Project CARS

Cryptopygia

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Three months ago, Slightly Mad Studios? Ian Bell shared his vision of a community-funded simulation title right here on VirtualR. What many may have dismissed as a very much utopian vision has gotten extremely real as the studio has been hard at work for the past few months to turn a great idea into a working project.

Named Community Assisted Race Sim, or C.A.R.S. for short, the project will allow ordinary sim racers to become investors in a racing simulation title and get a share of the profits and unmatched access to the development process and a say in the title?s direction.

For the past few months, the guys at Slightly Mad Studios have been hard at work on all fronts as Ian Bell has revealed some exclusive details on the team?s progress. The legal work on the project has just been completed and SMS is ready to launch the project?s website and accept investors within the next 2-3 weeks.

The studio will be offering investment options that will fit any budged, starting out with a 5? option ending with gold-level commitment of 1000? and beyond. All investors will be getting access to downloadable development builds throughout the development process, the level of investment will determine the amount of influence each member has though.

While every investor will get to vote on the direction the new title will take, gold members get to participate in board meetings where the bigger calls will be made, always considering the requests from the regular investors. Gold members will even get source-code access to the simulation while smaller investors will be given script access to play with.

Slightly Mad Studios promise a completely transparent development process as all investors get to follow every single bit of progress and every single discussion the developers will be having. The SMS team will work out in the open for all investors to see, there will be no closed-off development forum as all investors get to follow everything the development team does, ?even the arguments,? as Ian Bell points out.

C.A.R.S will be used the stripped-down Shift 2 Unleashed engine as starting point, as the team will be adding new modules to it during the course of the development process, including a new DirectX 11 renderer, a new physics engine and new AI. Slightly Mad Studios expect a development cycle of at least 12 months until the finished product is ready, however all investors will be getting access to development builds throughout the process to keep everyone entertained.

Below is a first high-resolution preview, showing an immensely-detailed historical Lotus Formula One car in the garage. SMS is planning to release the first build shortly after the first investors joined, the first release will include a handful of cars and tracks to try out. The base content won?t be too advanced though as the investors will have the final say in the direction that the title will take and what content will be included.

SMS is planning to have fully-licensed content in the finished product, the team may be dealing with generic content in the development builds though while the licensing is being finalised in the background.

For years now, sim racers have been bemoaning the publishers lack of interest in sim racing and the missing influence on developing titles. It looks like Slightly Mad Studios will be changing all that with C.A.R.S.


http://www.virtualr.net/c-a-r-s-new-preview-lots-of-info/
 

Evel

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Sounds very interesting, and I might even considering throwing some money in the pool once more details are released.
 

Loz

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Looks great soo far.

I do see some flaws in the Price/Influence thing though. If lots of stupid people invest more than the main demographic, the game could turn out a bit iffy.
 

awdrifter

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They are the developer that made NFS Shift 1&2. If they are going to keep using that physics engine, then the game probably won't feel very realistic.
 

Evel

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They are the developer that made NFS Shift 1&2. If they are going to keep using that physics engine, then the game probably won't feel very realistic.
But they are also the offspring of the developer of GTR2, and this game won't have to keep the accountants at EA happy.
 

MadCat360

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But they are also the offspring of the developer of GTR2, and this game won't have to keep the accountants at EA happy.
I'm sorry, are you implying that GTR2 is realistic? Simbin still makes games with that same physics engine and they feel like crap. Yeah, it's a good game, but it's about the same realism as Shift 2. In fact the vehicle handling is shockingly similar.

Besides, the real GTR3 is coming next year.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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GT5 feels more realistic than the GTR series IMO.


Sounds like an interesting concept. Hope the results are good!
 

MadCat360

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I've been considering investing (depending on the levels and costs). But I got hung up on one thing:

Let's say I invest the full $1,400. The game's going to be on all platforms (apparently).

If all my wishes come true and it is the most realistic sim on the market, it won't sell that many copies, and I'll be in the hole.

If it becomes an arcade racer, though, I may make my money back or even make a profit, but I will end up with a game I am unlikely to enjoy.

So I think I'll just sit back, wait, and pay the purchase price if it turns out to be what I want.

Then again, $7 isn't that much, and it would get me low-priority voting, and I would be able to watch and play a game being developed from the early stages, which is kinda cool.
 
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GT VIRUS

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I hadnt read through it, but I thought it was going to be rfactor-like community content. I wonder if they would accept that instead of payment.... ;)
 

Dino

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I've been considering investing (depending on the levels and costs). But I got hung up on one thing:

Let's say I invest the full $1,400. The game's going to be on all platforms (apparently).

