Sunday, August 4, 2013

[R]GARAGE Returns to Turbo Sliders! It's Project TSukuba! (no typo)

With Ramadan leaving a couple of days before 1st of Syawal in the Islamic calendar, which translates as Idl Fitr day (read: month of forgiveness), and also translates as the day where we are all back to our grandparents' hometown (in Indonesia, we call it "Mudik". It's like travelling, but with a meaning :) ), I have so little time to finish my project. All following projects must have to be finished before that day, and of course, it's about GeneRally. But that's not the focus for this post, rather a new Turbo Sliders track that's a remake from a track that's used in the SCARTS series.

Yup, if you're a SCARTS driver and are reading this, you know which track it is, otherwise, it's Tsukuba Circuit. This track is a racing track located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, with a length of 2,045km, and hosted some of Japan's motorsport events like D1 Grand Prix, All-Japan GT Championship (formerly), and Tuner Battles where tuned cars set best times possible with their tuned cars. The course is featured in many video games, with Gran Turismo 4 is one of them, and also gained popularity thanks to Best Motoring. The chicane is put there only for motorcycle racing purposes.

A moment after Tsukuba is posted in TS's Track Database, which is exactly 19th of February 2011, it found its debut in one of SCARTS's series, the 2011 Rising Star series, in which the race is titled as "Livestrong 150", with #22 racer Burnout claiming the victory. The track would be used once again in the same year, this time in the fourth race of Turbocharged series, joining Mexico City, formerly the only overseas race in the calendar. This also marked the first time SCARTS traveled outside the Americas and the crowds there enjoyed the battles of the stock car races. It appears again and again in subsequent seasons...

Comparison of the old one and new one. There sure WILL BE lots of differences.

The idea of making Tsukuba came because I loved the course since the first time I played Gran Turismo 4. The track, while it has high-speed sections, has some of the tightest turns as well. You can see there are three hairpins on the track, and the last corner requires a good speed management to keep yourself in the racing line. One mistake will definitely ruin your best run here.

Yet, the real reason for making the track is because I was spending lots of time racing against the AIs whose names are named after characters from some of the popular TV series, and to add the fact that this was done in 2010, I haven't raced Khaleesi back then... However, I occasionally raced the fangirling-imminent characters, from Rick Castle, Chuck Bass, the Winchesters, and Dr. McDreamy to Blair Waldorf, Allison Harvard, and Spencer Hastings. And I was thinking about how a race in a Japanese race course sounded like. The construction commenced moments later...

Comparing the old and new Tsukuba versions, there are sure lots of differences:

- Starting lines; the old version's starting grids are too far and the first place's grid position wasn't on the direction of the first turn (in this case, right side). It was to emulate the starting grids TSE tracks applied to all of its tracks featured in the TSE F1 competition. Plus, the start line is too far away from the actual position it is in real life. The new one will emulate the real Tsukuba starting lines, with corrected sides for the positions.
- Tire bridge; it wasn't spot-on, but granted I know how to work out asymetrical angles for a Level2Tile tile. Do remember the real Tsukuba has "Dunlop" tire bridge though. The new one can be considered as an enhancement.
- Pit lane; there aren't lines before and after the pit lane in the real Tsukuba. Plus, the pit in the real Tsukuba is somehow "quirky" in that it's got a much different shape than other tracks have which I couldn't figure out how to work it back then. Thanks to my experiences, the pit lane like that can be worked in the new version.
- Kerbs; there are some kerbs that are too long compared to its real-life counterpart in the old version. If you have driven Tsukuba, virtually or in person, you can see how the kerbs there are positioned. This will be fixed in the new version.
- Environment; the old version is a miss in that it is all desert. This because I was basing this on a Google Map finding, without looking at how the actual track looked like in other video games, especially GT4. This is also fixed extensively in the new version. HOWEVER, the old one had its point; if you read this Speedhunters article about Tsukuba Circuit, then you might know why it's all desert. That means the only problem was the "lake", which was actually a faux grass with vegetations in the old version, due to the fact that I haven't took Tsukuba full-force seriously.

In conclusion, the old version was one of my advanced-level tracks in terms of trackmaking skill with a layout based off of the same Tsukuba made in MiniRacingOnline by a Japanese player named asimo007 (you can find it here) for a purpose to quench a need to race against fandom faces with "Genki Racing Project" logo pasted on a chicane (this track isn't just Genki's anyway... :|), while the new version embodies the real Tsukuba so you have a feeling you're driving the real Tsukuba in Turbo Sliders. In fact, now you can drive an RDP-Antislider around the track!

Speaking of Antisliders, this car is made with an initial purpose of racing in Tsukuba. It is Antislider CT230R, which is heavily inspired by HKS CT230R as its name implied. The car looks like a Global GT Lights car, and has a near-simulation handling in which the car is tough to steer, which means you need a good braking judgement for taking on harder corners. You can get it here!

And to heat things up...

The course will also has two flavors with same layout; the normal version and SCARTS version, which the latter is not a public release, but for SCARTS purposes only. The latter also has a different pattern file than the normal one and has almost the same placing as the SCARTS-used one in which this pattern alteration would allow the SCARTS cars to handle better, talk about stock cars being hard to steer...

As this is finished, it'll give a new breath to the Tsukuba Circuit. This will increase excitement and realness of the circuit by massive percentages. :D

As promised, GeneRally updates. Some of my creations have received Track of Month and Car of Month nominations, though finishing in somehow "bad" places. This is certainly my first Track / Car of Month nominations throughout the course of GeneRally creations.

To remind you which ones that are "those", here they are:

Track of Month May 2013 nomination
Frappe Snowland - 13th place out of 13 with 2 votes

Track of Month July 2013 nomination
Cilandak Town Square - not yet running but it's nominated!

Car of Month May/June 2013 nominations
[R]GARAGE SST Sports Type R - 13th place out of 14 with no votes

Prospect.R ~Prototype Sportscar Project R~ - 9th place out of 14 with 2 votes

Track WIP: Monaco, part of New World Tour Tracks project
This is to be finished before Idl Fitr comes

This Monaco would be inspired by Sega Rally 2's Riviera stage. Since the project allows tracks no more than WS 180, the buildings will be limited to the outside parts only, allowing the track to have no objects that could block the view. However, this layout would change from this very WIP. At least, there's progress...

That means that building must be destroyed and worked once again...

GT Updates: GTs. SARD MC8-R, Honda NSX LM, and Panoz Esperante GTR-1 made, all cars refined

The refinements include the decrease of the "supposed ride height" of the models, in which with their old ride height on their models would make it less GT. You can compare previous screens of the cars with these screens. Granted, I put one of my made cars here so you can really see the difference :D

Compare this Skyline GTR LM with another one from this post :)

Hopefully everything is done within the deadline, both Tsukuba and Monaco... And don't forget, drive safely :)