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#7 – ICR Mod version 1.1 update released

ICR Mod 1.1 Update

     It has only been a week since the ICR Mod released and v1.1 update is now ready for download. For a quick breakdown of all the new fixes, improvements, and features you can watch the video below:

Play Video

ICR Mod 1.1 Release Notes:

– #45 car in carset now compressed and rear driver name banner updated so no longer showing placeholder name
– GNS, CTS, and PTA physics types now available as download options for the mod
– Optimizations made to inner shell mesh of undamaged cars, more tris removed for increased performance
– Front bumper section now properly will fall off when hit hard enough
– New debris and falling off parts geometry for wrecks added
– Player now has option to change cockpit dash colors
– Templates updated to 1.1 version
– Driver Display Interface version 2 added to the mod, 2 new paintable sections available to paint on with the 1.1 templates
– In menus manufacturer now displays on a per-car basis, old stp manufacturer images now legacy option

ICR Mod 1.1 Update Overview

     If you would like a more detailed breakdown on the new features and how they can be added you can watch the video below to help guide you through the 1.1 update.

Play Video

1.1 Update now available for download

     If you have previously downloaded the mod all links have been updated to the 1.1 version. All you have to do is download again and you will automatically have the new 1.1 features. If you do not want to have to re-download every template again you can download the 1.1 template patch and manually update the templates yourself (as shown in the 1.1 overview video above).

#6 – ICR Mod now available

ICR Mod Now Available

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Preface

     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.

The Templates

     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.

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     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:

Deployable flaps:

     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.

Damage Models:

     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 eb 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.

#5 – ICR Mod release date

ICR Mod Release Date Details

After many months of work the International Competitive Racing Mod will be available for all very soon:

The mod along with all its content (render scenes, templates, carset, etc) are completed and the final work to package it all up and get it ready for web hosting is being done these next few days. Here are some of the things you can expect when the mod drops next week:

 

– Mod along with the Launch Trailer will release Saturday afternoon simultaneously around 4pm-8pm PDT window

– Multiple customization options available to truly shape the mod and make your own fictional series such as 16 manufacturer templates on launch to choose from, custom tire brands, chassis and rollbar custom coloring, nameplate in the cockpit, and much more.

– Highly detailed damage model, flap deployment, and detachable parts to give those epic crashes a spectacular viewing.

– Optimized to be as performance friendly so users with lower end pc’s can still jump in on the fun while allowing users with higher end rigs to enjoy the fully highly detailed models for those epic screenshots.

– Post-launch resource support included but not limited to: additional manufacturer templates, extra template add-ons, base layer packs, car files, and much more.

– Several new features for a NR2003 mod that will allow you to experience racing in NR2003 a whole new way like never before.

 

#4 – ICR Mod Manufacturer Showcase

ICR Mod Manufacturer Showcase

If you have been following the dev posts the past few months you are probably well aware by now of the ICR Mod that’s been in development as previously talked about. While the mod itself is still a few weeks out from being fully released, today I am happy to reveal the manufacturer templates that will be launching with it. 16 manufacturers will be available to paint on and choose from to build your own series with this mod. You can use them all or just a few, it really is up to you. To show how customizable this mod body is the manufacturers displayed today give you a good idea of the freedom in template creation. So without further delay here are the 16 manufacturers coming as templates for the mod on release day:

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If you would like to see a still of each one here is a gallery for them as well.

 

Along with these 16 templates comes the 4 blank ones (not shown in the video). These will allow you to create your own manufacturers if you would prefer to make something different than the provided ones. After the mod releases you can expect a few more templates to be released. The first one to come post launch is planned to be the Mazda. The final pieces of the mod have been coming together and it probably will not be too many more weeks before the official release of the mod comes. Check back in the future for a release date.

#3 – Site still under construction

Site still under construction in some areas

With the site just opening the majority of the content from the old site has been restored. There are a few downloads not yet added back but for the most part everything that originally was available for download on the old site is back again. It took many hours to rebuild and upload everything and while a decent amount of testing was done to make sure links work there might have been a few errors that slipped through. If you happen to notice a dead link or an incorrect one let me know and I will fix it soon as I can.

 

The ‘New from the Paintshop’ section has no new paints either because I’ve been away not painting for quite some time. After I release my new mod you will start to see a ton of new paint schemes for that mod of course as that will be the main mod I paint for on this site. All of the old paint schemes are back up on the site though so if you ever want to view the old paints they are all stowed away in the archive section.

 

On the flip-side of restoring old content the rebuild was not meant to just get us back to square one but build upon it. In the future new sections will open up such as the tutorials and resources section. In here these areas I hope will provide more information and help to those in the community that may want to learn how to mod NR2003 in different way or a place to find useful guides at the very least. For example the resources section may include track resources like wall mips I’ve scratch made so they can use on their own track. Another example could be texture packs for different types of asphalt, grass, and dirt. Other resources may include 3do’s I’ve made that a track builder can download and easily add to their track in sandbox.

 

In the tutorial section I plan to gather all my previous tutorials and have them neatly indexed for easy access. This section will house in the future I also hope more rare guides such as UI editing, track creation, and even making a mod (as I mentioned in my ICR development posts). Having a place for that information will be really great I think for the community so everyone who want to learn how to make content for NR2003 can. As much as this site serves as just a download center for my content I also want it to be a place information can be found as well. One of the best way for NR2003 to get more content is have more content creators and with useful resources and guides that can help propel a whole lot of new users to engage and make stuff for the game.

