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5 Motorsport Manager features to get excited about
Having conquered the mobile games market, Playsport Games’ racing sim is set for a PC podium finish.
Motorsport Manager started life as a mobile game and attracted a solid following from race fans drawn in by the unique and intricate management stylings.
Since then the developer, Playsport Games, has partnered with the mighty Sega and has been busy plugging a far more powerful engine under the hood to unleash an even bigger version on PC, Mac and Linux in September 2016.
Where the iPhone and Android versions scratched the surface of race management simulation, the new Motorsport Manager will dive deep into a parallel world of wheel-to-wheel racing where every decision counts.
We've had the pleasure of getting to grips with the new title and picking the brain of developer, Rob Pearson, to deliver the five most important things you need to know about the bigger and bolder Motorsport Manager.
1. Team harmony is as important as having fast cars
Team management is key to creating a winning team. With so many precocious and handsomely paid drivers, you need to make sure that they fit into your overall team strategy so everything runs smoothly.
Rob Pearson explains: “The drivers all have different personality traits. There are mean guys and nice guys who can help the chemistry within the rest of the team.
“You have those who are wet-weather experts and ones who just want to overtake all the time, so the key to success is looking after drivers and other members of the team to ensure a harmonious working relationship.”
To take it up a level, drivers have their individual likes and dislikes. For example a driver can suddenly become interested in the music industry and even release albums. Others will take up modelling careers and we’ve been told that there’s even the prospect of drivers joining a cult! “There’s also a driver who has a pet dog, which annoys his mechanic,” says Pearson.
All this has an effect on the team and needs to be managed correctly to make sure it doesn't ruin the harmony. Your decisions in these situations are the difference between a podium finish or not.
2. This isn’t an official F1 game and that’s a good thing.
You won’t find any F1 related branding in Motorsport Manager. It may have a distinct smell of Formula One, but the familiar names and drivers associated with it are nowhere to be found. Thankfully, this is actually a positive.
As it isn't a licensed game, Motorsport Manager is free to create a fantastical and immersive world around its drivers, cars and tracks that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Just as PES gets around its lack of licenses, team names reference their real-life counterparts in Motorsport Manager, so you’ll get Scuderia Rossini instead of Scuderia Ferrari and so on.
The same goes for the brilliantly detailed circuits that use visual cues from tracks like Monza, Monaco and Suzuka, but packaged and placed around new parts of the globe.
The unofficial status isn’t a problem for Pearson. “It’s a blessing in disguise,” he says. “We’re free to do things the license would’ve restricted and it helps us to create an alternate world and make it our own. It’s one of the things we’ve really pushed and expanded on from the mobile game and it now feels like a living, breathing world.
“Essentially we’ve been able to cherry pick from all the types of motorsport out there and shape them to our own vision. There are 16 circuits in the game and you'll travel the world facing very different challenges. From traditional airfield-based layouts in the UK to racing around street circuits in Cape Town or ovals in Arizona."
3. Cheats sometimes prosper
Motor racing has been littered with rule bending skulduggery for decades now and Motorsport Manager embraces this dark side.
Instead of adhering to all those pesky rules, there's a nifty little option that allows you to risk your reputation – and years of hard graft – to sneak an illegal part into your car and win a crucial race.
“When you're developing parts in the team’s factory there are risks you can take,” says Pearson. “In the development phase, you can choose to break the rules to gain an advantage. But at the end of each race, there's scrutineering and a chance your illegal part will be spotted. If you get caught, you'll suffer penalties, but if you're going into the last race of the season and you need to win, it might just be worth the gamble.”
4. You can decide on new rules
Playsport Games Director Christian West says that the original mobile game drew in a lot of non-motorsport fans who enjoyed the strategy element.
The developers are keen to build on this with the new game and enhance the experience by adding a lot more day-to-day involvement aside from simply building cars. One of the biggest additions here is the ability to decide what new rules get the green light.
“As team manager, you’re also a member of the International Motorsports Association [IMA] alongside other team principles,” says Pearson. “Throughout your career, you can vote on new rules being introduced and whether they get approved or rejected. This theoretically means that by the time you get to next season, the game will have changed somewhat.” So, as a member of the IMA, you can bend the rules in your favour.
“If you’re really smart, and a bit Machiavellian, you can twist the sport to your advantage,” says Pearson. “So if you’re a small team and a rule proposal comes up to even out the prize money between the front-running teams and those at the back, you can try to force through the new rule – and when you get to the top, you can vote to change it back again,” he says.
5. There are plenty of career options
The pinnacle of the game is to manage your team in the World Motorsport Championship, but Playsport Games offer extra incentives alongside it, too.
You can compete in the regional championship and try to reach the top, which is akin to taking a football team from the lower leagues to the Champions League in Football Manager.
Pearson explains: “You can go into the European Racing Series and work your way up to the top. From here you can get an invite to the Asian Pacific Supercup and that offers a different type of gameplay as well as a new challenge.