Experience the thrills of racing high power planes meters off the ground and join the elite ranks of daredevil pylon racers. Master the course, conserve energy in the turns and flip through the chicanes in the ultimate race against time.Pylon Racer - puts you back in the pilot’s seat.
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Release Date:
Feb 21, 2019
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Pylon Racer is an experiment, the ‘flappy bird’ of flight simulation. Short and incredibly difficult. It is a game that puts you, the player back in the pilot seat. Where the leader-board is based purely on your flying skill.
Early access is a fantastic way to communicate with players, and get feedback from the community to build a game that is very different from the rest. I am sure that the players have insights into features that I missed, or assigns different priorities.
Lastly, as a single developer in my spare time, testing the code over all the possible computer and controller configurations is almost impossible. Early Access is the only way to catch all the unique possibilities. Two points stand out
  • The range of controller and joysticks is vast, and although the setup is extremely flexible, it would be amazing if we could build a database of mappings during early access.
  • The game is extremely fast, and as a result I want even the minimum spec computer to run at 60 fps without a single dropped frame. During early access I want to push that limit as low as possible by optimizing the engine even further, and if necessary dynamically changing level of detail. By the end of this period I want the minimum specification to work rock solid.

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“3-4 months. The emphasis will remain on getting a single plane and a single racecourse right.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“I am always open to suggestion and may change my mind if something amazing comes up, but for now the full version will only contain cosmetic updates, controller updates and speed improvements.
The flight model will remain exactly the same, no future change on the leader-board that’s not related to pilot skill.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current state of the game is very close to the final version.
  • Well tuned flight model.
  • Very flexible controller mappings.
  • A Generic plane very close to all the modern racing planes.
  • One course, based on Ascot in the UK. The amount of skill needed to fly this well should provide more than enough game-play to last well into the full version.
  • Great replay system, gives a television view of your flight afterwards. No integrated sharing. Since installing the GeForce experience on my PC I am sold that Nvidia does a better job of capturing game-play than I can. Use a 3de party app to record and share your flight.
  • Leaderboards. There are two leaderboards at the moment. Total time, and Penalties

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Price will not change between the early access version and the full version.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Since the game will only be available on Steam, I want to use the store page, and forum as the main feedback platform.
Feedback from the players will help determine the direction of future versions. For a racing game to thrive we have to drive the competitive aspect. In the first version this is a lone affair with the leader-board being the only interaction between players, but between the size and skill level in the community, and player feedback, I would love to establish leagues to progress through, and more interactive racing. In all of this I want the player’s input to work towards a good balance.”
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Recent updates View all (4)

April 11

New practice mode



As some of you no doubt know by now, last weekends update got a new take on the practice runs, and I finally got round to making a short video and uploading it. It includes two bits of 'instrumentation' as text overlays. I will probably work on cockpit instruments soon. As always comments are welcome.

Practice mode video


The graphs
In the turnaround period I plot a number of graphs on the screen. I don't think its
very useful at this stage, definitely needs cleaner presentation.
  • green - altitude 10m - 30m, aim should be to keep that level in the chicanes.
  • cyan - airspeed, maybe useful in vertical turns to experiment with different lines.
  • blue - roll, useful to figure out if you are turning too soon or too late in a a gate.
  • red - G's, clips at +10. High G's uses up a lot of airspeed, especially in the vertical turns, so good way to make sure that your turns are nice and even.


High G / AOA feedback

I have also done a lot of work on providing better feedback for high angle of attack flying.
  • By increasing the amount of cockpit shake. And that is very real, you can see the cockpit vibrate in high G turns, and cant read any instruments.
  • and by adding a fair amount of low frequency 'turbulent' sound. Because of the frequency you need speakers with fairly good bass performance to really hear this.
This is information that you feel with your body, both the amount of G's and the turbulent buffeting that vibrates through you. Its probably the single area that I feel needs the most amount of work to get right.



bonus video
short clip from my flight

1 comments Read more

March 31

Above and beyond



On Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to fly Mark Hensman’s MX2 aerobatics aircraft. I played around high in the sky, very tentatively ;-) , and Mark took me on a low level flight mimicking a Red Bull Air Race. That is us, at the top of the VTM.

(short clip)

Thrilled, scared, and a distinct shade of green.

It was mind blowing and unlike anything you can recreate on a PC. I will quickly list some of the aspects that I want to look at after this flight.
  • Even bigger split between flying (human experience), and replay ( tv, gopro experience). Cameras and eyes see different things. Make more effort to convey that feeling.
  • More layered sounds to help convey the vibration that your body feels. Tie it to small vibrations in the cockpit visuals.
  • The cockpit disappear, the canopy disappears. The world is rock solid in slow motion with amazing detail, wings are there and the propeller is like a caged tiger, alive and growling.
  • Play around with the camera, field of view, and maybe look around mode. Your head is constantly moving to watch the ground and the horizon. Maybe this side will only ever work in virtual reality.


Mark is an amazing aerobatics pilot and aircraft technician, and was part of Nigel Lamb’s team in the 2016 Red Bull Air Race series.
team-xtreme
Nigel Lamb - Red Bull
2 comments Read more
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About This Game

Pylon Racer is an experiment. On the one hand it was the one game I craved and could not buy, and on the other it is a sandbox where I can experiment with new rendering and game-play techniques.

From a games perspective:
  • True first person gaming. No HUD overlays, no ribbon in the sky to follow, no chase plane views. Fly it the way a pilot would, then watch the TV replay afterwards.
  • Insanely difficult. It is the "flappy bird" of flight simulation. There is no rookie mode to nurse you around. You will have to practice the turns repeatedly until you are in full control of the airplane.
  • Accurate simulation of a modern aerobatics plane.
  • Pure test of pilot skill. No upgrades, especially no in app purchases. Your time only reflects your skill as a pilot. I hope that combined with leaderboards for time and penalties it will foster a community that race each other for the top spot.
  • Fast stable game-play. Down to the minimum spec, my testers have all managed a guaranteed 60 fps. I feel so strongly about this aspect of gaming, that I will report bad frames as part of your results. In a game this fast, even a single slow (30 fps) frame will through you off balance. Combined with a 1000 fps joystick and flight model simulation, it is the smoothest simulation experience you can get.

From a developer perspective:
  • Trees. With 4 million individual leaves in the world, and more than half of them visible in a single frame at times, it was a chance to prove that 3 dimensional trees have a place in flight simulation. It builds on my research in growing convincing trees on the GPU, and I look forward to expanding the vegetation in the future.
  • Radiosity solution inside the cockpit. Full light bounce simulates the complexities of light and the wide range of light effects. While my initial research showed fantastic promise, a maths bug has forced me to tone it down a little for this release.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: i5
    • Memory: 8 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 770
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Joystick or gamepad required
    Recommended:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: i7
    • Memory: 16 MB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 970
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
    • Additional Notes: Joystick or gamepad required

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