In the second part of our exclusive interview with Kunos Simulazioni, the team behind premium sim racing title Assetto Corsa, we find out more about the upcoming console release, 'must have' features for AC2, comments on the modding scene and much more besides... want to know what version 1.5 might bring? Fancy an update on what the next 'Dream Pack' features? Read on to find out... RD: Assetto Corsa has many impressive licence agreements already in place, could we expect more new announcements in 2016? MM: Maserati is the latest announcement but not the last... SC: *Points to Marco...* RD: On a similar note, if money and other boundaries were no issue, which marques would you ideally like to see in the sim? MM: Actually, after Ferrari and Lamborghini... nothing can stop us! The challenge now is much more related to tracks: there are some we really would like to include in AC, but we consider their economic requests definitely too high. Not for our budget, but for a matter of principle. I know you would like to know which ones, but I'm not going to tell you. SC: I already got a nice present from Marco with the RedBull Ring. Personally I'd love Oulton Park on a Ferrari 250 GTO. AV: Prototype C era from the 80s-90s has created the most beautiful and technically impressive cars in my eyes… although I’m not so sure they were “fun” to drive… exciting for sure, but probably very tricky. RD: With a move to consoles upcoming this year, can you tell us a little more about how this is progressing? MM: Bringing on console the same experience provided on PC has been very challenging, and the decision to not freeze the development on PC made things even more complicated. But it also allowed us to provide a fine-tuned and polished product on all formats, not to mention some new licenses and content that it would not be possible to bring on a PC-Only product, like the Lamborghini, or others. Now that we are completing the work on version 1.5, we are entering in the most critical phase of beta testing: I believe that also PC users will appreciate the general improvements the new version will bring also to the Steam version of AC. SC: It's progressing to kill us nicely. I'd say we're in the worst period of every software: the finish up stage. To quote one of the devs working on the console: "We have completed 90% of the work, now all it is left to do is complete the remaining 90%". AV: My divorce lawyer says it’s going pretty well… RD: Will both PC and console versions be largely the same or do you expect each to have a different feel / content / experience than the original PC edition? MM: Except for the user interface, content is the same for all versions, as well as the features and driving feeling. Like any other game available both on PC and consoles, of course on Hi-end PCs you can get the best experience possible. SC: It's the same software, unsurprisingly really, considering the size of the team. The console version has a brand new UI front end. I expect to be nothing less than exactly the same. RD: AC has some pretty advanced graphics on high PC settings, are you intending to run 60fps on console? How is that shaping up at the minute? MM: This is our goal: the advantage in working on console is that you have ONE hardware and you can use each resource at your best, and during the optimization process even just one frame earned is always a good thing. On the other side, PS4 and XB1 offer limited resources, andAssetto Corsa not being conceived for this hardware since the beginning, we needed to re-think our rendering engine. In the end, the gap in terms of appearance between PC and console will be light enough. SC: Pretty well on the PS4. We are having quite a bit more problems on the Xbox One but it seems to be the same for every dev out there. RD: Of course AC has now been in progress for quite a few years and is already a fairly polished title, do you expect development to stop in the near future and work to begin on a sequel? MM: Before taking any decision, we'll wait and see how things will go. Our wish is to support Assetto Corsa as long as possible, and for sure we are not thinking or working already on a sequel. SC: It will happen eventually, it's inevitable... but not yet. RD: Speaking of “AC2”, has the team at Kunos given much thought on what this will look like? Are we thinking of an improved AC1 or will it be a totally different concept to the original game? MM: Believe me, we don't have a secret book in our office titled “Assetto Corsa 2”. We just know that the first two features for AC2 will be night&rain, even if we create a space game! About the concept, we recognize that Assetto Corsa has been – and still is - the most exciting professional experience we ever had, but producing a “standard” sequel, would mean to feature 200% of cars, tracks and features, and our Studio is not Turn 10 or Polyphony (and actually, Stefano and I are not interested to lead a studio of 100 people), so an Assetto Corsa 2 might feature a different concept. But it's too early to think seriously about it, and a lot will depend also by how people will welcome AC on PS4 and XB1. SC: It'll have rain and night for sure. RD: Version 1.4 was a massive improvement in many different areas of the sim, however as is human nature this is soon forgotten and thoughts drift to the next big patch… what can we expect to see in the next update of Assetto Corsa and when do you expect it to hit our game? MM: All the circuits released within the 1.0 version of Assetto Corsa will be updated, offering much better details to offer the same appearance of the latest, and also the Nordschleife will receive an update. SC: Consoles have all our attention for these couple of months. The next PC update