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Realistic race games used to be limited by computing power. Tricks like a reduced environment, blurred textures, and limited visibility caused by fog were used. In recent years these tricks have hardly been necessary, as the 3D power of PC systems was sufficient to represent the street of the race track in as much detail as the cars themselves. Now the PC is busy with speed effects, reflections, and clever damage models. It’s hardly surprising that the graphic designers tend to concentrate more on the cars, which are looking more realistic than ever.
More about fire, water, Hollywood monsters, special effects, and physics willbe found in the second part of this article.