The Logitech wheel doesn't have force feedback, it's just rumble. The rumble jerks the steering column instead of shaking the hand grips or something like that to make it a better feeling rumble, but it's still not force feedback. Also, the Logitech wheel only turns 180 degrees (90 each direction) compared to the Microsoft's 270. I admit fifty bucks is a good price point, but it's just another fifty for the Microsoft wheel. ($100 at Gogamer)
If I were going to drop the bones on a wheel I personally would have to go with something force feedback, but if you're on a budget I think the Logitech wheel would still treat you well for such a good price. I believe the Logitech was originally $100.
I keep getting tempted by the Microsoft wheel myself, especially with the price down to $100, but I think I'm going to make do with the controller until Logitech comes out with its own FF wheel for the 360, hopefully with a stick shifter instead of paddles:
Does World of Warcraft not work on 56k? It's lists 56k as the minimum requirement, and I would think you'd be fine for soloing or small groups, just might have some trouble in the big cities or in giant battles.
Hey, awesome, thanks for the info on those settings, Pug!
Sure thing, keep the questions coming. I'll admit I'm not an expert on these things, though, so if I get something wrong I hope gellar or Geezer or someone will chime in with a correction.
And as for making money, holy cow is there money to be had in the auction house. On a whim I bought a few more Lancia Stratos last night and slapped my new Alitalia paintjob on and put it up for 20,000 with a 100,000 buyout. Sure enough I logged on this morning and had 100,000 waiting for me in my mailbox.
Quote from: Arclight on June 09, 2007, 12:53:13 PM
No porn, but I do have a question. Do you guys basically stick with one or two cars in single play? Souping them up and just progressing with them? Or do you use the cars as they become un-locked? Not sure what I should be spending my cash on.....Play it by ear I guess.....
I have a handful of favorite cars which I prefer to drive. They're cars that I like in real life, so I spend more time souping them up, getting them handling just right, all that jazz. Every race that they can participate in, I use them, even if it means adding or subtracting upgrades to make them fit a certain race restriction.
But the nature of the game is to have all sorts of different themed races, so to win those I'll pick whatever prize car I happen to have that fits the category. I'll try the race with the car stock, sometimes I can get the gold as-is so I don't have to put any money into the car. If I'm having trouble, I'll try buying just enough upgrades to be competitive, but if that's still not enough I'll end up buying a new car.
In some cases I have no choice but to buy a new car. Since I've mostly been purchasing light Japanese cars, I had nothing for the 3850 lb so I bought a heavy car just for that race, figuring I'd continue to use it for any other heavy category races down the line.
For example, I know I can change my tire pressure. However, why do I want to make the front tires a higher pressure than the rear? What happens if the opposite occurs? How does that effect camber, and why should I care about my camber settings anyway? Why does the telemetry screen display tire temperature at three different points on the tire, why would I want those to all be the same or different, and how do I make it so?
I know you just meant these as examples, but I think I'll take a stab at answering them anyway.
Tire pressure: Lower tire pressure makes more of the tire hit the pavement (imagine a half deflated basketball) giving you more grip but also more friction. The increased friction causes more wear and also hinders your top speed. By having your front tires higher pressure than the rear, you make your car grip a bit better in the rear than the front, making your rear end less likely to slip out (increased understeer). If you do the reverse, you'll instead be increasing oversteer. You don't want to change this too extremely, or you'll end up riding mostly on the middle of your tire (overinflated) or on the outside edges (underinflated.)
Camber: Tire pressure won't really affect camber. Camber is the amount that your tires are tilted to the left or right, or in other words the top point of your left and right tires will be closer or further apart. When you take a turn, your car will lean towards the outside edge of the turn. If your outside tires were perfectly perpendicular to the ground before the turn, they will be leaning towards the outside of the curve when you make your turn. This is bad, less grip. That's why some negative camber is usually good, it makes it so that your outside tires end up (ideally) perfectly flat in a turn to maximize your grip.
