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C.A.R.S – Development Update & Logo Revealed

C.A.R.S – Development Update & Logo Revealed

Ian Bell has released a small development update regarding Slightly Mad Studio’s ambitious C.A.R.S. project that is due to be launched soon.

The studio has completed all the legal work required for the project to kick off. Furthermore, the title’s logo has been revealed and registered as trademark while the work on the website is still going on.

The backend system that allocates the shares based on the customer’s financial commitment is up and running, SMS expects the website to be ready for service in about two weeks time.

C.A.R.S., which stands for Community Assisted Race Sim, is a new project by Slightly Mad Studios that will allow sim racers to invest in an upcoming simulation title. In return, the investors will get to have a major say in the direction the title will be taking, get development builds and get to follow a completely transparent development process that shows the SMS team at work.

For all the details on this groundbreaking new projectΒ check out this article.

  • Ghoults

    So they have already decided what content (cars and tracks) there is going to be. What is actually left to the community to decide? How realistic they want it? Or how arcade? That’s all?

    First you have an idea then you try to get the content that makes the idea possible. If you want to make a game with tuning and competition you get road cars. Like gt and forza. You want to build a race car simulator you try to get race cars like in gtr. You want to make a drag racing or oval sim. You get oval and drag racing cars. Motorbike or karting sim. Get karts and motorbikes.

    Or is it just some leftover lisences that didn’t work for shift 2 but were paid so better use them for something?

    It kind of sounds like what Erro Piitulainen’s original Drivers’ republic project was but with far lower expectations. Shift 2: the leftovers…?

  • F1Racer

    That’s the spirit.  Positive thinking community members are always welcome.

  • Michael

    Well ok, how about this “novel” idea

    – If a game’s rubbish then I don’t buy it.
    – If it is good, it’s either free 2 play (costing you from £0 upwards) or you pay around £30 for it.

    What’s this idea that unless I invest and say “the game needs to be good FFS”, the game will be crap, all about? I tell you what, I can do that without a doubt, but if Bell wants me to say what the game needs, I want him to pay me. That’s the way it works. If you think you’re Mr. Bright Idea of the sim world then ask yourself why you’re having to pay to get someone to listen to your ideas.

    Why would anyone pay money up front for a game that hasn’t been written and for which the content is a mystery? Not only that, but /more/ money than they would normally for a game that they’d take a risk buying to see what it’s like?

    When Notch released minecraft in a nebulous state, you still got a playable game, and you paid less money, not more.

    I mean, in general, only a halfwit pre-orders a game, let alone puts in thousands for a blank sheet of paper. This is doubly-so for racing games because the genre is pretty poor at delivering good titles, especially on PC.

    If you put in £10, 100 of you, someone can put in £1001 and then you have no effective say at all. Bear that in mind – not that anyone sane cares what you think. It’ll either be obvious (i.e a sane developer would do it anyway) or wrong (i.e a sane developer wouldn’t do it)

    You think you’ll make a big return? Well then ask yourself why, if SMS have sold 8 million games as they claim, they don’t have enough money to write this and take all the huge profits they are dangling in front of you for themselves.

    At best, it’ll be ironic that the very peopel paying to get the game they want are manipulated by using their stupidity into giving away their cash to get that game and then, once the cash has left their hands, manipulated using their greed and fear of losing that cash into signing up for another nfs shift-alike game that, whilst not bad, won’t be worth more than the £15 bargain bin price they could have paid if they’d just sat and done nothing.

    And when you think “sheesh, it’s crap” remember that it’ll be the game you asked for. Priceless. It’s a great idea but only from one person’s point of view and he’ll be dining out on you for years – win or lose he won’t lose.

    The evidence for this is already on nogrip’s forum, the very people who want a sim and want a the good uncompromising sim game are talking themselves out of it so the game will sell on consoles, before they’ve even started. The 2nd obvious thing is, if you lock 2 sim racers in a forum you get 4 opinions – and none of those opinions matches what Bell then comes along and says anyway. He’s not going to do what you say, he’s going to tell you why you are naive and stupid to have your opinion. Lesson one is that you’ll have given your money away to join a forum, that’s all the evidence he needs, but you’ll provide more with every post and idea you make.

    Why would anyone in their right mind who believed they could write a good game that would sell millions and who supposedly already had 2 successful games already sold in their millions in the same genre need investment? If they do, then there is clearly no money to be made developing racing games. If they don’t, but just want to risk other people’s money. Run away. No, faster than that.

  • Michael

    Where will the money come from to pay the “investors” – the people investing are the people who typically buy the type of game being developed. You’re paying yourselves the “profits” out of your own money when you buy the final product. Except if you put in £1000. Normally you’d have paid £30. But where does the other £970 come from? Console owners? Why would a console owner buy a game after reading all the nonsense the halfwits who invest in this project will inevitable make? You see, all a “transparent” development process and forum full of investors will do is alienate your source of profit as you basically bite the hand that you hope will feed you.

    What %age of the retail price do you think you will get for that investment?

    If you get the final product for free and, in that case, you are paying £1000 to get a free game and to join a forum where you can argue with other like-minded people who lack wits too. Well done.

    Just make sure you do your due dilligence before throwing money away.

    Why would anyone “invest” to pay for a computer game on the premise that if they don’t invest and have their input then Bell and SMS are, presuambly so bad at writing games and lacking in ideas, that it won’t be any good otherwise. It’s a moronic premise. Do you really believe Bell thinks that? If not, why is he selling this on that basis?

    Look at a counter example model : Valve listen to their customers, update their games hundreds of times during their lifetime, for free and, when they’ve had community content added to their games they are paying those contributors, not taking money from them.

    That’s the only way you can truely write a game as a service that listens to customers and steers the game towards what they want based on feedback. You need a game – a forum full of ideas is worthless, you need to treat it as a service, you need to update it over and over.  You need to find some way of paying for that, so are you prepared to risk your profits to actually make a good game?

  • RacingFlicks

    Alot of your post IMO is uncalled for and not really the truth but at the same time you also make ALOT of valid points IMO. The main being the one that worrys the most and that is the say that guys like myself will have compared to the guys that put in large amounts of money. I can see alot of guys doing this just for profit and not really doing it for a community based ” sim “. I spose we ill find out in due time. Michael, instaed of using the big posts on here to get your point across, why don’t you post these thoughts over at NoGrip. I believe that Ian and SMS could produce a hardcore sim that would challenge the best of today and i beleive they would like to. But money talks and i don’t think Ians bank will agree, aswell as the guys that are looking to invest huge amounts of money.

    Me, i just want a upto date sim with all the bells and whistles graphically, which in the sim world  right now we are seriosly lacking, every sim looks dated. I could not give two hoots about how much i get back at the end.

  • Nicolas Grignon

    They should open it like Microsoft did with the Flight sim serie to free developers and third parties: free to them to licence a particular car… or not.  But like this, we could have ALL the cars we want and avoid the disgusting licencing MAFIA business.

  • DemonDriverDan

    I’m just putting it out there, why not think of your £10 investment as paying £10 for the game? If you ignore all of the decisions side and just play the final game then you’ve paid 1/3 of the retail price.

    The game could be a flop, but for £10 surely it’s worth a punt. If Game can sell “My Teen Pony” for ~£10, this has got to be worth it.

  • Ricoo

    That is not compatible with a free to play concept where the profits come from small content purchases.

  • Ricoo

    Micheal, I estimate that CARS development buget is probably around 5 million dollars. SMS needs investors to fund this project. They were paid for their previous titles but not according to the sales figures. They didn’t make enough cash to fund their new project by themselves only.

  • Ricoo

    The logo looks great.

  • Mike Coleman

    The game will be free-to-play. So you’re $10 investment is not 1/3 of the retail price – since the price is fee.

  • DemonDriverDan

    There goes my amazing plan then! πŸ™ πŸ™

  • Uff

    CARS is definitely giving us the chance to read some of the most stupid comments we’ve ever seen here.
    Ian Bell should pay us for telling them what to do? Sure, that’s exactly how the real world works. I tell you what to do and I get paid for doing nothing, while you get nothing for doing the hard work. Please tell me where I can find this world, I’m interested in it.
    People also wonders what’s the point of telling them what to do if the base content has already been chosen. Guess what? They choose it probably basing their choice on the poll they did on their official Facebook page.
    If you want to attract investors you need to show them something, nobody is going to buy anything without some base content that shows the potential of the project. After this, new contents will depend on the community choice.

