- IndyCar Racing
title = IndyCar Racing
Papyrus Design Group
Virgin Interactive Entertainment
released = NA 1993
genre = Racing
Single player; Two-player (using null-modem cable)
media = (DOS)
requirements = (DOS)
VGAand SVGAgraphics modes.
Computer keyboard, Joystick
"IndyCar Racing", followed up two years later by its sequel, "
IndyCar Racing II", is a racing gameby Papyrus Design Group. It was released in 1993.cite web | url=http://uk.gamespot.com/features/6103365/p-5.html?sid=6103365&page=5 | publisher=CNET | work=GameSpot | title=The Story Of Papyrus Racing Games | accessdate=2006-10-17] Papyrus previously developed "", released in 1990.
The game was intended as a realistic simulation of CART IndyCar Racing, now known as the Champ Car World Series. It featured many contemporary drivers, chassis and engines, and eight circuits which could be raced individually or as part of a championship season. Subsequent expansion packs added a further seven tracks and, later, the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (In contrast, its sequel did not gain the licensing rights to do so.)cite web | url=http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/driving/indycarseries/review.html | title=PC IndyCar Series Review | author=Gord Goble | publisher=CNET | work=GameSpot | accessdate=2006-10-17]
The simulation offers the ability to race in single events or a full Championship season (made up of all the tracks installed and available on the player's computer); to take part in associated practice, qualifying and warm-up sessions; to set up and customise the car both on-track and in a dedicated "garage" feature; and to race head-to-head against another player by connecting two computers, either via modems running at at least 9600 bit/s or via a null-modem cable attached to the computers' serial ports.
Following a short title sequence consisting of cars racing at the Toronto circuit and an introduction from motorsport broadcaster
Paul Page, the game's Main Menu is seen. From here, the following options are available:
*SINGLE RACE:A full race weekend (consisting of the race preceded by any or all of the following sessions: practice, qualifying and pre-race warmup) can be undertaken at any of the tracks available on the player's computer. Variables such as race length, weather and similar reflect the most recent selections in the OPTIONS menu.
*CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON:This gives the opportunity to start a new season, or to continue the existing season with the next race weekend on the Championship calendar. The set of options selected at the start of the season, such as weather type and race length percentage, stay fixed throughout the season.
*PRESEASON TESTING:An unlimited practice session on any track of the player's choice, allowing setup refinements to be made and track layouts to be learned.
*CARS:Allows chassis and engine types to be selected, name and nickname to be entered and opposition drivers to be reviewed.
*OPTIONS:Various graphics, sound and realism parameters can be changed here. The control method for driving and navigating menus (joystick or keyboard), and the calibration of any joystick, can also be set here. (Steering wheels and flight simulator-style yokes are also supported by the game, and could be calibrated in the same way.)
*EXIT:Returns to the computer's
When a single or championship season race is selected, a sub-menu appears giving access to the Garage function for in-depth car setup, the Instant Replay controls, and the series of race weekend sessions. Any or all of the practice, qualifying or warm-up sessions can be skipped from this sub-menu.
There are two main types of qualifying session, and a third which is unique to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
* Type 1: a ten-minute "open session" where the player can run as many laps as desired; the fastest lap time counts.
* Type 2: two "flying laps" are run, with the better of the two average speeds counting.
* Type 3: only used at Indianapolis. Four flying laps are run, and the average of the four lap speeds is used to determine grid position.
Type 1 is standard for road courses and street circuits, while Type 2 is used at ovals. Note that some circuits grade drivers by speed (in miles per hour), while others use lap time (in seconds).
In all cases, the player starts the qualifying session from the pit lane, and is automatically in last place on the grid for the race. As in the game's predecessor, "Indianapolis 500: The Simulation", all of the opposition drivers' qualifying positions are pre-determined, and although some cars may be out on track during the player's qualifying attempt, they will make no further improvements to their respective lap times or speeds. (However, unlike "Indianapolis 500: The Simulation", where the grid order was not only pre-determined but the same every time, a different order is generated for each new session in "IndyCar Racing".) Skipping the qualifying session leaves the player at the back of the grid.
With the exception of Indianapolis, all races begin with a standing start with cars two abreast on the grid. Following the tradition of the Indy 500, cars are three abreast at Indianapolis. A "pit board" is shown on screen each time the player crosses the start/finish line, showing the following information:
* Nickname, as entered in the OPTIONS menu
* Current position
* Laps remaining
* Time ("road courses") or average speed ("ovals") of last lap
* Number of next-placed car ahead ("number of second-placed car if player is leading")
* Interval to next-placed car, in seconds
A summarised standings chart can be accessed at any time by pressing
. Races can be paused using the <P> key, or by pressing . Doing the latter brings up a full standings chart, showing the track name, number of laps run, and a full set of details for each car: average speed of the leader, the interval between other active cars and the leader (in tenths of a second if the car is on the lead lap, otherwise the numbers of laps down), and the status of any retired cars. The race sub-menu can be accessed from this standings screen by pressing any key.
Any race (single or Championship) could be brought to a quicker conclusion by using the "Accelerated Time" feature. This was not documented in the game manual, but was described in the README.DOC "attention card" in the game's root directory. This feature was especially useful in Championship seasons where the player had crashed or blown an engine, and could not continue in the race. By pressing
to bring up the full standings chart, then pressing <A>, the player's car would be removed from the track and a DNF ("Did Not Finish") classification awarded; the rest of the race would proceed at six times the normal speed, with the words "Accelerated Time" flashing at the top of the standings chart to confirm this. Replays of the resulting on-track action could be viewed and saved in the normal way, and the race would count towards the Season standings. Results files would also be generated as normal.
