Playing the Game is Too Mainstream for those who helped Crowdfund Reiza’s Stock Car Extreme DLC

GSC 2015-05-02 16-35-30-51I apologize in advance for the problems this article is going to cause, but I strive to tell it like it is with PretendRaceCars.net, and I can only report on my own personal observations. I really hope I’m wrong with what I’m about to write, I really hope someone tells me to go fuck myself and a select few criticize my taste in women just for the hell of it, because I don’t want to believe my own screencaps. This is beyond pathetic and speaks volumes for the type of people involved in sim racing in any form.

We have to start somewhere because I’m sure this article will go the rounds at some point and be read by people not entirely familiar with the wide world of racing sims, and we’ll do so by introducing Game Stock Car Extreme, or as it’s known on Steam: Stock Car Extreme.

GSC 2015-05-09 15-06-54-96Released by Brazilian developer Reiza Studios, Stock Car Extreme is the official racing sim of Stock Car Brasil, essentially South America’s version of NASCAR. The game retails for $30 and is based on the aging-yet-still-amazing gMotor game engine; the Source Engine of driving games. Formerly an rFactor modding group (and a damn good one at that) Reiza’s flagship retail title is known throughout the sim community as one of the best modern racing sims available on the market. They have taken a game engine that’s almost a decade old, injected as many third party plugins into the game as possible to keep the game relevant in 2015, and bundled a killer core experience with some of the finest cars and tracks made within the constraints of ISI’s legendary game engine. Unlike rival titles, which see the userbase constantly waiting for updates or new features to be implemented, Stock Car Extreme is a fully finished, feature-complete game. If there’s one racing sim you must have, one where it’s not necessary to become involved in the game’s forums and sit around for weeks waiting upon patches to add or fix core features within the game, this is the one.

The biggest downfall of the game is ultimately what’s available for you to drive, and where you can drive it. Reiza has centered Stock Car Extreme around the 2013 and 2014 Stock Car Brasil seasons, as well as the supporting cast of amateur racing series seen at the events each weekend, meaning the game is very heavily centered around South American content. While there are several historic unlicensed Formula One cars, Go Karts, Touring Cars, Prototypes, and even a modern Chevrolet Camaro available to drive, the track roster stays largely within the country of Brazil, with only a handful of familiar tracks among the sea of obscure courses like Cascavel and Taruma that make up the real Stock Car Brasil season. Conversions of rFactor tracks and mods are available, in fact there’s a tool to easily convert mods and tracks with one click, but they pale in comparison to the high quality content that ships with the game.

What this means is that the game has a very niche userbase – Native Brazilian’s who follow Stock Car Brasil as their favorite racing series are the intended primary target, and racing sim enthusiasts who enjoy the challenge of learning new tracks and don’t care for all of the obscure content they’re forced to devour are natural adopters. Obviously, neither of the two groups are very big; a portion of a portion of an already small base audience.

But the people who do play Stock Car Extreme, absolutely love it. This is a game where I went from not even knowing Brazil had a national racing series, to signing up for a league within a few weeks of purchasing the game.

GSC 2015-04-19 04-51-32-53Reiza set out to rectify this last month, announcing a crowdfunding campaign for upcoming DLC. Again, the game is feature-complete, retails for $30, and is considered finished. There is no early access format like how Assetto Corsa first launched in late 2013, nor does the game’s splash screen warn you that the game is an Open Beta like Race Room Racing Experience. The crowdfunding campaign was an attempt to generate interest in the title among a greater group of people – the game is really fucking awesome, but only those brave enough to learn a huge amount of new tracks and cars have bothered to touch it, instead opting for titles with more familiar content like Project CARS and F1 2015.

Reiza’s plan to get more people into the glorious Stock Car Extreme was to start a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, offering several different contribution levels with various different perks (including a sweet vacation) in exchange for using your funds to develop DLC that a majority of racing sim fans would really really like – in particular, three specific racing series that have huge followings, but no flagship racing simulator. Among the numerous improvements Reiza promised with the crowdfunding campaign, the Brazilian dev team announced they’d be bringing three amazing racing series to their already awesome sim – V8 Supercars, Stadium SuperTrucks, and Rallycross. Google these. They’re all insane.

