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Video Game / TORCS

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The Open Racing Car Simulator (or simply TORCS as an abbreviation) is an open-source Racing Game, which as the title implies, is intended to be a simulation of racing cars. Stable Windows versions were first released in 2005.

TORCS' main draw is the ability to program new AI drivers from scratch from the ground up, as shown by the activity on the TORCS Racing Board [1], a forum allowing AI programmers to compete against each other in various races using the game as a medium.


Tropes relevant to TORCS:

  • Artificial Stupidity : The "Inferno" AI drivers before version 1.3 have a really bad tendency to go way too fast through corners, and have worse collision detection abilities the faster they go. Overlaps with Drives Like Crazy.
    • The "BT"note  AI drivers will almost invariably stick to the middle of the road, causing them to be far slower than the "proper" Berniw AI drivers.
  • Brand X : In all releases after 1.2.4 - all of the car names are simply things like "car2-trb1". Additionally, after 1.3.2, numerous cars sport sponsorship from "Software Engineering".
  • Critical Existence Failure : Played straight. A car comes to a halt and is lifted away from the track if it suffers more than 10,000 damage.
  • Driving Stick : The player can choose between auto and manual transmissions.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin : The title, duh.
  • Hit Points : Every car has 10,000 of 'em.
  • Wronski Feint : Easy to pull off against Inferno AI drivers in 1.2.4 and before, mainly because of their habit of going into corners way too hot.

Speed Dreams (started off as TORCS-NG) is a "fork" of the TORCS project, which aims to be an improved "game". Notable features include several new classes of cars, improved AI, and improved graphics.

Much of the TORCS content is forwards-compatible with Speed Dreams given some changes to fit some of the new additions, but the basic architecture is practically identical.

Tropes relevant to Speed Dreams:

In addition to the above, plus...

  • Alliterative Name : A few of the AI drivers. Ami Akechi, Kaito Kinoshita, and May/Mai Maeda.
  • Artificial Stupidity : Despite being faster than Simplix-type AI drivers, the USR-type AI drivers have a really bad tendency to cut corners even when it's unsafe (such as when passing) or impossible (into a wall).
  • Author Avatar : The development team members are some of the AI opponents.
  • Bland-Name Product : Like in TORCS, cars also have their names changed. However, unlike TORCS, the names are more "namey" (for example, car2-trb1 in TORCS is a Boxer TRB-RS in Speed Dreams).
  • Brand X : Many cars are sponsored by "Freio" brand brakes.
  • But Not Too Foreign : TRB1-class AI driver Marcelo Takeda, a half-Japanese, half-Brazilian driver.
  • Cool Car : Despite being bland-name replacements for actual cars, the majority of models are based on pretty cool cars (the Archer R-9 is based off of the Aston-Martin DBR9 as an example)
  • Dummied Out : In version 2.0 - the Cavallo 570S1 (a Ferrari 550 GT) was cut from release.
    • 2.0 was supposed to ship with a network mode, but the development team member working on it left, thus the mode had to be dropped. Same with Career mode.
    • From diving into the developers' SVN file repository, Le Mans Prototypes were supposed to make an appearance in 2.1, but were cut due to the developer of them leaving.
  • Gratuitous Japanese : AI drivers Yuuki Kyousou and Yukie Tsuchigami.
    • The Boxer TRB1 cars driven by the USR AI drivers are littered with catchphrases of various anime characters on the right-hand side.
  • Idol Singer : Yukie Tsuchigami, according to file data in the drivers' directory.
  • Itasha : Sort of. In 1.4 there were a few anime-style liveries for the Cavallo 570S1, but these were cut from the 2.0 release.
  • Multinational Team : The development team. To a lesser extent, some of the AI teams.
  • Shout-Out : Particularly prominent in the Longday Series GT1 skins.
    • Nearly all of the cars have tire sidewalls referring to the Leek Spin meme.
    • The Archer R-9 has two skins which directly reference Key Visual Arts' visual novels: a Gulf Racing-lookalike titled "Uguu" and a Jet Alliance lookalike with a title sponsor called Dango Alliance.
    • If you look closely, all of the drivers are using Yuyu Co. brand seat belts and helmets.
      • Additionally, a few cars have "Turn 9 Studios" decals on them - most likely a friendly jab at Turn 10 Studios, developers of Forza Motorsport.
    • The "telemachi" skin for the Zentek Z7-R is a completely non-subtle reference to Nanoha.
    • Dreamer's Club, a sponsor for one of the Toro R-GT AI driver liveries, is a nod at Dream C Club.
    • Some of the billboards on various tracks mention Amami-branded tires.
      • Continuing on the Idolmaster theme, the livery for USR AI drivers using the Zentek Z7-R is sponsored by 763 Productions... which also doubles as a Touhou reference. note 
    • Trackside billboards on Espie and Brondehach mention Kupo brand brakes. Several cars also sport sponsorship decals from this company.
    • NetKar also gets shouted out, in the form of an AI driver - Stefano Kudos (referencing the creator of NetKar, Stefano "Kunos" Casillo).
    • TORCS itself gets a shout-out in the form of a track name - "Espie" is named after a founder of the TORCS project, a Frenchman named Eric Espie. To top it off, the track takes place in France. To emphasize the TORCS reference even further, it's a remake of a track from TORCS.
  • Stealth Pun and Punny Name : Emma Pergusa and Sophia de la Sarthe, girls named after real-world circuits (Enna-Pergusa and Circuit de la Sarthe, respectively). Dummied Out of the 2.0 release since they drove the Cavallo 570S1 mentioned above.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler + Those Wacky Nazis : Some of the few downloadable AI drivers in Speed Dreams are named after real-life racing drivers of pre-WWII Grand Prix, like Rudolf Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer of Nazi Germany. Their racing cars are also downloadable.

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