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Rich Yasi, a name I have seen countless times scrolling upwards on the screen in the credits of some of the finest racing simulations ever created. Every time I saw this name, I was happy, I’d just spent time doing something I truly loved.

Last time we heard from him he worked at Papyrus for their final days, and that’s really a shame because the products he was involved with really made a difference to sim racing, which means he made a difference to sim racing. Let’s find out more about him…

Rich, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I guess the first thing to ask would be where you grew up? Was there an interest in computers and racing?

I grew up in Wakefield, MA, which is about 10 miles north of Boston. Basically a typical middle-class life in a sleepy little suburb. Don’t get me wrong – I have no complaints! Re: interest in racing, I’ve been interested in racing and cars in general for as long as I can remember. I basically grew up in the back seat of my dad’s 1971 Camaro, and I still think those second-gen F-body cars were the best. As a kid I collected Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars obsessively, and I had miles of that plastic orange track with the purple connectors – I used to run that track down the stairs of my old house and drive my mother crazy… From there I graduated to slot cars, and I was an AFX guy all the way because that’s what Jackie Stewart endorsed!

Racing-wise, I always gravitated to the open-wheelers, and Mario Andretti was my guy! Having said that, back then (as now) NASCAR dominated the TV coverage in the US, and I used to love watching Richard Petty and David Pearson duke it out on the NASCAR side.

As for computers, it started out as an interest in videogames. Just after Christmas of 1976, I went to my cousins’ house and played my first video game – a Pong clone made by Coleco (a Telstar something or other…) which they’d just gotten for Christmas. My 7-year old brain was blown away. Then, my local bowling alley got the Sprint arcade game, and that was my first exposure to “computer racing” in any form. Looking back, I suppose that’s where the path to Papyrus began.

What were your career goals prior to working at Papyrus? What education did you have and how were you hired?

After high school, my plan was to be involved in the financial sector in some way, so when I went to Boston College in the fall of 1987, the intent was to major in finance, but I wound up switching to accounting. The economy was going south, and I was told that I’d have an easier time getting a job with the Accounting degree, so that’s what I did.

So after graduating in 1991, I went to work as an accountant, and while the money was good, it was a real slog. I burned out fairly quickly, and after a few years I was looking to make a change. Then, one day, I was having an issue with my newly purchased NASCAR Racing computer game, and I needed to call Papyrus’ tech support department. After getting the number in the manual, I saw much to my astonishment that they were located in Somerville, MA – about 20 minutes away from me! Since I was looking for a change anyway, I thought that maybe I could get in touch with them and get a foot in the door somehow – maybe even as an accountant. So, I looked in the Boston Globe’s job listings, and there it was – an ad from Papyrus looking for “game testers.” It was the summer of ’95, and they were red hot at the time. Copies of NASCAR Racing were flying off the shelves, and they were trying to get a handle on their explosive growth. They were hiring testers like crazy, so I went in, interviewed for a testing job, and got it. I think it helped that I not only had owned and played the hell out of every one of their games dating back to Indy 500, but that I also managed to beat a few of their employees in a multiplayer race on a very early version of their “Hawaii” multiplayer racing system. I had to take a decent pay cut to take that job, but it was absolutely worth it.

What was the first product you were involved with in any capacity?

I started as a tester for the track pack for the original NASCAR Racing game. I was one of the few testers who didn’t mind spending time on the Sears Point track. Matt Sentell and I had some great duels at that place.

That must have been an insane time to work there before you moved into the design role. This means you worked there during the transition from Virgin to Sierra? How was that? And how was this sold as a positive to employees?

Well to be honest, being near the bottom rung of the ladder at that point, it didn’t really affect me at all. My job didn’t change in the least. I don’t recall it being much of a big deal in terms of some huge meeting with Sierra reps coming out and giving us a pep talk about how this was going to be great for all of us, etc. Maybe that DID happen – but if it did it clearly left no impression on me whatsoever…

I do remember not being happy at all that Grand Prix Legends had to be saddled with the “Sierra Sports” brand, because frankly the other products under that brand were pretty forgettable. Sierra had some serious delusions of grandeur thinking they’d go toe to toe with EA, but I suppose it’s better to swing big than leave the bat on your shoulder.

