Continuing our series of interviews with some of the key players in the Sim Racing genre, RaceDepartment.com today sit down with Game Stock Car Extreme developers Reiza Studios and talk about developments to the current game, future updates, a highly successful crowdfunding campaign and the future of this talented Brazilian team. Founded in 2009, Reiza Studios are a Brazilian development team with focus on producing racing simulators for Windows PC. They boast a staff of skilled worldwide developers and adopting extensive research, methodical engineering and the highest standards of digital art as guidelines for the development of projects with maximum realism. With exclusive licence agreements to feature Brazilian series such as Stock Car Brasil, Copa Petrobras de Marcas and the immense Fórmula Truck championship alongside ever growing content from a wide variety of series both past and present, Reiza Studios continue to delight fans of the sim racing genre. With regular updates and content releases, and in light of the pretty big news recently announced regarding the next game from Reiza, RaceDepartment.com have taken the opportunity to sit down with the guys and see what the future holds. You can find below part 1 of our exclusive interview below. RD: Hi, firstly thanks for talking to us today. I suppose the best way to open is to ask you to introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do over at Reiza Studios? RS: Thank for having me, happy new year to all our friends at Racedepartment! My name is Renato Simioni, I´m a 35-year old Brazilian who is a long time simracer. I have been around since pretty much the dawn of times as far the genre is concerned, first as an user starting back with Crammond´s first F1GP, then following that with GP2 as well as the Papyrus sims, Indycar, GPL etc, then onto the ISI engine era with the F1 titles, the GTR series, eventually becoming a modder with rFactor, doing physics for mods like GP79 and CART Factor, and finally as professional developer - first at Simbin, then finally starting Reiza in 2009. At Reiza my hours are shared between running the business side of things and all that comes with that, as well as leading development of our projects. RD: Great, thanks Renato. As is starting to become a bit of a tradition in these little Q&A’s, I’d like to start off with some light questions about the guys and girls behind the scenes. First things first, what's your vehicle of choice on a day to day basis at home, when not recreating an array of digital beasts in GSCE? RS: I own a Subaru Forester XT, nice SUV which has everything I want and need in a car. I´m not very fussed about road cars generally, I see them as merely tools to take me from A to B with enough comfort, not burning too much fuel and demanding as little trips to the mechanic as possible... It´s the pure-bred racing machines that really get my heart rates up. RD: Yeah I can agree with that Soooo here’s one bound to cause arguments… who’s the fastest sim racer at Reiza? RS: We actually have not been racing ourselves much lately to gauge, but generally the physics guys, Niels and myself have a clear edge - probably because inevitably we do most of the driving RD: Do any of the team have any racing experience in the real world? If so, what sort have cars have you driven and how does sim racing compare? RS: I´ve been on and off karting since my teens, currently own one with a GX390 4-stroke engine tuned to 21HP, similar to the one you see in SCE – we basically did that version as an experiment with the group of people who raced those with us at Londrina and we all agreed it compared remarkably well . I´ve also had a few fun runs at a few sports cars but nothing competitive. RD: Now back to the digital world, could you share with us what your favourite racing / road car is to drive outside of GSCE? RS: Outside of Reiza cars, I quite dig the Radical SR8 and the MP4-30 from iRacing. RD: Ok then, so when you are not tearing up the digital racetrack in sim racing titles, do you tend to play any other type of game? What’s on your harddrive at the moment that takes up any spare time (laughs) you might have? RS: I have a 6-year son so my interest outside racing sims is generally restricted to whatever he wants to play with me on the Playstation – they usually also involve motored vehicles, so games like Sonic All-Stars Racing has been a favourite since he first was able to hold the throttle trigger down, and Rocket League has lately taken over most of our time … Much as he insists I can´t bring myself to play Minecraft with him though! Outside of these the only non-racing title to get my attention recently was GTA V, and even then mostly to marvel about the scale of that production. In between developing our own titles and looking at what other racing sims are doing, I already spend more time than it´s healthy in front of screens, so when I do have free time I prefer to do something else. RD: We at RaceDepartment were delighted to see you have such a successful recent crowdfunding campaign, raising well over £100,000 towards ongoing development of GSCE. Did the community reaction and financial contribution surprise you at the studio? RS: The end result itself did not necessarily surprise, as we shaped the campaign itself and set a target that we felt was reasonable and achievable, but obviously it´s a 30-day campaign and there´s a whole dynamic to it so it´s not like you just sit there and cross fingers, you have to actively promote it, gradually release material for it to gain more momentum and get people excited, etc . At one point it looked like it wasn´t quite going to make it but then the final week really picked up. It worked out very well and obviously we also got some important support from the community itself, not only backers but people helping spread the word which was vital. It was an experiment we had been meaning to do for a while and with the source code it finally made sense to try it so we could have the means to extend support for SCE and do some things for it that would already be a very significant improvement. It