Retro Racing January 2021 - Car & Driver (1992)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by jimbogimp, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    Join the OCAU Retro Driving Club in a different retro driving game each month and see who can lay down the fastest lap!

    If you have any game idea's or wish to do a writeup let me know!



    The Game of the Month:

    The Ultimate Fantasy Driving Game

    Car and Driver - 1992

    upload_2021-1-3_22-38-6.png

    upload_2021-1-3_22-43-58.png

    upload_2021-1-3_22-46-42.png


    The Game Description

    Car and Driver magazine comes to life in this “test drive esque” video game. Browse through the articles in the magazine and read reviews of some of the fastest and most desirable cars of the time. Its actually pretty cool going through the over the articles and taking a look at all the detail that was included such as the all important power figures and the zero to … 30MPH? Don’t they know its all about the zero to 60! How am I supposed to sound all cool and knowledgeable about cars when I’m parked in my Cortina with the bonnet open at Terrigal on a Friday night if I don’t know the zero to 60?

    Anyway, when you’re done reading about the fuel economy and interior sound level of your favourite unobtainable sports car press escape to quit the game be transported right into the drivers seat and practice your parallel parks at the San Dimas Mall Parking Lot!


    The Memories

    I don’t know how I stumbled on to this game, but I remember playing it quite often on my dads PC. I guess my brother probably bought it. I found the way they used the keyboard interesting. Rather than the usual holding down the key and the steering gradually getting tighter they used the whole numpad. 7 and 9 were light turns, 4 and 6 were medium and 1 and 3 were tight. It was a different method of “simulating analogue” compared to most others.
    I hope this one helps out the keyboard bro's. Although if you are on a laptop or 10keyless keyboard you might need to do some re-mapping of the numpad.


    The How To

    The quickest way to get straight into the game is using your browser via Classic Reload https://classicreload.com/car-and-driver.html
    At first launch it’s a bit rough and runs like 10FPS. You can adjust the “cpu cycles” by pressing Ctrl + F12 a bunch of times to increase the framerate. Ctrl +F11 to reduce it if you go too far. I found that doing this wigged out the accuracy of my gamepad though.

    You can run it locally if you download DOSBox and grab the game files from somewhere like My Abandonware.

    Or, spend way too much money on creating the perfect dos gaming rig and search for an original copy of the game.

    Each has its merits.



    The Car


    It was a tight match between the Lotus Esprit Turbo, but I couldn’t resist the urge of the ultimate poster car Lamborghini Countach

    upload_2021-1-3_22-38-32.png

    The Track

    I’ll wager there’s more traffic on these roads today. Still, look out for oncoming, and she gets pretty bumpy at the end.

    upload_2021-1-3_22-40-47.png


    upload_2021-1-3_22-41-4.png



    The Entry Fee

    A $5 Donation to a legitimate charity of your choice. This is not mandatory. If you cant afford it don't worry. I just figure we may as well have some “greater good” come out of this!


    The Rules
    • Post your best lap time in the thread for the nominated car & track. Please copy the existing leader board and insert your time to make for easy updates.
    • Its basically the honor system and just for good fun.
    • Dont forget a photo of your retro setup so that we can all drool over the 386
    • An uploaded video will get you bonus points.
    • Stating your donations will secure you a spot on the leader board with a gold star and many likes.




    The Prize:

    The glory of telling your family and friends that you beat some strangers on the internet in some random old racing game you played as a kid.


    The Leader Board

    JidaiGeki -------- 1:07.02
    Grant ------------ 1:08.55
    jimbogimp ------ 1:12.39
    Pierre32 --------- 1:12.69
    FIREWIRE1394 -- 1:40.62

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  2. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    (I should be in bed)

    Another game I'd never heard of before. I love the magazine style presentation. (Tip: When you select a car, you don't have to read through the full articles every time. Just hit Enter then Esc. But they're great to read through the first time).

    I fired it up on the 386 and while it can be made to run ok, this probably won't be the best system for it. I turned the detail down to 20% and set opponents to 'hidden' to squeeze out all the frames I could, but this means that there's virtually no draw distance, with the turns appearing in front of you suddenly and rudely. It feels like there's a lot of fun to be had here - but do it with Pentium power!

    The physics can be quite a laugh when things go wrong. A dip or bump in the road at high speed can launch you wildly into the scenery. Crashes are cool too, and leaving opponents on is more fun.

