SlotForum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once in the digital realm there are MANY other features that can be PROGRAMMED that are currently unavailable in analog realm.

What about the computer stopping power after X seconds of a car not reporting (deslotted).

Mandatory pit stops for fuel.

Simulated tire wear with reduced speed, requiring a pitstop to regain top speed.

Programmable throttle curves for precise control of car.

Programmed "braking" and "acceleration" to make cars handle more realistically. Could be programmed so that cars do not accelerate with mind numbing acceleration, could be made more scale appropriate (would also help with rear-ending cars in front) Cars could be runn in simulation mode to appear scale accurate in performance.

Random mechanical failures. Intermittent in nature.

Heads up digital display giving play by play information on race and car performance (RPMS, speed, etc), throttle position, braking etc.

Ability to use gaming controls with slots. Separate throttle and variable braking contrrols like PC driving sims.

Additional digital inputs like track calls and signals to other drivers.

No longer are riders a problem!

Programming! Programming! Programming! The sky is the limit with programmers now having control over the race once in the digital domain.

And all this without even utilizing lane changes!

Digital is the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, and I forgot. . .

Simulated brake fade.

AND. .. when additional mechanics are added to car:

Variable magnetism to simulate weather, reduced tire performance or trrack hazzards.

Ability to switch lights on and off with a switch (just for fun)

Signals for all cars to have accurate brake lights. Built in horn. Headlights. Built in motor sounds (in car).

"GPS" type systems that accurately monitor cars position (using in car sensor) on track so it can be displayed on a TV monitor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, and what about variable top speed so that sometimes you get an extra boost to help in your passing maneuvers?

What about nitrous button for extra speed?

RPM control of engines so that all cars have equal speed.

Accurate race statistics and telemetry features.

. . .
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
Cool.


95% of those feature are going to be incorperated into Scalextric SportWorld and Sport Digital race management software. Great minds think alike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
QUOTE Ability to use gaming controls with slots. Separate throttle and variable braking controls like PC driving sims .
It would be SO much simpler to do away with the cars and track and HAVE a driving sim.
The hardware becomes totally redundant.
As this truism slowly crystallizes, that is what will actually happen.
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
I don't think so, at least not for me.

The sims are already there. I've even played with them. I have used Flight simulator since 1988, but still find real flying more fun, I've used 4 driving sims with a fancy fandango wheel and pedals, but still find real driving more fun.

I think that slot cars are somewhere in between the sim and the real thing. There is a physical aspect, a simulated reality aspect with modelling and miniaturisation and there is also a technical aspect with electrics and electronics. A couple more gadgets won't kill it for me, it will only enhance the game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
I don't deny that for a few dedicated enthusiasts like yourself and very possibly, even me, this will be true, Nuro. But it's another small and further separating niche within an already quite small hobby group. In the longer term, I see digital creating an intially wider consumer base, purely on the strength of clever marketing and enthusiastic posts like that above. Digital will also steal a very small small piece of the existing market and all may look rosy for a time.

Later, exactly as with existing equipment, the cold, hard reality of space constraints will inevitably see around 90% of the sets abandoned, leaving very much the same situation as now. The one difference will be that then there will be a small segment of digital enthusiasts separated out from the simpler mainstream that has been the absolute backbone of slotting's ability to endure for the last 40 odd years. What I previosuly referred to will also occur - many people WILL go the whole hog on sims and leave the slot cars and their tracks behind.

As always, the technology itself attracts me immensely but, objectively, I don't see it as anything but an overall diminution of actual slot racing. The programmable aspects are all possible, but they take the emphasis right away from the electro-mechanical aspects of real machinery into virtual machinery. It's only a tiny step to then totally abandon the real thing and so very easy a step to take that many will not be able to resist it.
Overall, I see the net result as a reduction in demand for slot car sets.
I don't judge this as either 'good' or 'bad', I simply recognize it's complete inevitability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
No surprise that I disagree with you completely. Plucking figures out of the air and stating that 90 % of the sets will be abandoned? Where dio you derive that figure from or how do you know the state of the hobby? A small hobby? Small enough to keep a few major manufacturing companies going for a long time!

Simulation on a computer or elsewhere has been around for long enough now. My view is that Nuro has it bang on,peole still want the physical aspect, the touchy feely,sociable aspects. I instructed for quite a few years using simulaters, higher tech than anything available in Civvy street but the guys could never wait to get anywhere near the real thing. Scalextric racing, within the limits of being a toy, is as close as you can currently get to the real thing for many people. Adding the ability of improving race management and performance on the track and you have a complete winner. I see 300 people a week come through Phoenix, most have computers and PS 2 . So why do they slot race as well as..? Because it`s an organised, social activity that brings lots of fresh competiors into the arena. Intrinsic motivation is further stimulated by the group cheering the racer on, clapping the racers at race end, awards and peer adulation and peer respect , to chat with fellow enthusiasts instead of screaming at a computer screen, all add to make a great experience. Yes lots more people race at home than at clubs but I see home racing as a start not an end to the hobby. the point being racing at home is not all there is to the hobby.

