Oval Racing Strategies

Oval racing is boring to most people. Understandably so, since you only turn in one direction. However, it is not easy. Oval racing requires you to race at persistent high speeds and maintaining those speeds consistently. While it may seem boring to only turn in one direction, the challenge and the intrigue are there. The most important thing to learn is how to properly race an oval. This blog post offers a few thoughts in that perspective.

NOTE: The advice offered in this blog post is NOT professional. I am sure I will screw something up. I am more into road racing than I am almost any other discipline of motorsport. I am no oval expert, so don't entirely take the advice here for gospel.



Oval Racing Basics.

The key to oval racing is the ability to run at high speeds consistently. One such strategy is to try to find speed while also cutting down on wind resistance. In the case of racing ovals, you have to properly find the right braking points so you don't have to lift too much on a lot of ovals.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that not all ovals are the same. Sure, you go in one direction, but not every oval is the same. You can look at any number of ovals for some differences in layout. Shorter ovals employ different strategies than larger ovals. There is an apples and oranges difference between racing the likes of Martinsville and Talladega. In terms of layout, Racing Pocono is much different from racing Charlotte. There are about four different kinds of ovals: short tracks, one-mile ovals, intermediate/speedway ovals, and superspeedway ovals. Some tracks may have low banking in the corners while others may have high banks. You have paper clip ovals, egg-shaped ovals, tri-ovals, D-shaped ovals, and the like. You may even have to shift at some ovals. For example, the shorter corners at Gateway International Raceway and Twin Ring Motegi's oval may require you to downshift a bit since they are more like road course corners than more traditional ovals. Pocono is a tri-oval, but each corner is different. Meanwhile, you have superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega. Daytona, to me, is more of a "driver's superspeedway" than Talladega. Talladega is a high speed romp all the way around except for a little bit of lifting off the throttle at points. So while ovals may seem the same, the strategies in taking them all on are different.

There are also dirt ovals that are very short. When racing on a dirt oval, you have to consider being able to get aggressive handling and aggressive at speed. Dirt encourages you to race a bit harder and more aggressively than on tarmac ovals. A fun part of dirt oval racing is the ability to slide the car out in the corners hard. You need to be aggressive to properly maintain a decent speed in the corners and being able to power out effectively. The kind of vehicle you race in a dirt oval race also depends on what you can and can't do.

Just like any form of racing, you also need to consider setting up your car for ovals. Shorter ovals will require you to have more of an acceleration setup (as opposed to a top speed setup) since you are trying to generate as much speed as possible on such short courses. You also need a decent brake setup since you will have to lift a lot on shorter ovals. It also helps to have a decent handling setup. Conversely on longer ovals, you will need more of a top speed setup especially on courses where you will be at high speeds constantly. Superspeedway type ovals won't require you to have any detailed handling setup. You do, however, want a setup where you don't have a suspension setup better suited for road courses or anything. So something where you don't have to set up for really hard corners will suffice for longer and faster ovals. Aerodynamic tuning also plays a significant role in oval racing. You have to consider an aero setup that either allows for low wind resistance or better control depending on the oval.


Oval Racing: Final Thoughts.

While oval racing may not be as liked by many a racing fan, oval racing isn't "stupid." Oval racing just takes on some tactics different from your average road racing or rally racing. You just need to focus on proper racing technique when on an oval as well as properly tuning for oval racing. Having said all of this, race on! :)





This wasn't entirely professional advice, but at least it should help you racing gamers out there in regards to ovals. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Sebring and Road Atlanta in GT?

Gran Turismo has Daytona and Circuit de la Sarthe. Would Sebring and Road Atlanta help also? Gran Turismo has evolved greatly during its existence. Having Sebring and Road Atlanta would help expand the track profile a bit. More tracks and cars are obviously good, but do you think Sebring and Road Atlanta can help expand Gran Turismo's track profile all the further? This blog post will share my thoughts on the inclusion of these two tracks.






Sebring and Road Atlanta: Get To Know


When I was learning about racing, the former Speedvision (now FOX Sports 1) had what they called the "Grand Slam of Endurance Racing." That included Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue debuted Daytona. Daytona's road course debuted in Gran Turismo 5. Circuit de la Sarthe debuted in Gran Turismo 4. Two of the well-known endurance venues are in the Gran Turismo series. Both have been featured for a long time in the Forza Motorsport series. What about Sebring and Road Atlanta, though? Let me make the case to include both in a future Gran Turismo.


Making the Case: Sebring.

Sebring is just an old-school, old-fashioned, anything but fancy road racing facility. Over 3.74 miles (or 6.02 km) of racing goodness from this flat former air base. It was opened on New Year's Eve in 1950. This track in Sebring, Florida, USA is mostly flat except for some relatively high and low sections of the course. It is also very technical. Sebring once served as the home of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix long ago. Many different companies have competed at the 12 Hours of Sebring over the long history of this endurance race. Winners include the likes of Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Nissan, and more.

The inclusion of Sebring would offer a great road racing challenge. Coupled with having time variable and weather variable elements, Sebring would be great fun to race in the Gran Turismo realm. It would really be great to race with GT-spec machines as well as prototypes classic and modern.

Let me give you an idea of what Sebring is like. Take a look at the following video and imagine playing this in a future Gran Turismo:


^ A Lap Around Sebring International Raceway


Making the Case: Road Atlanta.

Based in Braselton, Georgia, USA; Road Atlanta is a technical road racing facility that is well loved among many racing fans. This track is 2.54 miles (or 4.008 kilometers) in length. It has been around since 1970. Perhaps the most fun part of Road Atlanta are the Esses. These Esses make for a fun test of handling as well as some exceptional photography moments. Unlike my mentioning of Sebring, Road Atlanta has much more elevation changes and undulating roads than Sebring. The premier event for Road Atlanta is the Petit Le Mans- a race that lasts either 1,000 miles or 10 hours, whichever comes first. The Petit Le Mans has been around since 1998. Besides Petit Le Mans, this track is famous for all kinds of racing including motorcycle racing and even drifting. Outside of Forza Motorsport, some other games to include Road Atlanta include "Sports Car GT" and "Le Mans 24 Hours"- both games reviewed here on "John's Race Space."

