Automating automatic racing

Hackaday forum user [Nikescar] upgraded his XBox360 hard drive. During this upgrade, his Forza 3 game save was lost. He had accumulated millions of in-game dollars and really wanted to get back to where he was. We’re not familiar with the game, but he says that one easy way to make some money is to allow the AI to run races for you while you do other things. Unfortunately, this requries coming back to the system and starting a new race every hour or so. Luckily, [Nikescar] had an arduino lying around doing nothing, so he patched it into the controller and had it carry out a the correct button press sequence on a schedule.  Now his virtual driver makes virtual money while his virtual-person keeps it going. His real person sleeps.

Comments

  1. Decius says:

    I’m sure the button presses to get to the next race is only like 3, This seems a bit much to cover back money in a game? He does know you can transfer gamesaves via a memory unit…. lol It doesn’t surprise me he is the same person doing this.

  2. Amperand says:

    You Could transfer the data if it were still available and uncorrupted.
    Also, if you’d like to wake up or come home from work every hour to start a new race, feel free to do this analog style. This is a Great hack. Simple, sweet, and gets shit done.

  3. monster says:

    i was gonna comment how what this guy does is kosher but there was an autistic boy who was labeled a cheater on XBL because he was abnormally good. when searching for a link to the story i saw it was updated that the boys mother admitted the boy cheated.

    moral of the story? just because he can tell you exactly how many jellybeans are in a jar doesnt mean he’s honest

  4. nano says:

    great hack! thanks for sharing with us…

  5. JamieWho says:

    @Decius:
    Obviously, you didn’t read the forum post. The code shows quite a few presses (15 according to the code) since you have to select both the car, and the race level, then you have to wait for race to end and press a few more buttons after that to exit out and back to the menu (where the loop starts over).

    I wonder what would happen if you just programmed it to send random button presses? Maybe add some steering and see how well it could race for you?

  6. MrX says:

    Is the earned money worth the electricity spent on AI playing?

  7. Jon says:

    Yo dawg, I herd you like automation, so we automated your automatic car, so you can automatically drive your automatic car while you manually sleep.

  8. JC says:

    Good idea. Who hasn’t thought about doing something like that for repetive tasks on video games? Nice to see someone actually implement it.

  9. Spork says:

    @MrX
    Perhaps not, but it’s definitely worth more than you sitting there playing for hours.

  10. Amperand says:
  11. Gdogg says:

    @Spork
    Exactly.. plus he can keep the TV turned off.

  12. Jamo says:

    @monster Forza is a single player game, you can cheat if you want to.

  13. VIPER! says:

    Wow Exciting. I remember setting up a analog system like this for 2 player Worm matches.

  14. CGross says:

    @MrX Is it worth more than my time? All that playing of a second time? If I could do other more productive things, why should I fuck around with it again? I could just let this run for 10 hours while I’m at work and profit!

  15. vonskippy says:

    Game masturbation – who knew?

    Why not just IMAGINE you’re playing and be done with it?

  16. nikescar says:

    @Decius
    If you read the forum post you would know that it takes a bit more than 3 button presses and the game save was corrupted when it detected it had been transferred to a new HDD.

    @MrX
    If you’re asking if I’m willing to pay money to get back to where I was in the game then the answer is: YES.

    @vonskippy
    I tried using my imagination but the physics engine was really subpar.

    @ everyone else
    Thanks! I think I’ll post my other hack.

  17. Tim says:

    lol Could of saved 20+ lines of code if he used a function.
    press(down);

    void press(int button){
    digitalWrite(button, LOW);
    delay(50);
    digitalWrite(button, HIGH);
    }

  18. nikescar says:

    @Tim
    That would have taken more key presses than just hitting ctrl-V four times. It’s not like I needed to worry about space.

  19. Skitchin says:

    Hey, I play that! Pretty nifty trick, even though there’s tons of people online willing to shell out millions in credits.

    You should just play the races and get the practice, or is that not what the game is for?

  20. Skitchin says:

    You know looking over the pictures a bit more I like how you put the port in the side of the controller. You’ve given me some idea’s, thanks for sharing!

  21. octel says:

    If you have to automate playing a game, then why bother at all? Kind of defeats the purpose of something that’s supposed to be a fun manual task.

  22. beamsjr says:

    Im suprised at all the haters here, this site is about hacking and that is exactually what he did. I have been working on the same thing with GT5, and I have learned alot along the way. I give him props for having an idea and following through with it.

  23. strider_mt2k says:

    The CD-ROM game of Monty Python and the Holy Grail has the best cheat system ever built right in.
    Simply click “Cheat” and you get the whole fanfare and congradulatory messages right away.

    I think they were extremely pragmatic.

    As for this hack, it serves a purpose.
    I don’t play that game so I’m not down with the mindset behind it.
    If it works, it’s good.

  24. bl44st says:

    Im jealous. i hate to pause my movie to start a new race. i need one of these mods :D

  25. Conj says:

    Great hack. I love gaming/console hacks, and I love arduino.

  26. Abuthemagician says:

    When I played GT2 I liked to make crazy cars with the Game Genie, but actually enjoyed racing the circuit. This would have helped on the 6000 lap big ring race. I ended up using my 14000 HP Pike Peak car and fell asleep holding the analog stick Up and managed to win the race… This could have held the up button for me…

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