NR2003 ReadMe

NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season
1.0.0.0
Readme File
01/17/03
[ To read this file, select Edit/Word Wrap from the menu above ]

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About This Document:

Thank you for purchasing NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.

This document contains last-minute information about NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season and other information about the program not found in the Help Files.  This README file includes information that pertains to general problems and questions you may have concerning the game or your computer. Should you experience any problems with NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season, please refer to this file for additional help on answering questions about the game and solving technical difficulties.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.    MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
II.    GENERAL TECHNICAL ISSUES
III.    GENERAL GAME ISSUES
IV.    MULTIPLAYER ISSUES
V.    CONTACTING SIERRA

I. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
=======================

Operating Systems:
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP*

* NOTE: Users on 2000 and XP may need to be logged in to Windows with local administrator privileges.

Minimum:
Pentium II 450 MHz processor
64 MB of RAM
16 MB Direct3D compatible video card
8X CD-ROM drive
DirectX 9.0 or later
OpenGL* 1.1 or later

Recommended:
Pentium III 800 MHz or higher
128 MB or more of RAM
32 MB or higher Direct3D compatible video card
DirectSound compatible sound card
DirectInput compatible game controller
56 Kbs modem

* NOTE: The OpenGL renderer may not work on all cards and/or system configurations.  Leaving the game’s “Show Intro/Exit Sequences” option enabled may help eliminate some initialization problems on subsequent game launches.  If you continue to experience problems using the OpenGL renderer it is recommended that you instead use the game’s default DirectX renderer.

The following video cards have known issues:

- ATI R7000 series
ATI R7000 series chipsets do not currently render the Track Specular Highlights option properly.

- ATI R8000 and R9000 series
Catalyst 3.0 or earlier drivers have both DirectX and OpenGL issues, but the current beta driver has fixed all known DirectX issues and most of the OpenGL issues.  The next official Catalyst driver release should resolve the remaining OpenGL issues.  Additionally on 8500 cards the backfire effect may appear to come from the center of the 3D car model instead of the driver’s side exhaust pipes.

- Intel I845 on-board Video
Current video driver (.3317) has issues with NR2003 in full-screen mode.  It is recommended to run DirectX in windowed mode until Intel releases updated drivers to allow full-screen modes to function properly.

- Matrox Parhelia
The Matrox 1.03 drivers have OpenGL issues which have been fixed in 1.04 drivers.  Unfortuntely the 1.04 drivers have introduced some DirectX issues.  Until the 1.05 drivers are released it is recommended to use the 1.03 drivers with DirectX and the 1.04 drivers with OpenGL.

Matrox G400 and G500 series
Matrox’s latest ‘beta’ drivers are recommended, especially for Win98/ME users.

- NVIDIA Geforce4 MX
The Geforce4 MX chipset boards have a known crash under DirectX when Car Detail is set to High and the on-car Shadows are enabled.  An NVIDIA driver release post-41.09 is being targeted to resolve the issue.

- NVIDIA 2X and Quinunox Antialiasing
When using 2X Quinunox Antialiasing you may experience garbled graphics if the game’s on-car shadows option is enabled.  This appears to be a diver issue, which NVIDIA will hopefully be able to address.  Until that time it is recommended that on-car shadows not be used in conjunction with 2X or Quinunox Antialiasing.

The following sound cards have known issues:

- Diamond Monster Sound MX 300 and other Aureal Vortex 2 based cards
3D Sound may have significant issues and is not recommended.

- Creative Labs SB Live! and Audigy
The cockpit engine sound may not always play when 3D sound is enabled.

- Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
User interface audio may not function on initial run of the game prior to entering the car to drive.  Enabling 3D sound on the Options screen should fix the problem.

- Nforce2 on-board sound
nForce2 motherboards using on-board audio has known issues with pre-2.0 drivers.  2.0 or later drivers should resolve the issue.  People using third-party audio cards should make sure the on-board audio has been disabled in the BIOS, and NR2003 should run fine.  If using the ASUS nForce2 Deluxe motherboard and having issues with motherboard audio, you can try to copy the ASUS audio .INF file into the same directory as the nForce 2.0 universal driver set’s audio drivers and re-run the audio setup/installer program.

II. GENERAL TECHNICAL ISSUES
============================

INSTALL ISSUES

Some users may experience “ComponentMoveData Error -113″ when installing the game from a secondary CDR/RW drive.  If this occurs, it is recommended that you reinstall from the system’s primary CD drive.

STARTING THE GAME

1) Ensure the NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season CD-ROM is in your CD-ROM drive.
2) If AutoRun is enabled: Select the “Run NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season” option.
3) If AutoRun is disabled: From the Windows Start menu, select Programs\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.
4) If this is the first time launching the game the 3D Configuration program will launch.
5) Use the 3D Configuration program to select the desired Renderer, Display Device, and Game Resolution.
6) After the 3D Configuration completes, the game will automatically launch.

Some Kenwood CD drives may experience problems starting NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.  The drive spins and stops; NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season fails to start.  Kenwood has firmware updates to fix this problem.  Visit http://www.KenwoodTech.com for more information.

16-BIT VS. 32-BIT COLOR

Because of the large amount of textures used in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season, it is recommended that 32-bit color only be used on video cards with 64 MB or more texture memory.  Note that even for 64 MB cards 16-bit color will likely result in significantly better performance.

