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 Post subject: Craftsman Quakerstate by Tarres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:30 am 
Member

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:22 am
Posts: 37
Truck: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="window.open('http://cownap.com/~mtmg/contests/expo2003/pics/trucks/craftsmanquakerstate478x354.jpg','win','scrollbars=no,left=80,top=80,width=498,height=374')">Craftsman Quakerstate</a>
Maker: Tarres
Class: Repaint
Verts: <a href="javascript:void(0)"onClick="window.open('http://cownap.com/~mtmg/contests/expo2003/pics/stats/craftsmanquakerstatestats.gif','win','scrollbars=yes,left=20,top=20,width=670,height=600')">236/1082/1318</a>
Faces: 248/1812/2060
Txtrs: 2/6/8
Podzip: No
Animated Textures: No
Allow Reflections: Yes
Allow Truck Reflections: Yes
Readme: Yes, without credits
Download: <a href="http://mtm2.com/~trucks/dl.cgi?dl=808" target="_self">268</a>k

Tarres is a new comer to the mtmg and the world of addons. For the expo he's contributed a number of truck entries among which perhaps the Craftsman Quakerstate is arguably the best of the bunch, exhibiting some nice paint work and just enough amenities to make it interesting.

Game-wise, the handling and lights are fine, as you'd expect for an essentially stock truck.

Quakerstate is, as stated in the truck's text file, just a simple repaint of Firestone Wilderness (possibly based on the blank Firestone textures by Alpine). Tarres has done a splendid job adding Craftsman, Quaker State and NAPA decals and numbering it with a bold #1. It perhaps looks a little bit bare around the back, and the headlight flares pasted onto the hood are a bit unusual and confuse the eye, but it's still a very clean job. Perhaps the strangest feature is the Chevy Bowtie emblem painted on the grille of this Ford truck - especially since the word 'Ford' has been left on the truck's bed cover!

The wheels, on the other hand, (the same as those on his Monster Attack) look a bit odd - like the bins were assigned a new (custom?) texture but not mapped out.

Technically, this truck has a few issues. First, is that the axles appear to be from Rep Fan's <a href="http://mtm2.com/~trucks/search.cgi?search=executioner+I" target="_blank">Executioner</a> with swaybars by ZOtm_BigDogge. This is fine, of course, although it would've saved us some searching had proper credits been mentioned in the readme file. Be that as it may, the problem here is that these parts are mapped to the Executioner textures and thus the Craftsman Quakerstate truck require them also, tho they are barely seen at all. The result is that Quakerstate now lugs three extra 256x256 textures into every race, so that what should have been a lean and light vehicle has become a burden in multiplayer games as well as texture laden tracks. The solution, tho perhaps not readily known to a maker at this stage of development, is simply to map the parts to new textures using binedit.

A second concern is that Tarres is using the redundant *1.BIN and *0.BIN (med- and low-detail) body model files, but these are identical to the main body model. Now we must understand a couple things about the way the game works, and that we try to discourage shortcuts for new truck (and track) makers so that these various aspects become known to them through hands-on exposure. In the present case, the use of three truck models for all trucks means that the game can use less resources for vehicles farther way from your field of view. So, the main truck model will be named something like MYTRUCK.BIN. This will normally be a fully detailed version of the truck for close up viewing. Then a second model named MYTRUCK1.BIN will be a medium detail version of the same truck, but one which uses fewer verticies. Then a last model named MYTRUCK0.BIN is the low detail model which uses the fewest verticies of all. This scheme allows the game to draw less on the screen, especially for objects in the distance, and thereby increase framerates. Now, what Tarres has done is use one model for all three, and just renamed each one so it conforms to the proper naming scheme. The result then, is no improvement in performance. If a truck maker is going to opt to use a high detail model only, then there is no need to include the med and low detail versions. The game will operate fine if they are absent. And it is true that many custom addons include only the one version body model. Still, it is important to know the role of the lower detail models and they should be made use of whenever possible.

The final issue is with pod building. It tooks us a couple shots working with Tarres to get each of his entries self contained with all of the necessary files included in the pod. This was a minor inconvenience that downloaders will not have to contend with. However, let us remind new truck makers that building a LST file is an important step in the pod making process. This cannot be done by guess work. You must use either a program like mdmre's file searcher, a hex editor to view the actual files (body, axle and wheels), tracked2 which will find them for you, or CH_2005's new C-pod to build your pod files. Anything less will result in error after error. Do yourself the favor and take the time to be thorough. In the long run, it's the best way to save time and be sure to have a truck that works perfect for everyone.

But don't let this heavy tutorial-review distract from the truck. Tarres has done a competent job on the repaint. This truck will look fine in your game.


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