SCGT CentralSCGT Guide

The idea of this page is to help people get more out of their Sports Car GT gaming, below is an index of all the subjects covered

This is by no means the definitive SCGT guide as there is so much that can be edited, tweaked and replaced. When I first installed the game, I found it quite time consuming locating the various bits of software and learning to use them so I thought I'd try to put it all in one place - here! This will NOT be a modelling tutorial as I'm no good at all at it (yet...) but it does have links to some very good modelling software and tutorials.
This guide is expanded and updated quite reguarly as software is revised, websites move and new add-ons become available. If anyone spots errors or knows a better way of doing things let me know, and I'll amend these pages. Also, if there's anything you'd like added or if you'd like to contribute to the guide, drop me an e-mail.

Download this guide as a zip file (375k):Download

*You mess around with Sports Car GT at your own risk - I cannot accept responsibility if it all goes pear-shaped!*

Last Updated 8th April 2002

INDEX

Installing and patching Sports Car GT
Cheats
Graphics settings
Editing the Matrix.mc file
Installing new cars
Replacing the default dash
Editing dashes and creating your own.
Installing new tracks
Installing new track loading screens
Managing the tracks you have installed
Creating, editing and painting stand alone cars
Viewing the cars in the Patch folder and editing VEH files
Optimising your car's setup and going faster
Analysing recorded laps, reporting on races and editing replay videos
Choosing the opponents you race against
Improving the Opponent's Driving Skills
Creating custom executables with new classes and multiple patch folders
Editing and creating new tracks
Further reading - other guides and tutorials

1) Installing and patching Sports Car GT

A) Getting started - installing the game and essential patches.

So, you've bought the game, played it and thought "hold on, this is bloody good!!". Then, hopefully, you've had a look around this site and the myriad of other SCGT sites on the web and seen the cars and tracks and thought "I WANT THEM, NOW!". That's when the problems start as you start trying to install them and get the damn things to work. That's what this section is for - getting everything working and making it all easy for you.

Before diving in and installing new cars etc, I recommend carrying out the following steps, in this order:

1) A FULL Installation of Sports Car GT

Ensure that you have selected the Full Install option when installing SCGT as this copies all the files to your Hard Disk and many of these files will be altered or replaced in the next few stages.

** REMEMBER TO BACK UP BEFORE INSTALLING EACH OF THESE **

2) The official Sports Car GT patch, patching SCGT to v1.551. This cures most of the bugs and problems with the game as it was released so should be your first job. You can download it from The US Pits.Apparently they've also released a doctored version that gets rid of the problems in the patch(!) although I've not tried this.. Just follow the instructions that come with the patch.

3) The 24 Car Patch. Have you got a resonably decent PC, with a Pentium III or Athlon at 400Mhz or more? Has it got a decent video card? If so, you'll probably want to install the 24 Car Patch. This enables races with up to 23 opponents at MOST circuits. It is however pretty difficult to install as it changes many of the main SCGT files, so it's not for the faint hearted. It also hits the frame rate hard which means if your running with 24 cars at high resolution and Max detail it will probably be S L O W. It comes with detailed instructions and I thought it was worth the effort. Download it at GT40 Track Add-Ons. Note: Although GT40 Enhancements was closed in December 2000, this link IS still live (last checked on 12th October 2001).

This patch's instructions include using a now-replaced utility called ReadMas. You can download this here.
I wouldn't recommend using it for anything other than installing this patch as it can seriously mess up your MAS files.

4) Banscene.mas. This is the big one - this makes adding new tracks and cars much, MUCH easier. SCGT has various 'MAS' files that contain most of it's graphics and 3D files. The main one of these is called scene.mas and in the old days if you wanted to install a new circuit you had to insert several files into it. This often went wrong and left your game unplayable, leading to a re-install. Well not any more! After you've installed this patch you just copy the files into your PATCH folder and it all works instantly (mostly....). The patch comes with full instructions and is pretty easy to install. Download it from, yes you guessed it, The US Pits..

**NOTE** Installing the Banscene.mas patch can cause the game to ask you to insert the Sports Car GT CD. Don't worry as the next step replaces spcar.exe again and should solve the problem. If it does not, try re-naming spcar.exe to Spcar.exe and ensure you have run extract_scene.bat that Banscene places in the SCGT\DAT folder to create a new scene.mas file.

