From Derbyfever.com Wiki
Derbyfever.com, also known as Simulatedsports.com or just "The Sim," is a free multiplayer online horse racing game by Smartacre, LLC.
The game has formally been online since August 15, 1998. However, site owner/creator Mike Wallace (billgulch) conducted an email-based version of the Sim for a short while prior to that date.
As of August 2009, there are over 10,000 active stables and 190,000 horses. Some estimates place the community at 500 to over 1000 active players.
A player-run support site community currently contains over 23 residencies and approximately 10 utility and newspaper sites.
Over 6000 sires have current offspring in the Sim.
Horse Racing Basics
Class and Conditions
Horses may race at various competitive levels, with restrictions for entry dependent upon the quality of opponents, location, and prize money rewarded. The relative measure of a horse's ability based on the quality of competition it faces is known as class. The restrictions based upon the number of races a horse has won over a specific period of time are known as conditions. Conditions based upon the number of lifetime wins are 'lifetime conditions'. In general, as the conditions for entry into a certain race become more stringent, the quality of the horses in the race decreases, which makes the race potentially easier to win.
Claiming races are a specific class of race in which all horses are eligible to be purchased beforehand for a designated sales price. Claiming races deter the entry of horses whose owners do not wish to sell the horse, thereby decreasing the quality of the competition. Quality of claiming races is generally proportional to the claiming price of the entrants. Claiming races may also be subject to other race conditions, for example, horses who have not won a race in 6 months. In the Sim, claiming prices range from a low of $2000 to a high of $150,000.
The game simulates many aspects of real world thoroughbred racing, including running races, training, and breeding horses. Users log in to a stable or group of stables containing up to ten horses each. Horses can be entered into a variety of races that are run on a weekly basis. To do this effectively, players must learn to assess a horse's ability and judge what distance and running surface it will prefer. Successful horses will earn Sim dollars and breeding points for your stable. These can be used to buy other horses in the auction, claim horses from other owners, or to breed an entirely new horse.
The history of the Sim can be divided between the record of its game play and the various player-run projects attempted throughout its 10 years online. Changes and new innovations sometimes were applauded and at other times met with intense scrutiny and skepticism.
Game Play History
Each year, key rule changes were introduced to meet the needs of ever-maturing game play. The claim and entry boxes went through several of such revisions. Additionally, the game saw new innovations such as breeding and the Three-Man contest which added depth to the original game.
Many of the changes came in response to the growth of the game such as the number of tracks which ballooned from the initial 14 tracks to 93 today. Above all, dynamic web design changes made it easier for players to navigate through originally static aspects of the game such as the Upcoming Races list.
Other changes enhanced the Sim's “story” or racing drama. The Sim's graded stakes schedule went through a series of revisions to meet the international flavor of the player community.
Player-Run Sites History
Residencies evolved from single-track entities to multi-track circuits. The SimRacing Form introduced a newspaper site for the game along with Past Performances. The current Black Type Bugler carries this format.
The game contains a Sim Hall of Fame, itself going through two incarnations. It also presents an end-of-year awards ceremony for champions known as the Sim Eclipse Awards. Player-created “add-ons” or Sim utilities also evolved from simple spreadsheets to full-blown downloads and online catalogs.