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The Automation Gamer Challenge [ROUND 4]


#206

Oh man i though for sure i had 0% brake fade…
I opened it up again and it says 0.1% on mine but you put 0.3%. I’m confused but its nbd.


#207

Thanks aruna. I originally didn’t think I’d be trying a Gamer Challenge brief but the excuse to go wild with futuristic styling and the LaFerrari body was way too tempting.

Now I’m in a bit of a bind here because I do have ideas for the next round but I don’t get back from travel until next week. This will present some challenges as to how I review and judge unless I extend the deadline a few days.

So what do you say…?

  • Keep to schedule and make the round basic
  • Extend the deadline until Saturday next week and have the round run in full

0 voters


#208

Okay I think that was a pretty comprehensive decision. I’ll get a ruleset up now and then we can… discuss it before the green light.


AGC 3 – Real Rally Legends for Real Rally Fans

no, not drift, rally damnit :joy:

In the Automation community there have been offroad and gumball rally challenges. There was recently a CSR about a training car for rally beginners. But there has never, to my knowledge, been a challenge that attempts to capture an actual rally car, due to their unique technical makeup and the uncertainty of how these are simulated in our software.

This is about to change.

Because of strong real-life parallels I’m also going to drop the scenario setting in favour of making actual real-life references (doesn’t help that I have a headache and don’t feel like role playing haha).


The year is 2001. The current crop of WRC regulations has produced some strong competition and drama at the top level with twists and turns abound until the last round which allowed much-fancied but slow starter Richard Burns a come from behind victory over McRae, Mäkinen and Grönholm. This was the year that the FIA first officially licensed the long running WRC series of games.

This was far from a single example. McRae already had some much celebrated rally games to his name. In 2004 a smaller studio would release a game with a handling model pioneered by Burns that was initially met with bemusement and apathy, only to be overshadowed by Burns’ untimely death the following year. For years it remained inconspicuous, but over time its reputation grew larger and larger to the point that it is now heralded as still the most realistic sim to date, despite many many other big buck titles. This is the real deal here:

This is where we find ourselves: with a real opportunity to evoke the spirit of this great era and bring all the real fans to the paddock. Forget simcade, I want an experience so real that I can feel the dirt on my face. And for that, we need cars that capture the essence of real rallying in the cars.


Having done some playtesting, I’ve noted a few eras and regulations work better than others for matching conditions in Automation (and performance in Beam). One of them is the 1997-2010 WRC regulations, so that’s what we’re going with.

Now note that World Rally Cars from this era had rulesets adapted from Group A, so they needed to be mass produced to the tune of 2500 units in year of competition for a total run of 25000 units. There were some fairly specific dimensional requirements but I’m going to allow a certain degree of liberty for ease of play.

Nonetheless, note that this round will equally test all abilities of Automation gameplay: design, research and balancing in-game metrics and will involve some Beam testing though the latter will not determine outcomes any more than any other part.

Automation Regulations

Mandatory

Chassis

  • Model year 1991-2001
  • No limited production chassis/panel materials
  • Hatch, sedan, wagon bodies only i.e. the body must be capable of seating at least two rows
  • Wheelbase at least 2.3m long
  • No mid-engine formats

Engine

  • Maximum displacement 2000cc
  • Maximum exhaust diameter 58mm
  • Fuel is 95RON only
  • Everything else is free but pay particular attention to the recommendations

Trim

  • Trim year 2001
  • 2, 3, 4 and 5 door body variants are all allowed
  • Do not use pickup bodies.
  • No geared diff (these are useless for loose surfaces)
  • Medium compound tyres with a maximum width of 215mm and a sidewall profile of 50-60 and zero tech points on wheels
  • Maximum of ONE wing to be placed on the rear half of the car (this is recommended). Other fixtures are free.
  • Two seats
  • Power steering must be included
  • At least Standard safety (no tech requirements, I will make allowances for weight regulations)
  • Minimum weight 1230.0kg no exceptions

Homologation

  • A separate trim with a separate engine variant MUST be made and configured to score at least 80 market points in either the Family Utility, Family, or Family Sport categories in Gasmea.
  • This separate trim must also be set to the year 2001
  • please note I am not judging the production car on anything except that it passes market score. It does not need fixtures.

The Judging Process

As said I’ll be judging all the relevant playable factors. They’ll be weighted about equally. Like other rounds the winner will be placed on the cover of our new WRC based game. Those deemed overall good enough to be included in the game will be shortlisted.

Design
Basically how well the aesthetic articulates a 2001 World Rally Car. Decals and liveries are strongly encouraged. Real examples include:

Rally lights, scoops etc. are all welcome. Suffice to say if it doesn’t look the part I can’t put it on the cover!

Engineering

Rally cars are technologically advanced but also undergo rigorous conditions with limited time for maintenance between stages. Expensive and labour intensive parts are hard to source and replace. Higher reliability, lower engineering times and production units, and lower service costs will be looked upon favourably. I’m not giving you any hard numbers on this as it’ll be relative.