Here is a lap of Road Atlanta for you:


^ A Lap Around Road Atlanta


So now you know about these two tracks.

IN CASE YOU ARE INTERESTED: Learn more about these two tracks by going to their official websites:
Sebring International Raceway
Road Atlanta




Will We Get Sebring and/or Road Atlanta in GT?


The inclusion of both of these tracks would two more quality endurance racing courses to the Gran Turismo lineup. I love sportscar racing. It would be great seeing Sebring and Road Atlanta as tracks in the Gran Turismo series. Both tracks are worthy challenge for grassroots type racing and even some world-class racing events. Seasonals and online leagues would be incredible for these tracks in the Gran Turismo realm.

Even imagine if you could do "12 Minutes of Sebring" at Sebring if you couldn't stomach doing a proper 12 Hours of Sebring. I probably would even race Formula 1-style cars around Sebring. As for Road Atlanta, there is no doubt the nature and personality would greatly suit Gran Turismo style racing. Imagine seeing cars go through the Esses and such in a GT game. It would be great fun.

I personally would love to see both tracks find their way into Gran Turismo. What say you?





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Racing/Driving Game Streamers

Watch racing/driving streams on YouTube or Twitch? If so, this blog post will point you to some streams I follow. You can learn from and be entertained by others playing games. This is something a bit different in mentioning racing and driving games here on "John's Race Space." If you want to enjoy racing games or driving games in online streams, this post may be of help to you.






Racing/Driving Streams


I will point you now to some streams online. The headers all link to the different streams. These range from Facebook fan pages to actual streams. So click on them to visit their channels.

WARNING: Some of these channels may contain some inappropriate language or some objectionable material. Be mindful of this, as you are seeing some of these streams at your own risk. These may not be safe for work or school.


iRacing Official.

iRacing is one of the premier simulation racing games today. Once you've paid for everything and want to go racing, you can choose from a variety of different styles of racing. This link takes you to the official YouTube channel of official iRacing events.


Racespot.

The premier channel for iRacing streaming and commentary is the YouTube channel known as Racespot. High quality content is provided from this YouTube channel both from its commentary and its coverage. Content featured on Racespot are even shown on iRacing's Live page. Archives of past races are shown from Racespot also on iRacing's Live page. Visit their YouTube channel to see the various material and races shown.


British Online Sim Racing Association (BOSRA).

The British Online Sim Racing Association, or BOSRA, is the first-ever sim racing league approved by the MSA and is in association with TMS Motorsport. They mostly specialize in GT3 racing in iRacing. Their material is available primarily on YouTube. Great commentary and racing action are provided on this stream.


Virtual Endurance Championship/LMPGTEndurance (French).

This is a mostly French Twitch stream that mostly covers iRacing. Among the specialties of this channel are mostly NASCAR races. However, they do a variety of races mostly in a French language. Find them on Twitch at LMPGTEndurance and on YouTube at VEC TV on YouTube.


RevCom Gaming.

One of the first iRacing teams I encountered on Twitch was that of RevCom Gaming. This channel mostly races a lot of NASCAR events, but they also go with some open-wheel racing and some GT3 racing.


Grip TV.

GripTV and its members usually stream iRacing videos. These black and red cars usually try a number of different races in iRacing. Their streams are offered on Twtich and YouTube across its members. The link takes you to the official page of GripTV.


Vice Z Racing.

Vice Z Racing is another online racing team. I couldn't find an official site for this team, so instead, I am providing a link to one of Vice Z Racing's members. That's what the link takes you to.


Steel Horse TV (FB Fan Page link).

Johnathon Caddell and Steel Horse Racing TV are another iRacing team. This group mostly competes in a lot of the iRacing NASCAR-type events. The link to their work that I have provided is to their Facebook fan page. So visit the link to see their work.


Ministry of Speed.

At the Ministry of Speed, great racing is gospel. Run by founder "SixxGun Johnny," the Ministry of Speed offers racing primarily with Project CARS and the Codemasters F1 games. This channel migrated from Twitch to YouTube earlier in 2017. And so, this link takes you to the official page.

If you have Facebook, "like" The MinistryofSpeed motorsports simulations. Find the YouTube channel for this at: Sixxgun Johnny on YouTube.


Online Sim Racing Network (OSRNetwork - FB Fan Page).

There is a good variety of iRacing action that the Online Sim Racing Network puts in YouTube streams. Among some of them is Xtrememotorsports99.com. Feel free to check out the racing action streamed on YouTube by OSRNetwork by clicking on the Facebook fan page link in the header. Or, visit their YouTube channel at OSRNetwork on YouTube.


RacingHearts.

One of the most unique streamers on Twitch or YouTube (mostly Twitch) is that of RealRacingHearts. When streams happen on this channel, the streams usually consist of amazing fictional action across a handful of different racing series. An example of one series featured is the fictional JSA GT Masters, a series featuring many different cars with some insane performance levels. Mostly rFactor streams are showcased on this Twitch channel. Most of the action is not only showcased in a Twitch stream, but also discussed on the Global Racing League (GRL) forums.

Find RacingHeart on Twitch at twitch.tv/RacingHeart. Visit globalracingleague.freeforums.net to take a look at the Global Racing League forums.


Of course, these are only a few different streamers on YouTube and Twitch. I just wanted to name a few that I have followed online. I may add more links in future updates.





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Inside Sim Racing

Since 2007, @InsideSimRacing has been a sim racing boon and a proper outlet in showcasing and discussing simulation racing. Anyone who loves sim racing in some capacity need only look to ISR. They have delivered in offering some of the best insights on racing/driving games along with various other things such as product reviews. This blog post can be thought of as a salute to Inside Sim Racing.

"John's Race Space" is all about racing/driving games. While no games will be covered in this blog post, I do want to take some time to recognize and showcase Inside Sim Racing for their fine work.






Inside Sim Racing


Inside Sim Racing Sim Racing Tonight
^ from: (Twitter) - Inside Sim Racing.

