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Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Post links to mods and updates for Grand Prix Manager 2.

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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby FranS99 » Thu May 09, 2019 12:52 pm

Brunorcs22 wrote:So guys, how is the progress going? Just made my GPM work and i am REALLY looking foward to this 1992 mod

I guess we should wait to see what Nuppiz will tell us, but I guess he should have a strong basis of a mod, using also the 1992 GMP2 Remastered. :1tongue:
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby Nuppiz » Mon May 13, 2019 7:20 pm

DNPQ wrote:
Nuppiz wrote:But if enough people are interested I could carry on. I've already got teams, drivers, engines and graphics sorted out, just need to find out where the track and calendar data is stored and we could have ourselves a proper mod some day...

I'm really intrigued. The game allows you to add more teams, which looks quite interesting. I am strongly in favor of creating a mod, and will try to help in finding the missing data. So far I managed to find the calendar in the executable file, the nationality of the main drivers and some data of the tracks.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/z5iv1czckgv6hgc/GPM1.hbk/file

So I finally had the time, patience and the right feeling to take a look at these. Unfortunately, I can't find any of the data at the listed bookmarks.

Are you sure you uploaded the right file, or perhaps you're using a different version of GPM1 (if there ever were any)?
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby Nuppiz » Tue May 14, 2019 8:04 pm

Figured out what's wrong. All this time I've been using GPM1 version 1.01, while in fact there was a patch released in 1996, called 1.02. Not to be confused with the similarly named GPM2 version...

Just checked out DNPQ's bookmarks on a GPM1 1.02 EXE and they work fine! :1grin:

So before we do any more research, I suggest everyone patches their GPM1 installation to 1.02 (patch can be found here: https://www.myabandonware.com/game/gran ... r#download).
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby Nuppiz » Tue May 14, 2019 10:35 pm

Some things found out in today's session, based on DNPQ's notes:
  • The game only counts race lap records, not qualifying lap records.
  • Ideal setup data (front wing, suspension etc.) is absent from the EXE, unlike GPM2.
  • All driver data (stats and skills) from the 48 starting drivers is found in both the EXE and config. I also found the actual starting point of driver data (DNPQ's notes started halfway through, from Alesi onwards). In the EXE, driver data is in the same order as the names which doesn't seem to follow any reasonable logic, as can be seen in the pic below.
  • Salary and contract information is not stored in the EXE, only in the config. How the game loads salary data without loading a config file is unknown.
Image

In conclusion: GPM1 modding is very, very possible. Just requires a lot of tedious work to find all the hex addresses. Most of them are in the EXE, looks like the config will only have to be edited for driver bonuses (main salary can be edited in-game), contract length (if needed) and probably some technical rules.
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby FranS99 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:05 am

Nuppiz wrote:Some things found out in today's session, based on DNPQ's notes:
  • The game only counts race lap records, not qualifying lap records.
  • Ideal setup data (front wing, suspension etc.) is absent from the EXE, unlike GPM2.
  • All driver data (stats and skills) from the 48 starting drivers is found in both the EXE and config. I also found the actual starting point of driver data (DNPQ's notes started halfway through, from Alesi onwards). In the EXE, driver data is in the same order as the names which doesn't seem to follow any reasonable logic, as can be seen in the pic below.
  • Salary and contract information is not stored in the EXE, only in the config. How the game loads salary data without loading a config file is unknown.
Image

In conclusion: GPM1 modding is very, very possible. Just requires a lot of tedious work to find all the hex addresses. Most of them are in the EXE, looks like the config will only have to be edited for driver bonuses (main salary can be edited in-game), contract length (if needed) and probably some technical rules.

That's so cool, after so many years of its original release... And now, after 24 years, we can get into modding this game. It's funny how things can turn up, even after so many years. Now we're even closer to edit the father of this community... Grand Prix Manager. I can't wait to see how everthing will turn up, it's making me hyped, ahaha. :1grin:

And, by the way, if it's possible, I'd like to help as well, with anything. :1smiley:
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby DNPQ » Wed May 15, 2019 4:27 pm

It seems we have a method to avoid situations when factory teams such as Ferrari have for example a Ford engine. There are two addresses in the configuration file, one responsible for the engine supplier next season and the other for the length of the contract.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/c0rfd63tb ... t.hbk/file
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby Nuppiz » Wed May 15, 2019 5:04 pm

DNPQ wrote:It seems we have a method to avoid situations when factory teams such as Ferrari have for example a Ford engine. There are two addresses in the configuration file, one responsible for the engine supplier next season and the other for the length of the contract.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/c0rfd63tb ... t.hbk/file

:1shocked: Oh wow, that's something we actually don't have for GPM2 at the moment! I'll test out the feature and see if I can find it in GPM2 as well.