Tire temperature: Knowing your tire temperature at three different points helps you tune the pressure and camber mentioned above. If it's much hotter in the middle than the outside edges, your tire might be overinflated. Hotter on the outside edges might mean underinflation. If the inside edge is hotter than the outside edge, you might have too much negative camber. Outside edge hotter, camber might be too positive.
Chaz is right on the money, but I don't think racing mostly untuned stock cars is the best solution.
A number of people have indicated that they are interested in learning more about tuning. If we're all racing the same untuned stock car, all we're going to be able to help each other learn is how to adjust tire pressure. I find tire pressure as thrilling as the next guy, don't get me wrong, but it's kind of limiting.
By getting everyone in the same car chassis with at least some standard tuning options, we not only gain a lot more ability for beginners to get help with their setup, the game will let us do this in between races. People can look at the myriad of tuning options and have people answer their questions and give advice right over their headset.
In addition to beginner tuners, we've also got beginner drivers. Allowing tuning will help them as well. Besides making the cars easier to handle right off the bat (upgrading your springs lowers your car and helps you turn even if you don't touch the tuning adjustment), by getting help on how to adjust the tuning the beginner drivers will find their cars much easier to keep on the road.
For these pre-planned car races, we could even institute a sort of handicap system, like have it so beginner tuners and drivers can tune their Fairlady up 75 PI, but more experienced drivers and tuners only get an extra 50 PI to work with.
edit: and yes, the host can automagically set it so that everyone's car will be stock parts and tuning, no matter what they had on their car when they chose it from their garage.
I enjoy the tuning aspect. In a B-class Maple Valley race last night, Hark's Lotus handily beat my Toyota MR-2 by a wide margin. It would be easy to simply say that his car was superior, but I just see a chance for a rematch. He clearly has the advantage in the turns, but on the track's straightaway I had a good 30-40 mph top speed advantage that really helped close the gap. In fact, our "best lap" times weren't that different, despite his total time being much better.
So I start thinking of how I could beat his Lotus next time. Maybe drop the power a bit in order to free up the PI for better tires so I can keep up in the turns more. Maybe I keep the parts as-is but do some gearing tweaks to get some more out of my horsepower advantage. Maybe I could try adding front and rear spoilers to help cling to the corners.
With tweaks I think my MR2 could beat his Lotus, but of course he'll be tweaking his Lotus as well. We'll just have to see what happens the next time we're at the track. This is a big aspect of the fun of tuning.
To the folks that want us to be mostly racing untuned cars: Is it that you don't want to touch the tuning aspect of the game in any way shape or form, or that you don't want the winner to always be determined by who happened to buy the better car and parts?
If the latter, I think the compromise is to have everyone choose the same car and have a hard limit on the PI index people can tune it to. That way everyone stays on an even playing field, with some individuality allowed to come out. And I think this is what Hark is going for with his suggestion. If it seems like the tuning still gives people an unfair advantage, we could just make even stricter restrictions on the amount of parts we're allowed to purchase, like limiting people to just 30 PI points over stock, for example.
If, in the event that someone really does manage to develop some unstoppable beast within the restrictions, we can always just have the host disable the tuning options for everyone at once with the race settings. Best of both worlds. And then at least everyone will still get to keep their paint jobs so we don't all look like clones!
For this victory, I'd like to thank: the wall, for it's timely destruction of the mercedes' engine allowing for a come from behind 2nd place victory. The closeness doesn't show too well in the pic, but we're going at 150-160mph and that's less than .2 seconds between us.
And Hark, this is the closest moment I could find in the first lap of the Fairlady race that resembles the side by side drifting you said you saw:
I think the bigger advantage of the wheel is being able to make smaller steering corrections, and thus maintain a straighter line, and smoother turns. Mostly that would help on the wide, sweeping turns. Also, I would think the force feedback might help a bit with feeling when the wheels are about to lose traction, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.
One trick that some people use to gain extra precision on the analog stick is to keep it pushed along the top edge of its range of movement. The game will only read the x-axis of your position, of course, but by sliding it along the upper edge you're determining your steering position with the full force of your thumb instead of trying to balance at a specific point against the stick's spring.
