Would You Race Fictional Cars & Tracks, And Why Not?

Okay, so let me be clear from the beginning, I know the sentiment of the average sim racer. "Fictional is ew" is about on par with "no VR no buy". The main thing is trying to simulate real racing. That's sim racing, right? But with all the knowledge, creativity and imagination, so many beautiful fictional tracks and cars could come to life. Why would or would you not race them?

Famous racer and commentator Alex Brundle actually asked this question the other day. The brit tweeted the following:


And I have to say, it is a valid question.

I know from myself, though, the only race tracks I have not at all tried in RaceRoom, for example, were RaceRoom Raceway and the hill climb stage. Aka the only fictional tracks in the sim.

But why?

I don't even understand the reasoning behind it, to be honest, I just did what everyone said was the good thing to do, and that was to skip out the fictional tracks on RaceRoom.

However, as I said in the opening paragraph, with all the combined knowledge, creativity and imagination of the modding community, the greatest of tracks could become (virtual) reality. You may have never heard of them, but they could be more interesting to drive than the Nordschleife or Spa.

An Excursion Away From "Sim" Racing​

Come to think of it; it's only in the sim racing scene that such demands are being made. The much larger general racing gaming group has no such quarrels.

In most racing games, the player gets to experience something born completely out of imagination. Just take Need for Speed, one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. How many games in the Need for Speed franchise just feature real race tracks? Now, I get this is a very far stone's throw. So let's also take a look at something that hits a bit closer to home.

Gran Turismo is yet another gaming franchise among the most successful video game franchises of all time.

And what are the most revered tracks in Gran Turismo?

I have never played a GT game, yet I also know of Trial Mountain. And that is just one of the many great fictional circuits featured in the games, which I am led to believe.

Same counts for Forza. With the expected 2023 release of the new instalment, what was the first circuit they showed off in gameplay? Maple Valley Raceway. Another fictional track.

But let's get back on track because I would like to hear your opinion on the matter now.

So, tell me: Would you race fictional cars & tracks, and why not? Please, let us know in the comments down below!
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of tracc.eu, where I publish articles and blog posts, and the attached racing community.

Comments

PD created some the best fictional tracks ever. I wish some of the Gran Turismo tracks were real. I have no problem with fiction tracks.

Fictional cars....doesn't quite hit the spot. I can go with cars that are near but not quite due to licencing but some of the completely fictional stuff I'm not interested in.
Came here to say TRIAL MOUNTAIN CIRCUIT!

Fictional cars... it depends. If they're CLEARLY a particular car, it's fine, especially if they can be reskinned. I'm not that picky to be honest. All depends on if it's fun to drive.

Also another fictional track I loved: Metro. It was a city track made for F1C I believe. Ported to RF, GTR2 etc... Loved that track too. Fictional tracks are great.
 
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We raced Magnificent Park a few months ago in the rFactor 2 club. We could do it again if you wanted!
No issues reported btw?

I wasn't sure if the track has all layouts, I heard endurance/long is a bit tough since the street roads are rough and bumpy.
 
M D Gourley
Premium
Here are just some of the 'Standard Cars' you get with BeamNG and they look, drive and sound very good. (personal opinion only;))

0 BeamNG Bruckell Bastion REDTAIL crash copy.jpg
0 BeamNG Hirochi SBR4 eSBR 300 Electric copy.jpg
1 BeamNG SUNBURST & ETK Wrong Way CRASH copy.jpg
2 BeamNG Cherrier FCV TOGRAC 150dQ copy.jpg
3 BeamNG SUNBURST & ETK Wrong Way CRASH copy.jpg
4 BeamNG SUNBURST & ETK Wrong Way CRASH copy.jpg


...and then you get some Mods for BeamNG that are outstanding:inlove:...here's just one and she's a work of art:geek:

3 BeamNG MOD Dodge RT copy.jpg
 
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I'm fine with almost real cars as stand-ins, wouldn't touch a work of pure fantasy.

Cars in beamng are serviceable to pretty good (within the standard of beamng), More than happy with the aussie V8's and indycar stand ins in AMS2.
 
Yea i feel like the fictional stuff kills the emersion. I guess if you dont like real life racing they would be fun, but for those of us who are actual race fans, you want to feel like your are simulating reality somewhat ya know.
 
Wilko Jones
Premium
It really depends on the aim of the title, and how that content is presented. There are "fake" cars in R3E, but for the most part, they are not glaring examples of ass-pulled content. The Formula cars are approximations of real cars, and the Silhouette concept cars are interesting ideations. The only over the top fantasy car serves as a fun little break from the norm, and everyone seemed to just shrug at the fake electronic SUV posing as a Mustang ;). It really depends on how it is presented. The same can be said about tracks.
 
R
Premium
PD created some the best fictional tracks ever. I wish some of the Gran Turismo tracks were real. I have no problem with fiction tracks.

Fictional cars....doesn't quite hit the spot. I can go with cars that are near but not quite due to licencing but some of the completely fictional stuff I'm not interested in.
Ditto the above!
 
Sure I do.
real and fictional are ok- i prefer real because the SIM is part experiencing what we know and see has been done.
LFS has some of my favorite ficitonal tracks and the real Rockingham, it is a joy to race ficitonal versions of real cars on all their tracks, and gran turismo has excellent imaginary realish or possibly real circuits that are just great fun.
 
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
I want fictional tracks! I want to see designed tracks!

