ICR Mod Now Available
For many years since NR2003 has existed as a sim we have seen a lot of mods created for this game. Ranging from all the years and eras of the Nascar Cup Series, Xfinity, and Trucks players have been for the most part in continuity painting and racing pretty close to what was on track body wise with the main series. Outside of this the game has also seen a lot of creative mods that cover other forms of racing from open wheel, dirt, and the more funny/niche types of racing. In-between all of these there has always been a subset of painters and sim racers that have used these mods to create their own series with fictional paint schemes and drivers. For them it is not emulating what has already happened or racing with real driver and real schemes but creating something new. On the more serious and in-depth side of this some create their own fictional manufacturers to stick on the mods to really create a unique series. As modders has perfected their craft over the years and the cars in the real world have become more complex body/detail wise the challenge to create fictional cars on existing mods has become harder and harder. That is where this story begins on why this fictional stock car mod exists and how half a year ago development for it all began.
The ICR mod is the accumulation of years really for the desire to have a mod that solely caters to the fictional side and allows the painter create exactly what they want without the restraints normal mods usually block them into. This mod is not a secret as you have probably seen the development posts in the past going over the process. This was done to open the doors and show how a mod is made. At the same time you’ve seen the goals of what this mod is and today I am happy to fully reveal all it has to offer.
Welcome to the International Competitive Racing Mod
The International Competitive Racing (ICR) mod is a fictional stock car mod inspired from the real Nascar Cup series. Make no mistake for any similarities it has this mod definitely goes its own way on some key design features to make it truly unique. Unlike other mods this one specifically caters to painters and racers who prefer to race in a fictional setting rather than a real one but still retains that stock car feeling. For that reason the mod has a body shape and 4 different nose designs that allow for easy painting and fictional manufacturer template creation right out of the box. One other important factor is a mod that has ample painting room all around it. The sides, roof, hood, decklid and rear of the mod all have wide open space for large logo placement and design space. This was a really important consideration when making the mod that the racing side looked ascetically pleasing but painting on the car is just as easy and fun too.
The mod is heavily inspired from the Nascar Cup series body with its own design twist. The best way to describe what this mod looks like is it has the body of a gen4 fused with the safety features of the Gen5 COT, and the Gen6 style fused in certain areas all to give the mod a similar feeling like you are looking at a stock car that might have actually existed. With all of that mixed together the mod of course has some design choices like the roof rails and spoiler shape that sets it apart. In the upcoming sections you will find out more in depth what features this mod has to offer and how it all comes together to form one cohesive package that allows possibly the most customization options a mod has ever included for the fictional community.
It goes without saying the part of a mod that has the most time spent for many is not the actual racing but the painting of cars, this is even more for the fictional creators out there. If a mod is frustrating to paint on due to UV warping on the template, confusing separated pieces, or the size of section of the UV is different is make creating even the most simple schemes more time consuming. All of these factors were kept in mind when the template layout was out together and also why this is the first mod to not be a square ration but instead a wider version. All parts of the paintable car body are of similar texel density meaning the front, sides, top, and rear parts of the car are all of the same size so when you create a line for example from one part to another you won’t see any distortion in the size of you schemes.
Like other mods there are 4 different body types to choose from. In the case of this mod everything between each make is the exact same except the nose sections. These are simply known as make0, make1, make2, and make3. Each car nose has a distinct shape to allow a wide range of manipulation with whatever manufacturer you choose to use or make that creates a convincing illusion. On release the mod comes right away with 16 different manufacturer templates to choose from. You can use them all in your series you create, one of them or a select few, the choice is ultimately yours to decide.
If you find that these manufacturer templates are still not enough or you’d prefer to create something different the mod also comes with default templates (1 for each make type) so you can create from scratch the manufacturer and style you want. The power is in your hands to ultimately design and select what you want the cars to look like in the end.
Speaking of selection the template also comes with a few other features such as paintable tires and gas/energy cap options. For the tires you can choose from over 20+ brands already provided or toggle those off and add a new tire brand as well. This mod will allow you to truly make unique looking cars on track as you have more control over the tire decals along with chassis color and a few other smaller parts on the car. The templates come with a guide to show you those features. You can also check out the template guide video for a more in-depth review if you like to know the full details of it all.
All the features
By all standards this mod provides what you would expect from other mods: interior cockpit, exterior view, car damage, and performance friendly textures and models to keep your game stable. However, there is much more and many of these features are brand new concepts that ended up working out from trying them out as the mod was created. For an ultimately unique racing experience and that extra detail here are all of the features the ICR mod provides:
While its not a completely new feature for mods, the ICR mod stock car features roof and hood flaps but also a decklid flap that deploys for that extra safety. You may still flip but at least your car will spin or flip with that extra style with the decklid flap deploying as well.
Cockpit Mirror Options:
Depending on your preference you have two different options for cockpit mirrors. One will be just the mirror on the top rollbar. The other will include a side mirror and as a result a slightly different zoom level on the main mirror as a result. Regardless of the mirror you choose both include the in-car detail that can be toggled on or off as well for that extra realism.
