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Featured PC Open Letter to Kunos Simulazioni and the Community

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by RaceDepartment, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. RaceDepartment

    RaceDepartment
    Administrator Staff

    Open Letter Kunos Simulazioni.jpg
    Dear Kunos Simulazioni,

    There is no doubt that what you have managed to achieve over the lifetime of Assetto Corsa, from its early access period to it's current state (v1.1), has been incredibly impressive, especially considering the relative size of your development team (approximately 15 people, we believe). From the humble beginnings of a single track, and a couple of sports cars, Assetto Corsa has become one of the highest selling racing games on steam, and deservedly so, thanks to intelligent investment, ultra-high quality (and popular) content, unparalleled driving physics, and a vast expanse of modding capability. Assetto Corsa easily has the most potential to be something truly great out of all the current simulators on the market today.

    However, despite all of these fantastic things, there is still one aspect of Assetto Corsa (that we here at RaceDepartment are especially passionate about) that is detracting from the rest of the game in a significant way: Multiplayer functionality, usability and netcode solidity. In its present state, we feel that the quality of the multiplayer experience is still vastly inadequate in comparison to not only the the rest of Assetto Corsa's competition, but inferior even to that of games seen in the early-mid 2000's. From a users perspective, the way Assetto Corsa handles latency differences and especially collisions, is not exactly what you would call a pretty sight, and this must be addressed if Assetto Corsa is to be taken seriously by online racing communities such as this one.

    Having a well-oiled multiplayer machine, so to speak, is essential to the long term sustainability of a simulator to not only remain relevant to the consumer, but to have them coming back for more (iRacing, rFactor 2 and Game Stock Car Extreme are all excellent examples of this, and all of them, incidentally, are your direct competitors in the sim market). Unfortunately at the present moment, we don't feel that Assetto Corsa's multiplayer currently offers the stability and function required to keep the clients coming back for more. As a result, we've seen a distinct trend in our RaceDepartment club races where we have a vast influx of drivers soon after a significant update, and then a significant drop off in participation within a period of a week or so, as the drivers quickly realise that the other competing racing sims still offer more features and enjoyment during multiplayer races.

    Properly functioning multiplayer races with fully supported features including sector splits, live timing, broadcast/spectator mode, stable netcode for high ping users, reverse grid features, multiple races, far more numerous number of grid slots (what GT series races with only 24 cars?), pitstop improvements and many many more features are all necessary for a complete and sustainable sim that will not only be profitable for you in the long run, but will also maximize the users enjoyment and will vastly increase the life span of the sim.

    If you look at it from a 'man and machine versus the track' perspective, then few other racing sims out there can compete with what Assetto Corsa offers in terms of physics, sound and track immersion, providing what is probably the best hot-lapping and practice simulator available to the consumer ever created. However, looking at it as a 'multiplayer racing sim', then you quickly realise just how far Assetto Corsa seems to be lagging behind the competition.

    We completely understand that such things take time to develop, and we are more than willing to be patient and wait for improvements for the multiplayer side of things to progress, however, Assetto Corsa has been in development now for more than enough time to warrant an acceptable standard of multiplayer functionality and stability. Given the huge level of success that Assetto Corsa has experienced, we believe that budgetary constraints might not represent such a big hurdle anymore for the studio, especially in terms of netcode investment.

    Whilst it cannot be stressed enough just how amazing the quality of the content (cars and tracks) has been, we here at RaceDepartment feel very strongly that you, Kunos Simulazioni, must shift your attention from implementing new cars and tracks to improving the functionality of the game. If it is not addressed soon, then you'll run a real risk of seeing a significant and rapid decline in the population of the Assetto Corsa user-base.

    As the largest SimRacing community in the world, we sincerely hope that the issues highlighted above will be focused on more heavily in future, as we believe that Assetto Corsa has the potential to be one of the top class racing simulators on the market.

