At the end of the last blog post there was a promise: it wouldn’t be 18 months before the next update. Today, that promise is fulfilled – a mere 37 days later.
Today, though, is not a direct update on the progress of GR2 itself – but rather an update on the progress of the team. The GR2 team is in the process of growing slightly (to fill roles and responsibilities that we are unable to do ourselves), and today we’re introducing a familiar face to many of you, who will be assisting in keeping this blog up-to-date, and keeping the updates rolling in over time. He’ll decide what’s “newsworthy”, rather than us, and that will certainly result in more posting than you’ve become accustomed to. We’re incredibly pleased to have him on-board helping us out with these updates and participating in discussions about development progress and direction.
So, without further ado, we’ll let TuomoH take it from here…
As you know, the rate of GeneRally 2 developer blog updates has been very low. James and Markku rather concentrate on pushing the development further instead of writing about the progress in a blog post and that’s alright with me. However, since the media silence does no good for the cause, the development team, together with yours truly, have now decided that it’s best that someone else updates the blog. The dev team can concentrate on developing and the community gets the news it craves – everybody wins! The question then is why me, TuomoH? How did I end up here?
Back in 2002, I was searching the web for some abandonware nostalgia when I ran into a link to the official GeneRally website. I downloaded the game, checked the 16 original tracks, and tested the Track Editor. A day or two later I went back to download everything in the official track database. At that time, GR 1.0 had been out for a week and a half but there were already hundreds of tracks. Most of them were utter crap by today’s standards, but the enthusiasm was high.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this was the game of my dreams. I had always enjoyed top-down racing games and here we had a game with cool visuals, great gameplay, and a surprisingly easy-to-use Track Editor. I kept playing, practiced making tracks, and after a month and a half decided that my latest track was good enough to be posted in public. I joined the community, residing at the official GR website of the Räbinä brothers, and posted THRing. I got some very nice feedback and if I wasn’t hooked before, now there was no turning back. As they say, the rest is history. I rarely visited abandonware sites any longer.
I’ve seen it all: the golden years, the Race Sim Central era, the collapse of RSC and uncertain beginnings of GRIF. I’ve seen the flurry of new members after the release of GR 1.1 and 1.2, been ecstatic about the GR2 demo and pledged to the Kickstarter project more than I’ve ever paid for any other game. I’ve seen the sad, silent downfall of the current community. I’ve witnessed the rise and fall of GR, some might say. During these years, I’ve released more than 230 tracks, some of them part of the official release, been given the TrackMaster badge, won the GR world championship twice and GR Le Mans race three times, won many Track of Month and Track of Year awards, and been promoted first to a moderator, then a site admin. As I said, I’ve seen it all. Why am I still here?
The thing is that for me, GeneRally is still the best game ever. It’s the game I’ve played more than any other game, hands down. I still get immense joy from firing up the Track Editor and trying new things in there. I love hotlapping, even though I don’t do that so often anymore. Things change and I’m in a totally different place in my life than 16 years ago. However, one thing has stayed with me through these years. GeneRally. GeneRally and its wonderful community. They have a special place in my heart, and they always will.
I believe in this game, I believe in the community. I know that many people have lost their faith but the thing is that there’s still life left. Through these years I’ve stayed in contact with James and know for fact that things have progressed. Maybe not at an optimal speed but progressed nevertheless. I’m a realist and I do admit that some things have been done wrong in the past. However, I’m not here to play the blame game. I never understood what’s the point in continuing bickering. What’s happened, has happened. Instead, I want to look into future! I want to do my best in bringing awareness of this little gem that’s in the making. I want to give something more to the community that has been part of my life for so long.
As of this writing, I don’t know yet what I’m going to write about next. I haven’t played GR2 since the Kickstarter demo. All I know is that in the coming months, I’ll get an insider’s look into the project and start posting about the current state of the development of GR2. I won’t promise weekly or even monthly posts but I do promise to post every now and then, and definitely at a faster rate than has happened in the past. Finally, I promise to stay faithful to the game and to the community. Long live GeneRally!