To put it in simple terms it`s about stimulation and not simulation!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
QUOTE What I previosuly referred to will also occur - many people WILL go the whole hog on sims and leave the slot cars and their tracks behind.

you say this like it hasn't already happened, or that it can't happen now I can't see digital and sportworld driving people towards PC sims- if anything, it's more likely to bring them back.

In "the olde days", kids played with slot cars because it was the best and most acessible approximation of Real Motorsport available. These days, they play Gran Turismo, for the same reason.

The fundamental appeal of slot racing is the tangible nature of the models- no matter how nice the model of, for example, a Lister Storm is in a game, you can't put it on a shelf, or pick it up and run your fingers over it.

OTOH, slot racing is never going to give you that "being there in the cockpit" thing that the best Sims can offer, because you're viewing the action in the third person. It currently can't offer the sound of 8 honking great cylinders howling down a drainpipe and bouncing off the walls.

Right now (and for the last 10 years) anyone currently slot-racing, who wants to and can afford to, has the capability to abandon it and go PC simming, but a lot don't. Quite a few do both. I don't see how adding optional features to slot-racing is going to send more people running to the computer shop...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I think the real value of digital is having a working pit stop. All the other stuff is likely to be overwlming for the average user.

I think opinion a lot of folk that are on boards like this love slots because it is a link with their youth. They played with slots when they where younger and have always loved them.

Some of the younger enthusiests (and older) love the mechanical aspect, they are builders, mechanics.

Of course, some are collectors. Some are all three.

I don't think the universe of todays kids have necessarily fallen in love with slot cars . Yes we pick up a few that stick with it with the vigor we have. I think Scalextric and the others are looking for a way to connect slot cars to todays kids, connecting klunky slot cars to computers, the internet, modern lifestyles. Maybe it will be a fantastic success, but I think it's not gonna change the market share much.

Most of us now have money for timers, controllers, scenery, accesories. Digital will just be another must have, even if you don't use all the features all the time.
Just more "play value".

Remember B4 you fire off critisim, this is just an observation/opinion. Other viewpoints are welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
I happen to agree with what you are saying. There is no doubt that Scalextric and others are aiming at the next generation. I am working on a daily basis with todays youth and I can tell you that they do love Slot racing and many that I see stick with it. My retention rate over a two year period is approx 70% . It`s like any game, you can play on your own but it`s better with other people involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
If Mecoprop had taken the trouble to do various searches and visit digital sim websites then he would see for himself that there is much talk about Scalextric SPORT World and how it brings 3 dimensional sim gaming to a 2 dimensional world.

Also similar talk on internet gaming websites. Do various searches and see for yourself.

It is not about the current enthusiasts of which a sample are members of this board. However it has to be said that those that are not "stuckinthepast" like Tropi and Mecoprop will benefit.

It is about a whole generation who have by-passed the hobby for the internet and games consoles who will be drawn back. And the new generation who are entering the hobby for the first time and are used to pressing buttons and using computers and are probably more computer literate at the age of 7 then most of the members of Slotforum are who may be their dads!

(PC and 7 year old =
PC and dad =
)


Moped
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,883 Posts
That 90% abandonment rate is pretty well accepted Jon.
The professed expert in Scalextric sales stats, Mop, was once asked to quote the annual output of Scalextric sets. It would be extremely interesting to see the last 20 years sales figures for UK.

My personal experience - I have known hundreds of people who have or have had a set and almost none of them actually used it after the first few weeks, mere days in some cases. It's absolutely safe to say that there are hundreds of thousands of sets lying around totally unused. Apart from a surprisingly VERY few members of my club, I currently am not aware of a single one of my acquaintances who actually use the sets they have hidden away somewhere in their house or garage.

BTW - this is not about cars, its about sets - working track circuits.
It's quite common for people to collect cars - but it's extremely UNcommon to collect circuits.
LOL! Just had a very amusing thought . . . I guess I should maybe add that I actually own ELEVEN complete sets but, and it's a good but, I do not have a working circuit at home.

Space problems - that's why I do a 140 odd mile trip to race at my club.
The simulations will only have to improve a little before I will drop out of the club, though I might keep the cars.

I would add that the same thing applies to model trains - I have VAST amoounts of them and they never see the light of day. A REALLY good simulator will definitely see the back of them too.
It WILL happen.

EDIT
QUOTE 3 dimensional sim gaming
There you go - the thin end of the wedge!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
Tiring of the debate but keen to throw my four pound fifty two pence worth in -

Kids have all this simulation available to them now, and they don't need no dirty, fiddly, space consuming plastic track to do it. Just plug in the PSII and away they go. And I would hazard a guess this existing digital market is way, way bigger than the slot car one. This Sport World thing is an aberration, I just cannot see it expanding the market - it's more hassle than a traditional console and offers no 'must have' options that they lack. It takes a simple concept and adds layers of complexity in order to rival the PC world.

The manufacturers have to face a cold reality: there is little space for growth in this hobby. New cars may entice a few punters but to my mind there is a finite number of folks who want to play with little motorized toys all year round and in many ways it is an archaic pastime.

Sure, there is pressure on a public company like Hornby to constantly grow the profits to keep the shareholders sweet (must get around to getting hold of one so I can go to the AGM - do they give out limited edition cars, do you think?); hence wobbly motorbikes Sport World and lane changing; but I can't see them ever making slot cars more than a small niche in the toy market and their attempts to do so may hurt the core business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
I don`t accept the 90% figure, based on my own experience nor that this a small hobby. It`s not up there with fishing but then no other hobby is. Fact based on economic and magazine Industry reports.

Shame on your club if they can`t keep someone as interested as you. Maybe if they adopted some extra simulation/stimulation you`d never leave...even to go home! I`m planning on developing a club room where we can get the occasional stripper and a donkey for the lads. Simulation...? Yes if the wives ask! Stimulation...? Ask the donkey!

Maybe I should start a poll? Strippers in a club room or third tack (digital)? Maybe not
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
QUOTE their attempts to do so may hurt the core business

Hornby have got a record number of new cars in the catalogue this year, as well as the new "Pit Lane" tune up parts range and new track sections and Starsky and Hutch and Tennage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Carrera have James Bond and Ferrari.

Their "core" businesses seem to me to be doing all the right things to me!



Moped
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
Anybody got the number for the Samaritans? Good grief, Kids (me included) just want to have fun, anything that adds to that is good in their and my eyes!

I see week by week proof that they do love Scalextric (they don`t say slot racing) and they are always happy to race. Further proof if needed? Half term next week which means I`ll be open all through the week. When I run the holiday club I open at 8.30 til 6.30 and all day there will be a varirty of racing classes, non stop. Just in case, I also set up a couple of PS2`s just in case they get bored...never happens. PS 2 sits there looking sad, which is what computer games are compared to a group activity...sad!

By the way, turn up at 6.30 and watch the kids get pulled away by their parents, they don`t wan` t to go home
the club then runs on from 6.30 til late.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
Jonny, comparing your club to the home set racer doesn't hold water, IMHO. It is find and dandy what you have achieved there but I don't see it replicated across the UK. What I do see is model shops deleting the slot car inventory and it is repeated on these boards all the time.

Christmas comes, a big set is a big win, but come the new year Mum doesn't want to be stepping over it to cross the living room so it goes away and it doesn't reappear for ages, if at all. That is a repeated situation up and down the countryside and that is where the 90% abandonment figure comes in. Sure, it's a speculation but it ain't far from the truth. Folks don't have the room, plain and simple, to leave a permanent circuit up, so it gets forgotten.

Jonny says that he will be at it dusk 'til dawn this half-term week and I don't doubt him but isn't this stream of kids there because they don't have the room for Scalextric at home and because he is providing a creche facility in all but name? That would be my bet/assumption.

Yep, I reckon I may well be wide of the mark, the failure of Sprot (sic) World, Motogripes (sic), Digital et al shouldn't bring Hornby to its knees but I doubt long term it will drive the bottom line either.

It's an opinion, Jim. But not as we know it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
The Creche label is a tad disrespectful to me and the kids that race in an organised manner to usual club rules without tearing around like lunatics. Like some of the views posted on SF it`s not based on fact rather an assumed generalisation that is incorret. Come and see for yourself, they normaly put the adults to shame! They also happen to race very well, ask Wolverhampton club?

It`s not just the holidays that are popular it`s every session. These kids are not off the street they are regular attending club members. Thjey all started with home sets and progressed, that`s my point. My experience proves my point that if more people made this kind of thing available then you would see the true potential. I`m not banging on about Phoenix I`m validating my comments with real experience. Why don`t the sets stay up? Because lazy parents can`t be bothered. They bought the set in the first place and it fitted somewhere didn`t it? My dad built me and my brothers around our bedroom wall. Truth is give the kids a bit of time and they`ll show the interest. Anything new that comes out they want to use not collect. They are gonna love the new kit, so am I.

Bottom line we are well happy here because we make the effort
Here`s a question for you? How many SF members have a track set up and/or race at a club?
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top