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What is GranTurismo On-Line Racing and how does it started?

Already with the first days of GT1 people, esspecialy the Americans, started to extract the famous Racing Simulator to the World Wide Web with discussing car and driving topics. By and by the On-Line Racing developed. It is no online racing in its real mean. At this point consoles weren’t able to get connected to each other via Internet yet. No, people announced race details with deadline and you had to drive with those details offline. Before the deadline you submitted your time and the raceadmin create the resultstable. This kind of racing got very famous soon.

With the release of the DexDrive people were able to view each others replay and also check it for its validity. Some great programmers like JuanDon and MK also developed a tool where people now could check if the submitted run was driven with the excact car and its parts. Now cheating of any kind was nearly impossible.

With the beginning of 1998 the mother of all Gran Turismo Forums (www.granturismo.com) started its first On-Line Racing. Everyone could take part and anounce in different races with different cars and rules. The bginning of the famous On-Line Racing we have now!

How does On-Line Racing work?

As we said before, you still cannot drive online with the PS/PS2.

That is why we call it On-Line Racing and not Onlineracing. OLR is is a race which you do at home offline. Just al the information you need for driving is written in the net. You can find On-Line Races in the section GT3 On-Line Racing or GT2 On-Line Racing, depends which game you are running at the moment, in these forums.

This stuff works very easy. A member has an idea and announce its details (car, track, modifications, laps etc.) in the forums. Other members have now the chance to participate by driving with these information this race and submit their times to the race admin (announcer). After the race he will post the submitted results he got by each partipicant.

Are there any rules for On-Line Racing?

Unfortunatelly there is no damage for GranTurismo cars. These allows people to ride along a wall and save time in their lap. This kind of driving is absolutely forbidden in all On-Linbe Races announced in these forums. GranTurismo is a driving simulator and no Arcade Game. If you do no like the way we race this may be the wrong forum for you.

Here are the basic rules of any On-Line Racing anounced in the GTRP:

  • No wallbanging
  • No shortcutting
  • No cheating of any kind
  • No Hybrids, only if they are anounced in the individual race anouncement
  • Always 2 wheels on the track (tarmac)
  • Curbs belong to the track

Rules for driving with AI's:

  • No intentional crashing/touching
  • No hotting. Even if you hit them unintentionally your run is failed
  • Don not use the the AI cars as your brake
  • If a AI car hits you. Your run is failed too

Be sure you are always with these rules. If you are not sure. Redo your run.

How do I start a spot race or a racing series?

First make sure something like you have mind is not running at the moment. There is no point in having two series of a kind at the same time. Furthermore it is unlikely to get people to drive in an OLR if you have not participated at any OLR yet by yourself. Get an overview of all the races that are running at the specific time - most drivers have a limited amount of time to spent on OLR. If there are already 3 or 4 OLRs in progress you should delay the start of your idea.

If you have completed these steps, go ahead by considering the following:
RACING SERIES:
An interest check about what you have in mind, featuring the basic setup of the series like the car(s), the allowed tuning parts or aproximate power (power/weight ratio), the time schedule etc. should give you some feedback about how much people are inclined to join such an event. Put up a thread with this information a reasonable time ahead of the intended starting date of the series.

What you have to think about:

  • How many races are planned?
  • What kind of cars are to be used (arcade cars or cars from the garage? Power and/or type of the car(s)?
  • Tuning restrictions?
  • Restrictions on practice (like: "Do only 3 laps of practice!"- of course nobody could check this...) or practice time (e.g. one week)
  • Applying rules for the race (standard as above or maybe some modifications?)
  • Number of trials (like: "Do a maximum of 2 runs!" - nobody could check this either...)
  • Driving conditions (ASM/TCS on or off? Is manual/automatic shifting allowed or mandatory or whatever?)
  • Tracks that will be driven
  • Duration of the series (starting date, ending date, duration of each single race)
  • Deadline for time submission (date, day of the week, time and respective time zone - we are multicultural big time here :D)
  • presentation of the results (HTML, plain text, database, MS Excel data sheet...)

This should only serve as a guideline on which information to gather and what to announce when planning a series. Be prepared for questions of potential participants. Even if you think everything is written in the announcement - experience teaches that

a) people don't read carefully enough
and/or
b) the race admin has not been clear enough with some statements.

SPOT RACE:

You can feature a spot race right away, no previous information necessary. You should stick to the list above concerning the required information in the announcement. A spot race is made up of just ONE RACE.

How do I participate in a race?

