Racing Simulations

Growing up in an 'F1 family' where waking up at 02:00 to watch the races in Japan or Australia seemed normal, it wasn't a bit stretch to find myself playing racing games. Things really started out with Nigel Mansell's World Championship, which although certainly not a simulation, led me onto F1GP on the Commodore Amiga.

After progressing through and spending many years modding the Geoff Crammond Formula One simulations for myself, I started to run IndyCar Racing and NASCAR Racing from Papyrus Racing Games. In 1998 Papyrus released Grand Prix Legends, this had a huge impact on my entire life; I founded a Web site about it, began racing online with it, and it actually led me to where I am today; working for a racing sim developer.

Grand Prix Legends (1998):

Apart from the occasional rFactor mod, I didn't run anything other than iRacing (who I worked for) for a long time. In 2010 I started to work for Image Space Incorporated, deep into development of rFactor 2 at the time. That's all I run these days, I just don't have the time to run anything else!

 

rFactor 2 – Grand Prix

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Grand Prix racing in the 1960’s was a mixture of bravery that bordered on recklessness and, contrary to what many may say, innovative design and technology, far from primitive, which led Formula One to where it is today.

It was an era when the human eye, instead of a computer and a wind tunnel, designed a beautiful car. It was an era where spectators and drivers were only protected by bales of hay, which were often more likely to attribute to a fire than to save you in an impact.

Risks were taken and lives were lost, but the romance of the era still remains been the target of software developers, TV documentaries, and Hollywood movies. Many, including those of us at ISI, consider this space in time to be a golden age in the history of motorsport.

The racing game/sim community (console, or PC), mention certain content in their forums, twitters and blogs, they get excited about particular turns like Eau Rouge, the Corkscrew, etc. This often means they receive a cookie-cutter set of tracks from every racing game because – that’s what they ‘asked’ for.

Even when a developer does take a big risk and do something different, there are sometimes decisions made to incorporate those important turns. For example, an inclusion of the modern and recognizable Eau Rouge, incorrect for the period, into the 1998 PC title, Grand Prix Legends.

While we understand that our open modding nature allows it to negate some of that risk, it is important to realize that racing games often give difference in content, and often there is little to no risk for the developer in terms of content appreciation from the customer. Until, that is, they get bored of the same tracks all the time…

The first in-game/sim screenshot of rFactor 2 released to the public was of a road lined with trees, a house on the right and a truck parked in its driveway. This, barely recognizable to us as the same track now, was the first indication that ISI were trying to do something different.

We have licensed content from the modern era of motorsport for multiple types of racing, but also have licensing deals for real content from the first four decades of Formula One (some in the initial release, some to come later). We’ve done this because this is what we love and this is what we want to bring to the racing game/sim community. We want you to be challenged by our software, to be challenged rain or shine, day or night, old or new, and what better track to challenge you than the one we announced today via our friends at Inside Sim Racing?

We hope those of you who will want to participate in the open modders beta testing period are almost ready…

 
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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.