It seems as if someone has finally stepped up to the plate and attempted to implement iRacing’s exact online functionality into something other than iRacing. Sim Racing Portugal have created Sim Racing System; an application that allows you to join a race for a scheduled start time, and boot up your sim of choice directly into the server for the beginning of the session. Today’s Reader Submission introduces us to this software, created by Henrique Alves, which has the potential to offer a true alternative to iRacing- because it’s basically the same thing.
Hello PRC.net, I think you’d like to hear about this.
I developed a fully automated online racing system that uses GSCE, rFactor2, rfactor and Arca Sim Racing X. Anyone who wishes to join only has to register at www.simracingsystem.com with their first and last names (if it’s taken, add an middle name or initial), download the software, and install. The software will ask where the sims are installed. After that all a user has to do, is go to the ‘race’ page and register on a session before the last five minutes of the countdown. The system will prompt to auto-join on the last three minutes. The software will place you directly on the server.
This system has potential, as long as people actually show up. Right now on Race2Play, a similar online racing platform, participation still hasn’t reached the elusive iRacing levels that make each event feel like there’s truly something on the line. Sure, some events bring in 30+ registrants, but very rarely does everyone make it to the grid when the event finally arrives. Some guys forget they signed up, others drop out because they lack confidence in the car, but the result is the same: 27 cars sign up, and no more than 16 are on the grid. For SRS to work, people have to actually come out and race. Sounds bizarre, but we’re indeed at a point in time where sim racers rarely play the games they claim to love. I don’t know how you’re going to do this, other than by word of mouth and praying it’s more than just the Portuguese guys that adopt this software.
The biggest challenge is not only getting people to get out on the track in the first place, but encouraging people to play more than just iRacing for their online needs – because a large portion of the sim community presently bow down to Lord Kaemmer, even when the game is suffering from massive technical issues. This is essentially your target audience, as everyone serious about online racing has already signed up for iRacing. So if you can convince those merely putting up with iRacing despite the current crop of flaws to come check out a similar service for a much more stable set of racing sims, I think that’s the key to long-term success. As a former iRacer, you have no idea the number of people I’ve come across who have literally sworn off other sims – no matter how genuinely superior they are in other aspects – because, and I quote: “it’s not iRacing.”
Hell, I remember a month or so ago a certain iRacing champion mentioned on a Facebook status of mine that he’d never even heard of rFactor or ISI, yet others from that group of drivers had admitted in private they were unsatisfied with iRacing but weren’t sure where to go. Look, if you can get the word out to these folks that somebody built an iRacing-like service for a game that doesn’t break every other build or constantly reach into your wallet, it’s just a matter of time before the popularity explodes.
It may seem trying to convert people from one religion to another, but large grids make sim racing fun, and for this to work, you need more than six cars on the track.