What was the first product you designed for Papyrus?

I think the first full proper design credit was for Grand Prix Legends (more on this later). Before then, starting with NASCAR Racing 2 I’d moved from tester to “Primary Test Driver”, which basically meant I was the guy who drove the lap files for the AI, tweaked the .ini files, and worked with the applicable engineers to get the AI to behave properly. In the meantime, I had also been helping out with design documentation.

Sierra seemed to go all-in on the Rendition graphics pipeline between 1996-1998 at a time when most people didn’t even have a gaming graphics card. What challenges did this bring in terms of development? Did Papyrus agree at one time that it was the way forward?

Yeah, I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Rendition version of IndyCar 2. What an incredible leap in terms of the level of immersion into the sim. I mean, Papyrus sims brought high-end PCs to their knees anyway; people would routinely upgrade their hardware just to run our stuff. I know because I was one of them! Then the whole 3D thing started happening, and while it was obvious to all of us that we needed to jump on that train ASAP, from a business standpoint it was incredibly frustrating because the market was so fractured. You had all these proprietary renderers like Rendition and 3DFX, and technologies like Direct 3D and OpenGL were in their infancy, and frankly just not as good as the others. We didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the market to determine a winner, so we had to pick a horse. Papyrus picked Rendition. Of course, with 20/20 hindsight it wound up being the wrong choice, but it made sense at the time. That would come back to bite us big time when the time came for Grand Prix Legends to hit the shelves.

I do understand why Papyrus backed Rendition. They really were ahead of everyone else at one point. I never had one at the time, but did recently get a Rendition card working (see 320p/SVGA 480p/Rendition/Rendition + Rendition Track comparison above). Unfortunately there’s no demand for a wrapper like there was for 3DFX and early versions of D3D, so you have to have a real Rendition GPU to experience it today.

What effect did “the split” of IndyCar have on plans at Papyrus? Was there supposed to be an IndyCar Racing 3?

That was tough, because the open-wheel enthusiasts (myself included) all knew that it was going to be devastating to the sport, and of course it was. Couple that with the purchase of Papyrus by Sierra, and I’m sure they saw the monster sales we had from NASCAR 2 and said, “Uh, you guys need to stick to NASCAR.” I don’t recall if an official pitch for an IndyCar 3 was ever made at that time – we DID make one much later, as we were going through our death throes – but I think we all understood that moving forward, it was going to be about NASCAR, and potentially F1.

Editor’s note: Sierra’s InterAction Magazine mentioned in 1998 that CART licensing had been extended through 2003, but it seems like this was pushed along with the original NASCAR Racing 3 for a lot of the same reasons. This licensing timeline is backed up by the mention of a CART license below from 1997.

It seems that CART Racing 2 / IndyCar Racing III simply never got far enough into a product design to pass across Rich’s desk.

Sad to hear again that ICR3/CART2 never had a chance to even be a thing. I saw a Papyrus company newsletter (above) that mentioned those F1 discussions. How close did that get?

Ah yes, F1. Of course that was the Holy Grail for most of us, and we certainly went after it, but like everything else even tangentially related to F1, the licensing fees were just insanely expensive, and we simply weren’t in position to compete. I certainly wasn’t involved in any of the negotiations, but from what I remember, we didn’t really get close.

I know that Papyrus had a PlayStation and a number of Mac releases through third-parties, was there ever plans to do more titles on other platforms than PC?

Well back in the late 90’s the consoles of the day had no hope of running the GPL physics engine well. Over time, of course, that changed, and the market began to shift heavily away from the PC and toward the consoles. I don’t know what the extent of the console development effort was as we reached the end of the line, but I’m sure the corporate overlords would have been thrilled if we had thrown all our efforts that way and wouldn’t have shed a tear if we abandoned the PC. That was tough, because a lot of us had little interest in making console games. We were about leading-edge technology and providing our users with the closest possible experience of what it’s like to drive a race car, and that simply can’t be done on an NTSC television with a game pad!

