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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still Alive, Even Until September Ends

Mind you, my real life has been brutal for the past weeks: college organization works, college life, and even some things that aren't meant to be done as I am unable to manage which stuff I have to work on first that I almost not give an update to this blog unlike past months where I used to post three to four posts a month. Granted, I've got my ammunition back, and the ammunition in question is of course my internet subscription. There have been lots of things for the past thirty days since the last blog post; Team [R]GARAGE being August's Team of the Month in GeneRally World Ranking, my return to MiniRacingOnline, and changes that I'd like to do for both my site and this blog.

Activity is very important, and being inactive is okay as long as you post a blog post explaining what happened that you missed your daily blogging antics or a social media post. Wonder why I said those things? Two words: GeneRally Sequel; for GeneRally 2 unfortunately, its progress is in an utter uncertainty, being less active on the social media and blog post, leaving most of its anticipated fans with question marks and speculations, even its last post explaining what happened to Kimmo, the car designer for the game, post Kickstarter failure didn't help that much, and not even its Twitter is update either. It is sad to see your highly-anticipated sequel of your favorite game lost its lights to keep its fans feel the hype, and hopefully they learn these mistakes to make its fans always certain on its progress.

Having my internet renewed and knowing that this is September, I don't think this blog needs Evan Rachel Wood where she'd wake me up when September ends. I'm standing on my own!

(BITTER)SWEET VICTORY FOR TEAM [R]GARAGE

On the Tapio showcase post, I explained about Team [R]GARAGE joining different kinds of races in GeneRally world; returning to touring car racing roots, Team [R]GARAGE enters GeneRally Touring Car Challenge Season 3 with its own car, the Pandawa RTC, and the help of RobertRacer99. In Endurance racing, Team [R]GARAGE partners with Porsche and Austrian talent Daniel Rosenberger for Endurance Series 2014 in which I am to drive full season after a lack of confidence buried my intention to race the LMPs in last year's Endurance Series and in an attempt to branch out to other disciplines. Finally, two open wheel drives in GRID Hattrick's second race in Laguna Seca and zgr Formula Cup S4 tests myself in driving the formula cars. In GRID Hattrick, ACM returns as my teammate since the first race in July on Audru Ring, and in zgr Formula Cup S4, Marcinho joins in and brings his sponsor Marcinho Motorsports, one of Poland's premier car parts distributors, to the team.

ACM fleeing himself from the black and white car of Hermes
on AeroWiewiur's American circuit of Laguna Seca. ACM
took Team [R]GARAGE to victory for his strong performance.
 
Unfortunately, in both GRID Hattrick races I attended, I couldn't even show my pace to the veteran teammate ACM; it's clear that all credits go to him as he's a perfect choice for the team in this competition. While I run a race without a bad luck streak in Laguna Seca, it's the same result all over again, and my teammate is much faster than I am. The facepalm-worthy moment however is when I even made a fool of myself of venting that I am not fast enough and even to an extent think that my integrity as the team owner is being questioned, but thankfully I quickly realized that this case is happened before with another team and that I pulled off my venting. A word of caution for drivers out there, though: DO NOT VENT BRUTALLY. Always seek your teammate's advices. I should've done it at the second round. ACM's strong performances in all three events, however, has made Team [R]GARAGE "Team of the Month" for August 2014 in GeneRally World Ranking's Hall of Fame.

In GRTCC S3's pre-season testing, I managed to score a Top 50% finish. The track Nurburgring GP Strecke is something that I can't master in a flash and that I didn't clock faster time than my teammate did. However, after seeking an advice to my teammate, I could improve my time by seconds and finally made it to the 5th place. It was an "okay? okay." performance, but hey, if this performance can be done in the next round held on AeroWiewiur's Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, why not? The only thing that I should keep in my mind is to control the GRTCC physics gracefully to achieve best results.

Another pure Top 50% finish is also achieved in the first round of zgr Formula Cup S4, an open wheel event without login. In the first race, I managed to pull off a decent result after so many attempts, and thankfully that I did reach 5' 14.xx" time or else I would be taken away from points finish. Sadly, this is true for Marcinho, my teammate, who unfortunately is off from one additional points by mere seconds behind Takahagi from Sanfrecce GP. We could have scored four points total by the end of the first race, but that's racing. Coincidentally, this second Top 50% finish is on an American soil, even though the first one in GRTCWC is quite questionable since two of seventeen racers didn't start.

Results of the test race in Laguna Seca. The race is run for 4 hours (10 minutes in-game). Red denotes LMP1 class, green denotes GT3 class.

Finally, Endurance Series 2014. I did have an intention to race full season starting from Spa 6 hours last year with ivaneurope but my lack of confidence has restricted me from racing full season. Cut to the next season where a new regulation adds GT3 cars to play. Since there's no Nissan GT-R GT3, I go with Porsche 911 GT3 and hired Austrian talent Daniel Rosenberger as my teammate. The test race on Laguna Seca proved that my and my teammate's strong pace took us to the GT3 podium as the Austrian finished 2nd and myself in 3rd. In the upcoming Sebring 12 hours race (it's actually a 30-minute race), hopefully I could pull such a result once again. It's just that I have to be very consistent and leave no room for mistakes there.

OPENING A NEW MINIRACINGONLINE CHAPTER

One of the features to be implemented in the future version of MiniRacingOnline is the day/night cycle. As you could see on the video that you can find in that news page, it simulates the day/night cycle and as the night goes, two lights will be rendered: the first one simulates your headlights, and the second one simulates your brake lights. With this, Kotai should also implement a time-based race like in GeneRally; specified racing time + 2 additional laps setting will do.

My MiniRacingOnline carmaking as of now. I'm glad that I've touched this game once again after a long time, even my carmaking has taken a major big step.

This thing, however, triggers something that I haven't done for a long time: carmaking. Yup, I've made cars for MiniRacingOnline, but the cars weren't really good. If you used to download the official carpack then you will know why; all the cars in that pack have great quality, especially those made by Vivndum, one of the carmaking veterans. In the past, I made something called "J-Cars Template", a *psd template containing 13 cars from Japanese makes like Nissan, Subaru, Lexus, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. The reason why I made such template pack is that because, as the readme said, "MRO has less attention to a 'Japanese Cars'", which is the bad English for "MRO has less Japanese Cars featured in the official carpack" (I had to confess that my vocabulary was one of the worst actually in the past :3). But then I keep thinking why I made such a template pack. Is anyone going to make a custom livery with it? Is anyone going to "make" custom parts to make one of the cars a tuner? Will they use one of the cars as their own without crediting the original author who made these templates? It's full of uncertainties, but I guess that car templates should be for personal purposes only unless one were to make a custom league where everyone is able to use my template pack for creating their team's livery. Other than that, the v0.8b which was planned to have Honda cars weren't realized.

My carmaking to this date has been matured. This year, I made a car out of curiosity which meant to test myself if I could follow the carmaking tutorial video properly. The result is quite decent and I am very happy that I could make better quality cars. The plus point however is in the car I made: McLaren F1 GTR. Yup, the GT racing icon of the 90s is the car that I want to make, even though there exist one to two iterations of F1 GTR in the official pack. The twist here is that I am making cars that competed in BPR Global Series, which that means that there are more liveries than just Gulf racing; how could anyone forget a green-striped yellow Harrod's livery? Or a blue Jacadi F1 GTR? Or even an Ueno Clinic-sponsored black F1 GTR? As long as there don't exist cars that I really want to see on MRO, I would love to make it. Granted, I have a BPR mod for GTR2 so "extracting" the other liveries (and even making more cars) will be much easier.

With the day/night cycle feature being in works, endurance racing spirit must be ignited, even to the point that there has to be more GT and prototypes in the game.

CHANGES AHEAD

I've been thinking about revamping the designs of both my site and this blog to make it consistent to [R]GARAGE's brand ID. The blog you are seeing unfortunately is far from having the [R]GARAGE vibe: red, white, black and grey are four main colors that identifies [R]GARAGE well. I even planned to have a new logo for such a "brand", to which I'm thinking that the new logo must not lose its core. The "[R]" in its name is something I have to fully embrace, while I'm thinking about the new tagline that fits better than the name's katakana spelling as seen above the "GARAGE" text, which was cool but actually felt random as the time goes by. Speaking about the brand's ID, these things are what I want to consider:
  • [R]GARAGE is meant to embrace the "made in Indonesia" flair in select racing games / racing sims.
  • Creative and non-mainstream; always seeking things that haven't been made. If I were to make a "mainstream" content (read: contents that are already made), then I have to make sure that it really stands out. 
  • Always find sportive ways to win and seek advices on how to make a proper show to be able to compete with higher-level competitions, but not forgetting to encourage a teammate or two to make their stay memorable.
For doing tasks such as redesigning the blog and the site, it would need lots of time considering that I make stuffs too and I have college businesses always waiting in every corner. But that doesn't mean there's no progress to both; for blog redesigning, I am experimenting with the new design by creating a testbed blog page. The background work will take a lot of consideration of what kind of design that would fit better for my blog. For the site, I'm redesigning the whole look for the download pages. I'm thinking that I need to provide pictures to showcase my creations while the current state doesn't look good at all. Again, background work will also take a lot of design cues. Yet, I don't know if I have to do flat design or not since flat design is currently the "it" style in site designing, but it's all up to me.

September will be a hell of busy month, so I have to keep an eye for things like my creations, my social media pages and of course, my site and this blog. Hopefully I can contribute great results in both my projects and my joined competitions.

~[R]

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