Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grumble, Grumble & Other Ramblings

Been meaning to post this, but l've been a little under the weather lately, so here goes.

My work space for writing is a mess. The light in the room isn't working right. The chair is broken, but I still use it. There's not enough room on the desk. So, what else is new? This is the way I ran the magazine for years. It just makes me cranky. It's not in my budget or space limitations to do much about it, so it is what it is.

EA Games bought Bioware. Huh? What's this got to do with racing? Well, something and nothing. I like Role Playing Games, like Dungeons & Dragons and Bioware made Baldurs Gate and Neverwinter Nights, among other titles. They have been assimilated by the EA borg. What does this having to do with racing?

EA screwed up a community I once enjoyed being a part of, Simulated Auto Racing. You see, for a couple of years, I wrote stories and did videos with commentary for Sim Racing. It was a way to excersize my creative skills and I had fun most of the time. I won't get into it all here (perhaps another time), but here's how EA screwed up.

There was a little game called NASCAR 2003 made by Papyrus. It kind of killed my dirt track sim racing fun, but, let me get back to the point. N2003 was a good game. If you did need a mod to play in somebody's servers, it wasn't a big deal to get the download. You didn't have to join communities you had no interest in to download what you needed.

EA made their crappy NASCAR games that nobody in the Sim Racing world, at least nobody that was respected in the community, cared about. I didn't think they were that bad, but... Anyway, EA and Papyrus both made NASCAR games with the license they paid for. You know, Hasbro had a cool game called NASCAR Heat too, but...

Anyway, one day, EA decided they wanted an exclusive deal for NASCAR Sim Racing, a game everybody automatically hated before they saw it, but... The exclusive thing just pisses me off, because if $$$ hungry NASCAR had been paying attention or at least gave a damn about the community, they would have realized that N2003 by Papyrus was vastly more popular. Even 4 years later, NASCAR Cup racers still play using that game. But, NASCAR got greedy and basically shafted the computer Sim Racing world.


NASCAR Sim Racing bombed, Papyrus was put out of business and what was left of Papyrus got lawsuit happy with the community that was modding N2003. You see, that new company, iracing, was gonna make an even better game one day, in their dreams maybe, but that still hasn't happened.

Well, EA continued to blunder with the NASCAR Sim Racing game. The patch to fix the bugs never came. Well, it did, but it didn't fix enough. They pulled their server from the net, meaning no more online play for the games, then put them back up a couple months later as the little community that supported it got pissed. But, basically, EA makes console NASCAR games and gives the computer gamer the finger. NASCAR could care less it seems.

Basically, the EA Borg mentality screwed up a community I loved, and with the purchase of Bioware, another good company will bite the dust. Thanks EA.

Sim racing lives on, of course, with another game that encourages modding. But, this is where I take my leave of the deal. From the outside looking in, there are many things I don't like about what I see, but if people are having fun with it, that's all that matters. I don't know why NASCAR has to be so greedy as not to get a good game made. I also don't know why we can't get a decent dirt game made.

I'm not talking about join this group to download this and obey 15 rules or your gone. We have that now. If my computer were able to handle it, I might partake a bit, but... I don't want the little game that could. I want the fun game that is. Get it off the shelf, install it on the computer and play.

I know nobody plays Dirt Track Racing 2 or NASCAR Heat anymore, but I'd love to find a few fools who just want to have fun and would play for the heck of it one night. Saturday Night Speedway or Sprint Cars: Road To Knoxville would be fun too.

Anyway, are you still here, or did you check out on me when I started ranting about companies that make games for pretend racers?

Surely I have more to say than this?

Well, if you are, here's a bit of news. I have looked into the possibility of making the book that is unwritten at this moment available in at least one book store. I kind of like the thought of people being able to go to a book store and order a book that talks about the California race tracks that I loved. It's an accomplishment that I never thought possible. As things come together a little bit more, I will say more. It will take a small investment, but I think it may be worth it.