Grand Prix Legends is certainly the product I saw your name in the credits most of all. What was your involvement in the design, development and marketing?

I wasn’t involved in the marketing other than doing a few interviews, but I was pretty heavily involved in everything else – except the actual programming, which of course was the domain of Dave Kaemmer, Randy Cassidy, and so many other great engineers. Although I will say that I did an awful lot of tweaking various .ini files to get them “just right”… Matt Sentell and I did a lot of the heavy lifting re: feature set, the UI, and the sound design. Then of course there was the matter of the actual functional design spec, which basically was my creation. That thing was 250+ pages at one point! Dave of course was the guardian at the gate, and rightfully so, because he’d been working on that physics engine for several years, and it was his baby. He had a small picture in his office which showed a guy in a business suit bent over with his head buried in the sand. Anyway, as we got toward the end of the project and the pressure was really ramping up for all of us, if one of us went to him and requested an 11th-hour feature, he’d just shake his head, point at that picture, and resume hammering away at his keyboard. Funny stuff!

Since GPL was based on the 1967 season, another big part of my job on GPL was making sure everything I was involved in was as historically accurate as possible, whenever and wherever it WAS possible. Of course, it simply WASN’T possible in many areas – most notably in terms of licenses, but I think we did a pretty good job on that front. There were at least three cases in which Matt Sentell came up to me and said, “You know, I just talked to , and he said he was atin ’67, and he remembers being different from how we have it.” I’d show Matt my source material, and he’d look at me and grin and say, “Yep, we’ve got it right.” That was always very gratifying!

Finally, I had the task of once again being the Primary Test Driver on the project, which was particularly difficult for GPL. It was one thing to race around and generate AI lap files on a 1-mile oval with just the bare necessities in place, meaning the basic track “ribbon” geometry with NO features or textures, but try that on the ‘67 Nurburgring! Well, I had to just that, and it was one hell of a way to have to learn that track…

It truly is something to be very proud of. Grand Prix Legends truly is a work of art and I think most of the community are still incredibly grateful that it was made. On the subject of realism there are three obvious things that leap out at me; Rouen, Coventy and Murasama. Were Papyrus simply unable to get the Le Mans (Bugatti), Cooper and Honda licenses done? Or was Rouen a design choice?

I didn’t deal directly with the whole licensing thing. That was the domain of the amazing Leslie Sanders, and wow she did a great job. But here’s what I do remember:

– Re: Rouen, that was an audible called on our side. The Bugatti circuit at Le Mans was HATED by the drivers at the time, and we weren’t thrilled with it either, especially since Rouen was SO much better. I’m glad we made that call, because it’s probably my second-favorite track in the game, after the ‘Ring of course!

– Re: Cooper, my memory is that we were able to get in touch with John Cooper and he was all for having his car in the game, but they were in the process of their big deal with BMW, and so nobody was really sure about who absolutely held the rights to that stuff. So it didn’t get done.

– Re: Honda, I have a vague memory of getting the approval either on the day we shipped or a couple of days later. I thought surely we’d just add it in a patch, but we didn’t, so maybe there’s more to that story.

– Coventry and Murasama were my creations, obviously replacing Cooper and Honda. I was originally going to name the Coventry car the YR19 (my initials plus my favorite number) but I thought that would be too much on the nose, so I watered it down to just 19R. Murasama basically was a variation of muramasa, which was a Japanese sword-like weapon, and I always liked how that word sounded.

– As for the missing drivers, the big one of course was Jackie Stewart, and my recollection is that he either wanted too much money or was involved in a game project of his own – possibly both. Mike Spence (Stewart’s BRM teammate) also was omitted, and I have no idea whatsoever what the story is behind that.

There appeared to be a number of features left out of Grand Prix Legends that were visible in Sierra magazines such as wet weather. Was that ever actually developed enough to make release?

