• Computer Gaming World Loves GPL, GRE and Eagle Woman's GPL Site
  • On Track: GPL is "Hyper-Realistic"
  • MotorSport Calls GPL "Brilliant, Thrilling"
  • More than a game - it's a way of life!
  • The Racing Simulator as a Learning Tool
  • GPL Background
  • Computer Gaming World Loves GPL, GRE and Eagle Woman's GPL Site

    The July 2000 issue of Computer Gaming World features a column on Grand Prix Legends by T. Byrl Baker entitled "Grand Prix Galore". Baker writes:

    "Call me a glutton for punishment, but I've played Grand Prix Legends ever since it was released. My only gripe with the game is taht I completely suck at it, and never could place higher than fifth in any realistic race I entered. At least, I couldn't until Kari Ikonen's AI Tweaker entered my life. Now I can tailor every race to match my mediocre talent. I never know how tough (and fun) this game could be until I started running with the pack again. ...

    "As much as I enjoy the tracks that came with GPL, it never hurts to have more. If you have other racing games (like NASCAR 2, 99, or 3) check into the GPL Converter, which makes GPL-compatible tracks from other titles. These are full conversions with racin glines built-in and other enhancements. If you ever wanted to drive your '76 racers at Sears Point, here's your chance.

    "With all the new tracks, you're going to need a lot more setups - be sure to download Nate Hine's GPL Race Engineer. The program uses a Windows interface to let users adjust settings, has context-sensitive help, and provides handy charts and graphs. The help files do more than simply explain how to use the software, offering complete Introduction to Race Car Dyanics and Race Engineer's Handbook sections. This is a must-have for anyone wanting to maximize the performance of their GPL cars."

    A sidebar features this site, calling it "A great site for all things GPL. you can nab GPL race Engineer and nearly everything else you need to modify the game here."

    The same sidebar also features David Noonan's site, "home of the track converter."

    This column is from page 131 of the July 2000 issue of Computer Gaming World. This issue also includes a copy of Kari Kokonen's AI Tweaker on the included CD-ROM.

    See my Add-Ons page for more details about GRE, AI Tweaker, the track converter, and other add-ons and utilities.

    On Track: GPL is "Hyper-Realistic"

    In an article on the new Silicon Motor Speedway stores, American hardcore racing magazine On Track says:

    "The computer age, of course, has brought racing to people's fingertips in some form for decates - from the sone-age Pole Position to today's hyber-realistic Grand Prix Legends.

    In the NASCAR arena, Sierra's excellent NASCAR Racing 3 and the like, combined with the power of the Internet, give the desktop user unparalleled flexibility, freedom and interaction with others."

    See page 70 in the June 8, 2000 issue of On Track for the entire article.

    MotorSport Calls GPL "Brilliant, Thrilling"

    One of the oldest and most respected mainstream British motor racing magazines has applauded GPL. In the February 2000 issue of MotorSport (the one with the Eagle and Lotus 49 on the cover) editor Andrew Frankel had this to say:

    "Following my mention of the Grand Prix Legends computer game, we have been swamped by letters about it. Now I know the depth of feeling, I feel it was remiss of me not to mention it sooner. For those of you who don't know, GPL is a game based around the 1967 world championship where you get to drive all the cars on all the tracks visited that year save Le Mans which wouldn't play ball so Rouen was included instead.

    The bad news is you need a reasonably powerful PC to make it work properly and without a steering wheel and pedals it is a waste of money. Properly equipped however, it is the most thoroughly researched, brilliantly conceived and thrilling PC game I have ever played. Your set-up options are limitless, your room for improvement without bounds. Best of all, you can piggy-back on Jim Clark's Lotus 49 and see how it really should be done."

    This issue of MotorSport is well worth getting because of the detailed reports of live on-track evaluations (at Hethel) of a Lotus 49 and a totally original '67 Eagle-Weslake T1G. These articles include gorgeous photos and a discussion of the history, design, and handling characteristics of the two cars.

    GPL enthusiasts who have driven both chassis may find the handling comparison to be rather eerily familiar:

    "Both cars are simple, and unending joys; the Lotus remains considerably faster and yet more responsive, the Eagle more indulging of its driver and, in the end, perhaps just as rewarding.

    "It remains a credit to those who shared grid space with [the 49] in 1967 that they were able to keep up at all.

    "Gurney's Eagle is surely as great an accomplishment as the 49. The light of the Eagle may only have gleamed for an instant but, in that flash, it not only enriched the world into which it was born but continues to do so to this day."

    This issue of MotorSport also features an excellent track test of the North Circuit at the Nurburgring - the same circuit which is modeled so beautifully in GPL.

    MotorSport back issues are available from Haymarket Reprints, PO Box 200 Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3FG. Telephone (01235) 534323. From the US, call 01144-1235-534323.

    More than a game - it's a way of life!

    John Cauthen, managing editor of Digital Sportspage, has published a superb new review called Grand Prix Legends Revisited.

    John's experience with GPL is very enlightening. He admits he's been a racing dilettante, and his initial experience of GPL on inadequate hardware left him underwhelmed.

    John recently acquired appropriate hardware and revisited GPL, and was stunned by the difference in the experience GPL gave him.

    From the article:

    "You could have knocked me over with a feather when I experienced the difference that 250 MHz of additional processing power made in this game! [And] what a difference a steering wheel makes to a true racing simulation! This couldn't be the same Grand Prix Legends that I had played half a year earlier...