This is simple: Just post the message in the respective forum thread that YOU ARE IN and so it will be. Consider the following points ahead of signing up to take part:

  • Do you have enough time?
  • Do you really like to race this one? (don't sign up just to give positive feedback...)
  • Are you allowed to participate? (Conditions could be like: "No drivers who are within any top ten of "www.racing-line.org!" or "No German drivers allowed!")

Remember that the race admin has spent a lot of time to figure out the race (series). Nothing is worse than an announced race that positively passed the interest check and is then abandoned leaving the race admin alone on the track. Of course, things unforeseen by you can happen anytime- in this case leave a message for the admin explaining your dropout.

How are times checked for validity?

The problem with OLR is that any driver could post a time which has not been achieved by him. Until X-Port / Sharkport (GT3/GT Concept) is a standard tool for everyone sector times from the replay or from the data logger along with the achieved speed at characteristic track points (such as the finish line) should be turned in for a check on plausibility. It is on the offending driver to prove that he has legally achieved the posted time. This means:

  • Keep replays of a race on your MC or PC database until 4 weeks after the end of the race (series).
  • Answer correctly to the race admin's questions.
  • Post your replays if you own X-Port / Sharkport.
  • Be prepared to mail your MC to the next trusted third-party-person for verification of your run. This is at our own risk and cost. Usually this will pose no problem, it worked fine all the time...

Duties & Rights of a race administrator

Duties of a race administrator
  • Leave no doubt about the rules and set up of your race (series).
  • Rules apply to ALL race participants equally. No special treatment for anyone!
  • Questionable achievments should be discussed with the respective driver BACKCHANNEL FIRST (PM, email, MSN etc.).
  • Offending drivers must have the possiblity to justify themselves against the accusation.
  • For the sake of all honest drivers: Cheaters have to get a DQ (disqualification). Further actions on those drivers depend on the severity of the case and are discussed separately.
Rights of a race administrator
  • To be treated with respect
  • To obtain the race times by all participants in accordance with deadline and submission format
  • To disqualify cheaters (in a respectful and impartial way)

Responsibilities & Rights of race participants

Responsibilities of race participants
  • No cheating
  • Comply with the rules set forth by the race admin.
  • Keep your replays until at least 4 weeks after the end of the respective event.
  • Krite down your lap sector times for a rough validation of your time.
  • Keep your setup and driving line at hand in case of questions.
  • Submit times within the announced deadline and in the required format.
  • Doubts about submitted times or mistakes made by the race admin are to be expressed in a respectful manner. No dissing allowed!
  • Support your (local) race admin and give him a hand whenever you can.
Rights of race participants
  • To get (enlightening) answers to questions concerning the rules of the race (series)
  • To get to know the reasons of a DQ (be it your own DQ or another's)
  • To speak up about any accusations
  • To turn in clarifying information that keep him from getting a DQ

Available hardware for GT3 replay export to PC

At the moment X-Port (Europe) / Sharkport (America) is the tool of choice for transferring any data from the memory card (MC) to a computer (PC). Both are quite similar but account for the respective PlayStation hardware in terms of NTSC or PAL.
The connection is done via USB.
It allows you to save replays, setting data and entire game saves on your PC and vice versa. X-Port costs about 35 to 50 EUR and is available at numerous online shops, e.g. Amazon, Ebay etc. Some shops may have it cheaper but you have to look for them yourself.

Be sure you order X-Port V2. If you have any further questions about this tool, search the forums in the "savegames" subforum of "On-Line Racing".

PC software to read out X-Port data

There are two programmes available at the time: GT3Edit by MK and the GT3 Replay Manager by Arwin Arum.

The first one allows you to basically modify everything in your gamesave that you an imagine. It is therefore used for "hybriding", i.e. to change the specifictions of a car in terms of chassis, grip, power etc. You can add money as well as exchange cars and complete licenses. Another feature is reading out setups and modifications of all cars running in a replay. The tool is therefore used to check replays for validity.

The GT3 Replay Manager is great to archive replays, settings and gamesaves. Since X-Port gives a stupid name to transferred files, you usually don't know, what the files are unless you copy them one by one. This is really annoying. The Replay Manager reads out an entire directory writing the most important information (car, total replay time, fastest lap, replay type...) in an MS Explorer-like table with one click. You can rename all files at one time automatically (putting track and car into the file name) or manually one by one. Just as with MK, you can read out the setup and modifications of a car in the replay.

You do not have to have X-Port or Sharkport to use this software - download replays, read out the setups of the fastest drivers and try them yourself...

You can download the MK software here. The Replay Manager by Arwin you can find here. Microsoft's .Net-software package is required for this tool.

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