Regardless of which level people donated, almost all levels in the crowdfunding campaign rewarded you with one or several copies of Stock Car Extreme, or required you to own the title, allowing not only the contributor, but all of their friends to get in on the racing action as well. Not only that, but positive discussion of the game exploded across various different sim racing forums and news sites. A huge amount of people basically sat around cheering the title on as they slowly worked towards the goal of $78,000, singing the praises of Stock Car Extreme as if it was common knowledge that the game was the best racing sim available and had a huge amount of people already playing it:

loveReiza managed to surpass their goal on the final day, with over 1,200 people contributing to the continued development of Stock Car Extreme, the huge list of free DLC planned, and all of the additional features announced, such as Virtual Reality support, a dynamic track surface, and many more awesome features that only add to what’s a stellar retail product. To put that number in perspective, iRacing has 2,500 active users on any given night, and half of those are oval racers. Reiza essentially managed to round up a userbase the size of iRacing’s road racing userbase to help crowdfund DLC, essentially making them a serious player among the undisputed giant of online racing sims.

At least, that’s what the numbers said.

80kYou’d think that for all these new people who’ve just gotten into Stock Car Extreme with their additional Steam codes from the Crowdfunding campaign, and all of these hardcore fans who love Stock Car Extreme that much to the point where they contributed to the continued development of the game post release, there would be a shit ton of people online, right? Surely everyone should be taking to the online servers in celebration of a milestone for the greater sim racing community, right?

Nope.

GSC 2015-07-23 21-25-13-74Above is a screenshot of the server browser for Stock Car Extreme. Out of the ten different populated rooms, only two are available for retards like me to jump in and race – the rest locked behind passwords meant for members of various leagues and private message boards. Even after factoring in time zones, despite 1,299+ hardcore Stock Car Extreme fans paying extra for Reiza to develop additional DLC, plus all of their friends who undoubtedly received the extra Steam codes as gifts because “hey bro, come play this awesome racing sim I helped crowdfund with me,” there are six people to race against online.

This is what one of those races looks like after the first lap has been completed. There are four cars on the track, and two of them have a chance to win. GeneRally has bigger fields and closer racing.

GSC 2015-07-23 21-39-10-79Does this look fun? No? That’s because it isn’t.

And despite how excited everyone is for official Reiza content given the shoddy quality of rFactor mod conversions, the most populated room at the top of the server browser, with a whopping 13 players is for a mod called Reiza37 – in other words, a shitty rFactor conversion. As we’ve discussed in the past, conversions for Stock Car Extreme tend to suck.

Now some people will point the finger solely at me and say “James you cocksucking faggot, you’re skewing data again for clicks, stop sensationalizing you piece of shit!” – and to that I say, check out the official data from Steam:

GSCX Steam ChartsOn Sunday July 19th, at European prime time, there were 79 people in the world playing Stock Car Extreme. That is the week-long high, with the average player count being much, much lower.

I just want to drill this home for some of you – there are 15X the amount of people who crowdfunded Stock Car Extreme’s future DLC than there are actually playing the game, even though all of these people received (in some cases) multiple CD keys to distribute to their friends.

ghost townTons of topics popping up about how great this game is and how Reiza deserves their moment in the spotlight (which they do). Tons of people cheering on the little team from Brazil as the ending date of the campaign nears. Tons of people contributing to the funding needed to develop additional DLC, a group big enough to compete with the #1 online racing sim on the market. Tons of extra CD keys given to friends of hardcore Stock Car Extreme fans so there are even more people to race against. Preview videos of the DLC content popping up everywhere.

Nobody actually playing the game.

GSC 2015-07-23 21-33-40-75Stock Car Extreme features the 2013 and 2014 Stock Car Brasil season, replicated in full, with all tracks seen on the real life schedule. The title also includes a Brazilian designed closed cockpit Prototype, the 2013 Mini Challenge, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro in all retail colors, four different types of racing Karts, five different historic Formula One cars, two different historic Stock Car Brasil Chevrolet Opala’s, two amateur open wheel cars (Formula 3 and Formula Vee), Copa Petrobas De Marcas touring cars, and a surprisingly decent array of historic and modern FIA approved circuits, most of which saw action in a handful of Formula One seasons. The game includes all relevant online functionality for anything from short races to league events, as well as an alright selection of offline modes with competent AI ranging from test days to offline championships. The title retails for $30 and is available right now.

Yet, an overwhelming amount of sim racers are perfectly comfortable sitting around bragging about donating money to Reiza’s IndieGoGo campaign on a multitude of different message boards as if this will somehow boost their reputation among their peers than actually running laps in the sim – and very few even admit they’ve touched the game, opting to say shit like:

go buy itWhat do you mean “when this comes out?” It’s already out! What exactly are you getting out of sitting around on Reddit being all “omg this is so great, the dev team deserves it!” You’re damn right the dev team deserves it, Reiza are awesome at what they do, but if they’re so awesome and the game itself is so awesome to the point where y’all are throwing money at them for future DLC, why the fuck are there six people online? Did I miss something here? Is the current version of the game broken? Or have we gotten to a point in time where sitting around posting on message boards is more appealing than actually playing the games you’re discussing among the community?

