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Disqualifications, result calculations, tyre compound rules and more

In a long overdue news post, I can talk a bit more about the updates that were recently added in the game. Apart from the bug fixes in the game (bit.ly links and redirection for new users) this was primarily focused on race script fixes and updates.

The biggest change which allowed me to make other changes was the results calculations which has been removed from the race script and inserted into the hour update script. It not only allows us more time to check that everything is right before points are awarded and bonusses are paid. The events in the first division race have proven that, but also that it will probably be even better to move the result calculations to the day update. As long as the calculations haven't been done, the race page now shows the unofficial results with a new view that gives an overview of the race. Also new in this regard is the starting grid before the race.

This change of calculations was also necessary since another new feature is introduced: disqualifications. The game can now disqualify drivers, or hand out time penalties. These have been introduced already, since from now on drivers can get penalties for causing a collision or jumping the start (also new). Time penalties vary from 5 to 10 seconds.
If a car is not legal, then the driver can be disqualified from the race. This is something that is not possible this season yet, but will be next when the new compound rules (also new) come into play. Compound rules have been created so that the team can be required to use a number of different types of compounds. But the rules can also be written so that a certain compounds needs to be used a certain amount of times. For example: it could be required to use the soft tyre 2 times and the hard once. Just like in real life, these compound rules only count if it stays dry. Once there's one rain drop on the track, it's no longer necessary to satisfy these rules.

Luckily, we have a politics system in which you the managers can vote. We will be requiring the usage of 2 compounds just like in real life F1, but the vote is on whether we require the usage of the soft tyre (which will be tweaked to last longer next season). The vote is on and expires at the end of the week.

The next release will shift its focus for one cycle from the race script to the layout and the step it takes to start playing this game. The game has a bit of a step to take when you start playing. This because the tutorial is not great, the layout on some pages is very messy. Because of these reasons I've made a few changes which are currently being implemented on the beta.
First of all, the help system is being ported to a wiki. This will allow the help pages to display content in a more interactive way. The current help pages can only show text, but no tables, images, ... The downside is that we will lose translations, but I think the benefits outweigh that.
Secondly, the tutorial has been removed and will be replaced by one or two popups which guide the player into the direction where to get help. The many changes in the game meant that the tutorial was outdated quite a bit. If the player knows where and how to get help or more information, then that will help. It's also an approach that other games have taken, since it's better than the "hold my hand" approach.
Thirdly, new teams are now entered in a division by default, and get drivers/staff and a developed car by default. These options can be disabled, but the found a team page explicitly advices new players to not disable those options. This will allow new members to get started straight away. A later update in the race script will also mean that they can do a private test on their first day at Pitwall, so that they can get running straight after registering. Other changes in this area are for example that a "car" on the Cars page is automatically created when the first 2 chassis of the season are finished.
Finally, the general layout has been redesigned. The idea was to get rid of the gray website with too many buttons on pages. This change had already started on the current layout, but it will be even more clear on the new layout. I returned to a white website since I feel the original Pitwall still had the best layout, which was also white. The background I feel made me have to use too many layers over each other, which wasn't always great for visibility. So that has been removed as well. An example of a new page can be found here. Some pages have already been designed, but for now I've only focused on the new homepage (see link above), the chat, forum, calendar and career pages. The main design is done, so creating the new pages will go quite quick. Keep an eye on the beta if you're interested in the new designs.

October 12, 2020 09:37 am