5) The 24 Car, Banscene and no-cd executable. This very clever replacement for the spcar.exe executable created by Sean Stafford has three main effects:

a) Visual Damage
Incredibly, Image Space decided to disable the visual damage code in the game, which means if you hit a wall or another car, your car still looks the same! This patch restores that code making the cars dent and warp when damage is done.

b) Up to 23 opponents selectable for a Quick Race
The 24 car patch applied at step 3 only works in Career Mode and with a lot of fiddling around - this allows you to select up to 23 opponents directly in the Quick Race options menu.

c) No CD required
No more searching around your piles of CDs whenever you want to play SCGT: the CD is no longer required to be in your drive - nice!

You can either download a straight-forward replacement spcar.exe from here or have a look at SRS Designs for a large selection of executables with different classes etc etc.

6) Rear View Mirror Re-Sizing Patch Fuzzilla's patch does exactly what it says, re-sizing the rear view mirror in the in-car view which should increase the frame rate and enable smoother graphics. If you drive using the in-car view and have noticed a performance drop when using the mirror, this is an essential patch.
Download it from: The US Pits.

7) Advanced Options Editor (AOE). This little program isn't essential but quite a few of the competitions and off-line leagues require it's use and once again - it's free, so why not? AOE changes a few aspects of how SCGT behaves:

a) Physics Models

There are four settings:

60s Sports Cars - with narrow tyres, looser suspension, less power and no downforce.
Pure Simulation - allegedly this setting is for the most accurate simulation of modern sports car racing.
Original
Easy - All cars come with ABS as standard

b) Drivetrain

Lets you choose whether to make all cars front, four, or rear-wheel drive.

c) Terrain Model

There are three settings:

Slick Grass - Reduces the "stickiness" of the grass and makes several other adjustments including more slippery wet roads. This is intended to be the most realistic setting.
Original
Easy - Makes everything less slippery, making it easier to drive anywhere.

You can find AOE at The US Pits.

B) Cheats.

You've probably not got enough cash to drive those juicy GT1 Porsches you've just downloaded, also, not all tracks are available to you until you qualify for each class - BORING! Never mind - type in the following, including the '-'s, at any menu page - NOT in the Player's Name box and everything suddenly becomes available:

isi-cheeseman - enables cheats - this has to be typed first
isi-tbone - all circuits are available
isi-aardvark - $5,000,000 credit.

*NOTE* You will not see anything on screen as you type these codes but a message will appear in the top left-hand corner when the cheat has been successfully activated. Also, the cheats have to be entered individually for every Player you have set up.

C) Adjusting The Graphics Settings. BusyBee posted the following info on the Sim Racing Project Forum and I found it interesting and useful:

MIP mapping

Enabling MIP map dithering will cause the hardware to blend between pairs of MIP map levels to produce a full continuum of texture levels. This can result in much smoother texturing. However, this can also decrease performance because dithered MIP Maps cannot be multi-textured.

E mapping

Stands for "Environment mapping". This maps the "environment" that surrounds the vehicle and reflects it back from the car. Kind of like if you look into the hood of your car, you can see your reflection. This decreases frame rate quite a bit, and IMHO, in SCGT it isn't worth the loss.

Alternate Alpha Blending

This is used to enable dither subtraction on the destination colour during alpha blending. When dither subtraction is enabled, the dither matrix used to convert 24-bit color to 16-bit colour is subtracted from the destination colour before applying the alpha-blending algorithm. Enabling dither subtraction is used to enhance image quality when performing alpha-blending. This is ignored when 32-bit colour rendering is selected.

So basically selecting the Alternate Alpha blending would "smooth" graphics out if your card supports it. Using the default blending is supposed to make the image sharper.

D) Editing the Matrix File. Matrix.mc, found in the /DAT directory contains details of race lengths and circuits used for each classes season, driver names, points and awards for race positions etc etc. All you need to do is "unzip" the file using Winzip and edit it in Notepad, it can stay unzipped after editing as SCGT doesn't care.

Look down the file and you'll see a list of entries like this:
SPCAR_SEASON_GT3 ="Magny-Cours/22/70/140/270"

The numbers after the circuit are the length of races in minutes for each race length option, in this case from 22 minutes to a bum-numbing 270 minutes. Just edit the numbers and circuit names to tailor each season to how you want it. Ensure that you type in the name of the circuit exactly as it appears in the track selection list in the game or it won't appear in your season.


E) Installing new cars.

Well that was pretty boring and not exactly easy - now to the fun stuff. First of all, erm...download a car! Have a look around my garage section or Links page for the best places to download cars, tracks and track loading screens.

