Featured Grand Prix Legends '67 Sportscars Extra Mod - Preview

Discussion in 'Other Racing Games' started by leon_90, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. leon_90

    leon_90
    Columnist for RaceDepartment Staff Premium

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    GTmainbX.jpg

    Celebrating with style.

    Please note: the pictures are taken from a Beta version of the mod, and as such do not represent final quality of the product. Further work is being done at the moment and the modding team aims for a release by Christmas time.

    This year marks a very special milestone for the GPL community. It is in fact the 20th anniversary since the release of this title that introduced so many of us to simracing and shaped an entire generation of virtual drivers. Grand Prix Legends represented a watershed in how sims were developed, and how simracers themselves would approach this genre. It was also the first time that online racing competition really took off, and when many leagues, teams and groups still in the game now were originally born.

    To this day, developers still have to acknowledge the heritage that this title left behind, and if some new games, even when not completely focused on the simulation aspects like Forza, feature in their rosters cars like the Lotus 49, Honda RA300, Ferrari 312 and last but not least Eagle Weslake T1G, or historical tracks like Monaco, Monza, Spa and Silverstone, it is because of GPL.

    It was important then to celebrate this anniversary properly. At the beginning of the year, Lee Bowden, guru of the title’s code and physics engine, already released the “Legends of GPL” mod. A collection of the best cars in the game, representing the title winner for each category, both from the originals and the various mods later developed for Grand Prix Legends. An eccentric and clever project that required having multiple sets of physics working simultaneously for it to work properly. A showcase of the progress that the sim had made in all these years, either from a technical or of content standpoint. La crème de la crème.

    Legends of GPL.jpg
    Mercedes, Lola, Lotus, Brabham, Ferrari, McLaren, Matra, all racing together in an unprecendented mod.

    However, that was not all. Behind the stage, the meticulous group of GPL modders was hard at work to prepare another gift to the community.

    Back in 2010, the 1967 Sportscars mod was released. Fruit of the hard work and experimentation conducted by Rory Gibson since 2002, it was the proof that closed wheel cars could be modelled and implemented successfully into Grand Prix Legends, a feat deemed otherwise simply impossible. Gibson would work alone for four years, before having some people in 2006 jumping in to help him out in his ambitious project. Many obstacles had to be overcome for this mod to be. The new models, as we said, but also the seven cars slots limitations, broken by Nigel Pattinson, the physics, not originally suited for these heavy machines, and the AI, that had to be trained by Lee Bowden to cope with these new cars. “Give things a good beginning, and they will proceed accordingly”. The aphorism that signifies this mod’s development. All of the above-mentioned impediments were successfully won, and the Sportscars mod was finally released, much for the community enjoyment.

    67 XSC #1.jpg


    Besides, it was the mean to open the way to other new and exciting mods like the Can Am ’66 and ’71, and more that are still being worked on.

    The good people back at the GPL Repository were then pretty much all agreeing that a renovation of this set of cars was indeed the best way to celebrate the 20th anniversary, an indication of all the road that this sim had run across in its time. Works have been underway for months now under the good lead of 'Ginetto', and have brought a good number of improvements to it.

    What does this marvellous update brings then? Well, there is a long list, but I do not think anyone is going to complain about it.

    First, the update includes the beautiful looking and sounding Alfa Romeo T33. Not a very reliable car back then that still had to iron out some issues derived from the novelty of the project, but the Italian lightweight prototype will give drivers the chance to experience a truly fun and enjoyable chassis, giving well-deserved competition to the Porsche 910 already running in the mod. You will be grinning from ear to ear when mastering the winding corners of ‘La Cursa’, the Targa Florio.

    67 XSC #2.jpg


    Then we have new physics for all of the cars. Their characteristics have been revisited, thanks to code knowledge gained in these last eight years, for better accuracy and to provide players a more on point representation of every vehicle strong and weak points. Bob Berman, who actually drove a Ford GT40 MkI back in the day, gave his incredibly precious feedback to the team and collaborated in the development of the driving model for the cars. Moreover, the Chaparral 2F now has a moveable rear wing, just as it was in the real car, providing extra downforce in corners. The mechanism is controlled by a specific bindable button, which can be also controlled by your clutch pedal if you prefer so. “Out for wing down and more downforce in the corners and in for levelling the wing for less drag and more speed on the straights”, as explained by Lee Bowden who implemented this interesting feature.

    Cars are also no longer limited by the absence in GPL of a refuelling option. Before, all vehicles had to be modelled with a bigger tank. Not realistic, but much needed for drivers to complete the race, which would have been impossible otherwise. Now, always thanks to Lee Bowden, you can actually pit to refuel! Tanks have been then resized to match their real dimensions. This undoubtedly adds another level to the simulation, immersing the player more into the driving.

    67 XSC #4.jpg


    All of the models have been receiving new textures and some further refinement. The Lola T70 has a new nose cone, and bugs and glitches for all cars have been solved removing any flickering, corruption or distortion that the players might have experienced in the past. Drivers’ models also have been improved and the AI now has full 3D faces and helmets, textured accordingly. Skins for the vehicles have been reworked, and meet their real life counterparts in every detail, for every race (needless to say, this was a monumental task). Engine sounds were redone and further improved by Wolfgang Buthe.

    The mod’s layout has been too redone from scratch to give a fresh change of air to its look. Now the primary and secondary colours are red and gold, matching those of the title winner, the Ferrari P4, and all menus, dialog boxes and dropdown lists have been set accordingly. All screens feature new quality, coloured pictures, balanced to seamlessly integrate into one another creating a joyful context for the end user to navigate.

    67 XSC #3.jpg


    Lastly, drivers’ entries match those of every championship and non-championship race, giving to the AI unique behaviour so to have different results in their on-track conduct. Their driving has also been improved, mastering the cars better, and new setups fixes have been included for both their vehicle and the player’s.

    As a final note, while not shipped with the mod, I would strongly suggest to download the “Night Patch” developed by Lee Bowden. It makes transitions from day to night in a single session possible, virtually making 24 hours races (lighting wise) feasible into the sim (mind you, the time limit is still restricted however to maximum 2 hours due to hardcode limitations). Every track needed is available for download at the GPL Track Database.

    67 XSC #5.jpg


    I believe that there is nothing really more to say from my side. The “1967 Sportscars Extra” mod does the job of well presenting itself without the need of any sweet words. I would just love to leave you with its video preview, highlighting everything and more there is to say and see about it. I will conclude by stating that this mod is a testament to Grand Prix Legends longevity, and to the hard work and dedication of its modders. Nothing of this would be possible without these people giving their free time for the enjoyment of the community, and without the community itself supporting their labour and the sim itself. We, as simracers, often complain about the lack of a complete set of cars and tracks from a specific season, and then there is who actually provides both.



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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  2. Jordan Dion

    Jordan Dion
    Bluestar Racing Premium

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    Old school power! :thumbsup:
    What an nice article Racedepartement!
    Not my kind of simulator but I need to admit that it is probably one of the simulator I was playing when I was a young little boy:)
     
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  3. jpalesi

    jpalesi

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    Thanks for the article.
    BTW, since when is there a 2 hour limit ? Full F1 1967 races could easily go over 2 hours. The limit was 128 laps though.
     
  4. muzikant

    muzikant

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    Gpl the mother of all simracing titles !!!!!!
    Yesterday I drive the Brab on Rfactor2 Spa in VR........ hoop one day my dream come true with a Gpl 2
    The old tracks are....................... Rock & Roll :thumbsup:
     
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  5. BrunoB

    BrunoB

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    Holy shiot what a phantastically video:)
    Eventhough I still have the orig GPL CD/case I have uninstalled it long time ago - hehe to install the GTP mod for NR2003 instead:)
    But after watching this video Im really tempted to install this new GPL mod.

    Can anybody inform me about how hard it is to get this GPL mod to play.
    Is it close to P&P or do I have to mess a lot to get things going?
    Thank you:)
     
  6. Pawgy

    Pawgy

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    I am almost 84 and have had GPL installed on ,This is my 3rd computer, for all those 20 years, I most certainly will update my Sports car mod when this is released. Gpl is still one of my favorites and will always be their. The modders that have supported This wonderful sim for all these years are to be applauded for there excellent efforts. This was a great report by Racedepartement.
     
