Reader Submission #22 – We’re getting an FIA GT3 game from Polyphony Digital

Huge news for GT3 fans all over the world – we’re getting GTR 3, and it’s made by Polyphony Digital.

Gran Turismo 6

Originally, we received a Reader Submission today from reader Kurei informing us that the staff of are fully aware of the reasons why the Course Maker feature has been strangely absent from Gran Turismo 6, though they refuse to publish what’s kept the mode from the latest version of the world’s biggest racing sim franchise. He sources a comment on a news article where one well-informed user admits GTPlanet are afraid to release the details behind the absence of the feature because it would tarnish their relationship with Polyphony Digital.

GTPlanet is essentially the home of the Gran Turismo community, and officially endorsed by the Gran Turismo team. Leaking certain news would indirectly violate certain NDA’s and get members of the dev team fired – GTPlanet obviously get their info straight from Polyphony, and publishing the info about the track maker would mean someone at Polyphony violated an NDA and talked about something they shouldn’t have.

The comment also says that Polyphony Digital are very busy and don’t have time to support Gran Turismo 6 in a proper manner post-release, or supply meaningful, non-NDA violating pieces of news to GTPlanet – instead working on numerous projects at once, such as GT7, GT Sport, a standalone FIA GT game, and Tourist Trophy 2.

Wait, a standalone FIA GT game?

We don’t know about this.

GTR3This explains the FIA partnership announced last summer – obviously something has to come of this “long term agreement”, and it would only make sense that we’d see some sort of a game based around a large FIA series to kick things off. The classic Gran Turismo game is about car collecting, hardly something that would show off a license with the FIA.

I’m unsure as to what platform this’ll come out for, but given that it was mentioned alongside three other, very real projects in an effort to explain someone’s viewpoint on a completely different issue, and a Google search doesn’t warrant any previous results about a GT3 game from Polyphony Digital aside from the licensing partnership above, the cat’s out of the bag – prepare yourself for GTR 3.

Gran Turismo 6

Reader Submission #21 – Pretend Journalism

Today’s Reader Submission comes from Kurei, who’s attempting to explain why our URL has been silenced on at least one major driving game message board:

Long story short, found out about PRC after that one Empty Box video, been checking every now and then for the hilarity of the comments, as well as seeing “news” pop up there before other Sim Racing websites get to it – sometimes at least (Assetto Corsa coming to consoles, for example). Keep it up, the fact that people are getting upset and thinking over the stuff you guys bring up means something is working, and the longer it works, the more people will see the reality of things for themselves, and question whether something is wrong or right in the Sim Racing community.

Anyways, contacting you today, because I finally have something worth submitting, a ‘sort-of’ response as to why is censored over at RD. Late last night, I read the article about PRC being censored at RD, and decided “what the hell, let’s see if it’s censored in the “status updates” – Sure enough it is, which with my lack of sleep seemed a lot funnier then than it does now. But today after work, I logged-on to see if the update got any attention, and it did.
26VDjq0dR_T6nM1ODxY68TpzbUq_NMK3DXVjbV9zPcYInitially, it seems like that article you did about RD’s “financial troubles” may be the reason. Now obviously they haven’t said it is or isn’t on their side, but I responded with the same mentality as one of the other comments I saw on that article, nothing is stopping RD from hitting that ‘submit’ button and sharing their side of the story, and yes, PRC not contacting RD for their side isn’t “traditional journalism”, but this is The Internet, all kinds of crap doesn’t happen in the traditional sense anymore. But at least PRC is willing to bring-up things other sites won’t touch beyond their personal “shilling.”
Anyways, there you go, let’s see what kind of shit-storm this brews in the comments, if at all.

The quickest way to respond to this submission is to literally just re-post a comment someone else left, because it covers literally every single aspect of what you’ve brought up.

Some of the stuff we publish might be new and fresh to the average reader just getting into the community surrounding driving games as a whole, but it appears that sometimes we’re actually late to the party, and issues surrounding RaceDepartment that we’ve brought up, such as the way earnings are divided or series are governed, are common knowledge among veterans. I kept myself at an arms length when writing for them because that’s how I roll, and greatly enjoyed my time in their Brazilian Stock Car series, but when the Assetto Corsa penalty scandal exploded, suddenly I had a group of guys being like “oh by the way…” – And the names landing in my inbox weren’t just scrubs wanting to incite a virtual riot via, but dudes who all had decent reputations among the community, some of them at the highest level of Sim Racing, and most of their stories aligned with one another. At that point it’s like “okay, let’s run the story.”

