Head of Slightly Mad Studios childishly argues with forum users unhappy with the quality of Project CARS

I don’t even know where to start with this one.

A thread appeared on RaceDepartment Thursday evening discussing how anyone venturing onto the official Project CARS forums were being banned for simply pointing out the game’s plethora of bugs and glitches that have severely hindered the game’s release. User MaXKiLLz911 writes:

AThis kind of behavior is something we’ve covered in detail on PretendRaceCars.net, as we’ve had access to the WMD Member forums since early 2012 and have been able to display some of the ridiculous techniques used by Slightly Mad Studios to silence negativity. After several users agree with MaXKiLLz911 that the game is of poor quality and there are many glaring issues that need to be fixed, issues that outlets such as PC Gamer and Xbox Front have mentioned in their professional reviews of the game, Ian Bell, head of Slightly Mad Studios, jumps into the fray himself:

BIan claims issues such as these are “customer preferences”, and the only issue regarding online play is with “wreckers” – poor, inexperienced drivers who crash into others frequently. Apparently, stuff like what’s in the video below isn’t a problem, and eventually we will be told it’s all in our collective heads, because we have a “strange, crazy vendetta against Project CARS“:

Bell attempts to convince RaceDepartment users to sign up on the official Project CARS Forum and report bugs there, away from a public forum like RaceDepartment where people on the fence about Project CARS can openly read about game-breaking bugs that may convince a potential customer not to buy the game. When site owner Bram attempts to get Ian Bell to answer questions about the state of Project CARS on RaceDepartment, he refuses, and instead attempts to point out that RaceDepartment was given free copies of the game, implying that an effort should be made by RaceDepartment to silence criticism of Project CARS – as is done on VirtualR (seriously, try linking to us in the comments section):

CThe thread unravels into a history lesson of sorts, but I can safely say that the following is accurate:

DThis incident occurred in 2012 and the recollection by Mid-pack Jack is near spot-on; Bell threatened a libel suit against RaceDepartment for allowing users to say bad things about his video game. It obviously didn’t get anywhere, but this just goes to show the absurd lengths Slightly Mad Studios will go to defend their product; they are the stereotypical overprotective dad of a notoriously promiscuous daughter – except their daughter is a buggy, watered down version of Race 07 with pretty graphics that only functions properly on nVidia hardware.

User Rob Every also elaborates on the state of driving game sites a bit; it’s common knowledge that NoGripRacing.com and VirtualR.net were taken under WMD’s wings:

EIt’s definitely upsetting that this is what these fantastic sites have descended into – paid advertising:

Even worse, is that the precedent this sets – that releasing broken products is totally okay – paints a grim future for video games as a whole. This is what we come home to at the end of each day to help us relax and have some goddamned fun, and instead, we get:

F1 2015’s leaked footage is… eh…

It appears some French journalism site got their hands on a preview copy of F1 2015, and YouTube user aarava did a nice run-through of the footage above, scrutinizing as many details as he could.

I don’t like the lighting. It looks phony, like something out of a movie that relies heavily on CGI. Too dark, too much blur, too much depth of field to cover up oddities, nowhere near bright and vibrant enough to look like Singapore. It’s probably an early build and probably something that will get better, but we know how often those excuses are used.

I don’t think the car handling looks promising. Yes, it’s a scrub driving with a bunch of assists on, and the handling will be refined throughout the coming weeks, as is the case with all racing games, but just from what I personally can see, it looks… Stale.

Here’s to hoping the one month delay will be put to good use, as the other title under the Codemasters banner, DiRT Rally, has been amazing, and hopefully what Codemasters has learned about tires from that game can be put to good use in F1 2015.

WMD Members still hard at work defending Project CARS despite huge array of issues

I’m tired of reporting on this game, because it doesn’t deserve the attention it’s getting, but as I’ve said in the past, a quick trip to the WMD Forums and you’re bound to find something stupid about Project CARS. is a fairly decent German gaming site centered around Microsoft consoles, and their review of Project CARS was very fair and honest – praising the good aspects of the game, and openly discussing the issues plauging the game without downplaying them, as was the case with PC Gamer’s review:

12Three days ago, XboxFront changed their score, due to “innumerable technical bugs that affect both the singleplayer and multiplayer mode.” They also noted that “many of these mistakes were [discovered] after the fact by our readers and the XboxFront community.” The game went from being an astounding 87, to a lowly 65, and rightfully so – they simply could not ignore the huge amount of issues being reported with the game on their own message boards. As we’ve done with R3E, it was right of them to take another look.

6This didn’t sit well with WMD Members at all.

bugsMatthias Brems, author of the Project CARS review for XboxFront, defends his decision to lower the score of the game, claiming “this is the actual state of PCARS on Xbox One.” He also says that the score will be altered again in the future if patches manage to rectify the numerous problems with the crowd-funded racing sim.

The community still jumps on the guy, and even Slightly Mad Studios IT Manager Vittorio Rapa says “bugs kills this game is not what I call journalism” and “someone who has been accepted aboard for the past three years and followed the project should know what has been done here.” WMD members, and virtually anyone else involved in this game, simply cannot take Project CARS being insulted in any way, shape, or form – anyone who dares to draw attention to the game’s stunning array of glitches is dismissed as a troll, even if they’re an author for a legitimate gaming news site.

