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SimTools v3 Alpha (Questions, Answers, Fixes, Show & Tell)

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips by the Developer' started by yobuddy, Mar 17, 2022.

  1. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    work in progress...

    ~ Official SimTools v3 Alpha Thread ~

    First, I would like to thank everyone that has been involved with SimTools over the years. Without you, we simply would not be where we are today. Over the last 5 years we have been logging every new idea we received onto a huge whiteboard. And as we re-wrote SimTools for version 3, we implemented the ideas and removed them from the board. I’m happy to announce that we now have a blank whiteboard and something that really stands above what has come before. So I just want to say thanks again, this has been the best project I have ever been part of and I’m proud to be part of this great community of sim builders!

    A little SimTools v3 Info:
    v3 is a complete, more modern, rewrite of SimTools.
    v3 is streamlined, to be easier to understand, with more of a 'pictorial' menu system.
    v3 can be used Side by Side with v2. (But not running at the same time.)
    v3 will be a Free upgrade for all v2 license holders when it hits beta (for now you need a special license for the alpha)

    SimTools v3 combines GameEngine, GameManager, GameDash, GameVibe, PluginInstaller and CompanyTools. It also contains a built in plugin distribution system and live updates for SimTools and all of the plugins.

    It’s easier at this time to list what is not done yet, than what is!
    So, what’s not done yet? (there are 3 main things, all of which are at lest 50% done!)
    - Crash Detection
    - Add-ons
    - Skinning
    I also want to add 3D wind (sway controlled fans) to Dash, and review all the Vibe algorithms for making sounds.

    So today, we kick off the SimTools v3 alpha test! :cheers

    SimTools v3 Alpha is now available for:
    - People who have written at least one plugin in the past.
    (I could use some feedback on the new game api)

    - People who will be playing with the plugin distribution system.
    (I need to make sure the repo system is solid)

    - A few long time users who are willing to stumble thru the new version.
    (As there is no manual yet)


    ~ A little about SimTools v3 ~
    The biggest change in v3 is in the dash system. The dash system now has over 100 inputs possible with 14 “anything you want” inputs and a slew of pre-defined inputs available. But why would we want this? Well now we can setup a speed fan for example, and any game plugin that supports the speed input will result in our speed fan working. So we will no longer need to setup the dash output system per game, making it a lot easier to use.

    ~ A little about Game Plugins types ~
    All game plugin are now classified as an Air, Land or Sea type of plugin. All ‘Air’ type plugins now have two Max/Min profiles for the game. One profile for on the runway (ground) and one profile for in the air.

    ~ A little about Profile Inheritance ~
    You can save a Global Profile for all 3 types of plugin types, Air, Land or Sea. When new game plugin is installed, its Default profile will be created from the Global profile of the same type if it exists. From there, when a new profile is needed for Auto Profiling, a profile is auto created from the Default profile for the current game selected.

    ~ A little bit about the new Menu System ~
    Menu.jpg

    Interface Setup
    All interfaces for Motion, Dash and Vibe are setup here.

    Error Logging
    If you see the errors detected icon blink and turn on, you can go here to see what has been reported as the error.

    Time Keeping
    Ever wanted to know exactly how much ride time you have had on your simulator (per game) between two dates? Now you can. (Ride Time is only counted when at least one interface is running, and the game is reported active from the plugin.)

    Registration
    This is where you use your license to unlock the SimTools v3.

    Options
    This is where the options are for SimTools v3. All plugin exports are also available from this page.

    Addons
    This is where add-ons will be displayed and accessed in the future when we get some built.

    Any action that is directly related to a specific game can be done under its menu.
    Launch Info.jpg

    Updates Available
    Click the down arrow for update options for this plugin.

    Launch Game
    If this button is white, the game is ready to be launched. If this button is gray, you need to set a launch path for the game.

    Remove Plugin
    Click this to remove the plugin from SimTools v3.

    Motion / Dash / Vibe Settings
    If these buttons are red, they are temporarily disabled and will not be started when the game is launched. If these buttons are gray, it means there is no interface setup for the given section. If these buttons are white, it means the section has valid settings and the section is ready to run.