GSC 2015-05-23 14-38-01-21

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53 thoughts on “Playing the Game is Too Mainstream for those who helped Crowdfund Reiza’s Stock Car Extreme DLC

  1. Sounds like the same as Darkstalkers, apparently the best fighting game series ever and people whine about Capcom not making Darkstalkers 4, yet no one seems to actually play it.

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    1. Capcom hyped up Darkstalkers Resurrection (a re-release of two CPS2 Darkstalkers games) and few bought it – because the series have turned into waifufaggotry fest. Any attempt to discuss or talk Darkstalkers turns into people dumping lewd fanarts of the female characters, while nobody cares for any of the male Darkstalkers ever (except for Demitri, because Midnight Bliss).

      Like

  2. public servers in GSC have never been popular in my experience, people either race AI or do organised online racing. The turnout for league and club races on for example Racedepartment has always been decent in my opinion and with the increased numbers itll only get better. Most GSC players probably just prefer to race in a more controlled enviroment.

    Also, there are probably many people including me that play on the non-steam version so the numbers are not as dramatic as the steam thing shows. Still I agree that the numbers are very low for some strange reason, hopefully the numbers will explode once some of the new content is released.

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    1. Meh… the first few girls are fine I guess. The rest of ’em, not so much.

      BTT: Welcome to the internet James. We’re all wannabes, who pretend to be into shit, just to be a part of the cool-guys group.

      Like

      1. Not where I am. I think it has morphed into some other stuff to the point that you can’t define it exactly.

        Though, I’m not in an applicable age group and they always seemed to fall in the ‘not legal but willing to lie about it’ range…

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  3. Based on a recent survey on /r/simracing the majority of people in that sub prefer to hotlap or play single player against AI.

    I don’t know if Steam tracks non-multiplayer usage but maybe at that peak there were only 79 people playing multiplayer but many more in Single Player? Maybe I’m just grasping at straws.

    From what I hear it is a good game, so it’s a shame that not many people are playing it.

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    1. > I don’t know if Steam tracks non-multiplayer usage but maybe at that peak there were only 79 people playing multiplayer but many more in Single Player?

      Steamcharts is all players that are running the executable through the Steam client. It tracks single player offline games just as well.

      You have a friends-list? see the statuses there lists what people are playing? Yeah, those are based on the same data.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. >I don’t know if Steam tracks non-multiplayer usage but maybe at that peak there were only 79 people playing multiplayer

    Now we have to know if this is the case, because it does sound VERY low. And i dont race public servers either.

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  5. I don’t play SCE online, I just play offline. Before donating, I had the Non Steam Version as well. Not making excuses, just saying that lots of us race against the AI (which is pretty darn good by the way).

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    1. That you mention the non-Steam version is important too.

      I get the feeling that most people who own GSCE don’t use the Steam version of the game, and as such wouldn’t be tracked on Steam’s statistics. Sim players love having their games work offline, or just having it separate from Steam for other reasons.

      I have the non-Steam version of GSCE and see no reason to transfer it over to Steam. Mod heavy games especially don’t deal well with Steam and the way it updates games. I’d rather update the game myself.

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      1. To say nothing of the fact that it was available for years before the Steam version and the Steam version is a very recent thing.

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  6. Empty Box has stated it’s his preferred title for offline racing, and I get the point, the public servers have never been overly populated (check his F.Classic video), I think people just prefer the ‘single-player’ aspect for this title, outside of organized league stuff.

    At least you raced 3 other people in F1 cars, I never saw someone to race in V8 Stock Cars last night. Sucks too because Reiza has actually set up their own trial servers.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Anonymous
  8. What about a PRC run server? You guys have to spend the billions you’re making off this site somewhere and I’m sure many of the readers would join in as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scenesters eh?

    I have to give you some credit for owning up to your affliction, at least.

    It seems likely to me that players would want to test out the new content offline.

    Pretty sure steam isn’t counting correctly/ignoring offline, plus unable to understand non-steam clients.

    As Dave said, maybe you guys should look into setting up a server.

    I really don’t want to drive against James, but I’ll just run away into the pits and make excuses for being multiple seconds off pace if he shows up.

