Recently, having seen Winston’s Rockcrawler I’ve gotten back into Gmod full force - all of a sudden engines and transmissions and shit are suddenly practical. Not server crashing monstrosities that are grossly inefficient and have to be run at like 1/2 physics timescale. This, and a Risk to Conquer have got me thinking; wouldn’t it be nice to get a new competition that’s relatively simple, practical, easy to participate in, and likely to create some activity on this forum?
Now I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never been that great of a builder. I’m always kind of 3rd tier-ish; that is to say that many times while I have found my own ways to do the things all the really good people create, I’ve never quite been able to replicate the practical, or the elegant aspect of the creations which define the best builders. Either it’s always slightly too heavy, too spazzy, too weak, always somehow deficient in some way. If I were narcissistic enough perhaps I’d compare my self to AMD, barely keeping up with Intel through price cutting - making up the difference in clock for clock performance with sheer number of cores, on an older manufacturing process. Their CPUs being larger, running hotter, and eating more power for a given amount of performance. Now generally under normal circumstances this would mean I just suck, but lets save my ego and self esteem a little bit of grief and make it more fun.
What I propose for a competition would be something similar to a Risk to Conquer. Player(s) form teams, except that instead of representing countries in war, you are now the executive head of advertising, engineering, design and all the other shit that happens in a car company. Essentially you have your own car brand. Design your logo, do whatever is fun, but ultimately what happens is that you produce a line of cars under a single brand name. Each car would be relatively realistic, otherwise there would be no differentiation; everyone and their dog can make a box with wheels and a thruster. Instead these cars should include a nice body, suspension, an engine of some sort, and probably optionally a transmission. Ideally if you’re a good marketing person who understands that creating brand image is important, your cars would share some kind of design lineage. Think RR_Raptor’s Roman military vehicles, similar design aspects, but a wide spectrum of individual characteristics and roles represented all along the line. You could perhaps specialize in making expensive sports cars, or make like Mitsubishi and build a whole assortment of motorized transport from trucks to cars to rally cars to pencils.
Now this is where the whole AMD comparison comes in - these cars will be reviewed by professional car magazine reviewing people. By which I mean the general browsing public of the Facepunch Contraption forums - all one of them. Assuming TB’s duplicator receives a working Upload and Download function sometime in the next second/minute/hour/day/week/month/year/decade/century/millennium your average forum denizen will download the dupe, have a fun test drive with it, and give it a review alongside a complete arbitrary rating out of 10. Possible criteria which could be covered in a review would encompass such aspects of a car like interior, body design, ride smoothness, speed, power, grip, and handling. Of course all relative to cost of the vehicle - which would be determined by some presumably reasonable formula involving number of props, weight of total car, and maybe even number of constraints or some shit. A cheap piece of shit third world country junk car with a 10 horsepower motor going for some 20 dollars could perhaps be seen as better than a cheap piece of shit first world country junk car with a 60 horsepower motor going for 1000 dollars. Performance in this situation would be more relative than absolute - elegance in the way which you get power out of your mechanics is paramount as to whether or not you have designed a good car. An engine weighing 350,000 units constructed out of some imaginary blackhole material is not something that would belong in this competition. If you can pull an AMD and somehow produce cars which are price to performance competitive despite being made out of cast pig iron held together with super glue and dog shit than congratulations!
Now finally, the true aim of this competition is to see if we can start an “arms race” in Gmod engine/transmission/suspension construction techniques, and also foster more activity around here. Ultimately it’d be nice if each brand were able maintain its own thread as an exhibition for its cars, maybe increasing the amount of contraption posting around this place. This concept should also hopefully avoid some pitfalls which have plagued other contests in the past, for example having a small group of judges who can’t afford to be online at all times, or having live racing or battle events which tend to cause server crashes and scheduling headaches more than anything else. It’s also designed to be fairly open in allowing all sorts of skill levels to participate, the amount of Wire in a competition like this is relatively minimal, though optionally it can be used to great extent (Possibly a limitation on just how much though, because E2 is very powerful, and if it biases the competition so that it’s practically required to competitive then it has to be limited), the minimum requirement is merely being able to construct a working engine, a suspension rig and a body.
Now I’ve been up for like 30 hours now so this post might be a little ramble-y and it might not cover some important points. If you have anything to add then please post your suggestions, I am quite curious as to what people think of a competition like this.