TEXTURE MEMORY DETECTION

As part of the 3D Configuration test NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season will attempt to detect the total amount of texture memory available on your video card.  Note that as you increase the video resolution more memory is required for the frame buffer resulting in less for textures.

If you would like to try running the game with a higher setting, you may manually edit the “TextureSetSize” value (in bytes) in the game’s REND_D3D.INI (for Direct3D) or REND_OGL.INI (for OpenGL).  Increasing this value above the detected value may prevent the game from dropping mip levels as more textures are loaded, but note that setting too large of a value may result in SIGNIFICANT performance hits as textures begin to swap in and out of memory.

ANISOTROPIC FILTERING

A problem with the way polygons are drawn is that as you look at the polygon at low angles the texture tends to get very blurry. You can see this particularly in a car racing game, as the armco, fences, road surface and grass are usually at very low angles. Anisotropic filtering is a neat trick that can help the texture look better at these low angles. If your video card and drivers support this feature, you will be able to enable Anisotropic Filtering by selecting “Extreme” from the Texture Filtering Quality drop-down of on the game’s Graphics Options screen.

As part of the 3D Configuration test, NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season will detect the maximum levels of anisotropic filtering that your video card supports.  This will be recorded in the “AnisotropicLevel” value in the game’s REND_D3D.INI (for Direct3D) or REND_OGL.INI (for OpenGL).  Valid values are powers of 2, where 1 or 0 = none, 2 = 1 level, 4 = 2 levels, 8 = 3 levels, 16 = 4 levels, etc.

For example, GeForce1 and Geforce2 cards can do 1 level of anisotropy (2^1=2) which is reported as “AnisotropicLevel=2″.  GeForce3 cards can do 3 levels of anisotropy (2^3=8) which is reported as “AnisotropicLevel=8″.  Setting this value too high is harmless, it will only apply as much anisotropy as the drivers claim they can support.

MOUSE ISSUES

Using animated mouse cursors can create cursor anomalies in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.  If you encounter problems, restore your windows mouse cursor to its default settings.  Additionally some users may encounter problems using the hardware mouse cursor.  If this occurs, it is recommended that you re-run the 3D Configuration Test and check the “Use Software Cursor” checkbox to use the game’s software mouse cursor instead.

SOUND ISSUES

If you find that you have no sound in the game, it may be necessary to go to the Audio tab of your Windows Multimedia Control Panel and select the proper playback device.  You may also want to disable the “Use only preferred devices” option if it is currently enabled.  Additionally there are a couple of CORE.INI variables which improve the quality of sound on some sound cards.  The default values are as follows:

[Sound]
allow_buffer_recreation=1
enable_3d_interpolation=1
force_default_buffer_size=0

You can set allow_buffer_recreation to 0 to disable sound buffer re-creation, which may ever so slightly improve performance, but at the cost of quality for some sound cards.  For example, some cards such as Aureal Vortex2 based cards don’t seem to work very well when this is not enabled.

When 3d sound is enabled, positions of newly played sounds take some time to reach their destination.  On some system this may result in sounds being played loudly for a brief moment, even though they *should* have a low volume given their distance from the listener.  The enable_3d_interpolation setting can help to work around this problem.  If a system properly (instantly) sets the 3d position of a sound, then this solution, when enabled, might make the sound seem to “fade-in”, so setting this to 0 would be called for in those systems.

The force_default_buffer_size setting default sound buffer read-ahead size to a given value, defined in 1/36 second increments, which may help sound issues on Win2000 machines.

USING MICROSOFT GAME VOICE OR OTHER VOICE CHAT PROGRAMS

By default NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season will run at highest priority.  This is perfectly fine for most users, however if you experience problems using Microsoft’s Game Voice or other similar programs you may need to force NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season to run at a lower priority by adding a “-kh0″ (that’s dash K H Zero) command line parameter to the shortcut:

“C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\NR2003.exe” -kh0

III. GENERAL GAME ISSUES
========================

CREATING A PLAYER

When NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season is first launched you will be taken to the Controls screen where you will calibrate and assign your driving controls.  Once this has been done, you’ll be able to hit the track in either Testing or Single Player mode.  Note that if you wish to customize your player, you will first need to visit the Player Info screen where you can fill in the First and Last Name fields and select the car you wish to drive.

DIRECTINPUT JOYSTICK DRIVER

If you have a DirectInput joystick/wheel and you can’t calibrate it in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season, exit the game and ensure that the device is properly set up and calibrated in the Windows Game Controllers Control Panel applet.

OPTIMIZED JOYSTICK DRIVER

In addition to DirectInput support, NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season also includes an optimized joystick driver.  The optimized driver may provide more precise joystick input than can be obtained with DirectInput, but is only compatible with standard PC joysticks.  Note that joysticks which are designed for DirectInput, such as USB or ForceFeedback controllers, will not work with the Optimized driver.

