I think everyone who knows me in the community is well aware I do not paint schemes off of real cars and I do not make tracks that exist in real life. I prefer the fictional setting because that is the freedom in where my love for the NR2003 hobby lies. Having no set rules on how a track should look or a paint scheme with any preconceptions is great. Of course there is always an exception to this rule, and in my case it is simply known as Yas Marina Circuit. So why Yas and why is THIS the track that made me want to build a track that wasn't fictional for once? It is really simple: The challenge. When I first saw this track a few years ago of course the first thing I thought was "wow I need to add this to my Armory Digital Cup series schedule". Like anyone I searched on google typing in the most obvious keywords "NR2003 Yas Marina" to my surprise a track that seemed to have numerous threads about it the track was never even considered to be made in NR2003 sandbox. I saw this track remade for other games in somewhat 'ok' condition but absolutely not even a hint or trace that this track existed for NR2003. Not a single person decided to make the track for some reason despite it showed up in a lot of wishlist threads I found. A few years later I now know why it never was made, or if someone attempted it why it never got past the early stages. You literally have to be insane to take on a track like this solo and see it to completion, lucky for everyone I'm just the right type of crazy for the job.
As soon as I realized that Yas didn't exist my inner creativity took hold and it was pretty much a done deal then: This track had to be brought to NR2003 no matter how insane it may be. As I gathered reference footage and videos of this track I already started formulating ideas and concepts how I would build so many 3do's. Armory Digital Superspeedway was no doubt crazy but the technical challenges a road course in NR2003 reveal on top of the very exquisite architecture design of Yas Marina buildings set this track on a whole new bar. After a very long year+ of nonstop weekends, the test team helping out with AI issues, and unfortunate long delays due to real life issues it is finally here. This real life existing track is my submission to the community by providing one more missing track that has not been made for NR2003 yet.
I welcome everyone to Yas Marina Circuit, the NR2003 edition. It is hard to believe but I assure you, the Dubai Dream is now a reality for NR2003:
Yas Marina Circuit: The NR2003 Edition
I will try to keep this as brief as I can since I know everyone is eager to hurry off and download but if there is one thing I would stress is please take the time to read below or the readme included with the track. It will explain many of the common questions you may have. As mentioned above I call this Yas Marina the 'NR2003 Edition' for quite a few reasons:
1) Due to sandbox/NR2003 in general there were some limitations of what I was able to do
2) This is not meant to be some laser scanned, down to the exact elevation/degrees you might find in a F1 Video game, its simply a track made by a single person as a hobby
3) The track has stock car support in mind, while the track has pta support I also made sure the cup, gns, and cts had full 43 stall and ai support since that is what I will use this track for most in my personal series (hence the reason why I bothered to build this track in the first place).
So let's get some of the obvious differences/changes out of the way right now to clear confusion:
- If you are a F1 or Yas Marina purist you may hate me and my track. This track was simply built with the time and tools I had. It's not going to be laser scanned perfection you might see in a F1 or Forza game for example. It was made with the best video footage, google maps, and images I could get. I scoured over hours of content and even drove laps around in some of the F1 games to get a 3D sense as well. I merely made a close representation of the real track and some things I was even limited to do well because of the old program like sandbox which brings me to my next point ...
- NR2003 sandbox for being over a decade old is not going to allow a lot of things to be done easily or as perfect as I wanted. For example the biggest thing I bet people will complain to me is how I didn't put pit road going under the track and exiting the left side of the track. Yes, I am very very very aware of this. In Sandbox it is impossible on a single segment to cross X sections and do that type of banking, so I did the best I could to make it still go underground and come out in a similar way like the real track does.
- Other limitations on to how tracks are built is the sharp turns near the racing surface do exhibit some invisible walls. All the prominent ones have visual barriers to notify this. So if you drive off course in a certain turn and hit the barriers don't blame me, blame sandbox for how tracks can be made. I did a lot of 'magic' to get this track to work. It's a miracle I didn't give up when I started laying the groundwork, road courses are a monster to make in sandbox's unforgiving and outdated toolset.
- While the track supports cup, gns, cta, and pta and lots of Ai testing went in place if you find some minor Ai issue please refer to the readme. Its a very big track and from what I and test team have raced things are pretty fun and working best they could be.
If the things mentioned above did not answer your question please refer to the readme where there is an additional Q and A section.
You require features? I got features for you.
Like with every track I build and release this one is packed full of niffy features for you to enjoy as you race or take a quick spin around the track. Some of these are staple features you've seen me list in previous tracks as they are the core building blocks I believe in when making a track, even for real tracks because apparently I've now made a real one.
- Like most tracks I make, over 95% of the 3do's on this track were specifically built for this track that you won't find on any of my other ones. This track is by far the largest asset of custom 3do's for any track thus far I have made. You will have a fun time exploring the track to see all there is. No stone was unturned in the 3do department to make sure any angle you race on has a screenshot worthy to present. From the Yas Marina Viceroy to the iconic Tower its all there to enjoy seeing as you race around this 3 mile 1 billion dollar track.
- Custom textures and graphics tailored to this track specifically. This track uses all custom textures and graphics. No default NR2003 textures will be found here. Enjoy high detail quality on the racing surface and walls that will immerse you into the track.
- You know how on race weekend certain 3do's like haulers, parked cars, and such will appear and in testing sessions the track is empty? Well don't worry all that good stuff is there but also unique to this track are the Marina boats. The Marina will fill with boats on race weekend but be empty during test sessions. So enjoy an immersive feel if you are on race weekend or the quiet facility during a test session where not a soul is around.
- Full support for cup, gns, cts, and pta. This track gives you the option to have a FULL 43 field with any of the core setups. So if you want to race 43 stock cars on this track (as I will) you totally can and won't be constrained by the track not having the correct support. Lots of work went into making the Ai race the best they could for each physics type. F1 may be the only ones to race there but this is NR2003 and you can race whatever you want.
Well thats all folks ...
I hope everyone has a great time with the track I ... "errr wait Mystical, aren't you forgetting something?" ... uhh no, I don't think there is anything left to show really. Its Yas Marina, what else could there be? I talked about the 3do's, physics support, differences between this and the real one, and ... oh wait, yeah, I forgot this:
Welcome to the night time of the Dubai Dream
It probably should not come as a surprise by now that my tracks will usually support a night version but ... surprise! Having Yas Marina for everyone to enjoy was not so much about the day version track but the night one. This was the original vision with the screenshot above I always wanted to see turn into reality for NR2003 when I set out to make this track a year+ ago. That glorious Yas Marina Viceroy hotel lit up in beautiful purple (it actually is purple often) over the track where it can be seen at all distances as you race around was exactly what I wanted to capture.
Enjoy the entire track lit up for the night as you race around at high speeds and the various corners the track has to offer. Now that could be the end of what I have to offer but there are actually a few more things left to reveal. With this track I got a lot of cool ideas where the player could literally customize Yas Marina in a few ways to truly make it look the way they wanted. Just some extra options if you will to give them more of a personalized look to their Yas Marina. I might do more of these type of 'options' for future tracks I make. Lets take a quick look at them now.
I got options for you right here
I'd like to mention all of the extra options below are included with every download of Yas Marina with easy to understand instructions on how to activate them in a quick readme guide.
The first option is provided by GurtonBuster where you can have standing starts for the day and night version. Make the race start like a F1 race without a pace lap essentially. A special thanks to Gurton for taking the time to do this. So those start grid mips I made are actually going to be useful for once. Another special add-on for this track is the main tower you race towards on the frontstretch can have a custom mip design applied. By default it is plain white, but around 2014-2015 they painted some of the triangles with the United Emirates flag colors. So if you are a hardcore "everything needs to look as updated as possible" you will like this extra feature. Here is a quick screenshot of what it looks like:
You may have noticed in the launch trailer some of the shots had the track clean looking and others had massive rubber skid marks in the corners and such. I'm happy to announce that even the track skid marks are an optional feature as well. So if you prefer to have a track look new and unused you can. Or maybe you want Yas Marina to look a bit older and have a ton of previous racing on it. With these skid marks every major corner of the track will be covered with them. Below is an example of what it will turn the corner into:
The last but not least feature (my personal favorite) is the ability to change the Yas Marina Viceroy's hotel light colors to a selection of colors of your choice for the night version. Want to have a night race with the hotel matching the color of your series perhaps? Or maybe you fancy a particular color? No problem, there are a 11 different variations to choose from. I spend all that time making the hotel 3do so I figured why not put in the extra fun to make the light colors customizable as well. Below is a small preview of all the color combinations to choose from:
Where we're going ...
Well that will wrap it up for my 'quick' tour of Yas Marina. I hope everyone enjoys the track and has a blast racing around it. I know when I finally get a chance I'll be right there with you racing too. As I had mentioned in my Taylor Swift Superdome track this track includes easter eggs as well. If you want to know more about those eggs you'll have to read the readme to get a better idea where they can be found. Have fun searching for them.
If there is anyone still actually reading all this nonsense I've put down I want to say thank you. It really means a lot to me (even more than downloading the track right away) that you've taken the time to read all I've had to say. Like with every project I do in NR2003 I spare no expense to make it the best I can. While nothing I make will ever be perfect or deemed professional by any means its amazing what a tiny vision can turn out to be when you finally get to the day of releasing said content to the public. It always feels eons away as you slave away weekend and weekday in-between real life duties always thinking "will we ever reach the end?". Yas Marina is one of those long run projects. The amount of research, time, and creation is hard to explain. All anyone sees is the final result. I wish I could show everyone what its like to be there in the thick of it: far away from release, in deep secrecy where only 4-5 people in the world know whats coming next, and the project has some content finished you can see the final product appearing in glimpses of a half built track.
When all my big projects wrap up, like with UIE and Armory SS, I always leave saying "I'm off to the next big thing". And while this statement is more true than ever I don't want to leave on such a big cliffhanger before answering some questions that may linger. I know for some they may be disappointed that I am not pursuing any more real tracks and its 'lost potential' (I am well aware some tracks are very desired for NR2003 still) but my heart lies with fictional creations truly as I mentioned above. Yas Marina is a one time deal for me, my contribution to one of the missing puzzle pieces still left. I'm not going to say 'never' because I know 'never say never' but I do have other plans and want to keep adding more fictional tracks I had in my mind to reality for NR2003 first.
So friends, probably in a few weeks I'll be back to square one again with track building. Laying down the first track segment in sandbox with only some music in itunes, my cup of tea, and a simple vision I one day hope will come to NR2003 where I can share with all. I like to think of it like the end of a Pirates of a Caribbean movie where Captain Jack is out on his own again on some tiny boat with only a map and compass. So I'll leave you with a final bonus image. The very first screenshot I took when I completed the main circuit back in 2014 and the final result: