Hooniverse Asks: What Would a Hooniverse Video Game Look Like?

Don't even try and tell me you wouldn't want to race one.

The key to success in racing is speed, consistency, reliability and a bit of luck. The key to success in Hooniversal racing is not blowing up.
As you may or may not have noticed, Jalopnik has partnered with Microsoft to provide content for Forza Motorsport 3. From a significant list that they originally selected, the commentariat is selecting their favourite ten through a democratic process.
Okay, that breaks my heart.

All kidding aside, it is a pretty awesome process, and a great opportunity, not just for Jalopnik, but for the autoblogger community as a whole. It provides us with a level of legitimacy that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. When I first started reading and commenting on these various sites, they were by and large dismissed as trivial, meaningless fluff intended for children and people who didn’t actually know anything about cars. Now, only Hooniverse is regarded in such a manner. And that’s just the way we likes it.
But let’s imagine that this became a trend. Now, I’ve never played Forza as I don’t have an XBox, and I’m personally waiting eagerly for Gran Turismo Forever. But since Forza has been claimed, and GTF will never actually be released, what would it look like if some inspired developer decided to make a video game with a Hooniversal twist?
We had a bit of discussion around this when the idea was first presented by Brad (whose screen name we didn’t catch), and we figured it likely would require a LeMons theme. Rather than having the typical “garage” where you modify the cars, you’d have the horrendously endless sea of Craigslist ads that may or may not provide something useful. Sometimes, those parts may not actually be for your car. Sometimes, they may explode in a large fireball.
Run with the theme, my children. What would make a Hooniverse video game? What cars would be in it? What would it feature, and how would it play? And if anyone has any contacts in the video game industry, be sure and send them over.

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  1. Alff Avatar

    I love the notion of a LeMons type racing video game, along with the Craigslist angle. In the same vein, I'd add an an element of risk in the form of a 1 in whatever chance that the Harbor Freight impact wrench you're using will spontaneously self-destruct, putting your mechanic/driver out of commission.

    1. scroggzilla Avatar

      I will destroy you both in my ridicule-proof Isetta.
      <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2459/3948892916_39eed17a23.jpg"&gt;

      1. Alff Avatar

        I had the opportunity to tour the museum at Checkpoint Charlie during the weekend of the Berlin reunification ceremony (yes, I'm old). There they had an Isetta that had been modified to smuggle a passenger in a box behind the driver. I had to wonder if anyone survived the journey.

        1. CptSevere Avatar

          YES! I saw the same car in 1983 (I'm older), at the museum, while Checkpoint Charlie was still up and running. Then, my Army buddies and I spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon touring East Berlin among the commies. That was an experience, I'm here to tell you. We were paratroopers, with maroon berets, jump wings, shiny jump boots, all kinds of wings and colorful stuff all over our uniforms. The poor commies were impressed. We felt like turquoise and white '57 Chevies among a bunch of Trabants.
          Amazing how somebody stuffed himself into the rear fender around the engine. He wanted out of there, bad.

  2. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    I have the perfect opening movie for the game:
    [youtube Y3Vcoq-QRo4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Vcoq-QRo4 youtube]

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Holy shit, where has that been hiding…

      1. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

        I wish I could have a Tecate battle helmet and Pabst war hammer.

        1. discontinuuity Avatar

          You have my Tecate bow…
          …and my Pabst axe!

        2. Thrashy Avatar

          I think I saw that in an episode of Metalocalypse once…

    2. joshuman Avatar

      'Tis only a scratch. Come back here.

    3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      You should see those guys live. They opened for Clutch (which, if you're familiar, are not exactly slackers in the ass-kicking dept) and absolutely killed me. Seriously, I was dead.
      Well, I got better. But Red Fang kills live.

      1. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

        I would love to see those dudes live.
        Best combo would be them and 3 Inches of Blood

  3. Sienna,Tokyo Dorifto Avatar
    Sienna,Tokyo Dorifto

    The Italian Job and Mario Kart

    1. skitter Avatar

      I think we need to recreate the fine game modes and mechanics from those as well as Midtown Madness 2 and Test Drive: Eve of Destruction. I'd couple that with realism that can be turned from Cartoon to Eleven, but more importantly I think a timeline from postwar to present day would reflect our deep awe of the historic and obscure.

      1. iheartstiggie Avatar

        You need to add Pitfall in there – I wanna jump the car over logs and ponds with vicious alligators and stick my hand out the window and swing from vines!

        1. Feds Avatar

          They already made that game…. It's called Quest for Tires

  4. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    This comes to mind
    <img src=http://downloadablesuicide.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/flatout2box.jpg>

  5. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    A true Hooniverse game must have:
    – A "hold my beer and watch this" mode,
    – An ability to bodge together outrageous vehicles,
    – ramping, ice racing and Group B power to weight ratios,
    – obscure car – movie – news references
    and most of all – Patina!