GEARBOX SELECTION

NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season offers 3 different gearbox choices.  In Sequential mode controls assigned to the Shift Up and Shift Down commands are used to change gears in the following sequence: reverse, neutral, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.  In Direct Selection mode, you may assign a control to shift directly to any gear, or to neutral.  The H Pattern mode is intended for use only with controllers featuring a gated shifter such as the ActLabs RS Shifter.  In this mode, you may shift directly to any of the forward gears as well as to reverse gear.  Once the shifter is moved out of an assigned gate, the transmission will shift to neutral automatically.

DRIVING AIDS

“Anti-Lock Brakes” equips your car with an anti-lock braking system.  While anti-lock brakes make the car easier for the novice driver to control, the experienced driver will be able to brake more efficiently with this option turned off.  NOTE: If braking has been assigned to a button or a key rather than a controller axis, this aid will be turned on and cannot be turned off.  Otherwise, the car would be very difficult to control while braking.

“Automatic Shifting” equips your car with an automatic transmission.  The automatic transmission shifts more slowly than its manual counterpart, resulting in slower lap times for the experienced driver.

“Automatic Clutch” equips your car with an automatic clutch.  While the manual clutch can provide greater shifting precision, it requires proper heel and toe downshift technique and therefore is recommended only for experienced users.  The manual clutch is not available if Automatic Shifting has been selected.

“Traction Control” equips your car with a traction control system.  While traction control makes the car easier for the novice driver to control, the experienced driver will be able to accelerate and corner more efficiently with this option turned off.  NOTE: If the throttle has been assigned to a button or a key rather than a controller axis, this aid will be turned on and cannot be turned off.  Otherwise, the car would be very difficult to control while accelerating.

“Show Ideal Racing Line” causes the ideal racing line around the track to be highlighted.  This line is a guide for the fastest racing line around the track, and is color coded red and green to indicate braking and acceleration zones.  The aid may be turned on or off while in the car by pressing the R key.

“Stability Control” equips your car with a magical device that tries to help the car to not get too sideways. While this makes the driving experience less frustrating for a novice driver, the experienced driver will be able to corner more efficiently with this option turned off.

“Steering Assistance” makes it more difficult to spin the car. This aid is particularly useful for novice drivers and for those who are steering with buttons or the keyboard, but disabling it will provide greater steering precision. NOTE: The level of steering assistance (0-100%) can be set through the Advanced Controller Options dialog.

KEYBOARD DRIVING CONTROLS

By default NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season only allows keyboard driving controls to be assigned to the numeric pad keys so as to prevent them from interfering with the in-car chat functionality.  Many laptop users may not have numeric pads, so it is possible to override this and allow any of the normal keyboard keys to be assigned as driving controls.  Note that, for example, if you were to assign throttle to the B key, that you would not be able to type the letter [b/B] in a chat message while you were out driving.  Each time you pressed the B key, you would engage the throttle.  You can enable this feature in the Advanced Controller Options dialog on the game’s controls screen.

SPEED SENSITIVE STEERING

By default, NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season uses a speed-sensitive steering ratio such that at low speeds your steering ratio will be set to somewhere between 7:1 and the ratio defined in your car setup.  NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season does this to make it possible to exit your pit stall when pit road is crowded.  You can disable this feature in the Advanced Controller Options dialog on the game’s controls screen.

CAR SETUPS

Each players’ car setups in are stored in individual track directories located in “Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\Players\Player__Name\Setups”.

TAKING SCREENSHOTS

At any time within the game you may press the PrintScreen button on your keyboard to take a screenshot.  These will be saved into your NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season directory as sequentially numbered TGA files (NR2003ss001.TGA).  These files may be viewed in most 3rd party image viewers.

IMPORTING TGA IMAGES INTO THE REPLAY EDITOR

By default you will be able to import .BMP images into NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season’s Replay Editor, however if you wish to use .TGA files instead (useful as 32-bit .TGA files have an alpha channel which allows for translucency and transparency), you may edit the rpy_editor_bitmap_extension line in your CORE.INI, changing the ‘BMP’ extension to ‘TGA’ as shown below:

[Replay]
rpy_editor_bitmap_extension=tga    ; bmp and tga are valid

IMPORTING SOUNDS INTO THE REPLAY EDITOR

NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season’s Replay Editor supports the addition of sound files to a replay.  Both standard 22kHz .WAV as well as compressed .OGG files are supported for sound playback, but by default the replay editor will only import WAV files.  If you wish to use .OGG files instead (useful as these offer MP3-like compression), you may edit the rpy_editor_sound_extension line in your CORE.INI, changing the ‘WAV’ extension to ‘OGG’ as shown below.  More information on encoding .OGG files using the included OGGENC.EXE utility can be found on the OGG Vorbis website: http://www.vorbis.com/index.psp

[Replay]
rpy_editor_sound_extension=wav    ; wav and ogg are valid

SAVING AND VIEWING REPLAYS

Replays can be saved from the Race Weekend screen by clicking on the folder icon under the 3D window.  You will be prompted for a filename.  To view the replay later, or to view replays which you have obtained from other players, select View Replay from the Main Menu.  Replays are stored in the Replay directory in the “Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season” directory.  To view replays obtained from other players, simply copy them into the Replay directory before starting the game.

