Vrombr - First Remote Reality Racing game for smartphone in 5G

An interesting press release popped up in The RaceDepartment Mailbox this morning with the announcement that Vrombr is going to Kickstarter in an attempt to fund the further development of the Remote Reality Racing game for mobile.

In recent years we have seen a few attempts at setting up a Remote Reality Racing experience with drones but this time it's time to race cars. Please check out the PR below and lets us know your thoughts. Could this potentially be the future of sim racing?

Polyptik develops Vrombr, the first racing game for smartphones in which everything is real, the cars, the tracks, the scenery. Players take control of 1:10th scale cars to compete against other players from around the world, directly from their smartphone, in races from 2 to 30 players. With a 5G connection, latency is minimal and the experience is enhanced with additional options.

Vrombr is governed by the laws of physics and not by a pre-programmed computer and that changes everything. The game experience has never been seen through the screen of a smartphone and provides a new sensation. The objective: to cross the finish line while avoiding the opponents’ twisted moves.

In a 4 player race for example, one player is in Miami, another in Berlin, the third in Sydney and the last in Santiago de Chile. They are all connected to the same race, to a real car each, running on the same track which is located in France near Lyon, all thanks to the power of their 5G connection.

Accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, players compete on 5 types of tracks with 5 types of cars. They will be able to improve their vehicles by obtaining options to enhance their performance.
The best players will qualify for esports events through which they will try to win the cash prize. In addition, a PC version is also planned.

The facilities that will house the tracks will be connected to a 100% renewable energy supplier in order to limit the impact on the environment. The company aims to eventually equip the roof of its facilities with photovoltaic panels to generate at least 50% of the energy needed to operate the tracks.


What means Remote Reality?​

It is the principle of taking control of an object remotely and in real time thanks to a video stream and a stream of commands. Through the «eyes» of the object, the player is able to control it thanks to virtual buttons located on the screen of his smartphone (or PC). This principle will be widely democratized in the coming years thanks to 5G, and represents without any doubt one of the possible futures of gaming.

Remote Reality Racing League​

Vrombr will be accessible to all on a freemium model and will have its own esport section with a dedicated league, called Remote Reality Racing League (RRRL). At the end of each season of one month, the best drivers are automatically qualified to compete for a cash prize. Each year, the best drivers of the whole season are qualified to compete in a live event. Beyond the cash prize, the best drivers will compete for entry into the 1st division of the league where professional sim racers will compete.

World champion sim racing ambassadors​

Making the link between the virtual and the real is one of Vrombr’s missions. That’s why two world sim racing champions have decided to be Vrombr’s ambassadors. Alexandre ‘Asix’ Arnou, 2x world champion on Forza Motorsport and Rayan ‘Miura’ Derrouiche, world champion on Gran Turismo in 2019 are taking on this role and will give their time to face players on Vrombr and show that they are just as skilled with real cars. To confront them, nothing could be easier, participate in the crowdfunding campaign launched by Polyptik.

A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter​

In November 2020, the company organized a first event that led about thirty professionals from Sydney to San Francisco, passing through Singapore, Bangkok, Monaco, Paris, Enstone and Miami, to drive in real time a car that was in Lyon, France, on a mini track built for the occasion. The technology developed has been validated by offering a low enough latency to allow such a first. The concept (driving cars remotely) and its interest, have also been validated by professionals from the world of gaming, esports, Formula 1 or Telecoms.

In order to finance further developments and to be able to set up the first tracks and release an alpha version of Vrombr, Polyptik is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which allows to involve the community in the creation process and to create a game with the players, for the players.

The Kickstarter campaign will run from April 20 to May 20 and you can back it here
About author
Bram Hengeveld
I started sim racing back in 1987 at the age of 12 on the legendary MSX home computer, quickly advancing to MSX 2, Commodore Amiga and then found my happy place at DOS and Windows PC

Founded RaceDepartment.com back in 2006. Ran the world's first esports racing series the Virtual World Touring Car Championship for Simbin & Eurosport in 2008. Assisted in creating groundbreaking real-time racing GPS technology for iOpener Media in 2010. Official partner to the SRO Esports GT Series in 2019 and 2020. Co-founded Simracing.GP in 2020.

Most played racing games: Konami's F1 Spirit , Geoff Crammond's GP, GP2, GP3, GP4, GTR, DTM Race Driver Series, Live for Speed, GTR 2, rFactor, RACE Series, Assetto Corsa (Competizione), Automobilista (2).