will hopefully feature new cars, single player pit stops, timed races, time progression in multiplayer and I think Aris is doing a lot of realignment work on the physics. AV: Yup, tyre physics realignment, improvements as well as some new work on aerodynamics with some extra candy from Stefano. Pretty excited to be honest, but it takes little to keep me excited so yeah… we’ll see. RD: Again keeping with the update theme I assume fans will be treated to another ‘Dream Pack’ instalment in future, could you share with us some clues as to what we may be expecting? Maybe a sneaky teaser image possibly (laughs)? MM: A recent teaser unveiled the Ferrari FXX K, that will be part of a future pack also on PC, as well as the Ferrari 488 GTB, a real pleasure to drive. RD: It looks to me like AC is quickly becoming the modding platform of choice with some outstanding community additions in recent times, such as the Lamborghini Muira which has been adopted into the main core of the game as official content. How much involvement and support from the KS guys happens in the modding community? MM: Thanks to the modding support of AC, some very talented modders already work directly with us on the production on official content: saying that, while we continue to support the modding community improving those features and tools they need to create their own content, we prefer to take care personally about all the official cars and tracks included in AC. RD: Rumour has it that the exclusive Porsche licence comes up for renewal soon, any chance of seeing some of the German sports and racing cars in future DLC for AC? Have you already spoken to Porsche about this possibility? MM: Rumours can be troublesome, and our plans already confirmed for 2016 will take us very busy even without Porsche. RD: While still discussing content, it appears that classic additions are always popular in AC and other titles. I’d personally like to take this opportunity to bend your ear and find out if we can expect to see more cars to be added to the classic GT and touring car classes? I’m thinking such things as 90s DTM, 60s/70s touring cars, 90s GT, Group C, etc. MM: This kind of cars is the most complicated to reproduce, because of the lack of CAD and references, as well as technical data. However, we'll continue to work on classic content, even if they can't have the priority on new ones. RD: In our recent ‘Sim Racing: Looking back on 2015’ poll AC has received over double the number of votes to its nearest rival for most impressive progression during the previous year. That must make you guys proud of how things are going and shows you must be on the right tracks with development of the title so far? MM: There is always margin for improvement, we love our job, and having the possibility to express ourselves and our passion with Assetto Corsa it's a privilege for us, and it makes things “easier”. The enthusiasm we see around Assetto Corsa is important as well, and through the years we learned to filter the constructive criticisms by other sterile complains that aren't useful for anyone. For example, look at what some PC users said when we announced Assetto Corsa for PS4 and XB1, and look at what Assetto Corsa is at the end of 2015, on PC. And we are still improving it. RD: Maintaining the subject of product pride, what do you consider to be your greatest / most proud achievement so far in the life of Assetto Corsa, and why? MM: For me, the driving experience achieved in Assetto Corsa performing those licensed content, all done by an independent company with a core team of 10 people. In Italy... Personally, I couldn't be more proud. RD: Almost finished now… so do you guys want to tell us anything else that we haven’t already covered so far in this interview? This is a chance to speak directly to our many thousands of readers here at RaceDepartment.com who follow with interest the development of Assetto Corsa. MM: I would really like to thanks all the community and the gamers for your support. At the beginning Assetto Corsa was conceived to features less than 20 cars and 5 tracks. We worked really hard, and at our best, we think maybe we have done a good job (even if we are the first to never be satisfied) but the support of the community has been very, very important for the present and the future of Assetto Corsa and for the future of our company. So, thank you so-much. RD: Well I will end this interview in the same way I always do… an unashamed attempt to secure a RaceDepartment exclusive piece of news! Anything you want to share with our many readers that isn’t already widely known in the sim community? MM: Even if you probably heard already about them, I confirm that Ferrari FXX K and Ferrari 488 GTB will be licensed also for the Steam version of Assetto Corsa, and even if we are still working on those content, they are a blast. Big thanks go out to Marco Massarutto, Stefano Casillo and Aristotelis Vasilakos from Kunos Simulazioni for generously giving their time to answer our questions here today. Please visit the Assetto Corsa section of RaceDepartment for all the latest news regarding this sim. If you enjoy Assetto Corsa (or even if you have yet to sample its delights) don't forget to check out our Assetto Corsa Racing Club right here on RaceDepartment. You are sure to find a friendly atmosphere and great racing from the front to the back on the grid. Assetto Corsa is available to buy now on the Steam platform for Windows PC and is coming soon to XBOX ONE and PS4. Enjoyed the interview? Have something to say about anything that was discussed in this piece or just generally want to let your opinions on the game be known to the community? Well leave a comment below and enjoy the discussion!