What Is This?
Exactly what it sounds like. This is all about sight-unseen evaluations of cars.
The problem with first impressions is that you only get one, so it better be good else you missed the biggest opportunity in winning somebody over. You send me a car, tell me just enough to get going on it / figure out what evaluations to run, and I give it a wheel in BeamNG. This will be in a “Lets Play” format where I do a voice over as I drive it so you know exactly what I am thinking: First Impressions. Unscripted. Brutally honest.
Think of me as a potential customer or a historian; the reason I say historian as if it is something different is because I’m not limiting this to so-called “good” cars. You can send me cars that are intentionally supposed to be awful* . Your goal is to make me experience on first impression alone what you wanted me to experience, be that disgust, bemusement, ambivalence, etc.
* Please do note that when I say “awful”, I don’t mean “low effort”. I mean well-crafted, well-thought-out cars whose designs you deliberately sabotage to a reasonable extent. Think American Malaise Era Cars
What gave you the idea to do this and what exactly will it be like?
Glad you asked. I find its best to tell by example but a little background first.
This all started a little in early November 2018 as a half-assed comment I made to Automation Discord user RapidKebab during the “Show off your shameless Land Rover clones” fever that was going around then. Rather than a clone, he made a parody – an insane machine with a 16.3L V12 and well over 3,000 hp. I made a jab that I just had to drive it. And RapidKebab agreed!
…under the condition I post a video of the results. So I did. And it was a fully on “Lets Play” style review:
I later found out he was expecting nothing more than a 30 second carnage clip. But this was a happy accident and soon after @uuhidontknow requested a similar “Lets Play” style review of his actual Land Rover clone followed by @asami. I did so for @uuhidontknow 's but this time around, I took things a little more seriously:
As I’ve had time to do more and more of these, I consider the following to be exemplars of my reviews; this is what you can expect:
Please note that if you are considering submitting you should watch these next two first! Because I am VERY FAR from nice to cars sometimes and you had better be prepared to take the heat!
So now that we’ve seen all that we can see what I intend to do:
- I will run at least one test to see how well it stacks up against your description
- Optionally run a few additional tests as needed to pinpoint how I would actually describe it.
- Then I will:
- Complete the Automation Circuit
- Launch the car off the spillway
- And finally, I will give a comprehensive rundown.
- When it comes to final evaluations, I am very resistant to NUMERICALLY RANK OR SCORE these cars like say Doug Demuro because scoring in my opinion poorly substitutes real nuanced assessments and irrevocably discards important information in the name of making tidy easily comparable figures. I may compare performance figures where relevant but that is as far as I will go.
- Maybe something extra? Who knows. Depends on if I have the time, inspiration, etc.
The Tests and Evaluations
What tests and evaluations specifically? you ask.
The short answer is “Its subject to change” based on the class of vehicle its both portrayed as and that which I think it actually is. Here are my guidelines so far:
Hardcore offroaders will attempt to scale tough mountain trails.
Street oriented SUVs / Crossovers will be put through their paces on backwoods dirt trails steep and rough enough to clobber an ordinary car. If you are familiar with BeamNG, Jungle Rock Island has these sorts of trains in abundance.
Softroaders / rally machines (e.g. a Subuar Impreza STI) will be expected to blast around dirt roads / rally tracks similar to if not the one leading to up to the dam.
Roadsters and sports cars will be blasting windy mountain roads for epic hill climbing and cornering action.
Track cars will be put through additional paces on handling circuits.
As I review more cars, the tests for each particular class of vehicle will be created (if nonexistent) and/or maintained if they start becoming outdated or insufficient.
Should I submit a car?
Only if you understand and agree with the following:
These are car reviews! Understand that your creation will be subject to extreme scrutiny and critique both good and bad. If you can’t stomach what I did to the Sinistra Cinder, DO NOT SUBMIT!
As I sincerely hope you have gathered by now, I have a bit of a Mr Regular personality, especially on automotive topics. I have fiercely-held beliefs that may not be popular and I often express them in raunchy and what some may call “politically incorrect” ways. If you can’t stomach my joke delivery like in particular on the Corsica Vienna review, DO NOT SUBMIT!