I'd be interested if anyone's got hands-on impressions of the Logitech wheel. I'd certainly love to have the MS wheel, but $100+ is a bit harder to stomach than $50. Wireless doesn't mean anything to me, but I do want good force feedback.
I checked around online, and confirmed that the Logitech wheel does not have real force feedback, just rumble. It's got the rumblers in the steering column instead of the perimeter of the wheel, which seems to be an improvement, but it's still not force feedback. Also, it doesn't have as much rotation as the Microsoft, only 180 degrees of turning compared to 270.
Still, $50 is quite a bargain for a wheel that originally cost $100. After using the true force feedback Logitech wheel on the PS2, though, I don't think I can ever get something that's just rumble.
Quote from: wonderpug on May 30, 2007, 07:35:38 PM
Quote from: juniordian
I keep seeing articles mentioning that the mechanic of having seperate regions (N.A., Euro, JP) was to induce Pokemon style trading with people who chose other regions. Did they actually make some cars impossible to buy for certain regions, or is it like Forza 1 where it's just more expensive or harder to unlock. I'm going to be cranky if they did the former, I don't want to have to go to the auction house just because I chose Japan and I want a Shelby Cobra.
More expensive because it will have to be imported. Your part for the upgrades will cost you more too.
So it's the same as Forza 1? They didn't implement some kooky region (game region, not real life region) exclusivity in the game to get us to trade with each other?
And to answer my question, they did implement region exclusivity for cars to make us trade with each other for certain cars. I wanted to buy a Chevelle to turn into an EMERGENCY! car for Starshifter, but it said I needed level 15 rank in North America Region to unlock and I don't have North America as my region.
So you do have to turn to the auction house or trading to complete your collections, or to finish a number of achievements for folks who care about achievement points. Not the end of the world, but kind of an annoying "feature" IMHO.
I chose Asia, so all you Euro/N.A. folks feel free to give me a holler if there's a locked Asia-only car you've got your eyes on.
I'm pretty sure it's tier by tier...So he has work to do to make sure all songs are open!
Thanks and thanks!
How about various multiplayer difficulty levels? One player wants to do the song on Medium, but the second player wants to be set on Expert. Does my friend need to have unlocked the song twice, once on each difficulty, for the two players to be able to do the split difficulty like that?
TIP/TRICK: When applying decals, to quickly select all decals in a row, hold down the x button while pressing the left stick and pushing it right. You'll very quickly hit the "link/unlink" toggle for every decal you sweep over.
A coworker of mine just bought GHII for the PS2 for a party he's having this weekend. When playing co-op multiplayer, do you need to go tier by tier to unlock the various songs, or can you choose from the whole song-list from the beginning? Also, what do you have to do to unlock the bonus songs for multiplayer, buy them in single-player first?
I've only played single player so I couldn't answer his question. Basically I'm curious how much he has to do before Saturday night to get the biggest song list possible for his guests to choose from.
Two line tips on a loading screen aren't helpful. I want in depth info on how it works in the Forza 2 game.
Here's a big and detailed guide I found on the gamefaqs forum that looks like it covers almost every tuning option. I haven't read it all, but at a glance it looks like sound advice:
(Spoilered to save space in the thread.)
Spoiler for Hiden:
First of all: Why to tune?
You might be thinking "its not worth my time to tune a car I'm only going to be using for a couple of single player races" ... while that may be semi-true if you're just racing in one series, you'll most likely want to tune a car if you're going to use it in two or more series. The reason is that you'll make more money by tuning your car. "Wait, what?!" you might be thinking ... its true though. With a properly tuned car, you'll reduce the number of times you have to restart a race (Time = opportunity to gain more credits!) and/or be able to increase some difficulty settings (results in extra $$$) and/or reduce the amount of times you crash (which crashing = reduction in rewards for race) ... all of those reasons make it worth it in a money perspective. Not to mention its worth trying out because you might have more fun!
