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Virtual Raceways RACE #1 - Planning Stage - Win $100 or S1
(7 posts, started )
Virtual Raceways RACE #1 - Planning Stage - Win $100 or S1
I have long been thinking of setting up my own LFS Server and doing regular races, regardless of the current size of the LFS community. While this would be first and for most FOR FUN, I would like to have small prizes for the winners, and maybe work up to bigger prizes if interest continues. The prizes need to be paid for, so there will be entry fees for every race.

The first event will likely be a complete mess, as I get use to doing this, and we try to get more drivers to participate, so the first race will a "DERBY", open to DEMO users, and will have $6.50 USD entry fee, which is about half the cost of an LFS voucher.

In this first "DEMO DERBY" the prizes will be an LFS voucher for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. This will hopefully turn a few DEMO users into S1 users...

The trick to this, is I need to collect entry fees from at least 12 players to cover costs, and getting 12 people to agree on a race time may be a bit tricky. However if we get more than 12, I will cap it at 24 entries this time.

Future races will have larger entry fees like $10-$40, but will also have cash prizes, maybe even sim racing equipment in the future. All will be pending how much participation there is...

This race is a DERBY because, well demo users will be on track, and it will be a derby anyway. Future races will be focusing on CLEAN RACING. This first event being a derby, we may do a few races for points, and go by points to determine winners. This way a derby event will last longer then a few seconds. lol



All of the above is highly subject to change as I figure out what I really want to do with this.
All entry fees will be taken by PAYPAL. All cash prizes will be given by PAYPAL. All LFS vouchers will be given though the LFS website voucher system.


My hope is that the prizes, will motivate people to participate. And as more people participate maybe increase the LFS community a little.


So, who, if anyone, is interested? What days/times would you prefer to do this?
I have concerns, but hopefully also some constructive ideas and opinions.

Firstly, let's consider who your target market is. First and foremost it's demo users and from my experience, the long-term LFS demo users fall into two categories:
  1. They don't want to pay for the game and get enough enjoyment out of the demo content.
  2. They simply cannot afford a license.
Short-term demo users either leave or buy a license.

Now let me draw your attention to this ~700 post license giveaway thread. There is absolutely a market for gifting licenses, but I'm sceptical as to whether people would essentially enter a lottery for one, especially for the prices you've mentioned. You said it yourself, demo racing is a derby. That means that the demo users that don't want to pay for the game are unlikely to pay for half of an S1 license for a 7% chance of getting a license (The basic probability of winning in a 15 car grid, the limit for online demo servers). Similarly, those who can't afford a license are unlikely to part with cash for a shot at a license (maybe some of them will take the chance and do it once, but again, I'm sceptical). That leaves your only realistic potential market, the short-term demo users who are looking to buy the game and who might fancy their chances at winning one at a fraction of the cost.

The only way to know for sure is to get the attention of demo users and gauge their interest. I'd recommend doing this either by setting up a demo server and advertising the idea on there through some sort of InSim application, or by directing them to a webpage (or at the very least a cut-down version of this forum thread with a succinct description of the idea and a poll). Before I say any more on that, let's consider your other potential market.

In my honest opinion, the current climate of LFS and its online community of S1/S2/S3 license holders simply isn't active enough to get the critical mass of paying drivers for paid events/leagues unless it's extremely well organised and potentially backed by the devs. I must stress that this is only due to LFS' current activity levels and who knows what sort of spike and drop-off we can expect when the new graphics, track updates and future content updates land, but right now, getting a paid league/event off the ground for licensed users is going to be a hard sell. The only way this works is if you're running it at the calibre of a league like CityLiga with a website statistics system, livestreams and a team of staff administrating the races etc.

Then there's the prizes. S2 to S3 upgrades are going to be a hot topic when we get more S3 content, but without a realistic timescale estimate from Scawen, that's not a smart horse to bet on at this stage given the investment of both time and money you'd be putting into this. Given that there are very few S1 mode servers, let's assume that the majority of the non-demo online community have S2, right now, an S3 upgrade will only be attractive to a small number of these people. Why? S3 has 1 track and for an S2 license holder, it's only a small amount of money to upgrade compared to what they've already spent so if they really wanted to get it, they'd have it already. As soon as we see more S3 content I'd definitely consider offering S2 to S3 upgrades. Then there's S3 license holders, what can you offer them? To really encourage existing license holders, your prizes have got to be substantial and if you're really considering committing to an idea like this, my advice is go big or go home.

VR is growing in popularity and LFS does VR brilliantly, as I've explained here, then there's cheaper prizes like wheels and accessories like shifters and pedal sets. Honestly, if you're considering asking people to pay for your event/league, make it something people want to enter and put lots of effort into the organisation.

Speaking from experience, I've run many LFS leagues over the years and even back at LFS' peak when we were considering leagues with paid entry, we were sceptical of whether we would be able to entice enough people to cover our own costs. Unfortunately for you, we never actually tried, so I have no benchmarks. That said, I've always been interested in the idea and was extremely close to throwing caution to the wind and running a paid league with nice prizes. Remember that back in the day, when LX Week was a thing, the devs ran events with prizes as substantial as Logitech G25s, not to mention the actual VW Scirocco they gave away at the 2018 Leipzig Gamescon! (VW provided the car!)