Usually there will be these files packed into a car's ZIP file:

????????.VEH - contains all the settings for the car e.g. aerodynamics, gear ratios etc
????????.MAS - contains the 3D files (VRLs) and the graphics files (BMPs)
????????.BMP - usually the picture displayed when selecting a car to buy. There may also be BMPs for custom-made wheels.
????????.TXT - normally the readme.txt file, contains author details and installation information, animation details for wheels for instance.
????????.WAV - the sound file(s)

The BMP, WAV or TXT files may be missing but there must be a MAS and a VEH file. To install, read the TXT file to see if there are any special installation instructions, if not dump the VEH, MAS and BMP files into your PATCH folder and the WAV into SOUNDS/22K16BIT/.

Finally, ensure that the car is assigned to class that you have access to. The original game is set up with 4 classes, GTQ, GT3, GT2 and GT1, but, as covered below, countless new classes have been created and if the car you have downloaded is assigned to a new class it will not be in any races and you won't be able to buy it. To check the car's class, open it's VEH file in Notepad and look for a line like this:
//DescClass=
There will be a class name, if necessary change it to one of your classes.

Example:
The line looks like this:

//DescClass=LM01

Change it to this:

//DescClass=GT1

*NOTE* Sports Car GT has a limit of 424 cars in the patch folder. If you add more than this cars may appear in the wrong class and the game can start behaving unexpectedly. 424 cars may seem a lot when you first start downloading but I have more than 1.8Gb of SCGT cars and tracks so it's quite easy to hit this limit.


F) Replacing the Default Dash and editing/creating your own dashes.

Let's face it, the dash displayed when you select the in-car view in SCGT is pretty ugly, it appears the game designers spent months on the rest of the game and about ten minutes on this. Luckily there are clever and artistic people in the SCGT community who have produced plenty of replacement "dashes". The best collection of these is probably at Big Ben's Area. Installation is simple, just download the dash you require, back up the dash.mas file found in the DAT folder and replace it with the new file. Another option is to use a patch called AllDash which automatically matches the correct dash with the correct car. I haven't tried this as I never use the in-car view but it's also available at Big Ben's site.

If you can't find a dash that suits your needs, you can always create your own, although this a tricky and somewhat fiddly task. A tutorial to get you started can be found at the bottom of the Miscellaneous Files section of Big Ben's Area. There's also a nice little document on how to ensure your new dash is flicker-free, a common problem with new dashes.

For some further info on dash editing, Reggie Brooks posted this on the Speedsims Forums and I have re-produced it with his permission:

It appears that the color of the dots in a Dash's PCX file is important. The correct colors are shown in the graphic below: Each dot is a different color, except that the 2 bounding dots for each individual gauge (Speedo, Tach, Temp and Fuel) are the same color. Some other similarities between the colors are worthy of note:

The R,G, and B values for any particular dot are all the same (for example (2,2,2) or (15,15,15) ).

All Bounding Box dot values end in 2.
All Center dot values end in 5.
All Start dot values end in 6.
All End dot values end in 7.

All Speedo dot values are only one digit.
All Tach dot values are two digits, with the first digit being 1.
All Temp dot values are two digits, with the first digit being 3.
All Fuel dot values are two digits, with the first digit being 4.

In the graphic below, the colours used are for clarification and ease of understanding, and are not intended to represent the actual colours of the dots. The actual colours are all very close to black, and you won't be able to distinguish the difference in colour with the naked eye, they'll all look black. In Paint Shop Pro you can use the Eyedropper tool to determine the RGB color values of a particular dot.

In addition, I'm including here some tips that I have learned about calibrating the Speedo to read accurately. I had a car with a top speed of 150 MPH, and I wanted a 0-200 MPH Speedo that read accurately. The first step was taking a 0-300 Speedo, and with some cut-and-paste, redrawing some of the scale marks, and other minor touch-ups, I came up with the Speedo shown below:

This Speedo read way too low. You can turn the dash on and off in SCGT with the F4 key so that you can see the digital Speedo in the lower right corner for comparison. You may have to hit the F4 key twice to make the digital Speedo show up, or make the dash come back.
Next, I moved the End dot for the Speedo in the PCX file, going back into SCGT to test it, and repeating this process until it read accurately. The Highway Track is the best track to use for this testing because it's very easy to maintain a constant speed while switching between the two views. Some of the things that I learned about moving the End dot are shown in the graphic below. These tips can also be used to calibrate the Tach. Actually, they can be used to calibrate any of the gauges, but I don't see much of a need to calibrate the Fuel or Temp gauges. You don't have to redraw the gauge to make use of these tips. They can be used just to fix a gauge that is not reading accurately.

Here again, the colors used in the graphic are for clarification only, and do not represent the actual colors of the dots.

I have successfully used both of these techniques to modify several dashes.


