Featured Testing the Excellent Alzen 996 Biturbo "Turbinchen" AC Mod

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    996 Alzen Mod 7.jpg 996 Alzen Mod 6.jpg 996 Alzen Mod 5.jpg 996 Alzen Mod 4.jpg
    In our quest to sample some of the best sim racing mods available today, we have a look at the rather epic Alzen Motorsport Porsche 996 "Turbinchen" for Assetto Corsa....


    The 996 by @AccAkut is a car rather unlike any other in Assetto Corsa, and as such it offers a very satisfying experience for those drivers looking to have a bit of a wild ride.... something that is becoming all too rare in the modern age of GT3 and endurance competition in sim racing of late.

    Developed and improved upon over a number of years, this excellent mod does wonders to defy the original age of the 3D model and relative inexperience of the mod author, easily finding itself as one of the 'go to' cars for any serious sim racing enthusiast.

    You can download the Alzen Porsche 996 Biturbo "Turbinchen" v4.0 Here.

    996 Alzen Mod 1.jpg

    Having started out life very much as a learning project, over time the 996 has continued to grow thanks to a relentless effort from @AccAkut, now standing proud as a highly polished and very impressive car that is highly likely to put a smile on your face (and plenty of frustration too!).

    Here's what creator @AccAkut had to say about the mod:

    Well, why this car? I guess this car was my transition from seeing car races as a whole to recognizing individual cars and the technology involved …the 2005 VLN 24h was the first 24h Nürburgring race I followed, just by stumbling upon a training session on TV. And with it the impressions of this car growling by, a street car based build spanking works efforts from Opel (DTM Astra), Dodge (Viper GTS-R), BMW (M3 GTR) and Audi (DTM TT) left and right sorta burned itself into my 17-year old brain. Yes the car failed hard in the main race and only made it to 10th with some 13 laps behind the leader Opel, but it founded my passion for race car tech and especially my love for oddball cars.

    Why did I do it for AC? I don’t remember really what sparked me downloading Blender and extruding the first vertices. I did play around with modifying other mod cars, but this “996 Turbinchen” idea sorta stuck and by summer 2014 I dared opening a “WIP thread” over on the Kunos forums, where it was one among dozens of people that did the same.

    If you take me starting with Blender at all as the start, it took from around April 2014 till March 2015, when I released a first “Beta”, and the 1.0 Release here on RaceDepartment happened in June 2016. So around two years. But I didn’t treat it like a job, it was and still is just a hobby I like spending my time on instead of watching the 53rd repeat of Big Bang Theory or whatever show of choice, I didn’t note the hours, some days it was 10 minutes, some it was 5 hours while watching/listening to totally unrelated Twitch streams, sometimes I spend weeks doing nothing on it with my wheel collecting dust as well. I studied engineering, I’m certified in CAD on PTC and Dassault products, but this did not help one bit with polygon modelling and texturing. Probably didn’t help either that with Gimp and Blender I chose two programs renowned for their unfriendly UI. But both programs are free and offer just as much or even more and better features as the go-to payware tools.

    For data I used whatever I could get my hands on. Magazine articles, race report snippets from YouTube, setup sheets of 996 Cup cars, tests of the 996 Turbo roadcar. The contact with the race team you talked about so heroically in the video, it really wasn’t. I wrote an email with a few bullet points, and I got that same email back, with Jürgen Alzen having added whatever info he could still find between my lines. Both of us did not spend more than 10 minutes each on those emails. It’s no magic, and the guys in those race teams are just enthusiasts like us… with more money and more reality of course!

    Building the car was also absolutely impossible without all the brilliant minds on the forums, again offering their help and “wisdom” for free. Guys like aphidgod, Stereo, Patrick Marek, mclarenf1papa, Dauntless/Hyperactive (with whom I sadly had a little falling out after the Kunos mod forums shut down) people that (sometimes with a little persuasion) helped a noob like me along and answered even the most stupidest questions...

