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Tycho / 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately, or… I mean, I guess we'll see how it turns out, Mike Krahulik was invited to an iRacing Pro Am event. You have to take that opportunity when it comes to you. That being said, it's in Rallycross, which we don't have supreme experience in, and it is on a track called Hell.

The track is actually called Lankebanen as far as I know, but the Hell portion does get played up, even in the official branding:

But we're ready to give it our best, to approach a match played with and against people who race for a living, professionals, people I literally saw driving in the "Best Of Rallycross" compilations I was watching so I could understand how to spot.  We will require deep magic.  No doubt Gavin Greco's custom livery will defend and comfort us like a sacred aegis.  Also, obviously, shoutout to Carl, our lollipop man.

And so that's what we'll be doing today on the stream from 2pm until the event is over or we're knocked unconscious by the fear and pressure steadily building in our skulls. The race starts at 3 or so, practice/qualification and then several heats to break up the pack. If you aren't familiar with Rallycross, and you're arriving as we have from the gaming side of this sport, you'll be startled by an incredibly interesting piece of "game design" called the Joker Lap - essentially there is an alternate route built into the course itself, typically a substantial variation on one of the turns, and one of the laps you take during the race needs to be on that other route and you choose when to take it. It's a novel strategic consideration in a form of racing that is already weirdly intimate and terrifying. They're also doing an "inverse grid," for this race, where the slower drivers start at the front of the pack. This essentially transforms our car into something between "prey" and "terrain" for these ravenous predators, which… I hope will be fun for somebody.

(CW)TB out.

Gabe / 2 weeks ago

Sim Racing V.2

My racing obsession continues to intensify and it seems to be catching. Judging by my twitter feed and the folks I talk to during my streams, Motorsport madness has gripped a lot of you. In fact just last night we had our very first Penny Arcade league race in iRacing and it was an absolute blast! 

Watch Gabir Motors from PennyArcade on

As more and more people have been tuning into the streams and trying sim racing for themselves, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my setup. I’ve actually been doing a lot of work on it over the past month and I figured I’d share what I learned here.

First of all, I’m still rocking the F-GT from Next Level Racing

This is a solid frame and it has been able to accommodate the various upgrades I’ve made to the rest of the setup. I still feel like this is a great middle of the road cockpit and I have no plans to upgrade. 

One of the first upgrades I made was to switch from a 43” television to the Samsung CHG90 49” Ultrawide monitor

The ultrawide is a fantastic compromise between a normal monitor and triple screens. I get a much greater sense of speed as well as more track awareness without the monitor bezels and the hassle of setting up three screens. This monitor is beautiful and I’ve actually started playing other games on it besides just sim racers. The Witcher 3, Sea of Thieves, Rez Ultimate and even Minecraft all look stunning in ultrawide but it’s not something all games support. 

I will warn you that even though this monitor purports to have HRD, it is not exactly true. A deep dive into some tech forums will tell you that the HDR on this monitor is finicky at best. I’ve had no luck getting games to look decent using HDR but some people claim videos work alright. With that said I still think it’s a beautiful screen and am very happy with the purchase. The feel of racing on the ultrawide is much better than a normal TV but the trick is to get it right up against your face. Once the curve gets to the edge of your peripheral vision you really feel like you're in it. 

I started with the Logitech G29 Wheel and pedals and I’m still using the wheel, but I’ve recently upgraded the pedals. I’ll start with the wheel though. There are three types of racing wheel: Gear,belt, and direct drive. The G29 is the first type as it uses a series of gears to amplify the movements of a relatively small motor. A step up from this would be a belt driven wheel which I have heard offers slightly better force feedback. The ultimate wheel though (I am told) is the direct drive which is really just a wheel plugged directly into a big ass motor. This is the top of the line and these systems can easily cost thousands of dollars. I am not there yet.

I’m still very happy with my G29 wheel and the advice I got from a sim racing pro was to invest money in the pedals before anything else. So that’s what I did. 

I upgraded to the Fanatec Club Sport pedals and I decided to go with the inverted configuration.  

As soon as these pedals were installed I started seeing new personal best times. They have much more resistance than the Logitech pedals, especially in the break. This, combined with really precise force feedback gives you much more control over the car. These pedals came fully put together in an incredibly solid frame. The entire assembly is very heavy and once bolted to my frame felt really solid. It even came with some optional brace pieces that I used to increase the stability. Overall I could not be happier with these beauties. 

When set up correctly with the monitor directly behind your wheel, it can sometimes be difficult to see the instrumentation. I’m currently using a program called Dashpanel to stream all that information to an external tablet. I have this attached to my frame via a standard car mount and it feeds me all the data I need during a race. There are a number of solutions like this one out there, but Dashpanel works for me and was simple to set up. 

