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The Automation Gamer Challenge [ROUND 2]


#84

Vector Motors is delighted to announce that we’re willing to feature our latest supercar, the V8 Volante GT, in the upcoming racing game Speedstorm 3D.

Powered with a gritty, no frills, no turbo and all raw power Flatplane 4.5L V8 engine, this supercar sounds like something you’ve never heard before. Producing over 430 horsepower and a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds, you can easily take on cars like Porsche 911 Turbo and Dodge Viper GT (1995). And who knows, if you’ve got the skills, you may be even able to take on the mighty Ferrari F50 with this car!


#85

More


By 1990, the historic Banshee sports car, a proud front engine V8 beast with a history back to 1951, was in need of a refresh from its boxy, oh-so-80s 1982 redesign. A simplified lineup, without hatchback, T-top, and convertible models, but instead only a removable hardtop, was planned, as was an entirely new, rounded fiberglass body on a space frame. However, another problem loomed: the 357 cubic inch Caliber V8 of the old Banshee had never managed to break 400 horsepower, and with the recent closing of Langhorne Engine Assembly, there was no longer a big block engine to fall on. Instead, the Banshee program adapted the Caliber V10 (a stroked 357 with two cylinders added, built as the replacement for the 444 Langhorne in pickup trucks) and tuned it to 470 hp and over 500 ft/lbs of torque. When launched in 1992, the Banshee was reinvented, still an affordable if rough-around-the-edges sports car, with more power (and less fuel economy). It was capable of 1.12 G’s cornering, 0-60 in under 5 seconds, and 60-0 in under 110 feet. While derided by exotic enthusiasts as unsophisticated and even ugly, it was the object of thousands of ill-planned mid-life crisis purchases, and on millions of posters in teenage bedrooms.


#86

There are now just under 12 hours to go before the deadline - if you have an eligible entry, send it in quick!


#87

I had planned on making a mid-engined car from scratch, but it looks like there is a place in the game for more modest sports cars, so the Turból Cutela will make the game’s roster of cars.

Turból Cutela JS Sport

The “CC” chassis code Cutela was co-developed by Turból and Japanese manufacturer Donatsu as a versatile coupe platform that would underpin sports cars and personal luxury coupes. While more powerful versions were available with AWD, the JS Sport model provided here is the sportiest RWD variant available, with the Japanese-market-spec 276hp version of the all aluminum quad-cam twin-turbo V8.

Additional Photos

Specifications

2 door, 4 seat coupe
1541.9 kg
4.0L V8, DOHC, 32V, Twin Turbo
5 Speed Manual, RWD
276 hp, 298 lb-ft
0-62 in 5.7s
158 mph top speed
1.13-1.15g skidpad
$39,600


#88

1995 Zacspeed R1

A culmination of decades of racing experience, years of planning, and hours of hand labor, the Zacspeed R1 is a driver-focused supercar that strikes through the lines that define a road car. Courtesy of a 6.0L V12 behind your back, 665 horsepower sent through the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox warp what a road car is capable of into a mold reminiscent of one of the company’s race cars. Engineers and drivers worked, tested, and experimented tirelessly in secret to ensure the full-carbon car would be a surprise upon its showstopping unveiling.


#89

F1 LM GTR vibes bro :heart:


#90

I dont get time to participate on this:(

And the cars are pretty beautiful


#91

Entries are now closed.

Reviews and results will be posted in 72 hours or less.


#92

AGC 1 Results, Part 1: Preliminaries

June 14th, 1995

At 3:00 pm, Ben, Gavin and Steve gathered around a table in a boardroom at Graviton HQ in Birmingham, having secured the rights to a total of 11 cars from 11 different manufacturers. Here is what they had to say about them; Ben, Gavin and Steve were discussing design, performance and relevance, respectively. Their verdicts were as follows.

@Aruna - Adonijin Kite 8000S

Ben: What a beauty! This thing is basically Sarah Bryant on wheels - clad in blue, with curves to die for, it looks like it will destroy everything else on track.

Gavin: It’s a top performer for sure with over 600 horsepower, and handles astonishingly well to boot.

