Nazca – Peru – Flight Sim

I’ve written here about my current Flight Sim challenge which is to fly around the world in short stages. Each leg is somewhere from 50 miles to 2000 miles, sometimes you have to fly over the Pacific and there isn’t a load of airports there. I’m currently in Peru and my previous journey had me landing at Aerodromo Maria Reiche in Nasca. While heading there I flew over the Nazca Lines and so I decided to download a scenery pack and go back and see what it looks like. I didn’t want to zoom over at 500 knots so decided to take a Grumman Goose out for a trip. As I’m heading to Lake Titicaca next I might make that trip in the Goose and land on the lake. It’s not very fast so I’ll have to see how much time I have. I might take the T7 to closer to the lake and then swap.

Grumman_G-21A_Goose - Peru
Grumman_G-21A_Goose – Peru
Grumman_G-21A_Goose - Peru - Nazca
Grumman_G-21A_Goose – Peru – Nazca

What A Feeling

I’m still playing Gran Turismo 7 as it’s most likely the only game I will be able to get a Platinum trophy. There’s quite a bit of work to do, but I’m not in a rush. I have plenty of time. I just enjoy playing the game. I know there’s been annoyance from players because of lots of the internal economic market but I don’t really care about that. I’m happy to just keep playing.

I don’t currently spend huge amounts of time online racing as other people can be terrible and it’s hard t get the balance right. I’m happy to nudge an AI car now and then but it’s different when it’s another person. This is not something most people think about it would appear given how many times I’ve been knocked off. Anyway, I recently did some qualification laps and I was surprised that I claimed Pole Position. Not entirely sure how that happened and I don’t know how Polyphony allocate people to races to it could be entirely random. Anyway, I got Pole. I also won the race and got fastest lap. This was the first time this had happened for me and I was super proud.

Gran Turismo Online Win
Gran Turismo Online Win

Heading South

I’m still flying around the world in X-Plane. There are a few very boring communications about this within this site. This communication is just to have my recent Avro Vulcan landing published somewhere other than my YouTube channel. I think most of my landings in that airplane had been “less than satisfactory” but this one went ok. I’m still going to keep trying. I’m starting to vary the aircraft a little to see how they are different and to stave off the boredom of another flight sitting at 35,000ft for half an hour.

Upgrade In Quality

I’m still playing on the PS5. Recently I’ve been messing around in Minecraft and organising some things in that game within a new world – expect some videos at some point. The first thing I build, once the resources are ready, is a kelp farm with XP generator. This is handy for enchanting equipment and fixing equipment, anything where you need plenty of XP. I’m also still working my way through Gran Turismo. I reckon I’ll be able to get my first Platinum trophy on a Playstation Game within a year. I’m nearly there, just have to take part in 100 online races and 100 time trials. This will take time. Oh, and I need to buy three of the most expensive cars. Anyway, there’s no rush.

In the meantime I’ve been working my way through the circuit experience challenges. You have to complete sectors of each circuit within certain time targets and then the final challenge is a complete lap. Sometimes I smash this easily and within a few goes. Sometimes it takes a little longer. I don’t mind it taking longer, I get a better sense of achievement when I do get a Gold lap in.

I reckon the 122 miles I did of Laguna Seca is tiny in comparison with the distance I did around Spa to get the I-10 licence gold. But I’ve got the dedication to keep going in this game even with all the frustrations.

I’ve recently found the 4k screen recording option within the PS5 for capturing clips of play. I only really capture stuff that I’m proud of and normally this will be a replay of a decent lap or race that I’ve saved. I can’t imagine anything worse than watching actual gameplay! Can you imagine seeing me crash fifty times in different places on a lap as I build up to a complete Gold medal win? Here is a 4k video I took of my gold lap around the Dragon Trail Seaside Circuit as part of the circuit experience. It took a while, mostly because of the walls of death and not being allowed to scrape the barriers!

Along with this here’s my lap around Deep Forest in the circuit experience. I got gold but it took some time to completely hook up a decent lap in every sector!

Stavelot – Belgium

I spent some time racing around the gorgeous circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. I was slightly bothered about the challenge being made in a Porsche but it turns out this particular car was very well behaved. This will be a 4k video [when processed] which I recorded and uploaded. My god, it looks amazing.

While I was watching the replay I noticed the amazing graphics of the brakes getting hot and decided to take a photograph. This was taken at the end of the long straight after Eau Rouge.

