GTR Is Set For A Revival

For those who have been around sim racing since the early 2000’s, the GTR series of titles are ones which are firmly etched on the brain.

For many, they are the titles that launch them into the world of sim racing in the first place. From GTR and GTR 2 through to GTR Evolution, the titles stood for realism and brought the world of FIA GT racing into our homes.

Join the conversation in the new GTR Revival forum here

For the last several years, there have been rumours, speculation and the occasional screenshot regarding a proposed GTR 3. However, these have been few and far between and have since dwindled into the background once more.

Today, an announcement has appeared which is completely out of the blue. @Ian Bell once head of Slightly Mad Studios and part of the original GTR development team, tweeted the news that he is working on a new title; GTR Revival.

Not only that, there are several other members of the original development team involved too including; Stephen Viljoen, Andy Garton, Stephen Baysted, Henrik Roos, Johan Roos and Vik Klomiets.

As far as the sim itself is concerned, there are no specific details just yet, but Ian Bell has promised that it will be a hardcore, no compromise title.


Will this be the GTR sequel that we have all been waiting for? Share your thoughts with us below as we await more information on GTR Revival.

(This is a developing story, more soon)

Updates

  • RaceDepartment asked Johan Roos (ex-Simbin) for a quote if the above tweet is true and he replied: "Well I do not deny it but cannot comment any further than Ian already has written and that it sounds like one hell of a game by one hell of a crew".
About author
Phil Rose
A passionate sim racer with over 20 years of virtual and real world motorsport experience, I am the owner and lead content creator at Sim Racing Bible as well as a writer here at RaceDepartment. I love all forms of motorsport, especially historic motorsport, but when it comes to sim racing, I will drive anything!
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Also, again Reiza is spending 3 years doing "physics research" on the madness engine. People dare to compare this with actually making the whole game and the miriad of content that PCars2 had in a shorter time frame.

That's a bloody good point. And quite honestly, I jump from AMS2 to PC2 as my two most played sims (b/c of the career modes I had to create for them) and I don't feel enough of a difference to crush one and deify the other. One has an engine with 3 years development and the other has 6 years, it damn well better be more advanced! Not to mention that AMS2 had spent two years with diffs that were completely wrong b/c of a "syntax error".

(Don't get me wrong, I've been a backer of Reiza since AMS1 was announced and will continue to support them.)
 
We now have to put our heads down and make a killer app, but what's on the drawing board is pretty awesome and we put a lot of thought into not falling prey to trends or feature sets that have diminishing returns.
I can't say I'm not intrigued by a prospect of a modern GTR remake. The old GTR2 set so many milestones that no other racing sim since surpassed as a whole package. A modern remake would certainly give the sim racing community a breath of fresh air. Reading this post makes me kinda more hopeful that a serious effort to produce one will actually be put forward. However at the same time I'm somewhat worried by this last sentence about diminishing returns... I sincerey hope for the dev team to not start cutting corners when game features are in question - those were the foundation of GTR2 greatness.
 
Interesting comment on GTP:

I advised on the original project Cars game, along with a few others (most notably Ben Collins).

My communication with Ian was mostly done online, so I can't really speak of how he actually behaves in person. That being said, him and I had butted heads a lot. I was subsequently not invited to work on project Cars 2, which actually started development before the first game's release. I know some people would simply say that the man over promises and under delivers, but I suspect there's more to it than that. He promises one thing, but actually has an entirely different set of goals in mind. He doesn't under deliver - he actually hits his mark when he wants to, but it's usually not the one you originally thought he was aiming for. He has what one might call 'alternative motives'.

I'm not a game developer, or a business executive. I'm a racing driver, so I was under the impression that my involvement in the project was to maximize the factors within the game relative to my domain, while constructively criticizing elements that seemingly steered the experience away from the fundamental ideals of the project. What I got wrong was what those ideals and objectives were, which (as it turns out) had nothing to do with what I had to offer.

I wish Ian and the crew good luck, and good fortune. As a potential customer, I want to see their projects succeed. Let's hope they can make it.


 
Johnr777
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Picking up on what Austin just posted, i think people wrongly assume Ian Bell "plays" in the same league as Stefano Casillo, Renato Simioni or Marcel O. But the truth is, Ian Bell was a head of a big studio, a much bigger affair than the projects of these other heads of studions. Ian Bell is NOT a programmer, nor does he get involved personally in the details of the product, because there were in the past whole teams, and senior personal to take up that role.