"IndyCar Racing" allows the player to take part in a full series of race weekends at every track available on the computer, with results from each race counting towards the Championship standings. The game automatically creates a season schedule based on the range of tracks installed. The full 16-race schedule is shown below in the Tracks section in its correct order; those in bold are the eight available with the original release of the game (so Long Beach would be the first race of the season unless the expansion pack was purchased and installed).
At the end of each race, points are awarded on the following basis:
In-game sounds and music can be toggled on or off.
When a track is selected for a race weekend or for preseason testing, selecting the GARAGE menu allows various modifications to be made to the player's car. Some of these can also be made in the pit lane, or even while driving.
*FUEL:Between 1 and 40 gallons of
methanolcan be selected, in intervals of 1 gallon. Fuel load has a significant effect on lap times and the car's handling.
*TYRES:For each tyre, both the compound and the pressure can be changed. Soft, medium, hard or rain (deeply-grooved) tyres are available. Tyre pressure can vary between 26 and 51 PSI, in increments of 1 PSI. Additionally, the stagger (a measurement of the bias on the left- or right-hand side of the car) is adjustable from -1 inch (left side higher) to +1 inch in increments of one-thousandth of an inch.
*WINGS:The car's aerodynamics can be adjusted significantly. Both the front and the rear wings can be set at angles of between 3 and 18 degrees, in intervals of one-hundreth of a degree. Steeper angles create greater drag and inhibit speed on straights, but provide better cornering ability.
*GEARBOX:The gear ratios for each of the six gears can be calibrated in tenths.
** Cambers: each wheel can be aligned at up to 3 degrees from the vertical in either direction, variable in increments of 0.08 degrees.
** Shocks: on each wheel, the shock absorber can be set at between 0% firm (completely soft) and 100% firm (completely stiff) at intervals of 5%.
** Steering lock: variable between 5 and 30 degrees in 1-degree intervals.
Fuel load, tyre compounds and pressures, stagger and wing angles can also be changed during pit stops in preseason testing, practice, qualifying or race sessions. The following settings can be changed at any point when on track (whether in the pits or driving):
*Anti-roll bars, which affect the handling through corners and which can be adjusted to compensate for understeer, oversteer or the changes in grip and handling associated with the constant wearing down of tyres and reduction in fuel load.
*Brake bias, which determines the extent to which the rear brakes begin to function before the front brakes, or vice versa. Brakes biased towards the rear tend to improve control and precision when braking into corners, but increase the
*Turbocharger: this determines the amount and potency of the fuel/air mixture that is sent into the cylinders of the engine. A higher turbocharger setting improves the car's acceleration performance but reduces fuel efficiency.
Each track has three default sets of settings which are appropriate for the track layout and different levels of driver skill: "Easy", "Fast" and "Ace". Any of these can be loaded from the Garage menu. An unlimited number of user-defined sets of settings can be saved for each track as well.
Depending on the circuit, up to thirty-two opponents would be on track alongside one's own car. The majority of these were real IndyCar drivers who had competed in the 1992
CARTworld series; some additional names were invented to make up numbers at circuits which needed the full set of opponents. The data file for each track specified the number of cars on the grid for races at that track; in many cases, this was less than the maximum number of 33. However, as these files were in .TXT format, they were easy to edit to change the number. For example, every track could be edited to accommodate 33 cars; this allowed every opposition car to compete in every race in a Championship Season, for example.
Opponents could be viewed from the game's main menu by selecting "CARS" then "OTHER DRIVERS". By pressing
, the following details of each driver could be scrolled through: driver name, home city, country, car number, chassis and engine. A picture of the car would rotate at the same time.
Menu selection "OPTIONS"/"REALISM"/"OPPONENTS" allowed adjustment of the maximum number of opponents at each track - from none to 32 - and their relative strength. The latter was expressed as a percentage, from 75% to 125% (default value was 100%). Each car was assigned a minimum and a maximum engine power value (notionally equivalent to brake horsepower), between which their performance could vary from race to race; this was controlled by a random variable within the game. Each car's values, as defined in the CARS93.DAT data file and the accompanying DRIVERS.TXT file, were based on the "opponent strength" percentage being 100%. If the player changed this, for example, to 75%, every car's set of minimum and maximum values would be multiplied by 0.75; the random variability from race to race would still apply within those limits.
By editing the DRIVERS.TXT file in the CARS93 directory, the player could change opponents' names, locations, car numbers, chassis/engine designations, the chassis and engine names and the minimum and maximum engine power values. This could alter gameplay radically.
This table shows the full set of opposition drivers - real-life drivers are in bold:
The game originally featured eight tracks (idenitifed in bold in the table below). An expansion pack was later released containing a further seven tracks; these were all subsequently made available online by fans. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was later released as another add-on.
Details below such as track lengths and names are those used in the game at the time of its release. The "Rain?" column indicates whether or not wet practice, qualifying or race sessions would randomly occur if the "random weather" option was selected from the OPTIONS menu. (Oval and tri-oval circuits do not hold races during wet weather; the game reflects this by never permitting rain at such circuits, even if the "random weather" variable was activated.)
Tracks shown in bold were supplied with the original version of the game. Championship seasons run on computers where the expansion packs were not installed therefore ran in this order: Long Beach, Milwaukee, Portland, Toronto, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nazareth, Laguna Seca.
Reception and popularity
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