777 League Race TrackOctober 29, 2007
NOTE: This article and the images come to us via MenuBar Memorial. Let’s all give him fond words of encouragement here to get him to send in articles more often!
The wind whips violently through your hair, as you slam down on the ccelerator barreling your vehicle down the straightway. You white-knuckle your keyboard as you ease onto the brakes, shifting down to first gear, a little bit of the ol’ “heel-toe, heel-toe” and you expertly drift sideways through the tight hairpin turn, straighten out, and blast off into a screaming 4th gear sprint past the blurring rows of futuristic buildings and street signs.
This is just a moment’s blink of a glimpse into the excitement you can experience at the 777 League Race Track in the 2Raw sim!
Many of the common drawbacks of driving vehicles in SL have been largely overcome by some clever design tricks here. For example, lag is greatly reduced by the fact that most parts of the track are enclosed in a futuristic cityscape, keeping the complex prim calculations that your computer needs constantly update to a minimum. Few textures are used and repeated throughout (further reducing the strain on your computer), but although the textures are few, the build is interesting and highly detailed, not repetitious. A futuristic city reminiscent of the “Blade Runner” movie.
The experience of driving on the 777 track is as exciting as it gets in SL. To say the track is massive and complex is an understatement. My first single lap around the track clocked me at 18 minutes and some odd seconds. Yep, I said EIGHTEEN MINUTES for ONE LAP. I suck. But in my defense, I did stop a lot to admire the build and try out some “experimental” driving techniques. I’ve since brought my time down to 9 minutes, which I’m told is pretty lame compared to the average of 6 minutes for my type of vehicle. But it’s the thrill of the run that’s important.
A visitor to the 2Raw sim can drive one of their own vehicles, or use one of the many types available for sale here. The cars are perfectly responsive, each having 4 speeds (gears) and every one that I tested was a real pleasure to drive. I finally settled on the L$200 blue dildo-shaped “Speed Spear” vehicle as my favorite.
The 777 Track is a “come-as-you-are” kind of place. Visitors can purchase cars here or click one of the many demo signs around the main building to receive a fully functional demo car (or motorcycle) with which to drive on the track for as long as they’re sitting in it. You can’t beat free!
Well, yes – in fact, you *can* beat free in Second Life. The owner, Tudy Araw informs me that they also have an interesting “camping” system worked out where people can join and make money for the time they spend driving here! A great way to show new residents how much fun driving in SL can really be!
And, man, it is fun! Even the most novice driver will have a blast negotiating the seemingly epic journey along this twisting, turning, labyrinthine track – from ground level, spiraling upwards into the clouds through slippery, foggy wet roads, and all the way back down again.
Seasoned Second Life racers will find this an excellent test of their skills and endurance. Lots of opportunities for drifting the hairpins, speedy straight ways and road-hugging banked curves to accelerate you along to higher and higher speeds.
All turns are clearly marked by large arrows and pointers, making it easy to find your way if you get disoriented. A lap counter at the start/finish line reports your time and average speed. Long sweeping and zig-zagging banked curves carry you along at the highest speeds. Various types of walls and barriers along the sides of the road prevent most accidents from dropping you a few stories down to a lower part of the track, but it can be done. In a race against friends, a good accident can drop you down a few levels, leaving you some catching-up to do. In a good wreck, all you need to do is grab your car, set it back up on its wheels, and keep on going!
Owned by Tudy Araw and Xray Haller, the 777 League track on 2Raw is one of the longest, fastest, smoothest and most exciting driving/racing experiences to be found in SL. Have fun, and “keep the greasy side down”.