Steve: This is exactly the kind of car we want, full stop.

The Adonijin Kite 8000S will be included and is under consideration for the cover.

@titleguy1 - Iazanda Evolvia GT-8

Ben: The sides and rear are OK, but the front end is just wrong. The size and shape of the headlight lenses make it look like a bottom-dwelling catfish, quite frankly.

Gavin: It may not have over 400 horsepower, but it is still quite fast, and handles surprisingly well for a rear-engined car.

Steve: I’m not sure that a rear-engined soft-top convertible belongs in this game, no matter how fast it is.

The Iazanda Evolvia GT-8 will not be included.

@Mikonp7 - Haapala GT2 Street Legal

Ben: It’s a race car for the road. Enough said.

Gavin: Unfortunately, for all its raw pace, its potential is partially squandered by severe wheelspin, although we can fix that.

Steve: So far, this is the closest rival to the Kite we have right now, so we’d be foolish not to include it, for all its faults.

The Haapala GT2 Street Legal will be included, but will require reworking to make it more manageable in-game. Even so, it remains under consideration for the cover.

@mart1n2005 - Courageux Castellet Coupe

Ben: Looks like a Pug from the front, albeit a more stylish one. I don’t like the thick plastic strips around the lower body, though; they cheapen the car somewhat.

Gavin: With 321 horsepower it’s the slowest car we have seen so far, but it handles well enough.

Steve: Just to balance out the multitude of mid-engined supercars we will see, we should put this in our game, no question.

The Courageux Castellet Coupe will be included, but won’t be featured on the cover.

@TheTechnoVampire - Narya Kartsune RS Coupe

Ben: The nose reminds me of my RX-7; the rest is pure rally car.

Gavin: It definitely has the power, but like the Haapala, it wheelspins quite a bit off the line, though it’s not quite as severe.

Steve: This is basically a sports car trapped in a rally car body shell. Enough said.

The Narya Kartsune RS Coupe will not be included in the game, but will be considered for a rally-themed sequel or spinoff sometime in the future.

@CMT - CMT Kyalami V12

Ben: For a big, luxurious GT car this thing doesn’t look elegant enough, and the big hood scoop up front is clearly out of place.

Gavin: This thing is too big and bulky to keep up with out-and-out sports cars - a shame considering its ample power.

Steve: An overweight luxury GT doesn’t make sense in this game either… except maybe as a pace car.

The team briefly pondered over whether or not the CMT Kyalami V12 will feature as a pace car, but ultimately decided that it will not be included at all.

@Chickenbiscuit - LMC Nessus Type S

Ben: The best-looking car we’ve seen since the Kite. Absolutely stunning.

Gavin: With over 400 horsepower and a sorted chassis, it creams the overwrought Haapala for overall performance, even though it can’t compete with the Kite’s raw power.

Steve: This is exactly the kind of car we want to compete with the Kite.

The LMC Nessus Type S will be included and is now being considered for the cover.

@Xepy - Greil Dainsleif

Ben: Another looker for sure, much like the Kite, but slightly smaller.

Gavin: It’s a bit oversteery but still handles well enough to make optimal use of its immense power.

Steve: This and the Kite would be perfect rivals, eh? We shouldn’t pass this one up.

The Greil Dainsleif will be included and is still being considered for the cover.

@GetWrekt01 - Vector V8 Volante GT

Ben: Another metallic blue mid-engined supercar, with good proportions in most places. Unfortunately, the front-end styling is a bit awkward and will need reworking.

Gavin: At least with 430 horsepower on tap it can keep up with the pack, and it handles decently as well.

Steve: I’m not sure if we need more mid-engined supercars - but I still want them, so I’d rather keep this one.

The Vector V8 Volante GT will not feature on the cover, but will be included in the game after some aesthetic revisions.

@patridam - Earl Banshee

Ben: Much of it screams “muscle car”, but the front is too cartoonish for my tastes.

Gavin: There is no doubt, however, that its engine belongs in a muscle car - who can say no to a 470-horsepower V10?

Steve: This game clearly needs a muscle car, so omitting the Earl Banshee would be a huge mistake in my opinion.

