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Subject: RF90 Development Journal rss

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Stan Hilinski
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I created this thread to update everyone on new circuits and features that are in the pipeline. From time to time I hope to post news. Please do not hijack this thread.

I wrote in another thread some news, and I copy it here:

Quote:
Giuseppe Rossini is designing Suzuka. He was responsible for Barcelona in the last package. We were supposed to start running it today, but the race has been delayed to iron out some kinks. A problem area has been the S curve after corner 1 because by game rules, cars can get hung up here. One idea being kicked around is a new trajectory type that has the "-1 overtake" symbol. Another problem is Suzuka has lots of fast corners and little space to pass cars. Modeling that seems to stretch the current design.

Alessando said he was working on Indianapolis, but I've seen nothing yet. I know he's been very busy and probably has not had time to put into it.


We still have not started a test race at Suzuka, and now it probably won't start for another week because next week I will be at the World Boardgaming Championships near Pittsburgh, Pa (USA).

One new idea we are considering is the "high-speed corner" (or "fast corner.) On some circuits there are corners that drivers take at speed, maybe just tapping the brake. Interlagos has a couple, and a corner over Suzuka's bridge come to mind. To me it just didn't seem right that I would have to stop for cars on those kinds of corners. The high-speed corner is a hybrid mix of a corner and a straight. I will talk more about it as we flesh it out.

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J Emmett
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shilinski wrote:
One new idea we are considering is the "high-speed corner" (or "fast corner.) On some circuits there are corners that drivers take at speed, maybe just tapping the brake. Interlagos has a couple, and a corner over Suzuka's bridge come to mind. To me it just didn't seem right that I would have to stop for cars on those kinds of corners. The high-speed corner is a hybrid mix of a corner and a straight. I will talk more about it as we flesh it out.

Looking forward to that!

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Darrell Hanning
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One part of the problem, as I see it, is that one move in Alessandro's system represents one or more laps.

So, it follows that a car getting "stuck" in a corner behind another car is, in fact, stuck behind him for an entire lap. The corner you find them getting stuck in is simply a snapshot of a point in time one or more minutes after the last time they moved.

This has numerous implications, but the first, most obvious one is that it would not be consistent with the time scale of the system to get hung up on tactical considerations which are not actually relevant to the higher level of movement that is being represented in the game. That is, it isn't that your car cannot "get past" another car in the esses after Turn 1, but that it could not get past it for an entire lap or more.

This is not a tactical game. We shouldn't forget this.
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J Emmett
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DarrellKH wrote:
One part of the problem, as I see it, is that one move in Alessandro's system represents one or more laps.

So, it follows that a car getting "stuck" in a corner behind another car is, in fact, stuck behind him for an entire lap. The corner you find them getting stuck in is simply a snapshot of a point in time one or more minutes after the last time they moved.

This has numerous implications, but the first, most obvious one is that it would not be consistent with the time scale of the system to get hung up on tactical considerations which are not actually relevant to the higher level of movement that is being represented in the game. That is, it isn't that your car cannot "get past" another car in the esses after Turn 1, but that it could not get past it for an entire lap or more.

This is not a tactical game. We shouldn't forget this.

I'm not so sure about that. How is something like "fast corners" different from late braking? Yes, each turn represents one or two laps, but as you say your actual turn to move is a snapshot of the action at that moment: when you late braked, when you got stuck behind another car in the esses, when you blasted past someone around 130R. Each turn is like a moment from the highlight reel of the race.
 
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Nigel Uncle
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Hi! First time posting about this great game I really love... I think this could be the right thread to express some thoughts about next developments of RF90.
I usually play with Martino (the one of the Weather system house rule), and I ended up doing some historical research for the sake of maximum realism of our championships.

From many details (car numbering, Prost and Alesi dueling on the game's box, circuits art and design...) I'm rather sure that the whole game is set in 1993 season - if not, at most in one of the first 90's seasons.
So, now it feels a bit odd to hear about Indianapolis, which hosted USA GP starting from just 2000, after an eight-year span without any US stage (last being Phoenix 1991). I would rather love to race at iconic circuits like Estoril, or Magny-Cours (unfortunately Paul Ricard circuit was last used by F1 in 1991); obviously, not to mention Imola (that I am even trying to realize as a fan tribute)!