Maybe you're thinking "as long as I drop the suspension as low as I can go and tighten everything up, I'll handle well" .. well, this isn't entirely true. Although a lower suspension is more desireable, it definitely isn't that simple. To put this in perspective, I bought a Viper on the AH and noticed the owner had tuned it. However, he just dumped the suspension to the ground and had the camber setting maxed ... the thing was nearly impossible to handle, randomly skidding everywhere. After tuning it, I was able to out-handle any non-tuned car I had by long shot ... so proper tuning is everything (and if you ain't gonna do it right, its better off not being done!)
So, where do we start? First of all, you should make sure your car is equipped with racing suspension/transmission/braking/etc parts ... otherwise, you'll be unable to tune anything! Its also a good idea to buy some adjustable aero parts as well, but if you have your heart set on a certain look, don't worry about it.
On the main career menu, choose "Tune Car" then click on "Test Drive" ... this will allow you to drive your car around on a track and tune while on the track ... so you'll see immediate results. I usually choose Laguna Seca, but any track is fine ... just make sure it has some varied turns ... and do NOT pick Nissan Speedway (unless you plan to tune your car to go around that track as fast as possible ).
Now, first of all, you should know that every time you mess with the suspension settings, it'll throw your camber off somewhat, so always recheck your alignment after doing stuff to your suspension! Also, if you are in doubt to what a setting does, press Y ... the help they give is very useful! Also, if you EVER crash while tuning, then restart the test-drive from the
This is the order I do things in (don't worry, I'll go into more detail later): Set Tire Pressure Check alignment Set ride height/spring stiffness Alignment Set Anti-Roll Bar Stiffness Alignment Set dampening Alignment Set Differential Set Braking Set Gearing Recheck Alignment (optional) Aerodynamics Enjoy owning everyone because you've got a properly tuned car.
[ DON'T POST YET, I'VE GOT MORE! ] AMDZFan Posted 6/4/2007 10:08:14 PM message detail The first step is to set the tire pressure ... people will have different preferences in this category. In general, Less pressure = more grip (and, thus, acceleration) but faster wearing. More pressure = more "responsive" and higher top-end speed. This should come first because all the rest of your suspension settings will be based off of what your tire pressures are. Be careful of extremes, though. If you have too much pressure, your car will skid around as if it were on ice ...if you have too little pressure, your car will be mushy around turns. You'll want to warm up your tires by driving around then tuning the tire pressures to maximize traction without going so low that it affects your handling.
The next step is to check the alignment on the car ... this is done multiple times, but it should be fairly straight forward. Press Y on each of the options to see what they do. You probably ought not to mess with toe until the final steps, but camber and caster should be adjusted each time. For some cars, this may make all the difference in the world. Although the game seems to suggest that more camber = better handling ... this isn't the case. Press the "up" arrow on the game pad to bring up the telemetry of the car and then press the "right" arrow until you get to "Tires Misc." this will tell you the current camber of each tire at any given moment in time. Drive around and notice how the camber changes through the turns. If you make a right turn, the right rear tire should become more negative and the left rear tire should become more positive. The front tires may seem a bit different, but this is because of "caster" which changes the way the camber is while turning the wheel (to see what i'm talking about, stop the car and then turn the wheel ... the camber will change even when the car isn't moving!). Ideally, when making a turn, the rear tire that is becoming "more positive" (ex. the left rear tire on a right turn) should be almost exactly 0. Any more negative won't benefit you much at all (and, in extremes, may even make the car *less* desirable) and any more positive will result in less than a perfect contact-patch. Basically, aim to make the number as close to 0 as possible. Once you're done tuning rear camber, adjust front camber AND caster so that it is as close to 0 as possible as well! This may seem like a lot of work now, but it will pay off and will become much easier later on.