Inside Sim Racing has been an outlet for discussing and showcasing simulation racing games since 2007. It caters to those who enjoy this style of racing game and features various insights on various games. Everything from detailed game play to highlights of events and championships are featured. I'm sure ISR will tell you that while it may be fun doing stuff like Need for Speed or the Asphalt games, sim racing has their own unique appeal. I'm sure even ISR will tell you- racing games like the Need for Speed series is fun, but the real enjoyment of racing and driving is with proper simulation racing titles. You get a feel for racing that arcade games can't match or better. Some of us may never get to experience certain automobiles or get into motorsports. Some of us probably do have certain driving or racing experiences and just want the same great experience in the virtual realm. So ISR does all it can to expose and discuss the simulation racing game scene.

Their show "Sim Racing Tonight" is hosted by the likes of Shaun Cole and Darin Gangi. The insight they provide and the various episodes they publish are nothing short of amazing. I don't usually watch full episodes (some material is about 30 minutes to a full hour or more). What you get is tremendous insight from the ISR crew. If you want to learn how to be atop your sim racing game and be an absolute boss at it, ISR has you covered.


My Own Sim Racing Experiences.

Since taking "John's Gran Turismo Space" into "John's Race Space," I have featured a handful of games outside of Polyphony Digital, including different simulation racing games. I am still someone who will still play any average racing game with a controller or a keyboard. I still consider myself a simulation racer for the most part because I enjoy the challenge of sim racing more than I do a lot of arcade racing games. However, I don't consider myself a hardcore simulation racer. Only thing "hardcore" about my racing game experience is that I have a Logitech Driving Force Pro which I rarely use for my racing games. I don't have anything like a gaming rig. I have no idea about Force Feedback. I am not THAT in depth with my racing game experiences. I am fairly boring in regards to sim racing. I do love it, though.

One of the coolest moments for me on YouTube was when Inside Sim Racing saw one of my videos and commented on it. It's been so long that I don't know what video it was that I got commented on for. I thought it was a cool moment because it felt great that me- no kind of YouTube superstar or anything- was able to get a kind comment from Inside Sim Racing. It was a great feeling.


A Salute to Inside Sim Racing.

I think without Inside Sim Racing, I probably don't know of any other sim racing media that could be better. ISR is a boon for the sim racing community. It provides a voice for sim racers worldwide. The insight provided is great whether it is about rFactor, GTR2, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, or whatever. You really can't go wrong with what is provided from ISR. And considering ISR was created back in 2007, it will be great for this crew to celebrate 10 years of existence. Not to mention still going strong today.

So if the Inside Sim Racing crew is reading this blog post, I just want to let you know that you all do a great job and provide a solid voice for all things sim racing. Keep up the great work. Much love.


For More Information...

To learn more about Inside Sim Racing, visit their official site at: www.isrtv.com. Find them on YouTube at www.youtube.com/simracingtonight.





I have nothing more to discuss for this blog post. I'm glad you could be here for my discussion. I hope you have a great day/night and that you maybe can return to "John's Race Space" if you enjoy my content. Make sure to Subscribe or Follow my work in any manner for more of my blog posts. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Daytona 3 Championship USA Thoughts

Since 1994, the Daytona USA series has blown minds. An announcement in 2016 noted the return of one of the greatest racing game franchises in history as Daytona 3 Championship USA was announced. There are only prototypes as of this post. However, speculation on what could be for this new-age Daytona could become is surely a hot topic. Is this Daytona going to perhaps spark a return to classic arcade gaming? Is this Daytona going to show SEGA is NOT dead with racing games? Could this Daytona bring back old-style, old school racing in today's era of realism and crash-happy racing? This blog post only explains my thoughts regarding this new Daytona based on prototypes.






Daytona 3 Championship USA Thoughts


Time to identify this post. Here's a picture for you:

Daytona 3 Championship USA
^ from: (YouTube) - Daytona USA is back ...but better than ever?

Daytona 3 Championship USA is a revival of the Daytona USA franchise while also offering tournament style play. It is an engaging racing game while offering a handful of options and features to make it stand out and be unique. This new Daytona offers up everything in a shiny package. It is easily the best-looking Daytona USA ever. Besides the visual bits, this new title seems to be one to provide fans novice and veteran the full Daytona USA experience only in arcades. Hey- fear not! We used to play arcades because they had some of the best experiences outside of home playing. So don't be afraid to get out the house every now and then to enjoy some quality gaming.


Initial Thoughts.

I classify myself as a simulation racing fan. Despite this, there aren't too many games anymore that are simply about enjoying going full speed. It does seem boring that racing games have mostly gone towards realism. Some even have gone to end-of-the-world chaos, where nothing short of turning a vehicle into scrap metal is acceptable. That even includes the likes of destructible environments (like "Motorstorm: Apocalypse" and "Split/Second" among others).

Daytona 3 Championship USA, then, can kind of be a welcome breath of fresh air. SEGA has long been known as one of the finest companies to make racing games. Maybe there were some people who felt SEGA lost their racing game swagger. I certainly enjoyed "OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast" as far as modern SEGA racing games are concerned. Even still, there has never been a true 21st Century successor to "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge." And no, I am not exactly counting "Daytona USA 2001" for the Dreamcast.

"Daytona 3 Championship USA" offers an experience that will easily resonate with longtime fans of the series. For the first time in the franchise, the game will actually feature the Daytona International Speedway that the series has long modeled itself as. However from videos I looked up in researching (remember the game is in prototype phase as of this post), Daytona USA is NOT modeled accurately. It instead seems more like the classic Three-Seven Speedway many Daytona USA gamers are accustomed to but with a lot of visual cues similar to Daytona. So don't expect an accurate re-creation of Daytona based on what has been documented in videos and pictures.

Speaking of videos and pictures, take a look at this video to get an idea of this franchise reborn:


^ Daytona 3 Championship USA Teaser Trailer HD

Not much is shown in this teaser, but you do get the sense of this franchise being revived proper. Since everything has to be pretty on YouTube (according to YouTubers), it is common to see people complain about how the graphics to this prototype of Daytona 3 Championship USA are. Nothing boils my blood as a gamer quite like someone deciding on whether or not a game is bad only on its looks. Since the game is still in development as of this original post, you can't make anything of it on graphics alone. There's still a game to be played.

(NOTE: You may skip this paragraph if its subject matter doesn't apply to you. It is a further discussion on graphics over gameplay.)
I mentioned that graphics aren't everything; yet, people try to make it the most crucial factor outside of gaming. I hate how people just assume that bad-looking games are the worst. Even the prettiest of titles can still heavily lack in the game playing department. This is a concept of "function over form." Games shouldn't be given passes for being great-looking when the gameplay is unacceptable. Only liking games because of their graphics is like saying only the most handsome/beautiful people are the best. Heck, there are a number of beautiful females won't even give me the time of day or recognition. Or they may even just lack being approachable and friendly. Conversely, some who people would consider not as visually attractive can be highly friendly and caring. You just can't boil things down to graphics or only base your opinions of a game on its graphics. If you do, you are only touching on one element outside of actually playing and enjoying a game. So please- chill out on that stuff.


Areas of Concern.

If you look up extra videos on "Daytona 3 Championship USA," you tend to see many of the lovely visual touches on the cars. The game is actually great looking to me and can only get better (hopefully) when the final game is released to arcades. Legitimate concern was made as people tend to those who felt like Daytona 3 Championship USA doesn't acknowledge "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge." As if to say this new Daytona isn't exactly an evolution from the second Daytona USA game. This is a legit thing to be concerned about especially if you are a veteran of the Daytona USA series. I think (and hope) we may possibly see some of the extra cars from past Daytona USA games. Can you imagine taking on Daytona in the Phantom Full Force car for example? Not that there's anything wrong with rolling with Hornet High-Class, though. It may also be possible to have a choice of cars including the likes of "Daytona USA: Championship Edition" or "Daytona USA 2001."

Another concern is how this game has a sequential shift as opposed to the usual "H" shifter. Not that I am overly concerned, but I do find some uneasiness in not being able to race with the old H-style manual/standard setup. You be the judge on this one.

The Lakeside Castle track is a track that seems to pay homage to Dinosaur Canyon. Its style and feel are like Daytona USA's "Advanced" course, but it is not the classic Dinosaur Canyon course. Prototype videos I've seen featured only three of six possible tracks. It leads one to believe what courses will fill those six extra spaces. Could we possibly see the return of Seaside Street Galaxy (Daytona USA's "Expert" course)? Could the amusement park and/or the city course from "Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge" make a return? Could there possibly be a re-make of combining all of the game's tracks into one long course? Or who knows- could we see "Sega Super GT/SCUD Race" tracks make their Daytona USA debut? Maybe we could have some dirt track racing for Daytona USA. There is still a lot to consider on the tracks front in "Daytona 3 Championship USA."

To make mention one last time about the graphics, some have complained about how the graphics look. One of the other niggles some people have with the graphics is how the graphics seem too colorful. I personally don't care about games that look too colorful. It's like everything has to be gritty and dark to look great. Now you do suffer from realism when you don't have the most colorful graphics. That's if you are pursuing realism. Since the Daytona USA series was never about any kind of hardcore realism, who honestly cares about Daytona USA not being colorful? And what difference does it make? If you want gritty, play one of those dime-a-dozen first-person shooters or something.


Could Daytona USA Spark a Revival of Arcade Gaming?

Let's face it- we've become so much into wanting to play games at home or on mobile devices so much that the arcade industry has slowly died. Since "Daytona 3 Championship USA" is only slated for arcades, its goodness means it can only be enjoyed at the arcades. Are you willing to go out to an arcade place to play this game if one of these units were available at it? I still love being in front of arcade units and playing away especially when I'm out and about. Playing games at home is comfortable, but there's nothing like playing an arcade unit. Why do you think certain racing game fans enjoy having racing rigs to play rather than go with a boring gamepad to play racing/driving games?


Final Thoughts.

I am really looking forward to seeing what this new style Daytona USA will be like when it is in its final form. My hope is that this arcade game will remind people what made Daytona USA great in the first place while also giving newer fans a taste of the Daytona USA experience. This game will only be successful if it manages to bring both newcomers and veterans alike the experience only Daytona USA can provide. And to those who think SEGA lost their touch with racing games, maybe this game will serve as proof that it was as if SEGA never left with making great racing games.





All of what I have discussed is all based on what we know about the game from prototypes. As we know, there are prototypes and then the real thing. So I am sure things will greatly change between now and when the final product is released. In the meanwhile, I'd like to thank you for reading this post on my racing/driving game blog- John's Race Space! Take care and be well.

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More Games to Feature Porsche?

With news of Electronic Arts losing their Porsche license, could it ignite interest in bringing Porsche to more games? There is a reason why we play racing/driving games- accessing cars we may never get to drive, let alone see. People who have played Gran Turismo games often complain about a lack of certain car companies. As a Gran Turismo fan, people always complained about no Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini. Gran Turismo HD debuted Ferrari. Gran Turismo PSP debuted Lamborghini. Could a future Gran Turismo debut Porsche?






Porsche and Electronic Arts


I'll use this picture from one of my Facebook photo albums to set the mood here.

Porsche EA Gran Turismo
^ from: (one of my Facebook profile photo albums) - Find out about my thoughts on Porsche not extending their exclusive contract with Electronic Arts by reading this blog post!

Let's go through some talking points now.


Porsche With Electronic Arts.

Let's be honest. Electronic Arts has done absolutely nothing with the Porsche license besides "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed." Most of their other offerings was just to exhibit Porsche in crappy illegal street racing games. So it is a breath of fresh air that Porsche did away with the exclusive license deal with EA. As I was going to post my initial draft of this topic, I thought about another game that had Porsche featured from EA- Sports Car GT. Both the PlayStation 1 and PC versions of SCGT featured Porsche.

Here is a bit of critical commentary. If you have an exclusive contract with something, it means a company sticks with you and trusts you in that no one else can deliver a better product. It is almost as if you have sponsors who sponsor your material because they trust you are a great entity to promote and respect you. EA basically have (pardon my choice of words) prostituted their Porsche license so you can play crappy games with a historic marque like Porsche. Not all EA games are crappy- mostly Need for Speed since "NFS: Underground" is what I mostly mean in regards to "crappy EA racing games." I am not going to put the NFS Shift games in the same category because I thought the Shift games were pretty good.