    Installing plugins can be done directly thru SimTools v3 in the plugin manager section of the app. Or by downloading them from the online repo system and then drag and dropping them into the main GUI for offline installation.
    Install1.jpg

    For Offline Installation, grab the file from the online repo:
    Install2.jpg

    Then Drag Drop the plugin into the main gui
    Install5.jpg

    You may find that some game plugins do not set a launch path for a given game plugin, or the path is setup for a different version that what your running. To update a launch path for a game plugin, simply drag and drop the games exe or shortcut on the banner for the given game plugin.
    SetSC.jpg

    Well, that should be enough to get someone started, but more to come for sure... :grin
    So if you think you qualify, and want to get in the alpha, you can PM on here and I will send you a v3 alpha license.
    Take care,
    yobuddy
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  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    reserved...
  4. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    I am happy to test it out :thumbs
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  5. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    pm sent..
  6. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Great job @yobuddy, now to hunt down any pesky bugs as fast as possible, plus add polish, as the inevitable question will be a release date ;)
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  7. Daguru

    Daguru Rally drivers do it in the Dirt

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    im happy to test as well:thumbs
  8. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    pm sent..
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  9. iLLuac4

    iLLuac4 Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Hi. I am not sure if I qualify with the req. but would like to switch/test to v3 on my current 2dof.

    TNX
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  10. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    I'll be testing tonight :thumbs
  11. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    I would be happy to test it with my rig.
  12. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Hi Guy's,
    I have been asked a couple of times if SimTools v2 needs to be removed from the pc before installing SimTools v3.
    The answer is no, SimTools v3 can be used Side by Side with SimTools v2 without any problems.

    There is no reason to remove SimTools v2 from the pc should it be installed.
    Both apps will work fine installed on the same pc, you just can't run them at the same time is all.
    Take care,
    yobuddy
  13. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    @yobuddy are there plugins we can try? I can't see any game plugins (LFS would be great) and no interfaces :cheers


    no interface.jpg
  14. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Take a look in the Plugin Manager section.
    Lower right of the main screen.
    (also make sure your registered)

    You will need to install the axis and and the interface plugin that you want to use.
    then install a game plugin and your golden!
    The Alpha ships with nothing installed as I want to test the repo downloads for as many plugins as possible.
    Thanks for the message!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Got it... It patched LFS just fine, will try the AMC interface next :thumbs
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  16. Daguru

    Daguru Rally drivers do it in the Dirt

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    I've run the AMC-AASD15A interface with no problems :thumbs
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  17. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I already reported 1 bug, is there a location we can share our findings? Here is ok?
  18. SteULM

    SteULM Active Member

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    I don't think I qualify but I would like to be able to test it, however great yobuddy!! :thumbs
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  19. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Probably an issue with LFS but there is no input for the right side of the car. For instance on the left you get feedback from bump strips, etc but dead on the right side. I only have the demo so I am not sure if that is the issue.

    Overall everything loaded and worked well in Simtools Demo mode. If another plugin is released let me know.

    Thanos AMC (220v SinglePhase)
    PT Actuator (inspired by) 3DoF+2xTL+Surge 7 actuators total, 200mm verticals 150mm horizontals.
    PC: Windows 10 Pro,
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  20. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Yea guys, if you can report them all here, that would be great!

    @Historiker,
    Maybe PM me some pics of the setup if you have time.
    I'm not sure where to look just yet to get your findings.
    Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2022
  21. Marc Fdx

    Marc Fdx New Member Gold Contributor

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    Thumbs up Yobuddy for this great new version :), it's much more fun to navigate between the different panels. After some tests with Dirt Rally 2, here is a quick report about my experience:

    + Navigating through the repos and downloading the plugins is working perfectly, it's a pleasure to use this new function;
    + Today I've been pushed a new update to the main software, the automatic update worked like a charm;
    - Each time I start Simtools, it gives me an error message about a license issue, but then in the registration dialog everything is fine (intended for alpha? bug?)
    +- It's cool to be able switch between vibes/dash/motion. But once I'm working in a section e.g. motion and I wish to go to vibes, I have to go back to the home menu and click the vibes button on the plugin again. It will be a real pain once I have 20 plugins installed... A direct switch between the three section is necessary.... or did I miss the magic shortcut??o_O
    - Does the red vs white color of the vibes/dash/motion buttons on the plugin image reflect the enabled/disabled state of the section? If yes, this does not work every time, I've had the color changing but not always in sync with the switch inside the section (try clicking three or four times on the switch then go back on the home screen and check the icon).
    + The vibes section is very cool and I have tested it successfully with rpm and speed change! Problem is, now I definitely need a bass shaker :grin
    - There is a small bug in the vibes section, in the Vibration Editor panel the "Test Settings" generates a data type mismatch error (reference to the Selected Vibration dropdown is made via the text instead of the index)
    +- Is it assumed that there is no output interface for the Dashboard yet?
    + It's soo cool to have an export function (intentionally hidden in the options menu?), so now we can easily share our beloved fine tuned setups! I don't know how the import process will work but I guess it should create a profile that would appear in the "Selected Profile" dropdown.

    All in all, I find that a lot of efforts have been put in the accessibility of the different elements and options, it's much more logic than before... and this is particularly useful as we all know there are so many options that you can easily get lost.
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