[ DON'T POST YET, I'VE GOT MORE! ] AMDZFan Posted 6/4/2007 10:08:55 PM message detail The next thing that should be done is adjusting your ride height and spring stiffness. Generally speaking, lower ride height is more desirable. However, if your car bottoms out, you will have a violent loss of traction ... and that is VERY VERY bad (it will make the car have almost unpredictable handling). So, you must play around with the spring stiffness and ride height until it is as low as it can go without bottoming out. To see when the car bottoms out, select the "suspension" tab in the telemetry. If it flashes red every turn you make, then you probably need to either increase stiffness or increase ride height. Look in the "Y" descriptions to understand what you'll be doing by increasing the stiffness, though. After you get it so the car isn't bottoming out and is almost as low as it can go, you should start fine-tuning the stiffness for ideal handling characteristics. To do that, you should first recheck your alignment for your new height (it should be a minor change, if any) and then you must make SINGLE medium-speed (~60mph is good) even-elevation turns in a NEUTRAL manner. Neutral = no brakes and *slight* gas. By "single" I mean not to flow into one turn from another ... make one turn, such as the big "U" turn off of the large straight in laguna seca ... NOT a turn like the corkscrew... also, "even-elevation" means that it is as flat a turn as possible (as gravity affecting the weight will change the handling characteristics and should be dealt with by the driver) and maintain throttle ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE TURN!! Even at the exit, do not accelerate like you normally would ... that's a different setting. Adjust the front and rear suspension until it barely understeers (remember, the "Y" help menu will tell you what the settings will do)... this adjusts it so it has "neutral" handling characteristics, which is usually preferred. Now that you've tuned everything properly on springs, you should recheck your alignment and double check that the car still retains the "neutral" handling you just put in.
Next you should tune the anti-roll bars ... there isn't anything too difficult about this one, simply set it so that they are fairly stiff, but not so stiff that it'll disrupt your handling when you go over the rumble-strips on the turns. You should also use this to fine tune your current handling (check the "Y" help menu for more details). Also, each time you change it by any significant amount, you should recheck your alignment because this affects the alignment quite a lot. After you're done, check the alignment one more time.
The next step is to determine the dampening setting. This will mostly affect the way the car acts when transferring its weight ... so, to tune it you should drive in a zig-zag pattern on an even-elevation straight. Get going about 60-100mph and then maintain neutral throttle and brake (ie. no brake and the "very little" throttle that merely maintains your speed). Adjust it as per the "Y" help suggests based on that. You should aim to make it understeer slightly (as opposed to oversteering back and forth). Slight understeer is yet again the key! Also drive around on rumble strips and see how it handles on those ... if its too stiff, you'll lose traction ... make sure its soft enough! After you've done this, check your alignment (though, it probably would barely change).
[ DON'T POST YET, I'VE GOT MORE! ] AMDZFan Posted 6/4/2007 10:10:15 PM message detail The differential is a difficult one to explain how to set up as it depends on what drivetrain you have, how you'd like the car to react under power, and how much horsepower you have. The "Y" helps are kinda useless (it contradicts itself for the deceleration setting, for example). In general, though, if the acceleration setting is set too low and your horsepower is high enough, you'll experience "torque steer" which is where the car will push itself to the right or left when accelerating.. If its set too high, then you'll lose traction when accelerating out of a corner more easily (if its the front LSD then you'll understeer, if its the rear LSD, you'll oversteer). You should tune this to your preference. The deceleration setting is for when you have the gas trigger/pedal completely released (and, thus, your car experiences engine-braking). When the deceleration setting can be used to "help" you into the corner in a RWD or AWD car ... higher settings = more "lift throttle oversteer" which is extremely useful since you've set up your car to slightly understeer (that way you can have it both ways, depending on how you manipulate the throttle) ... however, if it is set too high, you'll oversteer too much when going through a corner. I have to say, though, I have no idea why anyone would set the front LSD's deceleration setting to anything more than 0% ... if the suspension is tuned correctly, it wouldn't benefit you to have this set higher because it'll increase understeer while going through a turn with no throttle ... which isn't useful in either an AWD or FWD car with 'perfect' neutral handling ... unless, of course, you have a fear of being PIT'd by others ... which is easily corrected in a FWD or AWD car anyway.