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  7. Stefan Roess

    Stefan Roess

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    Thx Leon for the very nice article!


    Hello BrunoB,

    nice that you like my video. :)

    Today GPL is quite easy to install.
    Pls have a look at my guide here:

    Grand Prix Legends (GPL)
    Easy Installation Guide (English)

    http://www.gplworld.org/easy-installation-guide.html

    Grand Prix Legends (GPL)
    Easy Installation Guide (German)

    http://gplworld.de/easy-installation-guide.html

    Bye
    Stefan
     
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  8. MANashTTU

    MANashTTU
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    Pawgy. You're an inspiration. I was just the other day thinking that, at 44, I hope I am still playing sims into my 90's. I started on Indycar Racing II in 1995 and GPL was transformative for the genre, and to this day, I spend time on every new piece of equipment getting it to run GPL, even as it gets less on-track attention (these "modern" sims are just so dang good!).

    And Pawgy . . . your name shall be used and exploited from time to time when I'm justifying my "toys" to my eye-rolling wife.
     
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  9. Ace King

    Ace King

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    Wow, this presentation video is one of the best i watched, well done!!
     
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  10. Lentoveloz

    Lentoveloz
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    I play to this day, I love to this day. It's good to read an article and see names of people who are legends to me.
     
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  11. RMR1

    RMR1
    Rainer Maria Rosemaier Premium

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    Very excited to thrash those monsters down the Targa!
    The first iteration was sooooo good there, eager to compare the two versions.
     
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  12. RMR1

    RMR1
    Rainer Maria Rosemaier Premium

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    I had goosebumps watching the vid...
    Yummy.
     
  13. BrunoB

    BrunoB

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    Thanks Roess
    Hehe I can see bringing GPL up to date isnt complete P&P.
    But I will probably have a try when I have seen some reviews of the mentioned new "Extra" mod.
    What really raised the temperature of my old blod is the shown Chaparral 2F with the massive "self" adjustable wing.
    I was 12 years old in 1957 when the first photos of Jim Halls Chaparrals reached Europe.
    And was a fan of this creative car builder all my younger years:)
    Hehe eventhough displaying that you were a racing car entusiast wasnt exactly the most political correct attitude among the rather political activists around me in the late 60ties :) :)
     
  14. Stig Bidstrup

    Stig Bidstrup
    Jarek says " 900 degrees of rotation " Premium

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    I remember coming home from a short holiday. Then racing down in the local electronic store and buying 3 PC racing titles all 3 where released within the same week in my country . October 1998.
    1. Grand Prix Legends.
    2. Colin Mcrae Rally.
    3. F1 Racing Simulation ( Ubisoft ) .

    All 3 where game changers in their own way . They made me buy a steering wheel .
    And GPL stayed with me for a very very long time :)............
     
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  15. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    One has to wonder if a 15 year old game (or there abouts) is the best platform to put all this effort in. The physics engine is outdated, the graphics are horribly outdated, so only the immersion stays.

    That same immersion can be modded into more recent games with better physics and graphics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  16. BrunoB

    BrunoB

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    Hehe no it cant!

    But principally you are right Koen - but you cant really use some simple logic about such an issue.
    Because these guys would never ever use such entusiasm, skill and manhours on one of the newer engines/games.
    Probably because GPL has become something personally relating them to the time when they originally got connected to virtual racing - and such things :)
     
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  17. BrunoB

    BrunoB

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    ByTheWay Stig this great sim (and its follower RS3) has been enourmously underrated.
    If I remember right then the car behavioring (physics and TM) was even a lever above the Papyrus sims at that time :)
     
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  18. Nico

    Nico
    Premium

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    Something like this NEEDS to happen on a more modern sim.

    AC has a few cars from this period, but not much variety.
     
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  19. birle1

    birle1
    Premium

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    Now I am little bit more focus on AC but like lot of us, started racing with GPL long tIme ago. I still playing it and of course loving it. I will download and try it
     
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  20. Durge Driven

    Durge Driven

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    Sim tower without GPL is sacrilege
     
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