- And also realize that my jokes and wisecracks may go outside the scope of your car too. See the Daito Alissa review .
Only submit cars you have authority over. That means you do NOT submit other people’s cars without their authorization. If they want to submit the car, ideally they can come to me, not you. Alternatively, they must give me direct written confirmation that they have seen the rules and seen examples of what I intended to do with their car if you submit the car on their behalf.
- Why? Well intellectual property for one; I respect people’s right to have control over their creations. And two: read rules 1 and 2. They might not be okay with me tearing their creation to shreds.
- inb4 tuneups and derivatives. If you receive a car from someone and put your own touches on it, it IS NOT YOUR CAR in my opinion and thus may not be submitted unless you meet the requirements laid out above.
- If you disobey this rule and I find out, the review will be binned – even if already live – and you will NEVER be allowed to submit again.
Though I will not make it an explicit rule, I highly suggest you have BeamNG and test the car to your liking before sending it! Why? Because Rule 1 and 2 - this way you won’t get unexpected surprises when Automation’s graphs don’t quite capture the qualitative aspects of your creation that you were shooting for.
What kinds of cars are you accepting?
Everything. Yes, even parody and meme cars but be warned… they have to be good! The Terrain Navigator XD and Bridgell Hope have set a high bar.
Note that I am more likely to “get” cars that are rather plebeian. I don’t own a supercar nor have I ever driven one. I have however driven farm trucks, FWD econoboxes, AWD Subarus, RWD sport saloons and coupes (generally old mind you, think E30s and NA Miatas), and old school American land yachts.
Basically the point here is that I expressly admitting a lack of empirical knowledge of really really expensive shit! Do not let that stop you from submitting the car you truly want feedback on though. This is more of a disclaimer to let you know why I might fowl something up or critique it strangely.
How do I submit a car?
Please PM me either here on the forums or in Discord. My handle is the same: @kmBlaine.
Note that in the future this may change but for the moment, I trust our community and our community only. Helps keep out the rifraff.
Your message should contain the following:
Full name of the car and trim you want me to review
A short quip describing the car. Note here that your description may powerfully predispose my expectations and whether that is desireable or not I will leave up to you. For instance, saying “This is like a 1980s Buick Regal” predisposes my expectations a hell of a lot more than “This is a 1980s premium car”, but that predisposition may help me zero in on how well you have achieved the implicit goal which in this case is making a Malaise Era turd.
A screenshot of the car
The car / a link to it:
- I strongly prefer the already-exported
.zipfile. This is because it reduces my exposure to the car before driving it and also it prevents issues with mod fixtures and such.
- If you cannot, for whatever reason, provide the exported
.carfile may be submitted.
- I strongly prefer the already-exported
The schedule is a simple first-come-first-serve (or FIFO for any programmers out there ) queue.
New reviews will come out regularly. Expect 7 to 14 days between each though the period can be shorter or longer.
Waaaaaah but why?
Well, 1) this is just a hobby of mine; 2) I have a life outside Automation that is rarely monotonous; and 3) given how some of these cars turn out, sometimes its hard for me to get motivated to make the final cut. Sorry; I’m only human .
Anyways, current backlog below!
User Car ---------------------------------------------------------- loflyh Retro Age Motors Saint Vasia goblin95 Kasai Yama DriftinCovet1987 1986 Gatz Valerian 600-6TDE Nicking_HC CSM Balendos SL iihs TARA Sahara yurimacs Lagau Targa Uno Mr.Computah 2019 Vega Saetta ASCAR Cup On3CherryShake Hokuto Sakuta 2.8 Saloon th3maldonado BL Viva VIII VSi WRC (gravel tune) Nicking_HC Hugi Fleuma Mk2 GT Marcus_gt500 Modo Prego Turbo EFI CorsicaUnknown 1984 Corsica Lazer Turbo F12OM 2018 Ursula F5 200T HybridTronny 1960 Gilbert Uranium Concept Mk1 Mad_Cat Petrov Fortune Gooles 1955 MTS Due Forza