You don't have the restrictions of real life (obviously). Can make any kind of corner. Can make whatever elevation. Can make as long as you want (what's the limitation?). If track is really long, could set 2 different pits on the opposite ends of the track, or more.

One thing i really want, is "A to B" tracks with difficult challenges, and that could be made exactly for a specific car. Think Trackmania, but with sim physics and driving. Think Mario Maker, kaizo and such.
 
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absolutely! i just wanna race. as long as the the physics are believable, then im in. this isnt mario kart after all. but tracks in forza like camino viejo and the long italian coast track from fm3 are SO much cooler than the same fia grade circuits we all know that all look the same. there are benefits to fantasy stuff too. no licensing headaches for one. also no one has to worry about whether or not the car/track is inaccurate to its real life counterpart. lastly, balance of performance is easy to achieve when youre building a set of cars from scratch, rather than trying to replicate real cars THEN trying to figure out how to balance them.
 
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
I want fictional tracks! I want to see designed tracks!

You don't have the restrictions of real life (obviously). Can make any kind of corner. Can make whatever elevation. Can make as long as you want (what's the limitation?). If track is really long, could set 2 different pits on the opposite ends of the track, or more.

One thing i really want, is "A to B" tracks with difficult challenges, and that could be made exactly for a specific car. Think Trackmania, but with sim physics and driving. Think Mario Maker, kaizo and such.
You want SODA: Off-Road Racing. Track builder baked in. Incredible physics. Think of it as a 2nd cousin to GPL.
1674622670940.png
 
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Jimlaad43
Staff
Premium
No issues reported btw?

I wasn't sure if the track has all layouts, I heard endurance/long is a bit tough since the street roads are rough and bumpy.
We used the short circuit, but the GP circuit itself looks good. It does have some issues with Shaders, in that if the weather is wrong, the circuit is very bright and shiny a bit too much. However the layout itself is excellent.
 
M D Gourley
Premium
Sometimes I like just going for a cruize, and this little 'Resto Mod' gem by 'JAVI" for the Piccolina in BeamNG fits the bill nicely around the coastal roads in Italy:inlove:
Personal opinion;)
0 BeamNG MOD Piccolina RESTO MOD Version copy.jpg
1 BeamNG MOD Piccolina RESTO MOD Version copy.jpg
 
Like others I have a soft spot for Grand Valley, Trial mountain and Deep Forest from Gran Turismos. Bannochbrae along with Azure Coast and California highway as well from PC2. But overall my preference is for real tracks though.

Cars need to be at least based on reality for me. The wilder Fictional stuff doesn't interest me at all.
 
Fictional tracks, i think are cool. Gran Turismo, BeamNG and Assetto mods do it well, and i have enjoyed all of them.
Fictional cars on the other hand, I'm not sure. I dont mind them that much (using BeamNG as another example, those are great), but the main thing is that i feel like the engineering of a real car is not in it, or at least not yet. You could just give a car 10000 horsepower, boom. "Fast Car McGee".
I prefer driving real cars, but if there was some way to put actual engineering into the cars instead of just putting in some numbers (i know its not that simple, but just to make a point) i would accept fictional cars more. If not that, there should be regulations to making them for specific classes, or something like that. Maximum downforce, power to weight levels, standard gearboxes, but it should still be free enough. Fictional cars mean that someone with decent coding skills could make a car for a class, if they wanted to compete. You cant just enter GT3 to get in ACC, if you wanted to it would take a lot of money.

Fictional cars have potential to me. If they are done correctly, it could end up in there coming similar competition online. But for much less money, or free! Im pretty sure many people have dreamt of making an F1 team, but with fictional cars, read the regs, learn to code, and to 3d model, and you could enter. I know its not that simple, but its the idea.

Just gotta make sure that people dont make default cube cars.

EDIT 1: Thought i would give some examples of how this would work, and how it has worked.
EXAMPLE 1: Automation Challenges. These use Automation The Car Company Tycoon, and people send in their car files to enter. I do these myself, so i know how much work it is, but the final result is almost always worth it. I use BeamNG for these, so all the cars are driven in a sort of time attack way, and points are rewarded. These require decent engineering knowledge, and you cant just make a 10000 "Fast Car Mcgee". You could try to, but you will probably end up with a car that drives so badly that it gets DNF'ed.

EXAMPLE 2: Dream Car Builder 3d challenges. These are done similarly to Automation Challenges, but they are far more complex. They require knowledge into car suspension, steering, how to build chassis, aerodynamics, etc. These are very difficult. I have attempted to compete in one before. I made a car, but it drove so badly that i never entered it. That tells you enough.
 
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I'm happy to race on fictional if it feels real to me. Certain details or things that wouldn't be there in a real life circuit will break that immersion to me, but I have no issue with the concept of the fictional track.

Each person is immersed by different things though, and the Gran Turismo tracks often seem to have something that breaks it for me. Be it exposed rock surfaces or fences on a modern track, some detail like a huge monument nearby which I know doesn't have a racing circuit next to it, these details break reality for me. Rally games are a sucker for this - trying to include famous parts of lots of stages and 'iconic' spots into a single page. It's why RBR and Dirt Rally stages are particularly excellent to me; they don't have the 'gimmicks' in the same way.

Heck, if there's anyone out there who hasn't played FatAlfie's incredible Fonteny for Assetto Corsa, they have my complete sympathy - it feels more 'real' than many other mods of tracks from its era to me. DoubleZero is another one creating very 'real' feeling fictional tracks for AC, and his upcoming Mount Tempest looks like another addition to the 'could be real but isn't' list.
 
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