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Project CARS (Slightly Mad Studios) / NAMCO Bandai

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The funding side of it is what quite a few indie devs already do, the Wolfire guys are very good at it releasing a nee build (almost) every week with a video on their blog showing what went it that week, how it works and how to access it.

It's the giving a forum a say in the game. Are the concepts they vote on just going to be ideas from the developers or are they going to solicit ideas from them. Everybody keeps an eye on their forums, checks out how gamers respond to new info and ideas, but direct solicitation of ideas could cause issues. Outside ideas would have to be filtered through the dev team, the danger I see is people expecting you to done everything they say because they paid ten bucks.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes, if they do it.

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For small projects with iterative development it's quite a good idea and thus is already happening really. For large projects that would take years to develop it seems a bit crazy I mean look at the sense of entitlement internet people already feel they have to complain about a game, sometimes even when they haven't paid for it. Forums would set on fire at the very least.

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He may wish to look to Minecraft's community for an understanding of just how people react to being "stakeholders" in an unreleased game. There's a lot of good ideas, a lot of middling ideas, and a whole lot of whinging about the game's direction at every step. They can be quite nasty*, but on the upside Notch really doesn't have any obligation to listen to any of them. Trying to satisfy those people when you have a formal responsibility to listen to them could be quite challenging.

*I recall one long, very patronising essay about what Minecraft's supposed to be about that seemed to be describing a game completely unlike the one Notch had actually built so far.

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  • 4 months later...
C.A.R.S. – Financial Details RevealedPosted 1 hour, 40 minutes ago in C.A.R.S. - 0 CommentsIn the past few months, Slightly Mad Studios have already revealed plenty of details on their innovative new concept that is launched with their C.A.R.S. title, allowing sim racers to invest in the upcoming title.The studio has already outlined how investors get to have a say in the direction the title and its content is taking. Furthermore, the investors get to follow a completely transparent development process while enjoying development builds of the title from the get-go.But these perks won’t be the main reason to invest into C.A.R.S. as Slightly Mad Studios are giving a major part of the revenue generated by the title back to the shareholders as a new article in Gamesindustry.biz outlines:Slightly Mad will take 30 per cent of profits with the remainder divided up amongst the community based on the amount of shares in a game they own.Slightly Mad is targeting individuals and fans with shares in the games priced a $5 and $10, $250 options for groups, $1000 for small businesses and large companies and investors can get involved with contributions of $100,000. Longer-term, subscribers can also benefit when PC games are ported to other formats.Based on a two year development cycle at a cost of $5 million, Slightly Mad estimates that a $10 share will return $35 if the game hits a $25 million profit, or 657,000 traditional retail sales. A $250 share will return $875 and a $100,000 share $350,000.Slightly Mad is targeting three million sales of C.A.R.S., a 90 per cent Metacritic and a profit of $52 million. The free-to-play game will include microtransactions priced from 10 cents to $10 and the company has already licensed a number of tracks and manufacturers.In the long run, C.A.R.S. is only the beginning though as Slightly Mad Studios are looking to push their innovative concept way past the confines of the virtual racing genre. Called “World of Mass Development”, the service will be offered to other developers as well who can fund their own titles without being restricted by a big publisher and giving investors insight into a transparent development process while providing a solid financial return for shareholders.“Traditional development puts developers at the mercy of publishers,” Slightly Mad Studios commented. “Although it supplies the necessary funds to develop games with proper QA testing and development cycles, it also makes the development cycle subject to business matters such as financial quarters, company profits and marketing budgets. The development process offered by WMD shifts the focus back to creating great games that your target audience wants to play, whilst still offering the chance to get proper funding for development and testing.
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Slightly Mad is targeting three million sales of C.A.R.S.


I mean good luck to them and all but those are crazy numbers. If they're talking PC it would make them the best selling driving game of all time by a country mile. If they're talking 360 their sim game would have to outsell Halo : ODST.

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I've spent enough time kicking around the hardcore racing sim community in the past to know that it's not that different.

Agree, LFS funded themselves by releasing in stages that the community pay for, and the LFS forums are full of petulant moaners and stupid feature requests.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Slightly Mad Studios have just officially kicked-off their C.A.R.S. project that is being developed on the company’s all-new WMD portal.

WMD (World of Mass Development) will allow interested gamers to participate in the development of the new title by becoming team members, allowing them to check out the development progress in the WMD forum, talk to the developers, participate in key decisions regarding the game’s direction and enjoy development builds of the new title.

Speaking of which, C.A.R.S. doesn’t make its public launch just with a bunch of previews as team members get to enjoy a working build of the upcoming new title right after sign up. Even though the finished C.A.R.S. won’t ship before Thanksgiving 2012, the current build already includes plenty of content to keep team members entertained.