In Motorsports terms, Ian Bell is a Ron Dennis. He comes up with the cash, hires the people available that he sees are most fit for the job, and lets them do their work. Unfortunately, the price to pay for this is that indeed he will be "blamed", since he is the most public figure, but he is not there coding the thing himself, or doing physics, or designing the game progression, etc.
Man… just pure gold out of you.

Being head of a studio or a project is the biggest responsibility one person can have, and yes the right person to blame if things go sour. It’s called mismanagement at the top.
 
Johnr777
Premium
Looking at this from a sports team angle is probably the more rational viewpoint. I miss the PRC days and the performative theatre of bantering with Ian as well, but once you see inside the machine, your perspective changes a lot.

10 pages in and you'd think Ian Bell was the sole person on the staff at SMS, responsible for everything from coding the tire model to the force feedback, writing the Fast & Furious game's story, & designing the grindy career mode for pCars 3.

The CEO assembles the "roster" in good faith and makes high level financial deals. They are a sports team owner and their "season" is their game's release + post release plan. They are Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, etc.

All sports team owners are going to brag about how good their team is for the upcoming season, just as Ian talks up future projects.

Unfortunately, just as the Indianapolis Colts discovered Andrew Luck was injury prone and maybe not as good as he was in college, SMS found out the hard way that maybe the guy who designed OnRush and Driveclub, wasn't the best free agent signing; despite having a solid resume + references, being friendly, super organized and having an awesome work ethic, he fundamentally misunderstood the assignment of "make a spiritual successor to Shift 2" and left the company with a game suffering from a hodgepodge of conflicting ideas that had no target audience and nobody had any idea how to promote. This is not insider info but something you can figure out just by reading the credits of Driveclub, OnRush, and then pCars 3 in that order.

This is just the nature of team sports and creative projects. Yes, it sucks for the fans, and I fully understand. I live in Edmonton and see the best hockey player in the world on a billboard or poster every other block, only to watch us get knocked out of the playoffs year after year.

Ian by comparison getting funding to make a sequel to GTR 2, with the classic group that worked on the game and some internet turboautist that obsessively nitpicks racing sims (hi), means he's done his job as CEO quite well. And he's done this in a climate where one company run by Russians with connections to Miami fraudsters are running around snatching up racing licenses with next to no intentions of building the games they've announced, and just sort of hope nobody notices.

We now have to put our heads down and make a killer app, but what's on the drawing board is pretty awesome and we put a lot of thought into not falling prey to trends or feature sets that have diminishing returns.
Look at the latest steam charts… certain studios dominate at the top and stay there, sometimes even on 8+ year technology (or roster, like in your sports metaphor)

Maybe it’s time for your Edmonton Oilers to adopt a Tampa Bay culture and start showing results. But this twitter non-sense of “balls to the walls” promises is just like another Edmonton Oilers pre-season that will be all talk.
 
I can't say I'm not intrigued by a prospect of a modern GTR remake. The old GTR2 set so many milestones that no other racing sim since surpassed as a whole package. A modern remake would certainly give the sim racing community a breath of fresh air. Reading this post makes me kinda more hopeful that a serious effort to produce one will actually be put forward. However at the same time I'm somewhat worried by this last sentence about diminishing returns... I sincerey hope for the dev team to not start cutting corners when game features are in question - those were the foundation of GTR2 greatness.
Diminishing returns refers to features that had a lot of time put into them, but nobody ended up using.

Good example, pC2's built-in league functionality. Similar to EA Sports games, you could set up custom online leagues, within the game.

This had an enormous amount of time and resources put into it, only for us to realize that nobody used it because sim racers were perfectly happy running their leagues externally via Discord or on sites like RD. In fact, they were so happy with running leagues externally, they began building their own apps to bypass any sort of ingame tool SMS created - I'm talking about SRS and SimRacingGP. Discord leagues also allow the same group of guys to jump from game to game, which happens a lot because a lot of sim racers own a lot of different racing sims, and want to play them all at some point. The time spent on the pC2 league tool that nobody used, could have been better allocated elsewhere.

pC3, online racing has a "quick match" feature similar to Call of Duty. You press the button, it seeds you in the next available room with a random track and car for pick up and play racing like the PGR days. We wasted resources and man hours on this, knowing full well that iRacing's format of scheduled start times is how people play racing games now. And that we probably wouldn't even have a userbase big enough to support quickmatch working as intended.

