slowbird
slowbird Dork
12/13/19 12:21 p.m.

My sim racing obsession comes and goes. I might go months without doing a single race, then jump back in and spend way too many hours on it, to the point of not getting enough sleep. (Most of my hobbies have this effect, actually.) The newer games are cool, and look amazing, but often times I find myself not getting drawn in as much by them. Assetto Corsa, the Project Cars series, even rFactor 2...they're all just missing...something. I think the most fun I've had with a newer game is BeamNG.Drive, which is not even a racing game, but a vehicle physics and crash simulator, but anyway...I occasionally go back to the classics.

rFactor 1 is a remarkable example of the value of user-generated content. The content provided by the developers is somewhat generic and boring, but the almost endless mods for the game really bring it to life. To a certain point, it's possible to imagine not needing any other game but this one. And yet, for one reason or another, I inevitably tire of this as well. Probably because loading too many mods makes the menu slow and some tracks are of questionable quality, especially in the AI department. Nevertheless, I still have a great deal of appreciation for this game. It's the spiritual sequel to the first PC racing game I really got sucked into: Sports Car GT.

Developed by the same folks as rFactor, but several years earlier, Sports Car GT was very much the same kind of "easily modded" game, but even more so. For example, a single text file held all of the car's relevant stats, and tools were created by the community to make it easy to tweak the engine, suspension, and aero numbers. For that matter, opening up the car's 3D files was rather easy as well, with multiple programs capable of modifying and converting them. I put several 3D models from other games into Sports Car GT myself back in the early 2000s. However, unlike rFactor in my opinion, the base content was also a draw of Sports Car GT. The late-90s sports car world was weird, and this game doesn't perfectly encapsulate it, but it does have some legendary cars like the Panoz GTR-1 and Mclaren F1, some interesting yet less famous cars like the Mosler and the Lister Storm, all the way down to GT2 and GT3 BMWs and Porsches. I managed to get this game to work on my modern PC, and it still holds up in a weird way. I think I like it more with a controller than a wheel, but maybe that's because I used to play it with a flight stick. This game is like a warm nostalgic glass of hot cocoa. I have a huge amount of mods for this game stashed in my cloud storage, just because most of the websites are gone nowadays.

On a slightly different note, but not really, Race 07 is one of those games that is better than it has any right to be. It's a licensed game for the WTCC, but it's no throwaway as licensed games often are. In fact, it runs on the same physics engine as rFactor, though tweaked by the developers for this particular application. It also has a bunch of expansions, some of which were sold as standalone games, but all of which tie into Race 07 if you buy them on Steam. They're old enough that Steam doesn't really treat them like modern DLC, so it's a bit confusing, but once you install them all, you can access them from the Race 07 menu. There's GT cars and classics and open-wheel, but this game to me is really about touring cars. WTCC and STCC cars across several seasons all can race together, and they're a lot of fun. I think this game is what made me realize front-wheel drive doesn't have to be boring.

I've played with some mods for Race 07 in the past, but somehow never got around to the Supertouring mod. This was a major oversight, as this mod is not only well-made but has been continually updated by the creator. It's a really sweet encapsulation of 90s touring cars, focused on the BTCC and featuring the famous Volvo wagons, the multitude of BMWs, the Renaults and Hondas and Nissans and Peugeots and Vauxhalls, and of course, my favorite, the Mondeos. There's enough cars for full seasons from 95 to 2000, as well as cars from 91-94 and a few others.

Where am I going with this? I don't know. I just like old racing games that hold up better than they have a right to.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
12/13/19 12:36 p.m.

Here's a sample of the Supertouring mod.

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
12/13/19 1:38 p.m.

I would add GTR2 to the list, I purchased the pack from  STEAM, and still think it is the most realistic handling even compared to the newer games.

Rodulrich
Rodulrich New Reader
12/13/19 2:33 p.m.

I was heavily into some of these games too.  I don't play sims too much these days, but I like to play some RRE and Assetto Corsa here and there.  Dirt took up alot of my time.  Still waiting on GTR3!

jde
jde HalfDork
12/14/19 11:55 a.m.

rF1 had limited unlicensed base content because the whole point was to make a sandbox sim for the community based on ISI's experience with SCGT.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
12/17/19 10:35 a.m.

In reply to trigun7469 :

GTR2 is definitely well-revered and still has fans. I oddly never got that invested in it for whatever reason, even though I think I got a copy of it in a bundle pack with GT Legends way back when. (GT Legends was great too, but at that time I didn't have a wheel, and the joystick wasn't cutting it for driving those old beasts.) Nowadays I'm inclined to give GTR2 another shot every so often, but I've had some trouble getting the AI to perform consistently with mods.

In reply to Rodulrich :

RRE is pretty fun. I got annoyed by its business model, but when they had a sale I was able to get enough content to make it worthwhile. Haven't played it lately for whatever reason.

In reply to jde :

That's a good point. I sort of forgot that they did that on purpose. And they did a great job of it, so much so that rF2 was a bit of a letdown due to its increased complexity for mod makers.

Mike924
Mike924 Reader
12/18/19 9:40 a.m.

I am in a league with a bunch of guys that get together every week.  We play rFactor and have our own mods that encompass pretty much everything from classic Mini's to Formula 1.  In my posts on this forum, which I haven't posted much on recently we normally get between 10 and 15 drivers for our Wednesday night feature races of 55 minutes.  Always fun. 

As an example we are running Porsche 550s right now until the new year.  

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