iRacing finally adding a feature seen in rFactor 2, Live for Speed, and Assetto Corsa

iRacing released this really neat video today, showcasing a future build where the sim will feature a dynamic racing surface, one that heats up and cools down as the session progresses based on the different lines each car runs. Previously seen in Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, and Live for Speed, this technology is still yet to be seen in the premiere online racing sim, yet that is all scheduled to change.

Provided they can work out some of the more interesting bugs that have crept up in the most recent build, this will be a welcome addition to the sim, particularly for oval racing fans as the current racing environment

single fileCompare this to the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan…


The long awaited update for Bugbear’s Wreckfest broke the game

Spending over a year in Steam’s Early Access format, Bugbear’s spiritual successor to their much-loved FlatOut series entitled Wreckfest received its first update in eight months today. And according to reddit user smudi, it broke the game.

smudiThe entire thread can be viewed over on r/SimRacing and provides multiple sources for every complaint listed. Bugbear’s Wreckfest originally delighted driving game fans as Bugbear promised the game would be the FlatOut we always wanted to make, yet after a string of early updates and staggering financial success, the game sat dormant for eight months.

It’s a shame this new update appears to be less than stellar, as the base product is quite good – and like all Early Access driving games, it just needs more content.

Next Car Game 2014-02-22 18-01-17-86

What you Need to Know About DiRT Rally’s Two Newest Updates – *REVISED*

drt 2015-06-29 15-50-15-15DiRT Rally news deserves to be pushed to the top of the queue over autistic man-children fighting about NASCAR Racing 2003 Season. After a day to reflect on the article and do a bit of editing based on some people’s initial reactions, consider this a revised version of the original article.

With DiRT Rally releasing their Tarmac Terrors update, I pretty much have to give some sort of impressions on it, and since I never really talked about the Pikes Peak content either, despite releasing a Camera Pack for it, I’ll just combine my impressions of the two content updates in a really brief, to-the-point entry. DiRT Rally is a game I’ve played the shit out of since launch, but gradually have reduced my time on it in the past few weeks since there aren’t very many tracks, and like Assetto Corsa’s early access period in 2014, I sort of ran out of things to see and do within the game. Despite my own personal gripes, it’s a fantastic, yet understandably shallow rally sim in its current state. Is it better than Richard Burns Rally? Yes.

drt 2015-06-29 15-42-23-59The default cockpit camera views are still atrocious. Every cockpit view in DiRT Rally has extremely poor positioning and have a field of view that is ten degrees too small for my taste. There is never an adequate sense of speed, and the camera is inexplicably tilted downards towards the bonnet instead of focused on the road ahead. Above is my custom Lancia 037 cockpit view, and I have to do this with every single car in the game I’m interested in driving. It’s not fun to constantly edit XML files to get a cockpit camera that isn’t shit. Codemasters, if you’re listening, I’ll do all the “dash” cameras for you. People at RaceDepartment seem to like them.

drt 2015-06-29 15-51-00-60Graphical issues still plague my personal install. Take a closer look at my screenshots and you’ll see everything looks like a highly detailed rFactor mod. Since the game’s launch a few months ago, I can’t have Shader Quality on anything other than Ultra Low, otherwise I instantly lose 20-30 FPS. Because of this, I can’t drive at night, as the shader quality set at the minimum setting doesn’t allow my headlights to illuminate trackside objects, and I can’t see. I have no problem running DiRT 3 with everything set to Ultra, and this doesn’t look to be too big of a step up from the 2011 game. With everything else cranked up in DiRT Rally, it runs perfectly. I’ve got a Radeon 7870 with a recent Motherboard/Processor upgrade, and this is the only game my PC currently struggles with.

Chris also has some sort of solid state drive issue, where the game’s physics engine lags momentarily and makes the game completely unplayable for him. His impressions of DiRT Rally are from watching YouTube videos or from me streaming it on Steam.