    Getting the leaderboard started:

    upload_2021-1-4_1-11-2.png


    The Leader Board

    Pierre32 -------- 1:21.85
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    FIREWIRE1394 and MUTMAN like this.
  3. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    By months end the phrases that will be in my head are:
    'Car stuck in water. Placed at last checkpoint' and 'Press Q to return to road'

    car and driver.png

    I love all the car details, and checking them all out will limit actual play time, but who cares because the game has a top down view and a FINISH LINE VIEW. I love that I can drive along completely blind, while looking at the finish line for when I eventually get there. All games should have that function!
    but this is a game that I'll be turning the sound off VERY quickly.

    I think with 5 less crashes into the water, 3 less flips off mountains and 2 less flips on the road at the end, I can take a minute off this time.

    The Leader Board

    Pierre32 -------- 1:21.85
    FIREWIRE1394-- 2:12.04
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  4. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    I realised that if you switch to cockpit view with F1, it's also a low res mode that happens to run a lot better. This was a marked performance improvement on the 386, but I'm still leaning towards DOSBox for even more of it.

    On controls, I've never been a huge fan of controlling a racing game from a single cluster of keys. And if you have a joystick, it uses the Y axis for throttle/brake which I've never been fully comfortable with either. But you can use all the controls together, so I've settled on the DS4 in my lap for steering with left thumb, and right hand on the keyboard for throttle/brake.

    If you have no other analogue options, mouse steering is worth a try too.

    upload_2021-1-4_21-50-29.png

    The Leader Board

    Pierre32 -------- 1:14.27
    FIREWIRE1394-- 2:12.04
     
    MUTMAN likes this.
  5. power

    power Member

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    holy crap, talk about an obscure artefact.

     
  6. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    I’ve had another quick bash while I waited for a modern day racing game to slowly update.

    No pic of this time so it can’t go on the leaderboard but I did a 1:44.02 and next time I play it I’ll go for a bigger session and proper times.

    This session was fun because I kept setting the speed up faster and faster.
    By the end, it was so fast I put on Yakety Sax and found myself most amused.
    The speed of the actual game doesn’t seem to do anything to my times... I can play at 400 frames a second or 2 seconds per frame and still crash just as much as each other.
    But the flips off the mountains are more fun when they’re faster.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    Here's a vid of my 1:22.12. I spent more time trying to get the video right rather than grinding for a better time. :)
    Great chance to break out my Interact UltraRacer PC!
    Running dosbox in Win 10 with a Rockfire Gameport --> USB adapter.



    upload_2021-1-9_14-44-11.png

    upload_2021-1-9_14-44-29.png

    The Leader Board

    Pierre32 -------- 1:21.85
    jimbogimp ------ 1:22.17
    FIREWIRE1394-- 2:12.04
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  8. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    Well you got the video spot on. It gets right to the point, helps those of us who crash quite a bit to see where we're SUPPOSED to go and at what speeds, and shows the inputs. Also is a useful reference for the speed it's SUPPOSED to go at. :lol:
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    I gotta try out your whacky fast forward mode :D
     
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  10. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Yep, definitely a few very important places to get off the throttle to avoid orbit. One of the very sim-like characteristics is that finding extra speed has consequences. For example you figure out that you can take the bridge flat out, but then you find yourself in the scenery a corner or two later which wasn't happening before. The rewards of that extra 10mph.

    (All racing games are like this to some degree, but you can really feel the legitimacy of the 1992 simulation effort here.)

    BTW, PC speaker is my preferred sound option for this.
     
    FIREWIRE1394 likes this.
  11. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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    Great vid jimbo!

    Seeing this game chosen this month gave me a case of retro PTSD. I had the game brand new, bought as a present for me by my father at PC'93 at Darling Harbour which was around the time of my birthday. I recall that it came from the Egghead Software stand, as it was about the only place selling games. We didn't have a big games budget, so each year I would only get 1 or 2 boxed games (and procured the rest of my catalogue through, er, other means ;)) Given the build up in my mind for Car & Driver - thanks to it looking like a Test Drive III competitor, the decent looking packaging, and that it had the Esprit Turbo in it - it was a severe let down and so I'd wasted my annual games haul. My young self recalls the sound being crap, the handling too tricky, and there's not a lot happening in game as the world isn't really fleshed out. Probably sucked more as it was running on a 386SX-20. I sold my boxed copy about 20 years ago, but then in a fit of nostalgia bought another boxed game a couple of years ago, and it was still as rubbish as I remember so didn't return to it.

