Hi everybody thanks for the huge list of questions. Most of them are feature requests (not surprisingly) and most of the answers will be a polite "no" . I think it is important to understand we're trying our best to improve the software but we don't have too much space to manouver nor time. So we're trying to identify which features will bring out more without tearing the software apart.
Having said that, let's move on to the answers
Are any further official NKPro tracks gonna be released?
No plans at his stage.
You’ve mentioned before that the Osella might be released on its own, or with the Trento-Bondone hill climb, what‘s the current status on this?
We're trying to include both into the Xmas 2010 v1.3 release
A rally mode (or simply off-road) is possible in the future?
Everything is possible. But at the moment nothing is planned. Tyre modeling on gravel needs a completely different approach compared to tarmac, rain, ice that is all a branch of the same mathematical formulation.
The big problem with rally is track content creation. I did some experiment some years ago with an automatic rally stage generator but it is pretty hard to get something that has a decent visual appeal.
According to the completely infallible resource known as Wikipedia :P, a new entry-level single seater with downforce will replace the F1600 as the demo car, is this true?
Fail for wikipedia :P The F1600 will stay as demo car.
Is it foreseen to implement on the wheel hud a live display of the gap from the best lap (for each sector)?
With the introduction of the realtime performance meter in v1.2 this would be redundant.
An indicator of opponents behind you, like F1 2010 will be developed?
It is something we are looking into. It would be quite a big change for the entire netKar PRO's ideology so we'll see if some kind of visual indicators will appear as HUD. Personally I like the idea.
Is there a possibility to implement a ghost car for hotlap sessions and possibility to download the fastest ghost from the internet ?
We had had the ghost car working in netKar PRO since 2007. It appeared here and there on youtube in some netBike video and even a FVA trailer. The problem is that ghost car concept is patented and cannot be used without permission by the owners. So at the moment I can't see ghost cars coming into our products anytime soon.
Any chance of a setup changes tracker providing user with the ability to track what has changed in setups over successive "runs" to be easily able to revert negative modifications to setup.
I think there is a program that is designed to do that. With such a small team as KS it would be suicidal to allocate our time on features like these.
Will be possible to delete and manage setups inside the game?
I think Windows does a great job at managing files and folder. Why reinvent the wheel?
What are their major constraints to the development of NetKar, financially or technically?
Financial of course. Technically speaking I think KS has few opponents out there, if you compare staff size and budgeting we're the underdog in the industry.
What would be best way of us, netKar community users, help Kunos in that development and improvement?
Bring friends in, fill the servers instead of lapping offline. There is still a big part of sim racing community out there that doesn't have a netKar license. I think our strategy is pretty clear: we do not want to ask our existing customer to prove their faith in us again coming out with a "2.0" version that requires a new license, we still feel we have a debt with the original v1.0 netKar's user and we're trying to give back.
Will the new weather system be dynamic and change from dry to wet during a race, or is it either wet or dry?
It will not be dynamic. We still don't know if it'll have levels of "wet" or just simply sun or 100% rain.
The main problem we have is to implement the system into an existing engine that wasn't designed for that.
The feature should work for our tracks as well the community created tracks. This puts a big burden on our shoulders and if you add the time constraints we have to deliver the feature (about 7 weeks in total) it has to have some limitations. Still, the way water puddles influence the car is something amazing and it's worth the wait. Before that implementation driving on wet track was somehow too "easy", once you understood the limit you could drive pretty constantly.. the puddle code brought in a totally different approach and you can't just slide around, there is a constant grip no grip on the 4 wheels that will ask for much more cautions when driving. The KS2 in full wet is scary :P
I gather from another thread here at RD concerning rain that the feature is intended to be developed to a point whereby grip levels may change over the surface of the track from corner to corner, potentially depending on weather. Could this be implemented on a dry track also? Is netKar Pro going to be the first sim to develop a truly "living" race track?
It is a nice feature but the sad news is that:
1) Consumer wheels don't have enough resolution to give a feedback on different levels of grip in dry weather. So it will result into a virtuosism that can be hardly noted.
