Friday, September 25, 2009

TORCS Championships 2009 - Aalborg

Next stage in the TORCS championship was Aalborg - a slow, twisty, narrow track that makes an endurance race quite a long one.
As I had some issues on the other PC, I've decided to run the race on my 'old' laptop. I've set it up to use low texture sizes but still it was damn low FPS sometimes.
The race itself was - boring. Sorry to say that but watching my own robots mainly I did not see any big fights, after the Wolverines left Kilos behind. One of the Greenies was dropped behind as they were not playing safe and received quite a lot of damage, resulting in many pitstops. The main pack must have had some interesting things happen that I missed, and we saw a nice performance from team Nexus Six Racing (owner dz_duck).
After the finish I wanted to commit the results immediately - but I've found I was 1 day late :(( Aaargh I've put a wrong date in my calendar. But as I've checked the results it turned out they were quite similar to my own race results. Kilos finished at #11-12, about the same pos where they've started (overtaking a Wolverine damaged while pitting and a Greenie). Dotties advanced over the EJ team and finished at #14-15.

Some pics - low quality, I know...

I'm slow...

Hey boys, where is the starting line?

Wolverine, it was a green lamp!

Robots, bah...

Twist & turn

Damnez, he can go past...

Hey, you... get off of my car



I lap, you overtake, I'm getting lapped - and you?

Lads lads lads... ye in ains team!

Flying high, through the sky, high high through the sky...

There's many a laps I've traveled, a hundred miles and more

U spin me right round baby

Party where?

Let the Dummies show, too

Stealth fighter

Just outside top ten

Almost 4 hours...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Install TORCS on Ubuntu

I've got hold of a clean install Xubuntu 9.04 aka Jaunty Jackalope so I've decided to write down step-by-step what is needed to be able to build the latest TORCS version. I've done it many times now but never took time to note everything properly until now.
I hope you find the instructions below useful.

Method used
Brute force trial and error :) That is, you try to run TORCS's configure script and look at what it is complaining about. Then with the clever use of apt-cache search and dpkg -l and of course our good ol' friend grep you pick what is needed for real and you install that.
Below all the commands you must type in the mighty Terminal are in italics and follow the Ubuntu lifestyle of sudo-ing a lot.

  1. sudo apt-get install build-essential g++
  1. libpng: sudo apt-get install libpng12-dev
  2. the above also installs zlib1g-dev so zlib: OK
  3. OpenAL: sudo apt-get install libopenal-dev
  4. FreeGlut: sudo apt-get install freeglut3-dev - this pulls a lot of dependencies, too.
  5. X thingies: sudo apt-get install libxxf86vm-dev libxrender-dev libxrandr-dev
  6. ALUT: sudo apt-get install libalut-dev
  7. PLib: suxx, as Ubuntu Jaunty has only the 1.8.4c2 in the repo, so have to do some manual work here:
  • sudo apt-get install libxmu-dev libxi-dev
  • Visit the PLib download page.
  • Download the 1.8.5 version, then do as told: tar xzf plib-1.8.5.tar.gz
  • cd plib-1.8.5
  • ./configure
  • make
  • sudo make install
Now you have a working PLib1.8.5 so can go ahead. (If you accidentally get lost the FlightGear Wiki is a good place to look for help.)

  1. Download torcs-1.3.1.tar.bz2 (the all-in-one package, about 200MB).
  2. Unpack it: tar xfvj torcs-1.3.1.tar.bz2
  3. cd torcs-1.3.1
  4. ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --x-libraries=/usr/lib
  5. make
  6. sudo make install
  7. sudo make datainstall
You can play TORCS now by typing /usr/local/bin/torcs

Have fun! ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Project name

Side note: I'm testing Chromium with this blog entry. I've managed to install it using this guide and look forward to how it behaves. First impressions are 'wow' and 'whoooah'...

The TORCS-NG team decided to rename the project before first release, for practical reasons. Dunno, I like the old name too... After some exhausting voting it was decided 'Speed Dreams' was best to describe the project. I know democratic rules can bear results like this, but if I compare the former and the recent project name, I'd still go with the old one.
Hmmm... we will see what other think of it. For me it sounds like a Chinese-made cheap plastic toy.
OK, rumbling over, now let's get back to coding and show the world it is not a cheap toy :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TORCS Championships 2009 - E-track-1

Aaaargh. Another race that I've messed up :(

Following Ruudskogen, we raced on E-track-1 this time. The track is nice, fast & rolling but has a tricky part, a bus-stop like chicane. If you do it right, you a) don't hit the wall b) don't crack your suspension c) carry enough momentum to have a decent finish-straight top speed.

Well, I've posted a version of my robots where the code that makes them negotiate the chicane was just missing. Result? Car enters the chicane too fast, hits a curb, flies a bit in the air and crashes against the wall, then spends 5 seconds finding the way out of the bus-stop. Then after 5 laps, the car is damaged enough to visit the pit for a 50-sec repair. Hillarious, right? Only time they did the maneuveres right were when they were about to overtake or let overlap someone.

After watching the same happen about 5 times I got quite angry and did not shoot any more screenshots until the race finished, sorry. So you can just see the start, some spins, dangerous Greens, fast JDIs, solid Dummies, evolving EJs, newbie grey Nexus (good performance!) and fighting but again loosing Wdbees.

What is missing? Right: no USR or Hymie in the race. Andrew decided to pull off his robot from the racing scene as he cannot spend enough time tuning them. Personally I don't agree with that and am very sad, but it is his decision so we must accept it. But...
Andrew, if you hear it - come back soon or... or... yarrrrr!!!

Results here, screenshots below without comments this time: