Thursday, December 31, 2015

The New [R]GARAGE is Finally Here!

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment of truth has finally come! After all the real-life delays and stuff, and putting the site under construction for more than a year (holy moly!), I'm presenting you the all-new [R]GARAGE!

The new site could have come sooner but having it finished before the wave of Finals and the New Year's Eve is a bliss, and better yet new stuffs are aplenty with the release of the new creations, new site looks, and one more surprise I am throwing somewhere on this post!


Let's start with seeing what's new in the site overall. First up, the logo. [R]GARAGE now sports a new motif where a real, distorted square takes the place of the squared brackets that covered the "R" letter, and the word "GARAGE" no longer overlaps with the first letter. The style stays the same: all letters in the logo are skewed. The difference is the fonts, with the new one donning a very well-fit font combinations that really characterizes the brand personality very well. Last but not least, what happened with the text above "GARAGE"? It's become Creative & Motorsport, the new tagline for [R]GARAGE, which is miles better than the katakana letters in the old logo. The meaning of Creative & Motorsport will be covered paragraphs later.

A bit about the logo, [R]GARAGE is synonymous with a square that covers the "R", which the letter itself with such a styling is something that not only relates to my first name's initial and my niche that starts with R (such as "Racing" and "Ramblings"), but also is something borrowed from one of the immortal childhoods of mine: Gran Turismo 2. The game features the squared R character in the game to mark race-modified road cars, rally cars and race-purpose cars as well, talk about Polyphony Digital's effort to save character space which unfortunately not carried from Gran Turismo 3 onward. The word "GARAGE" in its name refers to a "space for yours truly to share creations from different games" by my own definition. The literal definition is a room / building to store a vehicle. Those two reasons are why I chose the name [R]GARAGE in first place by the time I make the site for the first time.

Back to the topic, you can clearly see the new interface used for this site, some of them I already spoiled way earlier in the pre-Le Mans post. Now there's an image slideshow showcasing the six games represented on the site, as well as the new profile page you can click under the "Home" menu. There's [R]GB, [R]GARAGE's own blog (will be explained later), the content download pages for the games which now has a cleaner and clearer image gallery approach (miscellaneous downloads are a different story though) to aid people to know what kind of content they would download, and the new bunch of links. Last but not least is the front page for each section where it would round up which newly-added contents made it to each section in question. Last but not least are the fonts. New fonts used bring more bolder flair with a killer combination of Impact as the main font, Open Sans as the higher heading font, and finally DIN Next Light as the small heading font to complete the combination. This creates what can be touted as one of the most striking font combinations whose strong presence definitely in sync with [R]GARAGE's ideals.


The section dedicated to TrackMania United Forever is one of the new games represented in [R]GARAGE, along with the two other games, all of which are 3D-based.

If you note how I write about my interest in skinning cars for TMUF, GTR2, and rFactor, then you can notice why sections dedicated to these games are added to my site.. While I haven't had any creation for any of these games save for the TMUF section, I thought it's a good idea to "reserve" some place for them. Consider this as my "future investation", especially looking at the case of TMUF as there's already a set of race tracks for the game that I have made a long time. This is where I immortalize the slogan "More Than Just Top Downs" on the index page because this time [R]GARAGE not only deals with top down racers, but also 3D-based racers, like the mentioned three.

The most-expected content types that will color those three sections would be car skins, car skins, and car skins, as skinning in any of the three games has become a main priority of mine aside from making TMUF tracks and that I haven't had the super power to make a mod.


Also in my pre-Le Mans post, I have showcased a picture that contains two different pictures, with one of which being a blog, but the official name for it hasn't been revealed until now: [R]GB, short for [R]GARAGE BLOG, with the name itself filled with a plethora of meanings such as the RGB color mode and the first letters of [R]GARAGE's main colors (Red, Black, and Grey). [R]GB will play a role of introducing and giving some profile and backstories for existing contents in all games. Originally, I would make use of this blog section as this blog's double, but then it would be redundant and stale, and that somehow the navigation menu doesn't enable a link to an external site instead of a new page because I also wanted to link this blog from there. Thus, it's going to be limited to somekind of a profile page for contents.

Not only that, I also plan to write profiles about particular projects where the content is related to each other by one project in question, connecting the lines between separate contents into one. Among others, you can expect me to write some paragraph or two about projects such as the Sega Rally Brothers for Turbo Sliders and Rally The Master for GeneRally.


At one point, I uploaded a teaser with a hashtag #CreativeMotorsport, but no further teasers were released as real life swept me away from doing all the site-related works. Also, you can spot the "Creative & Motorsport" tagline above the [R]GARAGE logo which replaced the old logo's katakana spelling of the brand. I'm sure you readers are questioning what does the "Creative & Motorsport" (or "Creative Motorsport") mean, but fear not, I've got the answer for that.

