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Update: Rally Shift 1.1.2

The CodeBlender blog has some entries regarding the transition to the XCode development environment. Currently their games are developed in Code Warrior. The change is necessary to support the new Intel Macs. The fact that they are going to this much trouble suggests their games (hopefully including Rally Shift) have a future. So while there hasn't been much change recently, once the transtion to XCode is done maybe we'll see a super-fast Intel version with more features! Note that this is pure speculation and wishful thinking on my part, I have no definite proof this will happen. The CodeBlender blog is at: http://www.codeblender.com/blog/).

Rally Shift at Night

Racing at night in rain and fog is an extra challenge. The red car in front in the scene on the right is my latest creation. This car has heaps of power, but also has good handling. It took a lot of work in the Rally Shift Garage to get the tyres, brakes, engine and gears fine tuned. The way the headlights illuminate the road when racing at night is quite realistic.

Update: Rally Shift 1.1

Rally Shift just keeps getting better! Version 1.1 introduces weather effects (rain and fog) and day/night racing. The graphics are also improved, with real 3D trees instead of the usual 2D surface available. Another useful addition is the Rally Shift Garage where you can fine tune the characteristics of your car, changing parameters such as torque curve, coefficient of drag, efficiency of the brakes, and many others.

Rally Shift 1.1

On the left is a picture taken during racing in rain. Notice the fog in the background as well. On the right you can see the purple car which is my highly modified OJB42 rally car! This sucker has plenty of power, but requires careful handling to avoid constant crashes!

Rally Shift

Rally Shift is a shareware rally racing program which only runs on Mac OS X. It offers a reasonable level of detail in the cars and scenery but still gives good frame rates even on average hardware (up to 60 frames per second at 1440 x 900 resolution on my PowerBook G4). The realism of the driving experience is good. The cars respond quite realistically during cornering, braking and accelerating - hand brake turns are really fun! The latest version (1.1 when I wrote this) handles input from keyboard, mouse and USB steering wheel. Initially its quite hard to control the car with the keyboard but after a while it becomes much easier (especially with the sensitivity turned down low), I didn't find the mouse control very easy. I haven't tried a steering wheel yet.

Racing can be real rally style against the clock where you are the only car on the road, against computer controlled opponents (some of them are good), or two players can use a split screen on one computer to race each other (a bit awkward - multi-player network play would be better). Cars aren't damaged during collisions with each other or objects such as trees but it takes a while to get back on the road and racing again, so it does reduce your overall time.

The computer acts as your co-driver and reads the pace notes to you so you know what's coming up. This really works, when you hear "long left opening, to jump" you know you can accelerate out of the curve safely, then fly through the air over the jump!

Scene from Rally Shift

This scene shows my car sliding to a halt (note the dust around the wheels) at the end of a rally stage. Yes, the other cars are already there - looks like I'm last again!

Scene from Rally Shift

Two more scenes from the game. On the left is the RXS Ti in the desert race (a nice flat road with a few nasty turns - the fastest race). On the right is the MLE G2xs in the mountain race (this race is really rough - a dirt road, windy and steep - you really need to concentrate to avoid hitting those rocks or disappearing down a steep bank)

One frustration is that only two tracks are available until you win enough points to progress. Its quite hard for beginners to get those points - especially with keyboard control! Overall though, this is a really cool game. I enjoy playing it just as much as the more polished rally games on the PlayStation 2, and I'm sure it will just get better as the developers (Codeblender, http://www.codeblender.com/) develop it further.

Discussion

Comment by Tim on 2006-07-19 at 09:14:08: I have Rally Shift too, and I like it. I haven't been able to make any good cars in the Rally Shift Garage yet. Maybe you should make your cars available for download, or show us the numbers you used to make them.

Comment by ARNO on 2007-03-02 at 10:24:52: I suggest you first to make one car mixing others cars available properties. If you like that car's way to turn... and light the chassis and in engine you add more rpm and up the engine torque one of my car reach the max (700 nm ) this are easy operations without a lot's of risks, but it's true that I have no good idea for changing tires shapes or wheel's width... Tell me if I have helped. Bye...

Comment by Eric on 2011-05-16 at 08:24:29: Doubling the weights of your opponents cars using Rally Shift Garage is the simplest way to championship. Heavier cars finish after a long time so there's a limit on adding weight. Heavy cars also clank and bang while driving which can be annoying if you just groove on the Rally Shift engine roars of the race. Changing wheel radii and width can destabilize the car making it a challenge to drive to win. I'd try lightening your car by 500kg and maybe 1.5 times the weight of your opponents cars to ...

Comment by OJB on 2011-05-31 at 08:34:52: Yes changing the weight is an easy way to "fine-tune" performance without too many side effects. It's not as much fun as changing the engine power, suspension, gears, etc though!

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