F-8 Racing Manager

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So, this game is set in a not-so-distant future fictional world not that much different from ours, in which world circumstances (predictable upcoming oil shortage) have made it so that the car racing industry has been stopped to a halt and is dead, which creates the perfect excuse scenario to introduce a brand new racing circuit with brand new teams and drivers with no past history for which I would have needed to try to mimic the real world and which would have gone against my goal of setting this game in a completely level playing field for everyone as the game starts, and let "History" do it's work afterwards.  That, and to avoid any potential "licensing problem" with real-life racing organisations.  In this scenario, the cars are fueled by alternative technologies even though these are merely metaphorical at this point : other than the "story" telling you about it, there isn't any real difference with "normal" car racing techs at this stage.  However, this is meant as a way for the game to progress in the future to explore new avenues made available by this fictitious universe in which the game evolves.

(Oil shortage spells nothing good for the car racing industry as we know it, which calls for innovation)

As previously mentioned, the game focuses primarily on the car/driver preparation and racing strategy portions of car racing management, the whole game being principally contained within 2 screens : the car/pilot "upgrade&config" screen, and the "tracks" screen where practices, qualifications and races take place.  You compete against 7 other teams (randomly pulled from a pool of 21) in seasons made of 8 races (for which the tracks are randomly pulled from a pool of 12 at the beginning of the game, which are of varying levels of difficulty for the pilots and the cars) in a setup that offers a different game each time a new career is started.  Each team starts with 2,500,000$, 0 XP (experience), a base-model Formula-8 car (kinda similar to a F-1 or Indy car) and a pilot.  At this stage, most of the finances are done automatically, but it is still your duty to keep an eye on it, as the game ends if your bank account goes below 0$.  The team and the pilot have separate XP counters, the Team's XP being used for car upgrades and pilot's XP is used for the pilot's training.  Upgrades/training is made by converting money and XP points according to the amount specified while hovering your mouse over an upgrade button.  XP is gained by taking your car and pilot to the tracks and making laps, each fully completed lap grants 1 point of XP.  Note that some of the pilot's properties will also vary with time, as your pilot's mood is affected in real-time by the results he gets on the racing tracks (like, successfully overtaking a car, for example), which in turn affects the overall performance of the car, even if only slightly.  It is your job to provide your pilot with the best car configuration possible that'll allow him to get the best results possible, while ensuring that he avoids accidents as much as possible, as not only do these cost money, but they also deprive you from receiving prize money if your pilot doesn't make it to the finish line in races.  Note that accidents are an inevitable part of the game and of real-life motorized sports as well, and that sometimes it is not necessarily your fault or your pilot's fault, but rather an inconvenient set of circumstances that you may not have been able to avoid even if you had tried to.  There is a lot of unpredictability in this game, which is a good thing as it forces you to pay attention to what goes on on the racing track.  However, it is still your job to manage the consequences of such events, and to try to find ways to minimize their occurrences.  Time progresses in the game as you proceed through the "Go To Track" buttons from left to right, i.e. private and free trials, qualifications and races.  Note that you can't go back in time, meaning that if you start doing free trials laps (which are usually integrated as part of the race week-end), then it is too late to do private trials laps, since these are usually done within the free time allocated between race week-ends.  Trial lap times and qualification/race results can been seen by hovering your mouse over any of the buttons that take you to the tracks, so you can easily keep track of your progresses or the effects of configuration changes in lap times.  Basically, that is the game in a nutshell, your goal is to try and win championships, which you accomplish by finishing races to win ranking points and money, and ideally even winning them for more points and money.  The game is over is you happen to run out of money.

Click on the camera icon during races to toggle the focus between cars.

Best of luck to you all and I hope you all have a lot of fun playing this humble yet quite exciting game for its genre.

Version beta?  What is it missing to reach Version 1.0?

Not much...  Basically, maybe a few instruction screens if I feel they are needed (although I think the game is pretty much self-explanatory, let me know if I'm wrong in that assumption) and get myself to do them and also some car configuration IA for the CPU teams (right now, the IA only takes care of the upgrades and "configures" only the pilot's foresight and driving style).  I still want to think about the best approach about it, as I'd like some feedback from players first.  My first trials tell me that the game might be hard enough as it is, and I wouldn't want to make it too hard by making the CPU teams even more competitive than they already are.  On the other hand, I don't want to induce unwanted car accidents caused by ill-thought car configurations spewed out by bad AI as the game progresses and cars get more performing, as I feel there are quite enough of these already in some phases of the game as you progress through successive seasons, and I definitely don't want to risk making it even worse.  Feedback from early players on that aspect is welcome as well.