    1. joshuman Avatar

      Stuffing a big modern diesel in a '32 Ford is completely expected. That falls under the "bodge together outrageous vehicles" clause.

      1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

        Definitely, more torque and smoke please! All the finalists from the the Hooniverse Car of the Year contest should be available in the game as well.

    2. iheartstiggie Avatar

      And Badgers. I want Badgers.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

      2. highmileage_v1 Avatar

        Badgers? Badgers! I'm afraid to ask…

      3. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        But no reBadgers, except Fargo, Acadian, Asüna, Mercury trucks…

  6. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Putting mad spouses in the game, for having too much crap on the drive way, would be too realistic?

    1. Alff Avatar

      Absolutely. I rarely play video games, when I do it's to escape reality.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Now I have to explain to the IT department why I need a new keyboard.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      You make a convincing argument.

  7. Tomsk Avatar

    I definitely dig the LeMons angle, though there could be other driving missions and minigames that take place in between getting ready for and competing in races. One possibility would be to take the concept from that Pokemon photo safari game from eons ago and set it in Alameda, shooting cars instead of little anime monsters. Also, complete vehicles and engines that you can buy at junkyards or Craigslist, fixing up the cars or swapping different engines into cars. Winning LeMons races could unlock prize cars like the Jagvair and the Basement Lambo for you to hot lap the tracks in. There could be a Brefass Scotch distilling minigame, and the underlying challenge of the whole game would be not falling afoul of the neighborhood association and/or your spouse.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      A spouse would be too realistic, and it'd be easy to feel guilty for rude/violent responses, as well as attracting attention for potential sexism.
      However, I actually think that aggravating the homeowner's association without being arrested should be a goal.

      1. Tomsk Avatar

        Good point. Giving the N.A. fits (but not enough of one for them to have a new city ordinance drafted) would be a tricky balance to strike.

  8. Feds Avatar

    The Classified Shopping/Build it Yourself/Racin' For Pinks angle of "Street Rod"
    Combined with the track building and pavement/dirt/ice of "Stunts"
    Add in the wide-bloody-open/overheat meter of excite bike, a decent damage engine, and a 4-mile-long car list, and you've got yourself a winner.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Holy Crap…a video game where you set the timing?
      This is awesome.

      1. Deartháir Avatar

        OH MY GOD. I adored Street Rod when I was a kid; and then it vanished, and I didn't even remember what its name was.
        And now I have it back again. Happiness!

    2. Tomsk Avatar

      "Street Rod" vaguely reminds me of EA's later "Motor City Online." Stick both games in a proverbial meat grinder with 2010 graphics and lots of flexibility regarding powertrain swaps (plus the ability to fabricate stuff out of flat sheetmetal, tubing and the like with English wheels, hammer and dolly, TIG welder and so forth) and you would have the best (but probably slowest selling) game in the history of evah.

  9. Sienna, Lower in LA Avatar
    Sienna, Lower in LA

    Now I'm gonna hafta go back and take the City Tour in GTA:San Andreas..

  10. Deartháir Avatar

    Goddammit, WordPress, stop screwing up my formatting and eating all my strikethroughs.

  11. name_too_long Avatar

    I'm thinking sort of a cross between a RPG and Gran Turismo / Forza, all set against a LeMons / CrapCan Am / Chumpcar / Free-drive backdrop.
    To start out with you'd have to pick a team, with each member having various levels of attributes such as "Driving Ability", "Wrenching", "Junkyard Scavenging", "Judge Persuasion", etc. A high "Wrenching" stat means that with them on the team it'll take less time to fix things when they break. Good "Junkyard Scavenging" means parts are cheaper and the car is more reliable (better quality parts). A high score in "Judge Persuasion" increases your chance of getting reduced penalties for going over budget and a good "Driving Ability" stat means your AI team mate is less likely to stuff the car or incur penalties during their stint (which would be handled like the auto-drive thing in GT).
    As you progress through the game you get stat points that you can apply to your team members. When you win races you unlock some sort of car that you can use for hot lapping tracks or driving on the great driving roads of the world, these would either be "Legends of [cheap car series]" or Hoon-Approved hoopties like the Peel, Se7ens or the "Tobacco King" Galaxie.
    Aside from the paltry race winnings you'd get $500 of "Automotive Allowance" every two weeks of game time to spend on entry fees, project cars and just plain old used cars to drive around. Time spent working on project cars will increase your team's "Wrenching" and "Junkyard Scavenging" abilities.
    Engine swaps and junkyard engineering would also need to be present but the ability to do them and have them work would be dependent on wrenching and scavenging skills.

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hooniverse, jason davis. jason davis said: RT @TheHooniverse: From the Hooniverse:: Hooniverse Asks: What Would a Hooniverse Video Game Look Like? http://bit.ly/bNBsT5 […]