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MMO Street Racing

(Insert female figurehead here) won't let you out lapping? Get (almost) the same experience as your average night street racing from home.
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Basically a massively multi-player online simulation based on real cars, modifications, and places. Kind of like career mode on Gran Tourismo, but on the streets.

The user starts the game with a set amount of cash and a selection of cities to live (and used cars available in that city). Once a city is chosen, a house is assigned to that person (a vague area selection might be possible, or the user may join another user's household). It is assumed that there is enough room for each person in each house to have two cars to be worked simultaneously.

Once a user has purchased their first car they can either modify it immediately (depending on the cash situation, described later), or go cruising. Cruising is the default driving mode. Once cruising, the user drives aimlessly until he arrives at a meeting spot. The meeting spot is a chat room, with people coming and going, challenging others to race, etc. Much like going to 'the spot' on a Friday night.

Another possible activity while 'cruising' is to drive up to another user and give him 'the nod'. If 'the nod' is returned, a screen pops up and route is chosen. By default the route will be 2/3rds of the distance to the next intersection (if in the city). Obviously the next step is to race. If desired, bets may be placed (in conjunction with 'the nod') on the outcome.

Each user gets a constant stream of base income (say $500 per week played) that is to be spent on the car. Modifications allowed (and their pricing) are based on what is achievable in the real world (more on that later). Other quick cash options are available (ie 'quests) aside from bets as well. Fuel and rent costs are non-existent. Repairs (and insurance) to cars are also built in, but at a massively discounted rate over the real world.

The terrain is based on an elevation map of major cities, overlaid with a street map. Cities are joined by stretches of highway (shortened dramatically). Continents are joined by marginally longer bridges. Alternatively user's may 'jump' to a central point in each city, laid out as a car park. Cash is awarded per day since your first car purchase, with large gaps (over two weeks) resulting in not getting paid after that two weeks (until the user next logs in).

Modifications allowed are not quite limitless mechanically, although to avoid large downloads, cosmetic modifications are limited. A small selection of body kits are available for most cars, and none for others. A large selection of wheels are available, and paint schemes on the cars are unrestricted (aside from rude messages/images). An individual selection of parts for engines is available (but packages will be offered as well to simplify things for the not-so-hardcore), as are gearbox and engine swaps (rules apply. Ie a 502 does NOT fit into a Civic).

Computer generated police roam the city, with punishments ranging from warnings (minor speeding), through fines (burnouts, mid-range speeding), impounding of car (high-range speeding, street racing), to destruction of car (too many impound strikes, car chases). Additionally, a user may elect to be a snitch (after a certain time playing the game) for extra cash. A snitch gets extra income at the cost of having his car tracked by the police. A snitch is still fined, but the punishments are less severe. Users also have the option of marking other users as snitches. A list of users suspecting someone as a snitch appears on that users profile, along with a list of people that user suspects. This gives every person a reputation.

A user's reputation is displayed on their profile (user customizable to a degree), along with a 'vague' list of victories/defeats of that person, who they raced, and what kind of race (automatically determined by the route).

I think that's it.

Any questions?

BLSTIC, May 25 2008

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       Isn't that "Grand Theft Auto" ?
FlyingToaster, May 25 2008
  

       There are already many racing games similar in most aspects to what you describe.
sninctown, May 25 2008
  

       Actually, I'd quite like an English version of Grand Theft Auto, where the emphasis is less on stealing a muscle car and driving it through as many police officers as possible. Instead, the characters would have names like "Kevin" (in fact, perhaps they'd all be Kevins), and would fumble their way into Fiat Pandas, then drive ineptly at 50-60mph through a few villages before reversing into a ditch and having to walk home. Maybe something like "Taking and Driving Away".
MaxwellBuchanan, May 25 2008
  

       Have you been watching my driving? [+] Some good thought has gone into this. I think I just like the detailed engine-customising bit; it would be nice if that could be a proper simulation of engine performance with a given setup, rather than just a sort of "+30% for a turbo" bodge.
david_scothern, May 25 2008
  

       Well it doesn't even have to be a proper simulation (like desktop dyno). The parts can just have effects on each part of the rev range. Ie a cam won't just give you 20% more power, it will drop the low rpm section by similar amounts that it raises the top end.   

       jscott - The concept was derived from a mix between Gran tourismo, Need For Speed Most Wanted, and World of Warcraft. With a few minor details (real-ish cities, individual engine parts, engine swaps, etc) thrown in.
BLSTIC, May 25 2008
  

       /The parts can just have effects on each part of the rev range/ No, that's exactly what I wouldn't want. If it's all plug-and-play, where's the intelligence in it?
david_scothern, May 26 2008
  

       But that's almost what happens in real life... Ok your head can only flow so much, so putting a cam designed for 5000-8000rpm band won't actually benifit a standard pinto engine, but limits like that are easy enough to program in.   

       The concept of compression ratio's and the effects of boost and itnercooling are also able to be programmed in, but beyond that you are talking about being able to customise individual parts yourself, as well as simulating gas flows, pulse tuning, and what happens inside the combustion chamber.   

       Putting in a programmable ECU function would also be a neat trick, if the user interface was set up like a Motec system (or similar). Then interceptors would have to be made available as well. Optimum tune tables (not shown to the user) would have to be calculated from power, displacement, head design, and the tyoe (if any) of forced induction.   

       Another thing to add would be the presense of automotive tuning shops, complete with dyno tuning. They would offer a service to tune your engine (if you didn't get one of their performance packages, which come with an optimal tune already) for a set rate which would get good results. Of course the rate would have to be high enough to encourage (not force) users programming their own car.   

       Of course this game has now turned into a street racing simulation. Which is close to what I want anyway.
BLSTIC, May 26 2008
  
      
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