G) Installing new tracks.

This isn't quite as easy as installing cars, but almost, assuming you've installed the Banscene Patch covered earlier. If not, do so now, as adding new tracks without it is a pain. If you really don't want to install Banscene you should read Vince Cuffaro's "The Politically correct Guide for the Mentally Challenged: Track installs using Maspuce", available from the FAQ section of The US Pits.
If you have installed Banscene, firstly select and download a track. The best place to look is New Circuit Progress Checklist as this has links to all the tracks available and in progress.
Having downloaded a track, you should find the following files packed into the ZIP file:

????????.AIW - contains the waypoints and AI settings for the other drivers
????????.MAS - contains the 3D files (VRLs) and the graphics files (BMPs)
????????.BMP - usually the picture displayed when selecting a track to race on. There may also be loading screen BMPs.
??????1.SCN
??????2.SCN
??????3.SCN
??????4.SCN - The four scene files, one for each detail level.
????????.TXT or DOC - normally the readme.txt file, containing installation information

To install, copy the SCN and AIW files into the DAT folder, the MAS files into the MAS folder and the BMP file into the PATCH folder.

*NOTE* SCGT has a limit of 64 tracks installed at any one time, adding more than this can cause the game to crash or behave unexpectedly...the next section describes how to get around this problem.

H) Managing the tracks you have installed

One of the newest bits of free software for Sports Car GT is Reggie Brook's excellent Track Manager, now on version 2, which looks like this:

SCGT Track Manager

Disabling a track by unchecking it in the list re-names the underlying track files and hides it from the game, removing the need to delete or move the files manually. To re-enable the track, just click in the checkbox and it returns. As long as you ensure that no more than 64 tracks are enabled you'll never have problems with too many tracks installed.
Download it from
Track Manager Home Page

I) Installing new track loading screens

If loading screens weren't included with the track files, have a look at Tommy D's Loading Screens, there's probably screens for every circuit here.

Installing these are slightly more difficult than the track files:
a) Select the file that corresponds to the resolution you run the game at, i.e. 480, 600 or 768.
b) If you haven't already got it, download MASpuce from The US Pits. and install it. It's a very useful tool so I'd recommend getting it.
c) Back up your loading.mas file (found in the SPORTS CAR GT/MAS folder)
d) Create a temporary folder somewhere on your hard drive and copy loading.mas into it
e) Run MASpuce and choose the Extract Existing MAS File option, (see picture below) and select loading.mas and hit the execute button.
f) At the prompt type a sensible name for the PCK file, making sure you include the .PCK extension.
g) Open the PCK file in notepad, add the new loading screen BMP filename anywhere in the list, add one to the number at the top of the list and save the file.
h) Re-launch MASpuce if you've closed it or hit the Reset button if you haven't and select the Create MAS from PCK file option, select the PCK file you've edited and hit the execute button, overwriting the existing loading.mas file.
i) Move the loading.mas file back into the MAS folder.

MASpuce

The track's loading screen should now be displayed while the race is loading.


2a) Creating Stand Alone Cars.

I was going to type in detailed instructions of how to extract the VRL and BMP files from the car's MAS files, how to re-name files and edit them so that the cars are "stand-alone" i.e. don't overwrite existing cars. However - Mika Hirvonen has written much the same thing already in his excellent Stand Alone Tutorial and GT40-Steven has written a very useful guide to all the SCGT File formats. Both of these are essential reads and can both be found in the tutorials section of Mika Hirvonen's SCGT Site. These guides taught me most of what I know about pulling car's MAS files apart, renaming the bits and then putting it all back together.

Mika's "SCGT File Names" (SCGTFN v1.1 ) program is also a very useful utility that takes the guesswork out of re-naming the various bits of a stand-alone car. Just type in a new name for the car's MAS file and this program tells you all the expected filenames. Download it from Mika's download page, in the programs section: Mika Hirvonen's SCGT Site

Steve "Mad Aussie" has also released a tutorial for painting and creating new cars and it's also well worth a read, covering a few different aspects than Mika's guide. It's on Steve's site at: SCGT Mad Aussie Style.

I've recently found a really useful and completely free tool for re-naming files - it's called THERename and can rename files using search-and-replace, include an incremental counter in file names and many other great features. Download it from here.