Oh God there was a LOT of stuff that didn’t make the final cut. I don’t think weather was worked on all that much because in order to do it right, it would have involved a massive effort that ultimately wasn’t worth it considering we didn’t have unlimited time or money, and there was SO much other new stuff that was being included. As far as other cut features, we originally planned on having a fully-developed F3 and F2-level experience that players would need to get through before we threw them into the F1-level cars. In other words, a real career-mode “racing ladder” experience. We also wanted to add a “team manager” type of experience where a player could actually create their own team and feel what it was like to basically be Jack Brabham – not only driving the car but being responsible for hiring teammates and improving the car, all within the constraints of a budget so that wrecking a car would have serious long-term implications. Another thing that didn’t make the cut was having the cars evolve during the course of a championship season, so (for example) the player wouldn’t be able to hop into a Lotus 49 until it made its first appearance at Zandvoort in the third race of the year. One other thing I wanted to have was the possibility of simulating driver injury (but never death, of course) so that a big crash might force the player to miss a few races while “recuperating”. There also was a plan to include the full 10km Monza track with the banking (it was called Monza ’61), since that served as the climax to John Frankenheimer’s film Grand Prix – and because it was just so damn cool. I’m sure I’m forgetting many others, but the version of GPL which hit the shelves was barebones in many ways. Oh, and there was one more thing – I wanted to have a “custom” difficulty mode where players could dial in their own race distance, AI strength, damage model level, etc., but unfortunately, I wound up losing that fight!

Those are all such good ideas, but I can understand some of them being left out in time became an issue (apart from custom difficulty, which I think would have helped sales). Why do you think both Grand Prix Legends and NASCAR Legends didn’t sell as well as expected?

Well, in both cases the subject matter didn’t help. Simply speaking, most people don’t care all that much about historical racing; they only care about the current stuff. We knew this going in, and that was tough for me personally, because I absolutely preferred 1967 F1 and 1970 NASCAR to their modern counterparts.

With GPL, the whole 3D graphics business was a massive factor. That game required a monster machine to run well anyway, and being F1, its intrinsic appeal was much higher in Europe and around the world as opposed to the US. Back in the late 90’s, those regions tended to be about a year behind the US in terms of the capabilities of the average home PC, so the bottom line was pretty simple: most of the people who wanted to play the game in the first place simply didn’t have the hardware to do it.

The other thing about GPL was that it was just plain HARD. Although we were ultimately able to include the low-powered cars, you could only test with them – not race – and most people get tired of that awfully quickly. So people were practically forced into the F1 cars right from the get-go, and when you combine that with a likely glacier-like frame rate and a standard joystick controller, driving the car anywhere close to competently became a virtually impossible task for an awful lot of people.

With NASCAR Legends, I think some people saw it as little more than a simple re-skinning of NASCAR 3, and in a lot of ways that’s what it was. Also, it was released right on the heels of NASCAR 3, and I’m sure a lot of folks just didn’t see the need to buy both.

Oh, absolutely GPL was hard… What a shock! I bought GPL because I bought all the sims (still do), and I fully admit to being so frustrated I uninstalled it and didn’t touch it again for about a month after first trying it. It took me a long time to develop the patience to keep trying. The transition from “2D” to “3D” physics was tough!

I seem to recall there being some disappointment in the community about NASCAR 3 and NASCAR Legends because early press stated it would use GPL’s physics. I remember being quite satisfied by N3 in the end because it worked so well on my 3DFX cards. Were you involved in the cancelled NASCAR 3 that was supposed to use the “3D physics”? Were there any planned features we never saw in NASCAR 4?

Well, what started as NASCAR 3 ultimately became NASCAR 4. Basically, we had to get a new NASCAR product out, and Dave, Randy, and co. simply didn’t have enough time to adapt the GPL engine quite that quickly and add in the whole new tire model necessary for a modern NASCAR product. So, it was decided that NASCAR 3 would use the old engine, and it worked like a charm. It sold well, and it bought us enough time for the guys to finish adapting GPL for use in a NASCAR game.

