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What does the car accelerator do (in game dev)

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Hi everyone.

I am enjoying making a top down car and I am new to physics and maths.

A very simple question:

I am looking at RPM, Torque and Horsepower.

Torque will be applied to the wheels? So torque seems to be a product (something that comes later).

That leaves me with RPM and Horsepower.

When I press UP on the keyboard, should I be increasing the RPM, the Horsepower or some crazy combination of both? I have "dynamo curves" and stuff for my car, and I need to deal with gearing....

But I just do not understand the input in order to get my engine to make some power. Been on this for 8 days.

If you could help point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading.

EDIT is another dude with the same question and the best answer so far: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/554964-car-acceleration/

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