REPLAY CONTROLS KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

C – Change to Next Camera
V – Change Focus to Next Driver
CTRL+N – Unfocus Current Camera from Driver
CTRL+V – Change Focus Back to Player Car
SHIFT+C – Change to Previous Camera
SHIFT+V – Change Focus to Previous Driver
Keypad1 (END) – Fast Forward to End
Keypad4 (Left Arrow) – Frame Rewind
Keypad5 – Play/Pause
Keypad6 (Right Arrow) – Frame Advance
Keypad7 (Home) – Rewind to Start
Keypad8 – Slow Motion Mode
SHIFT+Keypad4 – Rewind
SHIFT+Keypad6 – Fast Forward
Keypad. (Del) – Switch to Live Feed Mode
S – Display Standings (Full-screen replay only)
Space – Toggle On-screen Display of Replay Controls

Note that all of the replay keypad shortcuts listed above may not function properly if NumLock is enabled on your keyboard.  If you experience problems, it is recommended that you turn off NumLock.

DRIVING CONTROLS KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

ESC – Open ESC menu (Use Arrows and ENTER to Navigate)
F1 through F9 – Pit Service Controls (Use Arrows and SPACE to Navigate)
PageUp & PageDown – Change Driving Views
PauseBreak – Pause Game
PrintScreen – Take Screen Shot
F – Toggle Framerate Counter
G – Toggle Gauges in External Driving Views
H – Display Keyboard Shortcuts
M – Toggle Mirror Detail Level
N – Toggle Car Interior Display in Mirror
O – Toggle Trackside Object Detail Level
S – Toggle Speed/Gear/Flag Indicator
V – Change Focus to Next Driver (Car must be stopped)
CTRL+V – Change Focus Back to Player Car
SHIFT+V – Change Focus to Previous Driver (Car must be stopped)
CTRL+I – Toggle Lap Info Messages
CTRL+L – Check Leader Position
SHIFT+R – Return to Pit
SHIFT+T – View/Reset Tachometer Telltale
F11 – votes yes  (issues !yes chat command in response to multiplayer poll)
F12 – votes no   (issues !no chat command in response to multiplayer poll)

COMPUTER OPPONENTS SELECTION

The number of computer opponents available for a given race is limited by the number of pit stalls at the track, or the number of drivers that are marked as active in the currently selected roster, whichever number is reached first.  Most tracks have 43 stalls, which allows for the player and 42 additional computer opponents.

Note that if the number of active drivers in the roster exceeds the number of pit stalls at a track, the list eligible computer opponents is weighted with preference given to those drivers with higher stats.  What this means is that if your current roster has 50 active drivers but you only elect to race against 20, the game will select the 20 ‘best’ computer opponents for you to race against.  There is some variance to this selection, so exiting the race weekend and re-entering the same track may give a slightly different set of 20 computer opponents.  If you want to ensure that you are racing against the same field for each and every race, be sure that the number of active drivers in the roster does not exceed the maximum number of selectable computer opponents on the race setup screens.

Also note that in Championship Season races this same weighted selection of computer opponents occurs prior to each race.  What this means is that if there are more active drivers than the maximum number of selectable computer opponents, some drivers will not make the field for the races.  Who makes the field and who doesn’t will be different for each race of the season, so even though you may only have 42 computer opponents selected on the Championship Season race setup screen you will likely see more than 43 drivers (42 selected computer opponents plus the player) listed in the Championship Season standings (up to the total number of active computer opponents in the roster).  Again if you want to ensure that you are racing against the same field for each and every race, be sure that the number of active drivers in the roster does not exceed the maximum number of selectable computer opponents on the race setup screen.

PITTING

When pitting, use the animated pit sign as a guide to position the car for an optimal stop.  If you are too far forward in the stall or not close enough to the sign you will not receive service, and in order to receive left side tires you must take care to not stop too close to the inside pit wall.

COMMAND LINE OVERRIDE FOR GAME .INI SETTINGS

You can override any of NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season’s .INI file options from the command line.  The command line overrides will not be saved to the .INI file, so there is no need to backup the .INI file.  The format of a command line override is as follows…

-ko”numeric_id:section_name:key_name:value”

…where…

numeric_id is the ID of the .INI file that contains the value to be overridden.  The mapping is as follows:

0  = CORE.INI,
10 = APP.INI
20 = PLAYER.INI
40 = TRACK.INI
50 = ADDRESS.INI

section_name is the name of the section within the .INI file in which the key exists.  [PLAYER], for example.  The brackets ([, and ]) should not be specified.

key_name is the name of the key.  lastPlayer, for example.

Lets say you want to be able to launch the game and have it automatically switch to one of multiple players you have created.  To do this, you would need to override the lastPlayer key in the [Player] section of APP.INI.  So if you had two players, John Smith and Fred Jones, you could create separate shortcuts to launch the game for each:

“C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\NR2003.exe” -ko”10:player:lastPlayer:Smith__John”
“C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\NR2003.exe” -ko”10:player:lastPlayer:Jones__Fred”

The first command line would launch NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season with the player John Smith.  The second command line would NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season with the player Fred Jones.

CONTROLLING REPLAY MEMORY

By default NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season will try to use a much free memory as is available for replays.  This should be fine for most users, however if you find that you need to force this to a larger value to save longer replays, or wish to force it to a smaller value if performance is suffering, you may edit the “replayMemoryOverride” value in [Replay] section of CORE.INI.  This value is in KB, so for a 64MB replay buffer you would set this value to 65,536 (64MB x 1024KB/MB).

