Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

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Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby gm_matthew » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:22 am

If you've played Le Mans 24 on Supermodel, you may notice that no matter how well you do, you never seem to be able to reach 1st place (or even close) in the 24 hour race. The reason for this is that not enough cars appear for the player to overtake. Oddly enough, the sprint races are unaffected and it is possible to finish 1st without too much trouble.

This was something I noticed back before Supermodel 0.2a came out and I e-mailed Bart about it. Neither of us had any idea what was causing it. I decided to wait for 0.2a to see if the problem would have been fixed. Sadly, it hasn't been.

However, I've noticed something since then. In the game, you see enemy cars pop up in both their original colours (which you can choose) and also alternate colours (which you can't choose). For example, the main colour of the Ferrari is red, and the alternate colour is blue and yellow. Look closely in the sprint races; each car has an alternate colour.

Skyline original: white/pink
Skyline alternate: white/blue
Ferrari original: red
Ferrari alternate: blue/yellow
McLaren original: blue/orange
McLaren alternate: green/yellow
Porsche original: white
Porsche alternate: black
Sauber original: silver
Sauber alternate: black
Mazda original: green/orange
Mazda alternate: white

What I've noticed is that running the 24 hour race on Supermodel, the alternate colours of cars never appear. In the actual arcade game, the alternate coloured cars appear just as frequently as the main coloured ones, this means more cars to overtake. Some cars are to be lapped, these are only ever alternate coloured cars (which never show up in Supermodel, hence you never lap any cars). Funnily enough, in the 24 hour race, no McLarens ever appear. This is not a Supermodel bug since they don't appear in the actual game either.

In a nutshell, for every 5 cars you pass using Supermodel, you should actually have passed 7 and lapped 3 (it seems that 3 of the 5 alternate cars are to be lapped).

Here's the video that I used as a reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgjK7D9_Uq0

The big question is, why aren't the alternate colour cars appearing? I'm probably going to build the debug version of Supermodel to see if I can find any clues...

EDIT: Built the debug version, tried to debug - crashes every time. Strange since the build runs fine with the debugger disabled.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby Bart » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:50 am

Not sure why the debugger isn't working, I'll have to take a look at it at some point. If you have any coding experience, you should try to see if you can debug Supermodel using Visual Studio and pinpoint the source of the crash. That would save us a lot of time.

Regarding Le Mans, there may be some CPU or timing/IRQ-related bugs that affect the game play. It has been reported that the game is not winnable in Supermodel. As for car colors, it could be a color modulation problem. Model 3 has support for palettized polygon colors (this is what makes the McLarren's wheels red in Supermodel; MAME, for instance, does not emulate this, and you can see it missing in early WIP videos). Right now, palette-based color modulation is only a guess and there is a lot I don't know about it. It definitely works in some cases but in others, it clearly fails. Dynamic updates to the palette (I'm not sure if they actually happen) would also not be noticed by Supermodel's 3D renderer, which would cause colors to persist.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby gm_matthew » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:52 am

To be specific, the emulator hangs and prints

Code: Select all
MainPPC @ $FFF00100: Execution halted.
Analysing MainPPC...
MainPPC MainEntry    bl      SubFFF01790 > Snd68K @ $600120: Execution halted.


as opposed to technically crashing. I'm looking into it.

Back to Le Mans 24, I don't think it's a colour modulation or palette problem, since the cars appear just fine in the sprint races.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby nikdd » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:50 pm

gm_matthew wrote:To be specific, the emulator hangs and prints

Code: Select all
MainPPC @ $FFF00100: Execution halted.
Analysing MainPPC...
MainPPC MainEntry    bl      SubFFF01790 > Snd68K @ $600120: Execution halted.


as opposed to technically crashing. I'm looking into it.

Back to Le Mans 24, I don't think it's a colour modulation or palette problem, since the cars appear just fine in the sprint races.


Hi gm_matthew,

It's supposed to do that :-) ! It's waiting for your input - check the Readme.txt in the Debugger directory for a list of commands.

Also, make sure that the command window is the top-most window (ie in front of Supermodel's OpenGL window) and has the focus otherwise it won't detect your keypresses. This may be why it appears to have hung.

Cheers, Nik.

PS If you don't want to enter the debugger automatically on startup, then run Supermodel without the -enter-debugger option. Instead, when it's running just press Alt+B at any point during to break execution and enter the debugger.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby gm_matthew » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:40 pm

Oops, my bad... :oops:

Well, I've got it working, but it might be a LONG time before I even begin to understand what's going on (I've never touched PowerPC code before now). Thanks.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby Bart » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm

PowerPC is not too bad. I recommend grabbing the programming manual for 32-bit implementations. They used to (and maybe still do) offer hard copies of these books free of charge, free shipping and all. I still have mine from ca. 2001 or 2002.

As for debugging emulation-related problems using Supermodel, I hope you have some development experience and are comfortable poking around the Supermodel code as well. There are some additional debug-related options that can be compiled in and you can also add in your own code to monitor things. Nik's debugger should have most of that functionality already, however. One thing that is very helpful is dumping the RAM and disassembling all of the program code at once to use as a reference while you are poking around in the debugger. You can use the PowerPC disassembler (Src/CPU/PowerPC/PPCDisasm.cpp), which can be compiled as a standalone program if STANDALONE is #defined.

If you want to discuss this further, I invite you to post in "The Dark Room", which is the forum I've created for these types of topics.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby FMecha » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:31 am

I've reached 2nd in a short goal time race (starting 10th), and I've found this video which shows a Japanese player making it to the first place in a long goal time race (starting 30th). So it's not a timing issue (or perhaps because I use a newer version of the emulator).

I've never saw any of the alternate color cars even on a real machine myself either, except for an occasional retiring black Porsche 911 GT1 on the 24 hour race. The only way the alternate color cars ever appear is apparently if you choose an alternate color car (BRAKE+START+VR1) in endurance mode and after that doing the endurance mode in a McLaren F1. This means you'll never see the original color cars, however.

I've personally never reached the 1000 km mileage score in normal goal time (or 500 km in short goal time) either.
There is a Le Mans 24 and Daytona USA 2 Power Edition in my nearest mall's arcade.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby CCCP1982 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:25 am

FMecha wrote:I've personally never reached the 1000 km mileage score in normal goal time (or 500 km in short goal time) either.

Make possible only on the MT!
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby Shekel » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:51 pm

I spent a good few hours looking at this game and trying things out. I've noticed you can't go the speed you should with any of the stock cars, except one - The Porsche 911. I'm not sure if it's perfect, but it's definitely faster than the rest which are broken and have their speeds limited. It's apparent even from the start.

To prove it, with the Porche 911 (and I'm really not the best driver at this game), you can actually get 1st place in the 24H:
Image

I can't do the race without continuing, sadly. Btw, that was automatic and all other stock settings.

To make this more confusing, there's at least one person out there using Supermodel who has full speed with the Mazda and an old build, but I don't know what build they were using or what else made their game different.
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Re: Le Mans 24 - why so few cars?

Postby Shekel » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:34 pm

This was much more difficult to do. Many times the McLaren kept overtaking me at the post which was really annoying. It physically hurt, too, twisting the NeGcon so much.
Image

Now I can stop playing it for a while. The game's better than I thought but still quite janky.
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