was a very rewarding experience, both the funding itself obviously which was a good financial boost at an important time, but also the good will we received from the community was a morale boost for the team and one of the highlights of our journey so far. RD: It sure does seem like the sim community have a lot of love for GSCE and Reiza Studios, supported by at times outstanding interaction from yourselves. Was it a conscious decision to be so community involved from the outset or has it just developed over time? RS: I suppose that might be because we were effectively born out of the community, first as simracers who became modders and later got together as professional developers – as I mentioned earlier I´ve been a hardcore simracer myself since pretty much the dawn of the genre over 20 years ago and have been involved with the community on some level since there was a community to begin with, so for me it´s something that comes very naturally. We start Reiza first and foremost because we love simracing, and the business was put together as a way to fund the projects we wanted to make, rather than the projects being made for the sake of the business and I guess that reflects on the products and resonates with the users. Obviously as things grow in scale the projects start taking up more of your time and sadly that tends to cut down on your availability, but when I´m able to it´s always a pleasure as ultimately it´s mostly about doing things for and being amongst like-minded enthusiasts. RD: Reiza are relatively small team compared to some of the big money players in the sim marketplace, and considering the bang for buck you have achieved makes GSCE all the more impressive. How many people do you have working at Reiza curently? RS: The core is very small indeed, right now we have only 7 developers in longer term contracts with some backup freelancers coming in to support at various stages. We try to make up for it working twice as hard! RD: We probably all know that Reiza are planning a brand new game in 2017, however why don’t we take this opportunity to discuss your plans for GSCE, namely the upcoming changes you are recently announced right here on RaceDepartment with the launch of Automobilista Motorsport Simulator. RS: It´s more than a change in name, it´s a new title and a big enough revamp over SCE to warrant being one - but since it´s an evolution of the project we proposed in our crowdfunding campaign, we felt we had to stick with what we proposed then and keep it free for everyone who already owned SCE. Though they share a lot of the content, AMS is really on another level with some premium new features and extra content and it´s the focus of our attention for 2016 along with the longer term plans for 2017. RD: So Automobilista Motorsport Simulator (AMS) is free to anyone who already owns GSCE prior to the 6th January right? RS: Correct – from that date onwards SCE continues to be sold but no longer warrants a copy of AMS. RD: Can you share with us any other details over and above the promised crowdfunding enhancements that you plan to add into AMS? RS: There will be some more details shared soon RD: Dynamic track (or RealRoad in rF2) is almost essential for truly immersive racing experience. It appears that you want to do something similar in AMS, what would you expect this to function like in game? RS: The conditions improve based on the number of cars circulating the track, but also as a function of the track characteristics and tire compounds being run (so a very hard street tire will have little effect in rubbering the track, while a full grid of GP cars running supersoft tires will rubber it up within a couple dozen laps or so). As the grip on the racing line builds up with the extra rubber, condition off the line deteriorate with the build-up of marbles. Users will have the option to select a track state for the session (between green and fully rubbered), and the rate of progression from that starting point. RD: I see you mention 24 hour race's in AMS, will driver swap functionality be included too? I'm thinking compatability and useful functions for endurance leagues especially… RS: We are aware it doesn´t work 100% in SCE and we might have a deeper look into it at some point, though right now it´s not high in the list of priorities. AMS being what it is and being developed in the time and budget that is has been, there is unfortunately a limit to what we can commit to for further developments. Depending on how it performs though we can always take things further, and we certainly intend to do have things added / improved during its shelf-life. RD: Will all our current mods in GSCE work in AMS? Would you consider Steam Workshop for this title in futue? RS: GSCE mods should work in AMS with some adaptations, certainly required if they are to make the best of the new features. RD: Do you intend to support DD wheels natively in AMS? (Like with linear output and Nm FFB scale à la iRacing) RS: Anything that has a substantial enough market share ought to receive attention, naturally we also depend on a level of support from the companies that develop these high-end products. RD: Ok that's excellent news and lets hope development continues to support DD wheels as the market share grows in time. While we talk wheels, with the FFB refresh rate of the FFB currently at 100hz compared to titles such as rF2 running 400Hz, is it technically possible for the team to increase this in Automobilista, and if so would that be something that could be included in new game or should we wait for ‘Reiza 2017’? RS: This has been done already for AMS, all rates have been upscaled, both for physics and controllers. Stay tuned to RaceDepartment.com to see the second part of our interview with Reiza Studios where we discuss further what fans can expect to see included in both AMS and the new, as yet untitled 'Reiza 2017' game. Did you enjoy or discussions with Renato? Are you looking forward to AMS releasing soon? What do you like about GSCE currently / most looking forward to in the new title? Let us know in the comment section below!