race replay screen.
1. It does not work during training. Training has no time limit so there is nothing on which to base fog changes.
2. If you enter and exit your car or use the replay time change features, elapsed time and the fog display may no longer be in real time. Press the "Live Feed" button to synchronize the display. This is not a bug with the patch, but is a feature of GPL.
3. To minimize possible frame rate degradation, fog changes are purposely limited to twice per second. This may create a slight flickering effect when the fog is most dense.
4. The patch was tested online and all players see the same Fog Effect at the same time even if they join the server at different times.
5. The Fog Effect is always active so it may partially obscure the horizon at some tracks even during the day. Some tracks have a distant horizon which makes them more susceptible to the effect. Tracks with closer horizons, such as Monaco, are not obscured very much.
6. Don't use the Night Patch at the same time as the Weather Patch as they conflict with each other.
Bugs: The patch was extensively tested and has one known issue:
1. It does not work for the Grand Prix race length which has two qualifying sessions. It works fine for all other race lengths.
Edited by Lee200, Mar 06 2017 - 07:50 AM.