As far as my role on N3 (and NASCAR Legends), it was much the same as GPL in terms of the actual tasks, but it was far less exciting because it wasn’t cutting edge in any way, and there was very little in terms of new features. I don’t think it was ever the intent for NASCAR Legends to use the GPL engine, but I could be wrong about that.

NASCAR 4, on the other hand, WAS a lot of fun because a lot of the handicaps GPL faced were simply no longer there. The 3D market had evolved to the point where a lot of people could afford machines which would let them experience that physics engine and the new lighting and shadow effects in their full glory, the cars were easier to drive, and we were simulating a modern sport with strong appeal in the biggest market at the time, the US. As far as missing features for N4, there were things like time scaling tire wear and fuel use, adaptive AI, the video editor, and my personal favorite: tutorials! Unlike GPL, though, most of the stuff that was originally intended for N4 eventually did see the light of day in NASCAR 2002 or 2003.

Which was your favorite product to make, and why?

It’s not even close – Grand Prix Legends all the way. The subject matter, the physics engine, the massively enhanced multiplayer capability… It was just a pleasure to work on. From a personal career standpoint, it was good for me because I had much more responsibility on that project than I ever had before.

Oh – one quick story about the GPL sequel. What? Yes, for about two weeks, there was a GPL sequel. I wrote up a design outline for something called Grand Prix Legends ’72, which of course would have simulated the 1972 F1 season. About 3 minutes after I distributed that document to the relevant people, one of them – who shall remain nameless – came storming into my office. He was clutching my document in one hand and his face was as white as a sheet. I asked him what was wrong, he pointed at the track list, and the conversation went something like this:

HIM: Argentina???

ME: Yeah, it came back onto the calendar that year.

HIM: Oh, that’s great. Argentina. You know what’s going to happen if I have to go to Argentina to get what we need?

ME: Uh… no?

HIM: Well, let me put it this way. There’s a good chance you’ll get a phone call from someone in the Buenos Aires police, and they’ll tell you they’ve just found my dead body in the hotel’s bathtub, and that my organs were harvested!

True story.

Editor’s note: In 1999 Argentina entered an economic depression that made headlines around the world and will have given the impression it was a very dangerous place to be.

Oh, man! The community somehow knew about Grand Prix Legends ’72 as it was mentioned all the time. There were letter writing campaigns and all sorts of efforts made trying to persuade Sierra that it was a good idea. It probably wasn’t, of course, but we wanted it anyway! We even had an Argentine guy called Arturo very active in the community who could have served as a personal bodyguard, if required.

I don’t really like high downforce cars and 1972-1977 would have been a terrific period to do a fully-fledged championship simulation of mid-downforce F1. Such a shame (screams internally).

So… Who is Fred Jones?

Ah – good old Fred! That name dates to before my time, so I don’t know if that was a real person or not. If so, it was likely someone connected with Dave or one of the other bigwigs at the time! I DO know that starting with IndyCar 2, many of the fictitious drivers in the games were named after people I know. It was always a nice little perk for me, and it was fun because sometimes, a diehard player would connect the dots when they happened to bump into one of the real people! At least two of my friends with – let’s just say extremely uncommon names – were asked by a very confused person if they ever raced in NASCAR or IndyCar and of course my friend would roll his eyes and say, “No, my friend Rich worked on that game, and he thought it would be funny to put me in there…”

What were some of the best practices you saw in-place at Papyrus that contributed to success?

I know it’s cliché, but to me it was more about people than practices, and although there were many people who contributed to that success, for me the Papyrus story begins and ends with Dave Kaemmer, period. It was all about his relentless pursuit of creating the ultimate driving simulation, and that pursuit continues to this day with iRacing. Even after Papyrus was sold and he became a wealthy man, that level of drive was still there. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think he just eventually got fed up when it became clear that the corporate overlords weren’t going to let Papyrus do much, if anything, outside of the NASCAR world, and that kind of future just didn’t interest him. So, he left, and it didn’t take long for the edifice to crumble after that, did it?

