Thursday, September 20, 2012

Historic GT & Touring Cars v1.95 released!

Hi again!

this post arrives with a bit of delay, as our last version of Historic GT & Touring cars (designated as v1.95) was released at the end of July.

It included tons of improvements and fixes, and a new car: the Chevrolet Camaro Chaparral 70' (for a complete list of changes you may want to check the change log of that version), and after five years working on this mod we're quite happy right now with it.

So v1.95 is meant to be the last version of this mod using rFactor as game engine. We've already ported some of our cars to the rFactor2 platform to start learning what it could offer as game engine, and the results are very promising. Personally I think rF2 is the obvious choice when it comes to modding a racing simulator, so I even did a new user user interface for what we could name HistorX 2.0 (which remains unknown for the public right now). But anyway right now it's time for us as a team to decide what it's going to come next.

Creating a mod is not an easy task, so to do it properly it requires planning, getting resources, etc. But even more important you need a clear goal. And no matter how much time it could take to decide about that I really think we have to focus on that before starting to invest a serious number of manhours on our next project.

In the meanwhile, and as I wrote before, I've found again the joy of composing music. So until more news about HistorX are worth to be shared you may expect some new songs to here :)

That's all for the moment! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Why should you use Twitter?

Why should you use Twitter? Here goes my vision of it, and definitively not in a tweet format! :) 

(I originally wrote this to answer that same question in The Reign of Kindo Facebook page, and amazing band I invite you to listen)

Twitter is a very good way of keeping track of things that interest you, and despite it’s very similar to Facebook in some aspects it’s a different thing indeed. For me
it’s the newspaper of the digital era, but way more direct and flexible. The fact of having such a short space to write means that only short ideas/phrases can be shared. That’s a huge difference with Facebook. So It’s kind of similar to the headline of a newspaper, right? You can add a link if you want your follower to have more information about what you’re talking about. For example, you may share something like “Pat Metheny’s last album is simply great” and the link to PM website presenting that album or to a review of it. Your followers will get instantly the “core” of what you mean: that you’re loving his last album. But if somebody is interested to know what album are you talking about, etc. they simply click the link and get that information, so it’s like reading newspaper article itself. The fact that they don’t need to read a long post to extract the basic idea you’re sharing with them is something very valuable, as it saves them time, and in the end, allows you to be sure the message you want to share is being got by more people.

Being the tweet that short allows you to write it almost immediately, and anywhere, so it makes it kind of more direct than Facebook’s post. And that means there’re more chances of getting things written “in the heat of the moment”. For example, a tweet from some musician saying “Finally! I found the title of my next album looking at this amazing picture” is more likely to appear as a Tweet than on Facebook.

Going back to the comparison with newspapers: in newspapers you just get news, or articles written by reporters. But that is not the case of Twitter, where individuals are the source also. And just that is something which was almost impossible a few years ago: getting information directly from the source. They can retweet also things they’re interested about, so you may find, for example, the bands that a specific musicians like or his/her political orientation (another discussion would be if you can regret or not about such finding, hehe).

In my case I use it to a) follow certain individuals who interest/inspire me for some reason (from musicians to scientists) b) websites/newsgroups, etc which publish news of interest for me but also to c) share with my followers information about my projects or the things I’m interested about.

As you may expect then there's a mix of both professional and personal tweets (in the case of following individuals). Personal tweets may be a bit mundane in some cases but helps to illustrate how these people live, so somehow that makes them feel closer to you as human beings, and also that may allow you to have some kind of idea about what inspire them (for example in the case of an artist).

I have to say also that I don’t usually use Twitter's website or official device clients, but applications which format tweets on some way to make it easier/more friendly to read. I STRONGLY recommend getting something like Flipboard, for example, available for both Android and iOS devices. It formats tweets –but also post from Facebook, feeds, etc- to create a kind of newspaper.

Last thing I’d like to say: Give it a try. Before using it I also thought “I already use Facebook, so why should I use it? It’s the same”. It’s not, you’ll see. Or putting all the things I wrote above in tweet format: “Twitter is the ultimate way of getting information you’re interested about. Or to share it. So don’t miss it!”


Monday, July 09, 2012

About modding, music and other stuff

once more I didn't post that much around here... I guess with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn I feel I have almost all the fronts covered. But I know I should come back sooner than later to share with those of you who aren’t in contact with me through social networks what has been happening lately.
Well, no need to say I've been as busy as always!
First of all, Historic GT & Touring car finally got a big update release on December 2011. The v1.9 is not just an update, but almost a total new thing compared with the initial v1.01 we released on 2008. Since that first release I’ve been working like hell in that update, mostly doing 3D and creating textures for our new cars, but also improving the user interface and messing with other stuff. In these three years I think we’ve improved quite a lot and I think the new cars we got in this last patch are good example of it.

This latest version of the mod has been a huge success among the rFactor community once more, and I’m proud to say we’ve got a lot of downloads. It's really hard to track them, but we’re around 20000 just from our official forum and campeonatoPDLR (one of our main mirrors). But we estimate that much more people got it through any of the many other mirrors provided by different simracing sites, so we think that figure doesn’t really show how many people is enjoying the mod out there.

Apart of that our work has been present also during some real historic racing events in the form of simulators available for the public (as happened in Australia during Longford’s revival festival).
I decided to took some holidays from modding after the release of the patch, and during this time I’ve gone back to compose some music again. During these last three years I was so focused in this modding thing that I had left music composition a bit too behind, but I always missed it so still got some small bits done. The two available here are examples of that. The first one is just a little lullaby I did when my niece Martina was born. I published it on Facebook back in the day, but in a few days I'll try to remember to upload it to YouTube also.

The second one is just the result of a little exercise I forced myself to complete: getting an existing YouTube video and create music for it, using a style of music I’m not really comfortable with.

In the last weeks I’ve got some new pieces of hardware for my modest home studio and I'm trying to improve my mixing skills so probably in a close future I’ll release some more stuff.
In the meanwhile I'll try to enjoy my summer holidays. But hey, I'm already modding a very nice sport car from the 50s (with rF2 in mind, which is becoming a very good piece of simracing software, BTW). 

But before that happens our last patch for "Historic GT & Touring cars" will be released for rF1. Apart of tons of fixes it will include some more content. Just keep an eye on our Facebook page or on our official site to know when it's released.
So, that is all for now. Hopefully I won’t leave this unattended that much next time. We'll see! :)