With ole Halloween approaching Simon’s idle chat column talks about how to prevent your simgasm from going sterile on the opening lap… So they always say the second album is the hardest to write for a band, so I assumed it was the same for a second editorial post. Alas, I have more rabbit than Sainsbury’s so you’ve got to suffer me some more. However I’d like to give a big hearty thank you for all your comments and messages about the first in the series. The response was fantastic so I only hope to keep you all amused for the future! Now, as we Christened the term “simgasm” there is always an inevitable “oh-my-god-I’m-not-doing-this-ever-again-*throws wheel/controller*-*stomps off in huff*-followed-by-shouting-its-goddamn-turn-1” moment that is equally infuriating. Now I know a few of you are thinking, there‘s a turn 2? That’s ok, the Megane Trophy public servers have their own rules. For you guys, I’ll let you in a little secret - the myth of there being a chequered flag and glory for finishing the race is really true - try it some time - I challenge you! Now for the rest of us, you’ve all had that feeling. You love the track, that set up is tweaked so you can nip passed a few people at the start, the strategy is good - you’re on top form… and it works! You’re off charging down to the first turn and then bam, your busy mounting someone’s rear, someone’s mounting yours, the only rubbers involved are from Bridgestone but sadly everyone involved is rather screwed over! If racing cars could mate upon crashing, your now broken mess of carbon fibre would have given birth to a Primarni Skoda sponsored by Jeremy Kyle with decals of its children’s names “Kristelle” and “Jayden” tattooed down each sidepod. That my sim racing friends, is what I’d call a Halloween Horror!!! As wonderful as appearing on Jeremy Vile’s show in a sim racing car would probably be (and to be fair, it would, even if he’d sarcastically smirk “When will you get it in your thick head your not a real racing driver… oh and you’re her father!” and then throw cue cards at me) I’d rather be actually in the race for a bit longer than a solitary corner. It may come as some surprise, especially if you watched my Endurance video last episode, but if there’s one thing I can do in 2010, its survive lap 1 and finish the race! “Tell me how” hark I hear… oh go on then, I’ll give you some tips… ~01~ Start last Heck, don’t start on the grid at all - go for the pit lane if it’s a street circuit! Qualifying is so overrated anyway, it’s almost like we want to go as fast as possible. The fact remains that if your right at the back, you’ll pick up places by avoiding the carnage up ahead. This is especially good if your new to sim racing because then you can cheat a little bit more and delay your start by half a second or so it give yourself a nice bit of clear air at the turn 1 braking point and you can see your path through the chaos. Starting in the midfield is just the worst place to be, you’ve either got to be last or… ~02~ Start first. Don’t really see the need for this. I would give you some tips but I couldn’t really say I’ve been there to try that tactic. I’m not bitter. Not at all. Not until you give me a blue flag anyway… then you'll know my pain in your LEFT FRONT SUSPENSION!!! ~03~ Know your rivals This is more for league racing but in the leagues I’ve raced in with regulars joining in for every round, you quickly get to know who’s the leagues Mr. Kamui Kobikaze and who’s your Mr. I’m-too-scared-I’ll-close-my-eyes-and-brake-at-the-300m-board. Everyone has their own personal traits and the more you race the same people you’ll all gain valuable race craft knowledge on each of your rivals. If he’s dive bombed you before, he’ll dive bomb you again - let him go and smack the car in front instead and call that poor soul Mr Take-It-For-the-Team! ~04~ Practice Your Dodge Reflexes It’s an unknown and unfounded fact that after a good round of doughnuts, whilst on a sugar high, I can sausage roll up a staircase without my knees touching the floor. While that should be something we can all aspire to, doughnuts also increase my ability to dodge other objects! Now I don’t want you all to run out and binge eat prior to each race, that would be selfish and leave my doughnut stash at risk and we can’t have my aerodynamically challenged body get into shape anytime soon. No, no - let me introduce you to my training tool - Audiosurf! It’s a game that you play to your music with different modes of gameplay. Mono is the one I use as its effectively a collect and dodge game. The more dramatic the noise changes, tempo and mood, the more objects there are for you to avoid. A video from a free to download song is below where I demonstrate how the game works in essence, I smell a high score challenge for anyone who fancies it. How does this help me out? It keeps my senses always looking a certain distance ahead and I’m constantly having to mentally plan my full route out of any given situation with the least risk of collecting a grey block and thus ruining my 100% run, or in sim racing terms, collect a car, end up on Jeremy Kyle, never have a simgasm again. I will be officially simpotent! :rose-dead: No one deserves that. Take heed! I’m sure everyone’s had a simpotent moment. The moral of the story is get back on and have another go. The track that is. Classic Game Now using Audiosurf may seem quite far removed from the sim racing world but it immediately takes me back to a classic ZX Spectrum game I still have on cassette. For the youngsters that’s a bit like a VHS… oh… Imagine two polo’s spinning round and a very long strawberry lace that contains computer data on wrapped round one to the other and you’ve almost grasped it! The game is called Enduro. Enduro was also on the Atari 2600 and was a very simplistic game but a classic game of its time. From Activision, you basically need to overtake 200 cars as quickly as possible without crashing too much. The cars come flying towards you and you must take evasive action to navigate them. The game’s difficulty increased as turned from day to night with a sunset section and then evil final part where it was in the dark and all you have to go on are the rear lights of the cars in front. The game was great from a showing off point of view as you could string up massive chains of overtakes. The downside was it was a never ending game. The next level just added another hundred cars to your total and the day/night mechanics just cycled on as it did before. At least the AI’s consistent though, F1 2010 take note! So hopefully this piece of advice will help keep you out of mischief for turn 1 in the future. If in doubt close your eyes and hope for the best!