And this is what they’re defending:

And despite a strong first week of sales, Project CARS has drastically dropped down Steam’s Top Sellers chart:


RaceDepartment VSCC Season 3 Round 3 – Goiana Recap and Results

GSC 2015-05-23 14-29-06-00In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of people like myself and participating in competitive online leagues to increase our credibility as mouthpieces in the greater driving game community. Far too often, sites like InsideSimRacing, VVV Automotive,  and VirtualR are run by guys who aren’t all that good at the games they’re covering, and it becomes hard to trust what they have to say about a certain game – you never know if that ten second difference on track changes a game from feeling great to absymal because the fast guys found out all the little tricks that push the physics engine to its limit. The same thing happens in yearly EA Sports games; often avid sports gamers can find glitch goals or money plays that your average review site like Gamespot and IGN miss out on.

I’ve been driving in Season 3 of RaceDepartment’s Virtual Stock Car Championship for Walk Racing. The five round season takes place in Reiza Studio’s Game Stock Car Extreme, and save for the Brazilian league that sees many real-world drivers competing, this is basically the top Stock Car V8 online league you can join.

Today, we went to Goiana for the third round of the season.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-32-01-36Goiana is the first long track we’ve visited this season, with lap times in the 82 second range, a whole 20 seconds longer compared to Taruma and Cascavel. Teammate Risto Kappet again captured the pole with an 81. 3, and I found myself sitting sixth on the grid with an 81.8. Goiana is much less challenging than the previous tracks on the schedule, with less hairpins, less bumps, and less run-off areas to abuse. I just couldn’t find the speed that Verver and Kappet were able to achieve during the week, so my goal was to instead build myself a comfortable setup. As a result, I made a few changes to what Risto and Guus had experimented with setup-wise throughout the week. I was happy that while I couldn’t shave off the extra four tenths needed, I could at least drive the car consistently without it jumping out on me.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-35-04-74Again, I expected many crashes due to the track’s lack of runoff areas, but the field thinned out quickly. However, it became difficult to pull away from anybody. The track’s monstrous front stretch allowed for NASCAR-style tandem drafting, and the long, sweeping corners with a bit of banking meant anyone getting passed could put up a fight on corner exit. The end result was that, aside from the front two or three cars pulling away, everyone was on top of each other.

At the start, I dropped from sixth to eighth because I’m a pansy and didn’t want to wreck the car during the chaotic start, and slowly clawed my way up through the field. I commented early on to some friends on Teamspeak that the car drove really good, it just wasn’t as fast as it could be. Taking advantage of the car’s handling through sector 2, as well as using the Push-2-Pass system more than I wanted to, I was able to give myself a front row seat for the incredible battle between Miguel Lopez and Jake Cooper – one that had championship implications – as they fought for fifth place.

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The battle between Cooper and Lopez will undoubtedly be scrutinized by RaceDepartment administrators – the drivers fought each other equally and threw roughly the same amount of cheeky moves at each other, and given how much of an asshole I can be on ovals, I’m going to refrain from commenting exactly what moves I considered dirty, and what moves I considered clean. Regardless, the battle was insane to watch, lasted for several minutes, and on several occasions the pair were merely inches from crossing into territory that would get them penalized by the stewards.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-43-12-20I tried to insert myself into this battle as well, considering that Cooper was third in points and I was sitting in fourth, and passing him on-track would greatly benefit me in the overall standings. The running order at the time allowed for me to take a gamble and go for it.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-39-00-32Lopez promptly shut the door and didn’t want that happening.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-39-37-77Watching this dogfight unfold, you could tangibly see both drivers lose concentration – there is only so much of this racing you can take before you either lose focus and stuff it into the barrier, or admit defeat and back off. Lopez had the faster car, and when Cooper was at an advantage, you could see it get to Lopez. I commented to my buddies watching that the #39 was loose on exit in many spots, and they were able to point that out on the broadcast as well. On two or three occasions, Lopez scrubbed off so much speed trying to save the car that I was faced with a choice to lift and save both of us, or keep my foot in it and try to execute a narrow overtake that would wreck us if I messed up.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-45-06-50After several laps of this insane battle, Cooper emerged victorious and was able to pull away from the #39. Lifting to save myself and Lopez caused me to lose a few spots, as again, the field was on top of each other. Again, I fell to eighth or ninth, but clawed my way back up into the top five. Later in the race, after cycling through pitstops, I caught up to and was eventually able to overtake Lopez after he broke loose in the left-handed hairpin in sector two.

GSC 2015-05-23 14-46-45-72The setup for today was heavily modified from what a few teammates were working on during the week. They had the car almost as stiff as it could go, and I just couldn’t hold on for the long run. I threw in some of the values I liked from preseason testing in 4Chan’s Game Stock Car series, and it made the car nice and stable for the long run. Wasn’t fast enough to compete for the win, but another fifth place finish kept me fourth in points with two races remaining.

Check out the Setup HERE

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