Brilliant Mind Behind: Simraceway
Ignite Game Technologies CEO, Jonathan Haswell*, thinks Simraceway.com is more than just a game. “We prefer to describe it as a ‘racing platform’ or a ‘racing world,’” he says. With three main modes – practice, quick race and against-the-clock events – site visitors can satiate any racing needs within minutes. Completely for free. And there are even prizes, like trips to real raceways, associated with some of the events. Haswell breaks down the site for BoldRide... How does the prizes portion of the site work? Haswell: Many of the against-the-clock events challenges - which challenge drivers to record the fastest times across various formats from single hot laps to multiple races - offer prizes to the top finishers, which can be anything from cash, in-game credits, and racing hardware to all-expenses-paid trips to California to enjoy a Lancer Evolution Experience at Infineon Raceway. All drivers need to do in order to have a chance of winning a prize is join an Event that is listed as offering one, complete all its requirements (these vary depending on the type of Event) and post a clean time before its closing date. Players can make as many attempts as they like before the closing date. We plan to introduce even more cool prizes in the future. You have your own controller, which looks as though it’s straight off an F1 car. What’re the advantages to using it when racing? Our initial aim was to produce a controller that could match the control fidelity of the high-end wheel-and-pedal-sets but at a price that would encourage a whole new segment of racing game players to enjoy the experience as it was originally intended. And with the help of co-developer SteelSeries, that’s exactly what we’ve achieved with our SRW-S1 Steering Wheel. For less than $120 the SRW-S1’s unique, hybrid design offers a range of innovative features, from lightning-quick, motion-sensor-controlled steering to hand-controlled shift, acceleration, and braking paddles. It also contains over 20 buttons and dials, many of which can be customized, ensuring that every possible mid-race tweak can be made without looking away from the track. Your website says you can feel every bump and camber on our tracks thanks to pro-grade 3D scanning. What’s the hardest part of trying to perfectly replicate a real track in a video game? We map tracks by firing a laser beam at certain points in the surface, producing many, individual points which are calculated and plotted to ultimately give us a kind of ultra-precise 3D image model, then clothed in texture imagery and deployed in the game. In fact, the hardest part of the whole process is the logistical side—finding a mutually acceptable time to gain access to a track can be tricky, especially when you’ve got more than 60 to get through. Then, once you’ve actually made it onto the track you have to contend with other factors that you have absolutely no control over, such as extreme weather conditions. How do you select the cars you use for the game? Our ultimate aim is to provide the widest choice of cars ever seen in a racing game—a kind of “automotive iTunes” that lets players download any car from the long and distinguished history of motor racing. We’ve already acquired licenses for over 600 vehicles from some of the world’s most celebrated marques, from the diminutive Morgan 3-Wheeler to the palatial Bentley Continental SuperSports, or the classic M6GT, the all-new MP4-12C GT3, and the monstrous 750-bhp Saleen S7 Twin Turbo.
*Jonathan Haswell is an entrepreneur, skill-quantification expert, and founder and CEO of Ignite Game Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based videogame company aiming to reinvent the online racing game experience. Haswell founded the company in 2008 and is currently focused on building up its debut title, Simraceway, to a prominent position within a fiercely-fought genre, leveraging proprietary and pioneering technologies including the world's first 100%-accurate, real-time player skill-matching engine, SkillQuant. Born in Surrey, England, Haswell spent his early career in the finance and investment sector before moving into the interactive entertainment industry in 2003, when he founded a niche skill gaming and airport retail operator, before combining two of his great loves—motor racing and online gaming—with the creation of Ignite GT. Check out the intense action at Simraceway.com