It was a long time ago I wrote the first part of the Stunts competition history. One year has passed, lots of things happened. I don`t even try to cover evertthing - I just can`t remember. But let`s continue the story.
So it was 2002 summer. The third generation ruled the scoreboards, poor old Zak was learning php on the hard way, the ISA team was unnign their hard competition, lots of racers had time to race in smaller competitions too, but there was something big in the background.
Fourth Generation - The Maximalists
In July on ZCT15 a newbie called Alan Rotoi was on the podium, Roy has won
the stage (who else would?). There were 3 so called "plus tracks"
with special rules, and the average of those three counted as one competition
track. These finished in august.
And in August the third generation was wiped away as it was predicted :) Of course they led the overall rankings, but Rotoi won ZCT16, and a bigmouth newbie, Alain was second :) The best result from the old racers achieved Bonzai Joe, with the third place, but on the fourth and fifth places there were quite newbies too: Akoss Poo and Mingva.
And this is not everything! The third generation, not thinking into the importance of the plus competition skipped attention on those tracks, and This resulted in a win from Mingva, second place from Usrin, and a third place from Rotoi, Alain and Akoss Poo.
They came, they conquer, and the stay (thank heavens).Lets not forget ISA: Alan Rotoi won there too, and well didn`t let the first place away (he won all tracks since then!)
In autumn I realized I`m off the education for a year, and have no girlfriend
anymore This resulted getting a so called job, but still aving lots of
time for stunts. And this means I was home every evening, and had great chats
in the chatroom, mainly with the new racers. It was a habit for all of us to
go to IRC (not the competition now :), and chat endlessly.
In October there happened a nice thing: Live Racing was born. It was a great idea, but unfortunetly quite hard to manage. When racers were on IRC they got a track, and had 10 mins to race. This was good because they had no time to "max out the track". Because this is the baddest in this era: to be a top racer you have to use extreme replay handling. go-crash-reload-continue-skid-reload-continue and so on endlessly. There was no need to sdave the replay anymore - Mingva told us the easier way. I think this is the only bad bug in stunts. For a while it just saved us some time, we didn`t have to memorize the whole track, but now you had to race on the ideal line, and retry thousand times every section.
I also think the reason why live racing wasn't too long living was the lack of tracks. It was hard to find good tracks for it.
Also in autumn the ISA team quit the community, and Mingva took over the adminsitration of ISA. I think it was a positive change, he had more time - or at least we got more frequent updates.
And tthere was an incredible thing: Roy Wiegerinck, defender of the champion title didn`t send a replay on a track. Reason: women. His performance dropped in the summer, and then he disappeared. The following racers had the best results these times: Bonzai Joe, Alan Rotoi, Alain, Akoss Poo, and Parano only at ISA.
Track Design contest was announced in autumn, where racers could vote on tracks, not knowing the authors identity. This is connected to the "Ghost Scandal" There were some racers who voted under (and also raced!) under more names, getting better results for some tracks and teams. This is the bug of the community, not stunts, and hard to discover when it happens.
Technically Zakstunts was improving. I could mention using phpmyadmin for updating, and installing an own forum software.
Also Leading time bonus was announced in late 2002. It became a habit between racers, that they only send in their replay at the end of the month. So I stored the time when I received the rpl in the email, and countwed who led the scoreboard for how much time. The best three got some additional points - nut much but worth to fight.
At the end of 2002 the fourth and the remains of the third generation were all regular racers, and not just racers but members of the community. Many of them managed to run an own competition / site about stunts, they were all active in the chat and the forum.
At ZakStunts 2002 champion was Bonzai Joe, not-so-newbie Alan Rotoi won second place, Roy dropped down to third, followed by the other regular racers. I`d say score system in 2002 was quite fair, but many of the active racers joined later through the year, so it was hard to keep the right balance.
We were preparing for 2003 since months. Finally it could be a year with accurate rankings, because the community was big enough. Dual league was introduced, some liked it some, were sceptic, some not. The league was "divided" to two pieces, a pro league starting with the 10 best racers of 2002, with strict pointing rules, and an amateur league where the newbies and the amateur racers can win, and be promoted to the pro league. Of course the worst pros are always relegated to the amateur. Looking back from the distance of 6 months I consider it a good change, but maybe we overstimated racer count a bit, and pro league should consist only of 8 racers, not 10. Maybe it`s good as it is, we`ll see later.
So it`s 2003. Still the same community as in the end of 2002, those great chats and stuff.
It`s great to see that newbies gather, they join the competition, form teams, and join the community too (like Noobs&Newbies). A big difference from 2002 is that there`s also a great race between teams. There is a monstre team called Orion, and some smaller ones.
ISA ended its season, and also disappeared. But Indy Racing cup was born from his grave, a comptition with almost the same rules, but now professionally organized by Mingva.
Orion was active managing comeptption sites: FranceStunts from Alain, later IMSA Cup/WRC Stunts from Krys Toff, StuntsLOL from Leo Ramone, and my fav. Stunts`R`Us also from Alain.
Some newbies got better and better results, visiting the pro league time by time, some even stayed there for longer periods.
The first half of the year was still ruled by the fourth generation. Sites and rules were improving, the quest to know stunts better began - interviews with the creators of the game.
But the community got a bit lazier. Not in racing - ISA maintained a stable 10+ racer count, and I got tons of replay too every month. I mean less articles, and not so frequent updates (ok, I`m mainly speaking about myself now :)
Not so manty new racers gathered in the spring, but they "weaker" ones imporved a lot. Good examples are Krys Toff and CTG, who are now permanent members of the pro team, and XDude and Doelloss who are now fighting even for the podium.
No they are not members of the fourt generation - they only came with 2003. They are not enough for the 5th generation too. More racers needed. Maybe they are right here, we can`t know. Remember that how Rotoi and friends achieved the top in some month - or Roy too when we go back in time.
And also there are more and more girls on the scoreboard. Don`t let your girlfriend take you away from Stunts, like it happened with poor Roy. Instead invite her too, and maybe she`ll like the game. My dream is a girls cup in 2004 now :)
I almost forgot one thing! Looks like addiction is permanent, there are returns! Like KHR and JTK, the fathers of the online racing, who returned after a big silence, not only on the scoreboards, but also reopeniong their legendary contest for a while. Remember? It was exactly 5 years ago they released Ctrack1.
The key is the community. If a racer is addicted there`s no escape The chat and forum presence is essential to be a regular racer (of course everyone compared to his availablefree time), and teamwork is the key to improve in results. The fourth generation people have to raise their successors - they are the ones who will bring more motivation into racers.
Zak McKracken, Budapest, 08.07.2003