Basically, Electronic Arts has kept away the Porsche license from others as if EA doesn't want anyone else "ruining" the Porsche license. It is also as if Porsche feels only EA can deliver the best performance and usage of their license deal. To be honest, all EA done is just hold onto that exclusive licensing deal so that more qualified and much better games and game developers will be unable to utilize Porsche as EA has. I even hear some people say that EA has Porsche so that they don't have companies like Ferrari trying to one-up Porsche in their games. Almost as if to say "Ferrari and Lamborghini are better than Porsche, so we decide not to be included in games featuring either or both companies in order for us to avoid being decimated by these two marques."


Porsche With Other Developers.

So Electronic Arts had the whole exclusive thing going. What about other companies that tried to get their hands on Porsche? It was the Forza Motorsport series by Turn 10 that really utilized Porsche well outside of EA. I was even surprised at how well Turn 10 was able to feature Porsche even with EA's stranglehold of the Porsche license. Having been on GTPlanet since 2003, the one thing I kept seeing people complain about was how Gran Turismo and Polyphony Digital could never secure major car companies. It is as if only Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini matter most. So in other words... Alfa Romeo is not a world-class manufacturer? Mercedes-Benz isn't a world-class car company? Pagani doesn't make real supercars? Heck, even GT4 had Bentley... granted it was only the 2003 Le Mans-winning prototype. Tourist Trophy had Ducati. For most people, though, they don't matter all that much. Even late in the development of Gran Turismo 4, a lot of people bolted towards Forza Motorsport 1 because they feel like Gran Turismo cares more about Kei cars and Skyline/GT-Rs than supercars from world-class manufacturers. Ruf is NOT a new car company to Gran Turismo- it debuted in Gran Turismo 2. A lot of other games have featured Ruf instead of Porsche.

There have been a handful of racing Porsches in other games. SimBin's GTR games featured Porsche racing models in their games. There was also a game for the PlayStation 1 called Porsche Challenge. In this game, you only raced the Porsche Boxster. Versions of "Test Drive: Le Mans" and "Le Mans 24 Hours" featured Porsche, but obviously couldn't use the Porsche namesake for copyright issues. ToCA Race Driver 2 had one series feature the Koenig C62- kind of Koenig's version of the Porsche 962C. ToCA Race Driver 3 had the Gemballa GTR 750. It was tough to try to get proper Porsche licensing in games. So many have looked to either not use the Porsche name or look for cars from companies like Ruf and Gemballa.


That Ruf Company...

Many developers feel like because they can't get Porsche, they (in the minds of some) "have to settle for Ruf." Almost as if Ruf is a substitute for the car company that has no substitute. I think this news will mean Ruf probably won't be in as many games now as long as Porsche is given a fair chance to be in games. Let this be said- Ruf is NOT a replacement. It is not a glorified placeholder for Porsche. Ruf, in their own right, makes some incredible cars. I personally love the CTR3. You can race this car in games like "The Crew" and even "Project C.A.R.S." If you ask me, I'd include Porsche AND Ruf.


Contractual Matters.

Maybe the most puzzling aspect of this entire deal is the notion of an exclusive contract anyways. Having an exclusive contract is almost like marrying someone. Especially if you are a jerk of a spouse to your significant other, you feel great knowing that you have something no one else can ever have. Porsche must have agreed to an exclusive contract because they feel EA is the only game developer that can satisfy the needs of showcasing Porsche and that no one else can do better.

We all know that isn't true. To express something completely different, there was a time when 2K Sports made their own NFL game even though EA's Madden NFL franchise was the game all NFL fans were enjoying. Some people even love ESPN NFL 2K5 over even Madden NFL 2005 around that time. Having an exclusive franchise means you get to properly use and utilize a license and all it is worth; and if anyone wants to try their own featuring of a company, they'll have to go through a litany of obstacles just to try to use that license and that company's products. Maybe EA would be better respected if they weren't trying to play "hard to get" in trying to use Porsche products. That's why when Turn 10 (the developers of the Forza Motorsport series) couldn't initially use Porsche in Forza Motorsport 4, scores of "butthurt" Forza Motorsport fans were disappointed. Even Turn 10 Creative Director Dan Greenawalt was disappointed in the initial stages of Forza Motorsport, and rightfully so. They had Porsche in FM1 through FM3 originally. Why they couldn't secure Porsche early in FM4 is beyond me. FM4 would eventually get Porsche in.

Let's mention a more relevant matter. There was a time when SEGA had the Ferrari license. At least SEGA stayed true to the Ferrari license and featured Ferrari in a nice assortment of games. Maybe one of their finest efforts was "Sega Ferrari 355 Challenge" (a game reviewed here on "John's Race Space"). They did even better when they made "OutRun 2" and "OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast." At least unlike EA, SEGA wasn't trying to be the evil empire or play "hard to get" for those who wanted to use Ferrari in their games.

Electronic Arts were probably aware other companies could better use Porsche; they just won't let them. So if you're the one most able to use and utilize a company like Porsche in this case, at least make good on your efforts. EA did only one Porsche job best- "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed." Besides this game? Well, let's see... having Porsche mostly in illegal street racing games and in Hollywood-style racing/driving games. Is THAT how you want to exhibit Porsche- a company with many fabulous road-going cars and a legendary motorsports heritage spanning many decades? I'm sorry, EA- you haven't done too much to make Porsche enjoyable. This "you have to go through me" mentality isn't helping the racing/driving game community when you know other game companies can do a much better job of showcasing Porsche than what you've shown. I doubt people will play any EA racing game being inspired to one day own a Porsche. Even cars in Gran Turismo games got me to imagining one day seeing certain cars in person. All EA has done (in my opinion) is make it tough for more qualified and talented developers to feature Porsche since having the Porsche exclusive license. Having a contract with Porsche is one thing; having an EXCLUSIVE one is another. It is the ultimate act of selfishness to have an exclusive contract, especially if your featuring of the product is substandard compared to what other companies could potentially do if given the same contract. And if people think your product is not all that good with that gorgeous exclusive contract, all this does is hurt your reputation and make you more of a whiny prick who doesn't want to share. Therefore, I question the exclusive contract between EA and Porsche rather than any basic contract between the two.


Now on to address the elephant in the room as far as Gran Turismo is concerned...




Will Gran Turismo FINALLY Feature Porsche?


So with Porsche doing away with extending the exclusive license with Electronic Arts, will that open the door for Polyphony Digital to finally include Porsche? Will all the "butthurt" Gran Turismo fans finally get to see and race Porsche models? Will the whining end? Let me be the one to say... that dream may finally come true. The future is a bit bright you can have Ferrari and Lamborghini, and now Porsche as well.


How Can Polyphony Digital Utilize Porsche?

Polyphony Digital is NOT going to disappoint unless they decide to only feature so few Porsche models. The first order of business would be to include many of the modern Porsches. You know this will include featuring machines like the entry-level Porsche- the Cayman. You then go ahead and offer as many generations of the 911 Carerra as you can. The 924 and 928 are fine Porsche models as well. I surely wouldn't mind having the Porsche 911 GT2 of the 2000s. The two Porsches I would love to see most are the Porsche 911 GT1 and one of the most gorgeous cars of the 2000s- the Carerra GT.

Now on to two curious models- the Cayenne and the Panamera. Do you include these as well? I actually wouldn't mind racing or tuning a Cayenne, or even the new Macan in the Gran Turismo realm. That leaves the Panamera now. People either love or loathe the Panamera. The former describes my thoughts on the Panamera. People will complain about the Panamera being ugly. I actually think it is handsome. Almost as if to say people will hate the Panamera, but they'll buy a Cayenne easily. So I would even want to buy and tune a Panamera to race any doggone well I so choose in a Gran Turismo.

I especially would want to see the 917 and the 962 on the racing front. You can take your pick of any Porsche 962 models. The Porsche 962 won Le Mans even the year I was born (1983). Perhaps my favorite 962 was the Coca-Cola Porsche 962. It also would be great to see the 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright. Don't forget the dime-a-dozen (or seemingly) 911 RSRs. To be in line with Gran Turismo 6 having Base Model race cars, it would be cool to see base versions of the 911 RSR and the Porsche Cup cars. It also wouldn't hurt having the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP. Unlike Ferrari and Lamborghini, Porsche even has some off-road racing experience. So imagine seeing the Porsche 959 (another important car to include) in both its road-going form as well as the 959 that raced the Paris-Dakar Rally in the 1980s. When I mentioned off-road racing, I am not counting or disregarding the Ferrari-powered Lancia Stratos that dominated rally in its time. I personally love the 550A Spyder the most. Unfortunately, it is forever linked in the death of James Dean.

No matter what you think about the Gran Turismo series, one thing it does best if offer material outside of what most mainstream types know of. We've seen rare and underrated automobiles featured in games. I would be fully surprised if a Gran Turismo game featured some kind of rare Porsche outside of what most Porsche lovers would see in a game. Only one I can really think of would be one of the rare road-going versions of the Porsche 962C.

Porsche in Gran Turismo can be an excellent opportunity to expand the GT lineup. And to some others, it would be something a long time coming. PD can only hurt themselves trying to make good of Porsche in their game. It remains to be seen how PD plays the Porsche card.




Final Thoughts


I think it is great news that Porsche decided not to extend its exclusive licensing deal with Electronic Arts simply because EA hasn't done anything truly tremendous with their license. To put it as an analogy, Porsche's exclusive contract deal with EA is like a woman remaining married with some man just to avoid being taken by any more handsome, more respectful man- knowing they are out there who would lovingly want to be with her. This divorce (so to speak) of Porsche and EA gives easier access and life to other developers to put forth more quality racing game products utilizing one of the world's most legendary car companies and racing programs. Maybe those other developers would be better served to offer as many of Porsche's fine cars in their games. EA thinks it is helping themselves by featuring Porsche as an exclusive company; but really, they have done very little impressive to make good of Porsche. EA has done better with the Madden NFL games as opposed their utilization of Porsche in their racing/driving games. If you're going to have an exclusive license and not do much good with it, maybe it's time for some other developer(s) to make good of the license. I'm sorry if I offend fans of the Need for Speed series (especially NFS Underground and later), but this is really long overdue. Gran Turismo fans can even feel happy knowing the series they thought cared more about Skylines and Lancers than real sports cars may have hope of seeing Porsche enter the Gran Turismo series at long last.

I am a good bit biased discussing Porsche in the respect of the Gran Turismo series, but this could be a boon for various other racing games and driving games to feature Porsche proper including the aforementioned Gran Turismo series. You don't have to deal with EA any longer if you want to have Porsche proper in your racing/driving game now that the exclusive contract is no more. It's sad for EA, but life goes on. You can still be the "evil empire" many see you as. Let other developers do a better... and maybe MUCH better job of featuring Porsche. EA's exclusive deal with Porsche is almost like people in social media who are friends with certain individuals just to say they are friends with those individuals. You know- they only want to mooch on feeling privileged to be a friend of yours but don't want to show it with honest and sincere comments and posts. Basically, people just trying to jocking your swagger and get a free ride. I wouldn't be surprised to see certain other game makers make better quality material using Porsche than EA almost entirely have done. All I can say is that this is quite a game changer. And perhaps... a game changer coming not a moment too soon.


Cross-Promotion/Other Reading.

Here were previous thoughts of mine regarding Porsche in Gran Turismo and if it would ever happen:

Porsche in Gran Turismo? (John's Race Space)
^ These were old thoughts of mine about Gran Turismo featuring Porsche.

Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (John's Race Space)
^ This is my blog review of "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed."


That's all for this blog post!





Those are my thoughts, at least, on the whole matter of Porsche and EA no longer having an exclusive contract deal. What do YOU think about all of this? Remember to Subscribe and Follow my blog(s) in some capacity if you want more of my content available to you when the latest items become available. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Emergency Call Ambulance

A life is on the line. Can you safely transport dying patients to the hospital? This was SEGA's challenge to you in 1999 in "Emergency Call Ambulance." Drive your ambulance and go from accident scene to hospital as efficiently as possible. Do so because others' lives depend on you! This blog post is a look at Emergency Call Ambulance.