Note that when NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season is run as a dedicated server only a minimum 512KB of replay buffer will be used to maximize performance and minimize the load on the server.  If you wish to save replays from a dedicated server you will need to override this value.

OFF-LINE LEAGUE SUPPORT IN EXPORTED STANDINGS

NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season now includes much of the information that N2/N3 generated that is used by off-line league administrators to verify that league members are not cheating.  To include this information in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season’s exported standings files, enable a flag in PLAYER.INI…

[Misc]
off_line_league_info=0        ; Export extra info?

Changing this to 1 will cause the additional information to be included in the exported standings.  The following additional information will be exported…

(a) There will be an additional column, titled “TAG”, for each driver in the race standings.  This tag is computed from the .CAR file used by that driver, and will change if that car is changed.  When a league member submits exported standings, the TAG value for all of the drivers should match the TAG value for the ‘approved’ .CAR files.

(b) The AI Strength setting is now exported.

(c) The number, type and length of the weekend’s sessions are exported.  For example, “2Q1LR50L” means the weekend had 2 sessions; Qualify for 1 Lap, then Race for 50 Laps.

(d) The options for the weekend are exported.  This will be a string of characters with one character for each of the following options:
0/2/3    - Damage model (0=None, 2=Moderate, 3=Realistic)
Y/-    - Yellow flags enabled/disabled
F/-    - Fixed setup enabled/disabled
A/-    - Driving model (A=Arcade, -=Simulation)
I/-    - AI used? (I=yes, -=no)
S/-    - Automatic AI speed control? (S=yes, -=no)
D/-    - Double file restarts enabled? (D=yes, -=no)
H/-    - Hardcore mode selected? (H=yes, -=no)
M/-    - Mechanical player breakdowns? (M=yes, -=no)
L/-    - Full pace lap enabled? (F=yes, -=no)
W/-    - Realistic weather enabled? (W=yes, -=no)
1/2/3/4    - Pit stop frequency (1=1x, 2=2x, 3=3x, 4=4x)

So, for example, “0Y-AI-D-M-W2″ means “damage model is set to None, yellow flags are enabled, fixed setup is disabled, the driving model is Arcade, AI are included, Automatic AI speed control is disabled, Double file restarts are enabled, Hardcore mode is not selected, player Mechanical failures are enabled, shortened pace lap is selected, realistic Weather is enabled, 2x pit stop frequency”.  Note that not all of these options are applicable to single-player races.

(e) A signature value that is computed from the track geometry and the TRACK.INI file.  If the league member has altered the track geometry, or has altered the TRACK.INI, this value will be different.

Additionally, a utility program is included that allows a league administrator to verify that the exported standings file has not been edited.  Place this program (VAILDATE.EXE) in a directory in your path, or copy it into the directory that contains the exported standings files you wish to verify.  Run the program, giving it a command line parameter telling it what files should be validated.  For example:
C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\exports_imports> validate *.html
<test11.html> valid.
<test12.html> valid.
<test13.html> Invalid.  File has been modified.
<test14.html> valid.

TEXTURE COMPRESSION IN THE PAINT SHOP

By default, NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season’s Paint Shop will save files using DXTC (DirectX Texture Compression).  This reduces the texture memory requirements for the car textures by a nearly 4:1 margin, allowing more high detailed car textures to fit in the same amount of memory.  If you would prefer that the Paint Shop not compress the car textures when they are saved, edit the save_textures_with_compression line in your PLAYER.INI, changing the 1 to a 0:

[Paintkit]
save_textures_with_compression=1    ; Enable texture compression on saved textures.

IV. MULTIPLAYER ISSUES
======================

CONNECTING TO SIERRA.COM RACES

If you are receiving “Connection Time-Out” messages when attempting to connect to Sierra.com multiplayer races or see no ping times displayed for any of these races you may need to select a different TCP/IP device in the “Connect Via:” drop-down list in the Sierra.com login box.  Note that if you have a dynamic IP address it may first be necessary to enable the “Find Network Addresses Another Way” option using the CONFIGURE button at the bottom of the main multiplayer screen before the proper TCP/IP device will be listed.

MULTIPLAYER BEHIND A FIREWALL OR ROUTER

By default the following UDP ports will be used by NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season: 32766 for the net_server_port, 32767 for ping port, and then sequentially numbered ports for each allowed client connection (max of 42) starting at 32768.

To run from a machine with a private IP address behind a Linux firewall, you need to use a combination of IP masquerading and IP autoforwarding.  The following rules for the default 42 client port range can be used:

ipfwadm -F -a accept -m -S a.a.a.a/m.m.m.m -D 0.0.0.0/0
ipautofw -A -r udp 32766 32809 -h a.a.a.a -v -u

Where a.a.a.a is the address of the machine behind the firewall, and m.m.m.m is the netmask.  If you run a server behind the firewall, clients should connect to the IP address of the firewall.

Note that users with Linksys or other such Internet connection sharing routers should not need to change any configuration settings to connect to NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season multiplayer races as clients.  If you wish to host a NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season race from behind a router you will need to forward the default UDP port range of 32766-32809 from the router to the internal or LAN IP of the NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season server.  Linksys users will need to latest firmware update to allow port ranges to the forwarded.  When connecting, clients should use the external or WAN IP address of the router.

