Please watch our video tutorial entitled " Game Overview - Something for Everybody" for additional information and guidance.
My partner, Gary, and I have learned quite a bit on this venture. There have been changes, adjustments and modifications every step of the way, but the one thing that has never changed and that was our intention from day one - to build a horse racing game/community like no other out there. Reviewing all of the other horse racing games and who their audience is presented us with a real problem. Who did we care about more - the hard core horse fan, the casual gamer looking for something different, the novice horse fan looking to learn more about horse racing or the hard core gamer who loves to be in the midst of battles and triumphs, and what about the strategist, the people who love very intense, detailed simulation-strategy-type games, and last but not least, the gambler, the guy who wants to have fun and wants to be rewarded when he wins? The answer to this question, believe it or not, is that we have built a product that actually appeals to all. The benefits of that are tremendous. The downside is that it may take a little bit longer than normal to get the knack of the game and, more importantly, what you want the game to be for you. What we can guarantee you is that whatever classification you might fall into mentioned above, this game will entertain, intrigue, excite and leave you wanting more.
Let's start out at the 10,000-foot level and break the game down into several major pieces and zoom in from there. We strongly suggest that you go through all the video tutorials from our Video Tutorial Guide. These 3 to 5-minute tutorials are separated into key aspects of the game and community and can truly enhance your game experience and make your game play quite profitable. In addition, as we move along, you can check with the forums for additional help and support, with certain blogs, with our Horse Racing Fantasy Video TV, and with a very detailed Help File that's tied into every single aspect of the game from screen-to-screen. Just simply click the Help button and read away. Between the tutorials, the community and its members, the forums, and the Help File, in just a very short amount of time you'll be a master of whatever aspect or multiple components of the game interest you. It's really not that difficult. Please keep in mind that when you're playing in community mode (more about modes below) or if you're in the actual community itself (blogging, posting, etc.), everything you do as a member/player earns points. The points are your currency for accessing all the added benefits and bonuses the game has to offer. Points are your gateway into tournaments. They are even a great way to acquire valuable gifts in our online Store. We'll talk more about points later on. Back to the 10,000-foot level.
Let's cut the game into two segments or play modes -
Before we get into more details about the two modes of the game, our actual Community itself is a great place for you to interact with people of the same interests, share ideas, share new ways to play all aspects of our game, share pictures, meet new friends, participate in events, earn points, check out tournament schedules (both tournaments generated by us or tournaments generated by the players looking for competition), learn about our prizes and everything else you would expect from a top-notch game community.
Well, that's relatively simple. Let's zoom in a little bit further now. Let's go back to the Private Mode and talk more specifically about what can be done in the Private Mode. First and foremost, the Private Mode is where we find most of our new players practicing before they ever go into Community Mode. They may go into the Community to ask questions, make friends and share ideas, but they keep the game in Private Mode. As I said initially, Private Mode is a great way to enjoy a night with friends, family and lovers. I've even played strip-racing - each player had to take off a piece of clothing! A lot of fun. In Private Mode, when playing with other people, there's basically three sub-games that can be played. Don't get nervous. We'll walk through each one and it's not going to be that difficult. One note - no matter what mode you play in, every time you race a horse, you are building a history on that horse. That history becomes your guide when that horse reappears in another race on how he might perform under various situations. Simply put, the more history you have on a horse, the more likely it will be that you will be able to identify betting and jockey opportunities that can pay off big in both general community game play and in the tournaments, as well.
Summary: The length of every game, whether jockey, betting or training, is controlled by the players, especially in private mode. At the end of each game, you can delete everyone's stats or reset them to zero and play again. It's really that simple. Only stats in private mode can be deleted.
Everything mentioned above, all three games, can be enhanced and made more challenging by turning on certain features inside the game. All of those features can be discovered by going through the detailed Help File, going into the forums or reading the blogs. If you're playing with your wife and your 12-year-old daughter, keep it simple. If you're playing with your best buds and a filet mignon dinner is on the line, take advantage of the sophisticated bells and whistles that can make the game super-challenging that even the best players find difficulty mastering.