Emergency Call Ambulance


Let's get one thing out of the way before I talk about this game. If you love crashing cars, you will NOT love this game. This game takes place in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Crashing in this game only decreases the chances of you clearing the game. To SEGA racing fans, you can think of "Emergency Call Ambulance" as a more serious "Crazy Taxi." You still pick up people and take them places just like in Crazy Taxi. Only in this game, you are trying to pick up people who are hurt and try to get them to safety and to be healed at a hospital.

There are four cases for you to solve. Your time is set at 99 seconds. That time is basically how much longer the patients have to live as you try to safely deliver each patient to the hospital. You must navigate your way through traffic and various hazards to safely deliver people to the hospital. If you hit objects or traffic, the damage will affect the person you're trying to save. If you fail to reach the goal, the patient dies, and the game is over. Best piece of advice: keep mistakes to an absolute minimum.


Final Thoughts.

I think people should play this game just to be reminded that you can't just crash cars all the time and expect to have fun. You sometimes need to preserve the vehicle you are using. So make sure to protect your vehicle at all costs.


Video Preview.

I could show you a game video, but I chose to show you the Attract sequence to this game. This your first look at "Emergency Call Ambulance" if you've never seen it before. It will give you an idea of the mechanics of the game:


^ "Emergency Call Ambulance - Attraction Mode SEGA 1999"

So what do you think about this arcade game?





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Crazy Taxi

So you want to be a taxi driver? SEGA's take on taxi driving is insane, though it's called Crazy Taxi. This 1999 arcade classic features a wild and engaging experience in the realm of being a taxi driver. While I have personally never played this (or remember playing it), this game will surely offer a wicked experience. This blog post here offers a look at the very first Crazy Taxi.






Crazy Taxi


SEGA Crazy Taxi
^ from: (Google Play) - You're the coolest taxi driver ever when you play "Crazy Taxi."

Released in 1999 in the arcades, "Crazy Taxi" let players live the life of a taxi driver. I don't believe there is an actual city in this game, but the city seems a lot like San Francisco. You are credited with the task of picking up people and taking them to wherever they want to go. You will be racking up fare money all the way. Get people to their destination to score the most points and fare money. This is by no means a simulation- it's all about arcade fun. So don't worry about precise driving. However, it does help that you know your way around the city before attempting to try to get people to wherever they want to go. There are four different taxis and taxi drivers to choose from. You do have an indicator that points your way to the destinations in question. Once the game timer expires, the game is over.

The fun factor and the over-the-top driving are reasons why this title resonates as a classic in the hearts of many who have played this game. I am not really familiar with any sequels of the Crazy Taxi series, so I won't discuss those here on "John's Race Space" unless I get a general idea of some of the later titles of the Crazy Taxi series.


Final Thoughts.

It is very unlikely you will play this game to be screened if you want to be a real taxi driver. For the absolute fun factor, you can't go wrong with a game like Crazy Taxi. Future game series like the Grand Theft Auto games have their own kind of mini games with taxi driving. There is still no greater feeling than driving a taxi in the Crazy Taxi series.


Video Preview.

Find out how wacky it can be to drive a taxi around town by checking out this video I found. This is the Dreamcast version:


^ "Crazy Taxi (Sega Dreamcast)"

So what do you think?





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Vehicle Skinning

Lately, I have been involved with skinning cars. The ability to create your own skins for cars gives you a chance to express yourself artistically and have unique cars. Who doesn't want to have their own cars and teams represented in a game? Since "John's Race Space" is about all things racing/driving games, I figured I'd share with you this post on skinning cars for racing and driving games. This post mostly concerns skins for PC racing/driving games.

The first thing I want to stress is that my interests in making skins for cars is somewhat why I have been away from the blogosphere. I have been trying to think of designs to come up with for a host of different mods for a host of different racing games. My concentration mostly focuses on rFactor and GTR2. If you follow my work on "John's Creative Space," you may have seen some of the designs I've come up with.


My Skinning Advice.

Here are a few things I recommend in case you want to try out making skins for cars in games that allow for them...

• Learn the nuances of how skins are created. If there is a mod you downloaded that features a template you can use, it is recommended you first begin to see how certain cars are skinned before trying to make your own creation. I actually avoid making skins for some vehicles because I find some templates to be confusing as to how to skin for them.

• Find programs that handle PSD files. PSD files are usually handled by Adobe Photoshop; but Photoshop, especially today's Photoshop costs money for a subscription and even more if you want to buy the full program. So many people look to alternatives that open PSD files such as The GIMP and Paint.NET. Another alternative is to use Photoshop Elements. Photoshop Elements can be just as effective in having bare essentials to picture editing from the base Photoshop in editing PSD files, but you can go only so far with it. One time, I tried editing one template in Photoshop Elements when the program said that it couldn't handle 16-layer images or something like that. Only issue is that they may not be able to handle PSD files as well as Photoshop can. You have some options here... even including illegal/non-recommended ones (like pirated programs, for example).

• Collect logos online. Make like Pok√©mon and collect 'em all! :) Find as many logos as you can for whatever kinds of skins you may have in mind. I mostly use Google Images to search for logos. Alternatively, you can also use sites like Brands of the World to search for logos. I recommend you find transparent GIF and (especially) transparent PNG images. You can also use JPG images, but the problem with JPG images is that they are grainy and don't translate too well to when you apply them to templates. You also have to do some extra work to make them useful in applying to templates. Also, JPG images have no transparency to them. So that's why I recommend either GIF or PNG files. It is best if you can find decent-size logos that look clean as you apply them to vehicle templates. If you envision having many different logos to use for many different kinds of cars, then be sure to think about what logos for companies you want to have featured on cars. If you are not sure what kinds of logos you want to get to include for vehicle templates, try playing various games to get a little perspective. Make a folder on your computer for which you can dump in the logos for you to use in your creations.

• Make a base for your designs. It helps to make a decent base for your vehicles that you can use to make your designs. This can be helpful in making one car or a car set for a team. You can also set up a base design to make up a One-Make series. With a base livery, you can make all cars identical. Conversely, you can also take a base livery and simply make color variations. This is like you see in the older Gran Turismo games.

