Friday, January 25, 2013

News and Reims

After much thought, I finally released Donington Park 1937 to Rfactorcentral as well as Phoenix Proposal 1989 v2.5.

Originally I was not going to release either tracks to Rfactorcentral for a number of reasons. The most prominent reason is the lack of merit to much of the 'feedback' I get from the community. By all means, let me know if something is broken, but don't be too picky with the most insignificant details. For example, the ratings I often get on Rfactorcentral are perplexing. Why would I receive a 2 out of 5 for 'Ok track naming' for Imola 1960s? The name either clashes with others in the menu of the game, or the folder has the same name, or it does not. In this case, it never did. As far as I could tell, I was the only person who has bothered to tackle the old Imola in this way (until recent times, where Carrera 1988 made the 1988 layout to Imola).

You see, things like that bug me. Well, that sort of thing, and blanket low scoring. Arguably the hardest circuits I have made were my renditions of New York in the early 1990s, those being Lower Manhattan GP and Lower Manhattan INDY. I released them to Rfactorcentral and the first few ratings I got suggested that the circuits were only a 2.5/5. While I know I am not the best circuit designer / modeller out there, I did believe they were looking at least a 3.5/5. It was a 'hmm' moment. It put me off from adding other tracks to Rfactorcentral for some time. I found that the community at Nogripracing was far more respectful for what is ultimately free content that we modders slave away at for their and our own entertainment.

Since those releases now over two years ago, the ratings of both Lower Manhattan GP and the INDY course have improved dramatically to 4.5/5 each. Which is better than I could have hoped for. In fact, my latest releases to Rfactorcentral (Donington and the latest version of Phoenix) have scored very well so far, and to top it off, Donington has (so far) received some great generally positive feedback which is something that can easily restore faith in humanity - at least for the time being!

Now that I have all that rambling out of my system for the next five minutes, I might let you all know about my latest project which I effectively finished two months ago, yet have not released it anywhere. That project is Reims Revival.

This is the original 1953-67' layout

This is shortened layout for the 2012 revival

Here it is in an editing program

As you can see from the screenshots, the Reims Revival 2012 circuit is much shorter than the 1953 original layout. The 1953 layout was 8.372km. While my shorter 'revival' circuit will be just 6.765km in length. 

Gone are the two hairpins from turns 5 and 7. The first corner has been modified as the original layout is now a roundabout. Instead, I have dug into the farm land to convert the original turn 1 into three separate corners. From there the circuit follows that of the 1953 layout until we get up to the section where the track originally led up to the first hairpin. The satellite image suggests that even though the circuit is overgrown and lost that the stencil remains. I decided to cut it out entirely and turn the circuit towards the highway in the exact spot where the old road fades away into the paddock. This section becomes turn 5 to 7.

From there the circuit has its fastest section on the highway up and over the hill which follows the original 1953 layout exactly. However I have again shortened this section which once led to a hairpin to around half the length. Instead, as the circuit passes the second wooded paddock, it turns right and then immediately left off the hill in a fast sweeping fluid move to a purpose built road that I have added to bring the circuit back to the main straight. As you can see the long straight on the final part of the circuit will be a challenge for novice drivers. There is a wall immediately at the end with zero run-off area. Obviously this would not happen in real life in now days, but I thought it was a fitting challenge.

In total the circuit went from a total of 7 turns into 10 turns. The circuit is most definitely still a power circuit with, what I believe, to have the essence of Reims still intact. The main reason I have made the changes from the original course is the road has changed in real life to roundabouts or towns or disappeared entirely.

I will be keen to know what you all think of my remake of Reims for the 21st century.

I am planning to release this track in the coming days to both Nogripracing and Rfactorcentral, so be sure to look out for it!

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