Oolite – an open source version of Elite

Pretty damn sweet, here is an awesome open source space shooter harking back to the uber-classic ‘Elite’. Very cool!

Oolite

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Gaming is sorted for the next year..

Looks like my videogaming is sorted for the next year at least. On pre-order I have Colin McRae Dirt 2, Halo 3 ODST (why not just call it Halo 4?) and Forza 3.

Forza 3 especially is going to be driving nirvana 🙂

Stunt Car Racer

scr_amigaWatching some old videogame videos on YouTube the other day somehow fired an urge to try out ‘Stunt Car Racer‘ again. I remeber it as an excellent driving game from yesteryear and probably the first 3d driving game I remember.

Playing it now brought back the memories of how well the game portrayed height and speed, all on humble 8 and 16bit computers with such little amount of RAM, CPU power and no hard drives.

If ever there was a game crying out for a ‘refresh’ this would get my vote. This would fit perfectly on Xbox Live Arcade.  However, no playing around with the gameplay or controls, just spice up the frames-per-second, sound and graphics 🙂

For now I will enjoy it on WinUAE, the Amiga emulator.

Driving games and professional drivers

This absolutely fascinates me. I have been a ‘driving game’ fan on PCs and consoles for many years. I have been enthralled with the progress driving games have made over the years. From Pole Position to Indy Car Racing. From Grand Prix Legends to GTR2. And on the arcadey side of things PGR4 and Grid. The joy of all these games was the ability for them to consume me into trying to better my laptimes and performance.

Games featuring real-life tracks are a favourite, I would be so engrossed in them. I would like to imagine ‘being there’. Man, I can usually tell a track in real life from the first few corners on TV footage! 🙂

In the early days ‘racing’ against CPU AI was frustrating fun. Today, racing against friends in a LAN or Xbox Live environment is something else on another level. The same can be said for the realism, physics in driving games have progressed at an amazing rate. With so much CPU grunt in todays machines much more stuff can be calculated and thrown around the environment. Just look at Grid and watch the tyre walls and cones scatter around the track when hit. Then examine the damage on your car. Amazing.

Couple into that my interest in motorsport and the two join very nicely. I have followed F1 for years but also like GP2 (due to using same cars), WRC Rally, FIA GT and Moto GP. When I am watching races I often wonder how the professional drivers would fare at driving games and how the games compare to the reality (odd I know!). I have found one professional driver in the FIA GT series who also plays driving games. His lap of Silverstone on rFactor is a joy to watch. Professional drivers playing videogames? Who would have thought it?

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I have always wanted to know what F1 teams use for their simulators and have finally found this video. Fascinating, a bespoke simulator just for Williams! This is Nico Rosberg driving the new track in Singapore. Would love to see behind the scenes, how it works and what it runs on:

Fantastic Contraption

I really enjoy little flash internet games. Nice simple ones that work in your browser and that are easy to pick up are the best. I also enjoy physics in a game, anything from the well simulated (GTR2) to the the best object physics I have ever seen (Half Life 2 series). Fantastic Contraption is a game someone told me about that is simple to pick up for a few minutes and it has brilliant object physics. Plus it gets tricky a few levels in. Sounds silly and simple: Build your contraption in the blue box and get the pink thing to the pink box.