Blog

Police Lightbar Illumination Mod Review

Have you ever tried creating an awesome realistic police chase in BeamNG.drive only to notice that the police lights aren’t very…. realistic? If you haven’t tried out the emergency vehicle lights in BeamNG.drive, you can activate them using the ‘M’ key. When activated, you’ll find that the lights ‘glow’ nicely and flash in a pattern like you’d see in real-life. However, when you think about driving in real-life and what approaching emergency vehicles at night looks like, you’re probably familiar with the overwhelming amount of red and blue flashing lights that consume the night.

Take a look at the below image of Grand Marshal Police Package with it’s default emergency lights activated. You’ll notice the ‘glowing’ police lightbar which gives you the idea of a police car with it’s lights activated, but look at the area around the vehicle. For a police car with it’s lights on, it seems a little dark, doesn’t it? Also, you can see the lightbar on the roof lit up, but where’s the flashing headlights and tail-lights?

This is where DesertCanine’s Police Lightbar Illumination Mod steps in. This mod essentially improves on all of the elements that are missing from the stock police lightbar. Check out the below image of the same Grand Marshal police vehicle using this mod.

Here you can see some of the missing elements from the stock lightbar have been implemented with this mod! Looking at the area around the vehicle, you can see the bright red and blue illumination from the lightbar as well as the flashing headlights. This more accurately represents what a police vehicle would look like in real-life giving your gameplay and videos that extra added but of realism. In just about every video that I post on my YouTube channel that involves police vehicles, I make sure I’m using the modded lightbar. You can see in the below “Utah Police Chases” video my use of the mod in both day and night scenarios.

Once you download the mod, it’s just a matter of opening the Vehicle Customizations menu (Ctrl+W) and looking for ‘Roof Accessory’. Under the dropdown, you’ll have a number of options including the use of both the standard lightbar or the flat lightbar as well as choosing whether the headlights, taillights, or both, illuminate.




This mod does everything that the stock lightbar should do. It makes you wonder if the devs at BeamNG will take notice of how much realism this adds to the police vehicles and if they’ll consider tweaking the stock lightbar. Until then, I highly recommend downloading this mod and using it every time you’re looking for realism in your police-related gameplay and videos!

Tips & Tricks: Loading Vehicles on Flatbeds

Hey Everyone!

This is my very first tips & tricks video! I just bought myself a nice microphone so I’ll be recording these types of videos with my voice. This will hopefully allow me to explain things to you in a very clear manner. I look forward to any feedback that you may have or suggestions for future tips & tricks videos!

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel!




BeamNG.drive Tips for Beginners

I was always interested in experimenting with the games soft-body physics but truth be told, when I first started playing, I found it a little difficult to wrap my head around it sometimes. Now that I’ve been playing it over the past few years, I wanted to share some tips and tricks for new players.

1. Use a Controller!

When I first played the game, I thought I could get away with playing it using a keyboard and mouse. This was my first difficulty with the game as I found that the cars were very difficult to control and were prone to under-steering. I did eventually get used to simply tapping the arrow keys to steer more accurately with the keyboard as well as settling on a car that I found to be easily controllable with the keyboard, the Ibishu Covet. This, however, was far from ideal as the game really wasn’t designed to be played with a keyboard and mouse. It wasn’t until I plugged in my PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller that I realized what I was missing out on. Immediately, I was able to take control of any vehicle and drive it with ease. For that reason, I highly recommend that you use a controller with this game for a much better playing experience. It doesn’t even need to be a fancy racing wheel or anything of the sort, just simply a game controller like a PlayStation or Xbox controller.

If you must insist on using a keyboard and mouse to play the game, as mentioned, the Ishibu Covet is your friend.

2. Retry/Reload are your Friends

For an experimental physics game, you’ll want to repeat your simulations over and over trying out different things. In order to do this easily, you can use the ‘Reload Vehicle’ and ‘Retry Scenario’ options.

By default, Reload Vehicle is mapped to Ctrl + R and upon using this key combination, the game will reload your vehicle in a fixed state in its current position. This is useful for if you crash your car while in the middle of something and do not want to start over from the beginning.




The Retry Scenario option is mapped to the ‘R’ key by default and will restart you from the beginning of where you started (or last reloaded). It’s important to note that when you do a ‘Reload Vehicle’, that now becomes your new starting point.