Comments

No sir! :) During our tests, people from Sydney to San Francisco took control of a car which was based in Lyon France. They did it with their smartphone, and the latency was good enough to allow these guys piloting the car.
We may organize another test in 1vs1 mode early May, are you in?
Glad to hear that, but even the idea is promising and i wish the best future for your platform.
The main issue here is not on your side, is in the network interconnection routes.
If in your test some people was able to play with 150-200 ping ( i dont know the precise, but by my personal experience playing with Aus and US people, this probably are close to the real numbers) maybe for some kind of races the experience gonna be good enough if you keep the car under controll all time ( but probably retake control after a loose traction aint gonna be easy), but a race with lots of random people trying to win with delay in "what is happening in the race" and even more delay in "how many time takes my reaction to reach the car"... in any Sim this kind of situation is just uncomfortable but even in the worst case scenario the pit guys fix it without any cost, in real life car damage is real and fix need more than press a button , so i dont wanna you guys fail in this awesome project cos the bad behaviour of drivers, and if something add extra spice to the bad behaviour is the "e-sports" tag ( high toxicity levels are tied to any game tagged as e-sports unfortunately).

About the tests... yeah im pretty curious about your platform and im in if you dont mind i use bluestacks and the steam controller or maybe my driving wheel instead a mobile phone, age is a bitch and pc screen beats mobile phone tiny screens without mercy :D.

Regards.
PD: Sorry in advance cos my weird english but i learn english watching Tarantino movies mother****er!
 
You got it! there is a camera onboard (and hopefully a 360° POV so you can check on your sides and behind) and you see the video stream on your smartphone screen! what do you think? :)

TBH I am more interested in the tech than the game, I think it is very difficult to control an RC car moving at speed from a camera POV, I have seen footage recorded by friends in the past and you are going to need some serious image stabilisation to make it feel fluid especially for if off road.

What chassis and turn motors are you using, something like a 21.5 or faster? I would also assume that a gyro will be installed to help keep the cars pointing the right way.

Its an interesting concept, but I'd rather go to my local track and race my own toy car ;)

You should make the racers pay for breakages btw :)
 
It would have been nice to see more than a few seconds of racing at a time as opposed to what I saw. I did not see enough to be interested to be honest, though the actual concept is something I have thought about for years.

Good on the devs for trying to make the idea come to fruition.

Just give us more actual race footage.
 
Glad to hear that, but even the idea is promising and i wish the best future for your platform.
The main issue here is not on your side, is in the network interconnection routes.
If in your test some people was able to play with 150-200 ping ( i dont know the precise, but by my personal experience playing with Aus and US people, this probably are close to the real numbers) maybe for some kind of races the experience gonna be good enough if you keep the car under controll all time ( but probably retake control after a loose traction aint gonna be easy), but a race with lots of random people trying to win with delay in "what is happening in the race" and even more delay in "how many time takes my reaction to reach the car"... in any Sim this kind of situation is just uncomfortable but even in the worst case scenario the pit guys fix it without any cost, in real life car damage is real and fix need more than press a button , so i dont wanna you guys fail in this awesome project cos the bad behaviour of drivers, and if something add extra spice to the bad behaviour is the "e-sports" tag ( high toxicity levels are tied to any game tagged as e-sports unfortunately).

About the tests... yeah im pretty curious about your platform and im in if you dont mind i use bluestacks and the steam controller or maybe my driving wheel instead a mobile phone, age is a bitch and pc screen beats mobile phone tiny screens without mercy :D.

Regards.
PD: Sorry in advance cos my weird english but i learn english watching Tarantino movies mother****er!
The test will be only with smartphones though. Follow us on social networks to get the link in the next coming days.
Cheers
 
TBH I am more interested in the tech than the game, I think it is very difficult to control an RC car moving at speed from a camera POV, I have seen footage recorded by friends in the past and you are going to need some serious image stabilisation to make it feel fluid especially for if off road.

What chassis and turn motors are you using, something like a 21.5 or faster? I would also assume that a gyro will be installed to help keep the cars pointing the right way.