Fix these bugs, and throw in a photo mode for good measure, since judging by other YouTube videos the game looks amazing and it basically generates free publicity for the game.

drt 2015-06-29 16-06-53-68The Force Feedback settings have seen a marginal improvement. I’m a scrub who runs minimal force feedback effects, but with the latest update, the fundamental values that DiRT Rally configures your force feedback with have changed. It’s worth venturing into the options menu upon booting up the latest version, as the force feedback screen now has an Assetto Corsa-like list of options instead of three generic FFB values. I set everything to 13% with my Driving Force GT and carried on my merry way, yet those wanting to really fine-tune their expensive toy steering wheels will be able to do so as if they’re in a traditional hardcore racing sim.

To me, it feels much more detailed on dirt, and not smooth enough on tarmac. It’s like the tires chirping is exaggerated on tarmac. Something I can live with, though.

drt 2015-06-29 15-49-37-90Tire Model adjustments push this fully into sim territory. The keyboard and gamepad players littering the Steam forums are going to want their money back very soon. I didn’t have a problem with the way the game drove in previous updates, but I have to agree that I was able to pull off some really crazy shit I shouldn’t have been able to. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was running a low 8-minute lap of 1980’s Pikes Peak, when the real life lap record was an 8:47. I’m fully aware that I’m really damn good at driving games, and that’s part of what makes so successful, but the lap times I was clicking off were far beyond what the real life car could accomplish, even under ideal conditions.

There’s been a slight amount of overall grip reduced on dirt, yet the tires bite more under acceleration. The Tarmac sections of Pikes Peak were pretty fun with the new update and more closely in-line with the various on-boards we’ve seen over the years. Drifting around hairpins also felt much more natural, and losing/regaining traction felt like a gradual process instead of a sudden on/off switch. I’ll have to give it a few more laps, but my initial impressions are that it’s like a mix of DiRT 3 and Assetto Corsa, and Codemasters are starting to mix in more and more Assetto Corsa as they learn more about how tires work.

drt 2015-06-29 15-55-13-98We still need an Alien difficulty. My third lap ever in the Lancia 037, without so much as a setup or proper gearing, I went over ten seconds quicker than the rest of the field. Master isn’t challenging for guys who have played RBR over the years.

DiRT-Rally-Pikes-Peak-Peugeot-405-T16-PPPikes Peak is worth the price of admission, while the Germany stages are a mixed bag. The Colorado Rockies are a fresh and dangerous challenge compared to the classic Nurburgring Nordschleife, which as appeared in countless racing sims over the past decade and a half. Both versions are included; the modern, fully paved version, as well as the 1980’s version where the back half of the track is a dusty gravel road. There are people who bought Assetto Corsa for the Nordschleife, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there are people who bought DiRT Rally for Pikes Peak. The level of detail is astounding, and I remember after my first night with the track, I watched Loeb’s on-board and could easily point out where he was at any given time. It’s a really wild creation.

The Germany stages released today, however, aren’t. Even if they’re based off of real-world stages (as are all stages in DiRT Rally), they drive as if you told Herman Tilke to re-design . The dirty trick of chopping up two long stages into twelve variants is also very disappointing as it inflates the track count to a ridiculous degree. Pikes Peak also suffers from this issue, although it’s understandable as the track is so long and hectic that it’s smart to chop the track up into portions – otherwise new guys would never figure it out.

drt 2015-06-29 15-30-33-92The Hillclimb cars will frustrate you, and the Lancia 037 is the best sim car of all time. The hillclimb cars give me a strange sense of pseudo-nostalgia to last year when the Lotus 98T first came to Assetto Corsa and nobody could drive it. The Hillclimb cars are the same way in DiRT Rally; too much power and 80’s aerodynamics. Only a handful of people will ever figure these cars out compared to the overall userbase of the game, and I think you’ll see a lot of smashed PS4/Xbox One controllers when this game inevitably hits the consoles. The hillclimb cars demand your undivided attention and are pretty much trying to kill you at any given time. The Audi, at least in my experience, was prone to aero stalling – Too little speed through a corner and you’d understeer off the track because the wings weren’t producing enough downforce; too much speed and the rear end would come around. Again, your average person won’t figure out these cars.