Now that you understand the two options for reloading and retrying, typically what I will do is position my vehicle to right before where I want to start an experiment or simulation and press the Ctrl + R combination to reload my vehicle in that spot. This enables me to try out what I want to do and if I need to start over, I can press the ‘R’ key to try it again.

3. Slow-Motion

One of my favorite features of BeamNG.drive is the ability to watch your crashes in slow motion. The developer included the feature natively and it can be activated by using the default keys ‘Alt’ and ‘Left Arrow’ to slow down time in increments of 2, 4, 8, 16, 100 times slower than real-time. Using ‘Alt’ and ‘Right Arrow’ will speed things up again in reverse. Furthermore, you can use ‘Alt’ and ‘Down Arrow’ to quickly activate slow-motion at 8 times slower than real-time and ‘Alt’ and ‘Up Arrow’ to switch back to real-time.

Personally, I use the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller and I have the shortcut to quickly go 8 times slower than real-time mapped to the L1 button and the real-time shortcut mapped to the R1 button. This allows me to quickly activate slow-motion and jump back to real-time with ease during gameplay.

4. Changing Vehicles and Using Multiple Vehicles

One keyboard shortcut that you’ll be using frequently is the ‘Ctrl + E’ combination to open the vehicle selection menu. This allows you to quickly spawn a new vehicle or some of the more frequently used obstacles and props, such as pylons, cinder block walls, and barriers to name a few. You have two choices when spawning new vehicles or props – Spawn New or Replace Current. Both options are self explanatory, Spawn New will spawn a new instance of the particular vehicle or prop while leaving your current vehicle and Replace Current will swap your current vehicle with the new vehicle or prop.

If you choose to spawn a new vehicle leaving yourself with multiple vehicles on the map, you can simply cycle through them using the ‘Tab’ key. Furthermore, you can cycle in reverse order using the ‘Shift + Tab’ keyboard combination.




5. Mods!

My last tip is to check out some of the mods that are available for the game. This includes vehicles, maps, props, and more, and they’re available directly on the developer’s website: http://www.beamng.com/resources/. It’s extremely easy to install the mods for the game. Simply download one from the site and save the .zip file in your My Documents\BeamNG.drive\mods folder. There is no need to unzip any of the files and the game will simply load the mods automatically next time you launch it!

Check out my Mod Reviews page for in-depth reviews of BeamNG.drive mods!

My recommendation for your first mod download is ThreeDTech21’s Blue Bird American School Bus! Have fun!




BeamNG.drive Game Review

BeamNG.drive is a soft-body physics simulation game developed by the BeamNG company and first released in 2013. As someone who’s a fan of simulation games, particularly physics simulations, I got my hands on BeamNG.drive early on. I was immediately impressed with the accuracy and detail of the crashes as the game boasts a real-time, soft-body dynamic physics structure using algorithms for physics calculations in real-time. The result is stunning car crashes upon interactions with various objects and other landscape obstacles.

This post will provide a review of the game, while the BeamNG.drive Tips for Beginners post will detail some of the tips and tricks that I’ve discovered while playing BeamNG.drive. If you decide to purchase the game or are looking for more insight, it’s definitely worth a look.

Gameplay

One of the first things that I want to point out with BeamNG.drive is that, as of writing, this game is still considered “early access” which means it is still technically in development. As of right now, there are two modes available – Freeroam and Scenarios. For the most part, most people find themselves playing in freeroam as this is where you have the freedom to customize and experiment with the game, its maps and vehicles.

You start off by choosing one of 12 included maps, which range from a simple empty grid to East Cost USA to a Jungle Rock Island to Utah, USA. Each map offers a unique landscape with varying obstacles, hills, environment, roadways, etc. Aside from the beauty of these environments, they each allow you to experiment in different ways with your vehicles. More about these maps are talked about below in the Graphics section.




Once you’ve selected your map, you’ll spawn with your vehicle which, by default, is the standard pickup truck. If you’re using a keyboard + mouse as your controller, you’ll find the basic controls are the Arrow keys for accelerate, brake, steering, and the camera can be controlled using the mouse or numpad arrows. The game offers two modes for driving – Arcade and Automatic/Manual. Arcade mode will take care of all shifting for you as you accelerate, brake and reverse, whereas the automatic/manual mode leaves the shifting up to you just like you would in a regular car.

As you start driving around, you’ll notice that when you crash into things, your car will becoming damaged. This, of course, is the point of the game! In order to ‘reset’ your car, you can press the ‘R’ key to reset it back to the position where you started. If you’ve gone some ways and would rather not restart from your initial position, you can use the Ctrl + R combination to reset the vehicle in its current place. This gives you the flexibility to smash up your cars all you want with the ability to reset it as needed.