Heavy Braking at Spa Francorchamps
Heavy Braking at Spa Francorchamps

When I played this session it was far more satisfying than some recent gameplay. I’ve been attempting some races that I’ve actually struggled in! I also really love the dynamic weather but it’s a bit irritating to not know at the start of a thirty minute race what weather might be affecting you about fifteen minutes in! I will persist and get better.

You’ll Get Bored Soon

I’ve been playing a lot of Gran Turismo 7 because it’s fun and looks nice. There’s a photo mode which I mess around with now and then but it’s not really why I play the game. You can take a car and place it somewhere in the world where GT7 people have got high res images of certain locations. Then you can pretty much adjust every aspect of the car, position, lighting and camera details until you get the photograph you want. I then screen shot the best ones and we are at a stage in device connectivity that these media files now appear on my phone in the PS app. I quite like how it all links up. This makes it quite a bit easier for me to save the pictures rather than using a USB memory stick or sharing to Twitter and then downloading that file.

German In Germany
German In Germany

This image was set up and taken quickly for a bronze trophy within the game. You have to photograph a BMW Gr3 car at the Nürburgring. Fortunately I had won a BMW Gr3 car for completing some challenge or other so I already had that vehicle. The other photograph trophy is an Audi R18 at Le Mans and I’ve got to save up to buy that particular car as it’s three million credits in game and I only have about 1.2 million at the moment. The time will come though. In a short while I’m going to work on the Dirt Track trophy so look out for that tweet.

Bora Horza Gobuchul Racing Form
Bora Horza Gobuchul Racing Form

This is my car at the Nürburgring, I own a grey Prius like the one on the photograph except mine doesn’t have a body kit fitted to it, or a wing. While you can’t see the details in this photograph I have modified the car body as far as I can and reduced the weight of the vehicle by taking out everything that’s not needed. The engine has been tuned to a high degree and the suspension and brakes have been uprated. I’ve install some super sticky racing tyres and added a few racing details for fun. I think I’ll take a few more photographs of this car with a standard Prius next to it so the details stand out a little more.

I still don’t have the real Bora Horza Gobuchul because, oddly enough, the parts that are needed to replace the stolen parts are in high demand because too many of the catalytic converters are being stolen. I probably could get a decent one from eBay, and it might even be the one from my car, but it’s with the garage people right now and I’ll leave it there. Meanwhile I have an FR branded Ibiza which you might think was a little hot hatch but it most definitely not. I’ve counted the cylinders and I got to THREE before I ran out of cylinders to count.

All Gold – Licence Tests – Gran Turismo

Today was the day I managed to complete all Gold in the Gran Turismo 7 Licence section of the game. I had been struggling with the final test which was a drying lap around Spa in some crazy-assed Porsche. I struggled so much that I even watched some YouTube videos about completing the lap. I spent around 300km yesterday going around Spa and in that time I think I managed to complete about THREE laps. I constantly went off track or crashed. Today I spent another few hours working on this. The idea being that the track settles in my brain over the night time and I get better each day. I’m not sure I got better because it took another 395km to get a lap completed within the Gold time. I did find that I was getting better at Eau Rouge and was generally coming off in the later part of the lap more and more so I knew I was getting better and it was only a matter of time before I smashed it!

It doesn’t look much, the video. But trust me. It took a fuckton of effort to get to that point. If you touch the wet line you are fucked. If you touch a kerb you are fucked. If you accelerate too much in some corners you are fucked. Basically you are pretty much fucked at every stage of this track. You need to pull off a perfect lap and also make sure you don’t crash on the last few corners which you only see a few times because you spend the rest of the time in the chuffing barrier.

Here’s a map of Spa and here’s my list of troublesome corners in this test:

  • La Source
  • Eau Rouge
  • Radillon
  • Les Combes
  • Malmedy
  • Bruxelles
  • Double Gauche
  • Las Fagnes
  • Paul Frere
  • Blanchimont
  • Chicane

That’s right people, pretty much every shitting corner caused me problems and I crashed regularly at every single one [except Kemmel]. Obviously I crashed most at La Source because once you’ve crashed there you can’t crash anywhere else around the circuit.

It’s Beautiful And Hard Work

I’m clearly still playing Gran Turismo 7. I have the PS5 version and I have to say it looks absolutely amazing. The lighting is fantastic. I’m enjoying the game but it is quite challenging and I’ve struggled at a couple of the licence tests and also some of the circuit experiences.

