Custom vehicle guidelines

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Introduction

Ground vehicles are currently supported for towing aircraft on deck. In order for a vehicle to appear, its mothership should be spawned in the game world first. Models should preferably be less than 10000 triangles including the crew, to preserve performance at acceptable levels. LOD models for the vehicles are not necessary. To animate the trucks there are certain animations that need to be applied to the various moving parts.

Ground vehicles are required to have an aircraft.cfg and airfile, instead of a sim.cfg file. The reason is that they need to be treated "as aircraft" in order to use the joystick to drive them.

The sample aircraft.cfg and airfile for our MD3 deck truck are [available] and can be used as templates and modified for your creations.

Necessary software

  • 3dsmax 2014 or later for .max files
  • gmax for .3ds and UV files

Samples

Please [contact us] for access to the sample files.

  • modeldef.xml
  • Pushback_tug (3dsmax 2014 and .3ds format)
  • Pushback_tug_P3Dv4 (3dsmax 2014 file with dynamic spotlights)
  • dds textures
  • Deployment fies

Installation

  • The vehicle model & textures should be deployed under SimObjects\GroundVehicles
  • Ground vehicles are deployed with an aircraft.cfg and airfile. The samples
  • A ground vehicle configuration file must be created
  • For the vehicle to be summoned, it needs to be declared in a ship configuration file as a tractor.

Instructions

Deployment folder

If your truck is used in multiple carriers and you want to include unique "license plates", you can add multiple fltsim.x entries in the truck's aircraft.cfg and create differnt texture.x folders to accomodate the different textures, just like repainting a normal aircraft.

The smokesystem section is required to control visibility of towbars and random truck numbers. The template below is used for smoke entries that control visibility of parts:

smoke.X=0.00, 0, -0.0, fx_dummy

Indices up to 22 are used by our system, so if you desire to use a smoke effect in your trucks for exhaust effects, breathing fog or other puproses, start with (A:SMOKE ENABLE:23,bool) or higher.

Towbars

A vehicle may have:

  • One towbar in the front
  • One towbar in the back
  • Two towbars, front and back

This is defined through the [TRACTOR_X] entry in carrier configuration files, or the [[ground vehicle configuration file (both options are valid). The towbar moves in two directions

Towbar hiding

Each towbar needs to be parented to a small polygon that will have a visibility tag applied to it, so they can be shown and hidden as needed:

  • For the front towbar use the visibility condition (A:SMOKE ENABLE:1, bool) !
  • For the rear towbar use the visibility condition (A:SMOKE ENABLE:1, bool)

Towbar animation

The towbar needs to be animated in two directions. The towbar itself is animated in a left/right direction. Then the towbar is parented to an object having a visibility condition (see above and animation for the up/down movement.

  • Left/right rotation: apply l_aileron_key to the towbar(s). It is important that the variable driving the animation is AILERON LEFT DEFLECTION.
    • Keyframe 0 should be the towbar facing to the left (as seen from the driver's perspective)
    • Keyframe 100 should be the towbar facing to the right(as seen from the driver's perspective)
  • Up/down rotation: apply elevator_key to the towbar(s). It is important that the variable driving the animation is ELEVATOR DEFLECTION.
    • Keyframe 0 should be the towbar leanind downwards
    • Keyframe 100 should be the towbar leanind upwards


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Random truck numbers

To have random truck numbers, you need to create a set of decals for the numbers from 0-99. Specifically:

  • For numbers from 0-9 you need one polygon for each
  • For numbers greater than 10 and up to 99 you need two polygons for each number. For example, #19 will need one polygon for the 1 and one for the 9. Both polygons will be visible, resulting in 19 to be seen on the vehicle.
    • One polygon for each of tens, textured from 1-9
    • One polygon for each of the units, textured from 0-9
  • All polygons can be in the same decal sheet, as in the example model provided

To make them appear/disappear properly, we use the smoke system and visibility tags. If you use our modeldef.xml, name them as follows:

  • For the polygons pertaining to numbers 1-9 use the names tugid_s_001 to tugid_s_009
  • For the numbers from 10-99 use:
    • tugid_L_001 to tugid_L_009 for the 1x-9x (10s digit)
    • tugid_R_000 to tugid_R_009 for the x0-x9 (1s digit)


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Wheel animations

The wheel animations used are:

  • l_tire_still_key is used for the rotation of the left steerable wheel
  • r_tire_still_key is used for the rotation of the right steerable wheel:
  • c_tire_still_key is used for the rotation of the non-steerable wheels
  • rudder_percent_key is used for the L/R steering animation, driver's head and steering wheel.

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