    In closing, we would like to leave you with one final thought, and that's that; whilst it's a surreal and genuinely spine-tingling experience to be able to drive highly accurate replications of legendary race tracks and cars, what is the point of all of this incredible content, if the limitations of the game's functionality and usability are preventing us from realising its full potential?

    Hopefully in the not too distant future, Assetto Corsa will prove to be the amazing racing simulator that we, and everyone else, know it has the potential to be.

    Kind Regards,
    RaceDepartment.

    Cari Kunos Simulazioni,
    Non c'è dubbio che quello che siete riusciti a realizzare con Assetto Corsa, dalla sua fase early access alla sua versione corrente (1.1), sia stato incredibilmente notevole, specialmente considerando le dimensioni del team di sviluppo (circa 15 persone, crediamo).
    Dai suoi umili inizi con un singolo tracciato e qualche auto sportiva, Assetto Corsa è diventato uno dei racing game più venduti su Steam, meritatamente, per via degli investimenti intelligenti, contenuti di qualità altissima (e popolari), fisica di guida impareggiabile ed un vasto supporto al modding.

    Assetto Corsa ha indubbiamente il maggior potenziale per diventare qualcosa di davvero grandioso tra tutti i simulatori al momento sul mercato.

    Ma, nonostante tutte queste fantastiche qualità, c'è ancora un aspetto di Assetto Corsa (a cui noi di RaceDepartment siamo particolarmente appassionati) che detrae dal resto del gioco in maniera significativa: la funzionalità, usabilità e stabilità del netcode in Multiplayer.
    Crediamo che la qualità dell'esperienza multiplayer, nel suo stato attuale, sia ancora in gran parte inadeguata se confrontata non solo con i suoi rivali, ma anche con simulatori dei primi anni 2000.

    Dal punto di vista dell'utente, il modo in cui Assetto Corsa gestisce le differenze di latenza e specialmente le collisioni non è esattamente ideale, e questo deve essere migliorato se il titolo vuole essere preso sul serio dalle comunità di racing online come la nostra.
    Avere un sistema multiplayer ben oliato, per così dire, è essenziale alla sostenibilità a lungo termine di un simulatore - non solo per rimanere rilevante per il consumatore, ma anche per fare in modo che questo ritorni (iRacing, rFactor 2 e Game Stock Car Extreme sono tutti ottimi esempi, e che tra l'altro sono tutti vostri diretti competitori nel mercato dei simulatori).

    Sfortunatamente al momento non ci sembra che il multiplayer di Assetto Corsa offra la stabilità e le funzionalità richieste per fare in modo che i clienti ritornino.

    Come diretto risultato, abbiamo notato una marcata tendenza nelle corse del nostro RaceDepartment club in cui abbiamo un grande influsso di giocatori immediatamente dopo un aggiornamento importante, per poi vedere una significativa diminuzione nel giro di una settimana circa, man mano che i piloti si rendono conto che gli altri competitori nel mercato dei racing sim offrono più funzionalità per le corse in multiplayer.

    Corse in multiplayer propriamente funzionanti con caratteristiche come split per i settori, cronometraggio in tempo reale, modalità spettatore\di trasmissione, netcode stabile per gli utenti con un ping alto, modalità a griglia invertita, corse multiple, un numero molto maggiore di posti sulla griglia (quale corsa GT ha solo 24 auto?), miglioramenti ai pitstop ed altre ancora sono necessarie per un simulatore completo e sostenibile che non solo sarà redditizio per voi, ma massimizzerà anche il divertimento degli utenti e aumenterà sostanzialmente l'arco di vita del vostro titolo.

    Guardandolo dalla prospettiva di “uomo e macchina contro il tracciato”, pochi altri simulatori sul mercato possono competere con quello che offre Assetto Corsa in termini di fisica, sonoro ed immersione su pista, creando quella che è probabilmente il miglior simulatore di hot-lapping e pratica mai creato e venduto al consumatore.
    Tuttavia, guardandolo come un “simulatore di corse in multiplayer”, ci si rende conto che Assetto Corsa è piuttosto indietro rispetto ai suoi rivali.