Update to version beta  --> Fixed one of the tracks in which one of the cars wasn't placed in his proper position on the starting grid.  Found this one out while testing the overall game to see how it behaves once it's several seasons in, a testing session from which I hope to learn valuable data as to how I could tackle the config AI problem, as there are many factors to consider.  I'm also considering the option that the game might be competitive enough as it is.

Previous update (version beta) bug fixes :
 - Winner of championship is now correctly attributed again past the first season due to some last minute code I added without thinking about where else it could affect the game;
 - On the Pole Position newspaper article, the picture of the driver was overlapping a portion of the text when the title happens to be long enough for it to happen.  Now, the text will overlap the picture, which is the lesser of both evils.
 - Another minor bug made it so that some cars would happen to be "under" some of the skid marks.  This was hardly noticeable and required specific conditions related to brakes usage for it to happen.  This was merely cosmetic and barely noticeable, but this has been fixed as well.
 - I also made a few minor adjustments to the end-of-race bonuses and to the penalties applied for car crashes, in order to hamper down some of the effects on the pilots' moods, which were fluctuating with a little too much amplitude to my liking during "mood swings".
 - Finally, I added a mention about the game's autosave feature

What's in the pipe in the future?

Once I get initial feedback and decide what to do with the car config IA, I'll implement just that and update this Demo a full 1.0 Official Release,  and after that I plan on releasing a pimped up version of the same game which will be put up as a downloadable sale later on.  This version will sport slightly improved graphics, 20 teams in competition (instead of 8), 12 races per season (instead of 8) and possibly a few more tracks added-in as well.  I also plan to introduce a new upgradable/configurable car part and possibly a complete rework of how the driver attributes mechanics are implemented, along with some new attributes to go along with it.  I wanted to take an innovative approach to how the pilots interact with their cars in this game, and while this basic system "works", I somehow feel it is lacking in some aspects, and now with hindsight I think I can come up with a better model which will be a hybrid between the currently-used pilot model and the more classic style that is usually used in these types of game.  This normally shouldn't take too long to do, however since I'm still stuck with the 100 events limitations until further notice, that means that I'll have to do a complete rework of the code in order to do this (instead of simply changing a few key variables as it should normally be for the most part) and thus will take a bit more time to produce.  I also have other RL responsibilities which need some of my time to be dedicated to it, which I need to take into consideration.

After this initial "full game" release, I plan on recycling the core game engine and take a definitely more realistic approach to the racing physics, terrain and graphics in regards to car performances and race tracks and especially in regards of having everything in scale in relation to distance/speed/performance.  By this time, I hope that most of my current issues will have been solved and that at some point in time I won't be limited by Construct 2's free license anymore, which will not only allow me to expand the game with the currently missing secondary aspects of this type of game (negotiating contracts with sponsors, pilots and suppliers, etc...) but also allow me to explore further how to implement the car/pilot interaction with two distinct driving styles,"classic" and "maverick" (currently set only as "maverick" for all teams in this demo), and the ability to communicate with your pilot in-race, which should offer a much more entertaining and interactive experience as a game than it is right now at this stage.  This should turn into a game that'll be sold as a standalone downloadable, but possibly with a lightweight free demo version like this one being shipped out as well.

If it turns out that I haven't totally lost my time on this particularly niche project by then, I intend to make another car racing management game based on the same engine, but this time by going to the full extent of my original idea for this game, which is to take the game into semi-sci-fi territory with an elaborate tech research tree to go through in order to unlock new racing techs that should completely change the dynamics of the race (or maybe it will simply break the game, I guess I'll have to wait and see...).  The idea will be to have things like hover-cars compete against cars with magnetic tires, having different types of energy powering the engine and other futuristic stuff like that, in order to force the player to adapt his racing strategies to be as best suited as possible with the technology choices he made, each tech giving a bonus in a specific area while having a negative effect in another area.  But that game idea is set quite a bit in the future, and chances are pretty good that I'll have released other game projects in the meanwhile before this version comes out.

Thank you for playing the game and leaving a comment about it at the bottom of this page.

(Screenshot taken from the game credits sequence)

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Last Modified: Jan 21, 2019

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