If all my wishes come true and it is the most realistic sim on the market, it won't sell that many copies, and I'll be in the hole.

If it becomes an arcade racer, though, I may make my money back or even make a profit, but I will end up with a game I am unlikely to enjoy.

So I think I'll just sit back, wait, and pay the purchase price if it turns out to be what I want.

Then again, $7 isn't that much, and it would get me low-priority voting, and I would be able to watch and play a game being developed from the early stages, which is kinda cool.
Welcome to the basics of sustainable business.
 

awdrifter

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But these community based projects doesn't have to make a profit. Let's say everyone from the community loses the $50 they invest because no one else buys the game, but as long as the game turns out to be what the community wanted, they would be happy. Think of it as spending $50 for a game. If this is Polyphony Digital asking for money, I'd probably would've done it. But from that I've seen from SMS, I just don't think they can make a game that I like.
 

Cryptopygia

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Slightly Mad Studios have just officially kicked-off their C.A.R.S. project that is being developed on the company?s all-new WMD portal.

WMD (World of Mass Development) will allow interested gamers to participate in the development of the new title by becoming team members, allowing them to check out the development progress in the WMD forum, talk to the developers, participate in key decisions regarding the game?s direction and enjoy development builds of the new title.

Speaking of which, C.A.R.S. doesn?t make its public launch just with a bunch of previews as team members get to enjoy a working build of the upcoming new title right after sign up. Even though the finished C.A.R.S. won?t ship before Thanksgiving 2012, the current build already includes plenty of content to keep team members entertained.

The current build comes with two tracks (Watkins Glen & Imola) and eight different cars, including known machinery such as the Audi R18 TDI Le Mans winner, the Audi A4 DTM, three different historic Lotus F1 cars, two Radicals and a state of the art Formula Car.

Due to licensing still being in progress, the content still sports fictional names despite being a very accurate representation of the real-life vehicles & venues as C.A.R.S. is pushing to become the definitive racing simulation.

The current build allows to try the cars and tracks in practice mode without AI for infinite laps as more features will be added as development of the title continues. To give you an idea of what?s coming up within the next 12 months, here are some of the planned features for the finished title:

Planned Features

- FRANCHISE MODE allows you to carve out a personalized career starting in the Karting world and then progressing on to whichever motorsport specialization you prefer including Rally, Touring Cars, Open-Wheel, GT, Le Mans, and many more!

- Play CO-OP with a friend as Driver/Co-Driver

- FULL TEAM MANAGEMENT? Have a large number of friends? Create, manage, and compete together!

- Experience the excitement of PIT STOPS like you?ve never seen before!

- Revolutionary PIT-2-CAR RADIO gives you the strategic advantage

- DYNAMIC Time Of Day & Localized Weather make every race unique and challenging

- 10+ GAME MODES covering every form of motorsport

- CLOUD-BASED SOCIAL NETWORK allows you to connect with friends, compare times & scores, compete and challenge each other, and share content

- USER-GENERATED CONTENT ? Create your own liveries, decals, tuning setups, and even events! Then share them with the world ? either for free, in-game credits or even real money!

- PUSHING TO THE LIMITS ? Advanced physics, lighting, and AI

To ensure a realistic experience, Slightly Mad Studios have teamed up with none other than Ben Collins, the man who spent seven years being ?The Stig? on BBC?s popular Top Gear automotive show.

?I?m delighted to be working on the C.A.R.S. project to create the best racing simulation in the world! Computer ?games? and simulations have become integral to success on the race track and I will be applying all my racing knowledge to provide handling input and advice to the builds on a regular basis,? Collins commented.

?I?m also looking forward to meeting some of the project?s contributors at the trackday events and working with SMS?s team of experts, whose passion and pedigree will be key to the development of this incredibly exciting new model.?

Below are three previews to whet your appetite. To join WMD and start playing the build today, follow the steps below. Interested sim racers can become team members for as little as $10, entitling them to monthly development builds and participation in the WMD forums.

Other membership options even include weekly development-builds, script access to the game, direct contact with the developers and other perks such as your name and face in the finished game and VIP access to future events. For more info on the World of Mass Development concept and the different membership options, check out this page.

To start playing the development build today, follow these three steps.

1.Visit the website & register on the WMD forum.

2. Buy any tool pack to become a member.

3. Download the build (link at the top of the forum main page) and enjoy!
http://www.virtualr.net/c-a-r-s-goes-live-with-first-previews-development-build/





[video=youtube;DK8P7s-LecU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK8P7s-LecU[/video]
 
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