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Interview with Jay Ekkel of Simbin

Shaun Cole On September 2, 2014
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Simbin has for a long time been a fixture of the sim racing community as the makers of some of the most recognizable racing titles ever made.  GTR, GTR2, GT Legends, Race 07 and Raceroom are just some of those games.  Recently Simbin has been in the news with rumors of bankruptcy, closing up shop or some form of restructuring.  With that going on Shaun Cole of The Simpit was able to sit down via Skype with Jay Ekkel, the licencing manager for Simbin.  They talk about the company, its past, its future and a little bit of general sim racing talk.

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matthew arnold On 2014-09-03 13:43:00
matthew arnold

I was happy when i saw this in my sub box on youtube. It even spurred me to fire up R3E and DTMex again for a few hours smile


Tim Chitwood On 2014-09-03 00:38:15
Tim Chitwood

I am super stoked to hear they are doing the ADAC GT series. My biggest complaint is the complexity of setting up a wheel and now that I am running it triple screens. I would like to see better triple screen video and more fps. My other thing is looking forward to being able to assign the wheel buttons and my button boxes for adjustment on the fly. I own most of the cars and tracks outside of DTM already, but I am looking forward to the ADAC cars and tracks. For now I am just glad to hear they are spooling back up to full speed. 


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Wesley Stokes Wesley Stokes
Great to see you back Shawn!

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Jim Meyer Jim Meyer
Which family of 80/20 extrusion do you use?  1010, 1030, etc.

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Vern Osborne Vern Osborne

Thanks for your informative and concise reviews. I really appreciate your work. I have one question that is a little outside the scope of this review, but I'm wondering if you have tried to use this shifter with a Fanatec CSR wheel via the DIN cable... the connection looks the same, and I'm really curious if it can be calibrated / recognized through this wheel. Do you have a CSR wheel and would you be willing to test this? I'm probably asking too much... just hoping I might be able to use it on Forza 3 and 4 on 360 through my CSR before taking the plunge.


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Sabastian Brown Sabastian Brown
Honestly, I think it depends on how you look at it. Many people can make the arguement that simracing isn't a motorsport becuase you are racing things by the power of motor, you are racing by the power of the internet connection. Others say it is by making the same arguement in reverse, that the cars in the sims have motors. What people sometimes overlook is the fact that as time passes, everything changes and evolves. I personally believe that it should be a true motorsport because not everyone is capable of it. It is difficult to sit in a race for multiple hours straight just get the first position. However a lot of people will dream of racing proffessionally. That is even more difficult to do. Simracing just provides the ability for someone to attempt to claim that dream in a small way by racing against others online. The thing about it, as I stated earlier, is that a lot of people don't realize how difficult it is for someone to complete the raacing that you must in simracing, and I believe that through that difficulty and the time that must commited to it for even the smallest chance of success, simracing easily earnes its right as a true motorsport.

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Marcus Mackey Marcus Mackey
My perspectives:I think Sony is doing this to break the Gran Turismo franchise up into bite-size chunks to keep games coming at a much quicker pace.  GT started out in a lot of ways carrying a lot of production-based content and over time added a breadth of individual sporting cars from various classifications.  Sometimes it was more like a touchstone of a couple models here/there but seldom did it ever go all encompassing on one discipline.I think that changes here.  I think the FIA association will push this to be based around their Sports Car sanctioning throughout Europe.  I think that's why it's being sold as GT Sport vs. sold as a Prologue or "Lite" version.  I think rather than go for the all-encompassing, retina engulfing roster of cars from Japanese "Kei" cars to Humvee's and Pike's Peak cars to Sports Cars, etc. etc.  This is going to be a much more focused, much more in-depth effort from Polyphony.  Rather than carry a bazillion makes and models of street cars, I think they focus it more on trying to give a more well-rounded sporting experience and to really cater to the Le Mans-style prototypes and the Sports Car Class cars from FIA.On your second point...  when does it become motorsport?  I think anytime there's a propulsion system that falls under the general term of "motor".  If we split hairs, engines aren't clinically listed as a "motor".  Most refer to electric motors, semantically, as the only and one true motor when it comes to propulsion systems.  Yet, used loosely...  I think it means something that is not animal-powered, whether by secondary (i.e. a horse, donkey, oxen, etc.) or by self-propulsion (i.e. you pedal, "Flintstone", etc.) or via gravity-alone (i.e. Soap Box Derby).  So I think going in...  gas engines or electric or hybrid, all suffice on the "motor" end of the sport.As far as "sport"...  it's based, by your own acknowledgement, by some form of competition.  Whether 1 on 1 or every man/woman for themselves...  I think if there's a competition to be had, and it requires physicality to achieve it, it's a sport.  I don't care if that's gymastics or figure-skating or cheerleading...  or if it's auto racing or even sim racing.  I definitely believe sim racing is a sport because it requires strategy, endurance, physicality in the seat and a sense of ability.I think in life we've often replicated reality with sim racing but I could see a time come when sim racing takes on it's own form of from the ground up, custom form of sport.  Think of it like F1 where modders are given a set of constraints and regulations to build within.  You have to generate 3D models, generate your cars physics within the constraints of what is allowed (i.e. how much downforce/drag vs. how low-drag/low-downforce you build your car for an entire schedule...  esp. considering what events might be "marquee" on the schedule, i.e. like how Sebring, Le Mans or Daytona are viewed vs. other lesser events on your schedule).  It's a type of sim sport like does not currently exist, but I can see constructors (via modders) and racers being united together for our own form of F1 or even perhaps an Endurance-style program where there's multiple drivers in 1 car with driver changes.  It's an interesting concept and would likely have to be driven by some form of fuel consumption rules as well as some form of weight-tiering similar to how sports car racing has been done.  But...  it'd be interesting to see it play out.  If I was Image Space Inc. or Kunos Simulazioni, it might be an interesting concept to propose on the mod community to see what could be done to produce it.  It might draw interest and intrigue to either title, esp. if there was some real manufacturer involvement.As always...  great show Shaun!

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