Thornton WCR

Thornton, IL


Category Fictional (Based on real streets)
Type Road Course
Configuration I'm calling it 13-Turns
Author says "lots"
Max Field 43
Length 12 Miles
Characteristics 0 Banking
Track Record(s) (GS) PTA - Edward Tuesday 239.766
Cup - Earl DaPearl 241.766
GNS - Donny Dikich 245.766
CTS - Joey Baggadonuts 247.08
NR2K3 Track Author(s) Scott Dillner
Author Web Presence Windy City Racing

Thornton

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This Fictional Track
Is Real As It Gets

This guy is "out there"... just like, ahem... But he's genius. No really. This is the future of sim driving. He's working within the confines of NR2K3 and its limitations and still takes it to another level. The day is coming when you will be able to grab maps for any streets, anywhere, and drive them. Well in the real world your robots will drive them; in the virtual world you will drive them anyway you like. That's the future... for now creating something like this takes more time than I could imagine. I can imagine though because it's just the kind of thing I would do.

Thornton, modeled on the author's commute I think, appears to be a nice place to live, a place where the cop won't budge to chase you down while the street sweeper is one busy fellow who will sweep the grass when he runs out of pavement. The speed limit is posted everywhere but you run amok, blazing your fast trail out of town. After a pleasant drive down Schwab and Glenwood Dyer you reach Highway 394 which you take to I80/94 (the distance was clear on the overpass signs but you're going too fast to notice). You turn at Halsted which seems to be the place where everyone does their shopping. Target, Home Depot... if you veer off-road to check out the Best Buy you will even see a drive through sign at the back of Krusty Burgers.

Several other gems here. One would be off of Brown Derby (I guess before the New Egg billboard) where you can find a tunnel which allows you entry to explore the world's largest commercial limestone quarry. The other is a do-able shortcut (you'll have to pass by the gunshop). I'm sure there are other things I haven't seen yet but that'll do for now. Did I mention deer and pedestrians? I just kept having this feeling that one of the pedestrians might be our intrepid track designer. Not the guy with the dog though.

Framerate Killer?

So says he--I didn't experience any problems. It did crash to the desktop several times when I installed it in a different instance of the game--I finally turned something off and I forget what it was. Lessee, I think I turned off "track specular effects" and also "shadows". And it looks like I turned "world quality" down to medium. Everything else I left stoked and still ran in test mode at 70 fps. Which kind of amazes me when you look at all the eye candy here. He has moving street sweepers and trains and haulers and cars. Of course if you look closely enough you can see a few shortcomings but those are all limitations imposed by the game engine itself. It sure would be nice to combine elements of NR2K3 with some aspects of, say Far Cry. Particularly rocky terrain and foliage that appears along roadways. Some broad leaf trees render great in the game; others appear chopped and flattened (that goes for tracks across the board). Same with bordering walls cut out of mountainsides. The game just doesn't do 3D justice to those. But hell, the game is about driving. And, as usual, Windy City provides you with some pretty good cars to get you going. The combination of graphics and driveability here is awesome.

Radtspeak

This could be a first for me--I'm not gonna say anything nasty about the man today. I believe I like this place as much as he does. I know he doesn't rate tracks but I'm gonna do it for him. This is a 10. If he would just man up we could just both give it a "thumbs up" and be like Siskel and Ebert. Look, I know he's dead but they were a team. I can't even remember most of the time which one died (Siskel) and maybe they didn't even like each other most of the time but they were a team. Like we are every other month or so. Dammit, here I am getting all mushy. Gimme the keys, I wanna go rip off that 4-minute lap.