To set up the braking, you should definitely turn off ABS in the options (how else can you see what you're doing? You can put it back to on if you prefer after you've tuned the brakes) and I highly recommend those who use the wheel to temporarily switch to a game-pad so you can use the right stick to look at your wheels. Basically, you should get on a level straight and you MUST **GRADUALLY** apply brakes until the wheels lock up while viewing them from the side. I can't stress how important it is to do it gradually ... it must be done that way so that the weight is properly distributed forward. Adjust the "Braking Force Pressure" at first, slowly decreasing until the wheels barely lock up. Once they barely lock up, you should adjust the balance so that the front and rear tires lock up at about the same time. Preferably the fronts should lock up just a hair before the rears. after this, you can go back to using the wheel/turning ABS back on.
The gearing, IMO, is the easiest thing to set up. Simply adjust the 1st gear/final drive ratio until you can barely burn the tires from full rev (press brake and gas at same time, then release brake). This will maximize your acceleration from the start of the race. Finally, adjust the upper gear ratios so that, on the longest straight you'll be driving on, you reach the highest top speed. Of course, this will vary from track to track, so you might want to adjust the gearing ratio on a per track basis (however, I just do a "catch all" gearing). If you're going to adjust your aero-parts you might want to do those BEFORE you set up your higher gears.
Finally, check your alignment one last time.
[ DON'T POST YET, I'VE GOT MORE! ] AMDZFan Posted 6/4/2007 10:10:27 PM message detail Now, if you have adjustable aerodynamics, you can adjust your "high speed" handling with that. Higher downforce on the front = more steering ability ... however, if it is set high enough, it'll cause the car to oversteer at high speeds (which is a very bad thing) ... to fix that, you increase the rear down force. The aerodynamics will be your preference ... remember that the more you increase it, the lower your top speed will be and the faster you'll use up gas. I would most definitely adjust this on a per-track basis ... Nissan speedway = low to no downforce needed while high-speed curvy tracks will greatly benefit from medium to high downforce.
One last step: Go show off your newly tuned car by owning everyone!
Quote from: Starshifter on June 06, 2007, 07:45:08 PM
If anything, as someone mentioned in this thread I could create a Bullet Witch car! Or a Charmed mobile! Or an, an EMERGENCY! car! YES!
Find a picture of an EMERGENCY! car I can use as a reference and I'll take a stab at it. Preferably a sedan, hatchback, or coupe, there aren't too many ambulance shaped vans in the car list.
Quote from: skystride on June 06, 2007, 07:15:33 PM
I was walking down the hallways and maze of cubicles at work trying to stay on the best racing lines (I don't think anyone saw me). You know you've been playing too much Forza when...
I was playing Etrian Odyssey today and I found myself wanting to take a racing line down the hallways. This is in an old fashioned RPG labyrinth where you can only face N/S/E/W and take one step at a time, mind you, so I wasn't too successful in improving my corner exit speeds.
Oh sure, Q*bert gets plenty of love, but I grew up on J-Bird and it is clearly superior. Q*bert jumping on floating disks to get to the top of the pyramid? Bullshit. I mean, @!#?@! Makes much more sense for a wingless bird to gain wings to fly up to the top. Clearly superior.
On that note, where's the respect for Snack Attack II? I mean, I love Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man as much as the next guy, but Snack Attack II took it a step further, and accomplished some of the things that Super Pac-Man tried and failed to do. Where's the love?
Quote from: Starshifter on June 05, 2007, 12:17:14 PM
I so wish I could join in this "multiplayer" club you guys got going. I feel like an outsider looking in. Sounds like a lot of fun. My problem: I hate racing with a passion. I tried the Forza demo and about 1/3 of the way through my first lap I quit and deleted the demo.
I'm curious. How do you guys find "fun" in these racing games - single player or multi???
Fun: Going fast, collecting cars you're a fan of in real life, tuning a car to fit your driving style, seeing everyone's mismatched different car styles and having them go at it, perfectly nailing a tough turn sequence, winning money to buy more upgrades to win more money to...
Wow, so glad I finally picked this up today. Playing online with you guys tonight was a blast. (I was Wik 27.) My moment of glory for the evening was almost closing the gap in on Harkonis' shelby mustang in my little hatchback, but other than that I've got a lot more tuning to do to get mine handling the way I want.
Here's my attempt at an Initial D paintjob:
Good enough for government work, but I'll still do just a little bit more tweaking. Kind of frustrating how on the track the decals don't come out quite like they do in the paint room, like some white artifacts you can see on the third and fourth characters that weren't there when I laid them out. But for the most part the decal system works pretty well.
Now to figure out how to give her a bit more horsepower for the next run at Nürburgring....
Lords of the Realm III - Why oh why couldn't they just make minor upgrades to the LOTRII formula?
Star Wars Galaxies - A Star Wars MMO? This should've been as easy as selling snow cones in hell. Apparently SOE doesn't want my money. If Blizzard had handled this I'd probably be happily paying $20/mo + expansion purchases for the rest of my life.
Arcanum, Rise of Legends - Magic meets steampunk, sign me up. I know there were fans for both these games, particularly RoL, but they were just missing something for me.
Battlefield 2 - Had some fun with it for a while, but I really wanted the magic of BF1942 to be reborn.
Freelancer - Was worth some fun, but I wanted to see more of the innovative features that were promised in the previews, like loading different autopilot evasive maneuvers and flying above cities.
Interesting, your camera has a very robust set of features, but it doesn't include a specific macro setting.
You've got a number of settings that'll help you with your focus issues:
Looking at the row of buttons just to the right of the display, the second one shows a box with a circle and a dot in the middle. This is mainly used to change how the camera measures the light exposure, but it can also affect the autofocus. If you press it until the display shows a box with just the single dot in the center (no circle around it) the camera will adjust both the focus and the autoexposure to look at just the center of the viewfinder.
Your camera also has a manual focus feature. Referring to this photo of the side of your lens:
If you hold down that MF button and press the up and down arrows with your right thumb, you can try to manually adjust the focus. Press the MF button again to return to autofocus.
Another feature your camera has to help you is a focus bracketing mode. The camera will take three shots when you press the shutter button, one at your set focus, one closer, and one further away. To do this:
Press the FUNC. button
Scroll down to what looks to be the option just below the timer. The icon should show the word OFF with three overlapping boxes underneath, a shaded one, a white one, and a dark one. This is where you can set the type of bracketing you want.
Scroll right or left until Focus-BKT appears, and hit the SET button.
Use the right and left buttons to adjust the range of the bracketing (how much difference you want between the three focus settings.
Either shoot your photo from this screen, letting you adjust the bracketing while you shoot, or press the FUNC. button to close the menu and shoot with the MF manual focus setting.
*Bracketing will not work with the flash
. If all else fails, another trick is to simply focus on something else that's the same distance of your subject. If you're trying to shoot a tiny flower bud, for example, half press the shutter on a nearby leaf that's the same distance, then turn the camera back to the flower and press the rest of the way.
Good luck, have fun, let me know if any of this helps!
Be careful that you don't get too close to your subject. Each lens has a set minimum focal distance, if you get closer than that distance, it's not physically possible for it to get in focus. The minimum distance should be in your manual, but if you find the exact model number I can try to look it up online for you.
Second, are you familiar with doing half shutter presses? Point at the subject, half press, frame your shot, press the rest of the way. For your macro shots, this will let you half press until you manage to get it in focus, and then snap the shot.
Many cameras, including point and shoots, let you change the target area to focus on. If you have the ability to change it from an area focus to a point focus, you can more precisely target where you want the camera to be focused on. I think the "flower symbol" macro setting on cameras usually set it this way for you.
On those blurry flowers you posted, I think the point focus would help a lot, but your main problem is likely my first example--you're just too close. Get a little further away, use half shutter presses to get the focus right, and shoot away.
Oh yeah, and if you're using the zoom feature on your camera, keep in mind that zooming in will also affect your minimum focal distance. Most point and shoots I've seen typically let you go 2x without changing the minimum, anything past that and you have to be further away.