I will also be looking at whether the choices made are appropriate for a rally car of 2001. There was a fair degree of variability in the technology available so I’m leaving things like ABS ESC and the diffs etc. open. Look at the Recommendations section for hints.

I will not be looking at the core stats like Drivability, Sportiness, Comfort etc. I also don’t care about those stats for the base production car so much as the market score being at least 80 in a relevant area, but that in itself is merely a hurdle, not a weighted criteria.

Driving

If the entry conforms to all of the mandatory rules I’ll give it a punt in Beam. Bluntly put I’m a competent sim driver and I particularly enjoy Rally, and particularly Richard Burns Rally. I’ll give it a shakedown with a couple of laps around Italy: Mixed Circuit (50% dirt/gravel 50% tarmac). Ease of driving and balance matters most but obviously in a competitive rally scenario the easier it is to drive something the faster I can go so a competitive time will help.

If you do not have Beam, let me know and I will provide limited guidance if your base concept is sound.

All put together I’ll add up scores from each, like so:

Body design Livery design Parts and Service Costs Choice suitability Ease of driving Lap time
15 5 10 10 10 10

For a total of 60 points. Highest total wins, just like a WRC season.

Strong Recommendations

for those of you not familiar with this era of Rally

The car in general

  • Your mission is to convince me that your Automationverse car is right for rallying. I don’t want to see replicas of real rally cars. Replica liveries are okay.
  • Front engine over rear (this rule set doesn’t allow midship by virtue of seat row rule). I mean, I’m not saying no to rear engine, and I’ve made a perfectly competent rear engined rally car, it’s just… Yeah it makes slightly less sense in this era

Engine

  • Engines were most commonly i4 but this doesn’t stop you from using other layouts or cylinder counts
  • Power outputs in this era were restricted to a stipulated maximum of 300hp but in reality they were closer to 330-340hp, limited mainly by the exhaust restrictions. And yes at the WRC level they were invariably turbo. To be perfectly clear there are NO power limitations but I fully expect you’ll struggle to get above 340hp.
  • Rally engines typically have a redline between 6700-7500rpm. But the turbo spools by 3500rpm and yields a very large surge in power to the tune of nearly 300hp @ 3500rpm. I will favour engines that follow this behaviour as they’re simply easier to drive in rally conditions… therefore the results will be reflected mostly in the driving impression unless you made a fundamentally contradictory choice
  • I recommend an engine engineering time target of no more than 119. More than that and your returns diminish sharply and I’ll start docking points.
  • I recommend an engine reliability of no less than 53. Less than that and you’ll probably start losing points.

Trim

  • I recommend a trim engineering time target of no more than 119. But due to differences in bodies if you need to make up weight somehow I will be far more forgiving.
  • I’ve left many bodies are available but keep in mind that the real-life 2001 rally cars had a minimum length of 3.8-4m depending on which year. The smaller the body, the smaller the wheels tend to be and this will make the car unstable over bumps and jumps. Also cars with excessively high center of gravity are prone to excessive pitch and roll and are likely to flip so think twice before submitting an SUV or a subcompact
  • If the body has a 2 or 3 door variant use that, this was common practice
  • The one wing on the rear is to counter rear lift at higher speeds. Beam looks at the horizontal surface area so I strongly recommend making it as wide as the rear tailgate, its length about 1/4 the width, and set the angle to 30 or so
  • The “sequential” of Automation isn’t the same as the automated action manual box that rally cars use but it’ll do for sim purposes. Feel free to use it. FYI I will be using realistic gearbox behaviour in testing.
  • By 2001 many cars used 3 way active diffs. Selecting E diff is very acceptable. I know how to handle manual lockers but this would be a touch outdated. Please try to avoid 4x4 as opposed to AWD as that was more Group B and the problem with those cars was that they couldn’t handbrake turn because if you lock the rear wheels with a locked center diff, the fronts will lock too…
  • Feel free to ignore the brake fade warnings in Automation but obviously if you leave them too small and I actually get brake fade on a shakedown stage that will not be a good look!
  • ABS has its drawbacks in Beam, and particularly on loose surfaces which require a certain degree of slip. Giving me ABS will make the car more controllable but will increase my braking distance significantly. TCS and ESC will change the car behaviour but at least I can switch it on/off at will.
  • Suspension tuning will be key here. Pick a geometry that allows good range of travel. Documentation cites that good rally cars of this era had suspension travel of up to 200mm so also pick your ride height accordingly. Similarly with that degree of travel don’t make the spring rates or damper rates too high or I’ll bounce straight into a tree or something

Submission

Send me THREE TRIMS

  1. The Rally trim as should be seen, decals and all
  2. The rally trim with no fixtures except the wing (to avoid Beam crashing issues and fixture weight problems)
  3. The production trim which doesn’t need to have any fixtures on it

Name them as follows:

Model Trim Family Variant
AGC3 - username Model name Trim name Rally
AGC3 - username Beam Trim name Rally
AGC3 - username Model name Trim name Production

I’ll leave these rules here for discussion for a day or so and once you finish tearing it to pieces asking questions I’ll open for entries. I am travelling currently so will only be able to scrutinise entries in Automation. Driving will start next Monday.