The Earl Banshee will be included after some aesthetic revisions, but won’t feature on the cover.

@donutsnail - Turbói Cutela JS Sport

Ben: The side profile is a bit weird, but I like the spoiler at the back.

Gavin: Only 276 horsepower? I don’t think such a puny output will cut it in this intense company.

Steve: We want another front-engined car in the game, but not a severely underpowered one.

The Turbói Cutela JS Sport will not be included.

@chiefzach2018 - Zacspeed R1

Ben: Yet another stunning supercar. The attention to detail on this thing is amazing!

Gavin: It has the opposite problem to the Greil in that it understeers a bit, but it’s not too bad, and its straight-line pace is immense.

Steve: This is the last car we got, and one of the best. We shouldn’t pass it up.

The Zacspeed R1 will be included and remains under consideration for the cover.

Note: @Kyuu77 and @Rise_Comics sent in an ad each for their entries, but they will not count because they forgot to send me any .car files before the deadline.

Part 2 coming soon!


#93

Damn. Thought my little minty coupe would do well and be considered. If you do host another round for a rally spin off, then I may send in an AWD version of it.

I was looking for some RX-7 vibes in the design, so glad you noticed that. :slight_smile:


#94

My guy even though I’m not participating in this challenge I would really suggest that you at least put in the car pictures provided to you by the competitors. It would make things much easier and much better to look at. Your review at first glance looks more like an essay than a comparison between the competitors’ cars.


#95

Ah, too bad I didn’t get anywhere - I was definitely banking on the eccentricity of the design to get somewhere but I suppose that might not have been the best approach. Good luck to all those who passed the prelims!

edit: the photo order is incorrect


#96

You might have swapped some pics there


#97

If you can improve the appearance of the Banshee, by all means. I had enough trouble trying to make the a personal luxury body work with a Viper aesthetic, I look forward to seeing what you can do.


#98

@abg7
Thanks for listening to the critics and adding images.

I already knew that the Kyalami V12 was like committing suicide. But I loved the CL600 and Eldorado meme.


#99

Ah I’ll take the power and handling praise. I made that Flatplane V8 with love and tried my best to stay realistic with it. I also did my best to emulate a mid 90s supercar handling. Styling isn’t my strongest suit just yet so I totally agree, it looks like a mishmash between an 80s and 90s car. Let’s see what happens in the future!


#100

AGC 1 Reviews, Part 2: Final Standings

With the car list for Speedstorm 3D finalized, Ben, Gavin and Steve continued their debate on which of the eight cars featured would be on the cover long into the night. Gavin had suggested a cover featuring two different cars, but Ben and Steve quickly overruled him by stating that there would be no more than one of them on the cover - the creative director had explicitly told them about it well before the cars had been presented. As far as the cover was concerned, three of the eight cars featured had been eliminated for not looking good enough, which left just five cars still up for consideration. They were ranked as follows:

5th: Haapala GT2 Street Legal by @Mikonp7

The grey wedge with the big wing seemed promising early on, but needed more comprehensive adjustments - especially to combat persistent wheelspin problems - than the other finalists in order to justify its inclusion. As such, it finished no higher than fifth.

4th: Zacspeed R1 by @chiefzach2018

At first this orange beauty seemed like a shoo-in for the cover, but the devs, being aware of its understeer issues, were reluctantly forced to eliminate the Zacspeed R1 from contention. Nevertheless, it was still going to be featured anyway, on account of its stunning aesthetics and its sheer raw speed.

3rd: Greil Dainsleif by @Xepy

This was a more understated offering than any of the other cars in the top 5, but it was still one of the fastest cars in the field. It was a bit oversteery on the limit, but even Gavin preferred it to the potentially frustrating understeer of the Zacspeed. Ultimately, though, it fell just short of second place; the next two cars just seemed to have that extra edge in handling.