UI Compatible Mirror Position:
It wouldn’t be an official Armory Digital Racing Designs mod without built in mirror support for the UIE Mod. If you use UIE (specifically the ticker options) you will be happy to know this mod includes straight out of the box a compatible option that moves the mirror down the screen so it is not covered up by the UI mod. This is a feature that in the past when making UIE 2013 would have been nice to edit for other mods to make them compatible without having to use 3rd party programs such as camhack to achieve it. Even if you do not use UIE or do not need to have the mirror moved a default option is included as well for mirror position.
Gauge Color Options:
By default the gauge colors are teal but if you want them to be a different color you can easily swap them out to match your car ‘s paint scheme. There are 9 different color options to choose from.
Cockpit Wheel Input Indicator:
This is a small but still new feature never seen before on a NR2003 mod. While the ultimate goal unfortunately didn’t pan out in the end (due to NR2003’s limitations that couldn’t be done with the psg scripting code) this will still give a little life to that cockpit digital dashboard. Originally the wheel indicator was going to turn any time the player turned their wheel. Unfortunately the code doesn’t allow it to work that way when the player is in the cockpit and trying to copy the steering wheel animation twice doesn’t work for two wheels at the same time (from the trial and error that was tried. Instead this little wheel indicator has a life of its own, more specifically depending on what all the AI or even online competitors wheels are turning this indicator will interpolate rotation of all of them averaged out together. If just one other competitor is out on the track then it essentially will just show their wheel position patters.
This little feature is by no means revolutionary and as stated it was not originally designed to act the way it does but at least now you know what direction the majority of your competitors wheels are turning at any given time in a race.
Cockpit Damage Indicator:
If you race in cockpit mode and take enough significant hood damage you will see a damage indicator appear on the dash. This can range from medium damage to critical damage. Usually critical damage is bad enough you won’t be able to recover and be able to keep racing.
While the goal in racing is to win, getting into a wreck or witnessing another car wrecking is part of the game. The ICR mod offers a highly detailed damage model from both the cockpit view and exterior cameras. If the car gets hit enough parts will come off and some will be taken off on pit road as well.
HUD UI Display Screen:
There has been a lot of features shown for the cockpit view and now its time to show what the exterior view has to offer. Since NR2003 has existed the UI was constrained to the old 4:3 screen ratio. While this is still true the ICR mod has a way to break that barrier a bit and give you more space on the corners of the screen to detail it however you like. The new UI Display Screen or in more simple terms ‘Quads’ is a mip replacer the user can paint on and add whatever they want. You can choose to just use one of the corners or all 4. For demonstration purposes just 2 of the corners were used in the screenshots below where a number and broadcast channel logo was included. However, the sky is the limit here, you can use this space to paint whatever you want whether that be sponsors, team logo, a series logo, you name it.
The mod includes this feature off by default but with the template provided in the mod download you can easily paint on the layer and export the mip to add it to your mod. It will be very cool in the coming months after the mod releases to see what users create with this feature.
Driver Display Indicator:
Last and certainly not least is quite possibly the most important and revolutionary feature the ICR mod has to offer. Always striving to think outside the box, not just thinking what NR2003 does, but rather what can be done comes Armory Digital Racing Designs most ambitious feature in a piece of content to date: The Driver Display Interface or better known as DDI for short. The DDI in most simple terms is a real-time reactive UI element that will appear or disappear above each car. Even more than this the DDI will always face the player’s camera so regardless of rotation or position of another car it will always be 100% viewable. The DDI is also individually paintable on each car’s template and what you paint on it can be really anything.
For the carset included in the mod the DDI display the car number, driver name, and sponsor. This is just an example of what can be done but the user could use it completely for something entirely different. Maybe you want to use it to track standings, a rival/ally system, or just have other logos on it. The DDI is a fully customizable billboard essentially above each car. It was designed to look similar to how UI elements in the arcade racing games like nascar Thunder and Nascar Heat would appear.
The DDI is viewable in race mode, replays, and even in the cockpit view. As you race it won’t always be viewable on each car either so it does not block your view when racing. The DDI has been specifically designed to only appear on the cars near you and even then only appear for car you are closing in on or ones that are driving away from you. The DDI is also viewable in the menus for the player info and opponent manager screens. By default the DDI is enabled in them menu but disabled for the replays/race mode. You can view all the options in the mod folder for how to have it on or off.
It is going to be really cool to see what users paint on the DDI and how they utilize it in their racing. It is definitely a feature I feel many will find enjoyable to see and make NR2003 racing feel a bit fresher. At the very least it will give each car a more personal touch as the DDI can be an extension of that car’s detail.
Post launch Support:
The fun won’t end once the mod comes out. Post launch content is planned to be supported for the mod giving it extra resources to keep things fresh. With base layer packs, additional template add-ons, and more manufacturer templates on the way the ICR mod will consist of a lot of growing content.
Start your new generation of racing right now
Below you will find link to all the main pages for downloading the mod, templates, and render scenes. Along with these downloads are a few extra videos that will cover the mod itself, the templates, and the new render program Marmoset Toolbag 3. The past half year has been a lot of work and dedication to get this mod right, now it is time for everyone to be able to enjoy it and have fun racing for years to come.