Deadline is Saturday 31st August, 11:59pm AEST

Be very careful! I normally allow revisions but since my circumstances are a bit more complicated than usual, if I see any errors in submissions (i.e. breaks submission process or mandatory rules) they will be insta :wastebasket: .

Okay! Questions?


#209

Wow! Submitting two cars, twice the chance for error :smile:
This seems really cool, but I don’t know whether my designs for the 2000’s are good enough, leaving enough room for liveries instead of vents too might be a challenge for me :stuck_out_tongue:

I like how it’s not too restrictive while still giving you an idea of what you need to build, I Expect to see some rule bending just like the real thing as there’s quite a large amount open to interpretation.


#210

Hey, Strop. Found out something that contests the rules a bit.

You say this ruleset eliminates mid-engine cars because of the door/seat row count and body style.

However, the '95 Saab 9-5 body I commissioned from Aruna has 4 doors, can get two rows of seats, and can be mid-engine.

What do you make of this? :stuck_out_tongue:


#211

I’d also assume that the Saleen body’s wagon variants, which can hold 2 rows of seats, are out of the question? Not that I was going to use them, since they’re very unsuited for rally.

edit: This line confuses me, are we limited to 300 hp or can we go above that?


#212

Can it seat those 2 rows while being mid-engine? For all the other bodies this was mutually exclusive.

You’ve kinda answered your own question here :joy: In this round I take the “jumping off cliffs with no parachute is a bad idea but I’m not stopping you” approach.

The exhaust diameter maximum of 82.5mm should limit your output.

And just in case people were hoping to circumvent this by using boxer engines, note that dual turbos are twuce as hard to make usable in this context so choose wisely!


#213

So, yes, we are limited to 300 hp tops then, I take it.


#214

isnt this competition for video games


#215

Actually hold that thought. I just tested things over and realised I could bend my own rules way easier than I thought. Screw 340hp over a stipulated limit of 300hp I’m cranking out 500hp easy.

Do not attempt to submit anything, I’ll fix the engine rules first

Rally cars are one of the most popular subjects of racing video games, so your point is?


#216

well this round looks less like a “make cars for x video game” and more like “make rally cars”…
nvm i think you’re right


#217

Yes. The 9-5 body can easily be mid-engine while still allowing two rows. If you have the body, you can check for yourself.


#218

ummm…yeah, not sure how you’re getting that unless you’re trying out the “v” engines…
I’ve been messing around trying an i5 or boxer setup (I have a legacy irl I’d love to make a b4 but it’s annoying me…) and only JUST getting 300 hp with a “normal” turbo i.e. a turbo that kicks in at a reasonable time.

Edit: Once again I might not enter…none of the bodies available fit what I want to design.


#219

Yeah okay fair enough I took a more thorough look and found there were a few bodies that allowed 2 rows of seats with a mid-engine layout. But all of the bodies are either:

  1. patently unsuitable for the task (i.e. ground clearance ranges somewhere between 0 and not much) so if you use it I will :wastebasket:
  2. the rear firewall ends somewhere in the middle of the cabin and thus if people really sat in the back they’d be violating some law of physics

Suffice to say that I think I’ll have to ban mid-engine to make it easier. If we could make Group B regs work I’d love to try those out at some point but none of us have figured that out just yet. Alternatively if this works out one could also host a classic or other modified class of rally that allows mid-engine. Just not this round.

Also I’ve reached a better compromise on the engine situation. The rules will be updated accordingly.


#220

Today is the day I learned I cannot design engines…
Or make anything that isn’t a Dodge Neon apparently. XD


#221

Strop, I have a question.
Regarding to the engine regulation, is the fuel type limited to either 91 RON, 95 RON or can be pushed to 100 RON?
As far as I’ve remember from real rally mechanics, those are stick to 95 RON as max (due to fuel availability).
If not… woohoo booooooooscht


#222

Eh shit good point. Forgot about that because all I remembered was when rally used insane amounta of additives becayse not regulated haha.

Will have an answer for you in about 5 hours

EDIT: answer is sorry, 95RON limit. It also solves a couple of my other balancing issues!

I think the key message here is that mid-range torque is more important than the peak figure and the power outputs don’t actually matter so much as how the car drives as the scoring shows.

I’ll play around a little bit more and once I’m happy I’ll declare the rules open.


#223

okay, I’ve finished testing. As it stands, this 2001 World Rally Car appears to be able to match pace with the Hirochi Sunburst Rally car in Beam.

I declare this round open

If you have questions about the legality or feasibility your submission, ask me before you submit. And include relevant screenshots. I don’t like :wastebasket: ing on technicalities.

now go make me some rally cars worthy of being included in the bestest most realistic rally sim ever


#224

@strop any limits on cats or mufflers?
I know you need a catalytic converter for production cars since it was required on production vehicles but what about the race versions?


#225

no cats required for the race car. At the risk of highly embarrassing myself when someone discovers a glaring oversight, if the rule isn’t written, then there are no restrictions.