Friday, October 29, 2010

Lower Manhattan

My latest circuit design, the Lower Manhattan GP will be ready for release in early November.

I have spent a fair amount of time on Google Sketchup Warehouse looking for models to use to create a grand prix track that looks somewhat authentic to the actual lower Manhattan skyline. I find that it is best to remove all the roofs, water towers, fans, vents, pipes etc from the tops of the buildings are they will never be seen from the circuit or the trackside camera. They look seem less and one would think that they are still there.

I played around with the circuit design for some time once I had found an accurate picture that I could use as a background image. I tried many layouts ranging from 2.5km to 5km in length. I would test them in Rfactor with no objects, stringed objects, walls etc for a basic feel. Then I found a layout that seemed pretty good to me. I started populating it with objects that I had modified heavily from Sketchup but without any walls or other objects other than buildings.

I placed these on the exact locations of coordinates I found on the net onto the satellite image I had. However I decided to change the layout one more time to include a much longer straight that bends back on itself with a hairpin. This joins the original layout at the corner close to the WTC.

A quick note on the WTC. I designed to put in the WTC instead of leaving it as a gaping hole with walls all around as I both want this track to be a tribute to NYC and the WTC, as well as it being more aesthetically pleasing to have the circuit loosely based upon how lower Manhattan looked before the terrible events of 9/11.

You will note that parts of the circuit are not actually roads, or even flat land where roads could go. I took the idea from the Singapore Grand Prix, which 'modified' some roads around the streets of Singapore as well as making the Pits a 'purpose' racing area. So there are some parts that have no roads. These will have a 'race track' tarmac material. The areas that actually are roads will have road marking textures.

I am going away this weekend and will not be able to work on this track during this time, so I am thinking a release will be mid November. Much is left to do!

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