    Noi capiamo completamente che cose del genere richiedono tempo per essere sviluppate, e siamo più che volenterosi di essere pazienti ed aspettare dei miglioramenti al multiplayer, ma Assetto Corsa è ormai in fase di sviluppo da abbastanza tempo per garantire uno standard accettabile di funzionalità e stabilità nelle modalità online.
    Visto l'enorme successo che Assetto Corsa ha avuto, crediamo che i limiti di budget forse non siano più un grande ostacolo per lo studio, particolarmente in termini di investimento sul netcode.

    Sebbene la qualità dei contenuti (sia auto che tracciati) sia davvero incredibile, noi di RaceDepartment crediamo fortemente che voi, Kunos Simulazioni, dobbiate spostare la vostra attenzione dall'implementare nuovi contenuti al migliorare la funzionalità del gioco. Se questi problemi non saranno risolti a breve, allora correrete il rischio di vedere un declino rapido e significativo del bacino d'utenza di Assetto Corsa.
    Come la più grande community di SimRacing nel mondo, noi crediamo sinceramente che i problemi di cui abbiamo scritto sopra riceveranno più attenzione in futuro, perché crediamo che Assetto Corsa abbia il potenziale per diventare IL simulatore di corse sul mercato.

    In chiusura, vorremmo lasciarvi con un ultimo pensiero: mentre essere in grado di guidare repliche incredibilmente accurate di auto e tracciati leggendari è un'esperienza surreale e davvero eccitante, a cosa servono tutti questi contenuti eccezionali se le limitazioni della funzionalità ed usabilità del gioco ci impediscono di realizzare tutto il loro potenziale?

    Speriamo che in un futuro non troppo lontano Assetto Corsa dimostrerà di essere l'incredibile simulatore di corse che noi, così come chiunque altro, sappiamo che può diventare.

    Cordiali saluti,
    RaceDepartment.
     
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  2. Maybe you should try being a bit more honest: You need AC to have better MP so that more people will actually pay you to race here. Good luck with that.
     
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  3. HORNSUCKLE.png
    Clearly you have the best opinion on the matter.
     
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  4. Joao Alves

    Joao Alves
    Premium Member

    Did you even read it? Clearly not.
     
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  5. What a dick move...rather that just accept that some people are unhappy with some aspects of that game that need improvement he would rather go run to Stefano and try to bad mouth anyone with an opinion.

    Well, that's RickyBobby for you...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  6. JeffL

    JeffL
    Right on Brother, I hear ya, it's all good. Premium Member

    I have him ignored on every single site and yet he still creeps into my consciousness:D.
     
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  7. Good article RD. I know the multiplayer aspect of AC has been a sore spot for a long time now and I remember we all had very high hopes when the first multiplayer code was released and we continued to wait for the bugs to be ironed out and yet they still aren't. You are within your rights to criticize this component of the game especially since AC's competitors are so far ahead in this regard and even though we all love hot lapping in single player, multiplayer is an essential function for a sim racing game. I know it probably pained you to have to finally post this but if it weren't for the deep love of this game and the maddening frustration of not having an essential component for a sim community, I realize you are simply giving tough love here. Also, I respect Stefano for taking the criticism professionally and responding accordingly. I'm glad that they're still listening to the community.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  8. IIRC Aris does alot of the physics modeling, artists do the tracks and graphics and I assume Stefano does back end and netcode kind of things?

    Its the same lame argument we hear at iRacing, hey stop making cars becuase X (unrelated) needs fixing. Physics guys do physics, other staff does their job. It's entirely possible for new content for the game and still improve online.

    Besides I have not had any issues to note with netcode, outside of people who join a server with bad ping to the server.

    iRacing has the game covered with online, rFactor 2 is a ghost town even with more of the features you ask for. AC is still early in its life cycle, things need to be better yes but 24 cars right now is adequate.
     
