NASCAR in your livingroom
October 30, 2005 12:04 AM   Subscribe

I guess if you already have X-Box, this will have to suffice. [Warning: Embedded WMV file]
posted by KevinSkomsvold (56 comments total)
Context? Pretty sweet looking driving simulator, but uh, what's under the hood, so to speak?
posted by tweak at 12:16 AM on October 30, 2005

Well if you're never gonna get laid... I guess that's a good way to spend you cash.
posted by jeblis at 12:17 AM on October 30, 2005

[this is dumb]
posted by gazole at 12:17 AM on October 30, 2005

Bother to do all that and it's an automatic?

Eh, not only that, but I think "rocking backward slightly" doesn't quite capture the exciting part of going 0-60 in an NSX in five seconds.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 12:23 AM on October 30, 2005

Considering that my downstairs neighbour complained about the noise from two six-inch computer speakers on a Saturday afternoon, I'll have to give this one a pass.
posted by dreamsign at 12:24 AM on October 30, 2005

No context at this point. I pilfered the link off of Digg but so far I cannot find out much else about it. Sorry.

Agreed Gazole. This thing would suck in my condo.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:24 AM on October 30, 2005

I think gazole was referring to the post, not the item.
Would have liked an over the shoulder cam to give a little more feel for what the guy was experiencing.
posted by papakwanz at 12:25 AM on October 30, 2005

I kept waiting for the whole thing to collapse inward and the guy to get electrocuted.

Does this make me a bad person?
posted by felix betachat at 12:26 AM on October 30, 2005

I don't think it's a bad link. I just wanna pick on the guy.
posted by jeblis at 12:26 AM on October 30, 2005

You guys are all weenies. Assuming this geek built that by himself, which I suppose is unlikely, it's awesome.

Thanks for the laughs.
posted by dobbs at 12:41 AM on October 30, 2005

DUDE, I said it looks 'pretty sweet' what more do you want?
posted by tweak at 12:44 AM on October 30, 2005

Grade for this video:

Geek factor A+
Cinematography F-
posted by zardoz at 1:14 AM on October 30, 2005

That actually looks like a pretty robust multi-axis sim. I'd like to see how it handles something smoother like a flight sim.

People are indeed building pneumatic and hydraulic motion simulators, with increasing regularity. I just saw plans for one online somewhere, but I can't remember where. Make magazine? I dunno.

They only thing I can't figure out is where they get the positional data from - because I don't think most PC/Console games have hooks for that in their programs. MS Flight Simulator, maybe.

Also, how long do you think that screen is going to last? Is it a flat panel or projector? With either it probably isn't healthy for the device
posted by loquacious at 1:16 AM on October 30, 2005

Ooooohhhh... shiiiiiitttt man, that was awsome, and then when he died at the end,....shhiiiiiitttt. I have xbox, but that looked to be one of hte best gaming experiences out there.

posted by furtive at 1:33 AM on October 30, 2005

posted by furtive at 1:33 AM on October 30, 2005


Must be either an aeronautical engineer or a mechanical engineering student to know how to use gyros like that. Really cool stuff!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:36 AM on October 30, 2005

meh. You need something that can exert more than 1 G on you to truly replicate the experience of a fast car's acceleration and cornering forces. I give it a C.
posted by pmbuko at 1:37 AM on October 30, 2005

ok, a C+
posted by pmbuko at 1:38 AM on October 30, 2005

Oh and I don't get the title. I guess if you already have X-Box, this will have to suffice. Are you implying that this is worse or better than an xbox?
posted by jeblis at 1:41 AM on October 30, 2005

I think I saw something like this at Chuck E. Chesse.
posted by dingobully at 1:04 AM on October 30, 2005

Things like this always make me wonder whether the quest for realism in games will hit a natural ceiling - or in 5 years time will there be a flight sim version of this that does a loop the loop and ejects you 100ft into the air when you get shot down?
posted by greycap at 1:04 AM on October 30, 2005

I think I saw something like this at Chuck E. Chesse's.
posted by dingobully at 1:05 AM on October 30, 2005

Didn't I just say that?
posted by dingobully at 1:06 AM on October 30, 2005

I give the video a C+ and the post a F+, the + for warning about the embedded file.
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:24 AM on October 30, 2005

all I give this post is a comment containing the previous and the following: THUMBS DOWN
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:49 AM on October 30, 2005

It's a real product. The company is Force Dynamics.
posted by SteelyDuran at 3:01 AM on October 30, 2005

Images and more video available.

