As hinted at the release date is now the second week in May. This will enable a few remaining issues to be resolved and further tweaking. So that puts the release between the 12th and 16th of May. There is a chance the game may be released a few days earlier depending on how things go but the second week is most likely. Check back here for the latest news early May.

Until then a few words on the main features and screenshots on the next game. Probably not a good time to ask questions as I won't be around here much running up to release:

As most of you know the biggest addition is the Jumping. Starters Orders 3 will include a UK game mode that covers both jumps and flat (hurdle, fence and NHF races). The jumps season is a slightly 'reduced' season but contains most of the big races everyone would like to see (around 70 feature races in all). It starts at the end of October and ends in March (although there is the Betfred Gold Cup meeting at Sandown in April). There is a short break at Christmas!

Along with the jumping the other significant (and time consuming) change has been to the race creation and horse model (mathematical model that is). The end result should be more realistic races with horses behaving and racing in a more realistic manner. This also includes the horses occupying space better and the associated features such as getting blocked, hampered and being forced wide etc. This was probably the number area for me in terms of what I wanted to change (as a player rather than a developer). For me the realism of the race sequence is what makes the game. It also enabled the (much neglected) Jockey Mode to be re-developed and this are will be much improved. Re-working these areas also gives me many more options regarding the future direction of the game.

Racecourses are now much more accurately modeled. This includes undulations, more realistic bend penalties and varied going (false ground etc.).

Also the underlying directx engine has been replaced. This should provide better compatibility as I know a minority of players had problems. Windows fonts are no longer used (avoiding all the associated problems with them) and have been replaced by a slightly bigger set of bitmap fonts making reading easier and also looking better and improving compatibility.

There is little point in talking about minimum specs in detail at this point. The game does a lot more processing. You will notices autoraces take longer to complete. It uses more graphics and much more audio than before but a lot of this has been optimized. Generally I recommend a video card with at least 256mb video ram but the game has been running fine on much less. It all depends on the overall profile of the machine (oddly enough the most common problems have been with very new video cards having buggy drivers). The end result is the game should work on a similar spec machine to SO2 but a demo is there so that everyone can be certain the game runs on their hardware before buying.

A few screenshots:

When playing the UK flat and jumps schedule a CONTEXT button will be displayed on many screen. This button can be toggled between FLAT and JUMPS. It if often automatically set to suit the current state of the game. For example. If the next meeting is a national hunt meeting the context on the main stable menu will be JUMPS otherwise FLAT. By clicking this buttons you can toggle. Here is the horse data screen as an example:

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Clicking the CONEXT button (FLAT on the first screen) results in the relevant data switching to JUMPS (the form summary card and some horse items). In this example the Feature race summary tables is not affected:

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Here also is a formcard:

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A full feature list will be posted shortly before release.

Last Edited By: JimCougar Apr 26 08 2:08 PM. Edited 1 time.