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The Automation Gamer Challenge [ROUND 5]


#308

@Xepy, do you have Beam? Because if not PM me. I have some guidance to give. This reminds me of your creations for my competitions which were great, except for the brakes and the mismatched spring rates.

Even with those drawbacks you usually were close to the top… So I can subscribe to strop’s cursive thoughts there.


#309

Whew, thanks for the tips for my suspension! That was very informative


#310

Now with a comprehensive independent report from Strop Consulting, the works team were finally able to convince upper management to give them more time and an appropiate base car. Entry was postponed to the 02 season, coinciding with the launch of the new Bangkok compact, and giving them the necessary 5 months to work out the kinks of the AlSi block originally intended. The 01 prototypes found a new life as “Stage Taxis”, bringing spectators and their picnic gear around.


#311

Ah right that there is the issue. The Automation “offroad” preset is for your family SUV that also actually goes camping or something. It should be able to clear some rocks. It’s not so much designed for a rally stage which is why I tried to lead people a bit towards the drivability optimum line on the graph.


#312

Problem right there.

I’m not familiar with tuning for any of the graph lines, so I usually tend to stick with presets.

If offroad is too soft, them I’m guessing the comfort preset may have been a bit closer. Should’ve tried that instead.


#313

Thanks, I’ve sent you a PM on it. I definitely need to improve my tuning for Beam. At least I got the rest of it down lol


#314

The Real Deals

These are the cars that featured and indelibly seared their image into the rally fan’s minds and hearts. Their battles were legendary and their exploits feted, to be immortalised in our rally sim.


10th place

@Aaron.W 1995 Tanaka Levita

Style

Phwoooar check out that light bar. Not content with three, four, or six, the Tanaka team went all out with SEVEN in a single bar. This accentuates the aggressive design of this competitor. Colouring is simple and bold and aside from continuing the national colour theme, this kind of reminds me of the Marlboro packaging. Not sure if that was intentional.

Engineering

The power output of 351hp was impressive, but several sharp breaths through clenched teeth were taken on inspection of the parts list. Of greatest concern was the race intake which was quite likely to suck in everything from mud and dirt to rocks directly into the engine. Mmmmm crunchy. Furthermore the extremely grabby brakes would be very effective but also capable of at least 3 times the frictional force available on a tarmac surface let alone dirt, thus probably ensuring serious problems with excess lockup. Furthermore a delicate and complex downforce undertray is probably not the cladding of choice for rally. And the significantly more complex variable hydraulic power steering would be far more prone to failure. It’s worth noting that Offroad Swaybars are of most use when suspension articulation requirements are high and with a designated travel of less than 180mm the theoretical benefits are somewhat mooted.

Driving

Takes to the road like a rocket sled on rails. But road handling is inversely proportional to behaviour on dirt and over bumps, for which much caution had to be exercised. Fortunately with some discipline this was not a huge hurdle, and with sufficient reduction in brake force it was found to be a decent handler.

Overall

The Tanaka Levita didn’t do subtle. Explosively fast, it was the sledgehammer that required a deft touch. Unfortunately, thanks to some ill-advised specifications it was poorly suited to the rough and messy conditions of rally, and suffered a high rate of engine failure that prevented it from being truly competitive.

The single most unreliable engine in the paddock, thanks to an aggressive boost and that race filter.

9th place

@mart1n2005 1996 Courageux Quinze

Style

The Courageux Quinze steps into the fray with its warpaint on its face, sponsors emblazoned on all sides, and peak 90s all around. Like other entries the team chose national colours for maximum representation.

Engineering

All the standard competition level parts for rally were present, but their setup caused some consternation. One eyebrow cocked at slightly disappointing midrange outputs on the dyno despite turbo-melting levels of boost, and another eyebrow cocked at the extraordinarily long gearing. If humans had a third eyebrow that’d be cocked at the ride height. Expect some bent fenders and rattled spines.

Driving

On the road, the lower ride height worked to great advantage, with more immediate turn in and precision. On the dirt however there was little margin for error. Much experimentation had to be done but the car is undoubtedly fast… just pray that your codriver has immaculate pace notes.

Overall

A solid all-rounder with a penchant for tarmac, the Courageux Quinze was a promising contender when treated with the respect it needed, something that wasn’t immediately apparent from its relatively unassuming guise. With discpline and consistency, it was well capable of fighting for podiums.

Solid effort all around, but we’re in heavy hitter territory so of course it’s going to be tough.

8th place

@Private_Miros & @MGR_99 2001 Ceion XCell

Style

Sounding and looking very much like a South Korean family car with bulgy bodywork on top. I can’t say it’s an inappropriate look at all really. And the branded livery is nice and well thought out.

Engineering

Nothing unusual about the parts selection here, so it seems, except the use of a sweet-sounding i5 but somehow less reliability and powerband than the others. It also hasn’t quite managed to scrimp down to the minimum weight. Otherwise, there were no major criticisms to be had and it all comes down to how it drives.

Driving

On paper it seems like it should be a bit faster than what it feels, though it is by no means slow. It’s just that the softness leads to a very sluggish response but also for some reason sluggish acceleration and increased low speed braking. Doesn’t help that the rear fixture is a spoiler which Beam doesn’t detect as a wing, so it was loose at high speeds too. Nonetheless after a bit of a palette cleanser and a revisit it clocked a respectable time.

Overall

The Ceion Xcell was by no means a weak rally car, but at the top level of competition it struggled to break through the ranks to distinguish itself often. Mostly a midpack car, it fought a muddy campaign with some decent results, almost drawing level with automotive juggernauts Znopresk.

You both knew that spoilers don’t actually do anything in Beam, right? That made the tarmac section six right over crest don’t cut then dip intersection four left into wall on left… REALLY hard

7th place

@NormanVauxhall 1991 Znopresk Zap

Style

The iconic model is of modest origins but properly kitted up it looks exactly the part. There’s no mistaking both the base and the Zappy WRC presence in the competition package. The livery is striking, bordering on garish, but certainly unmistakeable.

Engineering

Znopresk faced a dilemma with the engine: unsuited to extending the rev range, they had to pour money into upgraded parts to produce a competitive tune. This resulted in a higher than average complexity and parts rarity.

Driving

With sharper suspension and a front-biased brake setup the car feels more resistant to turning at first, but when loose and under the throttle it shows its character. More responsive than normal, it takes a little care and a lot of discipline but rewards clean, precise driving with fast times.

Overall

The Znopresk Zap! Is an enduring model through the ages. It is little surprise its presence would be felt in motorsport, and with typical conservative tune the WRC model had good pace. But due to the poor fit between the base engine and the WRC regs it had some reliability and parts supply troubles that hampered its campaign.

A stickler for lore to a fault, the Zap! engine was really not suited to WRC spec and in making it so some scores suffered.

6th place

@Ramthecowy & @Radster 1995 Cavallera Conte Estrato

Style

The Estrato Senda is a budget compact car: cheap, common and not particularly memorable. Partner it up with Cavallera performance and it becomes a whole lot spicier. The paintwork is fanged and imposing… the decals a little less so with the inconsistent proportions and lazy mirroring.

Engineering

The imported engine does wonders to spruce up the performance, though not the highest mid-range torque ensuring that it’ll need a little more work. Gears are well spaced and the brakes balanced. The dynamic balance of the car itself, is another question really, seeing the suspension tune of soft springs but rather firm dampers…

Driving

God damn this thing has moves. The sheer power of the car gives it some of the highest speeds at the end of sections seen of any competitors. Which means that on the dirt the braking has to be especially early thanks to the ABS. The odd suspension setup of soft springs and firm dampers gives off the impression of driving on really hard jello: wobbly and prone to spats, and it took a sensitive hand to guide this rocket around safely.

Overall

A Frankenmonster born in rally heaven, the mix of chassis and engine of Cavallera and Conte proved to be a delight. Less so the fiddly tune, which didn’t stop it from laying down some blistering performances, but did cause some consistency issues. The Senda had much potential, leaving the respective manufacturers to ponder whether to go all-in to continue their partnership.

Don’t worry too much, the suspension tuning was also a bit of a learning process for me. Fix that and tidy up the bodywork a bit and it’ll be right.

5th place

@Rk38 1995 Maesima Exestis

Style

Like a blast from the past this sleek sexy piece of socialist engineering evokes legendary feats and sleight of hands of a similar looking car- anyway. A livery like no other, in colour or pattern, there’s a reason that Maesima rally cars have such a strong visual pedigree.

Engineering

Working with older technology, the Maesima engineers had a challenging time of extracting the most out of their i4, eventually putting forward a respectable mid-range output. Elsewhere, this car was clearly geared towards the road side of rally with stiffer springs and long low ratios but otherwise parts selection was issue-free and balanced.

Driving

This is by far and away the tightest tune in the entire lineup. By tight, I mean “difficult to rotate”. Usual techniques weren’t enough here. Epic scandanavian flicks with liberal applications of both throttle and handbrake were required to wrestle the car around corners, which wasn’t really possible in the tight confines of the most technical sections. Hairpins were nearly impossible to negotiate. On the plus side the road sections felt super planted and stable and aside from some ugly crashing over the biggest jumps it was quite stable elsewhere. The slower time is probably a combination of the viscous diff not locking fast enough and the tightness of the handling plus a lower power output plus tall low gearing which added to hairpin woes.

Overall

Always seemingly from another world, Maesima brought a different perspective to the paddock. Not one of the faster cars, it didn’t frequently feature on the podium, but with the most striking designs and sleek curves it found favour as the underdog of folk lore.

Best looking car but also the slowest. I’m sure we can wring quite a bit more out of this one.

4th place

@Boiled_Steak 1998 Aria Washi

Style

It starts out white, but it won’t stay that way for long. Bulky accents and strategic scoops round out the competitive look in this 90s hatch. A distinctive pattern is liberally punctuated by decals that looked more like sponsors were fighting to find a spare spot on the panels.

Engineering

The Aria Washi came armed with more advanced and expensive components in some places and unusual choices in others. It was a notable tactic, to set the default torque split 61% to the rear, perhaps to make up for a relatively lower output. No expense was spared on the seats! While an additional cost, fortunately this was not a part that was particularly difficult to source. But the biggest eyebrow raiser was the extra soft brake pads that seemed overly prone to overheating and wear, coupled with undersized brake pads. Would they last in a shakedown, let alone an actual rally stage?

Driving

Amazingly balanced, the Washi is poised and supple, responsive to every touch and yet somehow absorbs bumps well despite its low ride height and firm suspension. The only difficulty at first was a slightly excessive understeer at the highest of speeds on tarmac, but its dirt handling more than made up for this. But about two thirds of the way through the test, something was amiss: the front brakes started to fade! By the end of the (very short) shakedown stage, the front pads were a pile of molten slag, a grim reality that would curtail its stupendous handling.

Overall

The shining white Aria Washi was in fact a dark horse, its chief advantage being that it was easy to push hard out of corners with huge amounts of midrange torque and stable handling. It had the power to surprise with blistering times… on shorter stages when the brakes didn’t melt.

2nd fastest car despite being down about 60hp on the leader, for reasons I still don’t quite understand. The whole order could have been changed if the brakes hadn’t melted. And perhaps if a more colour contrast livery had been used.

3rd place

@titleguy1 2000 Kimura Auriga

Style

A sneaky pride reference would have been a very bold move in 2001, but that’s the stuff of greatness and we all know of at least one company that used that as a marketing strength around that time. There’s absolutely no mistaking the aggressive reinforcement of the body’s rally credentials. The two tone livery colours are proven to work in some cases but I would perhaps say that the business of the patterns muddles the contrast slightly.

Engineering

Big meaty outputs are promising, and the parts and service costs are excellent. I note electronically speed limited to reduce tyre costs. Sneaky! Will it impinge upon competitiveness? Given the top speed was limited to 200km/h probably not, really… but then shouldn’t the final ratio match? I also see the suspension rates are a bit mismatched but I am less concerned about a rear that’s more damped than the front.

Driving

As expected, the comparatively stiffer front suspension led to a more initial responsiveness at turn in and thus a tighter feeling car, but the sluggish rear meant that when the car stepped out it felt lacking in purchase. But its potency was well felt with some ridiculous speed trap readings. With perhaps some judicious balancing it might pick up a few seconds…

Overall

Faithful to the family car formula of the era, the Kimura Auriga was a tactical weapon of choice as a rally car. It excelled in the fast stages but was harder to wrestle around the more technical legs, offset by its ease of service. A mix of consistency and a mixed hand that afford flashes of brilliance in an otherwise slightly-better-than-average guise allowed it to compete for the podium.

This is now the pointy end, where everything really had to come together almost perfectly to stand out. In this case I think probably the extra 40hp helped, not hindered, the tune.

2nd place

@Chipskate 2001 Arai Kyori

Style

After this much of a roller-coaster ride (this was the second to last entry I received), it was actually quite refreshing to see something that looked true to its name and to real life. The only gripe I had with it was that the headlights were too modern. Elsewhere, it was tastefully done and crammed to the hilt with decals but in a good way. Gets the general tick of approval with solid scores here.

Engineering

The engine has solid outputs, though the reliability is a little below average (not counting the people who thought race intakes on a rally car was a good idea…) The gearing is on point. But the suspension, well let’s just say I think I’m going to have an interesting time… Either it’s brilliant and the high spring and damper rate offsets the high ride height perfectly, or it’s going to be a disaster which bounces me into a tree after every bump.

Driving

Wow! I think I’ve found rally nirvana with this setup. Beautiful bump absorption and malleability on the gravel. Great midrange torque meant I could modulate the nose-in to the nth degree with nearly any technique I wanted, giving me great versatility but also the ability to reasonably correct errors. Took just two shakedowns to get one of the fastest times and I could drive it fast all day.

Overall

An initially unassuming contender, the Arai Kyori established itself as a hot favourite thanks to the talent of its chassis and components. With beautiful balance it performed feats of gravel magic and set blisteringly fast times. The main challenge to its tilt for the title was a slightly unreliable engine.

Big surprise from the suspension. I need to investigate exactly how range of travel interacts with the spring rates. This was the smoothest rally drive I encountered all week.

THE CHAMPION

@ElMenduko 2000 Boulanger Roman

Style

THIS. THIS is how you do simple but elegant. The effort really shines through the little details but the space is well organised, the colours gorgeous, and the decal selection even nation appropriate. I can taste the pain au chocolat from here. Hon hon, motherfuckers.

Engineering

Somebody clearly knows their way around the rally tricks and tests and it shows. “300hp certified” indeed. I think I’m going to be slamming off the limiter and for once I think I wish the gearing was slightly longer. Everything else is rock solid including one place I possibly didn’t want it: the dampers. And the rear swaybar. I get that the rear’s supposed to be lively but that might be a touch much. We’ll see how it drives.

Driving

When I drove this car I had to reset the scoring scale for the Lap Time because it was so fucking fast. Sooooooo fast. It’s a fucking rocket. 300hp haha yeah, no I’ll tell you now it actually has closer to 380. And yes, the suspension is tuned a little tighter than I normally want it so it’s a touch twitchy in places but it’s still very controllable with some discipline.

Overall

The Boulanger Roman became an instant household name with its storming presence in the 2001 season. Enormously powerful but still easy to drive, this was as fast as the WRC spec cars of this era could get. Thanks to its stability and speed, it held off a fierce charge from widely tipped rallysport veterans Armada to top the charts in style to become a legend.

This entry was the true triple threat of them all. Looked fantastic, great parts selection, solid tune, and so fucking fast I had to double check my own car and go back for more testing. If there was truly an Automation car exported to Beam that was a 2001 WRC car, this would be it.


Congratulations to MENduko, Chipskate and titleguy1 for standing on the podium at the end of a rather arduous testing process. Thanks also to everybody else who entered.

As I mentioned, there were some painful partings early on and it made me think I’d rather not lose some great designs or some interesting ideas when making a rally pack, so let me go back to the drawing board and find a way to put together something that’s good all around for maximum effect. That is to say, the inclusions and exclusions I’ve mentioned this round do not necessarily apply to the final pack. And I also have to figure out myself what the best tune is.

edit oh shit I almost forgot to show my working :joy:

The Crib Sheet

Oh and while I’m at it, I might as well show you the mule file I was working on. This was optimised after I discovered that rate of spring movement does change with ride height. Apologies if my earlier instructions misled you.