2b) Painting Cars

Before starting to paint cars you'll need to find a decent painting program - Windows Paint really isn't up to the job. I, and many others, use and recommend Paint Shop Pro v5, 6 or 7, available as trial software from Jasc.com and in the UK it's also included on most of the main magazine's cover CDs. PSP v5, 6 or 7 have many of the features of Photoshop, most notably layers and the use of Photoshop compatible plugins but it costs a fraction of the price. One thing it does NOT have however is Photoshop's "Radial Blur" effects filter which is used to create the motion blur on SCGT car custom wheels.
There are numerous websites with very good tutorials for PSP, two of the best I've found are Web Graphics On A Budget and The Sumrallworks tutorials. Between them these two should teach you most of the basics - and beyond.

At a risk of repeating some of what Mad Aussie says in his tutorial, the tools and techniques in PSP I use the most and would recommend learning are:
Resize/Resample - Always change the colour depth to 16 million colours (24bit) as this improves the clarity of the reduced image.
Mirror/Rotate/Flip - err, they do what they say....
Paste as Transparent Selection - very handy for placing decals and other details onto your fresh paintwork
Layers - build up the BMP in separate layers so that your paint is not messed up with your decals, also useful for keeping shading intact
The Clone Tool - copying part of an image to another, usually more smoothly than a simple copy-and-paste
The Retouch Tool - a whole toolbox in one: smooth, smudge, sharpen, darken, lighten. Invaluable
The Colour Replacer Tool - replaces one colour with another, with adjustable "tolerance".

Once you've got a fair understanding of these you should be ready to start..

Having extracted the BMPs from the car's MAS files, the first thing you'll probably notice is that they are incredibly small - most will be 256 X 128, 128 X 128, 64 X 64 and can include the whole side or top of a car, it depends on how the modeller mapped the car. This is why I'm constantly impressed with the incredible detail some of the painters in the SCGT community manage, some sponsor's logos, fuel caps, air intakes etc are only 4-5 pixels square!!
When I start painting a car, I usually buy the existing car I'm editing in SCGT and take a few screen shots of it from all angles (using the F12 key - the screenshots are saved as GRAB0001.BMP etc in the Sports Car GT folder). I then study these pictures and compare them with the BMPs extracted from the MAS file, taking note of which section of the car is painted in which BMP, if the BMPs are mirrored or upside down, how they line up with each other, where sponsor's logos are etc etc.
If possible, I find a good quality photo of the car at the same angle as the BMP I want to change and then cut and paste sections into the BMP, resizing and lightening/darkening etc. as necessary. The rest is just a case of gradually painting in the car, often pixel by pixel, trying to keep any existing shading or painted-on detail such as door handles or badges.

2c) Editing Car Shapes and Modelling New Cars

Once you've painted a few cars you might want to dabble with editing the shapes or even creating your own car. I've found this very difficult, particularly mapping the graphics to the "mesh" but everything you need is out there - and it's all free!

Rather than splashing out 3000 (yes, really!) on 3D Studio Max, have a go with the freeware Zanoza Modeler (Zmodeler) - you can download it, along with detailed instructions and tutorials from Zmodeler.com. This is an excellent modelling package that can import and export SCGT and F1 2000's VRL's, Need For Speed's FCE's, Midtown Madness 2 PCK and 4X4 Evolution SMF files. If you are going to follow the tutorials for Zmodeler and want to build a car from scratch, a very useful source of car blueprints is http://www.suurland.com

NOTE: When exporting lights and exhaust flames VRLS from Zmodeler, the transparency settings are lost so a further step (and bit of free software) is required.
a) Download VRL2VRML from The US Pits. and install it.
b) Open up the required VRL file in the explorer section:

vrl2vrml

c) Then click on the OBJECTS section, expanding the "tree" until you get to objects with surface types. These will probably be 00000034 - change each of them to 00000811, clicking on the save button each time:

vrl2vrml

d) Finally click on the Things To Do menu item and choose Save as SCGT - voila, transparent headlights etc. All you need to do now is re-pack your MAS file following the instructions in Mika's tutorial.

If you don't like Zmodeler, you could try Bobonen's Modeler's Garage which is similar and slightly more SCGT-orientated. Many people prefer it to Zmodeler, and it's the best freeware tool for editing tracks and their AI files/waypoints. You can find it here: Bobonen's Home Page. Matt Lucas has written a very good guide to getting started with Modeler's Garage and has given permission for it to be downloaded from here.

4a) Viewing the cars in your PATCH folder and editing their VEH files.

Once you've downloaded and installed loads of cars into your PATCH folder you'll almost certainly want to have a look at them and maybe fiddle around with their settings. All SCGT car's performance, handling, driver and physics model properties are held in their VEH files. Whilst you can edit them in Notepad, I'd recommend downloading two more bits of free software that enable you to do this.