2nd: LMC Nessus Type S by @Chickenbiscuit

Surprising nobody at all, the Nessus claimed second place by being better balanced than almost every other car in the group. Of the top five cars, it was the least powerful, but made better use of it thanks to skillful chassis tuning. It was also an attractive car from every angle. The only thing stopping it from winning was the presence of a vastly superior car, which turned out to be a…

1st: Adonijin Kite 8000S by @Aruna

Even though it wasn’t that much more powerful than the Greil or the Zacspeed, the Kite was better-sorted mechanically than either - or anything else in the field, for that matter. Aesthetically, it struck a perfect balance between raw aggression and understated elegance, which. It was also the fastest car of them all, if anyone still needed convincing that this was the best choice for the cover of Speedstorm 3D.

By 10:00 pm that evening, Ben confirmed to Gavin and Steve that the Adonijin Kite 8000S would feature on the cover of SpeedStorm 3D. Their reaction was as follows:

“No wonder it’s our cover car! It ticks all the boxes - and then some!”

With that, Ben rallied around his fellow staff and ordered them to fast-track development of the game for its new release date - September 30th, 1995.

Epilogue

Nearly five months later, SpeedStorm 3D hit store shelves across the globe, and instantly became a best-seller. It was released exclusively on the original PlayStation (a side-effect of the Nintendo 64 being delayed until the following year, and the Sega Saturn being too difficult for many developers, including Graviton Games, to make 3D games for), and as an award-winning launch title, helped boost sales of the console significantly in the first few months of its lifespan. Critics called it “the closest thing you can get to having an actual arcade machine in your living room”, and Ben couldn’t be happier. When the game was finally ported to PCs in November of 1995, the higher-ups at Graviton were even more pleased.

SpeedStorm 3D was followed up by SpeedStorm Xtreme in 1997, which added more cars and tracks, as well as higher speeds; SpeedStorm World Tour, released in 1999, introduced the ability not just to buy cars, but also subsequently customize them by changing the exterior colors and buying mechanical upgrades. With each new game, the audio and visuals improved steadily. This pattern continued well into the sixth console generation, especially with SpeedStorm Unleashed, which came out in 2002 and was the first true multiplatform release in the series for quite some time - it was available not just for PC, but also for the PS2, GameCube, and the original XBOX.

For the next few years, Graviton refined the SpeedStorm formula more and more by adding still more features. It seemed to work for a time, with each installment selling strongly and receiving glowing reviews from critics and buyers alike… until it came back to bite them in the tailpipe when SpeedStorm Frenzy was repeatedly delayed from its original Fall 2008 release date. When it finally came out in March 2010 on PS3, XBOX 360 and PC, it was savaged by critics and didn’t sell well. Unsurprisingly, Graviton Games collapsed within a year and a half of the game’s release, and all three core members of its development team - Ben, Gavin and Steve - retired shortly afterward. Things were looking grim for them…

…until, in December 2018, Ben heard rumors that Vulcan Studios, a vast American publisher, had acquired the rights to the entire SpeedStorm franchise. Those rumors were not only confirmed, but also followed up by the announcement that a completely new installment, SpeedStorm Revolution, was in development. The CEO of Vulcan Studios, Larry Rogers, told Ben over the phone:

“Hello there. We’ve taken over the reins to your beloved franchise, and we’re going to resurrect it. In today’s world, nearly every driving game is a highly realistic simulator - and don’t we have enough of those already? SpeedStorm Revolution would be the perfect arcade-flavored antidote. For that reason, I want you to join our dev team.”

Ben’s response was swift and to the point. “I’ll take it. And while I’m at it, I’m recruiting my old mates from Graviton, Gavin and Steve, to help. Sounds like fun!”

Larry knew that he had contacted the right man. “OK then. You should get on a plane to L.A. ASAP. Once there, head to Vulcan Studios in Santa Monica, where our staff will help you get familiarized with our surroundings. You’ll feel right at home with us.”

The rest is history. Right now, Ben and his mates are still at work developing SpeedStorm Revolution, and are confident that it will thrust this long-dormant franchise into the limelight. But will it really live up to their expectations? Only time will tell, but early signs are promising.

Many thanks to all the entrants for making this first round of the Automation Gamer Challenge well worth hosting - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


#101

Awesome! My first victory for a forums challenge haha. Thanks a lot :sparkles:


#102

To be honest, the car that won really looks great.


#103

Congratulations man!