Colin Mc Rae Rally 2.0 is a very interesting game in many ways. I wrote recently about different strategies you can have in this game. Now I would like to return to the physics and how this part of the game is handled. I think this game was the first rally game and also among some first racing games that I really liked (Gran Turismo was also great) and got into. It was released for PC and PS1. I played both of them.
There is no doubt that the way CMR 2.0 handles the part of physical modeling was in its time revolutionary. I know lots about games but I also have studied a bit of physics. I have learned physics mainly through school and by studying it in a school of applied sciences. However I am not a physicist. I am more of a software designer. So I know about some coding stuff also. This might open this fact a bit of how I find thinking about these subjects extremely interesting.
I haven’t seen any source code from this game. This is a commercial game and its code isn’t open source. I think for many of the fans of this game this doesn’t come as a surprise. The game was hugely popular. Releasing it as a freeware would be, well, stupid, you might say. However there are some very interesting details that open up for me as I play this rally game.
Let’s think about friction. It deals with surfaces. In a car you can have different tires that behave differently on different surfaces of road. So this is one thing. While driving on icy or snowy road you might want to use chains with tires. While driving on tarmac you want to use soft tires. And on wet surface you use special tires that perform nice on for example wet tarmac. Same goes for muddy surfaces or roads that are of gravel. You have to have a good grip on the road you are driving and friction can give you this.
There is a force that is effective on any road that you can drive on the whole planet Earth. It is called gravity. You have to have good and sufficient suspension in your car. On roads that are bumpy you have to have more suspension for overcoming the differences of altitude. Too much suspension is not good either if you drive on flat road.
You can also break and accelerate. You turn the wheel in right direction at a right time. The key is to try to steer correctly or at least keep the car moving as fast as possible. If you don’t break at a correct time you get to grass or some other surface that slows you down. Crashing also slows you down. This has everything to do with a thing called momentum. If an object doesn’t receive any push to any direction it keeps moving with the speed it has to the direction it is moving. At different time there is different amount of push to the vehicle. If nothing gets pushed the car keeps moving. Bigger objects take more power to get moving and are slower to stop moving. So the more mass you have the slower you are.
I think this is enough physics. I repeat what I said earlier. This is not so precise of a study. I haven’t seen any source code and I didn’t describe my theory so thoroughly. I hope this motivates you to learn more about physics. You can find more information using your favorite search engine. I definitely feel that you will get more excited about this particular rally game.
There are basically two ways to think about your car settings in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. You can concentrate on driving and copy the best settings from a strategy guide (which is actually available through internet for free) or you can actually test your car with different settings and change them to your own liking. Testing your car to find a good setting can take time. In this text I would like to describe how these settings take impact on your car in this game. I will tell you what each setting will do. So let’s get to it!
There are different settings in this game for tires. Basically you have slick tires that are good for stages that are mainly driven on tarmac. Spikes are good for ice. There are also settings for wet and dry mud and wet and dry gravel. So yo have to choose your tires based on how the surface of the road is. This is pretty simple. You just choose a right tires for each type of road surface.
There are however some settings that aren’t so clear on what they have effect on. Well, actually “gearbox” isn’t so complicated. You can set your acceleration to maximum level but then you loose some top speed. And you can also set your top speed to maximum and you will lose some acceleration. Good acceleration is nice for stages that have many corners and high top speed is better on stages that have long straight parts. That makes sense doesn’t it.
“Suspension” can be adjusted to soft setting on stages that are bumpy or that have many jumps. When driving on flat stages and also stages that have tarmac on their road it is recommended to adjust suspension to hard. You can also adjust your breaks and power of your car to have a tendency to under or over steer. And finally the last setting you have to worry about, that is called “Steering” tells you how sensitively you can steer your car. It can react fast or it can react a bit slower to how you turn your driving wheel (or press the buttons if you are playing this game with a game pad).
If you don’t like to fiddle with the settings and you want to just drive here’s a link to the strategy guide of Colin McRae Rally 2.0.
Now that Dirt 5 is coming to us later this year it would be nice to think about how Codemasters started this whole rally game thing. So it was 1998 and PS1 was the best and most popular gaming system out there. We had already seen some really good racing games. Gran Turismo was released early in 1998. The first Colin McRae Rally game was good, but in my opinion, the second game was even better. It had some awesome physics modeling that made it the most realistic rally game of its time. Back then racing games were mainly played with gamepad instead of a wheel and pedals. This made playing not so realistic but also really fun and it also demanded a good concentrating.
Two first games were popular. Third game, Colin McRae Rally 3, was released on the next generation of gaming consoles. It was released for PC, PS2 and original Xbox. I really liked this game also. Graphics are better than in the first two games but the feeling and controlling is very much like in these first two games. Colin McRae Rally 04 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 followed some years after. It tells a lot about this games popularity that there were so many games released. It actually had competitors. One really good simulation rally game was Richard Burns Rally. Some players thought that Colin McRae games weren’t actually the most realistic racing games that existed. That was about to change. But it took several years for Codemasters to develop its most realistic rally simulation game yet. I am talking about new games that were released to PS4.
Dirt series started with Colin McRae DiRT. It brought nice rally driving experience along with some other kinds of vehicles for players to drive with. It was a good racing game. It was followed by Colin McRae Dirt 2 and Dirt 3 that were both released, also with the Dirt series’s first game, on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. I talked about how Codemasters were also beginning to develop a racing game that would be more realistic. The game, which also has a sequel, was Dirt Rally. It was released for PS4 along with PC and Xbox One. It brought realistic driving experience to players that could even use wheel and pedals to play this racing simulation.
Surely there are many racing games and even series’s of racing games. Colin McRae Rally is still very important to me and close to my hearth. It introduced me to rally games. I also played other racing games, but not really any other rally games. With Dirt Rally 2.0 and Dirt 4 released already some years ago rally game fans will know where they are turning their heads to as they need some more rally gaming experinces. The saga continues as Dirt 5 will be released later this year.