For example, I myself live in a city known for our NHL team’s dominance in the late 1980’s. There have been several rumors about how out of control the drug usage is among professional hockey players, spread by several different trustworthy buddies who have run into certain players on our roster at popular bars and nightclubs. I’ve been saying since we all turned eighteen and these stories started getting around that there’s a cocaine problem within the NHL, and five years later, oh look, this might actually be the case. So when it comes to reporting on touchy subjects within the driving game community, a few trustworthy sources who’s stories all align is often enough to hit the throttle on publishing something controversial.

It’s cool if you want to censor our URL, but be warned that an oddly large amount of people use as an all-encompassing resource for driving games, and at some point you’re going to have to explain to that group why linking to us on certain forums isn’t allowed, and you’re going to have to explain it in a way that doesn’t make other users fly in a frenzy and compare you to a historical European leader. Once the firestorm is ignited, you’ll also have to handle these users in a way that doesn’t provoke other users to jump into the fray. Good luck!

We’re censored on RaceDepartment because yes, we posted some stuff where a Reader Submission drew attention to biased moderation and how earnings are shared amongst staff members, and it probably pissed a few people off. The fact that some commenters acted as if these issues are common knowledge to veterans of the community speaks volumes for the state of the website.

We’re censored on forums relating to Project CARS because we’ve drawn attention to numerous issues both within the game and with the immediate community surrounding it. Before the game’s launch, while hundreds of users would run around to every major driving game site to spread the gospel of pCars, we were the ones posting glitch videos and forum screenshots that indicated the game would be released in a less than stellar state. When the game was released and universally panned by people wondering what the fuck they just bought, we capped all their posts and posted a lengthy history of the game explaining why users were claiming it was the greatest racing sim ever despite hundreds of videos detailing glitches that hadn’t been fixed in over three years. When several patches failed to fix gamebreaking issues, we kept everybody updated on it while other sites bragged about how the soundtrack was available on iTunes. And when Ian Bell had several meltdowns within the game’s official forums, we were the only ones pointing out the sheer lunacy of it all.

I don’t think they took too kindly to being put on blast for shipping a broken game that appears to be nothing more than a marketing experiment, and wanted to ensure the final few remaining ass-kissers remained firmly in their grasp.

We’re censored on the iRacing forums because even if five of us sit down for an afternoon and all help write a 2,500 word essay on iRacing’s introductory oval racing vehicle, iRacing believes I have a strange vendetta against them and allows other users to run around spreading false information in an effort to discredit anything I attach my name to on the internet. They do not want people to catch wind of the fact that they charge several times more than the average PC game for interesting bugs, poorly-received updates, frustrated players, and server issues that shouldn’t be present in a game some people spend upwards of $800 on.

We’re censored on Reddit because the majority of r/SimRacing consists of both pCars and iRacing users.

I think that covers everything.

Reader Submission #20 – Censored?

Got an interesting email the other day from randomfaca. In it, he writes:

censoringOh buddy, we’re censored on more than just RaceDepartment.

We’re blocked on the Project CARS forum, as mods are quick to delete any post linking to us:

OneLinking to us on r/SimRacing requires a moderator approval. A recent post I made on the Porsche 962c for Assetto Corsa didn’t appear until several hours had passed:

ledditAnd yes, we’re censored on RaceDepartment:

RDI’ll leave it to the comments section to figure out why.

Reader Submission #19 – F1 2015 let me down, what else has been this bad?

Our first reader submission of the weekend comes from Nathan way over in the United Kingdom. After recently getting into driving sims and being let down by F1 2015, Nathan wants to know what other games dropped the ball this hard.

Hey guys, I’m not sure if the Submit feature is meant for these kids of posts, but I will try it anyways. I haven’t played driving sims for very long. I got into F1 2014 six months ago when it was discounted on Steam, and also bought Assetto Corsa and Project CARS to give me a little bit variety. Since I follow Formula One in real life, I bought F1 2015 yesterday.

It’s really bad but I guess you already made an entry on that. More glitches than the new Batman game that got pulled from Steam. I’m not the fastest but I like to think I’m a very clean driver, especially with AI cars (I treat them like they’re real people). Project CARS also has similar glitches, but I think F1 2015 is worse. The reviews on Steam have 70% of customers dissatisfied with the game. Go look if you don’t believe me.

F1Since I am new to this whole sim racing “scene”, I would like to know what other launch disasters there have been. I am not happy wasting money on a game like this.

Driving games, and racing sims in general, don’t receive the hype that your average Call of Duty or Halo title do, so there aren’t many crushing letdowns when it comes to pretend race cars. Most people just accept that a new title is shit, and go back to whatever game they were playing previously. When a new NASCAR game comes out and it’s predicitably shit, people go back to NASCAR Racing 2003 season. When a new F1 game comes out and it’s full of bugs, people go back to rFactor or Game Stock Car Extreme. When modern rally titles would ship with absurd amounts of Monster Energy ads and very little actual rallying, people booted up Richard Burns Rally.