Firstly, Ed Burkholder's V-Edit v2.01 which can be downloaded from Burk's Motorsports. This is the recently heavily revised and enhanced utility for viewing and organising the cars in your Patch folder(s) and graphical editing of many of their settings. V-Edit2 looks like this:

V-Edit 2.01

Hitting the left and right buttons under the picture of the car scrolls through each car in the selected Class. *NOTE* When editing VEH files with V-Edit a back-up copy of the VEH file, named with a .VEX extension will be created in your PATCH folder. Once you are happy with your changes you can safely delete this.

The second utility is GT Vehicle Editor or GTVE. The author's (BusyBee) site has now disappeared but he has given permission for it to be made available from here This is the current, and final version, v4.0.1.1.

GTVE looks like this:

GTVE v4.0

This really is the dog's wotsits when it comes to editing performance, aerodynamics and gear ratios of cars - the program even suggests optimum gear ratios. The most useful feature for me is the drag-and-drop interface to change the torque curve, and thus the power (as shown in the screen-shot). You can also load a 'ghost' cars details for comparison with the car that you're editing. Download it and have a play!

Although many of the entries in VEH files are complicated and not at all user-friendly, unless you are creating a new car from scratch most can be left alone. One of the most puzzling set of entries are the "collision points" settings and these are important to get right if you have modelled a new car. Fortunately JPS has written a very good explanation of what they all mean - you can read it here.

4b) Optimising your car's setup and going faster.

This is not my area of expertise but Mad Aussie Steve has written a very informative guide to what the settings in Sports Car GT's Garage pages mean and how to tweak your car to optimise it's performance. You can download this guide from SCGT Mad Aussie Style. In addition to this, Simon Wilkins has produced a short guide including suggested set-ups for high and low powered rear wheel drive and low powered front wheel drive cars, with different settings for smooth and bumpy racing surfaces. Download it (7k) here.

4c) Analysing recorded laps, reporting on races and editing replay videos.

Whilst SCGT has a Replay feature and can save a "video" file of laps and races, it is pretty limited. That's where Simon Phillips' brilliant software comes in: Replay Manager and Race Reporter.
Replay Manager provides telemetry data for any given SCGT replay (.VCR) files, showing your line around the track, speed and distanance and allowing comparison with other drivers. This data can be exported into .LAP files for off-line competitions and can also be used to create basic AI files (see
Creating and editing new tracks). The latest version includes Replay Editor, enabling the editing of .VCR files so that race highlights videos can be created.
Race Reporter. Load up a .VCR file and this program creates a report of the race, with time-lines on car's positions throught the race, lap times and finishing positions and times.

Replay Manager and Race Reporter v1.995 can be downloaded as a bundle from Si Phi's Bits and Pieces

5) Choosing which opponents to race against and improving their driving skills.

5a - Choosing opponents - an easy method
With so many new classes and types of vehicle, it's likely that the default class system won't generate the races you want. The easiest and most exact way of racing against the opponents you want is to use a clever little patch created by Porboy Racing. This is a small file that replaces the vehicle.mas file in the DAT folder and ensures that ONLY the files in the PATCH directory are used for races, none of the default cars will appear. To install, make a backup copy of the default vehicle.mas and replace it with this one. That's it! You can then create new PATCH folders for each type of race you want, e.g. a Truck folder, a NASCAR folder or a GT40-only folder etc etc. Download the file (31k)
here

*NOTE* I strongly recommend backing up your player career files (found in the SAVE folder and sub-folders) and creating a new player to use with this patch. This is because your career details can be lost if you are involved in a season using the default cars and then switch to PATCH only races. I would also recommend starting a new season with your new player each time you purchase a new car before selecting Quick Race as the game will crash if your player tries to use a car that is no longer available. One clue to this happening is to look at the Season screen and check that none of the opponents have NOVEH against them. If they do, the game will crash. None of these crashes are serious and most problems can be resolved by starting a new season.

5b - Choosing opponents - another easy method
Ed Burkholder, the author of V-Edit has come up with another great utility for SCGT - Lock & Load. This program allows you to remove some or all of the original cars within a class from races. It's easy to use and comes with clearly written instructions. Download it from Burk's Motorsports.