But they’re a ton of fun when you get them right.

As for the Tarmac Terrors pack, the Lancia 037 is incredible. Once this game is in a finished state later this year, I have a feeling this will be the car, or even the class, that most serious leagues flock to. Having this much power sent to the rear tires is insane, and each stage becomes a crash course in throttle control. You essentially steer the car with the throttle, and the steering wheel merely suggests which direction the car should be pointed in. It’s an awesome ride and was everything people anticipated it would be, and more.

The rest of the cars in the Tarmac Terrors pack are unexciting 90’s kit cars that you’d see in add-on Richard Burns Rally car packs for the RSRBR mod. I hope at least someone drives them. I can’t comment on them too much as I’m unsure of their historical significance and will avoid them altogether like a casual scrub.

DiRT-Rally_Seat-Ibiza_1With each new update, the game is going up a small amount in price, so if you’re curious about the title, save yourself $20 and pick it up right now. It’s Richard Burns Rally with better graphics, and even though it still lacks a bit of variety in the stage department, the current road map Codemasters has laid out for the title from now until release in November looks pretty damn promising.


Sim Racing Design and the strange community surrounding NASCAR 2003

Online communities fight. This has been a thing since Geocities was introduced in the mid 1990’s. People get mad at each other on the internet and do dumb shit. Sometimes they send the SWAT Team after Call of Duty rivals, and other times they simply for . You’d think that when virtual race cars are involved, this kind of absurd drama dies down since everyone’s united by a common bond.

It doesn’t. It gets worse.

NASCAR Racing 2003 season, released for the PC in February of 2003 by Papyrus Motorsports, is widely regarded as the best NASCAR video game ever made. Not only does the game accurately portray what it’s like to drive an American Stock Car from the comfort of your own home (and has been used by several drivers to train for upcoming races), the game easily allowed for other people to freely make and distribute their own cars and tracks to extend the lifespan of the game.

While the game ships with only content from the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season, a large add-on community spawned from the success of the game. Over the past eleven years, almost every major and minor NASCAR series and season dating back to 1963 has been faithfully reproduced for the game by the community – all free of charge and readily available for you to download and insert into your own game. I must stress that you did not have to pay for these “mods”; they were all made by people who simply loved the game and were meant to be freely distributed on a multitude of sites, usually competing amongst each other for notoriety among the community – a constant battle to see who could make the best tracks/cars/mods to the community’s benefit.

NR2003 2014-03-28 20-00-22-36Because of the game’s extended lifespan, a good 60% of content made for NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (NR2003) has been lost due to broken links and closed websites. Fortunately, I have been playing this game since launch, and have saved almost everything noteworthy that the community (which spans a multitude of sites, countries, and multiplayer racing leagues) has released for the game.

As the game is eleven years old and only has a mere handful of people still playing it and producing content for the game, it is very hard for newcomers to not only find this game in the first place (copies go for several hundred dollars on eBay), but also find these elusive add-on’s that extend the lifespan of the game that add either current or historic NASCAR and other oval racing series to the game.

NR2003 2014-03-22 23-33-34-24In the spring of 2014, I felt nice enough to package all of the freeware third-party mods I’d collected for the game over the past ten years, and uploaded them on my own personal Mediafire account. Finding even a fraction of what I included in my personal collection would take weeks, sometimes months of browsing through the few remaining NR2003 add-on sites; uploading my collection would allow people to simply find everything they could ever want for the game in one place. I also took things a step further and created another Tumblr page to have all of these downloads in a place that was easy to navigate and understand. I shared it amongst a few friends and they were all pretty thankful to have such a huge collection of hard-to-find content in one place.