• Continually test your skins. No matter how perfect you think your designs are, they don't mean anything until you actually test them in games. So make sure to keep practicing putting skins into games and onto models. As a testing example, if you do not reduce the opacity of your skin for rFactor models, your vehicles will appear very glossy. Unless you specify certain parts to have a glossy appearance, your car will appear very shiny. There's nothing wrong with shiny, but you do want to be realistic. So keep testing certain skins in games.

• (optional) Especially with games like rFactor, GTR2, NR2003, Assetto Corsa, and others... I recommend you download and buy 3DSimEd. It is one way you can test vehicle skins without loading up the game they belong to. One issue you may face is that some loaded cars may be told to be corrupted or encrypted when you load them. All you would need to do when using 3DSimEd is to hide certain 3D geometry so you can see the car better. Besides skinning, it is also effective in editing tracks in most modern simulation racing games. So that's why I recommend you buy 3DSimEd as a powerful tool for your editing of locations and vehicles in most of today's leading simulation racing games.

I hope these tips can help you become a master skinner.


Skinning Examples.

If you would like to see some skinners in action, I invite you to check out these blogs and sites. Gain perspective from these skin makers to help you in your skinning:

RENDY'S BLOG
Koda Factory

I may add some more if I find any more interesting skinners. The two in this non-edited post are just two skinners that come to mind. You can contact me via E-Mail or through any of my social media pages if you have your own site for which you share your creations.


I Wonder...

The toughest game to skin for in my view is iRacing. You have to pay to play iRacing, and especially if you are making custom skins for cars in iRacing, it can be tough and costly. iRacing does offer its own set of liveries for cars so you don't have to make custom ones. However, making skins for the vastly popular iRacing can be tricky. So I wonder how one would go about making custom skins for a game like iRacing considering the variables discussed here.


In Case You're Wondering...

You can see some of my creaetive works by following "John's Creative Space." Among some of the things I share are some of my skins for vehicles in games. I'd love for you to visit so you can see my own creations. To visit "John's Creative Space," visit johnscreativespace.blogspot.com. It is possible I will offer my skins for download. Make nothing of it right now, but in the future, you can see some of my designs so far on my Weebly site by going to JMDesigns - Game Mods, and you can see mods I've made available on my Weebly site at JMDesigns - Store: Game Mods.





Have yourself a great day/night. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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NAMCO Final Lap Series

NAMCO's Final Lap series is mostly F1-based. Four arcade titles and some home titles define this series. This blog post on "John's Race Space" takes a brief look at each of the games in the series. I have never played any of these games, unfortunately. So I can't give any personal insight on each title. What you'll see, then, are mostly impression-based views on each game of the Final Lap series.






Final Lap Series


You can think of the Final Lap series of games as an evolution of the Pole Position games. The Final Lap games mostly are Formula 1 racing games allowing you to take on a host of circuits worldwide. A number of arcade units can be linked together for great racing action across the Final Lap arcade titles.

I wish I could find more content for all of you to better explain what you are about to read, but a lot of these bits of insight are my best to offer at least a base understanding of each title. I hope you enjoy my efforts nonetheless. I may update this post with more content if I can find more to feature in better explaining these titles.


Final Lap (1987).

The first Final Lap (wait- is this grammatically correct?) was released in 1987. Much like the first Pole Position had you race only one course (Fuji Speedway), the first Final Lap has you racing only one course- Suzuka Circuit. You will be racing this one course for about three or four laps. Try to clear this race in time to win. If playing with linked units, try your best to finish ahead of everybody else. The game is over either when time expires or when the race is completed.


Final Lap Twin (1989).

Released exclusively on the PC Engine (called the Turbo Grafx 16 here in the United States), Final Lap Twin offered up an RPG-style racing experience. You bought a car an upgrade it. You even are challenged by others to races. It was a most unique experience. Besides this Quest Mode, you can race in F3000 cars or F1 cars in this game in a variety of races in a championship.


Final Lap 2 (1990).

Get ready for a World Championship of sorts when you race Final Lap 2. You will find yourself on classic F1 venues worldwide such as Brazil (Interlagos), Monaco (Monte Carlo), USA (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but not the accurate course), and Japan (Suzuka). Enhanced graphics and a broader array of tracks to choose from mean you will be enjoying this game for a good bit longer than with the first Final Lap.


Final Lap 3 (1992).

Final Lap 3 exclusively features European courses. While not with actually licensed names, you could race the following courses: Italy (Monza), San Marino (Autodromo di Imola), France (Paul Ricard Circuit), and Spain (Circuit de Catalunya). Can you prove yourself to be the finest race car driver on four of Europe's toughest tracks? Play Final Lap 3 and find out!


Final Lap R (1993).

Of the Final Lap series, only Final Lap R offers actual licensing of F1 cars as well as the Formula 1 World Championship. Final Lap R featured four actually licensed teams along with Formula 1 licensing across four different actual F1 circuits. No licensed courses, but you could tell what each one is if you know your tracks. You got: Hungary (Hungaroring), Germany (Hockenheimring), Brazil (Interlagos), and Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps). This game also offers an immense graphical makeover compared to the past Final Lap titles. Here is a sample of "Final Lap R" for your enjoyment:


^ Final Lap R - Namco System FL - Brazil GP - Mclaren Corrida Completa/Full Race


Final Lap Special (2001).

On the WonderSwan- a portable gaming device, there was a Final Lap title called Final Lap Special. This allowed gamers to race on a number of courses in cars other than formula cars. In addition to Formula cars are GT cars. Granted you were bestowed with a WonderSwan, you can get your Final Lap fix with Final Lap Special. This video demonstrates "Final Lap Special":


^ "Final Lap Special...Game Sample - WonderSwan Color"

And there you have it- a look at the Final Lap games.





This has been another post in the realm of "John's Race Space." This is my blog about racing games and driving games. It was created initially to cover the Gran Turismo series and Tourist Trophy before I decided to broaden the array of topics. If you enjoyed your time here, make sure you are subscribed and followed to see my latest posts as they become available. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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