Turning Papyrus’ NASCAR racing 2003 simulation into a true 80s/90s GTP simulation requires more than editing models, physics and sounds. With its dark blue and red interface, less-than-subtle typography and clunky feedback sounds Nascar Racing 2003 Season oozes North American racing esthetics. That would be my job to fix.
Apart from editing the graphics and colors, the most significant step was made by changing the typography. Not being able to add any typefaces to the game engine, the solution was to replace the entire primary screen font by a renamed copy of the secondary font, a much cleaner sans-serif.
Replacing the heavy mechanical gearbox-shift soundeffects by clean computerized confirmation clicks and beeps finished the job and brought the look and feel from North America to Europe, from Daytona to Le Mans.
From the SimHQ review:
“The first thing that hits you when you let the sim start from the launcher are the completely restyled interfaces. The good things from the original NR 2003 interface are still there, but the new style menus ooze quality and really help bring about an atmosphere of a clean and well organized racing garage. The interface is clean and the new menu sounds are the best I’ve ever heard. They tell me that my order to go to the track, or to the setup screens has been registered with the sim, and the click-sounds do so without attraction unnecessary attention to themselves. They are discreet, businesslike and unobtrusive. Yet another sign of the attention to detail that has been lavished upon this mod. High tech and racetrack ambiance is here in abundance. Perfection!”
After hex-editing all the game files related to the user-interface it felt good to get some visual editing done on half the field of cars in the first release. Half the fun is in the online search for good photomaterial of the eighties and nineties racing era. I love those cars.