Daytona Universe (DU-Univ), a Daytona USA car pack (and a brief history of the project)

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This opening post will be a little long-winded, because there's a lot of history and personal sweat and tears behind this project. Let me preface by saying there will be many pictures from a different game, and GTPlanet will be, as of the time of posting, the only home this work has on the Internet. In a sense, this is also about preservation. I am going somewhere with this, so please bear with me.

THE SHORT VERSION: This post explains and memorializes the project (and why it's on the Assetto Corsa forum). There are download links at the bottom of the page. The post immediately after this one will contain a gallery of pictures.

Hi, I'm Tempest, and I was the project manager for the Daytona Universe (DU-Univ) project, a modification pack for the old but still appreciated NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (NR2003). In essence, this mod was a Daytona USA themed pack of skins and car statistics that ran on Denis Rioux's Cup90 mod, which brought 1990s-era NASCAR to NR2003.

This project officially began in 2008, when I was 14, and has been half of my whole life outside of school until 2011. I partnered with two others, whose handles at the time were DarkBlueYoshi and AlphonseDaya, and who remain two of my oldest and best friends. We were - still are - Daytona USA fans, DBY was the most experienced of us three, and taught me and Daya about painting cars and creating designs with the Photoshop templates that made these cars possible.

Our objective was to be what was at the time as comprehensive and representative a car pack as possible, including as many of the playable cars from Daytona USA 1, Daytona Championship Circuit Edition (the one on Saturn), Daytona USA 2, and Daytona USA 2001 (the Dreamcast one). We recreated the Hornet based on its DU2 design, all three of the other DU2 playable cars, every playable CCE car, and - following some intense research which required us finding scans of a DU2 soundtrack album's booklet - we even managed to get a few DU1 and DU2 AI cars.

We were all amateurs at this, I was learning as I went, this was my first major project of any definition and I still notice little errors, mistakes, things I could have done differently or better, but it's still something I'm extremely happy to have worked on.

Complementing this pack were a handful of fan-made designs, one for each of ourselves and a few other fans of the project who supported us on DeviantART at the time. They were totally fictitious but meant to be as "Daytona-esque" as possible.

In the modpack, every car had to have a different car number to fit into NR2003 all at the same time without being too messy to tell apart. Many of the originals wore the iconic #41 car number, rumored to have been the lucky number of Toshihiro Nagoshi, the producer and chief designer behind DU1 and DU2 (but perhaps better known today for his work on Yakuza/Ryu Ga Gotoku, of which I am also a fan).

All of these designs were created using Photoshop on dedicated templates, basically identical to the ones used to paint real-life Winston Cup cars for the Denis Rioux Cup90 mod, with the exception that we've created our own sticker contigs based on the Daytona USA ones. We went as far as replacing the in-game Goodyear tire textures with "Little-Wing" branded ones, exactly as in Daytona USA 2. I then used 3DSMax and a renderer called Brazil to put my poor, tired, outdated PC to work at creating all of the image renders you'll see below that aren't in-game screenshots. Every picture took my exhausted FX-5200 graphics card about 10 to 15 minutes to render... ...yeah!

So why is this on the Assetto Corsa subforum if this is a NR2003 mod pack? Well, there's a very good reason for that. Life being what it is, I've lost the machine I used to work on all of these, and essentially anything I didn't upload is lost in a dead hard drive. That means I've lost the templates, the means to update or change the car textures, everything that wasn't the modpack itself.

But some of our dA fans didn't forget us. One in particular, KyleJCRB, contacted me one day in 2022 ask me for permission to upload something on RaceDepartment.

As it turned out, the cup90 mod had been converted to Assetto Corsa by enterprising NR2003 fans, and Kyle took it upon himself to convert the Daytona Universe pack to Assetto Corsa as well, making all of these cars playable once again in a more modern racing sim. Download links a little further below.

The final piece of this puzzle is the images I've used to showcase the mod. I mentioned many times by now that we published the work on DeviantART. However, if you go looking today, all of this is missing. I made the difficult decision of taking everything down after dA announced, somewhat incompetently, their utter love for AI and AI-generated art. When it looked apparent that every uploaded picture on the site would be, or could have been, fed to an AI for training unless you individually opted out in the settings for each picture, I removed my gallery, left an irately-worded message on my dA journal, and effectively removed proof of our team's entire work without a home. A few months have passed after this, work and life happened, and a recent discussion on this forum reminded me of all of this existing on my hard drive.

That brings us to today and why I'm posting this. Essentially, I need everything I've worked on to have a home once again, and it looked like some people here would be interested to see it, so here we are!