    F1Racer, just give up the hope to see some positive thinking in the sim-racing community. If it’s not “now, all and free” then it’s not good. It’s too difficult to understand that a new competitor will only bring positive effects to other games too.

  • Tony

    So now its obvious why they made shift kindof suck.

  • Silly(c)One

    Spot on, Uff….

    Though I don’t think the sim-racing community is fairly represented in most VirtualR residential trolls, who’re just a bunch of immature spoiled kids.
    Real sim-drivers spend their time racing instead of whining on sim-racing blogs…

  • Christian hamilton

    Hey Papy fanboy if you hate SMS and this project so much…quit posting. Or maybe we can all go back to driving GPL.

  • the scrutineer

    I have $1,000 US dollar for rfactor 2…      not this.

  • Ghoults

    Well I’m sorry if my post came off so harsh. I do stand by what I said though. “The studio has completed all the legal work required for the project to kick off.” That means they have the licenses settled. The type of content you have defines the project. It is nothing close to a clean sheet of paper where the community gets to decide what is in and what is not. At most you get to say how something is implemented. Barring some technical limitations and that’s where the devil is. If the community wants something the engine can not do do you think the community has the power to demand it?

    It is shift 2 engine. They have the content ready. How many directions can you go when that much is already decided?

  • Christian hamilton

    Anyone who invests over a certain amount will share in the profits of the game, and have a greater role in how it’s developed than those at the 10 euro level. So it’s not like you’re paying 1000 euros for a 60 euro game. @Ghoults the statement was “The studio has completed all the legal work required for the project to kick off.”  I have seen no post at NoGrip  from anyone at SMS saying the content was decided etc. And seriously what is wrong with the Shift2 engine? I remember reading some of the reviews from some testers of the beta version (sim guys and real world drivers) who called it absolutely brilliant. But it was already known at the time that the particular version would not be implemented as EA felt it was to much of a simulation and not mainstream enough. As far as I know the Shift2 engine is based on the unnamed “Ferrai” engine that never got released back in the Blimey! days.  
    I don’t get all the criticism here. If you’re skeptical about this don’t get involved. Go subscribe to iracing or wait for RF2 or just keep playing what makes you happy now. SMS is at least trying to cater to the desires of the Sim Racing crowd and publishing in a conventional way they will not make money as like it or not SimRacers are but a few cups of water in the proverbial bathtub of gamers. So this way allows SMS to publish a hardcore title and not lose money on it plus be able to keep full developmental control (not give it away to a publisher like EA).  
    One more thing many of you talk about all the money SMS made on Shift and Shift2. The way it works in this business is you enter into a contract with the Publisher(EA for example) The publisher and developer(SMS) agree on a price to develop the game. EA then markets, and distributes the game. They are the ones who then either profit or lose from sales. Unless SMS and EA had a profit sharing agreement, SMS got what SMS got. So whatever SMS got do you not think that as a business the have operating expenses, payroll, rent, equipment, other misc overhead? Of course they do. They are in this to MAKE MONEY! SO why should they take a HUGE risk with developing and publishing a game if they can find a better or more innovative way to do it. That’s what they are trying to do here. Quit berating them for it.

  • Vapaaneuvos Johannes Rojola

    Ian Bell should pay us for telling them what to do? Sure, that’s exactly how the real world works.

    Actually in real world game industry game designers are paid. If Ian Bell can do it, then fine, he should do it. If not, then he should hire designer.

  • Christian hamilton


    Originally Posted by vondutch51  Question for you Ian. I have seen some comments at VirtualR stating that the content for C.A.R.S. has already been decided. Can you confirm or deny that? In the VirtualR article posted a few hours ago it states that “The studio has completed all the legal work required for the project to kick off.” Does this include content. If so doesn’t that limit the amount of input the community will have on the direction of the project?
    Ian Bell replies:

    “It hasn’t and it can’t be as that’s down to the investors. What we are doing is providing a base car from each of the main types (single seater, endurance, historic etc) so the investors can feedback on input, handling FFB etc.