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  9. How did I manage to 'run to Stefano' three days before this was posted?

    So RD needs money, they start charging to race here, and then have the audacity to ask Kunos to forget about it's SP players and spend all development time working on MP improvements.....maybe it is simply coincidence, but I tend not to believe in that sort of thing.
     
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  10. Ouch, right in the jugular! You're probably not wrong dude, but RD is a great site that clearly loves AC, and running this place is obviously time consuming and expensive. I don't give a rat's backside either way cuz I don't play MP, but RD trying to make money to keep this ship afloat isn't the disgusting sin you make it out to be... :cautious:
     
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  11. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    Totally untrue Michael.

    Yes we made the transition to Premium Only racing, but the fact of the matter is that we want to run the highest class of league racing using Assetto Corsa as the platform to do so, and we don't feel that AC's MP is currently 'polished' enough.

    This open letter is in no way intended to "bash" Assetto Corsa, but rather to remind the Kunos Simulazioni developers that a sustainable and long lasting sim has to have high quality multiplayer usability in order to succeed. RaceDepartment focuses on Multiplayer racing, we are a dedicated site to such an activity, so it's only natural that our wants for the game are Multiplayer-oriented.

    We believe Assetto Corsa has the potential to do so, however as the letter states, Assetto Corsa has been in development for more than long enough that MP netcode shouldn't be an issue at this stage of it's life cycle.

    You accusing us of using this letter as leverage for a money-grab is incredibly naive and just proves that you haven't read the article properly, and only read into it what you want to read.

    I love AC as much as the next person, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with constructively critiquing the game in order to make it better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  12. Bernd Graf

    Bernd Graf
    Premium Member

    Haha, this open letter...can be distilled to this:

    "Kunos...we love your product...but it is keeping us from switching from iRacing to you for our league races. We're tired of waiting!"

    The question on my mind after reading this...couldn't this have been sent to one of the dev team members through the forum site in a private message?????? This whole post smacks of using a site to coerce a studio into doing something about an issue that is completely under their jurisdiction. Not the coolest post in RD...
     
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  13. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    We did discuss sending it directly to the developers, however we decided to post it publicly so that the public can voice their opinion on the matter as well. A range of opinions is a good thing for Kunos to see, even if people think we're "money grabbin' desperate fools", then so be it.
     
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  14. I would hope that the staff here at RD realize that Stefano has nothing to do with adding new cars or tracks. And basically asking them to ignore the 70% of their player base that never go online so that they can improve the part of the game that will financially benefit you is basically RD giving the middle finger to the majority of the people that paid their money for the game same as you.
     
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  15. I still did not update after Dream DLC, I'm thinking to do it soon, but before I would like to know the general opinion.
    Dream DLC, worth to buy?
     
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  16. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    Ok, did some testing, I can build 'large starting grid' variants to tracks if that's actually a problem to starting a league and not just "it'd be nice". I'm not familiar with the specifics so just let me know which track needs more starting points and maybe draw on a screenshot where the extra pits & grid spots should be. I can only promise to do one to start with so if there's some track with 21 spots & all the rest have 24, maybe go with that.
     
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  17. I've seen that somebody has already privately made a 100 grip and pit stall version of the Nordschleife...it crashes his entire pc almost instantly when he tried to load it with AI but MP use should be less CPU intensive.
     
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  18. Matt

    Matt
    Premium Member

    More to the point, rather than using resources outsourcing to modding groups to make a new car, use those resources to employ a coder than has the experience to make the netcode better.
     
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  19. Although I do agree MP is important to a great many people, important to the longevity of AC, and important for RD (not only because it increases potential revenue for RD to keep on keepin' on), the idea of shifting of attention AWAY from new content doesn't sit too well with me, and obviously many others. Better MP or more content..?
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. You do realize that Kunos is a 'for profit' company, right? The goal when they spend money signing a license and building a car (or track) is to eventually make a profit off of that investment. As long as the company makes a profit Stefano can keep coding improvements to the core game.
     
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