To change between cars, simply use the Ctrl + E combination to pull up the vehicle selection screen to quickly switch between vehicles. It’s here where you can choose to replace your current vehicle or spawn a new one while leaving your current vehicle in place. The multiple vehicles can be switched between using the ‘Tab’ key. This is great for crashing cars together.




Every vehicle, from the default pickup truck to a sports car to a truck handles in a different way and you can really feel the weight and performance differences for each. This allows you to experiment with a limitless number of vehicle designs and customization when setting up your scenarios and crashing the vehicles. Additional features, such as the toggling of slow-mo and changing the speed of the game allows you to really see and feel the impact of the crashes.

This covers the basic controls and gameplay elements but I wanted to mention that the game is also compatible with many different controller types, including steering wheels and PlayStation/Xbox controllers. I would strongly recommend using a controller with this game as the realistic feel of the cars are very sensitive when simply using a key to control it and you will want to leverage the triggers/sticks of a game console controller or a steering wheel for a better gameplay experience.

Check out the video below where I simulated various accidents where the crash test dummy made some ‘bad’ turns in the BeamNG.drive world. You can find plenty more videos like this on my YouTube channel.

Customizations

Of course, a sandbox game like this allows for many different customizations. I spoke about the controls in the last section and some of the default actions using a keyboard. All buttons can be mapped in-game using the menu and going to the controls area. Furthermore, most game controllers are compatible with the game and their buttons can also be mapped using the in-game menu. Personally, I’m using the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller which was recognized immediately by my game running on Windows 10.

As for the actual gameplay, every vehicle can be customized using the vehicle config menu. This includes the addition and removal of various parts from the engine all the way down to the lights and bumpers. Furthermore, tuning options are available for each vehicle which includes tire pressure, toe and camber adjustments.

Every map can be opened in the included World Editor by pressing the F11 key which allows you to customize anything you want on the map. This includes the movement of objects and placing new objects on the map. This is great for setting up scenarios in the empty grid map or adding additional objects to an existing map. Some of the more common objects can also be added quickly from the vehicles menu for quick placement during gameplay without the need to open the World Editor.

Lastly, the game now includes mods which allows for players to download and install both official and unofficial maps, vehicles, and other mods into the game.

Graphics

One of the most impressive aspects of this game aside from the realistic real-time physics and crashes is the graphical elements and beauty of the maps and vehicle designs. It’s apparent that great care and detail has gone into the design of all included vehicles and maps. Every element of the maps can interact with the vehicles allowing you to take your vehicle anywhere on the map and crash it. Even as parts fly and vehicles tumble, you’ll be impressed with the way they interact with objects on the map, oftentimes pleasantly unexpectedly.

Community

As mentioned, many mods, vehicles and maps are available for download directly from BeamNG, while other communities exist around the game providing such a service as well as an area for players to chat about the game. You’ll definitely want to check out the official BeamNG Wiki, BeamNG Forums, the BeamNG subreddit and Steam Community.




Furthermore, the game receives frequent updates and new content from the BeamNG team. The DevBlog on the BeamNG website provides all the details of new and upcoming content for the game.

Overall

For those of you like me who enjoy a good physics sandbox game and realistic car crashes, BeamNG is the game for you! The beauty and level of detail put into this game combined with the incredible real-time physics engine will leave you impressed and with hours and hours of entertainment. Look for this game to continue to evolve as it has been over the past few years with the developer providing full support and many updates. It is well worth the $20 for Early Access and can be purchased direct from the developer or through Steam.

Dune Island, USA Review

Dune Island, USA, the map created by RedRoosterFarm, is one of those rare maps that has just about everything you need for your testing and experiments. It includes everything from a small town with buildings to off-road dirt tracks to mud pits to highways. It even includes an airstrip for aircraft and high speed vehicle testing!

The default spawn point is at “Gus’ Grocery” which is located in the heart of Dune Island’s main street. From there, a quick drive through the town will let you see the variety of buildings included with this map, such as residential houses, a grocery store, a gas station, some commercial store fronts and even a fire station! This will give you the perfect backdrop for crashes and testing in a small town type environment. The fire station has been designed to actually fit a fire truck which will allow you to have that added realism for short stories by having a fire truck actually respond directly from the fire station.

