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View Full Version : Activity recommendation for anyone in or near Glasgow: VR Simulators Glasgow



jan.ringas
14-07-2018, 18:01
Hello everyone, I hope I chose the correct part of the Project Cars forum for sharing my experience (to me the off topic sub forum seems to be more suitable for anything not related to Project Cars 2) - if my post is not suitable for this general sub forum or has to be considered as unreasonable advertising, please feel free to move this thread to a better fitting place. Also, English is not my native language, but I hope my point of this post becomes clear.
Because I noticed that this post will get a bit longer than initially thought I decided that I'll start a new thread - but there will also be a TLDR at the end :p


To come to the point of this post:
My wife and me have recently been to Glasgow in Scotland (for our honeymoon) and I coincidentally found out before going there that there is a business called "VR Simulators Glasgow" (which apparently allows driving in VR, as the name already suggests).
After having a look at their website (apparently I'm not allowed to include links, but googling for "VR Simulators Glasgow" should lead you to the correct website) I found out that it seemed as if they even used Project Cars 2 as their driving sim, so I decided to definitely visit them when being in Glasgow, as I've never played in VR and was curious about trying it for some time now.


The business can be described as a real family business:

The father, who was standing behind the counter when we entered the shop is apparently a welder and built the sim rigs by himself
The younger son, who has been a "gamer" for years (according to his father, I guess even a sim racer for a long part of these years), had the initial idea to start the business and has the knowledge about setting up the rigs, the other hardware and the software
The elder son, who has studied business and is responsible (together with the wife, if I understood that correct) for the financial and legal part of the business (they both were not present when we were there)

Unfortunately I'm quite bad at remembering names, so I'll have to refer to both of the owners we talked to as 'the father' and 'the (younger) son' throughout this post.


Normally, all of the rigs (I think there were about 16 or so of them) are equipped with the following:

Input devices: Thrustmaster T500 / T300 wheel; Thrustmaster T3PA-PRO pedals
Output / "Immersion" devices: VR glasses (Oculus Rift); motion seat (I don't know the manufacturer); fans to simulate the airflow while driving; TV screens for anyone watching the drivers (or people who experience motion sickness when driving in VR)


After having a first little talk with the father and the younger son about how they started their business (see introduction above), about my "rig" (see my signature), and that I already know Project Cars 2 quite well I drove two sessions - each a 20 minutes race against AI (Donington GP with the Porsche 911 GT3 R and Knockhill GP with the Porsche Cayman GT4; in both cases with all visual assists off and vehicle assists set to "real", as I normally drive that way as well).
I chose these combinations by myself, because I expected these tracks to be quite interesting in VR and I knew that those cars should fit these tracks quite well - if needed, the younger son (again, I'm sorry for not being able to use any names!) is happily providing any help needed to choose a suitable realism setting / car / track / weather combination.

Because I had told them about my sim racing / PC2 "background" they even were so kind to offer me driving in their sim rig "1", which (for testing / evaluation purposes) at the time of our visit was equipped with a direct drive wheel and a Fanatec pedal set.


The driving experience itself:
It was truly an amazing experience.
It took me some corners to adapt to the VR glasses (in the beginning I braked way too early for the corners for example), but after that it was simply amazing.
The possibility to look around in the car and inspect every button and detail is simply mindblowing - when the AI took the car over after the race, I even tried to grab one of the cables running along the bottom ground of the car (which apparently made me look a bit dumb from the outside, according to my wife :D).
Because the rigs are not only equipped with VR glasses, but also with those other "immersion" devices, the experience was even greater, which was a rather surprising insight to me - I especially didn't expect the motion seats to make the feeling of having a heavy car around and under me so realistic.
Especially those corners with elevation changes (Craner Curves / Old Hairpin / Starkey's Bridge / McLean's at Donington; Duffus Dip / Leslie's and Butcher's / Arnold Clark Chicane at Knockhill) were truly amazing in VR and with the motion seats!