Its an interesting concept, but I'd rather go to my local track and race my own toy car ;)

You should make the racers pay for breakages btw :)
The idea here is to give the most real feelings to the driver. Have you ever driven a 4x4 in "4x4 conditions" with bumps, holes, declivity...)? well it shakes you up :roflmao: so we'll see what level of shaking is acceptable for the players.
No comment on the technology at this stage...
Well of course you can go to your local track, this is not what we are proposing here :)
They have to pay first even if it's freemium
 
The limit i see in this is that you need physical cars and tracks and how many can you build? You'll need to have people in waiting lists or spend money on "real estate" for permanent tracks and car models, plus people to maintain them. Also, I guess you need to drive them in a very controlled environment and at reduced speeds if your only POV is from the cockpit. Still, go ahead maybe something cool can come out of this.
I would like it more if it was a project for people with their own RC car who could install a camera in their cars and drive it from their phones for fun. Or maybe there is something like that already.
 
Last edited:
We count on you to share the news :) We have no ads budget for the moment, and that makes it more difficult to go viral...
This is the reality, what becomes viral or not nowadays, while depending on content, is most often kickstarted by a lot of money.
 
The limit i see in this is that you need physical cars and tracks and how many can you build? You'll need to have people in waiting lists or spend money on "real estate" for permanent tracks and car models, plus people to maintain them. Also, I guess you need to drive them in a very controlled environment and at reduced speeds if your only POV is from the cockpit. Still, go ahead maybe something cool can come out of this.
I would like it more if it was a project for people with their own RC car who could install a camera in their cars and drive it from their phones for fun. Or maybe there is something like that already.
Do not only see the limits (basically, this is on our end to handle these the best we can to provide our players the best UX), but think about how cool is this to remotely pilot from your smartphone a real object which could be based on the other side of the globe. This is a childhood coming true right?
 
Very interesting idea. But they'll need a marshall team 24/7 to unflip cars, remove damaged, maintenance, charge batteries, put them on the grid between races and so on
Well technology can do miracles...and it is now possible to automize a lot of things, especially when after each race cars need tobe sent back to the starting grid. We'll do our best to avoid cars to flip so 1 marshall as you say :) can look after 5 to 6 tracks at the same time just in case something goes wrong. We did our maths, trust us :)
 
This looks a bit like that Mario Kart augmented reality game with remote control cars but on a global scale. Interesting idea
 
My day job is in connecting global datacenters on a network tech level.

I'm sorry, I don't believe it. Snap oversteer and similar quick behaviour of a car on the limits isn't "reactable" with the kind of latency a data packet needs across the world. There's a reason major sim racing events are hosted regionally and not globally. So you're going to need physics assists? Or cars where tirrs never lose grip?

Also, a 1:10 scale car (that's a big RC car) needs a track... what, half the size of a small cart track?... to race, something like a smaller indoor cart range. Let's say you can fit four of those on the size of a football field... How many football fields do you need to run 500 concurrent players?

Further, how are you going to enclose and avoid flipping of gravel/grass tracks?

Worst of all, the technology doesn't scale. Cost per concurrent player isn't dropping significantly from 500 to 5000 or frim 1000 to 10000, as each player needs a car and trackspace at the same time.

So many problems to solve and physical property to construct... And all that for 120K funding?

Also, too many marketing buzzwords in the press release. Smartphone gaming, 5G, esports, green energy... Yeah.

Best of luck, but I think you'll need to provide a bit more insight nefore the promise becomes credible.
 
Said the exact thing for decades and always got laughed at
My idea though started as off road RC cars using proper controllers you could lease , pay deposit and they get mailed to you
No insurance risks either
 
In some way, Mario Kart Home Circuit already do this.
They got the same way. This technology is amazing, and some companies are using in their packages.
When was a kid I loved slot cars (I miss my incredible fast Mura Green and my lovely Mabuchi with Ligier Gitanes f1 body) , and this toy appears very good, but I hope they release soon a better video, with more details.
 
Last edited:
Thanks for sharing! Very interesting concept. The idea of a RC car with POV is not new (see videos below), that's how Nintendo got their idea for MKH. However, your biggest USP is the ability to control the car from a very-far remote place with a smartphone, which is a bold and clever move. :thumbsup: It's a good test for what 5G should be able to do as well. The technology is very interesting indeed. I hope it really works and people pick it up. :) Best of lucks chaps!

(2012) :
(2019) :
 
Last edited:

Racing Game News information

Author
Bram Hengeveld
Views
6,921
Comments
68
Last update

Share this racing game news

Top