This is part one of an interview with none other than Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni. Marco talks about the intricacies of ACC development the how the Kunos team go about making the simulation. It's with great thanks to our friends at simracing-unlimited for exclusive access to this interview and we look forward to part two of this interview coming soon.

Stay tuned for our coverage of ACC console release with a give away coming soon.

Q: You developed ACC (AC) from the idea that there should also be a racing simulation for the PC that transports "Il gran turismo". Did you expect the success at the beginning of the development?

A: Definitely not, we went far beyond any of our expectations, not only in terms of units sold, but in terms of popularity. We have a very strong community that actually loves the Assetto Corsa brand.

Q: AC ran on an engine that you developed yourselves. ACC then ran on Unreal Engine 4. Do you plan to base your new project on UE5 in the future?

A: Unreal Engine is a very powerful engine but has not been specifically designed for racing games, that need specific features and very high performance. After the experience made with Assetto Corsa Competizione, we don't discard in advance the option to work again with Unreal, but we are considering also other options.

Q: You are currently developing a version of ACC for the new PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. What are the advantages of the improved hardware?

A: Well, Unreal Engine 4 is quite demanding in terms of performance and the new generation of console can handle better the overall process, granting more stable frame rate, higher resolution, etc.

Q: After ACC are you working on a new project? What can you say about the future of the franchise?

A: It's quite too early to discuss about "what‘s next". As said before, Assetto Corsa is a very popular brand and we need to handle it with care, so we'll take our time to do our job at the very best, to meet the expectations of our community.

Q: ACC is the uncrowned king of force feedback implementation. How did you manage to implement this technology so brilliantly?

A: Our aim since netKar PRO is granting the best handling experience we can deliver: to this aim, every aspect behind Assetto Corsa lives around the physics. Our force feedback isn't something magic, it "just" reads the physics algorithms that manage tyres, suspensions, chassis and so on, with no use of fake numbers. The accuracy of tracks surface isn't secondary in providing a very natural driving experience, so I think that's the combination of different factors, the secret behind the quality of our force feedback.

Q: After the huge success of mods for AC, you have integrated some modders who have convinced you with their performance into your team. What are the requirements to get your attention with a mod and maybe become part of your development team?

A: Best quality, reliability, and attitude: each guy at Kunos works for and with the team, not for himself, or for his personal "glory". The understanding of the "AC philosophy" is the basis for being able to give the best contribution to the success of the team.

Q: How do you manage to integrate the physics models for the many different vehicles into the game? For some vehicles, it might be difficult to get the appropriate data to incorporate into the physics model?

A: We have a closer partnership with several car manufacturers; also, having our dev studio located inside an international race circuit (Vallelunga) for 9 years helped us to create a very strong network we can take advantage to recover mostly of the data we need. Also, through the years we never stopped our R&D activities aimed to improve our physics model. Now that the reputation of Assetto Corsa as realistic driving simulation is very stable, is not rare that automotive companies provide us all the data we need to reproduce their specs at the best.

Q: How do you ensure the high degree of realism of the physics model? To what extent is feedback from professional racers and race engineers, as well as manufacturer and tire data, used in this process?

A: Our approach is very rigorous and methodical, aided by more than a decade of experience. We take extra care to get as many measurements from manufacturers of the real cars and tyres, as well as ambient and circuit conditions and everything else we can collect. Everything enters the simulation model as is. We validate the real world results with our simulation results and we never tweak measurements that we know as correct. If we find any deviation from reality we will try to find the error in our physics model or we will try to implement new feature to better simulate the real counterpart. Real drivers feedback is then taken into account to cover all the dark spots where data are not available or not known and with the help of telemetry we try to reverse engineer the unknown data and get an even better model. Even real drivers feedback is carefully validated as we need to have a direct contact and understand how used a driver is in driving simulators, what are his expectations and how good he is to describe car handling both in real and simulated conditions. This kind of approach brings objective improvements and not just a “fun to drive” model from subjective opinions. We believe that if we do our job properly, then the end result will always be fun to drive because real driving is… fun.

Q: The engine sound is an extremely important detail in a racing game. Usually a dyno is used for this and microphones are placed accordingly. But there must be cars where you can't use a dyno to pick up the sound. How do you proceed with the recordings in this case?

A: There are two ways: the first one is actually driving the car on a closed circuit, in order to gather interior sounds, under-the-hood / exhaust notes, as well as pass-by ones. The latter is what you miss by recording on a dyno.
The second way comes from our audio archive: over the years, we collected recordings of many engines and exhausts. This allows us to reproduce a particular car sound by starting from different models equipped with the same engine and/or exhaust system.
About author
VernWozza
A motorsport fanatic and sim racer for over 20 years. Content creator for RD, and MD at Simracing.gp. Favourite sims include ACC, AC, RF2, AMS, WRC9 - VernWozza#7419 @vernwozza

Comments

Q: ACC is the uncrowned king of force feedback implementation. How did you manage to implement this technology so brilliantly?

Is it though? Not as good as AC. I know it's a interview, but there's no need to stroke the ego.


Q: After ACC are you working on a new project? What can you say about the future of the franchise?

Bath racing will be are next adventure for sure.
 
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Who the hell decided "ACC is the uncrowned king of force feedback implementation." when it has awful ffb compared to rf2 or ams2.
Yes unfortunately with my T300rs the ffb feels even worse then AC or R3E ...
I could not see/feel the "brilliance" either :(
But all this was already discussed in my acc threadt few month ago. So its only my subjectiv feeling.
Beside that AC (1) is still my king overal.
 
ACC best force feedback I don't know ... I use a Logitech G29, it will not be a top steering wheel but I tell you this, I have more information from the car / asphalt on Automobilista 2 (without using custom files) than from ACC.
 
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Agreed. The ffb is very nice in acc. Zero complains in that regard. ACC is an absolute beast of a sim. For me it’s the best sim possible at the moment (even if it does need allot of cpu power). Already excited about next possible dlc.
 
Nice interview, but did not learn anything new, I hope some other people did.
I could tell you which FFB I prefer, I could even say the one I prefer is the best (obviously), but why should any one beside me care?
ACC, like AC and many other offer a very good sim experience and we are so lucky to have all those fantastic SIM to entertain our self in those times.
I choose which one I drive more in terms of content I feel like driving than any other reason. I am lucky enough that I have optimized them all to be able to enjoy them all on my hardware.
What Kunos comes up with in the future is still a mystery, with the high level of quality they have spoiled us with in the past and present, my expectations a pretty high, but I already know I will enjoy it what ever they come up with.
 
Nice interview, but did not learn anything new, I hope some other people did.
I could tell you which FFB I prefer, I could even say the one I prefer is the best (obviously), but why should any one beside me care?
ACC, like AC and many other offer a very good sim experience and we are so lucky to have all those fantastic SIM to entertain our self in those times.
I choose which one I drive more in terms of content I feel like driving than any other reason. I am lucky enough that I have optimized them all to be able to enjoy them all on my hardware.
What Kunos comes up with in the future is still a mystery, with the high level of quality they have spoiled us with in the past and present, my expectations a pretty high, but I already know I will enjoy it what ever they come up with.
And still, despite the very high level, they miss various things already announced or disappeared, we could have reached the ultimate game.

For the content it's another story, you can't be a specialist of everything and licenses are expensive.
 

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