I can't see myself blowing $10k-30K to own one in my lifetime, but I'd pay a few bucks to ride one. 18" of travel and 60 degrees of rotation is nothing to sneeze at in a small motion sim.
posted by loquacious at 3:49 AM on October 30, 2005

It looks like it needs bolting to the floor, especially when (s)he crashes at the end!
posted by DrDoberman at 5:07 AM on October 30, 2005

He should invest in a fan, to replicate the wind.
It looks neat, and loud, and I would never turn down a chance to try Freespace2 in it.
posted by Busithoth at 5:31 AM on October 30, 2005

I'm with pmbuko. The first time I went into one of those simulation rides they have in theme parks I found it exciting. The following times, I just felt like I was being gently tossed around. Simulating acceleration is the key. But short of wiring the brain itself I don't see how it can be done.
posted by elgilito at 5:41 AM on October 30, 2005

The title is incorrect. The sim isn't NASCAR (thank god) It's clearly a WRC (rally) sim. Pretty sweet one, at that.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:21 AM on October 30, 2005

They only thing I can't figure out is where they get the positional data from - because I don't think most PC/Console games have hooks for that in their programs. MS Flight Simulator, maybe.

Well, most games today return force-feedback data for supporting devices (rumble controllers, steering wheel controllers) - could this just extrapolate on that data?
posted by ginbiafra at 7:06 AM on October 30, 2005

Many games, that is, not most.
posted by ginbiafra at 7:07 AM on October 30, 2005

The title is incorrect. The sim isn't NASCAR..

that is absolutely correct
because a NASCAR sim would only need
a box under one side of a normal chair.
posted by zenzizi at 7:08 AM on October 30, 2005

I would like to see the GTA sim. Combo of this sim for driving, and a love doll for the prostitute sim.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:47 AM on October 30, 2005

This is probably a great innovation for people that have suffered severe spinal cord injuries and have great difficulty doing ordinary things like driving, walking, etc. The rest of us should probably get outside once in a while, go for drive, bike ride, swim, walk, whatever. Every time I see shit like this, I can't help but think what a collossal waste of time video games are. This kind of thing just takes it to the next level.
posted by psmealey at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2005

...Eye of the beholder and all that? One man's waste is another man's fun.
posted by UseyurBrain at 8:11 AM on October 30, 2005

How about a Counterstrike sim that pokes you with a sharp stick every time you get shot?
posted by grimcity at 8:28 AM on October 30, 2005

Not that I'm a Luddite, but: big fucking deal.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:09 AM on October 30, 2005

For that kind of money you're halfway to buying the real thing.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2005

oh my, that looks dangerous.
posted by kliuless at 9:33 AM on October 30, 2005

Someone needs to build something like this inside a pod attached to a centrifuge.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:35 AM on October 30, 2005

Nice! Now all I need is Nicky Grist yelling "five left over crest, don't cut" in my left ear and the illusion will be complete.
posted by chrominance at 9:59 AM on October 30, 2005

Nice idea, but why not simply driving in your car in the woods? (Please read the speed limits)
posted by tommyc at 10:06 AM on October 30, 2005

Here we are. PBF has the idea.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:10 AM on October 30, 2005

Well, that got boring pretty damned fast.
posted by interrobang at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2005

Thanks for the back links loquacious. It looks much more sleek in those pics than in the video.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2005

Thank SteelyDuran. He found the actual company.
posted by loquacious at 1:08 PM on October 30, 2005

This game vibrates?

posted by adamrice at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2005

It's encouraging to see a few rally fans on the thread.
The comment about the NASCAR sym was pretty amusing 'put a box under one side of a chair.
I would imagine for the price of the sim one could actually go out and build a pretty okay private-entry rally car for the local rallies. The only down side would be the eventual meeting of tree and car and the costs of repairing damages sustained, as well as all the entry fees, spares costs, tires, etc, etc.
Perhaps it's just as well to just get an X-Box and 'Colin McRae Rally' or 'Rally Championship 2' and make do with that. Minus the mechanical hardware in the filum of course. Much less expensive to repair 'virtual' damages than in the real rally world.
Back in '92' the entry fee for a national championship event was $400.00. I don't even want to think of what it is now. . . .
posted by mk1gti at 1:51 PM on October 30, 2005

I remember a few years ago when the Need For Speed series did V-Rally and the box had to explain to the American audience what Rallying was.