If you have a router or firewall and would like to allow multiple users on your LAN to connect to the same multiplayer server, you will need to have each of the clients behind the router use a different net_server_port in their CORE.INI files (one client would make no changes and use the default port, while each of the others would need to specify a unique net_server_port).

Additionally if you are hosting a server from behind the router by forwarding the default UDP port range to the LAN IP of the server, no clients on your LAN will be able to connect to multiplayer races since all of the incoming packets would be forwarded to your server.  If you want to allow these clients to connect to races while your server is running, it would be necessary to forward and configure the server to use a non-standard UDP port range (see below for details).

MULTIPLAYER TCP/IP CONFIGURATION

If you connect to the Internet using a modem, and wish to play NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season over the Internet, connect to the Internet before starting NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.  If you do not intend to play NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season over the Internet, there is no need to connect before playing the game.  If you do not see a TCP/IP connection listed on the multiplayer screen, you must use the CONFIGURE button at the bottom of the Multiplayer screen and enable the alternate method of determining your machine’s IP address.  You will need to restart the game for this setting to take effect.

Note, however, that if you use this alternate method, and your only TCP/IP connection is via a modem, and you have your Internet properties set to automatically connect to the Internet, and you’re not connected to the Internet when you start NASCAR® Racing, Dial-Up Networking will start up when you launch NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.  This may cause NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season to not function properly, and/or your machine may connect to the Internet.

DISABLING USER CONNECTION AND DISCONNECTION MESSAGES

By default in multiplayer races you will receive chat messages when other players connect and disconnect.  These messages can be distracting to some users, so it is now possible to disable them by editing the following line in your PLAYER.INI (located in your Players\Player__Name directory), changing the 1 to a 0:

[Misc]
showJoinLeave=1            ; Show player join/leave messages

DIRECT CONNECT ISSUES

There is a bug in the drivers for some graphics tablets that can cause them to become corrupt when NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season looks for serial ports on your computer.  Because of this potential problem direct serial connections have been disabled by default in NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season.  If you wish to enable direct connect serial port connections use the CONFIGURE button at the bottom of the Multiplayer screen.  You will need to restart the game for this setting to take effect.

PRIVATE CHAT MESSAGES

When connected to a multiplayer race you can issue private chat messages to any one of the players connected to the server.  Begin your message with “/”, followed by the name of the player (or #car_number), followed by the message.  For example:

/#12 Hey, John.  What’s up?
/smith What’s up?
/j.smith What’s up?
/jo.smi What’s up?
/john.smith What’s up?

The message will only be sent to the person you identify (or you will be given an error message if the program couldn’t figure out who you meant).  When received, whispered chat messages will appear in a different color font so as to be easily distinguished from normal chat messages.

USING MULTIPLAYER AUTOCHAT

In addition to typing in chat messages, you can define up to 10 autochat messages through the editor on the Player Info screen.  These will be saved in the [Autochat Messages] section of your PLAYER.INI.  While driving these are accessed by the 1 through 0 keys (not on the number pad).  To have messages automatically sent, end them with a dollar sign “$” (i.e. Pass High$).  All others will be queued up allowing you to add additional text onto the end of the message.  These can then be sent by pressing ENTER like normal chat messages.  Note that if you have in-car chat disabled in the Options menu you will be unable to send autochat messages.

MULTIPLAYER CAR SELECTION

Because NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season only allows a single occurrence of a car number at a track, you will automatically be placed in another car number if you have chosen a car number that is already in use by another player who connected to the server before you.

ADDING AI OPPONENTS TO A MULTIPLAYER RACE

You may only have up to 42 connections to a multiplayer server for both human and AI opponents.  In order to allow the addition of AI opponents to the server, you must first reduce the number of allowed TCP/IP or IPX connections to less than 42 human opponents.  Once this is done you will be able to fill out the field with AI opponents.

COMMUNICATION METERS

The Internet can be a harrowing medium through which to race.  Game play is directly affected by the latency, reliability, and consistency of the connection between you and the game server, so it’s important that the program give you a good sense of these factors.  NASCAR® Racing 2003 Season includes a graphical display that allows you to monitor the status of your communications with the server when you are a client.  These meters can only be displayed while in the car, and can be toggled on/off by pressing CTRL+C.  They can be distracting while driving, so they are turned off by default.

The bar graphs are as follows:

(L) Instantaneous latency from 0.0 seconds (the bar is empty) to 1.0 seconds (the bar is full height).  This is the amount of time that it takes for a message to go from the server, to your client, and back to the server.

(Q) Quality from 100% (the bar is empty) to 50% (the bar is full height).  The more data that is lost or garbled during transmission from the server to you, the lower the quality of your connection, and the higher this bar will go.

(S) The time skew (difference) between your client and the server.  If your current time is behind where you expect the server to be, this bar will be below center.  If it is at the bottom, then you believe that you are 1.0 seconds (or more) behind the server.  If your current time is ahead of where you expect the server to be, it will be above center.  If it is at the top, then you believe that you are 1.0 seconds (or more) ahead of the server.  If the bar reaches the top or bottom, then your client will re-synchronize itself with the server (it will smash its clock).