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  10. The game is ugly.. people prefer to play modern games like Assetto Corsa and Project Cars… what’s the “surprise”?

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  11. It’s never been online-heavy. I’ve had it from the very beginning and rarely have there been more than 10-15 people at the same time, half of whom were halfwit crashers. People ain’t stupid, why waste time putting up with online idiots when you can have a decent race with the AI.

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  12. What TOD did you take the MP screen-shot at? AC has maybe 30-40 people online in the morning coming up to at least a 100 in the afternoon and well over that in the evening. CET timezone strictly speaking.

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    1. The average AC owner has about 37h put into their game,while the average GSCE-owner on steam has around 17h.

      AC has a significant lower median play time though, with a big spike in the 0-4 hour range, probably from being actively marketed during Steam sales and getting impulse buys from people who haven’t gotten around to playing it,or aren’t even into sims in the first place. It also means that it must have a much more active user base at the high end to still maintain a higher average.

      According to SteamSpy, noone has 85h or more put into GSCE through Steam.
      From eyeballing it, top 10% of AC owners have put about between 100h and 1000h into it.

      http://steamspy.com/app/244210
      http://steamspy.com/app/273840

      (Registration required to see usage stats)

      Comparison of absolute numbers is of course meaningless since Reiza has their following outside Steam and haven’t been on Steam for as long as AC.

      The two week numbers would be more interesting to compare, but since GSCE has so few sampled users it’s not really possible to call them “statistics”, (their average per 2 weeks is somewhere between 22 minutes and 12 hours.)

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  13. The game still needs polish in the form of UI and HUD upgrades. Also that issue with steering angle and lock settings puts me off. I should be able to set the wheel at 900 in global settings and have the game auto-adjust the settings between F1 and road cars. Right now the interface bugs me to point where I just play AC instead.

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    1. Yes, because people buy boxed copies of Brazilian racing sims by the truckload, and there’s a whole underground Stock Car Extreme club who ONLY race offline and disconnect their internet so nobody detects them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it only recently started to be sold on steam. everyone who bought it in the -years- before that has the option to run the steam version or the original non-steam one.

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  14. I think you’re making more than a few false assumptions.

    >allowing not only the contributor, but all of their friends to get in on the racing action as well.

    Maybe I’m speaking only to myself, but I don’t KNOW anybody who is both interested in racing games and has a wheel. I know exactly one person who might play them if he had a wheel, but he’s not interested enough to buy one. Racing sims are a niche as fuck genre. I don’t play in leagues, just talk on forums or on Skype with people who are already into racing sims and very likely already have GSCE.

    Just because Reiza is practically giving away keys for free doesn’t mean the player base is going to rise up dramatically. Even if it did, I doubt it would stick, as you would get a lot of players who try it, figure out it’s not for them, then never play it again.

    >Reiza essentially managed to round up a userbase the size of iRacing’s road racing userbase to help crowdfund DLC, essentially making them a serious player among the undisputed giant of online racing sims.

    I hate to use Associat0r’s trademark term here, but that’s a misleading statement. Comparing what is undoubtedly a primarily offline population to the only game out there that has an online population, then asking why there aren’t people playing online in the offline game is pretty stupid.

    >You’d think that for all these new people who’ve just gotten into Stock Car Extreme with their additional Steam codes from the Crowdfunding campaign, and all of these hardcore fans who love Stock Car Extreme that much to the point where they contributed to the continued development of the game post release, there would be a shit ton of people online, right?

    No, actually. I wouldn’t. I think there’s two wrong assumptions here. The first is that you’re assuming that a significant portion of the backers for Reiza’s campaign are new players. I would argue that not only are new players a minority, but I would wager that they are a very small minority. A practically negligible minority.

    The second problem I have with this statement is that for some reason you think all these players are suddenly going to change the way they play and jump online. Why would they be online? Pubracing in GSCE is fucking dead, and I just can’t see any way that’s going to change as long as GSCE is GSCE. It has the same online structure that all the old racing sims do and it helped cultivate huge online pub racing communities for them, right?

    The world is different now, and racing sims still use a structure that was on its way out almost 10 years ago, but I digress and that’s a topic for another time.

    >Even after factoring in time zones, despite 1,299+ hardcore Stock Car Extreme fans paying extra for Reiza to develop additional DLC, plus all of their friends who undoubtedly received the extra Steam codes as gifts because “hey bro, come play this awesome racing sim I helped crowdfund with me,” there are six people to race against online.

    I already mentioned the “every free key means a new player” problem, but the other part of this is that you’re assuming that a new player to a game they’ve never played before would just jump online onto a public server to drive a car, track, and whole game they’ve never played before.

