The reason I’m making this editor is because all of the track editors that I have used for building tracks either have severe limitations or don’t have features to help me find out why a track either fails to load or causes the simulator to crash. And also, I’m a perfectionist! I want pin-point precision on every track I make and there are no track editors available that allows me to achieve that. Not very easily, anyways!
Concepts For Track Construction
This track editor will use the same concepts for track building that the Sandbox track editor for NR2003 uses. That is, you will have a series of segments defining the basic path that the cars will take around the track, with a series of sections on each segment defining where all of the features on that segment are. These features include the exact size and shape of the racing surface, the location and sizes of the walls on the segment, and the elevation of all parts of each segment.
For multi-course tracks (or single course tracks with complex layouts), segments and sections can snap to each other to make sure that there is no overlap where courses merge, branch-off, or cross each other. In the event that the simulator stores the track as a set of splines rather than a mesh and only allows a single path to be defined (like NR2003), the snapping feature will make it easier for shared geometry (geometry shared between multiple courses) to match as closely as possible. The track editor will then export the track as multiple tracks, exporting one track per course.
Improvements over Sandbox
- Far more stability.
- Multiple guides and backgrounds.
- Higher track mesh resolution.
- Properties Window docked to main window (no switching between the two).
- Viewport switches between various modes (no switching between windows).
- TSD and TSO selection based on Mesh instead of axis-aligned bounding box.
- Create tracks for any racing simulator.
- Debug tracks with absolute precision before you even attempt to drive on them in-game.
- LUA interface to allow for scripts that make it easier to build tracks.
- Keyboard entry to make absolute positioning of track segments, walls, ect. very easy.
- Hierarchical object browser for easy navigation of the objects that will make up the race track.
- Multiple types of guides to help in the construction of track features.
- Guides are saved to the project files.
- Multiple background images allow for higher resolution maps without sacrificing performance.
- Easy-to-use context menus with detailed tool-tips on what everything does.
- Edit not only the track geometry and scenery, but also cameras and AI lines.
- Create meshes of the track geometry for different resolutions with a fixed-resolution physics mesh.
- [rFactor 2] Takes advantage of RealRoad technology.
Although it's quite early in development, I have put up the official API on GitHub here. This is an early version of the API, so you can expect major updates as development continues. Currently, only simulator support can be implemented through this API (this includes rendering the scene). Other things like track geometry generators and scripting languages will be implemented later.
To ensure that the track is rendered almost exactly as it would be in the simulator, it is the responsibility of the plugin to implement the rendering for that simulator. The track editor will call all of the rendering functions in the correct order.
You can follow the development of the track editor on Twitter at #ChapmanTrackCreator.