 

There is no definite timeline when these sections will come online but I hope in the future months or year these will be some substantial content at the very least to get the areas jump started. When they do arrive you will see a news post about it for sure.

#2 – Building a new generation mod

Building a new generation mod

     For the first time ever Armory Digital Racing Designs is branching out to make a mod for NR2003. In the past this was never a possibility let alone a focus for the type of content you would see on this website. For the longest time mod creation was a high wall to climb if you wanted to make a mod for NR2003. ThePits.us for many years has always had text documentation and a download link to a mod creation kit so technically anyone could try to jump in and make a mod. The biggest hurdle was trying to understand how to set up the code and also a scene in 3DS Max8 though. If you were not on a team that had been making mods for many years in the community if was very hard to get in on the process on your own. Whether that was due to some holding all the cards and keeping the tips and tricks a secret (several years ago the modding teams were very competitive) and the other modders simply too busy of course to be able to explain and make tutorials. In short, there just wasn’t a way to freely get the information so it mostly remained that last area of NR2003 content creation that was always rare and only a few knew how to do.

     This all changed about a year ago when a 5+ hour video from the NR2003 user Burnout surfaced on youtube showing the core mod process of setup in 3ds max and raw code. It really opened eyes to see what needed to be done to get a custom mesh in the game as a working ‘racecar’. Granted this did not include all the process like how to do damage, internal cockpit, and LODs but it was enough of a spark to get the wheels turning. Another generous user you are probably familiar with known as Cosmin who made the wonderfully detailed MENCS mods also around the same time uploaded several mod making videos that showcased things like LOD,s damage, and some cockpit adjustment features. Cosmin has been a big help with this mod in guiding me as I am building it answering a lot of the questions when I got stuck in a process or trying to understand certain things. Without the videos and additional details from Cosmin it would be pretty hard to make a complete mod as easily as Ive been able to so far.

    Now that the backstory is out of the way of how we got here Armory Digital Racing Designs has the information and tools to make a mod. Like any traditional content from Armory Digital this is a completely fictional mod. While fictional tracks was not such a rare occurrence in NR2003, fictional mods as far as I know are few and few if any. This mod is a cross between Nascar’s Gen4 and Gen6 features put together along with some of my own custom features of course. The ultimate goal of course other than just having a fictional mod in general is to also have it be fun to paint on.

     Not only to have it fun and easy to paint but looks good with large quarter panel sections, rear, and hood area so the logos can look great. With all of that comes the ultimate feature which is 4 separate noses all that have generic different shapes with no complex manufacturer specific details. This allows users to mold this mod to be useful for any type of fictional series they can think of with as many custom manufacturers. Welcome to the ICR mod (International Compettive Racing).

     The above is just an introduction to the mod itself and it has actually been in development for quite a few months. Most content I make I do in secrecy and then release when its ready to avoid everyone coming with questions. This time however I have opened the doors to showing the entire development process from start to finish explaining in detail how it is being created. The reason for this is to break the barrier down on how a mod is made so if others wanted to see how it what done and what it takes they could follow along and learn. While the development post are not a direct tutorial they will serve as the new best thing until I make a tutorial series on mod creation (one day hopefully). For the past few months the development process has been posted over on both Stunod and Sim Racing Design which include extra post commentary from users. If you want a cleaner look at the dev posts I will have each section archived in order later on the website. The mod is still in development though so more dev posts will come until the mod is finally released in the future. So until that day comes enjoy reading through the process.

#1 – Welcome to the new Armory Digital Racing Design website

Welcome to the new Armory Digital Racing Designs website

     With the new year comes a new website for Armory Digital Racing Designs. For most visiting you probably know the story already of what happened to the old site but here is a quick recap for those unaware of what occurred. The old hosting site unfortunately was having issues and the subdomain my site was originally hosted on just randomly stopped working a few days into 2020. Everything on the back-end was still set up as expected and the site was able to be accessed via FTP just fine. For some reason for users though the site was giving 404 errors.

     After careful consideration the decision was made to cancel the current service that the site was hosted on and find a new one. Along with finding a new host the site would be rebuilt using wordpress as well. WordPress would allow better optimization, new features, and easier editing capabilities compared to the previous version of the site. While the set up time no doubt has caused several weeks of downtime for users the future of the site will be a lot easier to maintain and update content to it.

      One other core feature of this new website was to keep the layout somewhat similar to the old one so users will have a familiar way of navigation around the place. All original download files and render paint schemes from the past have been faithfully restored to the best of my ability. The only part that won’t be making a return are the old new articles/updates but this post serves as the beginning of a new chain for this website. The core part of the website is all up and running but don’t be surprised if you see new features or content appear as I still have more pages to finish and content to complete. If any links or pages don’t seem to work let me know and I will look into fixing them. It took quite awhile to rebuild but now that everything is operational I look forward to the future content coming. If you know anyone who was wondering what happened to the old domain on the site feel free to share this new one to them.

     So until next time, enjoy the new site and feel free to explore all the content it has to offer.