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!


Grand Prix 3, 2000 Expansion Pack Review

closeThis post was published 15 years 7 months 25 days ago.
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The Grand Prix 3, 2000 Expansion Pack is out now in the UK and selling for just under £15. This (in my opinion) is an insult to all who buy it, and all who bought GP3.

You must own GP3 to install the expansion (which costs almost as much as I got GP3 for – £23). It doesn’t actually NEED you to own GP3 at all though, it’ll do a test on the GP3 CD during the installation – so they were trying to piss me off already…

There is little reason to go into depth here, just read the small notes below and make your own judgment, because I sure as hell made mine!

The physics engine in the same. (That same one most of us felt was unrealistic – I personally like it, but it’s going to fail bigtime on physics – again).

Two new tracks are included, these are Kuala Lumpur and Indianapolis. Like most of you, I had these months ago for free from sites on the internet.

Track updates are evident all over the place, some of them you’ll not even notice though, and it’s hardly worth spending £15 when you can download 99.9% of them for nothing… from sites on the internet.

It has some fantastic new pit-to-car radio, but I’d be interested to hear how long you go before turning it off… It repeats a LOT, it sounds stupid a LOT, and it annoys a LOT. “Lookout for debris… Lookout for Debris!” S-H-U-T – U-P!!!

New 3D EAX sound has been included into the game code, which is something most of us were stunned not to see in GP3. Apart from anything else, it’s simply not that good, the sound doesn’t sound terribly realistic, or (so I believe) it’s simply not worth paying them £15 for this, when this for certain should of been in GP3 on release.

There’s great new telemetry data feedback – whoop! But really, these telemetry readouts are great, I have to admit, but I can’t say I ever actually used them for any purpose other than to see if they work, and I do consider myself to be a steady GP3 racer.

There’s new default car setups for every track on the circuit – just incase downloading world record setting ones (free) from the internet is too much…

It’s got a new game section where you can compete against others in a bid for fastest lap… A glorified qualifying session? I very much doubt you’ll get many playing this, and even if you do, I think the hotlap competitions in place (freely) all over the ‘net equal or beat this offering.

It has a moving pit crew (apparently), which don’t really move, and don’t really do what the box says they do. Tut-tut Mr. C.

It’s been tidied up considerably, I have to give them that, the menu’s seem to work properly now and not confuse themselves, and it all seems a lot better and faster – except for… The sim itself still runs SLOW and DEAD on anything except a monster system – so don’t think that the 2K add-on will solve FPS problems, because it doesn’t – GP3-2K is still going to look to most of you like an LSD trip underwater.

Drum-roll please…

It has a FULL 2000 carset.

No laughing at the back please.

Mr. C obviously wanted to try and make it up to us, this must be why he has given us damage from debris! Well slap my thigh and call me Annabel Croft… If only he’d of thought of upgrading the damage engine too so the debris effects didn’t look so STUPID.

The ONLY thing that is worth buying this for is the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet – the AI. It is very impressive, and they race well. Yet I fail to see how racing well – rather than racing slightly less than well like they did on release – is going to make us part with £15.

The bottom line (or the last few lines…) is that why should we pay £15 for an add on line this, which is selling for nearly as much as the ‘full game’? I did not mind GP3’s state on release, I even defended it in a few ‘arguments’ that I seem to always be a part of, but this is a horrific betrayal on our trust in Geoff Crammond and Microprose as a whole, they do not deserve £23 + £15 for these by a long, long way. If you have access to the internet from your gaming PC, download most of this stuff for free. If you don’t have access to the ‘net – please wait for previews on GP4, or take a look at F1 2001 which is released this month.


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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.