The download links:
The Daytona Universe skin pack on RaceDepartment, courtesy of KyleJCRB.
The individual Cup90 cars converted to Assetto Corsa, available on their Facebook page.
The original NR2003 modpack, preserved for posterity as originally uploaded on Mediafire on May 26, 2011: Mediafire link, backup MEGA link

The gallery:
For this modpack: In the post below.
For everything I uploaded on deviantart: Google Drive backup
 
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Here is the dedicated gallery of each car as I originally showcased them on DeviantART in their gloriously teenaged amateurishness. Please remember these are well over a decade old.

Each car had to receive a driver name for NR2003, so... we made stuff up on the spot, some of it will not sound like names or look out of place. Remember, most of the people involved in this project were teenagers. Some of it is going to look or sound very dorky.

Original Daytona USA 1 / Daytona USA 2 cars
[2010-10-08] DU-Univ - Hornet High-Class by SUTempest - 181964738.png

[2010-10-08] DU-Univ - Phantom Full Force by SUTempest - 181963840.png

[2010-09-08] DU-Univ - Scorpio Plasma by SUTempest - 178548885.png

[2010-09-08] DU-Univ - Chums Gums Racing by SUTempest - 178548487.png

[2011-01-14] DU-Univ II - J.C. Eagle by SUTempest - 193440343.png


Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition playable cars
[2010-10-12] DU-Univ - Max Motorsports by SUTempest - 182450113.png

[2010-10-19] DU-Univ - Phoenix Racing by SUTempest - 183186407.png

[2010-10-20] DU-Univ - Oriole Performance by SUTempest - 183313352.png

[2010-10-21] DU-Univ - Gallop Racing by SUTempest - 183413932.png

[2010-10-25] DU-Univ - Wolf Racing Team by SUTempest - 183899600.jpg

[2010-10-26] DU-Univ - Magic Autos by SUTempest - 183999080.png

[2010-10-28] DU-Univ - Balance I.S. by SUTempest - 184207568.png


Daytona USA 2001 (Dreamcast) playable cars
[2010-11-09] DU-Univ II - Lightning R. Team by SUTempest - 185595145.png

[2010-11-13] DU-Univ II - Falcon Racing by SUTempest - 186016004.png

[2010-11-13] DU-Univ II - Unicorn S. Racing by SUTempest - 186060334.png

[2010-11-14] DU-Univ II - Grasshopper A.p. by SUTempest - 186127275.png


AI only cars from DU1/DU2
[2010-12-19] DU-Univ II - SG8 Car Tools by SUTempest - 190097719.png

[2011-01-21] DU-Univ II - TSN Wrench Tools by SUTempest - 194367073.png

[2011-02-08] DU-Univ II - Timco Tools by SUTempest - 196676034.png

[2011-03-23] DU-Univ II - Kine Snowboarding by SUTempest - 202057553.png

[2011-03-29] DU-Univ II - CarEx Deliveries by SUTempest - 202818137.png

[2011-04-06] DU-Univ II - Colvoline Perf. by SUTempest - 203801998.png

[2011-04-27] DU-Univ II- Tomahawk Motor Oil by SUTempest - 206611986.png

[2011-05-03] DU-Univ II - Star Make Formula by SUTempest - 207406861.png

[2011-05-04] DU-Univ II - Vantage Ground by SUTempest - 207532901.png

[2011-05-05] DU-Univ II - Fang Autos by SUTempest - 207645879.png

[2011-05-06] DU-Univ II - Evangeline M. Oil by SUTempest - 207761759.png

[2011-05-07] DU-Univ II - Libra Gold Beer by SUTempest - 207892476.png

[2011-05-08] DU-Univ II - Clover Casinos by SUTempest - 208041668.png


Fan-cars designed by or with the directions of friends and fans at the time
[2010-04-12] DU-Univ - Weaver Automotive by SUTempest - 160509017.png

[2010-04-21] DU-Univ - Princeton Pharma by SUTempest - 161484553.png

[2010-05-05] DU-Univ - Underdog Racing by SUTempest - 163064543.png

[2010-05-15] DU-Univ - Fayash Motorsports by SUTempest - 164112220.png

[2010-05-24] DU-Univ - Chibi Robot Prod by SUTempest - 165155350.png

[2010-06-10] DU-Univ - Eon Racing Team by SUTempest - 167152414.png

[2010-06-29] DU-Univ - Arashi Racing Team by SUTempest - 169451444.png

[2010-07-02] DU-Univ - Blue Spark En. Drink by SUTempest - 169785208.png

[2010-08-02] DU-Univ- E-Diamond Racing Team by SUTempest - 173711323.png

[2010-06-25] DU-Univ - Aura Racing Team by SUTempest - 168978390.png

[2010-07-29] DU-Univ - Nexson Industries by SUTempest - 173240220.png
 
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