2) There is no data available to base this assumption on and validate them. So everything will be a huge speculation.
Along with rain will other weather effects be implemented? I have raced on a track where, especially in lower temperatures, the grip level changes dramatically between sun and cloud cover, and some corners that remain in shade always remain less grippy than the warmer areas of track. Could netKar Pro use a dynamic weather system in conjunction with a living track to present a much more organic experience?
Same as above. This is all good and potentially doable. But just beyond of the scope of what can be done in 7 weeks.
Is there any chance for a real time lighting system that will lead to different day times, transitions from night to day,shadows been casted on the cockpit etc...along with dx9c improvements like hdr and bloom effects ?
No plans to improve the existing graphics engine for netKar PRO. We have these implemented in our new engine we developed for another application, but can't be retrofitted into netKar PRO.
Is swaying grass going to be fully implemented and used on tracks alongside an option for 3d swaying trees instead of 2d ones ?
I did some tests with 3D trees, the result is very nice. It does add a lot of weight to the scene.
It is a nice feature but it doesn't belong to the generation of software that netKar PRO is from.
Will there be any further graphical improvements? Like shadows that cast around the cockpit
Same as above.
Are there any plans to implement some improved server functions, such as:
•Warning / Kick / Ban / Blacklist.
•Black Flag for collision / corner cutting.
•Corner cutting laptime disqualification.
•Always save replays for each session. (I can then make them downloadable via IIS to all the participants of the race)
•Automatic Track Rotation.
•Max allowed player ping
I am working on an "autoban" feature on the server.
No plans for black flags or corner cutting. It is a very complicated issue that cannot be solved easily. Automatic track rotation is incredibly complicated for us because netKar's graphics engine is designed to load up resources and then die with them. It isn't designed to load a resource, unload it and load something else.
So to implement the feature a deep change is required.
Are there any plans to improve the netcode lag / warping / rubber banding issues? There needs to be some netcode 'rules' in play that smooth a cars path by not allowing it to move from Point A to Point B over X Distance in less than N Time. You could use something like that to stop the car 'warping' over the track and predict the 'real' path of the car during those 'glitches'.
Oh that's an ongoing battle. Of course what you have described is already there .. if it wasn't there we'd see the car jump from one point to another constantly as the new packet with info arrives. But smoothing generates position errors.. I think we all experienced a collision that wasn't reported by the other driver right? This happens because of smoothing, the system knows the car should be there, but it can't put it there straight away because it'll jump so it puts it somewhere in the middle.. the result is a potential ghost collision.
Race car netcode is really really hard, we should take our hats off and applaude to the few guys that can do it properly. I think we're getting better every release, 1.3 won't be an exception.
Ferrari Virtual Academy 2010 was based on netKar, the movement difference between nKP and FVA isn't low. Of the two, which is more closer to your pursuit way?
I suppose we're talking about head movement in the car. We tried something different with FVA, I think it looks ok. Personally, I drive with NO head movement, I can get a feel of what the car is doing much better this way.
Is there any chance that FVA 2010's movement might be applied to future nKP releases? Or, is it currently in the process of doing so?
Head movement in netKar will stay as it is.
I’ve seen NetBike years ago, is if the project is definitely stopped ?
I haven't been working on it for ages now. The controller issue is too big at the moment to justify developing a commercial motorbike sim. It'd sell 10 licenses :P
Having experimented with netBike, and running nKPro on the Xbox 360, are there any plans to combine these two experiments?
netKar PRO has never been running on XBOX, that would require an offical dev kit from Microsoft. What I did was to develop something i call "netKarX" which is a sim running on X360 using the XNA dev kit. It's not bad and it's pretty cool to see Newbury on the XBox but it's more an internal experiment/demo and there are no plans to release it.
The function which can check driving line at floor plan, like GPL Replay Analyser and EA's F1 Analyser, is technically possible in nKP?
If somebody has time enough to figure out the data format in the netKar's replay file it surely can be done. We won't do it for the same reasons (time) we can't work on setups comparers and other satellite things.