Racing. A word that gets both your heart and your car ‘racing’. And what advances has it done. Have a look at Le Mans, Dakar Rally or Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsports. Not forgetting the other classes. Everyone does their bit in racing right from Formula Student to Formula 3.
But the biggest problem of any racing is money. Money is what helps make a team and a car run on the track. It is what defines most part of the success and it is what decides the path of the team. That is why many people have to drop the idea of entering the motorsport business.
But all was not lost. The 20th century saw the rise of computers. Computers that could not only compute but simulate. Simulations of aerodynamics, Vehicle dynamics, and even the engine was slowly shifting towards the computing world. And thus sparked an era of the development of ‘Sim Racing.‘
Now the thrill of racing could be experienced by sitting on the Computer in your study room. How cool was that! So let’s see how the ‘Sim Racing’ evolved through time!
Chequered Flag (1983)
The first Sim Racing. Developed by Steve Kelly, this game simulated the vehicle dynamics. And you had some great choices too!
The player could choose any of the 3 cars: Two manual and one automatic. Any guesses for the names? ‘McFaster‘ and ‘Ferretti‘. Hinting towards some good racing teams of that era maybe?
It also featured 10 circuits including the Circuit De Monaco and Silverstone Circuit. The only aim was to complete the circuit in the best possible time while avoiding all the oil spills and broken glasses. Yes, even pit stops were there. Fuelling and repair you see.
This surely kicked off the era of racing.
This game was a Formula 3 simulation. You had control over the aerodynamic settings and the road actually had undulations for the curbs! Johnny Turbo and Max Throttle were some of the character names and Silverstone was the only circuit featured. Much creativity!
You could actually drive on the wrong side of the track and even completely away from it!
Hard Drivin’ (1989)
This one was the arcade racing game which was sold for around $10,000. It had a force feedback and a 3D polygon environment.
The car featured the Ferrari Testarossa which ran a few laps around a Stunt Circuit.
The game also incorporated an Action Replay, if you wanted to see your hooliganism and one could actually put their name with more than 3 characters!
Although after going off-road, the driver had 10 seconds to return to the track, else he would be placed at the last checkpoint in a standstill position. Oh! The evolution!
Indianapolis 500 (1989)
This was a computer game distributed by Electronic Arts, developed for DOS. It was an attempt to the real Indianapolis 500 series with its 33 cars, with the last car on the real 1989 Indianapolis being replaced by the player himself.
The game offered various setting ranging from a 10 lap race to a 200 lap race. A variety of setting could be changed to the car and one could several test laps with timing, to understand how much the car developed.
It surely gave those Indy car ‘feels’.
That was some good list over there. One could see how the games evolved through the years. However, this was only the 80s. We’ll slowly see how this caught on to slowly develop one of the best racing games!