5c - Creating custom executables with new classes
This is a more involved way of changing the opponents SCGT selects for you to race against but is, I think, more flexible and useful.
Firstly, decide on the four new classes you wish to create and write them down. I would advise limiting them to three letters as this makes hex editing the executable easier. In this example, I will be creating a new executable which replaces the existing classes with the following:

  • GTQ - HIS Historic Porsche 917s, Ferrari 512s, Ford GT40s etc

  • GT3 - ALM American LeMans Cars
  • GT2 - GPC GPC cars
  • GT1 - GTP GTP cars

    Next, make a copy of spcar.exe, found in the main SPORTS CAR GT folder and re-name it to something recognisable, for this example I'm re-naming it gtcar.exe. I recommend basing your new executable on Sean Stafford's spcar.exe mentioned earlier in section 1.5 as this has banscene.mas support, visible damage, 24 car support and the no-CD patch enabled.

    Now make copies of spcar.osc and matrix.mc, found in the DAT folder. Using Winzip, un-zip these copies and re-name them to gtcar.osc and matrix.gt.

    Now it's time to start editing, starting with the new executable. I recommend using the totally free Axe Hex Editor, available to download here. Open your new executable in the hex editor and use the search or find option to find the ANSI string "spcar". The screen should look something like this:

    Axe Hex editor

    Change spcar.exe to read gtcar.exe.
    Now search for "spcar" again. IGNORE everything until it finds spcar.err. Change this to gtcar.err. This names the error log file created if any errors are encountered when the executable is run.
    Search for "spcar" again, until it finds spcar.osc. Change this to gtcar.osc
    Search for "spcar" again, until it finds ...SPCAR.EXE -NOVIDCFG..... Change this to GTCAR.EXE etc.
    Search for "spcar" again, until it finds Spcar.exe. Change this to Gtcar.exe

    Now search for matrix.mc and change it to matrix.gt
    Now search for save\ and change each occurrence to savg\, there should be 6 "save\"s. This ensures that any player information is saved into a new folder and does not overwrite existing players.
    Now search for GTQ and change each occurrence to your replacement class i.e. HIS, there should be 5 "GTQs" altogether.
    Repeat the above for GT3 ,GT2 and GT1, replacing each with the new class.
    For a slightly more professional look, search for "setup" and replace with your own title, making sure you don't overwrite the "%s". This will displayed in the title bar when you run the new executable.
    Now save the file!

    The next stage is to edit the gtcar.osc file. Open it in Windows Wordpad (Notepad doesn't have a search/replace facility). Now replace every occurrence of GTQ with the new class, in this case HIS (you can safely use Replace All).
    Repeat the above for GT3 ,GT2 and GT1, replacing each with the new class and then save the file.

    Next, edit the matrix.gt file. If you haven't already un-zipped it, unzip it using Winzip or PKUnzip and then open it in Windows Wordpad and replace every occurrence of GTQ with the new class (again, you can safely use Replace All).
    Repeat the above for GT3 ,GT2 and GT1, replacing each with the new class and then save the file.

    Finally, choose the cars you want in each class and edit their VEH files so they appear in the correct class. You can either do this manually or use V-Edit or GTVE, mentioned earlier.

    That's it! Run the new executable, set up a new player, use the cheats and you can now purchase and race cars in new classes.

    ** NOTE ** The "filter" for the GT1 class does not appear to be able to cope with more than 15 opponents in a season or a race. If you start a race or begin a season in GT1 (or your replacement for GT1) with more than 16 cars in total, cars from other classes appear in the race or season. I have no idea why and it does not happen if you always run with 16 cars or less and other classes appear OK...

    5d - Making and using multiple PATCH folders
    Sean Stafford has written an informative tutorial explaining how to make even better use of these custom executables, using separate PATCH folders for each executable. With his permission it's re-produced below, with my additional notes in
    blue:

    Background
    With the release of so many cars in the recent months, more and more people have run into the problems of too many cars in their patch folder and/or incorrect classes of vehicles being used in races. For these reasons, I decided to look at the possibility of having a separate patch folder for each executable, without incurring a diskspace penalty, and especially without requiring the user to reconfigure his/her system between runs of different executables.

    The solution I have produced results in a small diskspace overhead, although this can be eliminated if you are willing to use MASpuce to pack some files. It also needs no further user intervention once the initial modifications to files and folders has been done. Just click and go!

    On my gameplay system, which I am using as an example throughout this tutorial, I have 6 executables. This requires you to have 6 extra patch folders within your original patch folder, one for each executable.

    Directory Structure
    The naming convention I have used for my patch folders is PATCH\exename\. For example PATCH\SPCAR\ and PATCH\TCCAR\. This means there should be no confusion as to which folder applies to which executable.
    NOTE: You must limit your patch folder names to 8 characters maximum.

    Modifying Executables
    In each of your executables you need to replace the string PATCH\ at address 0x100570 with the name of the new patch folder for that executable. For example PATCH\TCCAR\ in TCCAR.EXE.
    NOTE: This is the only modification needed in the executable. Do not modify any other occurrences of the word PATCH.