    990ADF1F-B7F7-4601-83F0-9969E49CCF9A.jpeg

    In this challenge, I started off with a time of 2:23.68
    cardriver1.jpg

    and got that down to 1:12.37 after about 30-40 tries.
    cardriver12.jpg

    edit: got it down under 1:10 to 1:09.73

    cardriver14.jpg

    Used keyboard only, and turned off the opponents as the 'ghost' car is not forgiving. That last section after the bridge is a real b*tch though, especially the last bump in the road.

    The Leader Board

    JidaiGeki -------- 1:09.73
    Pierre32 -------- 1:14.27
    jimbogimp ------ 1:22.17
    FIREWIRE1394-- 2:12.04
    --------------
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
  12. OP
    OP
    jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    funny comment
    Wow great time JidaiGeki! I'm gonna have to put some more runs in.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    A few more runs today and after many frustrating glitchy spinouts I managed a 1:12.39

    upload_2021-1-10_10-47-59.png



    JidaiGeki -------- 1:09.73
    jimbogimp ------ 1:12.39
    Pierre32 -------- 1:14.27
    FIREWIRE1394-- 2:12.04
     
    JidaiGeki and Pierre32 like this.
  14. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    at the end of the track yeah?
    It pisses me off because despite my best attempts, when I get to that last section after the bridge I can
    A: Go full pelt and flip entirely.
    B: Try to be careful and spin or.
    C: Come to a complete crawl of 2 miles an hour and end up just as slow as flipping or spinning :lol:

    I've started to get up to the bridge OK (Not great, but not off the edge anymore), and would have a time somewhat like everyone else, 1:20 at most but then I spin out and get the times we see here:
    cda.png

    JidaiGeki -------- 1:09.73
    jimbogimp ------ 1:12.39
    Pierre32 -------- 1:14.27
    FIREWIRE1394-- 1:40.62

    I'll give it a couple of more sessions, but it's not as fun as other driving games of the era, albeit more informative.
    When you're angry you can smack into that yellow corvette that's always near the fuel station and send him to his death in a fireball that rolls down the road though, so that's an element more games need to have... cars that explode.

    Edit: Prizes from last month have been sent out with the exception of bonemans who has elected to wait for international postage to be normal again OR to offer the prize to someone else for a future event.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  15. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Gave this a whirl last night... eventually got it running ok in DosBox, but totally hate this multiple steering buttons, may take some getting used to. :)



    JSmith
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    jimbogimp

    jimbogimp Member

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    Bit quiet in here this month. Maybe it's just this time of year, but I think I might have scared people off with this obscure selection :D
     
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  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    January is always a tough month. Lots of people on leave, either AFK or dealing with kids. It's always a quiet one for these sorts of threads.

    I've just worked a 38 hour weekend (and back at it this week at my regular gig) so my excuse for not joining in is less fun.
     
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  18. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    i dont have an excuse that good, but its close :)

    my main rig is in a west facing room that doesnt have an aircon. any thoughts of sitting in there in the afternoons in this weather is a hard no-go.
    i got as far as downloading the dosbox files jimbogimp linked (and the warhammer ones Vanne linked ... )

    nothing run in anger yet.
    i did play around with the web page version. ouch, thats a shocker

    hoping for some less humid hours soon :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  19. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Wow, I don't know if I'm playing a different game, but I found:
    • My game is MUCH smoother on a Pentium box running DOS, like locked at 60FPS
    • Mouse control is much nicer than keys
    • The game REALLY doesn't like you going offroad, any time you try to cut that first sharp left, hilarity ensues
    • The difficult part is the first half, you don't need the brake at all, just a good line and throttle control
    • The second half is all about trying not to get launched over the bumps
    After a bunch of practice I got down to a 1:08.55, but I can't see any way to save the replay.

    raceanddriver-20200126.jpg

    Made a donation to ILF

    I really like the "magazine" format of this game, enjoyed reading the 90s reviews of the cars and tracks. I just wish the track was a bit longer, and had more hairpins.
     
  20. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    The Leader Board

    Grant ------------ 1:08.55
    JidaiGeki -------- 1:09.73
    jimbogimp ------ 1:12.39
    Pierre32 --------- 1:14.27
    FIREWIRE1394 -- 1:40.62
    Hey well done mate, that must've taken a good amount of practice. :)



    JSmith
     
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