[PDC] Political Design Challenge Round 14: Lights, Camera, Action! (The movie premiere is here - i.e. final results are posted)

The stage

Archana is a “democracy” in the mid-2000s. It is well known that it is only a democracy in name, but the government still has their slimy tentacles in everything, including the TV and film industry. To keep the government propped up, the state owned studios pump out a hefty dose of politically tinged movies and TV series, which keeps the masses placated and “informed” about how to vote in the next “election”. Many of the films and series contain car chase scenes, so camera cars are in common use. The problem is that the cars in current use are locally made by the state-owned car company, and are prone to breakdowns – leading to frequent delays in filming. This cannot be tolerated anymore…

The scene

Somewhere near Berezovka – Summer 2010

“CUT! What the hell is it this time? We cannot afford any more delays!” – shouted the stout director into the megaphone.
“Something in the engine doesn’t sound right, sir. Could be another blown cylinder.” – whispered the head mechanic timidly.
Annoyed by another potential delay, the director slumped into his chair and proclaimed in despair - “How long is this going to take? The producers want the reel on the cutting room table by tomorrow!”
“We’ll do our best. No promises…” - stammered the mechanic.

As the pursuit camera car came to a grinding halt at the side of the road, it was clear that filming was done for the day. Vlad, the director, knew this was the last straw. Heads were going to roll if he couldn’t deliver the footage to the studio on time. But without reliable equipment, how is he to shoot the film? He immediately picked up the phone to talk with the producers.

“Listen, the car broke down again. No, not the ones we’re filming, but the one we’re filming with. Yeah, the camera car. We cannot film a chase scene without a camera following the action, can we? No, you listen! I understand that the film needs to be done on time. But we simply cannot work if the equipment keeps breaking down! I don’t care who you talk to. Go talk to the superintendent, the minister, the MAN himself if necessary! Beg and plead if they don’t see reason. If they want to pump out these films, we need proper equipment. No car, no moving scenes on film, it’s as simple as that. Now go. Filming is done for a while.”

The flash-cut

“We ran into another problem…”
“Solve it!”
“Not this time, we can’t. There will be a delay.”
“This is unacceptable.”
“We cannot change the laws of nature. We need new cars.”
“I’ll talk with the big guy.”

“The film will be delayed due to technical problems, sir.”
“Fix them!”
“They are working as hard as they can sir, but without proper equipment…”
“Fix. Them.”
“Sir, with all due respect, this is not a matter of intimidation. If the party wants car scenes, we need better camera cars.”
“Fine. How many?”
“To handle all the projects? Ten.”
“You have a budget of Ꝑ450k. Don’t care where they come from, use your connections. Just get it done and get filming back on track!”

The TL:DR and Rules

Build a camera car that can support a crew and a frame-mounted camera boom. The camera car’s full crew is four people. The car itself has to seat at least two, but ideally the full crew complement; if only two are in the car, then two camera operators have to work remotely, increasing operational costs.
The car will be used for all kinds of shots: high-speed car chases on paved and unpaved roads, glamour shots of politicians in their motorcades as they pass by famous landmarks and parades, advertisements for Archanan cars and even aeroplanes as they take off… the list is long. Needless to say, the cars need to be able to handle a wide variety of conditions, be reliable, and fairly cheap to operate and maintain.
You’re designing the road-going consumer version of the car which the studios will purchase. The film studios will convert the cars into the camera cars themselves.

  • Engine variant and car trim year 2010 or earlier.
  • Unleaded regular fuel (91 RON) only.
  • A 3-way catalytic converter is mandatory (hey, Archana isn’t THAT evil!).
  • Minimum load capacity: 800 kg (the car will be modified by adding the camera boom, and has to carry all kinds of electronics and filming gear). This is a soft minimum; if your car has a lower capacity, then the crew will have to swap out the suspension, raising the effective cost of the car, but is not in itself a disqualifying criterion.
  • At least two seats, but four preferred (two seats will be more expensive to operate and hurt running costs).
  • Total budget for ten cars is Ꝑ450k, so hard cap of Ꝑ45k per car. If the car is cheaper and the government can buy more than ten, then great.
  • No obvious min-maxing, and no quality slider shenanigans. Keep quality sliders ±5 or less.

The Criteria


  • Reliability: breakdowns delay filming, which is unacceptable.
  • Running costs: combined service costs and fuel economy – cheaper is obviously better.
  • Drivability: the car has to handle well and be nimble with all the gear.
  • Loudness: the car has to be unobtrusive during filming.


  • Upfront costs: the government did set a total budget. If they can squeeze more than ten cars into the budget, the they can film more, or have back-up cars.
  • Sportiness: the car has to keep up during chase scenes.
  • Offroad: the car also has to handle filming on dirt roads.
  • Environmental resistance: to keep them running longer in the harsh Archanan climate.


  • Comfort: the crew’s comfort is not a huge concern, but in the end, a comfortable crew is a happy crew. Might prevent filming delays if the driver doesn’t throw his back out.
  • Realism: remember, you’re designing the regular consumer version of the car, not the camera car as used in the industry. So stripped out “basic” interiors with zero entertainment in a Cayenne equivalent will be frowned upon. Ditto race parts or anything unrealistic for the type of car you choose to build.
  • Design: a pretty car isn’t necessary, because it will never itself appear on film… but I do appreciate some eye candy ;).

The inspiration


The how to enter

Please PM me your car files with the following name format:

Model name: PDC14 – [YourUserName]
Trim name: Name of your vehicle
Family name: PCD14 – [YourUserName]
Variant name: Name of your engine

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the ruleset, please say so before 11 PM UTC February 24th . After that the rules will be set and the competition will be open for submissions.

Entry deadline is set to March 10th at 11:59 UTC.


Ooohhh, I think this may play well into something I’ve been wanting to fiddle about with. My only regret is we’re not going to have 4.2’s weight sliders.

So it’s 2010 or earlier. How far back do you want us to go; I presume at most the early 00’s late 90’s since you’re requiring 3-ways.

What sort of vehicles would the chase scenes involve?

Would it be hot hatches or would it be super saloons or even super cars?

are there no ET and PU caps? Doesnt say anything about VVT/L, turbos etc, so are those allowed?

shhh you’ll get them implemented :joy:


You mean a modified version of the road going vehicle, surely?

To get my twincab pickup up to 1500kg requires, basically, race suspension modelling with a roll angle of about 3 degrees…not suitable for a consumer vehicle.

By comparison, using a couple of the inspiration cars as benchmarks -

2010 Porsche Cayenne - Payload = 1,731 lbs or 785kg - which is close to half of the requirements.

2011 Lamborghini Gallardo - Payload = 816 lbs or 370 kg - which is close to a quarter of the requirements. Also pretty sure this would cost more than $45k… :rofl:

I’m not going to submit anything until the rules are finalised and all queries clarified, but in the meantime, here’s a draft I have.

It’s a light truck with a flatbed and a 3.5L Turbo V6 producing 325lb ft of torque and 350hp, enough to keep up with hot hatchbacks.


Thank you all for the constructive feedback! Some responses:

You can go as far back as you like, as long as you stay within the posted ruleset. That said, it might be difficult to build a competitive car that’s older than say early to mid 2000s.

Everything from Dukes of Hazzard/Mad Max type offroad scenes to 007/Fast and Furious/Speed city and highway scenes, to car commercials in various settings, to stately political videos. The camera car has to be versatile.

There are no ET and PU caps indeed. The government doesn’t care how you arrive there, as long as the car performs to their desires. Yes, VVT/L and turbos are allowed.
That said, I will amend the rules with restrictions on min-maxing and a limit on quality sliders.

I actually meant the road going vehicle. Remember, this is the game world, so don’t be necessarily restricted by thinking IRL stats. That said, I made a mistake - I was thinking 1500 lbs. After a bit more research on camera-car-worthy SUVs, I think 800 kg is reasonable.
I will change the rules to reflect this, and make it a “soft” rule - a lower load capacity will only mean that the crew has to swap suspension for their rebuilt car, increasing effective costs (but is not necessarily disqualifying).

As a side-note, this is my “Cayenne-esque” test mule to show that even 1500 kg is achievable :stuck_out_tongue: :

Is top speed relevant here? Car chases are usually never shot at actual speed, but airplane duty might require a high top speed? Since it is a consumer vehicle, for non-sport/supercars I assume top speed will not require to be 300km/h. I guess they can always mess with the gearing and speed limiters after they get the cars?

You’re spot on. Chase scenes are not shot at actual high speeds at all. More important for the camera car is agility, handleability, stability, and low- to medium-speed acceleration - on any terrain. This is an interesting reference:

Yes, the studio will disable any limiters, if necessary, and has mechanics on duty who can make reasonable modifications. Most commercial airliners take-off at 240-280 km/h (ish depending on weight/temperature/wind conditions). Since the Konkordskaya concept was scrapped, we are not looking to follow supersonic jets here. :wink:

1 Like

It seems like you forgot about practicality - the film crew ought to consider that as a major priority.

The practicality stat is a bit wonky in Automation. If I prioritized practicality and someone actually chased that stat, I might end up getting 8-seater minivans with stow-away seating - not something the studio wants.

All right, rules are fixed and the studio is ready to receive car proposals.

What can we expect for speed requirements? I’m not sure I’m pushing it in the right direction, especially since we’re expecting something reasonable, not necessary a 180mph lifted corvette

See discussion above :stuck_out_tongue:

I have no idea what people will end up submitting and a lot will depend on the field entered.

2010 STAG Raider

Shitposting has no limits

Secret Version


For 2010 Ibis has refreshed it’s Coyote SUV… …and unveiled a sport version complete with a 5.2L V8.
“Haul. Whatever you need to.”


Boulder Boundary V8 Touring


Boulder’s enduring mid-sized, body-on-frame SUV received an update in 2009, moving to independent rear suspension to better cater to typical buyer tastes. However, off-road capability was not abandoned, with full-time 4WD standard, and selectable lockers and skidplates available options on all trim levels.

This 2010 V8 Touring model includes the sportiest options in the line: 20" alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, and active swaybars, as well as the newly-updated 5.2 liter, 24 valve V8, making 314 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.



The 2010 Hyensu Pardus V6. It has a 3.3l V6 making 229hp and 215 ft-lbs of torque, capable of sending this compact MPV from 0 to 60 in 8.35 seconds and a top speed of 141mph all the while returning 22mpg. A safe, reliable, and comfortable five seater all wheel drive rig that should prove to be a versatile machine for your needs.


MAHG Zeta Prestige '10

Large family?

Heavy luggages?

Big hobbies?

Look no further, here’s for 2010 the nex MAHG Zeta!

Powered by a large 5.0 V8 engine, coupled with the latest EcoTurbo technologies, it produces more than 300hp for less than 7L/100km! Not bad for a 2T vehicule!

Capable of hauling 900kg of garbage, this Prestige spec comes with two captain chairs instead of a 3 seat banquette, its 4WD system will drive you to where ever you want with a limited top speed of 230km/h. It can go to 60 in less than 6 seconds!!

Price 40 900 Ꝑ

1 Like