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Hoping this is not a sign of things to come

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Kevin Watts, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Like most other virtual racers I eagerly awaited the release of Assetto Corsa and purchased it the day it was released. I was stunned by how polished it was as an alpha/beta/early access game and enjoyed not only the superb visuals but the crisp believable handling of the cars as I threw them around the laser scanned tracks. As each week went by I looked forward to the next batch of fortnightly content and was happy to see each new car and track was crafted as well as the last. Not even the silly bickering on the Steam forums over whose game was better could dull my enthusiasm or the banal criticism’s by the console gamers because you couldn’t ‘pimp’ your car with gaudy body-kits like Forza Motorsport or that the game didn’t already have 1000 cars like Gran Turismo. Each new announcement via their web-site or Facebook page brought more excitement – a new manufacturer license, a laser scanned Nordschleife – the future looks bright…

    Then it happened. The first quick and dirty conversion quite literally ripped from another game. News spread and this track suddenly became the hot topic, the ‘must have’ despite it being taken warts-and-all from a game released nearly 10 years ago. Rather than herald this new ‘mod’ it left me despairing for the racing sim community. While many virtual racers and racing simulation sites rightly shunned discussion of this ‘rip’ there were many more making asinine excuses for the author essentially taking this work without permission and grafting it into a new sim. Theft is theft no matter if you ‘get away with it’ or not or even that you give it away freely. It reminded me of rFactor and how when it was released it showed so much promise. For months we saw 3d meshes being shown by talented mod makers working their magic on new cars and tracks made from scratch.

    It all seemed so exciting and then conversion tools reared their ugly heads. All of a sudden sites like rFactor Central were awash with poorly ripped work from Grand Prix Legends, Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix 4 among others. Far from pushing the genre forward it felt like we were now going backwards. The same racers who argued over the radius of a hairpin in Simbin’s rendition of Macau were suddenly silent when rFactor became awash with low poly conversions of 10 year old games complete with poorly defined racing surfaces, low resolution textures and cardboard cut-out tree’s and track side objects which screamed ‘FAKE’ as you sped past them. Questionably legal content appeared and then disappeared from the net as lawyers and mod makers played cat and mouse.

    Is this really where we want to go with Assetto Corsa? - A step backwards porting generations old content complete with all their imperfections into a next gen simulation? There was a ‘gold rush’ in rFactor when the conversion tools appeared to be ‘the first’ to bring a popular track to rFactor, be it Spa or Brands Hatch for example so why would someone spend time carefully building a track from scratch when others are just ripping it from another game and fudging it into this new sim. Have our expectations really been lowered so far that we’d accept the grave robbing zombification of old content like this?
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  2. It's really really REALLY simple. Don't use content you don't like. Nobody is forcing you to drive on old converted content.
    That is the price of moddabilty and we have to live with it.
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  3. People are going to rip, best thing you can do is not download it. Hate that it being out there is ruining your AC experience but we all know it's going to happen. Iracing tracks will be ripped and converted; it happened in Netkar and will here too.
    However, new scratch made content is also being made, some of it by people that this is their first project ever; that is a very, very good thing.
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  4. Converted content is extremely annoying. rFactor 2 is full of servers with poorly converted tracks, and I REALLY hope Assetto Corsa doesn't go the same way.

    Problem is that until the recent official ISI game servers were implemented, the most popular servers were full of converted content....

    I think if Kunos Simulazioni implements solid, official dedicated servers with some modded (original) content as well, converted content could be curbed at least in the Multiplayer aspect.
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  5. Andrew Ford

    Andrew Ford

    i am late to sims and when i got rfactor, i was blown away by the great work of so many modders. i hope the quality continues. however, i don't understand the problem with taking old unused content and adapting it to get it in the game such as this new track for ac...the french sounding one. can't remember it. :cautious:
    no offence, but i also find it odd that you are complaining about old content being modded into a new game when a) you don't have to play it like @Radek Zukowski says and b) you are quite happy to promote the iracing icon which is in my opinion, one of the biggest rip off games around. why is it ok for big business to charge such massive fees for tracks and cars and not ok for someone to upgrade old content?
    if it is crap, few will play it and the same with with iracing... i won't go on about it....i just wont play that either.

    live and let live unless it is seriously affecting you personally is my opinion.
    Edit:gutted to receive so few dislikes :cry::laugh:
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
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  6. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    As the game and especially the online part is far from finished there is still time enough left for Kunos to come up with a system that doesn't allow poor conversions.

