racer home

Directory and file structure


Home Where's my car?

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Because of Racer's openness, it's file structure should be kept as clean as possible. While games like Grand Prix Legends(tm) from Papyrus can share texturemaps between cars, Racer's cars can be so diverse that we should give each car its own home, its own directory. This enables easy addition and removal of single cars (same goes for tracks).
There's basically the following directory structure:

Directory Function
Home directory (i.e. C:\SIMS\RACER) Here you will install the Modeler, the CarLab, and the various .ini files which contain settings for the applications and utilities. From there on you will have some subdirectories.
Normally you will place Racer utilities in this directory. If you don't want this, you may also point applications to the Racer home directory by setting an environment variable "RACER" to the installation directory. This is mainly used for development reasons though, and you should not need to do this (and you are even advised not to).
To set the RACER environment variable in Windows2000, run Control Panel, double-click System, select the Advanced panel, click "Environment variables", and create a new variable with the correct Racer path.
data/ This contains all data, be it graphics or audio, movie or models.
data/audio/ Audio files. Some are global to Racer (like the helicopter samples), others are meant as default samples in case a specific car or track doesn't define one itself (for example track surface sounds can often just be used from the data/audio directory, instead of having the track creator to define those samples him/herself).
data/cars/ Here you will find the cars. Each car has its own directory. Within the directory you find a 'car.ini' file which describes the car as a whole; it may reference other files in the car's directory, like 3D models, images, audio etc.
Refer to the Carlab page for more information on the files in this directory.
data/cars/default/ A place where default .ini files are stored, in case of missing values in the data/cars/* directories.
data/controls/ This is where several control setting files are stored, to easily switch between joystick and wheel controllers, for example. Look at the .ini files in that directory to learn more about their contents. You can select a controlset file using the Config utility (Windows only), or you can just define your controls from the Control Setup screen (starting from Racer v0.5.1 alpha 3).
data/drivers/ Contains driver information. Probably you only have the 'default' driver in here. The files maintain statistics like total driven distance. The driver's name will be important for multiplayer though, as this will be used to indicate on the other clients' screens.
data/dump/ Place where screenshots will be written (F12), in the form of screenshot<n>.jpg. This is also the directory where image files generated from replays are located.
data/fonts/ Here are some system fonts used for displaying text information for example. They consist of an image (.tga) and an ASCII description file (.dtf for D3 Texture Font). These files were generated with a utility on an SGI O2 from a Postscript Type1 font.
data/images/ Here, system images are stored (like the intro .tga, which is a texture, blown up to fullscreen). It's easy to modify the game's look with the images stored here.

Store your music files (.wav, .ogg etc) here. These can be played back in the menu, during the game, during the replay etc. See the racer.ini music section for more information. Note that some machines may play midi files, but that's probably limited to Windows machines.

Racer doesn't come with music, as this would increase the download size considerably.

data/replays/ The replays are stored here.
data/tracks/ Here you must place the tracks. Tracks are actually a flexible kind of thing in Racer; there really isn't a specific type of track. It is possible to create your own track format handler, if you're a programmer.
The one file you will always find/need in a track's directory is 'track.ini', which contains the type of track, the creator and other miscellaneous information.
Refer to the TrackEd page for more information on files in this directory.

Inside the directories you will find a lot of files in various formats. Here's more information about the file formats themselves:

File format Function
.DOF files The 3D model files used by Racer as the native 3D model format. They are crossplatform compatible (Mac/Linux/Windows). There is more information here.
.INI settings files The .ini files are used for a lot of functions, like specifying graphics settings, controller settings etc. The file uses a tree-based structure, so settings can be nested (i.e. 'wheel1.model.name').
There is more info on using .ini files for common Racer settings.
See below for more specific types of .ini files.
.DTF D3 Texture font. Actually this is an .ini file with a specific function. You'll find these in data/fonts/

Several image formats are supported. Targa files (.tga) are most often used. Also supported are .BMP 24-bit, JPEG files and less known .RGB (SGI) and even .PSD (Photoshop) files, although the latter isn't recommended, since layers must be rendered, and effects are not processed.

.TGA files are used a lot where an alpha channel is required. Adobe Photoshop can save alpha channels, as well as several other image packages.

Control sets (.ini) These are found in data/controls/ (for v0.5.0 they are in data/ctrlsets). More info on their contents is here.
Car.ini files The car.ini is THE center place where a car's physical parameters are specified. You'll find them in data/cars/<anycar>. The reference to this file is here.
Track files For more information on the various track files, check out the Tracks and TrackEd documentation.

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(last updated December 30, 2014 )