I'm crunching more numbers today, mainly going through the process of finding the rest of driver data now that I know the pattern.

Oh, and I dabbled a bit with menu graphics as well. IMO the purple textboxes in the menus look a bit daft, so how does this look?
Image
Unfortunately the "Driver One" bit is added by the game no matter what...
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby DNPQ » Thu May 16, 2019 5:41 am

Nuppiz wrote:Oh, and I dabbled a bit with menu graphics as well. IMO the purple textboxes in the menus look a bit daft, so how does this look?
Image
Unfortunately the "Driver One" bit is added by the game no matter what...

It looks good, but this little fragment is really annoying. I have thoughts about the faces of the drivers. The game has 42 drivers, the rookies are generated randomly, the game gives some of the faces of drivers that are left without a contract. For example, you imagine some Steve Jones face Mansell? Can be used as an alternative to graphics from GP2, on the site http://www.grandprix2.de there are many great helmets. But if we make a mod for one season, then there is nothing to worry about.
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby Nuppiz » Thu May 16, 2019 7:50 pm

DNPQ wrote:It looks good, but this little fragment is really annoying. I have thoughts about the faces of the drivers. The game has 42 drivers, the rookies are generated randomly, the game gives some of the faces of drivers that are left without a contract. For example, you imagine some Steve Jones face Mansell? Can be used as an alternative to graphics from GP2, on the site http://www.grandprix2.de there are many great helmets. But if we make a mod for one season, then there is nothing to worry about.

Actually there are 48 pre-defined drivers - three for each of the 16 teams. Randomly generated drivers draw from another pool of 48 pre-defined names and helmets; for example, Simon Atkins will always have the same helmet even if you exit the game and start a new one from scratch. So in the case of "randomly-generated" new drivers, only the driver's nationality, age and skills are actually random.

So when making a season mod there'd basically be two options - leave the random drivers as is or replace the names with other drivers from the era even if their stats will be wrong. Graphics-wise one could either leave the original helmets in, use the actual face photos of said drivers (since they are always attached to a certain name) or use "silhouette" faces (as seen in GPM2 mods from 2009 onwards). It should be noted that GPM1 can be played for up to 40 seasons, so eventually every team will end up using the random drivers anyway should someone play the game for that long.

Anyway, I managed to work on the hex addresses less than I hoped for, but did find most of the relevant text strings (including the aforementioned "random" driver names). As I'm not home for the weekend and unlikely to have enough time for GPM1 next week, here's my bookmarks if someone else wants to work on them:
https://www.mediafire.com/file/lcuh5hs7 ... 1.hbk/file

By the way, I was thinking whether or not it's reasonable to look for all driver skills and statistics in the EXE? Name, skills, nationality, age and salary can all be edited in-game with the 1.02 patch, and I've already found the basic pattern how the rest of the stuff (statistics, contract length, bonus payments) are in the GCF file. We could save a fair bit of time by concentrating on finding out all of the driver data in the GCF since that needs to be loaded anyway for everything to appear correctly. There's no net-play either which would require hard-coding everything in the EXE. Here's my bookmarks for that, including the starting point of driver data as well as one driver completely researched: http://www.mediafire.com/file/69i6kmd37 ... g.hbk/file

I did notice that, just like in GPM2, the starting point of driver data varies depending on the length of team, driver and personnel names (as they are before the stats in the config), but the general pattern is always the same.
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Re: Grand Prix Manager (1995)

Postby DNPQ » Fri May 17, 2019 3:07 pm

If the driver is not signed, he is not available until he appears in some team in the future. Then the game can give his helmet to a random driver.

Image
Image

As you can see, AI contracts drivers for 16 races, which leads to difficulties in the second and subsequent seasons. Imagine that you want to hire a driver. Contract your current driver expires after 17 races, the AI after 16. You offer a contract, but you answer that the driver is not ready to wait for one race.

Image

Another negative consequence of this rule is the unrealistic driver changes of most teams just before the last race of the season. The only solution to this problem that comes to mind is editing the save file.
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