Those little decisions, can buy you time to improve or implement things people actually do want.
 
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Diminishing returns refers to features that had a lot of time put into them, but nobody ended up using.

Good example, pC2's built-in league functionality. Similar to EA Sports games, you could set up custom online leagues, within the game.

This had an enormous amount of time and resources put into it, only for us to realize that nobody used it because sim racers were perfectly happy running their leagues externally via Discord or on sites like RD. In fact, they were so happy with running leagues externally, they began building their own apps to bypass any sort of ingame tool SMS created - I'm talking about SRS and SimRacingGP. Discord leagues also allow the same group of guys to jump from game to game, which happens a lot because a lot of sim racers own a lot of different racing sims, and want to play them all at some point. The time spent on the pC2 league tool that nobody used, could have been better allocated elsewhere.

pC3, online racing has a "quick match" feature similar to Call of Duty. You press the button, it seeds you in the next available room with a random track and car for pick up and play racing like the PGR days. We wasted resources and man hours on this, knowing full well that iRacing's format of scheduled start times is how people play racing games now.

Those little decisions, can buy you time to improve or implement things people actually do want.
Talking about PC3 and wasted time... Now that was some wasted time, not a feature but a whole racegame; all wasted time. That was not a little decision, but a huge one. Who decided to create an racegame for kids? Instead of improving PC2(which also had huge flaws, but it was solvable which is now proven by AMS2). Is there any info about that? I still can't get my mind around this subject.
 
Talking about PC3 and wasted time... Now that was some wasted time, not a feature but a whole racegame; all wasted time. That was not a little decision, but a huge one. Who decided to create an racegame for kids? Instead of improving PC2(which also had huge flaws, but it was solvable which is now proven by AMS2). Is there any info about that? I still can't get my mind around this subject.
Ian's drive to get away from any type of publisher speaks volumes.
 
Man… just pure gold out of you.

Being head of a studio or a project is the biggest responsibility one person can have, and yes the right person to blame if things go sour. It’s called mismanagement at the top.
Considering the various franchises he spearheaded sold millions of copies, some of it's titles are still revered and played today, and the madness engine is a powerhouse for racing games, i wonder what is this vile crime the man is guilty of...
 
Considering the various franchises he spearheaded sold millions of copies, some of it's titles are still revered and played today, and the madness engine is a powerhouse for racing games, i wonder what is this vile crime the man is guilty of...
The Motorsport Games debacle should help put Ian's career in the sim racing industry, into the appropriate perspective.
 
Those little decisions, can buy you time to improve or implement things people actually do want.
Yes, decisions about features people actually do want is a good way of not overstreaching the development effort and end with a half baked game. On the point of the two mentioned I agree - they seem superflous.
As far as I'm concerned there are 4 types of features one can implement in a racing sim: physics features (how cars drive and interact with their environment + FFB), environment features (weather, day cycle), gameplay features (what a player can do with the game, like custom championship, racing rulesets, driver swaps, yellow flag + AI), and then the system features. I consider both mentioned above to fall in this latter category (as would motec support, live telemetry channels to hook on peripherals, streaming tools, netcode, mod support, online ranking...)
I guess GTR2 was well received and is still relevant (if now dated) because it struck a good balance of features from all 4 categories. That and a focus regarding content (cars, tracks, timeframe covered).

I wish and hope this game would be a true modern GTR2 successor, with focus regarding content (1990-2005/2010 would fit nicely, no? So many cherries to pick from ;), rich gameplay features, solid physics and varied environment. An AI that isn't just an afterthought. I wish the dev team a happy hand in making it. And if and when it's released, a good marketing strategy to attract and KEEP players and a commitment to long-term game development. We don't need a new game every year or bianually. Sell us some DLCs instead!
There, my 2 cents... Can't sleep tonight because my dog has diarhea and is begging going out all the time...
Regards, Tinman
 
If this turns true.... it´s because I was a believer, if it isn´t ..... I left believing six months ago. xx
 
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