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…
I grew up in a household where waking up at 2am to watch races in Australia or Japan were the norm. We were huge fans of motor racing, so playing racing games seems like a natural extension of that.
My first racing game addiction was with Geoff Crammond's 'Formula 1 Grand Prix' released in 1992 on the Commodore Amiga. This game kept me going for a long time thanks to various editing tools which were available, and I continued to play it until I owned a PC. After that, I played through most of the Papyrus and Image Space Inc. titles, but have most fond memories of Grand Prix Legends.
I founded a major sim racing site that led to my employment at iRacing, Image Space Inc. and later on, Studio 397. The difficulty in working in the industry is how little time you often have to play your own games. Quite often I escape with space games instead!
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.