Finally, I’m using the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard. Once you get yourself all situated in your awesome new rig you might find that your keyboard and mouse are no longer reachable. This little gadget can sit right next to you on a chair or even the floor. From my experience so far in sim racing, this thing is pretty much required. 

If you have any questions about my setup here or getting into sim racing, feel free to hit me up on my Tweeter. I’m still very new to all of this stuff but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. It’s been such a fun hobby during all this stuff. If you’d like to join us in the Penny Arcade iRacing league you can find us in the league directory. Just send a request and I’m accepting all comers. We’ve got more races planned in the next few days and maybe some tournaments eventually. 

See you on the track!


-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

The enduring vigor of Minecraft - at once a game, a place, and platform - is something I primarily observe from afar.  But I like it out here.  I can look in at all the stuff, and I don’t have to do anything.  It’s my favorite place to be.  But younger people have notions about their parents’ omnipotence, namely that it extends in some way through all fields of endeavor, and Minecraft is a good opportunity to show that your dad is is strong in some places and at some times and in other places is as crisp and fine as a butterfly wing.

Let’s see, what’s going on with me…  uh, so, if you were wondering how to determine a parabola’s line of symmetry, you can derive that from the y = ax2 + bx + c numerostructure by computing -b/2a.  Once you have that value, it’s a walk in the park to substitute that value for x and derive the y coordinate - now you’ve got your vertex pair.  We can substitute 0 for y and generate our x-intercepts very cleanly from here.  I’m doing fine, and I haven’t been driven mad.  I can graph just how well I’m doing.  I just learned how, from the devil.  Homeschooling is going great.

We run polls every week for Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team, a lot of pretty fundamental decision making about the campaign comes down to these prompts.  The Shadow Council represents the audience itself, is a force in the world of the game, and has swing over these kinds of things.  Last week, I asked them if they wanted to check back in on the original “C” Team, and they said yes, so we are.  In this case, the C stands for Classic - and we hope to “c” you tonite at 4pm PDT on stream :) uwu

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

Are you getting more emails from your family members about The Beast, and his Mark? Because I am.

We've utilized it as material before, but just in case, I should firmly establish that I hail from a religious tradition that, you know, has an apocalyptic bent. I think generally it's called Pentecostal. I haven't been hooked into anything like that since '93 or so; I'm not sure where they might have gotten to by now. I have some weird voids culturally, because there were certain aspects of "The Secular World" that were off limits or severely curtailed; I was blown away the theme song to Netflix's GLOW because I thought they had somehow captured a tremendous amount of eighties spirit in an original song but no, that's just a literal real song called The Warrior. That… certainly is a video. It implies a greater Warrior IP I'd love to see explored in graphic novels.

I told her to just send me a link every time she found something she got worried about, and they started coming in fast. But then she started finding me the counter-examples and putting those in-line with the other ones, and I was like… yes. I won't have to do shit, and I was only nominally present for this journey of self-discovery. But there's too much of it out there, and we were both primed to arrange data in some specific ways. So, if your model of the universe and its phenomena is a kind of funnel that leads inexorably to the Book of Revelations, you always get there anyway. You can't not get there. Anyway, to sum up our last conversation, Microdots aren't Microchips. And Facebook is Elder Abuse.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

I think it might be sort of hard to manufacture the kind of spectacle a console launch seeks to embody if everybody is recording themselves on their phones with their headphones on. I'm not saying it's impossible but I definitely think it is less possible than usual.

I had very different expectations, like a lot of people, when it came to the Xbox reveals but there are a lot of teams I've never heard of who had a chance to debut on stage, however virtual that stage might have been.  I'm not mad at that.  The main thing I was looking forward to was Assassin's Creed Valhalla, with its promise of a Gameplay Trailer, which is not a Gameplay Trailer in any way. I went to Ubi's YouTube page because I assumed I was looking at the wrong video, but no. And they're more or less being raked over the coals for it. But my suspicion is that the same dynamics that make you have to film footage of yourself at home for a global reveal on your phone extend, yea, even unto the digimal realms. It didn't do what it needed to do plus it was named incorrectly. I'm not gonna leave a mean YouTube comment or anything but I was kinda cranked up, happy to be back in that continuum, and the way it's gonna work now is that I'll get around to their shit when I get around to it and maybe I won't.

As for Madden, I mean… Depending on how dumb everything continues to be… I hope we're not right.

With the Visitor's Center nearly complete, the two year legacy of Gabir Motors - wholly owned subsidiary of Dragon Race Team China - has been a story of results. If you're looking for a team that consistently delivers Ninth Place plus has another driver who… also races, you're home. But with Bao Tang's violent outbursts in the paddock plus Hong Liao's early fame leading to mounting expectations from Chairman Bo Chonglin, can they keep the wheels on - literally and figuratively - for the next race? Join us at 2pm PDT for the Chu-Tang Clan, only on Twinch.

(CW)TB out.


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