Ideally, no bars should be visible whatsoever.  That is, you have 0.0 seconds of latency, 100% of data from the server is getting to you, and your client believes that it is at the same point in time as the server.  In practice, this will not happen.

The (L)atency bar will almost always be visible since it is not possible for data to get from the server to you instantaneously.  The higher the latency, the longer it takes for data to get from the server to your computer, and so the older it is when it gets there.  The older the data is, the more “predicting” your client has to do about the positions of other cars on the track.  The more that it has to predict, the more likely that it will predict incorrectly, and the more the other cars will jump around when it realizes its error.

It is not uncommon for the (Q)uality bar to be completely empty (indicating little or no data loss), but it is also not uncommon for a few percent of the data to be lost or garbled during transmission, showing as a small (Q)uality bar.  If the bar starts to grow steadily, then something bad has happened on the route through the Internet between you and the server (or the server has crashed).  If the route doesn’t clear up quickly, you will soon be disconnected.  If it does clear up, there will probably be short period of mayhem as the route settles down, and old data that has been stuck in transit is flushed.

If the latency is varying a bit, it can be difficult for your client to determine what point in time the server is currently at, and a small (S)kew bar is likely to appear.  If the (S)kew bar grows continuously until it hits the top or bottom, your client will smash its clock to re-synchronize itself to the server.  If it does this, then either the connection between you and the server is very poor, or either your machine or the server machine is extremely overloaded, and your client can no longer stay in step with the server.

EJECTING DRIVERS

Any admin or boss (remote or local) may remove a player from their server by using the “!eject” command.  Ejected drivers will be able to reconnect once the server is reset or returns to the track select screen.  The command should be entered as a chat message.  The format of the command is “!eject player”, where player can either be the “#” symbol along with the player’s car number, or the players name.  For example:

“!eject #12″
“!eject smith”
“!eject j.smith”
“!eject john.smith”

BANNING DRIVERS

Any admin (remote or local) may also ban a player from their server by using the “!ban” command.  For non-Sierra.com races this will eject the driver from the race and prevent them from reconnecting until the server is reset.  For Sierra.com races, the driver is ejected and automatically added to the server’s muzzle list which will prevent him from ever reconnecting.  Again the command should be entered as a chat message.  The format of the command is “!ban player”, where player can either be the “#” symbol along with the player’s car number, or the player’s name.  For example:

“!ban #12″
“!ban smith”
“!ban j.smith”
“!ban john.smith”

VIEWING DETAILED SIERRA.COM RATINGS

You can view a detailed Sierra.com points history by clicking on a Sierra.com ID in the “PLAYERS”, “INVITE” or “MUZZLE” lists, hitting the “Profile” button, and then holding down the left-shift and left-control keys while the PROFILE dialog box is displayed.  The number between () is your current rating at the track type, and the numbers between [] are your point totals for your last 9 races.  The other numbers are RR=races run, RC=races completed, LA=laps available in those races, LC=laps completed, and IC=incident count.  Your LPI (laps per incident) rating is LC divided by IC.  Note that this “left-shift + left-control” trick also works on the Entry List tab of race weekend screen to display the current ratings of all the users connected to the race.

RATINGS UPDATE MESSAGE AFTER COMPLETION OF RACE

After the server has completed its ratings updates, clients still connected to the server will receive a system chat message informing them of the ratings outcome of the completed race.  The message is of the form…

Incidents(i), Points(p): New Rating(r), Average(a). Up@(u) Down@(d)

This means that you were assessed (i) incidents, and received a total of (p) points for this race.  The word New will only appear if your rating changed as a result of this race.  You now-current rating (r) is given, and your current average skill points (after dropping the two lowest) is shown as (a).  (u) and (d) show the average point levels at which your rating will increase or decrease.  Also, you will be informed if ratings were disabled for the race, or if there were too few drivers or the race was too short to qualify for ratings updates.

THE POLLING AND VOTE SYSTEM

Multiplayer servers now have the option of allowing any connected user to call a poll to allowing them to vote on certain admin commands.  Only one poll is allowed at a time.  A ‘yes’ vote is automatically entered for the person initiating a poll.  All other users can vote on the poll using chat commands “!YES” or “!NO”.  Only those users who were connected to the server at the time the poll was initiated are allowed to vote.  At the completion of the vote’s timer any non-votes are counted as no votes, and the final outcome is broadcast to all users.  To prevent hogging the polling system, a user is not allowed to initiate a new poll for a short time after having conducted a poll.  The poll is entered as a chat message “!poll pole_type player” where player can either be the “#” symbol along with the player’s car number, or the player’s name.  The chat command “!list_polls” will return a complete list of available polls.  For example:

!poll eject player [<comment>]
!poll yellow [<comment>]
!poll black player [<comment>]
!poll clear player [<comment>]
!poll lap+ player [<comment>]
!poll lap- player [<comment>]
!poll track track_name

Two new driving controls have been added to quickly vote YES or NO in response to a poll.  Note that these hotkeys are only available while driving in-car:

F11 – votes yes  (issues !yes chat command)
F12 – votes no   (issues !no chat command)

DISABLING THE CHAT FILTER

By default the game will filter all incoming chat for offensive language.  You may choose to disable this feature by editing the following line in your PLAYER.INI, changing the 0 to a 1.  Note that this will have no effect on your outgoing chat messages seen by other users, only the chat that you see displayed on your system.

