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Getting cool cars into racing games is much harder than you think.

We all take it for granted that seeing your favourite cars in racing games is just thanks to a few contracts between game developers and auto manufacturers to use their logo's, branding and car names. But the reality is far different, and quite a difficult one at that.

The world's top car racing games are titles such as Gran Tourismo, Forza, Need For Speed and Dirt, but have you ever wondered how those cars make it into a game?

Well, it all starts with choosing which cars will suit a specific game. Once the creative team decides on which cars they believe need to be in the game, they will then present that to their licencing department who are responsible for contacting the manufacturers and negotiating contracts to use these cars.

That can be quite a tedious process as some manufacturers don't want to be associated with certain modifications and or other brands (as in, if you modify a car in a game, it is likely that some manufacturers won't want gamers to have the ability to decal their car with certain brand logos).

Next up is to create a digital 3D render of the physical car. A 3D mapping camera is used to scan over the car and then software will render it into a model which is used for the development of the game. But there is a far more important aspect than just graphics, and that is audio. The cars featured in video games today resemble the sounds of the real car, so a process is used that involves multi-sampled layered tracks of recorded audio, which are interactive depending on if you are pushing the brake or accelerator buttons.

Next is arguably the most intricate part of the creation and that is the performance. Not only do the developers and creative team have to represent how the car handles and performs, but also how it reacts to specific modifications in the game. The software responsible for this makes use of AI to simulate real-world physics in a digital map to portray the most realistic simulation possible.

Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Donut Media, on Getting Cool Cars Into Racing Games Is Much Harder Than You Think.

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