NR2003 2014-04-20 14-40-46-92Nothing about what I did was illegal – again, these were freeware pieces of content for a game that’s nearly a decade old, made by the community as far back as 2003. It’s like if someone packaged up 200 of the best Quake 3 maps, or 100 of the best Doom WAD’s. It’s just someone being a bro and uploading a massive collection of historical community-made content for a game that almost nobody plays anymore. You know, just to be a bro.

I posted the link to the Tumblr site on a website called SimRacingDesign – what appeared to be the most active of the few remaining NR2003 fansites. Guys who would probably be really happy to see mods that were uploaded and lost ten years ago were actually being preserved by some dude in Canada.

They were furious.

NR2003 2014-04-02 18-25-27-64

Members at SimRacingDesign claimed that every single car and track made by the community for NR2003 over the past eleven years is copyright to the person who created it, and that by merely uploading this package of historical content, I was violating several copyright laws and could be sued or put in jail. The thread exploded. I was instantly cast as this evil villain, and I hadn’t even been on the site for more than an hour.

Let me break it down for you – these people were more or less stealing real world copyrighted logos and designs off the internet to slap onto their pretend race cars, uploading them on their preferred site, and then claiming their cars were pieces of “art” and they owned them outright, and it was illegal to upload it anywhere else.

Try making a Porsche mod for an ISI sim and tell me what happens. These scrubs didn’t own shit – the original creator of the IP’s, however, does.

NR2003 2014-04-21 20-33-04-82

That’s not how that works at all. And it’s not illegal to download a free file from one place, and upload it somewhere else. That’s called mirroring.

They did not care. This was a travesty. I was a horrible person. And they kept calling me “Todd.”

Who’s Todd?

Shortly after, I began receiving weird shit by the truckload in my Tumblr inbox.


This literally went on for two weeks straight.

But then other shit started happening. I started receiving emails from Tumblr administration that the account I’d set up for the NASCAR content was under DMCA investigation. I didn’t actually have anything on there that violated DMCA agreements. Like I said, it was all just mods for a game I’d saved over the years. Like if a guy packaged up all his Skyrim mods, because as you know, hunting for that shit takes forever.

Eventually, the entire Tumblr page was shut down. Again, I was not given a reason for this, Tumblr seemed quite fine with acting before asking questions. So I moved everything to Wix, and made what was basically the same site. The actual links to the mod packages on my Mediafire page were untouched, so I spent a couple hours setting everything back up. Within 48 hours, that page too was under DMCA investigation. And like that, it was gone. Apparently these huge sites are so scared of DMCA complaints that they shut your site down at the click of a button, regardless of how valid the complaint was.

nr2003 2014-07-24 18-50-59-35At SRD, the shitstorm continued to brew. The same people who were so adamantly against the sites I’d set up were now organizing to do the exact same thing. A proper NR2003 “encyclopedia.” Somehow, my idea was good, but I supposedly went about it the wrong way. Users from a thread I frequent on 4Chan signed up on SRD to polietly inform other members that what I was doing had nothing to do with DMCA or copyright infringement. The longtime SRD members reacted so drastically that they banned all members who had signed up in the past 48 hours, as well as disabled the creation of any new accounts for the forseeable future.

I was again also accused of being a guy named Todd, who was supposedly the biggest asshole NR2003 had ever seen. Todd, who went under the username “sb70”, was apparently some crazy schizophrenic out to destroy what was left of the NR2003 community.

This alleged schizophrenic asshole reached out to me, and holy shit I was not prepared for what I walked into.

cEgtkB1There’s an 86-page thread on dedicated to talking shit about this Todd guy, although now it appears to have been trimmed down to just 43. And it was full of posts like this:

And this…
 With the help of a real life female friend who encouraged him to continue his hobby away from the message board drama, Todd left SRD to create his own website, This caused problems. SRD user “bowtie214” has created a web page devoted to cyberstalking Todd’s friend, a single female clear across the country that he has never met before (also 30 years younger for that matter) – and all over drama related to a racing video game.

bowtie214 became privy to her personal information after his online friend (Danny Coral of BigDogOnline) served a fraudulent DMCA complaint to the domain host of Todd’s site. All in hopes of not only censoring Todd’s stuff, but also to acquire any personal information of his in hopes of cyberstalking/harrassing him out of template making.


That DMCA would be the 4th or 5th in a series bowtie214’s buddy had served in attempt to suppress Todd’s work on various sites aside from just his own (such as Todd’s friend set up the quick-model domain during the summer of 2013 as encouragement for him to keep contributing to this hobby. All of the work on the site and anything you can download from there might be by Todd, but if not for his friend, none of it would have remained online. Of course neither of them imagined at the time this site was launched that his female friend would become the victim of committed cross-country cyberstalking by the likes of a 67 yr old loser who has:

  • snooped and stalked her social media.
  • posted images on his ‘muzak’ page of which restaurants and public places she frequents.
  • posted images on his ‘muzak’ page of which restaurants and public places she frequents.
  • posted images of her home residence from Google maps on his ‘muzak’ page after acquiring that information courtesy of pal Danny’s lame-ass DMCA

These images can be found on bowtie214’s stalking page:
 Mere hours after the creation of the original source of this info, SRD member “RacerXero84” had taken to the online message board Reddit to defend the community’s decision to file false DMCA complaints on both myself and Todd, continuing to claim that uploading freeware mods for a video game is piracy, copyright infringement, and a whole host of other things that aren’t actually true.
RacerXero84 also took things a step further, claiming that he had filed a DMCA and Copyright complaint against yet ANOTHER site I frequent – a wiki page for a racing game thread I routinely shitpost in on 4Chan, justifying this by spouting legal gibberish – which you can read here:

In short, he is accusing myself and Todd, a guy I hardly know, of doing exactly what SRD have been doing to Todd for almost four years, and that hosting other people’s freeware mods for a decade old game is violating copyright somehow.

RacerXero84 also claimed he was not stalking Todd. Todd was able to dimiss this with proof of RacerXero84 trying to sign up for Todd’s personal site, RX84 simply denied everything.

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The continuing craziness, almost a year old at this point, can still be seen flaring up on Reddit, as well as a new thread on where the same four or five guys sit around spouting the same weird shit about some guy who made a few nice templates for an old oval racing sim.

This is what’s left of the NASCAR Racing 2003 community.

ayyI don’t recommend even bothering to try and have a sensible conversation with these guys. It doesn’t go anywhere:
SRDIf mysteriously goes offline, it’s because of another false DMCA complaint. These are the guys responsible.

Reader Submission #14 – Aussie Comes Through in the Clutch

Today’s Reader Submission comes from Sam S. He claims that has significantly increased their shilling of Project CARS by censoring talk of other racing sims, most notably Rezia Studio’s Game Stock Car Extreme and the crowdfunding campaign that was recently announced.

We’ve heard rumors that VirtualR were really going hard in the paint when it came to promoting pCars through pseudo-news, and a few comments on here described an abnormally long period between the news about Reiza’s crowdfunding campaign breaking versus the abnormally long period of time it’s taken for the news to show up on VirtualR- in fact it hasn’t.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt and hadn’t reported on it because A) we can’t exactly prove that someone’s refusing to publish news and B) the guy’s probably just taking a break from the site – I do it too sometimes.

Well, I guess we have proof now.

Good day,

Can you please check if I’m just being a naive internet user or not? I’ve posted two comments on VirtualR about the GSC Extreme campaign, or the lack of it on the front page news, but both times my posts were detected as spam. I’ve added a pic of my disqus profile to show you what I mean. I can see that the first one could be spam because of the web link, but not the older one.


I just find it hard to believe that a sim news site like that wouldn’t have this sort of obvious news on there let to be begin with. I know there is pCars money involved but surely they would show this?

The best way to promote a niche video game genre is to sell out your news site to a controversial developer and only talk about a highly buggy game that a ton of people aren’t satisfied with. We have two censored words here, and both of them are to keep the personal attacks from getting out of hand.

ARCA4GB 2015-06-27 20-55-15-47