Once More (Unto the Breach, Dear Friends!)
Again we gather, gearhead friends! This time, in the UE4 engine. Welcome to the “Once More” crap-car tour. Time to roll up your sleeves, get your wrenches, and prepare to hit the road.
What do you have to do? That’s easy. Just grab a junker, get it running, throw some tires on it… pile a couple buddies, snacks, and maps in the car and go with us! Survival is tough, winning? Well… that’s even harder.
This is a twist on the Roulette Runner, Kinda Grand Tour, Go West Death Trap Tour, and One Last Hurrah tours that I ran a long time ago in the old Kee engine. These were, in turn, somewhat inspired by the real-world Gambler 500 series.
Basically, you buy a car for roughly (doesn’t have to be exactly) $500 USD, get it running, and take it on an extended road trip lasting several days. This version is entirely on public, paved highways, set in the year 2019. While it may seem easy, this presents its own set of challenges. Old junker cars don’t always do good on sustained highway runs, and the significant length (1000-2000 miles) and short timespan (~72 hours) means that pace is important, but so is maintaining the needs of your team. As with the previous challenge, your imagination is the only limit for your car. But remember, it has to be reasonably purchased for about $500 USD today.
This may seem a bit nebulous and vague. That’s on purpose; these actual events are kept vague, and the creativity of the participants combined with the challenge of crap hardware and a limited budget being pushed to their absolute limits.
BUILD RULES HAVE CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY. PLEASE SEE BELOW.
The organizers of this event have a car theme this time around: Fun-day toy. While you’re going to be driving beaters, they’d like to see people show up in what they consider a toy. Will it be a little track day car? An older luxury cruiser? An offroader or a roadster? (This is tied in to an award down below)
Body/Trim Year: No newer than 2005.
Bodies: No exotics or supercars
Suspension: Odd mismatches to the car type may be assessed a reliability penalty, simulating a homebrew swap situation.
Tires: No Semi-slicks (R-compound tires are NOT DOT legal). Be mindful of weather; while this occurs in summer, it also crosses through many climate regions!
Aero: Offroad skid plates allowed. Non-truck/ute bodies may be assessed a reliability penalty, simulating a homebrew creation.
Engine/Variant Year: Does not necessarily have to match the body (Simulating a swap), but can’t be newer than 2007.
Types: No V8 flatplane or V12 this time around.
Fuel: No RON98 or 100, due to availability on the course. Leaded fuels ARE allowed (lead substitute additives are readily available in parts stores)
Other: No race intakes/exhausts.
Sliders: Leave tires at 0 as I will manually adjust this to simulate brand new, modern tires later on. Otherwise, set the sliders how you would have created this car FROM THE FACTORY WHEN NEW.
TEAM STATS HAVE ALSO SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGED, SEE BELOW.
Team factors: Your team will have THREE basic stats. Cargo Loading Factor, and Aggressiveness Factor are the first two. These will all be assigned values from 1-6. The final stat is team size (number of vehicle occupants). This will be between 2 and 4, and cannot exceed the number of seats.
Cargo Loading Factor: This is the amount of trunk space divided between food/comfort items and mechanical items. 1 is maximum food/comfort/shelter, minimum spares (defined as tool kit, one spare tire, one 2.5 gallon emergency gas can), 6 is the other end of the spectrum. This is determined by YOU at the time of submission, and cannot be changed once the event starts. NEW THIS TIME AROUND: If your Cargo Loading Factor is below 6, you will have the ability (if desired) to pick out what spare parts you are carrying, besides the defined minimum. If you want to do this, let me know with your submission. When I process your car, I’ll let you know roughly how much space you have left. Send back a list of parts for approval, and I’ll go over it. Otherwise, I will more-or-less randomize what spares you are carrying. See notes below about Fatigue and how Cargo Loading Factor affects this before you make a decision.
Aggressiveness Factor: This is a measure of how aggressive/quickly your team will attempt to run the tour. 1 is going to be just below the speed limit, attempting to save the car at all times. 6 will be pushing your luck above the speed limit, and not attempting to preserve the car. Being more aggressive increases your chance of an accident and/or interference from law enforcement. This is determined by YOU at the time of submission, and may be changed up to 4 times (via PM) during the course of the event.
Team Size: You may have between 2 and 4 team members in the vehicle. Having more than 2 team members will slightly decrease your fatigue rate (simulating driver changes), but also decreases the amount of cargo space available due to increased luggage requirements. Having extra unfilled seats (like in a sedan) will slightly extend your cargo capacity (you can fill the rear footwells, but no more than that, for safety’s sake).
Edit: CLF and AF are INTEGERS, please…
Other things that can get you
Road condition: This is variable, and will be determined by historically accurate weather conditions at the time and location I run each leg. This time around, the run will be in Summer, but with crossing such a wide area, there’s a chance of some severe weather at points.