I also think the stats I recorded in the spreadsheet for my own car may be a bit wrong but eh, doesn’t matter.

AGC3 - strop - AM Fore Gen III WRC.car (15.4 KB)


#315

Amazing round, great job to Menduko for winning! I guess I’ll do with a 4th place, nearly got the podium though.

Radio play SAD! by XXXTentacion (explicit) (Genius lyrics verified)


#316

really happy with my 9th place, well done to the top 3 podium finishers it looked like a really tight competition.

edit

also wish i would have made the car a bit more exotic now, i have ET to spare it seems


#317

I WOULD HAVE BEEN 4TH IF I HADN’T PLAYED MYSELF?!?!?!? GAHHHHHHHHHH I’M SO DUMB

I wanna die, so I’m going home

Anyways, congrats to the podium finishers, and a massive thank you to Strop for this incredible round!


#318

What. A. Round. The whole field would not have looked out of place at a contemporary WRC event, but special mention goes to the top 3 for outperforming the opposition so convincingly. It’s a pity that in real life, the cars used in today’s WRC bear hardly any relation to their road-going counterparts inside or out. I really miss the days when big bruisers such as STis and Evos tore up rally stages around the world. And now that they’re gone for good, all we are left with are a few mutant hatchbacks. In fact, ten years ago it was even worse, with just Ford and Citroën competing - and who would have wanted to watch that a dozen times per season? I wouldn’t - and that’s when I lost interest in the WRC. Only recently did I start following it again, and even then, not to the same extent as I used to in the early 2000s.


#319

Oh nice, I won! I’m glad that the custom decals and the “ST205 but actually legal” approach paid off

I read that review as “you made me use 1% of my power”, right? Or perhaps 0.5%? Anyways, amazing quality round, thanks for hosting!

Here’s the .car file if anyone is interested in it to check out the tune or something:

AGC3 - ElMenduko - Boulanger Roman.car (231.0 KB)

I didn’t even remember myself how much power the version I sent made, as I tried different engine output tunes

image

Don’t tell the FIA pls

I’m too bad at Beam to actually drive it to the limit so some things I had to partially guess. Like the gearing, I was barely able to reach the limiter myself but by the looks of it someone who is good in Beam can hit it for a stretch, so if you’re hitting it too much just make the final ratio longer. And it used to be twitchier but I made it a bit less loose at the last moment before submitting. How loose vs stable is a bit dependent on driver preference so you might need to tune that too if you give it a go.


Now about hosting: I don’t think I could host the next one

  • I’m too bad at Beam to reliably use it to judge cars, and it seems in these rounds people expect BeamNG to be used

  • I can’t be sure I’ll have enough time to come up with something good enough, and then to judge and all as well as I’d like to. I barely managed to have time to finish this car after all. I’d rather have someone else host a good round than doing a mediocre round myself


#320

My first mule (the one in the video) was made with 0.1% power.

Then I tested a couple cars and figured I undercooked it a bit so I upped it to about 20%.

Then I tested the really fast cars and I was like oh shit so now it’s more like 80% lol. But returns from the last 20% will be close to zero.

After the round judging was finished I actually changed my settings again to try something less loose but with a decent ride height and it made driving the car easier.


#321

Uh wow, I can’t say expected to get into the final, much less a podium spot. Mad props to strop for hosting this awesome round and congrats to ElMenduko for winning and completely torpedoing the regulations :rofl:

Sadly I don’t think I can host this round since I can’t come up with a good ruleset quick enough, so I guess this one will go to @titleguy1

Cars can be downloaed here for those interested: AGC3 - Chipskate.zip (36.0 KB)


#322

Currently hosing CSC please pass off the honors to the next bitch in line @Boiled_Steak!!!


#323

Can’t host as well pass the honors to @Rk38


#324

Jesus H Christ guys :joy:


#325

Well this is quite embarrassing but unfortunately I won’t be able to host at the moment either and @ramthecowy, @Radster and @NormanVauxhall have all informed me they are also unable to host. so I guess the “honours” now falls to @Private_Miros and @MGR_99


#326

image


#327

This is going well then