The "My name" button in the top right of the main UI allows you to
select from a list of names which Crew Chief will use to address
you, from time to time. These are incorporated into existing
messages so for example, rather than just saying "box now" Crew
Chief will say "box now, please Jim". There are lots of variations
and they sound quite good, if you are lucky enough to have a first
name that's been recorded. How often you hear these personalised
messages is controlled by the "Min time between personalised
messages" property. The old default value (30s) is a bit low - 60s
sounds better. The Personalisations come in the form of a
mini-sound pack which is downloaded and managed by Crew Chief - if
new personalisations are available the "Download personalisations"
button will he highlighted in green. Swapping between
personalisations requires an app restart.
The opponent driver names below can also be used as Personalisations though as they are then a mixture of pre-recorded snippets ("box now" - "please" - "Smith") they may sound a little uneven.
Crew Chief also has a set of pre-recorded driver names in %LOCALAPPDATA%/CrewChiefV4/sounds/driver_names.
These are used when reading messages about a particular driver
(e.g. "Smith ahead is pitting"). Crew Chief also listens for
driver names in voice commands (e.g. the player asks "where is
In order to do these operations, Crew Chief has to derive a usable driver name from the name of the driver in-game (which I call the raw name). For Project Cars, the in-game name is the driver's Steam name. In Race Room the in-game name is set up when the player registers for the service (and can be changed). Typically, Race Room names are normal names (firstname lastname), where as Project Cars names are player handles (combinations of letters, numbers and other characters).
In order to work out what name to use, Crew Chief first looks in a file called names.txt - this is also in /sounds/driver_names. Each line in this file contains the in-game name, then a colon, then the name the game will use.
My Steam ID is mr_belowski and my real name is Jim Britton, so I have an entry in names.txt for me which is mr_belowski:belowski. It's important to note that this isn't my real name. When playing Project Cars, people will see "mr_belowski" in the drivers list. If I map this to "Britton", when Crew Chief says "Britton is pitting now" other players will have no idea who that's referring to. So in Project Cars, I'm "belowski".
If there's no entry in driver_names.txt for a driver's raw driver name, Crew Chief will do some basic parsing of the raw name to see if it can extract something usable. It's looking for an unambiguous last name. If the name is two strings separated by a space ("Jim Britton") Crew Chief will take the text after the space and use this. Crew Chief also knows that text like "van ", "von ", " "de la ", "del " etc are part of a last name. So in Race Room, Crew Chief uses "Britton" for my raw driver name of Jim Britton, and would use "Van Dyke" for a raw name of "Dick Van Dyke". This doesn't require an entry in names.txt. Crew Chief will trim off numbers, replace underscores and some other characters with spaces, remove text inside brackets, and a few other things in other to work out a usable name. If after doing this, it's left with a some text, it'll use it. So a Steam ID of, say, "jimmy75_[ukcd]" will be transformed into a usable driver name of "jimmy". For Race Room and for AI drivers this approach works well enough that most driver names don't need an entry in names.txt. For the Steam IDs used in Project Cars, it usually fails to get a usable driver name so PCars players will usually need an explicit entry in names.txt.
If Crew Chief has been able to derive a usable driver name, it adds this to the voice recognition engine and also looks for a .wav file in /sounds/driver_names which has the same name (for me, it looks for a file called belowski.wav). If it finds this file, it loads that clip and can then use it when constructing messages at include a driver name. If it doesn't find this file, messages referring to that driver by name won't be played. If it can't derive a usable driver name then Crew Chief won't be able to respond to voice requests about that driver.
You can edit names.txt (there is a button in the names or Opponent Names menu which opens it in Notepad) and add mappings. There might already be a recording in the driver_names folder that you can use for a given Steam ID / driver raw name. Or you can add your own driver name recordings if you wish but expect it to sound a little unnatural as it'll be combined with my voice in the messages.
Crew Chief also tries a "fuzzy match" of the raw driver name for
opponents and saves them in %LOCALAPPDATA%/CrewChiefV4/sounds/driver_names/guessed_names.txt.
As an example this will match the name "Waissman" to the file
"Weissman.wav". Most of the time the results are pretty good
but there are some cases where it's not. In these cases you can
use the Opponent Names menu to select one of the other
recorded names or remove the match with the None of the above
button. It's worth letting Crew Chief do its thing for a few races
before clicking the menu to correct or remove the obviously
You can also turn off the whole thing by unchecking the Property Fuzzy opponent name matching
As a last resort there is a button which opens the guessed names files in Notepad if you need get right down to basics and edit the matching of names. As an example, say the file has
which is clearly wrong - if this line is changed to
then Crew Chief won't attempt to fuzzy-match matsuda again (it effectively turns off matching for this driver name - that's what the None of the above button does).
If you've added some names to names.txt, or want to test some names that I've added, create a new file in the root of your /sounds/ folder called names_test.txt. Add the raw driver names you want to test, one line at a time so it looks like this:
When you start Crew Chief, in addition to the standard 'radio check' message, you'll hear a few messages about each driver in that list. Crew Chief will use the standard mechanism for getting the sound files - i.e. it'll look the raw names up in names.txt and if it doesn't find them, it'll invoke the name parser to try and extract a name. The console window will warn you if it's unable to the a name or a sound file for any of the drivers.
Finally, if you've got a bunch of names you want to add recordings for, just ask :). I'll need them in the same format as the names.txt file - raw name:usable name so it looks like this: