Virtual Racing Industries officially announce a launch date of 1:8 nitro off-road buggies hitting VRC Pro. Set for the 18th of December the latest addition to the RC car simulator comes right in time for the Holiday period. Together with this launch VRC Pro will also release four full-size off-road tracks; Psycho Nitro Blast ’12, Speed Paradise Buenos Aires, IBR Padova and the 2013 IFMAR Worlds edition of Silver Dollar Raceway. Other full size off-road tracks planned for 2014 are the NeoBuggy Harper Adams track ’13, the Pattaya 2010 Worlds track, the 2013 version of the Psycho Nitro Blast and the 2013 C-netic track.
In the latest instalment of their VRC Pro column Virtual Racing Industries introduce the new time-shifted multi player competitions, the new video and replay interface and they give a short update on 1/8th off-road testing. Let’s start with the multi player competitions. VRC Pro is raced world wide, and with time zones spreading 20 hours from New Zealand to California, it is impossible to organise real-time multi player events where everyone would be able to participate. It would mean having to race in the middle of the night for some, for others in the morning, at noon or in the evening. VRC has developed a unique solution for this problem, called time-shifted multi player.
This month’ VRC Pro Column is all about the difficulties VRC encountered during initial 1/8th nitro buggy testing. After the first tests with the new 1/8 nitro buggies early August of this year, it was obvious that Todd ‘Doc’ Wasson, the VRC Pro physics specialist, had to go back to the research lab. The buggy drove, but nothing close enough to the real car so beta testing was halted for 2 months. In these 2 months a lot has happened. A lot of research was done in understanding the dynamics of the buggy better.
This month’ VRC Pro Column is all about suspension dynamics and E-sports. In August VRC Pro released an update on the physics engine with 3DS support. 3DS stands for 3 Dimensional Suspension (geometry and physics) and thought VRC Pro was all 3D already some things have changed. The chassis of a car is defined by its geometry and physical properties. The geometry describes the suspension layout, the wheelbase and track width, centre of gravity, positions of shocks and anti-roll bars and many more. The physical properties describe how heavy the chassis is, the inertias of the whole drive train and wheels, and in fact of the complete chassis, yaw moment for rotation, pitch for forward rotation and roll for rotation around the centre line of the chassis. The geometry and physical properties combined determines how the car handles. With all this information the physics engines calculates several hundred times per second what forces are generated in the suspension and how much grip each of the tyres produces.
On June 1st Virtual Racing Industries introduced a major change in its membership model. Thanks to feedback from the VRC Pro community, a much simpler, much more attractive membership model has been introduced for all levels of players and racers, Free-to-Play and All-Inclusive.
VRC Pro have introduced their new event structure with virtual opponents. With this new mode they introduce the possibility to challenge yourself to race while opponents from your own heat or final are also on the track so you can now experience exactly the same sensations and pressure you experience in your real r/c racing. You may ask ‘why not multi-player events then?’ Multi-player requires you and your opponents to all race together, at exactly the same time. If we had no time zones that would be less of a problem, but we have. As much as 12 to 15 hours time difference makes it practically impossible to organize multi-player competitions on a world wide scale. By introducing ‘virtual opponents’ we have come up with a solution that is almost as good. The opponents are actually selected from your own heat or main final. They may have raced a few hours before you but with this mode we can still bring all these runs together as if you are all at the track at the same time.
Virtual Racing Industries has introduced a new racing format in 2013 which brings the virtual racing competitions in VRC Pro closer to the real competitions. A new option has been introduced to divide the whole field of racers into groups of 10. After the Qualifying round racers are seeded in heats according to their qualifying position, so number 45 would be in heat 5 with start number 5. In these heats you can work your way up to a higher A, B, C or other Main final. For example, if 45 finishes 18th in the next round, he ends up in the B Main with start position 8. You also start from position 8 on the start grid, so back on the grid. The number 1 in the Main has a slight advantage, just like in real! In the Mains you cannot improve more than to the number 1 position in that Main final, so if number 18 wins the B Main he finishes 11th overall. This new system makes the virtual racing experience a lot more realistic and exciting.
The Silver Dollar Raceway is one of the most anticipated VRC track releases to date. The virtual copy of the US-based track was created in close collaboration with A Main Hobbies from Chico, California. The 315m long off-road track with its 2012 lay-out is used for both short course and nitro buggy racing, and will be hosting, with a different layout, the 2013 IFMAR Worlds for 1:10 2WD and 4WD electric buggies. The 2013 Worlds layout will be made available later this year when the track will be re-modeled for the IFMAR Worlds. Being one of the largest hobby retailers in the country, A Main Hobbies also discovered the benefits of being closely involved with VRC Pro, not only as a reseller, but also to have their Silver Dollar Raceway track in the VRC Pro collection.