It’s really sad how often this seems to happen. Papyrus were always on the cutting-edge with vector graphics, texture mapping, external replay views, supporting Rendition, 3DFX, D3D, OpenGL, etc, during that period where the best-selling graphics card chip changed every week, not to even mention physics. I can’t tell you how sad I was back in 2004, but for those of you on the inside I’m sure it was worse… How did you find out about the Papyrus closure, and how did that affect you?

Well, it was a huge blow when EA threw a pile of money at NASCAR and was able to get the exclusive license. At the same time, Sierra’s other divisions were struggling, and our ultimate owners Vivendi were absolutely hemorrhaging red ink and involved in a massive tax scandal. So, the writing was on the wall, and given our licensing situation, it didn’t take long to figure out that we had suddenly become extremely expendable. For a little while, we went through a period of submitting non-NASCAR proposals, but they fell upon deaf ears. Then, we were told flat out that we were on the chopping block, but being a far-flung outpost of the Vivendi empire, it took a few months for them to get around to giving us the axe.

The last few weeks were truly surreal. Since we weren’t allowed to do anything to save our necks, the only reason to show up to work was… to show up to work. Some of the guys worked on helping out the Project Wildfire folks, and some of us worked on our resumes – not knowing what was happening behind the scenes with the whole iRacing thing, but more on that later. Some days we’d take 3 hours in the middle of the day and go to the movies, or go bowling, or to the driving range. One day we even turned the office into a miniature golf course. That’s how ridiculous it got.

As for how I felt, I was devastated, but I was also kind of puzzled by how calmly many of my co-workers seemed to be taking the news. When I’d talk to them about it, they’d just kind of shrug it off and say something like, “Hey, we all knew it was coming,” and then they’d change the subject. Of course, there was a good reason for them to act that way, but we’ll get to that later… As far as I was concerned though, I was losing my dream job after more than NINE years. I wasn’t too worried about finding something else, but I knew that whatever the next job would be, there was no chance it could possibly be as great as this one had been.

I have seen a ‘The Simpsons’ racing game prototype that I assume was one of those final projects, and it’s sad that this wasn’t the weirdest thing you guys were up to in those final days. What do you think Papyrus would have done next had they not closed?

Well, if we take the “Pie in the Sky” route I would love to have done another modern open-wheel sim, with F1 being the obvious choice, but CART would have been just fine with me too. And of course I would love to have made GPL ’72 a reality. But realistically, there was no chance of any of the above actually happening. Having said that, I do think we could have really done something with the whole Black Ice street racing thing. Of course that’s been done to death ever since then, but we had a great time coming up with that concept, and we were excited about it. But it’s all spilled milk at this point, right?

Sadly, it seems so. And it sounds like a lot of other people seemed to know they’d end up working together again so none of this bothered them so much. Were you contacted or did you have any interest in joining others from Papyrus with iRacing?

And now we come to THE question… Well, while I certainly had interest in continuing over to iRacing, I was not asked to do so. I’m not privy to the recruiting timeline regarding those who WERE invited, but I must say they did a remarkable job of keeping the whole thing quiet. Looking back, there were several Oscar-worthy performances as we packed our boxes and said our goodbyes on that last day. I certainly knew that John Henry and Dave were getting something together, but beyond that, I was in the dark. I only found out the extent of the migration a few days later after talking to a couple of other ex-Papys – both of whom did go on iRacing and are still there. And no, I won’t tell you who they are! However, I did at least manage to learn from one of them that I wasn’t asked to continue because they “didn’t see a need for my skill set at that time.” I suppose they could have laughed at me and told me they thought I sucked, but in the end the result was the same. At least I got some closure, and I guess that counts for something.

Anyway, I freely admit that I didn’t handle it well, and I was pretty bitter about the whole thing for a long time. But, as they say, time heals all wounds, and now I look back on the vast majority of my time at Papyrus as a positive experience, and I no longer harbor any grudges, which is unusual for me!

