Grand Prix Manager 2

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Grand Prix Manager 2
Box art for Grand Prix Manager 2
Developer(s) Edward Grabowski Communications Ltd
Publisher(s) Microprose
Platform(s) PC (Windows 3.1), (Windows 95) Onwards
Release date(s) 1996 (UK)
Genre(s) Sports management game
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Grand Prix Manager 2 (often shortened as GPM2) is a 1996 Formula 1 management simulation for Windows systems and is based on its predecessor, Grand Prix Manager. It was developed by Edward Grabowski Communications Ltd [1] and published by Microprose, and it is licensed by FIA to have real statistics for the 1996 Formula One season. A sequel, Grand Prix World, was released in 2000.

Gameplay[edit]

The management menu

The game is composed of long and short term "contracts", long term games being made up of 10 seasons of F1 (in game from 1996–2005) whilst short term challenges dictated a specific outcome to be met over 1, 2 or 3 seasons, failure of these resulting in being fired and losing the game.[2] In long term challenges, the only way to lose the game is that the player's team goes bankrupt. The game can be played on the same computer with one to four players in a hotseat mode, assigning turns for the players to make their decisions. Before the start of a long term scenario, the player(s) may freely edit the teams and personnel to their liking by using a simple in-game editor. Short term scenarios cannot be modified.

During the game the player(s) must hire and dismiss personnel, negotiate with sponsors to secure the team's finances, control the research of new parts to stay competitive, negotiate contracts with engine, fuel, and spare parts suppliers, control testing and set up the car according to hints given by the drivers.

The race screen

Before a race weekend the player(s) can choose whether he/she wants to see the different sessions or just skip them, thus allowing the game to simulate the results. The car setup can also be altered during these sessions. Before the race the fuel and tyre strategy of both cars has to be set, the game giving a suggestion to the player(s) which can be freely modified.[2] Stirling Moss provides commentary during the race.[3] After the race certain news stories based on the race's results and current game events are displayed.

Jacques Villeneuve (a new driver for the real 1996 season) is not named or photographed in the original version of the game. He is instead replaced by 'John Newhouse', an English translation of the Canadian's name, having the correct statistics but a different picture. This was due to Villeneuve owning the copyright to his name and likeness at the time, unlike other drivers who were copyrighted with FOA.[3] This occurred under various guises in all of the Formula One games released from 1996 until 1999, when the issue was finally settled.

Network Play[edit]

Network play was also introduced in this version of the game, via Serial Connection, Modem, or TCP/IP, expanding the playability of the game.[3] It is still possible to play the game on-line via a software such as Hamachi. Originally it couldn't support any mods, but recent discoveries have allowed the use of modifications in network games as well.

Game Community[edit]

This game still has an active community built around it,[4] providing updates of seasons past and present using both the internal and 3rd party editing tools. It has released quite a few mods, which are listed below.

Season Updates[edit]

This is a full list of updates planned or released for Grand Prix Manager 2, each based on a real Formula One Season. The first full modification for the game was released in 2004 and based on the same year's Formula One season. Ever since then a modification has been released each year for the contemporary season. There are also many historical mods, based on seasons before and after the game's original season (1996).[4]

Season Status Notes
3.0 Litre Formula
1976 WIP Also known as "Rush edition" as a tribute to Ron Howard's movie Rush, which is based on the 1976 season.
1.5 Litre Formula
1985 WIP
1986 Released
1987 Released The first released mod, based on the 1.5 Litre Turbo years
1988 Released
3.5 Litre Formula
1989 Released
1990 Released
1991 Released
1992 Released
1993 Released
1994 Released
3.0 Litre Formula
1995 Released
1996 Released An update on the original season.
1997 Released
1998 Released
1999 Released
2000 Released
2001 Released
2002 Released
2003 Released
2004 Released The first mod made for the game.
2005 Released
2.4 Litre Formula
2006 Released
2007 Released
2008 Released
2009 Released Contains online play - a new feature.
2010 Released
2011 Released
2012 Released
2013 Released
1.6 Litre Formula
2014 Released
2015 BETA
Other
Rejects/Leftovers Released Mod, consists of backmaker drivers and teams not included in the previous mods, due to team limitation
Legends Released Mod, consisting of World Champions and Grand Prix Winners from the past and present
2014/2015 Formula E WIP First non-F1 Mod to be made.

The season updates can be found at GPM2World and discussed on the site's forums.[5] As of 2013 the discussions and future mods can be found at gpracegames.com [6]

Reception[edit]

The game received quite mixed reviews at the time of its release, others praising the relatively low learning curve and simplicity, while major criticism was aimed at the game for its relatively poor interface, high difficulty, poor driver simulation, poor financial simulation and lack of overall improvements over the original Grand Prix Manager.[7] Despite this, the game remains very popular among F1 management game fans.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edward Grabowski Communications Ltd
  2. ^ a b Moby Games GPM2 description
  3. ^ a b c Coming Soon Magazine review
  4. ^ a b Grand Prix Manager 2 World
  5. ^ GPM2 World forums
  6. ^ http://sionco.is-great.net/forum/
  7. ^ Moby Games Ranks
  • [1] - GPM2 section on Edward Grabowski website
  • [2] - Moby Games GPM2 section
  • [3] - Coming Soon Magazine review
  • [4] - Grand Prix Manager 2 World
  • [5] - GPM2 World forums
  • [6] - Moby Ranks