The current build comes with two tracks (Watkins Glen & Imola) and eight different cars, including known machinery such as the Audi R18 TDI Le Mans winner, the Audi A4 DTM, three different historic Lotus F1 cars, two Radicals and a state of the art Formula Car.

Due to licensing still being in progress, the content still sports fictional names despite being a very accurate representation of the real-life vehicles & venues as C.A.R.S. is pushing to become the definitive racing simulation.

The current build allows to try the cars and tracks in practice mode without AI for infinite laps as more features will be added as development of the title continues. To give you an idea of what’s coming up within the next 12 months, here are some of the planned features for the finished title:

Planned Features

- FRANCHISE MODE allows you to carve out a personalized career starting in the Karting world and then progressing on to whichever motorsport specialization you prefer including Rally, Touring Cars, Open-Wheel, GT, Le Mans, and many more!

- Play CO-OP with a friend as Driver/Co-Driver

- FULL TEAM MANAGEMENT… Have a large number of friends? Create, manage, and compete together!

- Experience the excitement of PIT STOPS like you’ve never seen before!

- Revolutionary PIT-2-CAR RADIO gives you the strategic advantage

- DYNAMIC Time Of Day & Localized Weather make every race unique and challenging

- 10+ GAME MODES covering every form of motorsport

- CLOUD-BASED SOCIAL NETWORK allows you to connect with friends, compare times & scores, compete and challenge each other, and share content

- USER-GENERATED CONTENT – Create your own liveries, decals, tuning setups, and even events! Then share them with the world – either for free, in-game credits or even real money!

- PUSHING TO THE LIMITS – Advanced physics, lighting, and AI

To ensure a realistic experience, Slightly Mad Studios have teamed up with none other than Ben Collins, the man who spent seven years being “The Stig” on BBC’s popular Top Gear automotive show.

“I’m delighted to be working on the C.A.R.S. project to create the best racing simulation in the world! Computer ‘games’ and simulations have become integral to success on the race track and I will be applying all my racing knowledge to provide handling input and advice to the builds on a regular basis,” Collins commented.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the project’s contributors at the trackday events and working with SMS’s team of experts, whose passion and pedigree will be key to the development of this incredibly exciting new model.”

Below are three previews to whet your appetite. To join WMD and start playing the build today, follow the steps below. Interested sim racers can become team members for as little as $10, entitling them to monthly development builds and participation in the WMD forums.

Taken from Imola

Slightly Mad Studios have announced a licensing deal with the British Motorsport Vision group to allow four popular UK tracks to be added to their in-development C.A.R.S. title.

Motorsport Vision operates five race tracks in the United Kingdom, four of which will be drivable in C.A.R.S. as Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton & Cadwell Park have been announced as upcoming additions to the title.

The choice of tracks provides an interesting variety, including a well-known international touring car venue like Brands Hatch and less-known but stunning driving venues like Cadwell Park which has earned a reputation for being Britain’s mini version of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

SMS is cutting no corners in terms of production as all four tracks will be laser-scanned for maximum accuracy, allowing the developers to capture the smallest details down to 2mm. For more info on C.A.R.S. and the recently-launched WMD portal, check out this story

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  • 3 weeks later...
Slightly Mad Studios have revealed the first five officially-licensed cars to make it into their developing C.A.R.S. title.

The title’s choice of cars will be enriched by five fully-licensed vehicles, including a road going supercar, a sports prototype and some quirky lightweight sports car machinery.

Included are the Gumpert Apollo Sport, the Palmer Jaguar JP-LM and three versions of the Ariel Atom, including the mighty powerful V8 version at the sharp end.

C.A.R.S. Licensed Cars List

GUMPERT apollo sport

Palmer Jaguar JP-LM

Ariel Atom

Ariel Atom Mugen

Ariel Atom V8

For much more in-depth info on these five car models, check out the WMD website.

In related news, race driver and former “Stig” Ben Collins has shared his first impressions of the pre-alpha version of C.A.R.S.

Collins works as a Physics & Handling Consultant on the team and has been impressed with the physics of the early versions, comparing it to professional-grade simulators he’s been using as part of his race driver career:

So far my impression of this sim is that the physics are very similar to the Le Mans / F1 simulator we’ve been using this year at Wirth Research for the Le Mans Series, which is very impressive.

The graphics are mega and track realism is extremely close for such an early stage in development. If this is the early stages the end result could be stunning.

Every interested sim racer can become Team Member for a one-time price of 25€ to enjoy weekly development builds and up-close access to follow the development progress of C.A.R.S. For more info on pricing and benefits, check out the WMD website.

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