(Project completed: 1997-06)
Stunts is an excellent racing game from Distinctive Software Inc and Broderbund Software. It's a single-player game using polygon technology without texture mapping (translation: it's old), but it's still lots of fun to play. If you're ever played the arcade game Hard Drivin', Stunts is very similar except that the cars are much easier to control.
The object of the game is to win races, obviously, but you can have a lot of fun in the process (as well as a challenge) because it may be necessary to do some tricky stunts to reach the finish line. There are loops, tunnels, barrel rolls, obstacles, jumps and more. There are several different cars to drive as well, and the computer opponents are fairly good though a little overcautious. Best of all, you can design your own racetracks and trade them. I've found nearly a thousand tracks online so far.
There are two big problems with the racetrack editor in Stunts. One is that it won't let you race properly on tracks that have impossible stunts or that don't have a clearly continuous path from start to finish.
The other problem is that the built-in editor only supplies a few predefined terrains on which to build your tracks. I easily figured out the way that the terrain data (hill and water locations) is saved in the track files, so I wrote this program to allow editing of the terrain.
This MS-DOS program requires a Microsoft-compatible mouse and VGA graphics. Instructions are included. It's rather primitive but it gets the job done. There are other editors out there, and you may be able to find them via the links I list below.
I have since learned that Stunts has a built-in terrain editor, but I find it clunky. Mine is better.
One of my favorite aspects of Stunts is its physics modelling. It seems pretty good within the setting of the game. The behavior of the cars is for the most part pretty accurate, except for the amount of punishment they can take. However, under the right circumstances very amusing things can happen. Occasionally a car will take flight for no reason. Lightly bumping a crashed car will send you flying. Certain crashes will send your car flying hundreds of feet in the air or swirling around as if it's caught in a tornado.
Soleil's Stunts replays
This file contains all the fun replays I've recorded to date.
I don't particularly want to write up descriptions of my replays, and most of them speak for themselves anyway. In races with the computer, keep tabs on both cars - sometimes the computer does funny things.
In case you don't know how to load a replay: when you start Stunts, go to the Options: Load Replay menu and select the replay. Then you get a VCR-like console to watch the replay with. Pressing T toggles between the cars and pressing C changes the camera viewpoint.
Soleil's Stunts Tracks
Finally, here are my racetracks for Stunts. Remember that Stunts can't handle more than 100 or so tracks in one directory, so you might want to make a subdirectory for these if you already have lots of tracks.
Other people's Stunts sites
These are by no means all the Stunts sites out there, and I don't guarantee that these links are up-to-date. Pages move or disappear, and I don't have time to police all my links.