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Driving games have always been popular, allowing us to drive cars we’ll never so much as touch in the real world, at speeds that would frighten even a trained racing driver. With that in mind, it might seem silly to create a game about racing radio controlled race cars, which is exactly what Bumblebeast software did when they launched Big Scale Racing. Why simulate something that you could just go out and try for yourself? Perhaps surprisingly, Big Scale Racing turns out to be an extremely playable and addictive little game, one that is sadly languishing in copyright limbo since the original developers disappeared.
The game should install without any issues on modern versions of Windows. Simply insert the CD into your computers optical drive and follow all the on-screen prompts. If the autorun prompt does not appear after inserting the disc, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and manually run the “Setup.exe” file to start the installation. If you plan to install the game to the default directory, you should see the troubleshooting notes on “Problems saving games or settings”.
The game had several patches during its lifetime and tracking them down was somewhat difficult, but thanks to a little help from our friends over on the Vogons forum, we were able to track them down and we’ve now hosted them here for anyone that needs them. To patch your game to the latest available version, you are going to need to download and install two patch files. Each installs a little differently, so we’ll deal with each one in turn.
The first patch pack can be downloaded here (link broken? Let me know here). This patch is a self extracting Zip file and simply overwrites several files in the games directory. Once downloaded, run it and follow the on-screen prompts. When asked for a password, enter “beastyware” (without the quotes). Pay careful attention when you get to this part of the installation:-
The patch does NOT automatically detect the Big Scale Racing installation folder, and simply assumes it is installed at “C:\Program Files\BumbleBeast\Big Scale Racing”. This is likely to be wrong on any 64 bit machine, as the default installation directory is “C:\Program Files (x86)\BumbleBeast\Big Scale Racing”. We recommend you click the “Browse…” button and manually browse to your Big Scale Racing game folder to make certain that the patch is installed properly.
Once you have installed the first patch, you can download the second one here (link broken? Let me know here). This is a much smaller patch and is downloaded as a zip file. All you need to do is copy the “Big Scale Racing.exe” file from this zip folder into your Big Scale Racing installation folder, overwriting the existing one. With this patch installed, you’re now ready to play.
Running the game
Start the game by double clicking on its icon. The game may ask for administrator rights the first time it is run, we believe this is due to the copy protection/serial number entry and you can safely grant this permission. Enter your serial number when prompted and the following window should then appear.
You can click on “Play!” to start playing immediately, but you might want to tweak some visual settings first. Click on “Configure”. You should then see the following configuration window.
For best quality, configure your graphics settings to match those shown above (apart from “Video Card” as that should show whatever video card you have in your machine). The maximum resolution you can select here is 1024×768, though we’ll show you a trick later that lets you access higher screen resolutions. For now, click on “OK” with these options set and then on “Play!”. The game should now start and after the introduction it will take you to the main menu.
Tweaking visual quality
Apart from the settings we configured above, there are several other tweaks you can do to make sure your Big Scale Racing is as beautiful as possible. In game, go to the main menu and then choose “Options” and then “Display”. There are four detail options you can set here, on a modern PC you can set them all to “HIGH” to enjoy the very best quality. The last option on this menu is “Gamma”, this effects screen brightness and can generally be set to taste, though avoid setting it too high or you will lose detail in the brightest parts of the image.
Finally, if you want to run Big Scale Racing in resolutions greater than 1024×768, you are going to need to do some manual editing. Open the Big Scale Racing game folder in Windows Explorer/File Explorer (by default it can be found at C:\Program Files (x86)\BumbleBeast\Big Scale Racing). Now, find the “Config.ini” file and open it in Notepad or your favourite text editor. If you’re not familar with editing text files, there’s a good introductory tutorial here.
There are two lines you need to change in the Config.ini file in order to change resolution, horizontalresolution and verticalresolution. You can change these values to anything your monitor supports. For 1080p for instance, you’d use “horizontalresolution = 1920” “verticalresolution = 1080” (do not copy the quotation marks). Remember that Big Scale Racing is a 4:3 aspect ratio (non-widescreen) game and if you run it in a widescreen resolution such as 1080p the graphics may appear stretched. In practise the game doesn’t look too bad stretched into widecreen, but if you prefer to keep the original aspect ratio, try 1280×1024 resolution instead.
Remember to save the file when you are done editing it. If you have problems saving the file, see “Problems saving games or settings” in the troubleshooting section. You can now start the game again and it should run in your chosen screen resolution.
Game controllers can be configured from the games main menu by going to Options->Controls. You then choose either Player 1 or Player 2’s controls. The game recognised all the buttons and controls on our Xbox 360 pad just fine, no Xpadder required this time.
If you do have access to a copy of Xpadder however, you might want to set up a simple profile for the game similar to the one shown below.
By using this profile you can navigate the games menus without needing to reach for the keyboard and mouse and also access the pause menu during a race.
Game crashes after the introduction – Check that you installed the first patch correctly. If you install the patch to the wrong directory this error can occur.
Problems saving games or settings – Like many older games, Big Scale Racing places its save game files and various configuration files in the same directory that it is installed to. This can cause problems on more modern versions of Windows as programs are not normally permitted to write to the program files directory. To avoid this problem, either install the game to an alternate location (e.g c:\Games\BigScaleRacing) or manually edit the permissions on the “Big Scale Racing” folder. If you used the default installation directory when installing, the games folder can be found at “C:\Program Files (x86)\BumbleBeast\Big Scale Racing”. A tutorial on how to edit folder permissions can be found here.