You then need to look at the geography of the demographic you're aiming at. You're based in the US and the majority of the online community in LFS is based on the other side of the pond, so you're probably going to want to consider running your servers over here. You also mentioned that if you target demo racers you'll need at least 12 racers to cover costs. As I mentioned earlier, bear in mind that demo servers can only accommodate 15 cars on track at once so to get 24, you'd need 2 servers.

I've only scratched the tip of the iceberg, but I felt I needed to at least voice my opinions before you get too far into planning all of this, I hope you at least find some of it useful.

Many of the community have been in your position over the years, wanting to provide racing opportunities to the community and you've taken it one step further by taking your trailer into the wild and it's honestly amazing, but unfortunate that luck's not always been on your side so far. To that end, my inbox is always open and my interest is always there if there's a good idea being floated around with other enthusiastic people. If you'd like to discuss the paid league/event idea with me further, please do get in touch.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck.
#3 - Racon
It sounds good SR, but I'm not sure there's the market for paid races.

Maybe you could have an archive of results on your website too, make it a big deal and people will compete for the mention. The first one, especially - no money can buy you the chance to go back and be the first ever winner of a series Smile

Also be aware that a derby-style race could well bring you pain. My PiranMOTODestructionDerby server is named as it is, and has a big text warning about contact/crashing that you have to dismiss before you can race, and some people will still blow a gasket and ragequit when you give them a gentle nudge through a corner *headdesk*. I don't dare imagine how they'd be if they'd paid for the race.

If you run the derby one as a points event made up of lots of short random-grid races, you can even out the luck element a fair bit and a T1 smooshing is not the end of a potential rage-quitters day.

I have my fingers crossed you can make it work Thumbs up

PS: Demo servers are 15 connected, but only 12 on track.
I am aware of the high chance this will not take off.
But I like LFS so much more than the other sims. LFS needs a boost, even if it is a small one. So even if I can pull 1 person from another sim, for enough time to practice and do the race, that will at least be something...




I only anticipate a few DEMO players, but HOPE for more.
While I doubt they actually would, I have seen, more than a few times, DEMO players claim they would buy LFS if it was cheaper... so this is a chance for those few to put their money where their mouth is.

I want the prizes to be more than a voucher... but the first race will not likely have enough participation.

I am thinking about giving the winner of RACE #1 the option to instead choose my OLD and WELL USED, G25 wheel, assuming it works, and if they pay shipping, or a small micro RC car worth about $80 that is easy to ship (Zen Wheels). -- Why? Because I already have these.



Maybe I should skip the DEMO race, and go right to the main event, I want to do cash prize races in the $100 to $1000 range, but this would require entry fees in the $20-$50 range.

Then, Maybe each time there is prize race, I could also do a DEMO DERBY, and take a little of the funds from the prize race, to pay for at least 1 voucher as the prize for the demo race. This would somehow have to be open ONLY to DEMO Players with a minimum amount of miles logged in.




Likely not, but I forget how demo works, I know they cannot access the Autocross Editor, but can DEMO racers, join a REGISTERED USER hosting on blackwood with an autocross layout? I would prefer to customize the track a little, if not do a custom track in the parking lot (figure 8! lol). Will search after I post.



It is all nothing more than ideas right now...
First Race: Concept #1


MAIN EVENT:

Entry Fee: $15 (PayPal)
First Prize: $100 (PayPal)
Minimum Racers Required: 10
Clean Racing: Required (or Banned?)
Race Format: Track, and Cars Undecided.
1 Single Race, or A few points races?
Likely a vote before entry fees are collected.



SECONDARY EVENT: (DEMO RALLY)

Entry Fee: DEMO USER WITH AT LEAST XXXX Miles Logged in ($1.00 for less miles?)
First Prize: 1x LFS Voucher (DEMO to S1)
Minimum Racers Required: 4
Clean Racing: Required (Thinking I would rather motivate demo players to race cleanly)
Race Format: 1 Race, 3 Laps Around Blackwood

Will do this right before the MAIN EVENT, so the winner could potentially pay the entry fee for main event and join in.
#6 - delis
Quote from SimulatorRental.com :
Likely not, but I forget how demo works, I know they cannot access the Autocross Editor, but can DEMO racers, join a REGISTERED USER hosting on blackwood with an autocross layout? I would prefer to customize the track a little, if not do a custom track in the parking lot (figure 8! lol). Will search after I post.

No Demo racers cannot use any layouts at all. All they have available are 3 cars and 2 tracks (BL1 and BL2) and a parking lot.
To use layouts on server side, it must be atleast S1. And if the server is S1 or above, demo racers cannot connect even if you are using demo configurations.
with our online licensed racing events we have a full 40 grid every time then there are those unable to join due to being full and that is every week. So there are plenty for that side of things, also quite a lot that race on our demo servers have taken part in previous fbm and gti + rally events. My encounters on LFSW is at its lowest due to time away but still states i have met over 700 individuals online and raced multiple times with them so its far from dead

Virtual Raceways RACE #1 - Planning Stage - Win $100 or S1
(7 posts, started )
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