    Yes, people who jump online first thing before having done literally any setting up or practicing exist, but they are a very tiny minority and also the kind of people that wreck everybody before the first corner. Even if these people were playing on GSCE last night, you would just make another article like the R3E one where the free race weekend just meant everybody crashed into each other all race.

    So that whole post turned out to be way more autistic than I was expecting. I think it’s because I like this site, but sometimes you write stupid bullshit and you need to be called out on it or else you’ll continue your slide into becoming the Kotaku of simracing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good points.

      I definitely agree with your explanation of just how niche simracing is.

      I don’t make actual real-life friends with ‘gamers’, in general. I’m not sure I know a single person who is both interested in sim racing and has a wheel. I know ~ 10 people who are interested, none of them have wheels.

      I get the impression that my real-life activities are rather divergent from the sim racers and gamers in general, so maybe I’m getting flawed data here.

      I know some of you live in my state, but apparently you people don’t seek out fun outside of sim racing and they damn sure aren’t at the trap, so **** that.

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  15. It isnt considered finished. It is considered in active development by the devs. That is why there wasnt any special super discount at the steam summer sale. Just a general discount.
    Check Reiza’s tweets if you dont believe me.

    Secondly – I dont race online.

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  16. 3. SCE Beta is a separate install & will have its own statistics. and i would say before it came out, a lot of people were sitting on there hands in anticipation. (…me). it is 100% steam-based though so you can get some idea of the % of backers online at any given time. i really dont know whats reasonable ofc, thats your job :). and those will all be in singleplayer, bc there is no multiplayer, so basically the userbase is actually divided into 3 places right now, one of which doesn’t even have the MP option…not the easiest game to do statistics like this on.

    but yeah, i think itll be awhile for the online scene to catch hold, empty box’s latest video may help start it rolling.

    Like

    1. Thank you, I was coming here to post the same thing

      All the backers are currently playing the Stock Car Extreme Beta, which is a seperate and “secret” install on Steam that can’t be accessed or viewed by people who do not have the code. As a backer with access to it and after reading the dev forums I can guarantee that more than 79 people were playing the game last night 😉

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  17. Bought the game at full price and supported the developers but i don’t play the game. Why? Because I have a family to support and I don’t have any time to play video games.
    So now i’m going to feel bad because I’m a bad person. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Hahaha, ‘playing’ pcars are they? Are you sure about that? They aren’t playing it with a functional league (all of them are currently dysfunctional at no fault of the organizers, they are working around crippling bugs as best they can), they aren’t experiencing anything worthwhile with the slow exit speed AI and they certainly aren’t ‘playing’ in an enjoyable manner online, due to the terrible, terrible netcode.

      They couldn’t just be tweaking settings 99% of the time, right? Granted, it may not fit your narrative, how unfortunate.

      Like

    2. Damn that´s some brave people out there daring to play a game that ruins everything you in thousands of different ways do in a heartbeat…

      Like

  18. I see what you did there. An encouragement for people to go play online. Which is good.

    But public racing tends to suck anyway. Always join a league for decent online races.

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  19. Sadly have to agree, played hundreds of hours of AC, rf2 and even 120 by now in PCars after only 1.5 months, but only 20 in GSC and also was wondering why, because it’s a decent game. Maybe it’s just too in-between.
    If I want to go hardcore-sim, I choose rf2, if I want to have a bunch of different categories/tracks and drive with friends, who need an easier to master engine, I choose PCars and, well if I just want to go for a spin, I take AC(still waiting for SP-pitstops).
    I like the StockCars and I’m looking forward to the V8s, but the other categories while being great fall short for me for some reason… rf2 is better with karts and F1-cars, Petrobas de Marcas and MiniCup aren’t that exiting, I prefer the Stock Cars then and even they have to share their time with the DTM-mod for rf2 if I want to go for touring cars.
    Also missing a better tire system, but they’re working on that, don’t really need the rain-functionality.

    Still I’d say that at the moment I prefer it to AC just because of the inability of pit stops in AC.

    Like

  20. I think vs. IR/AC, lack of big name circuit/series outside of Brasil hurts its online component… GT3 at Spa, Monza,etc. seems to get all the Europeans fizzing, or GT3 at Laguna Seca, Daytona, etc for Americans who circuit race.

    There just doesn’t seem to be a large open wheel community, there’s certainly a small extremely fanatic one, but not the general numbers to make it succeed. And that’s the only non-Brasilian content in GSC at the moment.

    Like

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