About "fast corners", I'm always concerned about big twistings in game's rules and mechanics; i rather would treat those sweepers as one-section corners with lot of Track Cards allowing overtake at -1PM and high-bonus trajectory spots (i was thinking about this solution to render Tamburello corner).

Once again, congrats for this game! Keep going!
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carl hilinski
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I've suggested using the leader lap procedure for overtaking in these fast corners. Any car overtaking another in a fast corner would have to do a blind/hand check against their dashboard check card.It would be a process everyone is already familiar with and is somewhat in the middle between stop/contest and -1 overtake.

I also sim race and fast corners can be an additional challenge because you typically have to abandon "the line" to overtake and that can always lead to some pastoral adventures.
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René Christensen
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Maybe I don't fully understand what a Fast corner is, but to me a fast corner means all cars go fast and therefor it should be hard to overtake.
In a slow corner it should be possible to outbreak/late brake.
 
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Aaron Steward
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I wonder if the Fast Corner idea might end up being new mechanics simply for the sake of new mechanics. Corners like these are arguably present already in Silverstone, yet don't have specific rules attached to them. Granted, Suzuka isn't Silverstone, and I don't have any R!F90 track creating experience, so perhaps it's a special case. I just hope that we don't end up seeing more and more rules bloat the game unnecessarily. Maybe treat it like a normal straight section, but costs -2 MP to overtake rather than -1?

Also, like Nigel, I found it interesting to hear that Indianapolis is one of the tracks being worked on next. I'd expect probably Imola, G. Villeneuve, Interlagos, or either of the German circuits are more iconic. Is there something about Indianapolis specifically that drew your attention to it? Did you want to publish an American circuit and didn't want to pick Phoenix or Austin?

On a completely new note, are there any plans to revise the original two tracks to keep them more in line with the expansion tracks? Corner challenges on the 4 new tracks all feel balanced by the same measure, but on the first two tracks, they're incredibly easy by comparison. I understand that they're mechanically simpler because much of the expansion rules hadn't been conceived yet, but it almost feels like playing with junior rules again simply because the tracks are so easy. Hungary especially, considering it's supposed to be such a difficult track for overtaking.

I was also curious about if there were any ideas (or even idle chatter) about official printings of any fan-made tracks. Perhaps a "Track Pack" with just a couple boards and track cards. No new pieces or new rules. And maybe that'd also be an opportunity to re-print the original tracks, with expansion rules if you want. Label them as Advanced Versions or something.

Anyway, that's enough wishlisting and rambling on. Super excited to get my copy of Exp 2 soon, and I can't wait to see what you guys do next!
 
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Ryan Freels
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Or just draw the fast corners as straight sections. It would not be the first time there is a curved "straight" section in RF90. It was done quite a few times in Formula De.
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Stan Hilinski
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Our 4-player race at Suzuka is underway. Since we are not racing real-time, we decided not to have partners, which is too difficult to manage by email. Instead we added two more black cars (actually white but treated as black) to fill the field to 12 cars.

Suzuka is a figure-8. Off the start, you do a broad right turn to a set of S curves. A left, a right, under the bridge, then a left where one can finally LB. Then it's around the Spoon, and finally a long straight stretch with only a fast curve over the bridge. One more right with an LB opportunity, and it's back to the start.

I've run Suzuka solo 4 or 5 times, and I've discovered it starts oddly. Off the start, cars jam up on curves, so there's lots of many-car (and dangerous!) contests until one gets to the Spoon. The first time I ran it, I got 4 damage from contests before I got to the underpass! One really needs to get out front early or be trapped in the pack. Typically, 1 or 2 cars will break away early and leave everyone else behind.

The "fast corner" is over the bridge in the back end. Unlike regular corners, a car does not stop but overtakes other cars here for 2 mp. Otherwise, it's a corner with contests, yellow flags, etc. You can think of it as everyone here temporarily gets Banging Wheels. The nice thing about it is in this stretch everyone can go all-out, and the track cards here encourage that. In fact, being a corner means it has its own track cards, which I like. Reporting from Suzuka, turn 8.
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Stan Hilinski
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Our Suzuka has finished. It went well. Giusuppe plans to change the track and track cards a little, but nothing major. Next time we run it, I hope to show you what the track looks like. I didn't think I should do it this time without permission.

I race solo quite a bit with my own solo system, which I've been refining for about a year now, and to that end, I've created some extra tracks for my personal library (3 of them). Just for fun and while we wait for Suzuka, we decided to run one of my tracks: Interlagos, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil via Vassal and Dropbox. Here's the starting grid. Will this track show up in an expansion? Don't know.



The two white cars are actually just black robots. We used to race with partners, but it's too difficult to manage them in pbem play.

Let's look at the track. After the start, we turn left and go downhill through corners 1 and 2. This is a good overtaking area. There's an ET here for someone to power through the upcoming back stretch, the Reta Oposta. Then it's another left and a fast right at 4. Corner 4, Laranjinha, is a fast corner, so you can overtake here for 2 mp.

We now hit the the slow part -- 5, 6, and 7, but after that it's a long fast straight from 8 to 1. Corner 9 is another fast corner, so you have effectively 5 straight sections from 8 to 1. The track cards for 7, 8, and 9 really pump the cars' speeds through here.

Notice in the straight before 9 (Subida Dos Boxes), there's an ET that even robots will use! (The bottom check number to its right is for rain.)

This track is rough and bumpy, so the track and track cards will really attack your tires. Tire management is important. It's also very fast, and if you aren't at the top of your game, you could get lapped!

There's one more new feature here: a new track card icon called Share. If you play a card for movement with the Share icon, then you may use any trajectory in your section even if another car occupies it. (You share the trajectory).

That's it for now from Brazil.
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René Christensen
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Which skills and strategies did you all use?
 
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Stan Hilinski
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Slotracer wrote:
Which skills and strategies did you all use?

Blue = Alessandro Lala. Tuning + Lucky. "Lucky" is an extraordinary choice because no one EVER chooses Lucky. I do not know why he did it.

Red = Giuseppe Rossini. (Barcelona, Suzuka) Versatility + Banging Wheels. I think he took BW because we are having some huge contests coming up next turn in corner 2. After the race, I probably will change the track so the starting grid is 4-4-4 instead of 6-6, which will help ease this. Versatility is a surprise because he has not used it before.

Orange = Carl Hilinski. Wise Driving. I don't know his strategy yet. I suspect he plans to combine this with Hazard to see if he can run away with the race. We both suspect there may be a problem with Wise Driving + Hazard. We shall see.

Pink = me. Versatility + Hazard. I always use Versatility because I think it enriches the game immensely. One of the big decisions of a race is when do I change strategies and to what? For a long time now, I (solo and with Carl) hsve played with 2 strategies: Versatility and any strategy of a player's choice. I love playing this way because it makes the game so much more interesting. I would not recommend it to novices though because it demands a thorough knowledge of the strategies available. (One of these days, I plan to write a BGG article explaining how the strategies work and what I think of them.)

I chose Hazard because I have several green cards plus a red with damage. I will run with it until I run out of hazard cards (greens + reds) or I get too much damage. Or someone changes the weather. The marker is on the edge of rain, and half the track cards have the weather icon on them. Then I will use Push if the weather changes early or probably save tires. My dashboard is 2-2-2, so I have just 10 tires, which may not last me at this track.
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René Christensen
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"No one ever chooses Lucky"?
I have a player who won't race without Lucky!

I used to choose Save Tyres, but lately I've gone for Banging Wheels and a start midfield.

I'm looking forward for your article, because I just don't get why you choose Versatility.

 
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Alessandro Lala
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Lucky is not my first choice usually but it works pretty well in certain situations. In this case, I have to stop at turn 8 (therefore only 7 movement turns before I change my strategy) and my hand of cards is not particularly rich. With Lucky I can refine my hand so that when I will pit I don't have to change all my cards.
I am basically using this sting to prepare for my second stint, and Lucky is pretty useful in this sense.

