By Team SimRacingWorld
26 August 2008
What is the game about?
It is strictly a management game. The idea is 7 laps of practice to fine tune 11 components on the race car between 0-99. Each lap the system tells you more or less for each component as you try to zero in on the setup. Once practice is done you make your run for pole in Qualifying. After that you can make your final tweaks to race strategy, pit strategy etc. Then nightly I will run a batch process that runs the race simulation lap by lap based on all the drivers settings. Then the driver/user can either look at how they did lap by lap or go check out the final results of the race, where they are assigned the points and bonus points. You will also see how you stand in the chase for the cup, the overall standings with gains and losses like the standard NASCAR standings.
The great thing about my game is most games in this genre only allow you to race or prepare for one race at a time but with mine I'm allowing the flexibility for the driver to prepare for up to 6 races in the future, so you don't have the burden of coming back everyday. I think the normally player would setup for maybe a couple races and come back the next day and see how they did. Practice, Qualifying and Race Strategy only takes about 5 minutes per race, so it's a nice amount time to see real results. I've played lots on online driving games and they are great and Nasrac will not replace them. However, I will provide a way to have some fun and complete a whole 36 race season in 6 weeks.
How does the race strategy adjustment setting work?
The idea behind the race strategy adjustment within your race strategy screen is this. You have your setup at the beginning of the race and that will carry you thru the first 1/4 of the race. Then the car condition or track conditions start to change and your car gets loose so you start losing time - then you and your crew chief start making modifications to correct the changing conditions. So what the strategy setting does is change the performance of the car from 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 race lengths.
So lets have an example.
behind the scenes in the database I have a code for each race which is the perfect 'target' strategy setting. It's ONE number, lets say 37. Now you go and select your strategy setting (say):
1/4 - 1/2 Race - 32
1/2 - 3/4 Race - 55
3/4 - Finish - 73
Now what happens is this, your lap time and performance 'rating' for the first quarter of the race is tied to your qualifying session.
Now at the 1/4 mark you performance can change based upon how close you are to the 'target number'. In this case you picked 32 which is very close to 37 and chances are your performance 'rating' would improve for the next quarter of the race. Just like you and your crew chief found the magic bullet.
At the 1/2 way mark I do another check - your 55 against the target of 37 - a bigger gap and lap times may start to drop. Just like the sun has dropped and the car is loose in the corners again.
At the 3/4 mark your number is 73 vs the target of 37 - quite a big gap and performance should drop even more.
The key is if you have a perfect setup it doesn't mean you will have a perfect race and this isn't F1 where quali is so critical and gives you the needed track position. The car will change as the race goes on and I want the users to think about a good strategy to increase their performance. Should you stick with 50-50-50 and run a pretty safe race, but wait maybe the target is 25 and you are actually hurting yourself for 3/4 of the race. Maybe you could use a strategy like 25-50-75 and know at least one of the quarters is going to be locked in and fast. It's just another variable that plays out race and helps change your rating during the race.