Going round ovals looks - well, dull to me as a young, British boy racer. Where as tearing round a forest on gravel, sideways in a rip snorting Escort Cosworth - looked ace.

As for the sim - I think it looked rad. I wouldnt have one - and I can imagine it making you feel sea sick in minutes.

The link was well worth a fpp.
posted by 13twelve at 2:55 PM on October 30, 2005

If I wanted this kind of thrill, I could do it more cheaply by buying a set of leathers and a crotch rocket. Plus I'd actually be experiencing the thrills and spills.

Real life is awesome. More people should give it a try.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:17 PM on October 30, 2005

13twelve: According to the Force Dynamics page the motion is so realistic that it actually abates motion sickness. People that normally can't play 3D sims in general due to the equilibrium problems reported that they were able to drive the sim without the motion sick effects they felt when playing the sim in a locked down and motionless state.

Another statement they made is that a vast majority of the driving/racing specific sims have in an incorrect center of rotation, so that the acceleration/braking effects were actually somewhat backwards feeling.

IE, when the center of rotation is low and the sim pitches forward to simulate acceleration, the real-world attitude of the sim cockpit tilts forward rather than back. So though you feel yourself moving forward, you're actually also being pitched forward against the seatbelts and restraints.

I've experienced this in "high end" coin-op arcade sims, and it's annoying - to the point that the motion cues didn't match the visual cues and I experienced motion sickness-like nausea. I don't really get motion sick easily. I love 3D games. I read books in moving cars. I love motion/thrill rides in general, and love the spatial confusion they present. (Though, as a kid, I used to get motion sick a lot. But then again it was usually when my ex-Air Force grandpa was piloting his giant Oldmobile at ludicrous speeds through twisty mountain roads like Mulholland Drive in Southern California.)

On preview: Real life is indeed awesome, five fresh fish. But so is living. I like skateboarding vert. It's a blast. I don't see any sim in the near future replacing it.

But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy some Tony Hawk Pro Skater, as well. The complete irreality of it is what is actually attractive, because it gives you the chance to do and try things you'll never be able to do in real life and survive.

Also, you can use accurate sims as training tools. Why do you think they've been so widely implemented for commercial pilots? I wouldn't be surprised if some rally racers and racers in general used sims as a way to train for routes and techniques.

Besides, a crotch rocket is a pretty good way to die. I know plenty of folks that would prefer to die on their bikes. But, still, the risk-to-reward ratio is probably way too high for most people.
posted by loquacious at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2005

Speaking as somone who's done real rallying and 'sim' rallying, Colin McRae rallying gives a pretty good 'you are there' experience, although one has to use the 'in-car' view to experience it. Rally Championship 2 is also really good at this.
I know that some F-1 racers secret themselves inside their trailers to play Playstation 2 F1 sims to learn and re-learn some of the tracks they race on. Of course it doesn't give 'the real experience', but it's something like reading a map but in three dimensions, a very useful tool.
Forza Motorsport did a really good job if simulating a lot of the raceways out there, but the really big downside about it is there is no 'in car' view. A major disappointment because of that.
I also echo loquacious's comment about 'safe thrill seeking', having fun on a sim is a lot less expensive and a lot less dangerous than being out there on a bike, in a rally car, or skating vert. Nothing matches the real thing of course, but just because someone doesn't want to get out there and blow the bills on the real activity doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to experience some approximation of it in the safety of their barco-lounger. Perhaps it will inspire them to try 'the real thing' someday.
posted by mk1gti at 3:52 PM on October 30, 2005

I, for one, welcome our new never going to get laid overlords.
posted by vagus at 5:30 PM on October 30, 2005

I have an online acquaintance with the guy that runs the company that makes these things. It's some pretty serious engineering. It doesn't work with Xbox or Playstation, only a few PC games/simulators. They need to be able to get actual acceleration values from the physics engine of the game, so you can't just plug it in to any game with simple force feedback. The people that buy them are generally the filthy rich who can afford toys like this. I believe they're planning on making a hardened version for arcades and the like. They're pretty confident in the durability of the unit.

A pretty good FPP could have been made about the simulator, and may have cut down on some of the snarks. There's quite a big community centered around race simulation, and this is pretty much the unattainable gold standard. I actually thought about doing an FPP a while ago about it, but it didn't seem like a good idea given that I "know" the person.
posted by zsazsa at 5:51 PM on October 30, 2005

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