What else can I do in Private Mode? For the real horse enthusiast, the guy who remembers Secretariat's Triple Crown victory in the Belmont, for the guy that watched Winning Colors go wire-to-wire in the Kentucky Derby, for the fan that absolutely feels that Smarty Jones should have won the Triple Crown, or better yet, for race horse enthusiasts who would absolutely love to see match-ups between historical horses and current horses, your dreams have just come true. You'll notice throughout the game and throughout the Community, the constant reference to what we call "horse files". To appeal to a part of the audience we wanted to reach, Gary and I have re-created horse files that represent true-to-form attributes and abilities of some of the greatest race horses ever - from Seabiscuit, Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Barbaro and almost 6,000 others. Inside the Private Mode, a player by himself or with friends and family can re-live history and create races that "might have been" or "should have been" and watch history unfold. We offer approximately 50 race file packages which include the greatest horses of all time. Purchasing these files or combinations of files will allow players to re-create or create some of the greatest matchups that were or could have been. Players can build races using horses from various files and completely control the parameters / conditions of those races. Do you want the race at Belmont, Churchill Downs, Del Mar? Do you want it on turf, dirt or a synthetic track? Do you want it on a fast or sloppy track? Do you want it at a mile-and-a-half or a half-a-mile? Do you want one horse to carry more weight than another? Do you want the race to unfold as the computer believes it would or do you want to give the jockeys their instructions on these champion horses? And, let me take it one step further, how would you like to ride Secretariat or Barbaro? And, of course, place your bets. In summary, this part of our Private Mode allows the user to do everything he can do in our traditional Private Mode except he does it with the greatest champions of all time. Play by yourself, which I appear to do a lot lately, or just get together with friends and family.
Let's zoom in a little closer now on the Community Mode (from Quick Start). The basic difference between Private and Community Modes, besides the fact that whatever you do in Community Mode reports to the Community, is certain limitations on what can and cannot be done when creating races. There's a simple reason for that. In Private Mode, we let you do whatever you want, match any horse against any other horse (in theory you can put great horses against poor horses and win every race), set the race up at any distance, any track, any track condition. The bottom line is, basically do whatever you want - just have fun! You can set your own rules in Private Mode when playing by yourself or with friends and family. In the Community Mode, sorry, we want the Community members to know your true ability when playing our game. Therefore, in Community Mode, you have no ability to set up any of the parameters. All community races are generated from the Quick Start button. In Community Mode, you cannot give jockey instructions to the other horses if you're riding or betting in the race. That really wouldn't be fair, would it? Also note that in Community Mode, the Master Account Holder can still play against other players on this computer, but the other player information will be kept private and not shared. The Master Account Holder, if he is set to Community Mode, will have his race information sent to the Community. There in the community is where his game stats are kept, which are an indication of his skill. As those game stats are shared with the community as part of successful game play as either a jockey or bettor, they convert to community points, which is the currency in our game. Another big difference when playing in the Community Mode is that everything the user does (from running races to riding, betting and training) gives the user the opportunity to earn points based on not only his game play choices, but also his skill and level of success with those choices. The better you play, the more points you earn. There are daily point limits depending upon your level of membership. General members can earn no more than 500 points per race or 1,000 community points per day. VIP members or paid members can also only earn 500 points per race but can earn up to 6,000 community points per day. These are community points, the currency that allows the player to really reap the benefits and fun the game has to offer. To learn more about community points please read the Help section called Points, Badges and Awards or watch the video tutorial called Community Game Points - How to Earn and Spend.
Now we're really going to have some fun - because tournaments are not you playing against your wife or 12-year-old daughter or your blind neighbor (!), but you're playing against the thousands of members in our Community who are out for blood. So, what is a tournament?
A tournament is an event created by either management or created by users. Betting or jockey tournaments can be created by users, but trainer tournaments are created only by management. Jockey and bettor tournaments are correlated by skill set. The skill sets are determined by your general game play. Top jockeys must play against top jockeys. Successful bettors must play against successful bettors. Your skill set is determined by the statistics you generate while playing in community mode and shared with the community. First I suggest viewing our video tutorial on tournaments. This will give you a good understanding of how tournaments function. The majority of our tournaments require a tournament entry fee. The entry fees are always community points - our game currency. There are a lot of ways to earn community points. I suggest watching the video tutorial entitled "Everything You Want To Know About Tournaments" as well as reading Points, Badges & Awards in the Help section. All tournaments are entered from the Tournament Calendar in the community. Members can create user tournaments directly from the game right on their computer. User tournaments are usually shorter, have a limited number of players and smaller prize pools. Tournaments generated by management may be associated with a big sponsor and can contain significantly higher community point prizes. It's easy to enter a tournament. Simply go to the calendar under any particular day, click on the date and scroll through the events. The game will automatically identify what tournaments you're eligible for. When you find a tournament - jockey, bettor or trainer - that you believe is interesting, click on the tournament name for full details and then click on the signup link to enter. Running tournaments is simple. Simply play your game in Quick Start/community mode during the time frame of the tournament you entered and all