I can understand how you felt. I’ve had a similar experience that took time to cool down on as well to see it was nothing personal. I guess one of the main differences with iRacing vs. Papyrus is that it is a single product… Not much for you to design once things are in-place.

Hopefully you landed on your feet? What are you doing now?

Well, after Papyrus, I spent about six years as a producer/designer at a game company called ImaginEngine in Framingham. Then, I had a couple of contracts outside the game industry as a project manager, and by 2013 I was doing contract design, QA, and production work for one of my former ImaginEngine bosses. Then came a period when I had to deal with some serious health issues in my family, and I basically became a health care worker. But that all passed (no pun intended) and in fact, just a couple of years ago I was set to do some contract writing work for iRacing (basically updating their documentation), but just as that was about to kick off, I had a bit of a health setback myself, so it didn’t happen. However, it was nice to get in touch with them again, and I’m glad I didn’t set that bridge ablaze.

So, to answer the original question, now I’m feeling better and I’m enjoying semi-retirement. I tried “full retirement”, but I started to go nuts; having nothing to do isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Anyway, now I do the occasional bit of contract work for a different boss from my ImaginEngine days, and that helps me maintain my sanity more than anything else. I’m in a good place now, and I’m thankful.

I’m glad things are going better now. I saw an interview perhaps 20 years ago where you discussed enjoying classic games. What are you playing now? How long has it been since you fired up something that’s now classic Papyrus?

I have a 3-monitor setup with some nice Thrustmaster racing gear, along with an iRacing subscription, but I rarely use any of it. As for playing the old stuff, I used to play GPL all the time, but now it’s a real bear to get it to run on a modern system, and I just don’t have the patience to jump through those hoops. Most of my gaming these days is of the tabletop variety, and I really love it. It’s my #1 hobby and passion these days. As for my current gaming on the PC, it’s usually an old-school shooter, a real-time strategy game, my MAME emulator, or a virtual board game on the Board Game Arena service.

Hopefully this trip down memory lane will give you an impulse to climb back into the cockpit, and if you want any help on GPL I’m sure the guys over at srmz.net have an easy-install option for you. Do you have any opinions on the state of sim racing as it is right now? What features you feel may still be lacking?

I’ve got to hand it to iRacing. They’ve stuck it out, and what they’ve managed to build over there is remarkable. They’re the undisputed leader when it comes to the kind of racing sim I used to love and was proud to work on for 9+ years. Hopefully their reign at the top will continue for many years to come.

I don’t really race much anymore, but I was encouraged to hear that iRacing was adding AI into the mix. Trying to get the AI to “behave” was a big part of what I used to do, and I’m glad they’ve decided to work on that. Having excellent AI is a really tough nut to crack, but it’s a challenge worth pursuing, and I’m rooting hard for them.

Yes on the AI! I do feel like it was forgotten about by most developers for far too many years. While I always value the competition human vs. human it’s become almost impossible for me the past few years to carve out enough undisturbed time to practice and race online. I’ve started to rely on AI far more in my sim racing.

If you have nothing else to add I think this is an excellent place to wrap this up. I really appreciate you allowing me to put a little more of a person to the name that I have read so many thousands of times.

Thanks! It’s very gratifying that the games we made still resonate so strongly all these years later. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more definitive with some of my answers, but we’re talking a quarter of a century’s worth of time after all. It was a fun trip down memory lane.

Thank YOU, Rich!

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About RSC

Back from the ashes since July, 2019. First created in 2001 with the merger of Legends Central (founded 1999) and simracing.dk.

A site by a sort of sim racer, for sim racers, about racing sims. News and information on both modern and historic sim racing software titles.

All products and licenses property of their respective owners. Some links on this Web site pay RSC a commission or credit. Advertising does not equal endorsement.

Podcast

Podcast micJoin Jon Denton, Tim Wheatley and Simon Croft as they discuss sim racing and racing games past, present and future.