What sets it apart, though, is its total lack of inhabitants and even basic urban infrastructure. It seems Reflex City was designed from the outset to be a ghost town. But why’s that?
⬣ CHALLENGE BRIEF
As it so happens, Reflex City is actually a multitrillion-dollar set for an upcoming fictional game show called Reflex, itself the centrepiece of an arcade racing game of the same name.
Reflex features high-stakes street races with both money and glory on the line. These races are explosive in a literal sense, as each race course is rigged with remotely-triggered traps that contestants can use to create obstacles for their opponents—or simply stop them dead in their tracks. The traps are only available to racers who earn enough points by driving with style (drifting, slipstreaming, or otherwise).
At the centre of each race are the heavily reinforced custom-fabricated vehicles, as well as their drivers. The developers have come up with five fictional manufacturers for outsourced studios to create designs for. Most importantly, though, to go with the lofty ambitions of those behind the wheel, the cars should boast loud, aggressive styling, intended to attract attention with or without fireballs surrounding the car.
⬣ Model name: AGC28 - [forum username]
⬣ Engine family name: AGC28 - [forum username]
⬣ Trim name must contain a fictional brand name
(Becket (US), Mikawa (JP), Romagna (IT), Kastell (DE), or Elite (N/A)),
but is otherwise free
⬣ Engine variant name is free
⬣ Model year must be no older than 2010
⬣ Wheelbase must be between 2.50 m and 3.00 m inclusive
⬣ Convertible body variants are banned
⬣ Fibreglass body panels are banned for safety reasons
⬣ Techpool is restricted to +5 for all categories
⬣ Quality is restricted to between -5 and +10 inclusive for all categories except Safety
⬣ Engine family year must be no older than 2000
⬣ Engine must have between 6 and 12 cylinders inclusive
⬣ Magnesium engine blocks are banned for safety reasons
⬣ Engine must produce at least 500 bhp
⬣ Only unleaded gasoline and ethanol blends are allowed as fuels
⬣ Catalytic converters are not required, as these are race cars
⬣ Front-wheel drive is banned
⬣ Carbon fibre wheels are banned
⬣ Car must have an undertray ("None" option is banned)
⬣ Only 1 seat is allowed
⬣ Only Basic or Sport interiors are allowed
⬣ Luxury entertainment is banned
⬣ Advanced 10s or Advanced 20s safety is required,
safety quality must be +5,
and weight optimization must be 0;
these rules are intended to account for extensive cabin reinforcement
⬣ The car must have an approximate cost of no more than 500,000 AMU
⬣ "Elite" vehicles must use a two-tone paint scheme
with black and an accent colour of choice
⬣ A black racing number on a white square
should be present on each side and on the hood
⬣ The interior, if present, should be equipped
with a roll cage and fire extinguisher
⬣ Advanced trim settings are free, with the exception of
Camber, Wheel Width, and Body Z Offset, which are banned,
and Wheelbase Offset, which is restricted to 20 cm in either direction
Well, for starters, the actual Split/Second cars. Besides those, though...
Chevrolet Corvette (C8) (remember, though, that convertibles are banned)
Ford Mustang (S650)
GMC Granite (as a truck or jacked-up SUV)
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo
Subaru VIZIV GT Vision Gran Turismo
⬢⬢⬢ AGGRESSIVE STYLING
The explosions may play a crucial role in making Reflex such a thrill, but the cars need to look the part too, like they were designed to race through a rain of rubble and scrap metal. This holds especially true for trucks and SUVs, the design of which should immediately convey the ability to shrug off shockwaves from explosions as if they were the wind from a cheap handheld fan.
⬢⬢⬡ STYLING MATCHING PERFORMANCE
While no one in the world of Reflex would dare to bring a light sports coupe to a supercar fight, it’s equally as disappointing when said supercars can barely outrun early-game trucks. Speaking of trucks, they fill the combat racing equivalent of tanks in RPGs and shooters, so trying to make one that can supposedly outmaneuver and out-accelerate a GT car on the same tier won’t do you any favours.
⬢⬡⬡ POWER OUTPUT
While it’s true that more power translates to more drifting and thus more points, keep in mind that different power levels correspond to different tiers. DLC aside, under no circumstances will the player get to start out in a fire-breathing wedge with a twin-turbocharged 1200-horsepower small-block.
The cost cap is a balance thing, and the developers have no plans of any sort to add any overpowered DLC cars. Nothing’s stopping you from building an early-game car instead of the 100% completion reward with stats out the ass.
⬣ Elite vehicles won't be available to the player until the game's halfway point. As such, higher performance and more aggressive vehicle types are expected.
⬣ Most of the supercars in Split/Second ride on what are effectively dubs with almost comically low-profile tires. For the sake of the challenge, I would prefer that road car submissions use the same wheel arch sizes that the bodies come with (including morphs, of course), though I won't dock points for wheels and arches that are just a bit on the large side. Provided, of course, there isn't too much or too little clearance between the wheel and the arch.
⬣ A livery is by no means required, but can really help make the car look believable as a race car. Of course, I don't blame you if you can't be bothered to add one.
⬣ Don't limit yourself to any sort of archetypes related to the brand you've chosen, since all of the brands lack any sort of design language other than being modern and aggressive. For example, the cars under the Ryback brand in Split/Second are a mishmash of retro-styled pony cars, blocky yet angular pickup trucks, and even mid-engine hypercars angular enough to rival the Lamborghini Aventador. Cobretti is much the same, with some of its cars looking Italian, others coming off as German or British, and one—the Iridium—looking rather American.
⬣ Should you decide to build a truck or ute, there are two recommended approaches: reduce the ground clearance with a racing body kit (à la Ridge Racer 6's Class 4 Danver Hijack), or jack it up and put beefy offroad tires on it. Using the advanced trim settings to move the engine behind the cabin isn't required, but certainly isn't out of the question, as the Ryback Tornado proves.
⬣ IMAGE CREDITS
Aspark Owl by Alexander Migl (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Chevrolet Corvette (C8) by Alexander Migl (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Ford Mustang (S650) by WMrapids (CC0 1.0)
GMC Granite by IFCAR (public domain)
Jaguar C-X75 by Rutger van der Maar (CC-BY 2.0)
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio by Thesupermat (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Nissan Concept 2020 VGT by TTTNIS (CC0 1.0)
Nissan GT-R50 by Kevauto (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Praga R1 by Jakub "Flyz1" Maciejewski (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Rezvani Tank by Vincehive (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
⬣ 2023-05-01: opened challenge for review
⬣ 2023-05-02: added priorities and cost cap (oops), a note on wheels, banned some advanced settings
⬣ 2023-05-03: added Elite paint requirement and note
⬣ 2023-05-04: opened challenge for submissions
MAY 26, 2023 00:00 EST