    996 Alzen Mod 10.jpg

    Then you had people doing the car skins, which I can do, but don’t really like doing. Sound was done partly by me and partly by Fonsecker, who is now doing that same thing for Studio 397 for RFactor 2. Just don’t get tangled up in dependencies, I always wanted to understand how everything was working instead of totally relaying on others.

    Regarding what gives me pride now looking back on the build, it sorta “grew along” Assetto Corsa as a whole. I’ve just reread a little into the original thread and found again that AC did not even have AWD when I started, that only came with the Alfa 155 DTM car. I kept coming back to it with new stuff I learned and that AC “learned”, it got better Shaders and better meshes over time as I improved with my other main projects, physics updates as they got introduced to AC through patches, like the AWD2 code with the Skylines. For quite a while after the 2.9 release I kept these latest updates for myself and mostly ran the car as part of AI grids on the Nordschleife, with me driving other cars. With ACC looming on the horizon I did have “Farewell updates” in mind for both the 996 and the Audi, but it was the “AC Custom Shaders” mod by x4fab and henter that again prompted initiative.

    The 996s cockpit looked bad at night, so I updated it. Brake glow wasn’t quite there yet, so I tinkered with it. Suddenly we had rain, the car had a wiper, but with no animation yet, so I made one. While I was at it animating, I remade the driver shift animation with a rig I had made for the KRB Audi and added the H-gated shifter system I found while doing the Glas Exorod.

    Then came along info about a “secret” suspension type in AC that only like a dozen people knew about and that no released mod uses so far .. guess it clear that it is some sort of iterative process that does not follow strict plans, other creators influence me, all my mods influence each other, probably a bit like painting, or maybe like a musician, who keeps playing with what he has already, adding verses and chords, and at some point may starts thinking “I could release this”.

    With this car I don’t have plans, despite all the updates above the main model itself is simply too old now, if I’d want to do stuff like add working doors it be easier to redo the whole outer shell than work with the existing mesh, meaning all skins would need to be redone and so on. It was a learner piece, and it looks bad ..hell I did like a third of it before I even learned about the “Bevel” tool… I placed curves vertex by vertex ...and a Porsche has lots of curves...

    I’m happy that I came along at the right time to be part of this mod community, and I wonder if it will ever be as creative and fertile as it has been with Assetto Corsa “1”. In 2014 and 2015 “we all” started out from down low and learned alongside each other in the sandbox Kunos provided us with and carried this passion onto RD and into the world. I came from ~7 years of “consumer simracing” in the form of Life for Speed, as someone using and driving what we were given by its Devs (and a little modding like skins and a few texture edits), and then became a content creator with AC.

    If someone is pondering about starting to mod now it’s probably hard, with the established “unreachable” crowd on one side and the endless wasteland of ripped blingy “facebook mods” on the other. I’d still say just start your project and let us take part in it. We don’t bite...as long as you don’t try to pass of a Forza model as your own ;)

    996 Alzen Mod 3.jpg

    Available to download HERE, this is most certainly one very fine example of an ever improving car mod in AC. Developed as something of a labour of love, the wild but wonderful "Turbinchen" is an incredible testament to what is possible when one has a handful of talent, plenty of patience and a desire to make something excellent...

    996 Alzen Mod 8.jpg
    996 Alzen Mod 9.jpg

    Please, if you download a mod here at RaceDepartment, spare a thought for the modders who put in such incredible work for us to enjoy. Leave a comment and rating for the mod, and let those responsible for continuing to bring us such entertainment know how you feel about their work.


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    So then, what do you think of it? Leave a comment below!
     
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  2. AccAkut

    AccAkut
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    and another video of the car in its natural habitat :p
     
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  3. Tom Blackett

    Tom Blackett
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    Turned a few laps on the Nords in the dark. What a thrill! Great car!
     
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  4. Brownninja97

    Brownninja97

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    Time does go by incredibly fast, I remember how hyped I was basically following every update of this multiple times a day. I did two skins for the car as well and honestly I'm still surprised I was chosen to do them since they are much more talented skinners out there but I'm glad I did do it as it led me to contribute to modding myself instead of just watching.

