This might belong in the other thread but this video has sparked some memories for me. GPL came out three weeks after I turned 8 years old, but I only got to know about it when my dad got it from somewhere for himself to play around fall in 2003. Suddenly I was kept up late at night for weeks to the sound of a screaming V12 with intermittent cussing inbetween. After some time I finally had the nerve to walk into the room at the attic where the PC was located to see what all the fuss was about (having been playing GP3 and NFS2 for years I already knew never to walk in the door when somebody was playing a racing game
, especially during cussing fits). It turned out he was trying to wrestle the Ferrari around the Nürburgring. I don't think he ever completed a single lap. I've seen him hit the tree at Adenauer Forst multiple times though...
Soon after that the roles were reversed. As a 13 year old kid I could barely see above the steering wheel (an old 'Boeder' wheel my dad got for us to play NFS2 with) and the pedals were too far away to drive comfortably. The ring was too hard for me, but I read the manual (we didn't have internet back then!) and found out the Brabham won the championship and Steve Smith said it was a good car although maybe not the best. My opinion was the driver was much more important than the car anyway, plus it won so couldn't be too bad. I picked Zandvoort and learned GPL through that car / track combo after practising for months. I was too chicken to even attempt a race back then
. I never felt really in control though and after a couple of months I put it away.
I never forgot it though, even if I never even knew the game's name. Then in the winter of 2005 we finally got internet decent enough to visit Google without having to wait one minute for the page to load (not kidding, dial-up taught me the meaning of patience) and one day I found the game was called GPL. I found the box hinden away on the attic and installed it on my own PC which I had just gotten for my birthday. Got it to work very soon and got a Microsoft Sidewinder wheel with FF for christmas. All the stars aligned.
The FF did it for me, finally I was able to tell the car what to do. I broke the 1:30 barrier at Zandvoort and figured I was good enough to race to computer opponents. I was still racing the stock version so compared to Gran Turismo and GP4 the game looked like a Picasso painting, still there was something about racing the AI that captivated me. Seeing those newspapers after the races taught me about the top guns. Clark, Brabham, Gurney and Bandini were always up there. One day I cracked it and score the pole, obviously still at Zandvoort in the Brabham. I still remember the time, 1:28.23. I had never been more nervous but managed to get away well and fended Brabham off for most of the race until he finally faltered and was passed by Clark. I won the race 3 seconds in front. My heart was pounding
. I did it!
I had always figured GPL had been abandoned a long time ago, but then my dad told me about the GPLEA. That was just the start. Soon enough I installed the 1969 mod, and found Stefan Roess online in my first iGOR online pickup race. I was invited to join GPLRACER for their new 1969 season, and got invited to help develop the 1966 mod through Stefan. Just before that I completed my first textures, for the BRM P139, using an old PSP8 copy I got from school, and Paul Skingley was kind enough to add them to the 1969 mod Part 3
. GPL has pretty much been my main hobby after that.
Even after 13 years there is just something that clicks in my mind seeing those old Papyrus cars. I can still see myself on pole at Zandy nervous as hell all those years back. I wonder what would have happened if my dad had chosen to go straight home that one day and not stop by the store to find GPL in some kind of discount bin. Most probably I would have never become an engineer. I'd have been lost forever!
Edited by TvO, Jan 03 2019 - 03:13 PM.