    Whether its IS, Kunos, SimBin, SMS or any other developer, the first one that dares to show some guts gets my support.

    To be honest so far it has only been Simbin that stepped up and was brave enough to take a stand and say no to illegal conversions by publicly releasing a statement. Others are just hiding in their comfortable grey areas so they don't "piss off" people.

    Its the double standard that is annoying me more and more the last couple of years. Scream and shout when your content gets ported to other games and put your head in the sand when other content is ported to your platform.

    Lets hope that in 2014 developers take responsibility for more than just their content and go from this:

    To this:


    Or let them all just decide that nobody cares anymore and the community can do whatever they want. We bury PC simracing in 2015 and we all move to iracing or console racing in the future.

    @Kevin Watts: best post of 2014!
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  7. The double standard applies to the modding community making "scratch" content based on data from other sims though. Also the double standard applies to modders making free versions of unlicensed tracks that developers pay significant fees for. The same double standard appies to using car models and abuse of corporate logos without permission.

    The only reason they aren't receiving attention is due to the size of the audience - if a developer of a popular title was to include unlicensed Porsches or cars branded with tobacco or alcohol products the companies and lobbying groups would be all over them like a rash. So it is seems assumed ok for the modding community to do what they like as long as they don't rip other mods or sims.

    From a developer standpoint if they collect the laser scanned data for a track and the same data is used to create a "scratch" mod in another sim i.e. someone keys it all in and adds their own artistic impression - is it really above board? - copyright laws would suggest not.

    I don't believe it can considered "developer responsibility" to police mods. From a legal standpoint pretty much every mod is ilegal to some degree unless it is completely original and does not resemble a real world track or car and those are largely shunned. What they can do is take action against people ripping off their own work for use in rival products.

    I think the developer pretty much needs to distance themselves from mods of any sort as being officially supported including downloads for Benson & Hedges skins on their official forums. It is a minefield to police and the only option I can see is a disclaimer about user content and terms of use (much like iRacing and skins - of which most ignore but at least the developer is potentially off the hook for telling people not to do it).

    Sites like RD can take a moral standpoint about what is and isn't acceptable in order to promote a thriving modding community but it is rather like a set of underground rules in terms of legality and what a developer is required to comply with.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    I rather have a set of underground rules than no rules at all tbh.

    If our "moral standpoint" is considered underground how would you classify sites or developers with no standpoints at all?

    Fully agree its not only the developers that need to "police" but it should be a joint venture between devs and their communities.

    People that make scratch build mods should be the real heroes in the modding scene. Unfortunately too much credit goes to those that only convert and go for their fifteen minutes of fame.

    The latter won't bring any game forward, neither does it bring sim racing forward in general.

    As long as we keep moving in circles our beloved sport will not grow and stay a tiny niche.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. It's always ever been thus. However it should not detract from the significance and enjoyment of the core product. Don't use mods which have been ripped off. Keep to the legit stuff. Some will be used of course, but that's life.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. As much as i have appreciated the work by modders over the years, much of it was because of a genuine lack of developers in the genre. Without publishers willing to cough up the future of sim racing a decade or so ago seemed to lay in the hands of the sim community. ISI's strategy in the mid 2000s was to provide the toolset for a community to build content. Regardless of conversions or scratch built there was some good some bad.

    In my view the real moving forward of the genre lies with the developers and breaking out of a niche is not going to happen with user created mods - the base product and official DLCs will by far make up the vast majority of sim racing customers.

    We are very fortunate to have a number of developers looking to develop and grow the genre. We are fortunate to have some very talented modding teams who can get the most out of the developer's products but in my view it is a by product not the core.

    My dismay is the lack of appreciation for developers within the sim community and the seemingly self destructive and greedy approach it has to building a genuine community/developer relationship. The recent AC announcements being a case in point.
  11. Why is that?
  12. The amount of negativity to the Nordschleife announcement on FB for example.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    90% of negative people will voice their opinion while only 1% of the happy customers will post theirs. With (simracing) products its always the loud minority you hear unfortunately.

    That's also something I'd like to see changed in 2014.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  14. What I find a shame is that this isn't some utility like a mobile phone provider but an enthusiast product. We should be enthusiastic!
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  15. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    If people can't appreciate a laserscanned Nordschleife I doubt they are real motorsport enthusiasts.
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  16. That was utterly ridiculous to complain about that, and frankly the detractors then made fools of themselves. The most significant track announcement for several years -- with 10 new cars thrown in too -- for the price of a few beers is win-win-win - except for some.
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  17. I should perhaps rephrase that post a little, of course people are entitled to their views but their arguments weren't exactly water-tight! Also perhaps some have an interest in dissing the announcement.
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  18. I think my concerns regards converted content comes from a different angle to that expressed so far. BTW I'm not ragging on iRacing with these comments but merely using them as as example. Others may have similar rights & abilities. Businesses like iRacing (its not just a game its a very profitable business) will be protective of their licenced content. Its their right & their licenees may see it as an obligation to defend against conversions being used in another product.

    Secondly AC represents a very real & serious threat to iRacing. Content conversions would allow a legal avenue to attack a competitor such as Kunos. I'm not stating iRacing are malicious but there is an option to act with malice if their business starts to suffer as a result of AC's success. Money drives people to file law suits. Thats the real world.

    So many developers (or any kind of business) have been destroyed as a result of battling law suits, even vexatious ones. Companies such as iRacing are Goliaths compared to Kunos, especially at their respective stages of development. iRacing is in an income phrase, AC is in a (I presume) expenditure phrase of development. Content conversion is not helping if it opens Kunos to being sued. Lawyers cost money, cases take time, development is curtailed and investors become wary of outcomes.

    IMHO Kunos would do well to establish a vetting system for content submissions, even one operated by the community on their support site via KS servers. It only needs 1 person to flag KS to illegal content that way. It also ensures only genuine buyers of AC can submit content. Mozilla, Opera and many others do the same with extension vetting. You can have an open development system this way without risking IP infringement, nullifying claims against KS of negligence in permitting or benefiting financially from the use of illegal content & ensure content that is legal is up to expected standards of a next gen sim. Just my 2 legal cents.
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  19. I dont understand why we went beyond this point in this thread. Radek says it all, dont like it dont play it. Did you all stop playing battlefield or call of duty when they didnt have the rights from bushmaster for the ACR? Or did you only play a shooter when they started branding all the make believe guns because they had the licenses for it.

    Aren't all modifications playing with fire as the modders don't own the rights to any of the cars or tracks they make? Payware is pushing those limits my tenfold.

    With OP sporting an iRacing logo I am not shocked that he is a simracing elitist who is too good for a mod or addon that dosent cost a ton of money. Which is not to say I wont pay Kunos for DLC or havent paid other devs for addons as well, but to say that the only way to enjoy sim racing is to pay pay pay is just comical to me. I guess everyone forgot how less than 15 years ago sim racing was emailing photographic proof of your best lap and playing the latest mod on rFactor.

    This wouldnt shock me, considering iRacing has done so in the past because they fancy themselves the simracing mafia.

    However one person flagging content isnt going to end well, because the droves of internet tough guys will spend all day flagging whatever they dont like.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. I am also scared if there is not enough high quality content coming from Kunos or the modders go this ugly way you described Kevin.