Last Race I took the Lapping skill, which does not seem a popular choice. It did not go well. Probably it saved me 3-4 mps throughout the race. No more. For some reason my opponents all seemed to have the blue flag at the right time and therefore I could not take advantage of traffic situations.
I still see a lot of value with Lapping and during playtests it worked pretty well. I am interested to hear what other people think about it.

A
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René Christensen
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"Lapping skill" is IMO best for the last part of the race, when you're into lapping slower cars. I would never choose it at the start of a race.
 
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Alessandro Lala
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Slotracer wrote:
"Lapping skill" is IMO best for the last part of the race, when you're into lapping slower cars. I would never choose it at the start of a race.


Rene'... all skills are chosen at the start of the race and cannot be changed later. Are you playing a variant? whistle
 
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Ryan Freels
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I used the Lapping skill during my last 8 race season. It worked well when you start near the front of the pack, allowing me to save 3-4 movement points. I could have gotten that with pitting though, and gotten extra track cards.

Lapping does not work well if you start an the back of the pack, because you will not lap as often since you have to work your way past the yellow and purple.
 
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René Christensen
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Greenskid wrote:
Slotracer wrote:
"Lapping skill" is IMO best for the last part of the race, when you're into lapping slower cars. I would never choose it at the start of a race.


Rene'... all skills are chosen at the start of the race and cannot be changed later. Are you playing a variant? whistle


Sorry, I always mix up skills and strategies!!! modest
 
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Ryan Freels
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shilinski wrote:
We both suspect there may be a problem with Wise Driving + Hazard.

I can see this being powerful, but is it too powerful? Hazard is limited to your damage slots for red cards, and you have to pass the blind checks for the green cards. Are you guys using wise driving to ensure you have the appropriate cards, get a bunch of track cards, then pit early? Upon pitting, you will keep your track cards, then maybe take save tyres to last the rest of the race, and swap hands when you need to. My group has found save tyres to be a very reliable way to get track cards.

Is Carl taking a car with 10 tyres, 6 body and 5 cards (German car)?
 
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carl hilinski
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ryan3740 wrote:
shilinski wrote:
We both suspect there may be a problem with Wise Driving + Hazard.

I can see this being powerful, but is it too powerful? Hazard is limited to your damage slots for red cards, and you have to pass the blind checks for the green cards. Are you guys using wise driving to ensure you have the appropriate cards, get a bunch of track cards, then pit early? Upon pitting, you will keep your track cards, then maybe take save tyres to last the rest of the race, and swap hands when you need to. My group has found save tyres to be a very reliable way to get track cards.

Is Carl taking a car with 10 tyres, 6 body and 5 cards (German car)?


I'm doing your standard 2-2-2. For one thing, I don't care when or how many times I have to pit. I use up the car and pit when it's to my advantage. I absolutely hate to pit with more than two tires or one damage available. I also believe that unless you get lapped, the first half of the race is meaningless. Just stay in contention and bide your time. Wise Driving has no limit on the number of track cards you can carry over. So the plan is to use save fuel/save tires and build a fat hand of track cards without falling too far back. I hope to have 10 to 12 track cards in hand before I start using them in the second part of the race. I'll switch to hazard and be able to use the track cards to make monster moves (while also picking up more track cards). It's a self-feeding, self-sufficient machine. If someone tries to hang onto me with Chase, I'll have enough crap race cards to dump him worthless stuff...especially if I'm running Hazard at that time and can hand him some 3s with damage.
 
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Jimmy Bjorck
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Hi Stan

Im curius about your own solo rules you said you had been working on for about a year, as so have I also done, and wondered if you would share some of your thoughts on the matter?

And thanks to Alessandro for an absolutely fantastic piece of mastery!
 
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Stan Hilinski
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Dekraa wrote:
Hi Stan

Im curious about your own solo rules you said you had been working on for about a year, as so have I also done, and wondered if you would share some of your thoughts on the matter?

And thanks to Alessandro for an absolutely fantastic piece of mastery!

I am presenting my rules to Alessandro right now to see if he wants to use any of it, so I'm not going to talk about it much here. However, I can talk about what I think a solo system needs to achieve.

