Cross Grid Rally: Amazing 4 Continent Race Across Mainland!!!

by Alphaville Herald on 10/08/11 at 11:46 am

20 drivers start, 11 finish after enduring horse farm lag storms, prim litter, region crossings

by Nelson Jenkins

Cross Grid Rally holds a special significance among Second Life's racing clique. It was the largest - if not the only - mainland rally race in Second Life's short history. In August of both 2007 and 2008, CGR pushed the limits of Second Life's buggy region crossings and physics engine in long rally routes throughout the mainland continents. However, 2011 saw the largest CGR yet, spanning 4 continents with 20 drivers and far more spectators.

CGR 2011's 4 separate stages (map not to scale - click to enlarge)

Anyone who has stepped foot in mainland knows how horrible it is. It was nearly impossible to get good pictures anywhere, as every region always had a giant shoebox store or glowing sign, not to mention the endless advertisements that litter 16 sqm roadside parcels. Add totally unrestricted script usage - mainly horse farms - and you have a serious problem when it comes to sim crossings.

Fortunately, drivers were trained on how to avoid crashes. Those that were fast learners unsurprisingly ended up as fast drivers as well. Some participants reached speeds of 100 MPH through consecutive region crossings surrounded by other drivers and onlookers. One attained over 250 MPH for a few seconds, but reportedly flew into an unloaded region and got booted off the grid.

Drivers lining up for stage 3

One of the more annoying roadblocks in mainland racing is AnnMarie Otoole's notorious bot cars which pervade mainland roads. Fortunately, we were allowed to shut them down on race day. We restarted them once the race was over, and celebrated their return by crying on our now-for-sale roadside parcels, which were quickly bought up by overzealous land barons, bulldozed, and put up for sale at twice the price. One land baroness actually complained that we were encroaching the protected road with our start line, pictured below, and threatened to report us. While it is not shown in the picture, her fantastic contribution to Linden roadside beauty was several parcels with prim trees and "FOR SALE" signs along the parcel edges, which were created mere days after we moved in across the street and the opposite parcel was set for sale (at half of her price, I might add). Clearly, this was far superior to our unbearable start line.

Start line of stage 4

The event was sponsored by practically all major vehicle manufacturers, who either participated directly or hired drivers to race for them. All drivers customized their cars with decals, custom paint schemes, retuned engines, and racing outfits. The amount of effort put into two days of racing was astonishing, to say the least, especially considering how little effort most residents put into their work nowadays.

On a technical side, the event was a nightmare. The webhosting provider used for the GPS HUDs suspended the account days before the race, resulting in a last-minute switch. Stage 3's two-way section provided an especially difficult challenge. Thankfully, the system worked on race day, telling drivers where to turn and showing their locations on our map. Watching the event unfold with all 20 drivers battling it out was much more fun than having to race, in my opinion.

#532 speeding to the finish at dusk, note the lovely tree

So overall, Linden Lab should adopt a stricter policy on mainland content. The elimination of ad farms are great, but how about horse farms? What about 16 sqm roadside parcels that cater to nobody except people that crash into them at 100 MPH? Eyesore shoebox stores? Fullbright & glowing buildings? Prim litter everywhere? Linden Lab needs to seriously consider the amount of abandoned land in the mainland and start shifting things around to provide for "maintained" land - perhaps even a whole continent. Humor me, though, and take a guess how long it will take for them to do that in the comments.

In any case, the event was mostly a success. Besides 9 drivers not completing all 4 stages (most completed at least 3), everything worked out perfectly and there were very few crashing problems. CGR's future is unknown, however. Drivers and spectators alike cheered on the idea of a winter rally, but us organizers are exhausted by the amount of work needed to coordinate an event of this magnitude. Here's hoping for CGR 2012 - if Second Life still exists.

30 Responses to “Cross Grid Rally: Amazing 4 Continent Race Across Mainland!!!”

  1. Dontspill McGinnis

    Aug 10th, 2011

    Nice one Nelson. That does look like a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.
    If there is to be a CGR 2012, perhaps you could get the Herald to run a “pre event” story. I would have loved to have watched some of the fun.

    I might even be tempted to enter a Dwarven Chariot next year!

  2. Pappy Enoch

    Aug 10th, 2011

    That won’t me in the General Lee.

  3. Orca Flotta

    Aug 10th, 2011

    Well done, Nelson et al.
    I thought we sailors are the only community organising races on a big scale, so it’s nice to see other vehicle users are doing some stuff as well.
    And as Dontspill already suggested, more spamming of the event would probably get you more attendence and spectators sympathising with the event and our ongoing struggle with the lab and ignorant residents.

