Grid Motorsports Client Software
Description of the Grid Motorsports application.
- Please note that the installation path MUST NOT be the root directory of rFactor, or really any directory that already has content in it -- the installation must be pointed to a new directory (i.e. one that the installer itself creates). The installer will default to use 'GameData\Vehicles\GridMotorports' inside rFactor. There are almost no circumstances in which you'll want or need to change this.
- If you have a previous version of Grid Motorsports installed, please uninstall it prior to installing a newer version. Refer to the Uninstallation section for details.
If you're feeling saucy, just skip straight to the download links.
Please direct all inquiries regarding this program to email@example.com. If you're experiencing problems with the installation or operation of the software, please review the support information.
Note that our issue tracker is also available for browsing.
Grid Motorsports is a program that facilitates customization of rFactor for the purpose of participating in a sim-racing league environment. In particular, it is configured by default to support the GMWC league (though it can be reconfigured to support other leagues). The program masquerades as a normal vehicle mod for rFactor.
- Use at your own risk. You know the drill.
- The content included in this mod is intended for the win32 version of the game rFactor.
- The software is not fully compatible with Vista 64, or Windows 7, due to dependency upon several 3rd party libraries that are themselves not fully compatible, and the fact that Microsoft has gone out of its way to break stuff. You can use the full installer to have a working version of the mod, but keeping it up to date via the integrated synchronization system is likely to not work. You're welcome to try, but complaints about failure will be ignored.
- You can (and are encouraged to) use the uninstaller, a link to which can be found in the Grid Motorsports program menu in Windows.
- If you want or need to conduct a manual uninstallation, just follow these steps:
- Completely delete the following folder inside your rFactor install:
- Delete all files named '
Grid-*' in the
rFmfolder inside your rFactor install (i.e.
- Completely delete the following folder inside your rFactor install:
The installer is available in two forms: a single (large!) file, or a set of files that can be recombined into the single full installer.
The split form consists of 4 content pieces and a unification utility. You download all of the files, and then run the unification utility which will recombine the pieces into the original full installer. Then you just run the installer as though you had gotten it by itself. The split install is useful if you have problems with very large downloads.
Current Version: r1040 (the mod build ID is: 4570E)
Download the FULL installer (one big file, ~966MB):
coblitz.codeen.org (a caching service, might be a little slow if no one has downloaded from it in awhile)
- amazon S3 / torrent (note: this costs us $$, so we prefer that you use one of the other mirrors if possible)
Or...Download the split installer (you need ALL of the following files):
These locally-hosted files are provided for emergency purposes. Please use any of the prior links if you can.
- Piece #1: gridmotorsports
- Piece #2: gridmotorsports
- Piece #3: gridmotorsports
- Piece #4 (unifier): gridmotorsports
Run the unification program once you have all files downloaded, and it will recreate the installer. Then run the installer.
- Uninstallation section for details.
- Run the installer and follow the instructions. Be sure to direct its installation into the GameData\Vehicles\GridMotorsports subdirectory of your rFactor installation (which it should find automatically - something like 'C:\games\rFactor). Note that it will automatically apply 'GameData\Vehicles\GridMotorsports' to the installation destination, unless you change it (which you generally shouldn't).
- You're done! You now have a complete version of Grid Motorsports on your system, ready to be used within rFactor.
The Grid Motorsports Mod Manager program has the ability to update itself (and the mod).
- Run the Grid Motorsports Mod Manager (you'll have a shortcut for it after installation, or select it from within the programs list in the windows start menu).
- If you used the bootstrap installer, the client will detect the situation, and will prompt you to conduct the update process. Note that the bootstrap installer only provides just enough of the program to allow it to update itself -- in order to build/configure/use the mod, you have let the program conduct an initial update which will fetch and install the remaining parts of the program (more detail on this procedure is provided below). If you used the full (or split) installer, then you don't necessarily have to update Grid Motorsports, but you will need to if you want to acquire the latest mod updates.
- The program will restart itself twice during the update procedure - this is normal. It should progress normally, and will show you its log window during the procedure so you can observe.
- Once it finishes (presumably successfully), you should see the green status light on the left side of the client illuminated. This indicates that your installation of Grid Motorsports is complete and furthermore that it is fully updated to be consistent with the latest version and configuration available.
- Start rFactor (you can launch it directly from the GM client).
- From within rFactor, select 'Grid Motorsports' as the race series, purchase one or more cars (there's no price limit preventing you from trying any of them).
- Whenever you start the GM client, the program will check the official server to determine if (a) any new updates are available and (b) whether your current configuration/version of the mod is consistent with the official configuration/version that is being used for league events. After it finishes this check, one of the 3 colored status indicators on the left of the program will be illuminated (see the image above). Each one indicates a different situation. Green means that you're ready to connect to official GMWC servers. Yellow means that you're able to use the mod as it is currently built/configured on your system, but it is inconsistent with the current official league configuration. Red means that the mod is not currently in a usable state on your system.
- If the status is either yellow or red, you should probably initiate an update. Switch to the 'Update' tab, review the available options (the defaults are fine) and when you're ready, click on the 'Update' button.
- This will initiate the update and build process, which can be lengthy for an initial bootstrap install, as it will have to first download much of the content that is not included in the bootstrap installation, and from that will need to generate all of the additional client-side mod content (the most time-consuming of which is creating some procedurally generated skin textures). For a normal update (i.e. generally any update after the initial one) the entire process shouldn't take more than a few minutes. The changes from update to update tend to be small, and so they download quickly and the mod is able to be rebuilt/reconfigured quickly.
- Just be patient and allow it to do its thing. You'll be able to monitor the progress via the log window in the GUI.
- Note that the program will restart twice during this process and resume automatically. That is normal and necessary.
- If there are any issues or errors, or you think something has gone awry, please make note of the particular message and circumstances and use any of the methods described above (in the Inquiries/Support section) to communicate the issue to us.
- Eventually, the process will complete and the mod will be fully installed and usable. You'll see something like 'Successfully generated GridMotorsports mod. Enjoy!' in the log window, along with a summary of the version/configuration information for both your install and the official server.
Anatomy of the update and build process (for the curious)
The GM client application is used for the bootstrap installation and for updating the mod on a regular basis. It utilizes several tools to accomplish incremental, anonymous, one-way directory hierarchy synchronization and client-side mod customizations. That's just a fancy way of saying that instead of downloading a giant zip file, the mod content is actually exposed as a repository on a server, which is then accessed by a tool that knows how to talk to the server to retrieve each individual piece of the repository. The cool thing is that once you've done this once, any subsequent updates to the mod can be obtained trivially via the same method, and the only parts that you'll actually download will be the new parts. Furthermore, the manager enables you to customize the mod in a number of ways, allowing you to apply your own personal preferences without having to download multiple versions of the mod (which typically isn't even an option in the first place with most mods).
The following is a list of the major tools we've assimilated to provide this functionality:
- rsync: rsync provides the means of efficiently synchronizing the contents of a local directory to that of an rsync repository available over TCP/IP. Note that we're actually 'synchronizing', in the customary rsync manner, which means we do delete local files that reside within the target directory hierarchy, if those files aren't consistent with the contents of the server. Normally, this won't affect you unless you manually put other files inside the 'GridMotorsports' directory. Such files would get deleted when you update the mod.
- cwrsync: rsync is a unix tool, so we needed a win32 version of it, which is provided by cwrsync. This is basically just a a win32 build for rsync, along with some ssh related tools.
- cygwin: cwrsync utilizes the cygwin DLL to replicate the necessary unix libraries in win32.
- UTF8-cygwin: Unfortunately, cygwin has yet to join the 21st century and provide unicode support, which is crucial to this effort. So, we've supplanted the cygwin.dll that is provided with cwrsync with a version from okisoft, which is UTF8-enabled. Hopefully, cygwin will get its act together in the near future and this customization will no longer be required.
- python: A terrific cross-platform scripting language. The GridMotorsports mod is, well, 'modular'. There's a post-installation step that (re)generates a set of customized vehicles. We've done this for the following reasons:
- rFactor's mechanism for associating skins with vehicle models with teams is horribly busted and short-sighted. Yes, it is.
- By separating the heavyweight pieces of the mod content (skins & vehicles) and the actual configuration of the mod's vehicles, we regain the flexibility that is lost with rFactor's design.
- We enable dynamic reconfiguration of the vehicles/teams without requiring you to re-download all of the big pieces (skins, etc..).
- This dynamic configuration is accomplished via a python-based GUI application.
- wxwidgets: Our preferred library for cross-platform GUI application development.
- wxpython: Our preferred manner of using wxwidgets.
- py2exe: Since we don't want to force people to install python just to use the mod, we've leveraged this excellent little utility that converts a python script into an executable file that can be run on MSWindows. Good job, you crazy internet guys!