I took quite a while to complete the Brands Hatch circuit experience mostly because it was in a Radical and they are a touch twitchy as you head around the track. I got there but it took about an hour. I’m currently on about two hours of work on the final licence test. I’ve passed at the silver level but I really want a gold. That would mean I have every licence at gold level and I would consider that an excellent achievement. The test is around a drying Spa circuit in a 1970 Porsche beast that doesn’t like a single wet patch. You have to really stick to the dry line around the circuit and so you don’t have any room for error. I’ve found it so frustrating I’ve even watched a few people on YouTube to get some tips.

This is not a helpful comment - GT7
This is not a helpful comment – GT7

Sometimes when you come off the track again at any of the bloody corners – I’ve crashed at every corner multiple times – you get this chap popping up onto your screen telling you to watch the demonstration. At first this seems like good advice but after two hours of trying and seeing this comment multiple times you end up telling that person to “fuck off” whenever they show up. I almost want to scream “leave me alone”. It’s emotionally challenging and I’m not sure how I will feel when I finally shave the last three seconds off my time and get gold.

Air Display while at Spa - GT7
Air Display while at Spa – GT7

At least the whole game looks amazing. The above clip is from a race at Spa and these aircraft I could only hear while the race started. I couldn’t see them from the car. I had to go to the replay to see them. Such attention to detail is pretty good. I also think the lighting in the “winner” screen is gorgeous and it makes me feel good:

Winning screen - GT7
Winning screen – GT7

Right. I have to get on the PS5 to have another day of swearing at the Spa circuit and hating my car.

How Long To Platinum?

I was a little upset the other night as I had finished a particular championship on Gran Turismo 7 and I got the ending movie! I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I’m hoping they add more championships over time but there’s still plenty of game content for me to work through. Apparently I have 294 trophies to get through to unlock the platinum trophy. Now, I have never unlocked a platinum so maybe I won’t make it but it is something to aim for. I had the following in a nice email from the Sony people:

GT Finale Email
GT Finale Email

Everything’s Connected

I have been quite impressed with the capabilities of the PlayStation 5. The graphics look amazing, the load times are impressively short and the sound is great. They recently added the ability to link screen captures into the app on a mobile phone making it much easier to save images and videos from games. I can now save a short video, get it on my phone and then send it anywhere I want. This is brilliant. PlayStations have had the ability to directly share with YouTube and Twitter for a while, they might even do Faceshit but I don’t really do that one. Having said that it’s impressive that I can now get this stuff on my phone I’m going to show you some captures I made recently and then uploaded to YouTube.

This first video I captured from Gran Turismo 7 was me driving a Ferrari thing and absolutely smashing it. I really enjoyed this short test. This most definitely wasn’t the first go at this licence. You see, the first go is generally learning about the car; how good are the brakes, how well does the thing turn in, what’s the oversteer like, what’s the engine sound on gear shift? Once you’ve got a grasp of all of that you can then start with a solid run to get the licence and then build up to the limit to get the Gold. Well, that’s how I do it.

This video is another Ferrari but this time a complete circuit around Monza. I really enjoyed this but it definitely wasn’t the first attempt. See the previous paragraph.

The final video I put on YouTube, for now, is me completing one of the Super Licence tests which is a complete lap around Interlagos in a Pagani. This took quite a few attempts and was good fun, although I don’t really like the accidental change into first at the last slow corner.

Getting Gold on every licence test is a bit of an obsession. I mean, why wouldn’t you? One of the Super Licence tests is an F1 clone type car around Laguna Seca. I think it took about an hour of my time to get gold. Sometimes I went off at the third corner, sometimes the last corner. It’s quite frustrating to get close to the end of the circuit knowing you are a couple of tenths ahead of the ghost car [your previous best lap] and then bin the car in the gravel.

Having said all the stuff above I am enjoying the game. I like the challenge and I’m happy plodding along doing a little each day. I know there’s been quite a backlash to the rewards and “lucky dip” that the game designers have made but I also wonder if people just aren’t patient enough to want to play a game long term. I very rarely finish a game but one thing I know for sure is that I’d rather enjoy it that complete it, if that makes sense. I don’t see games as movies which I suspect is how many other players see them. If the game can allow me to do something I can do in real life and make it fun then I’m happy.