Creative Motorsport is basically a part of [R]GARAGE's philosophy where motorsports doesn't have to be just enjoyed the same, conventional way. By blurring the lines between digital creativity and motorsport knowledge, [R]GARAGE always tries to stand out and try something new, with the existing resources.

For your information, the process of creating this slogan required myself to pun Creation Autosportif, a real-life racing team that fielded a Le Mans 24 Hours entry from 2005 to 2006, with their 2006 voyage put its Creation CA06/H to the grid and was a driving force in the GT racing scene. Seeing this team, flashes of ideas came to my mind for the new tagline, after seeing how my stance to art has matured and that motorsport has intrigued me.


SURPRISE!!! It's raining Daytona Coupes!

As promised, the new creations are added to the site. While you might not see any of my newer rFactor, GTR2, and TMUF creations right off the bat, I have released a couple of creations, both unreleased and new, to the world.

For Turbo Sliders, I have previously introduced older tracks like Dual Ways, Yoroichuu, Night Beach Party, and Fantasy Road, among others. If you remember the unnamed track previewed in the same previous blog post, I would welcome you to Rockstone. The Rockstone Village racing circuit has been standing for over fifty years, and has since been an attraction to local drivers and others alike, not just for the fact that it's located on the foothills of the Stone Rock Mountain (word play involvement here), but for its semi-technical nature that gives a good challenge for all drivers. In addition, I would also reintroduce Frappe Snowland v2, which I forgot to upload by the time it was introduced. Also worth mentioning that the other tracks that hasn't been added to the download list, be it a default cars track or a Photoshopped track, are also added to the list.

Still in the same game, I also offered a wide range of new cars, among of them are McLaren F1 GTR and Aston Martin DBR9 GT1, both representing the different eras of GT1-spec cars, and both won 24 Hours of Le Mans in their respective categories. But what I haven't introduce you is the Shelby Daytona Coupe, one of the legends in the GT class. This classic car spans numerous versions, including the replica cars such as Superformance Daytona Cobra and the Australian-made Daytona Sportscar, which make up the TS grid. All these are available on the TS sections.

GeneRally section has additions from the past that finally made it to the list, such as Grupard and Tapio in the Tracks section and the new ZOKKER in the cars section. Most of the cars are crammed into one pack due to the theme, such as the UOGRC cars, Prospect.R, and the Sasuke ST + SST Sports. This is because of the very small size nature of GR cars in general and that separating them doesn't sound like a good idea. In addition, starting from the release of ZOKKER, the downloads will be hosted in the GRIF following the fact that GRIF has now enabled downloads for non-members, something that wasn't possible until recently. This means that I have to prepare the readme file for every new content hosted there.

The newly-opened MiniRacingOnline section adds older contents like the Mario Kart, Ridge Racer, and F2 Kit Cars carpack in addition to the new Rendy's Carpack Vol 1, which marked my return to the car making scene after a trial and error in making the McLaren F1 GTR which consumed my free time in the Student Study Service back in the August. Here, I picked the cars that hasn't been made according to the game's official car pack, such as (the many versions of) Peugeot 306 Maxi Kit Car, Nissan Almera Kit Car, and Hyundai Coupe Kit Car EVO II, all of which were already made but became remastered as I witnessed Vivndum's Citroen Xsara Kit Car and Renault Maxi Megane Kit Car. The McLaren F1 GTR is kind of an antithesis as a variety of the car's versions were already made, but what weren't made are the 1995-1996 liveries which included the 1995 Kokusai Kaihatsu UK car which won the year's 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Harrod's colors of Mach One Racing, among the others. The rest such as Ferrari F40 GT1 and Saturn Sky Roadster complete the line-up, as well as the fictitious GT version of the latter.

Finally, the TMUF only has my past tracks included in the section, and there were none in GTR2 and rFactor sections. Hopefully, I could fill them up with my creations sooner or later...


To conclude the introduction of this new site, here goes the biggest surprise I have promised: Social Media! Yup, [R]GARAGE now has its own social media accounts, particularly a Facebook page and a Twitter account. This will be a good challenge to build up some social media engagements and be active even if it's in a slow pace. I have promised that with the long "Under Construction" period comes a big surprise, and these are the surprise in question.

The posts for both the Facebook fan page and Twitter account will consist of some social media banters, content showcase, and announcement. Of course this is where my social media philosophy will be tested, and this will be no doubt a social media marketing challenge in its own right.

Finally, to close this very post, I welcome you readers to the brave new world of [R]GARAGE. Don't forget to visit the [R]GARAGE site for cool downloadable contents, like Team [R]GARAGE on Facebook, and follow @TeamRGarage on Twitter! If you do have something to say to improve [R]GARAGE, don't be afraid to write some mail there!

Also, Happy New Year! Yours truly is wishing you a great 2016!


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