But there are indeed a few games out there that really sucked ass.

testdrivett_005-largeTest Drive 6 was a special kind of brutal. I’m not sure if people remember this game (or if they do, the nostalgia goggles add a much-needed filter), but the Infogrames title was a huge step back compared to earlier games in the series. Back in the late 1990’s, both the Test Drive and Need for Speed series were on relatively equal footing. I think the sales were in EA’s favor, but objectively, both games had roughly the same positives and negatives. Infogrames also put out a killer spin-off game called with the same engine as the Test Drive series that received unanimous praise in an era where mainstream gaming sites weren’t paid off. There was also the series, but I personally remember those games more for the more than anything.

Anyways, Test Drive 6 was released and instantly relegated to the bargain bin. The only positive aspect I can remember is that the game’s intro included a Remix of the Gary Numan hit “Cars” by Fear Factory.

It’s not something I’ll add to my personal list of letdowns, but a lot of people hated DiRT 2 when it came out. While the simcade driving model was superb and it was one of the best racing games you could play on Xbox Live, the DiRT series, formerly known as Colin McRae Rally, had a reputation that carried over to the Xbox 360 with the first game in the DiRT series for being a hardcore rally sim, eventually expanding to multiple types of off-road racing. A lot of people hoped DiRT 2 was going to be this killer off-road title that put racing games on the map, and instead it was tangibly dumbed down for the Call of Duty audience. Track design was incredibly simple regardless of the racing discipline you selected, and the game was essentially a big Monster Energy advertisement. I was seventeen when the game came out so I predictably ate it up, but many people found the revitalized presentation beyond obnoxious and most agreed it was the death of the Colin McRae Rally series.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is the first modern game that really shocked me as to how bad a game could land in the hands of a consumer. The original game, released in 2006 (I think) was this huge open world racing game that took place on a 1:1 scale island of Oahu – in fact the local Hawaiian news even did a segment on how accurately the island was portrayed. The game was a huge hit, had tons of online functionality, a really good roster of DLC, and even had a Hardcore Mode for wheel users wanting to take advantage of the newer racing wheels landing on the market at that time.

TDU2 was supposed to be bigger and better, as is expected with all sequels. Not only would the game include a revitalized Oahu, but an entirely new second island, Ibiza, off the coast of Spain. I bought the game for myself and two of my buddies as the hype train promised a killer open world arcade racer with tons of PVP aspects, and it ended up being a buggy mess. The car roster was considerably smaller than the first game, a problem magnified by the obvious lack of certain marquee licenses and strange omissions from notable manufacturers already present. The story mode, centering around an illegal street racing ring, was cringeworthy, especially as these characters nagged you to race them while casually free-roaming around the map. Cruising with your friends was a challenge due to the game’s problematic servers failing to keep you connected for more than a few minutes at a time, and online matchmaking rarely found you anyone to race with as there were simply too many tracks and car classes that split up the userbase. Most people didn’t own enough different vehicles or had progressed far enough into the game to be matched up with each other.

And the PVP aspects, known as Car Clubs, were broken at launch and not implemented until three months after the game had released and most players had already returned the game to the store. For myself and my two buddies who lived down the street, we tried embrace the PVP feature, only to find it was a hasty last minute addition where you couldn’t even restrict car classes to ensure a fair race. We’d often enter into a match with a rival clan, only to find that they were all little kids using one of the DLC Bugatti Veyron’s that was added to your garage for free after spending a meager 160 Microsoft points, or $2.00. When the kiddies got bored of club races, the preferred PVP car that everyone unanimously agreed upon was a fully upgraded Subaru Impreza, and that’s when we began to climb the club leaderboards according to my Facebook profile from four years ago.

176724_1485905608110_3773568_oThere were other issues, too. The DLC added nothing of value to the game, in some cases the additional cars were mere palette swaps of cars already in the game, such as the Synergy Camaro. The game suffered from a cycle of never-ending patches that added new bugs while fixing old ones, and the Community Race Center, where you could create your own layouts within the game world and allow people to fight for leaderboard times, had an issue where you could charge an entrance fee several times higher than the payout of the event, effectively allowing veterans of the game to screw people over who didn’t read the event information carefully. The whole game was just really bad, and according to someone who used to be in the closed beta, Atari just flat-out didn’t care.

287664Anything from Slightly Mad Studios should get a mention, although I admittedly haven’t spend nearly enough time with both Shift games or Ferrari Racing Legends to elaborate about the precise ways in which they were broken. I know Shift on consoles had really terrible controls, and the PC version suffered from input lag, poor optimization, and needed several patches to unfuck, but the massive hype from being a Need for Speed title allowed the hype train to gloss over all these issues with several bought reviews that in no way reflect how the game actually plays once it’s in your console. Evidence of this is in the many video reviews of the title, where reviewers praise the handling model and AI while footage shows them helplessly crashing into every trackside object and getting run over by other opponents.

