GRAND PRIX LEGENDS





THE GRAND PRIX LEGENDS STORY 5


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As with anything, the backbone of this game and in particular it's continued growth and support is the strong community it has built up. It may not be all that not huge but it is dedicated and helpful. There are updates and addons for all the original tracks and cars, for the menus the A.I., the drivers. There are now more than 500 tracks made by the game's fans which are listed at the Alternative GPL Track Database at http://gpltd.bcsims.com.

One of them, the Isle Of Mann TT course, has involved the builder, jim pearson visiting the track and taking still pictures and videos of the entire track with volunteers offering to help him out with other local information and help. If you don't think that's too impressive, Jim lives in Australia. Jim's site is at http://jrpearson.homestead.com.

Online races are organised using either Virtual Racers' Online Connection, VROC or the more recent iGOR (Grand Prix Online Racing). Many other tools are available, including those allowing telemetry-like analysis and sector times as oppose to whole lap times. An important update to do for a server racing online is known as "loose grids." This gives you modified track.ini files for the tracks so that the starting grid is changed to a 1x1 staggered format, giving the cars more room off the line. This is important because online lag and warping can be an issue when cars "merge" if they are in a slightly different position than they appear. If you're not careful lap 1 incidents are quite common when the cars are close together.

Perhaps the most popular and interesting mods are the 65 Mod, the 66 Mod and the 69 Mod.

THE 65 MOD
The 65 Mod was released in 2004 as the first community made Mod for GPL and since the game was proprietary software and there were no official tools or SDKs available from Papyrus, almost everything had to be worked out from scratch, and this meant that the whole process took about four years. As the name suggests, the 65 Mod represents the 1965 Formula One season, the last one where Formula 1 used relatively tiny 1500cc engines. It has all the cars and drivers and a changed physics engine which makes it a very popular mod, especially for beginners, due to the fact that the smaller engines in the cars make them easier to drive than the original 1967 3-litre cars, and while still not easy, they are definitely more driveable.

In 2004 the 65 Mod won the 'Best Mod' award at Blackhole Motorsports, an international website aimed at 'hardcore' simracers.

THE 69 MOD
The 69 Mod was the next one released, and again as the name suggests it was based on the 1969 Formula One season. This one is interesting because it adds aerodynamic downforce to the physics model, a feature not included in the original game's physics model. As of the initial release, the wings were only adjustable outside the game in the GEM+ utility but the part two release added in-game wing settings.

The 69 mod contains three carsets, one representing the pre-Monaco, high-wing configuration, one representing the post-Monaco, low wing configuration and one without wings as used at Monaco. This is because wings were temporarily banned because of major accidents including one at the thursday practice session for Monaco.

THE 66 MOD
The 66 Mod was formally announced on August 8, 2006 and naturally simulates the 1966 Formula One season, with the cars themselves being based on the late season grid to allow as many cars as possible to be nearer the three litre engine formula that the 1966 rules allowed, as opposed to the two litre engines that some teams ran earlier in the season. The 66 teams are the same teams from 1967, but the cars are generally lower powered and generally somewhat heavier than their 1967 counterparts which makes them corner less well.

The 66 Mod includes all the physics developments from the previous 65 and 69 Mods (though even further refined), including the downforce model, more realistic tyre characteristics and the slipstreaming enhancements.

Another new feature with this mod is that car choice has been expanded from seven cars to sixteen c cars, and more tracks than 64 per season can be installed, and to increase the realism of 60's engine characteristics, most run irregularly at low revs.

THE NIGHT MOD
Released before the 66 Mod but not as popular was the Night Modwhich includes the original 67 cars and 65 cars but the difference is that they have headlights which allow them to drive in the dark. Until 2008 there had never been any Grand Prix races run in the dark but perhaps now that Singapore has hosted the world's first night race this year, this mod will become more popular.

The screenshots of the Night Mod look amazing.

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