Motorsport Games, the creator of “NASCAR 21: Ignition,” is building anticipation among racing fans ahead of the video game’s Oct. 28 launch. The developer is releasing dev diaries that showcase the considerable amount of work going into the project. The first focused on the stock cars while the latest diary highlights the new tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
The nearly three-minute video showcased Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee, which are very different tracks. COTA is a massive, 3.426-mile road course full of turns and elevation changes while Nashville is a 1.33-mile concrete oval.
In order to accurately portray the two tracks, Motorsport Games brought in a company to professionally scan them and set a baseline. The in-depth process provided intricate details about the texture of the inside and outside walls, as well as the bumps on the racing surface that will affect how the cars handle.
The Art Team Made Special Trips to Capture More Detail
Scanning tracks was only part of the track-building process. Motorsport Games also needed to recreate specific elements, such as the location of the sponsor billboards and other props that add authenticity to the racing experience.
The team achieved this goal by sending the art team out to both Circuit of the Americas and Nashville Superspeedway. They took “thousands of photos” at both tracks to build up a database for reference, which they can use throughout the season to change the sponsor details for specific races.
The trip to COTA took place at a unique time. The dev diary revealed that the art team was actually at the road course at the same time as some of the NASCAR drivers. The stock cars raced around the track so the drivers could gain experience while the art team worked.
The First Dev Diary Focused on Horsepower
While the second diary highlighted two of the new tracks on the NASCAR circuit, the first focused on what the fans care about the most — the cars. The dev diary focused on the move to the Unreal graphics engine for the new game and making the cars more realistic even in virtual form.
Recreating the high-powered stock cars was not a simple process considering that teams keep many details secret to gain an advantage over their competition. In order to bypass these limitations, Motorsport Games worked directly with NASCAR to gain access to aero, drivetrain, and suspension data.
Granted, not every NASCAR fan wants to have in-depth information about the stock cars, nor do they want to tweak settings before heading out onto the track. Some fans just want to pick up the controller and start fighting for position at Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the other tracks on the circuit.
Motorsport Games revealed in the dev diary that all fans will have options. There is a novice mode that relies more on one button and has the AI system take care of the other intricate processes. Additionally, there will be settings where fans can adjust the number of assists.
Available on Oct. 28, 2021, “NASCAR 21: Ignition” will initially launch for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC on the Steam store. There will be a free upgrade path for Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X/S post-launch. Those that preorder the standard of Champions Edition will receive access to the game two days early.