[Misc]
disable_chat_filter=0        ; Disable the chat filter

V. CONTACTING SIERRA
====================

A) CUSTOMER SERVICE, SUPPORT AND SALES

United States
U.S.A. Sales Phone: (800) 757-7707 or (310) 649-8008
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 AM to 4:45 PM PST

International Sales: (310) 649-8008
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 AM to 4:45 PM PST
Fax: (310) 258-0744

Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
6060 Center Drive
6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (800) 757-7707 or (310) 649-8008
Fax: (310) 258-0744

http://www.sierra.com

On-Line Sales
Internet USA:    http://www.sierra.com

B) TECHNICAL SUPPORT

North America

Sierra Entertainment offers a 24-hour automated technical support line with recorded answers to the most frequently asked technical questions.  To access this service, call (310) 649-8033, and follow the recorded instructions to find your specific topic and resolve the issue. If this fails to solve your problem, you may still write or fax us with your questions, or contact us via our Web site – http://support.vugames.com

Sierra Entertainment
Technical Support
4247 South Minnewawa Avenue
Fresno, CA 93725

Main: (310) 649-8033
Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M.- 4:45 P.M. PST
Fax: (310) 258-0755

http://support.vugames.com

C) SIERRA WARRANTY AND LEGAL INFORMATION

You are entitled to use this product for your own use, but may not copy, reproduce, translate, publicly perform, display, or reduce to any electronic medium or machine- readable form, reproductions of the software or manual to other parties in any way, nor sell, rent or lease the product to others without prior written permission of Sierra.  You may use one copy of the product on a single computer.  YOU MAY NOT NETWORK THE PRODUCT OR OTHERWISE INSTALL IT OR USE IT ON MORE THAN ONE COMPUTER AT THE SAME TIME.
UNAUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIONS: SIERRA WARRANTS ONLY THAT THE PROGRAM WILL PERFORM AS DESCRIBED IN THE USER DOCUMENTATION. NO OTHER ADVERTISING, DESCRIPTION, OR REPRESENTATION, WHETHER MADE BY A SIERRA DEALER, DISTRIBUTOR, AGENT, OR EMPLOYEE, SHALL BE BINDING UPON SIERRA OR SHALL CHANGE THE TERMS OF THIS WARRANTY.
IMPLIED WARRANTIES LIMITED: EXCEPT AS STATED ABOVE, SIERRA MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THIS PRODUCT. SIERRA DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTY THAT THE SOFTWARE IS FIT FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE NINETY (90) DAY DURATION OF THIS LIMITED EXPRESS WARRANTY AND IS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMED. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY LASTS, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
NO CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES: SIERRA SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER DAMAGES, EVEN IF SIERRA IS ADVISED OF OR AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS MEANS THAT SIERRA SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR LOST PROFITS OR REVENUES, OR FOR DAMAGES OR COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF LOSS OF TIME, DATA OR USE OF THE SOFTWARE, OR FROM ANY OTHER CAUSE EXCEPT THE ACTUAL COST OF THE PRODUCT. IN NO EVENT SHALL SIERRA’S LIABILITY EXCEED THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THIS PRODUCT. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Disk and/or Manual Replacement:

Product Returns*:
Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing International
Sierra Warranty Returns
4247 South Minnewawa Ave.
Fresno, CA  93725

Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing International
Sierra CD/Doco Replacement
4247 South Minnewawa Ave.
Fresno, CA  93725

NOTE: To replace your CD(s) please send only the damaged CD and a copy of your dated receipt, if less then 90 days.  After 90 days please include a $10.00 handling fee ($15.00 handling fee for console media returns) along with the CD(s).  For Documentation replacement, please include a $5.00 handling fee and a photocopy ONLY of either your disk or CD.  Please include a letter explaining the problems you are experiencing in order for us to determine how we may best resolve them.  Payment should be made at the time of your request.  Sorry, no credit cards.

Console:
Limited Warranty for your copy of the software product (“Software”) acquired in the United States or Canada
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. (“Sierra”) warrants to you, the original purchaser of this Software, that this Software will perform substantially as described in the accompanying manual for a period of 90 days from the date of first purchase.  If you discover a problem with the Software within the 90 day period, Sierra’s sole liability shall be to give you a replacement CD.

To replace your CD(s) please send only the damaged CD, a copy of your dated receipt, and a letter explaining the problems you are experiencing to:

Product Returns*:
Vivendi Universal Games, Inc.
Sierra Warranty Returns
4247 South Minnewawa Ave.
Fresno, CA  93725
* Returns to this address valid in North America only.

Sierra expressly disclaims any other warranties for the Software and the manual. This limited warranty is in place of all other warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or noninfringement. The entire risk arising out of use or performance of Software remains with the user, Sierra shall not be liable for any special, incidental, punitive, indirect or consequential damages arising from the possession, use or malfunction of this Software.  Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of implied warranties or liability for incidental damages, so the above limitations may not apply to you.

Copyright ((c)2003 Sierra Entertainment)
(c)1998-2003 Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Sierra is a trademark of Sierra Entertainment.

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