    @ Pappy: of course it wasn’t you in General Lee, we’d expect you to show up in a horse buggy :)

  4. Yep

    Aug 10th, 2011

    Go getem Tiger :P

  5. Axel Oakleaf

    Aug 11th, 2011

    I wonder how many had their vehicle go into the void or get the coordinates 6544,3566654,33355.

  6. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 11th, 2011

    @ Axel Oakleaf

    Drivers were trained on how to drive defensively when it comes to sim crossings, and disabling velocity interpolation as well made it practically impossible to die on a sim crossing. Not as bad as you think when you have no attachments on.

  7. Senban Babii

    Aug 11th, 2011

    I liked the bit when Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr pretended to be priests.

  8. Orca Flotta

    Aug 11th, 2011

    Funny kind of car race where you’re sposed to slow down like every 256 meters :)

    Better make your peace with [fill in deity of your choice here] before you start your engine and then go as fast as you can!

  9. Chaves Shu

    Aug 11th, 2011

    Porsche 901 FTW… ;-P

    Thanks for sharing Nelson! This is a nice ”look-back” website on that Rally!

  10. Obvious Schism

    Aug 11th, 2011

    Actually its not only CGR and sailors that have big races. The Giant Snail Relay for Life races take place approximately four times every year and usually cross about 60 sims on Mainland for the various routes.

    They are broadcast live and recorded by Treet TV. Here’s the one from March this year:

  11. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 11th, 2011

    @ Obvious Schism

    There are quite a lot of races under 100 regions long actually, but CGR was several hundred regions. Bit of a difference. 60 sims is nothing. :P

    If anyone is interested by the way, the official website is here:

  12. LOL

    Aug 11th, 2011

    oh yeah, is this Linden Lab’s attempt to break into the 3d racing world of Grand Tourismo?

    Epic Fail

  13. Yep

    Aug 11th, 2011

    “disabling velocity interpolation as well made it practically impossible to die on a sim crossing. ”

    This helps a vechicle cross sims without flying off into space?

  14. fararden

    Aug 11th, 2011

    Hoowee, I want to ride in the breedable sex toy car. Not.

  15. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 11th, 2011

    @ Idjit

    is this Linden Lab’s attempt to break into the 3d racing world of Grand Tourismo?

    Linden Lab did not support us whatsoever, so blow me.

    @ Yep

    This helps a vechicle cross sims without flying off into space?


  16. IntLibber

    Aug 12th, 2011

    Nice story, Nelson, demonstrating why LL should have gotten out of the retail land business in like, 2006.

  17. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Aug 12th, 2011

    if SL had better vehicle physics, I would think his would be sick.

    racing in SL is kinda lackluster

  18. Yep

    Aug 12th, 2011

    TY for the tip Tiger :)

  19. Axel Oakleaf

    Aug 12th, 2011

    As well as driving and gettiing your car returned by a Governor Linden

  20. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 12th, 2011

    @ At0m0 Beerbaum

    We did experiment recently with the new friction settings, but they don’t apply to vehicles for some reason. Additionally, a friend of mine used llCastRay to simulate a suspension, but since they decided not to release it with mesh, we’re still waiting on that. With those two things we could really get a lot closer to simulating driving, but we’re stuck pushing new features that don’t work for 80% of Second Life residents because their viewer is “too outdated”.

  21. GG3

    Aug 13th, 2011

    Driving a car in mainland is like having a better chance driving through a tree unscratched :)

  22. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Aug 13th, 2011

    more like if LL is smart, they will make a viewer that doesnt try to hide the flaws, and have those flaws fixed.

  23. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 15th, 2011

    @ Axel Oakleaf

    Perhaps it is the TF2 effect? Old players drop the game in fear of waves of noobs going the free-to-play option?

  24. Synphony Vayandar

    Aug 19th, 2011

    Hiya I am a copybotter in Second Life, Check out all the free content I am giving away @ The Region in SL called Nix The Teen Grid Freebie Store.

    More @ NOR, we Lace @ NOR Value CopyBot Content & Support

  25. Nelson Jenkins

    Aug 19th, 2011

    @ Synphony Vayandar

    Cool story bro.

  26. Yep

    Aug 19th, 2011

    Go getem Tiger :D

  27. A furry

    Aug 19th, 2011

    @ Snyphony:

    I report people like you to the Lindens for free

  28. fararden

    Aug 20th, 2011

    Since when do the lindens charge for abuse reports? What now there’s a charge for that too? Darn.

  29. beany

    Mar 20th, 2012

    The amount of effort put into two days of racing was astonishing, to say the least, especially considering how little effort most residents put into their work nowadays.

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