As you make your way towards the outskirts of town, you’ll begin to see some larger properties and farmland. These properties make for a nice transition from the more densely-populated main street and into the country and beach-side areas. Taking the main highway out of town will bring you to one of the map’s straightaways, which is great for high-speed and head-on crash testing. On one side of the road, is a heavily wooded area while on the other, you’ll find a sandy beach with the aforementioned airstrip running parallel to the roadway. If you’re looking to do high speed tests, whether on the road or airstrip, this is the place to be!




The wooded area on your right when taking this road out of town has plenty of dirt trails that you can turn down and take deep into the wilderness. These trails are great for off-roading as they provide a number of twists, turns and slopes. A nice touch worth mentioning is in the center of the map, you’ll find a heavily forested area where trees have been cut down. This gives the player a bit of an opening for off-roading compared to driving through the dense forest. It gives the off-roading a nice mix of tight, white knuckle driving through the forest and a more open area for fun.

Continuing down the highway, you’ll eventually hit a sharp right-hand turn which will lead you to a bridge over a small lake deep in the forested area. This bridge is long enough that you’ll hit some pretty serious speeds as you travel along it. At both ends of the bridge, you’ll find a significant slope up/down that will give you some nice airtime as you exit the bridge.




In one of my favorite videos that I made, I setup a police roadblock at the beginning of this slope and jumped some cars (in most cases) over the roadblock. Check it out below and you can see how much speed and air can be had exiting this bridge!

Exiting the bridge on the other side will give you the opportunity to join up with the dirt trails which leads to a dirt loop around a small lake. However, if you proceed straight down the highway, you’ll find yourself immediately immersed in desert-style sand dunes! These are great for sand off-roading and provides enough dunes to get some serious air in your dune buggy!

Entering the final stretch of highway before you find yourself back in town will take you through the rocky, steep, and curvy section of roadway. This will pose challenging for even the most experienced BeamNG drivers as care will need to be taken not to go crashing into the rocks or guardrails. In contrast to the high speed straightaways seen elsewhere in the map, this area is what you want if you’re looking for a challenge! As you can see in the below police chase video around the 4:30 mark, the difficulty of the roads posed a serious challenge to both the police as well as the suspect!




Speaking of twisty roads, take a turn off the highway and onto the dirt trail from here and you’ll find yourself climbing to the map’s highest point. Once you arrive, you’ll have a beautiful view of the entire map, including overlooking the town in one direction and more of the map’s expansive dirt trails in the other direction. This is a good way to get your sense of direction and plot your next adventures in the map!

Verdict

Dune Island, USA is an excellent map providing plenty of variety for your tests and experiments. For a small town/country style map, it provides everything you could possible ask for – a main street backdrop, high-speed straightaways, tricky turns and hills, bridges, off-road trails, beaches, dunes, and even an airstrip! I often find myself loading up this map when I’m not sure what I want to do as I always find something to do in Dune Island, USA!

Score: 9.5/10

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to my new site!

As many of you know, I’ve only been YouTube-ing for a short period. When I started off in September 2016, my channel name was completely unrelated to BeamNG.drive (trivia: does anyone remember what my original channel name was??).

I began uploading videos of one of my favorite simulation games – BeamNG.drive. Evidently, you guys seemed to like what I was doing as I almost immediately began receiving a significant number of views on my videos! Since then, I’ve made it my goal to keep creating awesome content for you guys while continuously trying to improve and try new things!

I’m now fully committed to creating BeamNG.drive videos and I always want to hear my audience’s feedback. You guys are always giving me great suggestions and ideas while offering up suggestions for improvement!

To continue my engagement with my viewers, I recently began doing live streams giving you guys the opportunity to make crash requests and see them happen live on the stream! This is something that I plan on continuing to do, so keep an eye out for future live streams!

As I spend a lot of time in BeamNG.drive and reading about the latest news, mods, etc., I wanted to create a site where I can share some of this info as well as my views and opinions on BeamNG happenings with you. I will be using this site to bring you news, reviews, info, videos and more to all my fans. One of the first things that I’m going to start doing is creating a “tips and tricks” series where I will provide tutorials and tips on certain things in BeamNG.drive. Stay tuned!

Hopefully this site will be a great resource for all of you when it comes to BeamNG.drive! It will continue to grow over the coming months as I add more and more content so keep an eye on this site as we grow it together!

As always, I appreciate all of your support and I always look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions!

Thanks,
BeamNG-FUN
beamngfun@gmail.com