Vehicle condition: This is more granular than last time, and each vehicle will be tracked for the overall health of nine different systems, ranging from the engine to HVAC/comfort. Every car in the competition will have something either that you couldn’t address before the start of the event, or overlooked during mechanical inspection. Every team will have one system “Concern” that they are aware of at the start, but this may or may not be the worst part of your car! What you know may range from an annoyance to a major flaw, but it is neither guaranteed to crop up nor be what could potentially cripple your car. However, because this is a budget crap-car challenge, certain vehicles are just going to be more prone to issues, based on their age, original expense, etc. There will be a condition penalty (cumulative) for any car that qualifies as one or more of the following: Premium/Luxury, Sports, newer than 2005, older than 1984.
Fuel Management: Your vehicle may not be running in top condition. While all teams are considered as carrying a 2.5 gallon spare canister, you can theoretically run out of fuel if there’s a long section with no towns. Be mindful! You can always call for an early stop via PM if you’re not feeling confident about your car. This is also more granular than before, and now individual vehicles will be assigned different (realistic) sized fuel tanks at the start, ranging from 10 to 25 gallons. All cars in a given size class will have the same size tank, and I will do my best to tell you what size yours is before the start.
Fatigue: Even the most comfortable of cars will wear you out after hours at the wheel. You can mitigate this with taking POI breaks or stopping at a restaurant for a meal. If you get too tired, you dramatically increase your chance of an accident. Sleeping at a hotel reduces fatigue faster than camping, though the rate may vary, and can cause morale problems (simulating a shitty hotel). NEW THIS TIME AROUND: Having more than 2 team members will slightly slow the rate of fatigue advancement. Also, Cargo Loading Factor now affects your choices for fatigue relief. Teams with a CLF value of 6 MUST use restaurants and hotels to eat and sleep (no camping gear!), which will likely require more time off the road. Teams with a CLF value of 1 are considered to be carrying full camping gear, including a large cooler, and can stop essentially wherever/whenever to sleep, and can effectively eat on the road. Comfort and cargo space can play hugely into this.
Morale: Your team members can get pissy if things aren’t going well. This can also lead to issues that will slow you down or stop you. Keep 'em happy with waypoints, POI, good food, etc.
Negative points if you DON’T post an intro of your car/team, giving a brief background of them, the car (where you got it, how much, what condition it was in, etc.)
Note to those who participated in my previous challenges: As it’s been over 18 months since my last run, you’ll need to reintroduce your teams/team members.
If your rig makes it to the end without a fatal failure, you’re in contention for the big prize. Which is a couple pistons welded to a flywheel, skull and crossbones style. (WOO!)
Scoring will be done by rolling a randomizer and factoring the Basic Stats, Road Condition, Vehicle Condition, Fatigue, and Morale. Legs consist of 2 hour time segments. Your success will be measured in where you actually are along the road.
That said, there are going to be many POI along the way for teams to get out, stretch for a few minutes, and take in the scenery.
POI stops are done through PM notification (PM me before you get to where you want to stop). You will have a brief time penalty applied to your next leg, but you can remove negative buffs and get positive buffs from doing these. It is also not required for those RPing to do a POI on every leg (and actually might be detrimental to do so). Furthermore, POI don’t have to be specific types of landmarks; you can stop at any one in the area that fits YOUR team’s interest. While this may sound confusing right now, I will let you in on this; you will be able to find them on Google. The course will go through actual, real places on Earth.
Oh look, WINNING!
Winning can be done one of three ways:
- Be the first one to cross the finish line
- Be the closest to the AVERAGE finish time
- Stop at the most optional POI of historical or scientific interest.
I’ll also be handing out a few awards:
- “Ballsy” for the, well ballsiest entry.
- “Hard Luck” for the participant that doesn’t make it that either really should have, or put up the most valiant effort.
- “RP” - Roleplaying. Make your team fun and complex! Interact with others!
- “Zen” - Best balance of everything; car, RP, and pace
- “WWVB” - What Would Vic Buy? Which of your cars would he have bought, personally, for a fun ride to play around with? (Hint: I may be American, but I don’t like barges or pretense)
That said, I encourage ALL people who enter to chime in with blurbs about what their peeps are doing/thinking/saying after each stage, in response to what I post for the section and how it turned out. I will try to be “detailed but vague” so you guys can build your own story throughout all of this. Inter-team RP is always encouraged. The last couple times have been hilarious.
Have fun and be creative/silly! (and if you’re unaware of the series or haven’t participated in one, go back and look through the old ones I named above to get a sense of how they work and how absolutely sideways they can go)
Entry Deadline: Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 3:00pm PDT (UTC-8), but will be limited to 25 teams max. If I receive 25 valid entries before the entry deadline, they will be closed.
Also, I will be entering my own vehicle again this time. While it’s possible for me to “win”, the actual winner(s) will be selected from the contestants. I’m mostly here for “flavor” or “color commentary”.
As usual, please post an intro of your car and team.
Naming convention and submission.
Naming: Car Model and Engine Family name should be “OM - (username)”. Trim names should be the names of the cars/engines themselves (for flavor).
PM me the .car export file, and state how many people are in your team (and if you are colluding with any other board members on this)
Also remember to include your Aggressiveness Factor (can be changed up to 4 times after the start) and Cargo Loading Factor (cannot be changed after submission) in the initial PM, as well as the number of people who will be crammed in your car. If your Cargo Loading Factor is less than 6, please let me know if you want to specify spare parts yourself, or have me assign them.
Competitors approved so far: