How to Design a Car Driving Simulation

Written by alex williams
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How to Design a Car Driving Simulation
Car simulation is a great hobby and way to train new drivers. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Creating a car-driving simulation can be a long and stressful process. One of the most important aspects of creating a car simulation is the design phase, which makes up a large portion of the entire process. A common misconception of the design phase is that it pertains only to the graphics creation of the simulation elements, whereas it actually includes the entire planning process.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Image development software

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    Planning Process

  1. 1

    Decide what kind of simulator you want. Consider the different options such as, cruising or racing, types of cars and strictly software or fully developed front and side view screens with steering wheel, gear lever and pedals.

  2. 2

    Research your ideas. Think of what kind of cars you're going to simulate and find out how they work and what they look like, especially from the driver's perspective. Use maps of well known places to simulate real life cruising or racing tracks.

  3. 3

    Organise and outline your simulator. List the features you will include in the simulator and organise them in the order the person using the simulator will experience them. Outline what cars and tracks will be immediately available and what can be unlocked after the user has become more experienced.

    Graphics Creation Process

  1. 1

    Sketch out your cars' interiors. Using your research and reference photos draw out what you want the interiors to look like. Be sure to include everything that a driver would need to see such as, speedometer, odometer, gas meter, engine heat, gear display and any indicator lights.

  2. 2

    Refine your graphics. Using your image development software, clean up your original sketches and make them sharp and clearly understandable.

  3. 3

    Create your tracks. Build the world your cars will drive in using your image development software. Tracks can be 2-D or 3-D, and be sure to include some scenery to add to the depth of the simulator.

  4. 4

    Prepare your assets for the next step. In order for your simulator to be usable, the graphics you've created need to be coded by a programmer. Organise all the assets into individual folders and group them in a way that makes sense. Compress these files or burn them onto a disc or hard drive for the programmer to access.

Tips and warnings

  • Google Earth can give you a peek at real-life racecourses and roadways to base your tracks on.
  • Though you may want to keep all the controls in the simulator as close to real life as possible, you can get creative with the software and design cars that look futuristic or have a racetrack on the moon.

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