Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Precious Four Laps

Well, this would actually make up for a short post as I don't have much updates going on at the moment. However, last Wednesday (last week Wednesday, as in... April 23) should actually be one of the precious days for me. I know that I started off a day with not-so-good condition, even worse, but not that I have a sickness or anything. It would have anything to do with family matters, but that's about it as I won't go further than that.

Amidst the struggle though I would make that day my supervising session at college as I met my supervisor for my final paper updates. So far, it all went well but of course my supervisor pointed out which revisions had to be made. As this is actually part of learning for me as well, there's absolutely no reason to be surprised as I do expect that there would be one or two things that would need revision on my paper before it becomes eligible for the final phase. As for the application itself (since I had to develop the application as well for the final paper), I'm still struggling with the algorithm, but rest assured I will survive ASAP.

After the supervising session, I felt like I want to take my time as well to meet some of my friends too since I was still there, as it's kinda my to-do list to visit my friends in college (after six years of experience). I had to take the T-Shirt I ordered a couple of months ago as well as I also need to time my visit well in conjunction to the supervising session. All the bad mood that added up before I stepped in to my college has now been condensed, and one thing that's left is the main attraction, the main reason why I have to time all my mentioned schedules well: the simulator session!
(Image source: Logitech G Indonesia Cyber Community Facebook Group)

It was actually on the week before that I knew there'd be a simulator coming to my college. The simulator provider, none other than GT-Sim.ID, currently tours around nationwide universities to introduce both the art of sim racing and their sim products, with my college being the second stop for their tour, offering the chance to know their products and try out a time trial in the virtual Sentul race track using the Corolla Altis VLN car in Assetto Corsa. They are also actually a part of the game-centric exhibition called World of Gaming Goes to Campus 2018, the nationwide tour in question of which it also showcases gaming hardware and the business behind gaming which also includes a talk show with some of the gaming personalities.

Arriving at the location which apparently required further riding from where I was after the supervising session slash order taking, the booth actually featured a star-studded cast: one of the notable guys behind the GT-Sim.ID fame is in fact the 2015 GT Academy Asia finalist Andika Rama Maulana, who now actively races in the national racing championship. It was another case of meeting an online friend since I initially knew him from social media, but from there on I followed his progress and became a fan during his GT Academy days. It was a nice experience to talk with him in person although actually I could do better, but I'm glad with how everything turned out.

As explained, the Time Trial competition is a two-lap session on Sentul using the Corolla Altis VLN car in Assetto Corsa, with GT-Sim.ID providing its flagship product for this purpose: the LMP1-Pro, complete with Logitech G29 racing wheel to further the real experience of driving a race car (I remember drooling for Logitech G25 years ago). There is one AI car which would make it a race at face value but only the fastest time in the session would be counted and registered for the leaderboard. It's kinda like Ridge Racer's Time Trial mode where you drive against a rival car while trying to post your fastest time, but faster drivers might find it look like those Gran Turismo 4 license tests where you follow a pace car during one full lap of a circuit.

A personal footage of the champion flooring it, live at my college.

At my first try, the fastest time I scored in this simulator was 1:52.x. It was a good lap time as most of the leaderboard posted around 1:53.x and over and gave me a Top 3 for a while, but I know it could've been better. The whole Time Trial experience was absolutely spot-on and much, much better with the settings provided, way better than Intel's Grid Autosport Time Trial experience I had years ago, although I at the same time developed my fear of locking the brakes which would be the reason why I didn't step the brake pedal more aggressively as I witnessed how Rama made his magic during the free time which I also took the time learning the whole package: braking, gearing, and cornering. After attempts from other players, I took my second one and put everything I learned into what I could call my last attempt since I couldn't be able to stay really long. Everything paid off in the end with 1:48.x time scored, successfully breaking the 1:50 barrier although being in the Top 3 is not on my priority.

At the end of the day, it was a fun experience overall. Mood boost kicked in better than a VTEC engine after being able to not only try out a lap in a simulator but also meet one of my idols. Going back home, I know those four laps were the most precious thing I ever had, but obviously I'm not forgetting the supervisor's revisions as well since I'm still currently wrestling with the final paper. Having an attempt at a racing simulator in my college is a chance of a lifetime, and probably won't come for another one very soon unless if it's at another place which I find much further to ride than my college, which obviously requires more planning and money involved.

For readers in the Jakarta region looking forward for this Time Trial experience, be sure to not miss it at Universitas Budi Luhur, the third leg of World of Gaming Goes to Campus, which has already commenced since yesterday at the time of this post and will do until Sunday, April 6. Don't forget to give GT-Sim.ID a follow on both Instagram and Facebook pages for more great stuffs!


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