Impression of the rigs in action
(Please don't watch the driving performance itself too closely, especially of the second one at Knockhill :D):
EDIT: Unfortunately I'm not allowed to include any links - maybe a moderator could edit my post with the links? I'd send a PN with the link to a shared Google Photos album I wanted to add, then.

After these two sessions we had a another short talk about their business - apparently team members from Slightly Mad Studios have also been there already and for groups of customers it is also possible to drive against each other in the same session and even talk to each other using headsets.


TLDR:
VR Simulators Glasgow was a truly great experience: personally regarding the owners of the place as well as regarding the driving experience itself.
I can definitely recommend a visit to anyone who has the chance to get to Glasgow. Especially if you are already tempted to try VR racing once (or more times :D) and have no other way of testing it before directly buying the needed hardware - this place is a very good opportunity to try it.


Disclaimer:
I'm not in any way part of VR Simulators Glasgow and I was not offered any special offers or free drives from them - I just found out about them before my recent holiday trip to Glasgow and wanted to share my experience, so that anyone who is living in or planning to visit Glasgow knows about them (and because the folks have been very nice to us).
For the two sessions of 20 minutes each I paid 27,50 GBP; the pricing for this event type and the other types of events are shown on the website of VR Simulators Glasgow.

Malcstar
15-07-2018, 16:52
There are probably more sim venues around. Hopping in to random rooms with the lobby full of handles like VArea1, Varea2 etc. Everytime I try to communicate with them no one seems to respond. Thinking that maybe they're in an arcade type environment and controlled by whoever is setting them up.

Neat find tho. Wish they had a sim VR gameroom were I am at. Especially with motion rigs!

UkHardcore23
16-07-2018, 00:46
Being from Glasgow ive been meaning to get down to this for a while infact id completely forgotten about it until this thread. It does look an outstanding setup. If it does cost 27.50 for just 40 mins though i doubt i could justify that while i have a T300, T3PA and PCARS 2 in the house. At 27.50 id really be wanting 1hr 30 mins at least.

But yeah it does look fantastic.

Kembro45
16-07-2018, 05:43
Great write up, keen to check this out. Been thinking of starting something similar for a few years. Main concern is people vomiting on the equipment from motion sickness.

jan.ringas
17-07-2018, 07:14
(...) Main concern is people vomiting on the equipment from motion sickness.

Regarding motion sickness: The owner showed me a bucket full of chocolate cookies he had standing behind the counter, which apparently are very good in helping against motion sickness.

Luckily I didn't need them, but according to him they are really helping. :D

TorTorden
17-07-2018, 07:54
Regarding motion sickness: The owner showed me a bucket full of chocolate cookies he had standing behind the counter, which apparently are very good in helping against motion sickness.

Luckily I didn't need them, but according to him they are really helping. :D

I suppose they can be comforting to some.

Personally after I quit sugars six months ago, that could probably induce nausea.

VR Simulators Glasgow
22-11-2018, 22:45
Hi Guys,

Just stumbled across this thread by accident and thanks for the great write up and feedback.

Just to update you all that when we opened we unfortunately didn't have the finances to get all the stuff we wanted however we now have all fourteen sims with direct drive wheel bases, fanatec rims and the inverted v3 fanatic pedals. We are also working on upgrading our full motion seats so the price is to justify the cost of all the pro equipment.

Please note too that if you are ever visiting and are a keen sim racer then try the unlimited racing package. Mon-Thur 6pm-9pm for 35.00 and you can race as much as you want in the three hours.

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

p.s. I am John the oldest son...John snr is the welder and dad....Stephen is my brother and the tech specialist and our mum is the finance director. Oh and it is ginger nut biscuits....they cure and help prevent motion sickness and we have thousands of them onsite. lol

g.stew
01-12-2018, 06:21
I was just in town for the Scotland v Israel match last week and was hoping to come check it out, but just couldn't find the time. Is the Mon-Thur 6pm-9pm the only time for unlimited racing? Are they ever times during the day? I'll be back in a few months and hope to get some time.