    "What really blew me away was the handling and feel of the car at 550 MHz. I knew from my earlier experience with GPL that it was a complex interface, not so much from the number of inputs required, but from the number of variables that went into the feedback from the car. You can't look at someone playing it and get an understanding of what I'm talking about - you have to experience it hands-on. All manner of physical forces are being modeled in this simulation: sway, drift, inertia, bounce, stiffness, draft, resistance, etc. Somehow, Papyrus uses the senses of sight, touch, and even sound to convey these forces."

    John's no longer a racing dilettante.

    "I can now say with pride that I'm a true racing "simulation" fan. ... Grand Prix Legends is a lost treasure, hitting the market at a time when the hardware of much of its potential market wasn't really capable of doing it justice."

    Like many of us enthusiasts who've made the commitment necessary to get over the hurdles in the way of a great GPL experience, John has become hooked. Seriously hooked:

    "The fire that I now have for this game is unprecedented in my 19 years of computer and video gaming. I'm ... consumed with the game ...

    "Now that I'm playing the game with religious fervor, I'm learning the nuances of real racing and car handling, day by day. Driving these relatively poor handling (by today's standards) Grand Prix cars in a full simulation environment is no longer the frustrating exercise in futility it used to be. I've now learned that part of the reason I got burned out on the more arcade, compromised racers is that it's easy to reach a level of competence where you can almost put them on autopilot. The brain needs stimulation to keep it vital. No matter what track I'm at, nor what position I'm in, Grand Prix Legends has me on the edge of my seat."

    If you know anyone who's been on the fence about GPL, or was turned off by an initial experience on inferior hardware, this article is a must read!

    The Racing Simulator as a Learning Tool

    Most people are familiar with Jacques Villeneuve and his comments attributing his spectacular pole position at Spa in his first year in Formula One to practicing in Grand Prix II. But a growing number of young drivers have gone public about using racing simulations to hone their skills and give themselves a competitive advantage over their rivals.

    In addition, recent articles in major national hard-copy publications have drawn attention to GPL, to racing online, and - grin - the setups developed by Yr Hmble Srvnt.

    Recent Press

    Juan Montoya and Racing Simulations

    My favorite games right now are old ones, GP 2 (Grand Prix 2) and GP Legends--they are awesome!

    - Juan Montoya
    Email Interview

    The October 1999 issue of Car and Driver contains a lengthy feature on Juan Montoya. In this feature, Chip Ganassi and Juan's father Pablo ascribe Juan's spectacular success in CART and Formula 3000 to his passion for racing games and racing simulations. They state specifically that Juan used Grand Prix II to learn the circuits in Europe, and CART Precision Racing to learn the American circuits he is racing on this season.

    Juan is a passionate enthusiast of racing games and simulations of all kinds. He spends much of his spare time - time when he's not racing real cars - racing virtual cars on any available racing game.

    It's a fascinating article, and well worth reading.

    Tony Stewart and NASCAR 2

    On a recent interview on ESPN, commentators noted Tony Stewart's concerns about qualifying at Watkins Glen, a track he had never driven on before.

    After taking 4th place in qualifying, Tony said, "I guess all those nights sitting in front of the computer running NASCAR 2 really paid off!"

    Vail Riches Breaks Real-World Lap Record

    GPL racer Vail Riches has set the fastest ever lap at Peter Finlay's International Racing Drivers' School. Go here for a complete account of Vail's accomplishment.

    GPL Background

    Early GPL Reviews:

    Grand Prix Legends opened to rave reviews on and in the electronic media.

    One of the original GPL beta team members remarked:

    "GPL seems to have become the online racing sim. Everybody, even hard-boiled offline racers, all of a sudden venture into online racing, and appear at all times of the day when you'd expect them the least, and ask for races.

    "This is really like a boom. Even guys I'd never have expected to do this now all of a sudden fiddle around with DUN settings, change their ISPs, measure pings and latencies, and race race race, several hours a day.

    "GPL is the big online racing success of 98."

    Here are two previews I wrote during my participation in the beta testing phase:

    Also, here's a posting from the racing sim newsgroup in the summer of 1997, and my response:

    Papyrus ... F1 sim ... is based on the 1967 Grand Prix season. It will utilize new 3D physics to accurately model even independent suspension movements. Imagine driving around the old Nurburgring in a powerful but gripless circa 1967 F1 racer. Talk about four wheel drift heaven.

    Awesome!!! I would absolutely love to have such a sim!! I don't like the dynamics of the recent GP cars very much; too much point-and-squirt, jam it into the corners, if it breaks loose it's gone. I'd love to drive cars that you can pitch sideways, steer with the throttle, really throw around. The closest I've come to this is a nice tossable setup I have for ICR2 Long Beach, but to actually be able to drive 1967 F1 cars! Fantastic!

    I want a Lotus 49-Ford at Monaco! No, wait! A Brabham-Repco, no, a BRM H-16 at the Nurburgring! I want to experience the real Silverstone - without chicanes - Abbey, Club, Stowe, the awesome Woodcote!! An Eagle-Weslake at the old, round-the-houses Spa!!! Brands Hatch's Dingle Dell...Watkins Glen without the Inner Loop!! Ahhhhh!!!!!

    I need a time-warp machine, to make Christmas come now!!

    Please, please Papyrus, tell us you'll do this, really!

    Well, they've done it, and I've driven all the above cars at all the above circuits except Brands Hatch, which unfortunately won't be in the game due to licensing issues.

    Thank you, Papyrus!