There have been attempts to come up with solitaire designs in the past, and they all have a similar mechanism. You draw cards or roll dice before each robot move to determine somewhat randomly how far it will move that turn. I see a couple problems with that. First, I think the final outcome depends too much on how lucky or unlucky the robots were with dice/card draws. Second, suppose you win. Now what? What incentive do you have to race again? Very little I think. It's like having a TV with only one station available. There is no way to tune the robots' strength.

I think a good system would let you set the strength of the robots so you can match it to your skill level. It also gives you incentives to race again. Say I race at robot level 5 and win the season. Next season I race at robot level 6, and so on. Just what is my skill level? Eventually I will reach a robot level that I can't beat, but I will sure try!

Another problem the solo game must solve deals with weather and flags -- yellow and orange, in particular. I think the big game needs multiple players to get the weather and flags model to work properly. Playing solo, I have no reason to ever move the weather marker because all it can do is hurt me. Likewise, I would never play a yellow flag somewhere that would inconvenience me. There are no other players to move the weather, place yellow flags, or force robots to LB when it does not suit me. A good solo system needs to stand in for those missing players.
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Jimmy Bjorck
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Yes I totally agree, as playing solo, event should happen without the player manipulating the outcome. I do this by drawing one card from three different decks, that uses the same umber of turns in a race, and cumulating the number of those three cards each round(1-5=0; 6-8=1; 9-12=2 + movements for robots) and those flags that come up by those draws, happens on track (yellow=dice which corner; green=same but reverse; orange=first robot that hit the next brake zone makes a lb) The only flag that you control with your hand is the blue flag, which ends as the rules say with a new race stage (and thus also all current yellow flags) all the other flags you play, you ignore.

This is just a few examples of many changes I have thought of, and played around with, to feel that the race is going around me, and not the other way around. However, it was not my intention to make this post leave the threads topic but I have also thougt of a system in the new Grand Prix from GMT where a sort of an event card drawn each round could contain anything. Literally, skies the limit.

I guess there is as many variants as there is players though, and I really like your ideas about beating a level 5 robot before taking a new challenge. I look forward for the next official news
 
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Ismael Descolado
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shilinski wrote:
Dekraa wrote:
Hi Stan

Im curious about your own solo rules you said you had been working on for about a year, as so have I also done, and wondered if you would share some of your thoughts on the matter?

And thanks to Alessandro for an absolutely fantastic piece of mastery!

I am presenting my rules to Alessandro right now to see if he wants to use any of it, so I'm not going to talk about it much here. However, I can talk about what I think a solo system needs to achieve.

There have been attempts to come up with solitaire designs in the past, and they all have a similar mechanism. You draw cards or roll dice before each robot move to determine somewhat randomly how far it will move that turn. I see a couple problems with that. First, I think the final outcome depends too much on how lucky or unlucky the robots were with dice/card draws. Second, suppose you win. Now what? What incentive do you have to race again? Very little I think. It's like having a TV with only one station available. There is no way to tune the robots' strength.

I think a good system would let you set the strength of the robots so you can match it to your skill level. It also gives you incentives to race again. Say I race at robot level 5 and win the season. Next season I race at robot level 6, and so on. Just what is my skill level? Eventually I will reach a robot level that I can't beat, but I will sure try!

Another problem the solo game must solve deals with weather and flags -- yellow and orange, in particular. I think the big game needs multiple players to get the weather and flags model to work properly. Playing solo, I have no reason to ever move the weather marker because all it can do is hurt me. Likewise, I would never play a yellow flag somewhere that would inconvenience me. There are no other players to move the weather, place yellow flags, or force robots to LB when it does not suit me. A good solo system needs to stand in for those missing players.


I use the SAME TEAMMATE RULES to move robots in solo rules. You don't need learn new rules, you don't need use tables or dices, everything you need is there.

Draw a red card: Robots +1 mp.
Draw a green card: Robots attempt a late brake in LB sector (>60) with +20 bonuses.
Draw an orange card: Robots contest with +3 bonuses in corners.
Draw an yellow card: Follow the symbol in card (play a yellow flag in human player, play a green flag in a robot, draw a new card to move weather pawn, etc).

It so easy and work very well.
 
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