    So I'll raise my glass to you @AccAkut for the countless hours of enjoyment and for letting me contribute a small amount to your passion project, we are lucky to have people like you that contribute massive amounts of time and effort into mods.
     
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  5. dreamer al

    dreamer al

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    I only came across this mod while watching Paul's youtube Race Department. Downloaded it and was blown away. What a fun car plus I don't have a "wheel", just my X Box One Controller.

    So, thank you for all your hard work AccAkut. From my point of view it was well worth it.
     
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  6. VernWozza

    VernWozza
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    Loving the mod reviews. Tried a bunch of things I wouldn't normally have downloaded .
     
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  7. SunBro

    SunBro
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    The "only" and i mean literally only thing i don't like about this mod is the wheel animations. I just don't like driving without drivers hands on wheel and the current state of animation is just... well i don't want to curse but you get my point.

    Other than that, another proof that you get better at something by practicing. The difference between the first release and now is absolutely night and day.

    Looking forward to the animation fix which would cause me to spend more time with this mod.
     
  8. M D Gourley

    M D Gourley
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    Well, I thought...If there was a car that was to have a Car Caricature of itself...this is it...LOL. Promptly downloaded, blasted around Bathurst for a few laps, parked it up, got the necessary screenshots to create this Caricature....what a beast to drive..
    PORSCHE BITURBO before after CAR CARICATURE.jpg
     
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  9. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    Actually with a bit of practice and setup it's not far off GTE/GT3 times at all, even with manual clutch and transmission.
     
  10. Fanapryde

    Fanapryde

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    Is there another way to drive it ? :D
    I must admit, I had this car installed long time ago and I did not really like it then. Even removed the mod.
    Tried it again now and for some reason I love it, though it can be a handfull (depending on how hard you push). Sound is awesome too.
    Thanks for this great car ! :)
     
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  11. arthur666

    arthur666

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    Thanks for the updates. It looks good and is fun to drive. This thing is a terror at my AI trackdays! :D
     
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  12. AccAkut

    AccAkut
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    agree, didn't even notice it myself (I always drive from dash view).
    I wonder if I could even drive it WITHOUT manual clutch, imo its needed to keep the car under control. Yiu can see it in the video that I drive way more "lazy" than a N/A GT3, it's got so much torque you often don't need to downshift and unbalance the car.

    And thanks everyone for the nice words!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  13. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy

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    Man.. after the first couple of times I gave this thing some throttle and it tried to kill me, I started to get a handle on it, and it painted the biggest grin on my face. I took it straight to the recently released Donington 1938 to try to maximize the sense of speed with its narrow layout and trips through the woods (!) Bonus points for how it shrieks and bellows through the viaduct.. man, this car's sounds in general are so nice, especially in TV cam replays, burbling angrily through a slow section. Amazing!
     
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  14. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    Just not quite clear who this car should be up against?

    Current GT3? Nah
    RSS GT1? Might be
    911 GT1-CLK GTR? Nah they'll win on power/aero ratio I guess.

    There's just not that much VLN 2003-2005 floating around that is worthy of this car.
     
  15. AccAkut

    AccAkut
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    yeah this an issue, but the real car also never really battled "head to head" with any other car really. It ran 10 seocnd faster than most but needed to fuel more often so it equalised. I have a small assortment of cars from "other sources", basically all those named above but the GTS-R, which I modified to run a similar pace (with mixed results).

    I do add the RWD version to AI grids of the RSS GT1 cars also, in the AI hands its fast enough and even looks the deal (if you don't look too close :p). The MC-12 is slower but the 911 GT1 (which basically had the same engine as the Alzen) is way faster.

    With GT3s it depends on track, if there are long straights it might dominate, but on twisty tracks the GT3s will fly by it
     
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  16. Tardy Tony

    Tardy Tony
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    How about that other real data mod of the sillouette Lotus Esprit and Audi Quattro?
     
  17. AccAkut

    AccAkut
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    what? Those two are totally different in every regard.
     
  18. Tardy Tony

    Tardy Tony
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    what? Oh.
     
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