    The legal work was for the WMD system itself that’s completely unique so required a lot of work.”

    Get your facts straight before you comment. :-E

  • Ghoults

    @Christian hamilton
    I did not say there was anything wrong with the shift engine. I just mentioned that it is the engine they are going to use and it is not a sim engine nor it is a pure arcade engine. The choise of engine is a step towards certain direction.

    Every sim developer out there and its hardcore fans will no matter what tell their own sim is the best one. Shift 2 wasn’t a sim though and the final product is all that matters. Not the hype, the promise or the what it could have or should have been. Everyone is free to believe whatever he or she wants though.

    I very much doubt the developers randomly bought some lisences just so the community could pick the ones they wanted. To “kick things off”.

  • Christian hamilton

    I find it interesting that you deleted a previous post where you stated that everything SMS was involved in was crap and that GPL N2K3 and RBR were the best sims(great sims no doubt) You know the post I’m talking about. GTR2’s fudged tire model etc. That’s why I was referring to you as a Papy fanboy. If that’s what you believe STAND BY IT as opposed to deletig your post then totally backtracking on what you said. I’m sure you’ll deny this but it was your posts here and here: your now deleted post was that set me off) that got me involved in this. Strange how the one post that set me off is now gone.
    I don’t even own Shift2 as I’m still having fun League racing in GTR2 and enjoy rfactor and some of the later Simbin titles. So I’m not a shift2 fanboy but I am a SMS fan as these are the guys who brought us GTL, GTR, and GTR2. GTR in 2004 was revolutionary. It was flawed but still revolutionary just the same. Ian and the guys at SMS left to their own devices and freed from the constraints of a publisher like EA have the potential to do some amazing things. I just get frustrated reading all this negativity.
    THat being said I broke my cardinal rule here about arguing over the internet. You know what they say about winnng an argument over the internet…’s kinda like winning the special olympics. At the end of the day you’re still a retard. πŸ™‚

  • Ghoults

    Christian hamilton:
    I have not deleted any posts. You have mistaken me for someone else.

  • Ghoults

    @Christian hamilton:
    Oh I found the post you possibly were referring to. You seem to express the points I made extremely exacerbated and strectched to their extreme provocative meaning.

    Gpl, n2k3 and rbr were ahead of their time and can be considered landmarks. Personally I’m not a big fan of rbr or n2k3 but I surely do understand what they achieved. I played gpl a ton though. Gtr and gtr2 had fudged tyremodel. Anyone who has seen real tire data and gtr’s tire data can see the makers of gtr tried to make it hard to drive because that’s what they was realistic. That doesn’t mean anything in regards to this c.a.r.s. and I’ve never even said anything like that. It does set a premise though as what to expect.

    I don’t consider gtr nor gtr2 to be one of the greatest sims. That’s my opinion and I have no idea why seem so hell bent on “proving” that I’m wrong. It’s my opinion.

    To call me a papy fan boy is pretty hilarious though. Only papy products I’ve ever played much are gpl and iracing. Before iracing I played nkpro and lfs and rfactor. And if I calculated the total hours iracing doesn’t come top. But I’d guess just liking iracing makes me a fanboy…

    There is no perfect sim out there but each sim has its own strengths. Iracing definitely has best tracks and the cars are not too bad. Rfactor has many good cars and tracks but there is tons of bad content too. Nkpro and lfs are not going anywhere but still have good features other sims dont have. If there was a new sim coming I would not expect it from sms. From my own experience their games have been lacking in the most important aspect of the sim. Physics.

    I like the ad hominems in your post though. Must make you feel really special. I won’t call you names though.

    The post is still there though. If you had searched for it you would have found it. But calling me liar and “post deleter” must give you some special satisfaction. I do stand by that post. lol.

  • Christian hamilton

    Ok my bad if the post is still there. BTW I was insulting myself not you. It was a tongue in cheek type comment, I’m sorry if you took offense. πŸ™‚

  • Ghoults

    Well let’s just happily live along and forget this whole ordeal  πŸ™‚

  • Steve Farrell

    It is? Have you played C.A.R.S. Then?

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