scores and results will count toward that particular tournament or tournaments. You can only be entered in a specific number of tournaments simultaneously. And, you cannot be entered in a jockey tournament during the same time frame that you are entered in a bettor tournament and vice-versa. Once the bettor (or jockey) tournament has ended and is finalized, you can then enter a jockey (or bettor) tournament. For your convenience, right from your game, a complete current update of the tournaments you've entered is provided in real time, including the tournament status, if you have run the required number of races to qualify and will notify you when the tournament ends so you can check on the winners. Every tournament you enter will automatically generate a reminder email to be sent to you prior to the tournament. The tournament entry fee will be automatically deducted from your community point totals upon entry. If for some reason, a tournament does not run (e.g., there are not enough entries), then your points will immediately credit back to your account at the time the tournament is canceled. When you win a tournament, the allocated points depending upon your finish in the event will be automatically credited to your account. Tournament prizes vary and depend upon many factors including the entry fee (or community points), number of entries (players), whether it's a VIP tournament for our paid members (which tend to have a higher prize pool), or whether it's a sponsored tournament generated by management and an advertiser may subsidize additional points. The general rule of thumb is that tournaments required entry fees of community points, a 20% deduction is taken by management and the rest is paid out to winners. If you don't have enough community points to enter a tournament but do meet all the other qualifications, you will be given several options to access points quickly to become eligible for that particular tournament. A player may purchase points from our store. A player can earn free points by trying offers from our sponsors, or a player can get points just from playing the game, but remember there are daily limits based on your membership type. The fastest way to points is to either purchase them or complete sponsor offers; such as surveys, trials, etc. A member can instantly earn 99,500 points by becoming a VIP. Not only are you earning 99,500 instant points, but as a VIP member, the number of daily points you can earn increases from 1,000 to 6,000. Each player is restricted to how many jockey and/or bettor tournaments they can enter on a daily basis. VIP members have opportunities to enter special VIP tournaments for bigger prizes. Every tournament played comes with a prize. Prizes are always community points, which can be redeemed in our store unless otherwise specified. New members can enter a limited number of tournaments with no entry fee requirements. Entering tournaments is simple. Creating tournaments for participation by other players and can only be done from the game console. Entering tournaments can only be done from the community tournament event calendar. If you do set up or build a user tournament, you are automatically entered in that tournament and must participate. Also, in a user-generated tournament, the computer will automatically set the parameters so that members of equal skill set can play. Members with higher skill sets will not be eligible, making our horse racing tournaments fun and competitive.
Special tournaments can come with very special prizes, such as free Kentucky Derby tickets, weekends at Saratoga Racetrack, all expenses paid trips to Del Mar during the Del Mar racing meet, dinners with top jockeys and trainers and so much more. Again, 95% of our tournaments come with community points prizes redeemable for gift card, electronics, memorabilia, clothing and even eletronic horse files with some of the champion horse files - all from our store.
When playing in tournaments, we suggest you start out with the smaller, less expensive tournaments first. Though the prizes are less, you are risking less entry points. It will take time to learn how to successfully play in the tournaments. As you get better, you can step up and compete for the bigger payouts. The actual participation in a tournament can be as quick as minutes or it can last several days to several weeks, depending on the type of tournament it is, if it requires a minimum number of races or is it based on time. It is very important that you read the tournament guidelines before entering.
Summary: There will be new tournaments almost hourly. Most tournaments are open to everyone (as long as they meet the qualifications), but some tournaments are specific to certain members of our Community. The most frequent restriction is based on your skill set. We match people with equal skill sets so tournaments are fair. Always remember that the one consistent factor in entering tournaments is tournament currency - points. For more details on points and how they are earned, please view our video tutorial entitled "Everything You Want To Know About Tournaments" and also read Points, Badges & Awards in the Help section Or, you may want to watch tutorial entitled "Community Game Points - How to Earn & Spend".
Getting Into Details
So, you've just gotten the basic drift of our game. Not bad at all! The good news is, this may be all you ever want to know and as far as you want to go. Just have some casual fun, kick back and enjoy. The better news is, this game was built over a period of 9 years with several hundred thousand lines of code and over a thousand features and functions. The very in-depth player can find himself learning something new almost every day he plays. Imagine controlling the betting pools. Imagine controlling the take-out of the betting pools. Imagine jockeying in races with 20 horses. Imagine re-living and re-creating very specific races that might have occurred weeks, months or years ago. All of this and more is available to a user who wants to get more detailed. Our game was built with the idea of creating a platform that would allow users to become comfortable with the play, they would at the same time become more familiar with live horse racing. In fact, to further ensure that this would happen, we partnered with some of the best jockeys and trainers to participate in our game and in our Community, and they are accessible to players through their blogs and profiles. You will be able to interact with the top names in the real world of horse racing. So, whether you're 18 wanting to play with your 13-year-old brother, or you're a 25-year-old gamer or a 40-year-old novice horse fan or a 50-year-old racing fanatic, we got ya covered! Please enjoy Horse Racing Fantasy and tell your friends.
Gary and Mike
P.S. Don't forget - for any help go into the Community forums, into certain blogs, read the detailed help throughout the game, watch the video tutorials, or even email in your questions. Thanks for being here!