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In this article, Paul Cattani lets us know more details about the game and who exactly is developing it.

By Team SimRacingWorld
15 July 2003

Hi all, Drivers!

I'm Paolo Cattani and I'm posting this news to better clarify the things about Virtual Grand Prix 2, the original name of my multi-platform F1-inspired game (currently in the beta stage for the Mac and Windows versions) that on Windows will probably be marketed under the GPS name chosen by our probable publisher, Lago.

Maybe someone will remember my original VGP game for the Amiga, at the moment I and my staff at AlasSoft work in the real automotive world designing algorithms for the simulation of mechanical components of cars. We worked in close collaboration with UKgarage, as an example, a company specialized in building racecars in kit and developing chassis and tuning, for them we developed a complete model of an open-wheeled racecar.

As you may imagine, I'm a "gentleman driver" myself, I like driving and racing real cars, and sometimes I personally work for automotive magazines too as a test driver and journalist. So, to the point. I like very much having the possibility to "virtually race" on modern computers. Modern computers have the power to really simulate a car to a very high degree. Unfortunately, there are very few simulators around (GPL and Nascar2003, I like them very much), but as an example there is no F1 simulator at the moment.

Hence, I took the decision to use all my experience in the simulation of "real stuff", all my experience of gentleman driver, all my experience of "good'ol'days" coder to try to write one myself. So, the Virtual Grand Prix 2 project was started, my staff at AlasSoft gave me an hand in the graphics and artwork, but all the code is mine, from the 3d engine to the AI to the physics to the network architecture. I was so "crazy" to start a multi-platform project, developing not only a whole simulator alone, but also for different platforms (at the moment, only the Mac and Windows versions are near completion). I like driving the "real thing" and I wanted to feel the same experience when driving on my comp.

Given the fact that, unfortunately, I have no experience about F1 cars (as you may imagine), I asked a couple of friends of mine who have a lot of experience on open-wheeled car (one of them now works as a professional test driver for an italian magazine) to playtest the game with me, in order to get their feedback too and come to something that, even if it's not, maybe, exactly a Ferrari2002 (after all how many of us can say exactly how an F1 reacts?) is AT LEAST a realistic one-seater of 600KG of weight, over 850HP of power and lots of grip and downforce ;)

So, here you are Virtual Grand Prix 2: a game designed "by drivers for (virtual?) drivers", not a "commercial" arcade or something. Of course this means that if you're expecting gorgeous graphics or other "commercial" stuff like this, this is not the product for you. If, otherwise, you want a REAL simulator, based on solid physics and industrial automotive algorithms, with a Track Editor included to design your own tracks and, most important of all, you want a game that WORKS ON INTERNET (as of this writing VGP2 let play 4-5 people on the net with a 56k connection, with ADSL it should be possible to play in 20 but I cannot guarantee it as we didn't test it with so many people yet), this is your game.

Just one final note: Milestone has nothing to do with VGP2, except the fact that probably they'll co-publish the game with Lago.

Paolo "The Alien" Cattani

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