    If using the Axe Hex Editor, finding address 0x100570 is pretty easy - just press the Go button (circled in the picture below) and type 0x100570 in the pop-up box. The screen should look like this:

    Finding address 0x100570 in Axe

    Car File Locations
    All of the MAS files for your add-on cars should be placed in the original PATCH\ folder. The VEH and BMP files for each car should be placed in the patch folder for their respective executables. For example GT1, GT2, GT3 and GTQ VEH and BMP files should be placed in PATCH\SPCAR\. DTM, V8, HTCC and TOURING VEH and BMP files should be placed in PATCH\TCCAR\.

    Track BMP Locations
    The selection screen bitmaps for tracks, ???B.BMP, must be placed in all of the extra patch folders or, if disk space is an issue, you can pack them into OPTIONS.MAS.

    Unpacking and re-packing this MAS file uses the same method as installing loading screens, covered here.

    Animated Wheel Bitmaps
    Bitmaps for animated wheels need only be placed in the original PATCH\ folder. If you prefer, you can pack them into CMAPS.MAS.

    Any Other Files
    The only file I found in my system which did not fall into one of the above categories was TCLOGIN.BMP from the Touring Car Patch. This file could simply be placed in PATCH\TCCAR\ or packed into OPTIONS.MAS.

    The Added Bonus Feature
    This one I discovered purely by accident. Let's say I have a car with a MAS file called M3BMW.MAS. In PATCH\SPCAR\ I could place a VEH file called M3BMW.VEH which was a GT3 class. Then I could put a file in PATCH\TCCAR\ also called M3BMW.VEH but in the TOURING class. You could extend this further and have a third VEH file in PATCH\DSCAR\ and make it a Drag Racer. Theoretically you could have an identical paintscheme car in a load of different classes without having to rename the MAS and VRL files.

    Sean Stafford - The Sim Project

    5e - Running the new executables with Mika Hirvonen's SCGT Portal and VEH File Manager
    Once you've got a few executables for SCGT, you probably won't want a load of icons scattered all over your desktop for them. That's where Mika Hirvonen's SCGT portal comes in. The portal provides a neat and easily configured menu for all the different SCGT programs and executables. The latest version (v2.0) also includes a VEH file manager, moving all the VEH files for a selected class in and out of the PATCH folder interactively. This is the simplest way to avoid a limitation of SCGT: if there are more than 424 cars in the PATCH folder, cars can 'jump' classes and appear in incorrect races. You can download the new portal from Mika's download page, in the programs section: Mika Hirvonen's SCGT Site and it looks like this:

    Mika's SCGT Portal v2.0

    5f - Improving the opponents' driving skills
    This information was posted on one of the SCGT forums by Xzibit-A and although slightly time consuming, it's not difficult and leads to a major improvement in the Computer Opponents' artificial intelligence (AI)
    If you havn't already un-zipped the Matrix.mc file in your /SCGT/DAT folder, unzip it and open it in Notepad. Take a look at the bottom of the file and change all the driver settings to /1.0/0.4/0.8. Next, edit the .veh file for each add-on car in the /PATCH folder and change their settings too. The AI cars will run faster, avoid random crashes with eachother, the scenery and you.

    6 - Editing and creating new tracks

    This is the big one and it's not something I knew a great deal about, but fortunately Matt Lucas has written a couple of very readable and informative guides, one for using Modeler's Garage to create a basic track and one for creating the Artificial Intelligence (AIW) files. Matt's kindly allowed me to make them available for download from my site so you can get the Track Creation Guide (including Matt's SCN file creation spreadsheet) here and the AIW Tutorial here.

    For further reading on track creation, JPS posted an excellent series of tutorials on the Speedsims forums and I've reproduced them, with permission, here

    There are a couple of great sites on the web for getting track information and maps - have a look at http://www.alistauto.com/performance/tracks/ and http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/tracks/tracks.html for inspiration.

    7 - Further reading - other guides and tutorials

    Although this guide is obviously the best (!), there are other documents and tutorials available that I havn't already mentioned in these pages:

    SCGT Guide by James Pickard
    This describes the standard cars and tracks in good detail and is worth a read if you've just started with the game. Download it from the FAQ section of
    The US Pits.

    3D Studio Max Mapping and Welding Tutorials by Mika Hirvonen
    These are detailed guides showing you how to map textures to 3D wireframes and welding vertices together in 3D Studio Max. They're in the tutorials section of Mika Hirvonen's SCGT Site