I think the biggest letdown goes to NASCAR The Game 2011 by Eutechnyx. I’ve had to type out the following few paragraphs numerous times over the years, so my most sincere apologies if you’ve read this before:

Once EA Sports secured the exclusive license to make NASCAR games after a string of phenomenal NASCAR console releases, EA promptly sent the best and brightest of the Tiburon Studios NASCAR team across the hall to work on the Madden NFL series. The quality of the oval racing games slowly declined, and EA Sports lost the exclusive license after the release of NASCAR 09. NASCAR fans went two years without a game while the license changed hands, and the new rights owner was a small company in Europe by the name of Eutechnyx. The initial trailer impressed even the harshest critics of the EA games, and most believed we were ushering in a golden age for oval racing fans, as iRacing was still relatively new and incredibly pricey compared to what else was on the market.

Instead, we got this:

The game couldn’t live up to the ridiculous hype that Activision and Eutechnyx had generated in the months leading up to release, and when someone got their hands on the game a few days early, the first livestream by a very pissed off customer merely hinted at the years of despair that would follow. The game was barely above the quality of a shovelware title, and users quickly took to the official forums to voice their displeasure with some of the most ridiculous glitches ever to grace a driving game. As you can see in the video above, the game is virtually unplayable. People who drew attention to the sorry state the game released in were promptly labelled as trolls and banned. None of these issues have been fixed, the game received three sequels all with roughly the same amount of bugs, and most people who consider themselves NASCAR fans have bitten the bullet and signed up for iRacing.

I think that’s everything off the top of my head. Might be missing Gran Turismo 5, so maybe a PS3 owner can fill me in on what went wrong there.

Gran Turismo 6

Reader Submission #18 – Turning Shift 2 Unleashed into Gran Turismo for the PC

Another fantastic reader submission has come in from Joel all the way over in Portugal, detailing how to turn Shift 2 Unleashed into a PC version of Gran Turismo with several extensive mods found on

Thank you for your work and honest, fun to read posts on your site. It’s been my reading source for all sim/racing related games for some time now.

“What’s the closest you can have to a Gran Turismo or Forza on PC?” 

This question bugged my mind since back in the days (1999/2000) when I would go to my friend’s house just to play GT1 and GT2 on an old Sony PlayStation. I had only a PC, and thankfully my parents never gave me a console. The downside was, there was nothing like Gran Turismo for the PC. And when I say “Gran Turismo for the PC”, I’m looking for a game that has all of these features under one roof:

  • Career Mode
  • Buying and Selling Cars
  • Upgrading Cars
  • Tuning Options
  • Large list of cars and tracks
  • Good sound, graphics, physics, and car damage
  • Cockpit View

Now there are a reasonable list of games including some of the listed features above, but never all at once. For example:

  • Sega GT
  • Evolution GT (which was total crap)
  • TOCA Race Driver
  • Grid
  • Need for Speed Underground, High Stakes and Porsche Unleashed
  • Both NFS Shift titles

The closest I got to building a GT for PC was with Shift 2, heavily modded of course. For those who played it, you’ll remember the boats on ice handling mode, with suicidal AI, input lag, bugs, and overall inconsistency. Luckily, the modding community saw potential in the title and ended up fixing most of the problems, overhauling the game completely.

SHIFT2_Unleashed_Mercedes-Benz_SLR_McLaren_Stirling_Moss_01And here was the list of steps I took to turn Shift 2 into Gran Turismo for the PC. It’s a really easy process, although be warned it takes some time and a LOT of hard drive space):

  1. Obtain a copy of Shift 2, preferably through Origin as it contains all DLC packs
  2. Sign up for because this is where you’ll be getting all your mods
  3. Install the Unofficial Community Patch
  4. Install the Career Mod
  5. Instal v1.79 of the the Polish Tyre Mod

shift-2-unleashed-06I think I had my Shift 2 Unleashed install set up like this, without the Career mod though because I just want to explore what the game has to offer without being restricted as to what I can drive, and where I can drive it.  I have mixed opinions on Shift 2. The game itself was horrible, but the list of content was second to none, featured every major manufacturer, and one of the most complete track rosters in any title that called itself a racing sim up to that point. I think they were trying to mix GTR 2 with Gran Turismo, but as Slightly Mad Studios were the ones in charge, it instead resulted in a game with quality assurance issues.

It’s good to see there’s still a community around it and the mods I’m familiar with have been updated since the last time I’ve tried it, might have to give it another shot.