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How did I get into sim racing

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nick Brooke, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Nick Brooke

    Nick Brooke

    For me it was a long and slow process to be honest and it starts when I was 9 years old and a console made by a company called Binatone called The TV Master. This console was one of the very first of its kind in the UK and had 8 game variants of Pong. I had many long happy days messing with this console and this is what got me hooked into games in the first place. In a way you could call me a trail blazer because no one else I knew had one or indeed had any interest whatsoever in playing games at that time. This was circa 1976 and now all these years on look at what the games industry has become.

    binatone_tv-master-mk-8_1.jpg Moving on from this I had a ZX 81, and later an Intellivision which was marketed as the first 3D console. Later followed Speccy 48k and of course the Commodore 64. This of course is where my love for racing games really began with games like Outrun and Pitstop. I guess at the time however adventure games and shooters were my real love however and it was not until the Megadrive I really started my road war. Titles such as Road Rash, Super Monaco, Outrun again, Ferrari GP Challenge all had me hooked then along came this:

    vr2.jpg Wow this was so 3D at the time and really rocked the racing game world. Seriously everyone who enjoyed racers wanted this and I was no different. What could top this game? I remember at the time thinking there is not much more they can do to get things more realistic than this. 1993 saw the release of the coin op legend that was Daytona USA. I remember going down to the Tracadero in London because they had an 8 player hook up there and spending over £200 in two days just playing this. Man this games was like nothing you could get at that time in the home market and it was out of this world.

    448px-Sega_Daytona_USA_Arcarde.jpg This as you know ended up being converted to the Sega Saturn a couple of years later and you can bet your bottom dollar I bought it and played it for hours and hours and hours. Namco on the other hand had Ridge Racer which I never really warmed to due to its silly sliding about on tarmac which at the time I found quite unrealistic although it eventually found its way into my games collection.
    The years are falling away and Need For Speed Crusin USA and Sega Rally took a lot of my spare time much to my Girl friends disapproval. With the arrival of my new PC a whopping P200 which at the time far outweighed its competitors Mr Crammond beckoned with the legend that is
    Oh yes this WAS racing and far better than anything that has previously been available not due to graphics but due to gameplay. Gameplay was a sim and really in my memory was the first attempt at a proper sim although GP1 came before it was not up to this standard.
    There was no "arcade" mode in Grand Prix II, per se, but it included the ability to turn on and off such things as indestructibility. There were seven major functions called "driving aids" that could be turned on or off: steering help, braking help, automatic turn-around (has the car face forward after a crash), indestructibility, racing line help, automatic shifting and traction control. The game had five levels of difficulty one could choose from, and the higher the level, the less options for driving aids one could turn on or off.
    There also is a "Quickrace" function that lets the player jump into a race without having to go through the perfunctory qualifying session. The quickrace option was customizable, allowing a player to race as many laps as desired and allow the player to set their grid position.
    Personally there was not much more that sparked my interest until I bought Codemasters TOCA 2 well after release on console. My PC time was now spent playing shooters such as quake and Unreal and my racing gaming had ceased.

    Years went on and now I played games such as Golf and shooters and not much else although I occasionally got my shabby playstation out for a spot of racing. World Of Warcraft grabbed me too for a while and then I saw an advert for Racedriver Grid and figured it was time to bring out my racing side once more.
    Grid for the most part was of course far more arcade than anything else but it did indeed place me well and truly back in racing mode. I started playing other titles I had previously missed and spent some time racing in team events via team sites such as team BEER and Pheonixians . Good times were had by all but after the terrible driving that happens online after a game has been released a while I gave this up. I wanted to race but not like this, not when every corner meant I was going to be placed into a wall or a spin. I set about looking for somewhere to go that played fair and wanted to do the right thing, I found RaceDepartment. I was instantly attracted to the quality of not only the site but also the staff and how they acted. This was a place I could stay I felt and so spent £100s getting as many of the games they played as I could.

    What game dragged you into sim racing?
  2. Tom Van Put

    Tom Van Put

    aaah, GrandPrix 2...the first race game I ever played, with a keyboard of course :)
  3. Valerio Vinassa

    Valerio Vinassa
    PrestoGP Veteran

    GrandPrix and GrandPrix 2 yes m8 with the keyboard fantastic games:)
  4. Nick Brooke

    Nick Brooke

    I still have my copy of GP2 and yup keyboard was really the only way to drive. I did try with a joystick but i always crashed to easy
  5. Chris Butcher

    Chris Butcher
    Red Bull Gridsters 2012 Champion

    "World Of Warcraft grabbed me too for a while"Those words are like acid to my eyes! Other than that, good read :p
  6. Adrian Britton

    Adrian Britton

    Argh! ha ha haI remember those day, there old school, classic retro games.I used to spend a small fortune at the arcades on Hard Drivin and Out run!Wow! those were the days of hard core graphics and super render skins ha ha ha:D
  7. Sk3ptik0n


    Recently I have been daydreaming about how I would have reacted if someone appeared to my 15 years old self back in 1975 with a modern cockpit, wheel and game, such as rfactor, GTR2 or iRacing and sat me down to play.I doubt that even my young hearth would have been able to overcome the joy and amazement. I'd probably would have just sat shellshocked for a few hours before I could believe my eyes. Some young kids today look at iRacing and complain about the graphics. I can only shake my head and think back at my younger self and what my reaction would have been. Unlike many folks, I always felt a disconnect between what was on the covers of the videogames of the various eras and what appeared on screen during gameplay. We are now getting to a point where using screen grabs for cover art is really not out of the question and some games actually look a bit better than reality (at least youtube reality).But I keep going back to what would have crossed my mind all those years back if I could have played iRacing or even just GTL (of course,the cars would have been "modern" for the most part)
  8. Richard Coleman

    Richard Coleman

    Toca 2 was where I started many years ago now. Still got it somewhere. haha.
  9. Omer Said

    Omer Said
    Weresloth Staff

    Great read Nick thanks! And no one is sorry for you will stay here :wink:

    I also started with TOCA 2 :), i still have it's CD. It had split screen 4 players multiplayer and i had so much fun with the friends...Oh good old days...
  10. Dave Begley

    Dave Begley
    dave1968uk Premium

    I had GP1 for the Amiga and built myself an Analog steering wheel out of hardboard, some spare wires, old mouse buttons and 2 pots from Tandy Electronics.
  11. Raido


    Pole Position I in the arcades was probably the first game that fired up the racing bug (played it until I got the highscore in my city ) and then came REVS on the BBC and in my case, the C64. This was around 1983, and it was the first game that had actual simulation leanings more than it was arcade. Only later, Crammond's Grand Prix came along (another breakthrough) and then of course GPL as The Sim To Rule Them All. :tongue:
  12. Ray Lilley

    Ray Lilley

    Not ever really being a game player but never away from a PC from 80's it was Revs for me. Then nothing until the dying moments of Grid servers.

    I came here to RD when searching for an alternative fix. Decided upon the Race series. Only now does the learning begin.
  13. Gilles da Silva

    Gilles da Silva

    I did the Spectrum, Atari, MTX route before getting a "real" computer. I'm sure I must have played a lot of racing games on these revolutionary machines but I can't remember a single one prior to Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix. GP One was good, but it was Grand Prix 2 that convinced me that with just a little bit (OK, quite a lot) of imagination, I could actually drive a powerful race car around a life-like replica of the worlds most famous race tracks! As great as GP2 was (and undoubtedly the catalyst), I'd have to say I preferred SCGT for it's incredibly close and fun racing. I still have all of the many, many racing sims (not games!) I have bought since GP2, but it's rFactor and the Simbin titles that rule the roost now. And the good news is that sims will only get better! (And for the record: Consoles don't work! They are the condoms of the sim-racing world! )
  14. Steven Ciofalo

    Steven Ciofalo

    Hard Drivin' from the sega genesis. Interstate76' on the early PC (1997) Richard Burns Rally is the one that made me buy a wheel. GTR2 and rFactor came later and that's where I am at currently.
  15. Ross McGregor

    Ross McGregor

    My first 'sim' experience was Indy 500 in 1995/6, (although it came out in 1989 or something) it was very difficult to set your car up for a race (i was only 11 or 12 years old to be fair!) but i enjoyed causing pileups and watching them on the snazzy replays! I had Virtua Racing Deluxe on the 32x, followed by Sega Rally on the Saturn, so that was probably my first foray into console racing. Later moved onto the Toca games & Gran Tursimo, ('97) but never really touched a proper 'sim' despite being a huge motorsport fan. (The price of a new PC being quite constrictive)In 2009 however, i had a semi-decent desktop PC with a ok(ish) gfx card, so i bought GTR Evolution and played it with an XBox pad for about a year here at RD, before buying rFactor & GTL at the beginning of 2010, and finally getting a wheel & pedals in March of that year. Needless to say i was underwhelmed by both Gran Turismo 5 & Forza 3's efforts after being immersed in simracing for only a few months.
  16. Daniel Monteiro

    Daniel Monteiro

    i first played rally cross for the ps1 at a friend's and totally fell in love with rallying and cars. i was given the ps1 with rally cross for christmas, and a bit later came along gran turismo 1... every 90's kid has more or less the same story from that moment on ;)
  17. Mark Mendonca

    Mark Mendonca

    Team "BEER" ? That wouldn't be Phil Helmers team now would that? I ran with BEER when I first started with FSR (Formula Sim Racing) using EA F1 and the Red MOMO. We used to race off line then submit our VCR's. GPL grabbed me about the same time. PC became outdated and I hung up my gloves for a while. Bought a kick ass CPU/GPU combo and 3 screen setup last year and have been rFactoring it primarily with the 92 MOD. Great bunch of guys in the rFactor Club. Have also gone to the dark side (iRacing) but you know I kind of like it. You show up you don't have to worry about anything and I haven't had one DISCO or BSOD yet. Choices are limited, you have to pay for any new track or car after you purchase the base setup. Graphics are awesome, FF is great. Plus the sponsors are putting up $$$ for them. I always said it would come to this.