RD Series on Simracing.GP

Daily WTCR races on Simracing.GP Weekly GT3 Endurance races on Simracing.GP Weekly GT3 Sprint Races on Simracing.GP Weekly GT4 Sprint Races on Simracing.GP
Two weeks ago our partners of Simracing-Unlimited.com conducted an interview with Marco Massarutto. Today the second part of the interview with one of the key players of Kunos Simulazioni the creators of NetKar Pro, Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione.

In case you have missed the first part of the interview you can read back the questions and answers here. What does the future of racing games look like and which game does Marco like to play in his spare time? The answers to these and more questions you can read below.

Q: What do you think will be the next big milestones towards realism in future racing sims?

A: The answer is not easy, because every simracer has his own opinion and preferences about it. I think that the overall complexity of racing simulations (physics, tire model, graphics, sound, netcode, track accuracy, weather conditions) has reached a very high level of sophistication, so we can expect fine-tuning of all these aspects in the future. On the other hand, there are some aspects that still have a greater room for improvement, such as realistic damage: but this is something that requires a lot of work and calculations to be processed, and if you think about it, as soon as you hit a wall, even at 20kmh (that would mean zero feeling in a virtual environment), you should stop the car and the racing or driving experience would end there. Very few people would really appreciate that level of realism. Imagine playing a match in a shoot 'em up and getting hit in the leg by a single bullet, in a real world you would not be able to continue the fight in an effective way. The frustration would easily overpower the realism.

Q: On the future of the ACC and your new project, what about sublicensed national series, such as ADAC GT Masters, since SRO is the original license holder? Will these perhaps find a way into the game in the future?

A: Assetto Corsa Competizione is the official video game of the SRO GT Series, so we are evaluating content and opportunities for this product that are limited to SRO's area of interest and expertise.

Q: Do you plan to offer GT2 models for ACC in the the near future? Almost all SRO series are already available, only GT2 is not yet.

A: This is something that is being discussed with SRO, so I wouldn't rule out this possibility from the start.

Q: As one of the most popular PC racing simulations of our time, looking back, what are you most proud of in the development of AC/ACC?

A: Several things: We started from scratch with no money and a lot of passion and determination, so it's very nice to see that the Assetto Corsa franchise is considered a benchmark for racing simulations in the international scene; we're even prouder when we consider that Italy, while celebrated for many things, is not necessarily known as an ideal country for video game developers, and it means a lot to our team to be able to spread the "Made in Italy" in this business as well. Last but not least, we proved that a hardcore racing simulation can also be popular on console and not limited to a niche of a few people: We bet on it, and we were right.

Q: Simracing and eSports have finally arrived at the car manufacturers. There are so many different series and events that it's hard to keep track of them all. Still, many players are put off because they think they're not good enough in comparison. Do you have a solution to get more players interested in eSports and take away this fear?

A: That's a good point and a good question: we think we can get more people interested in eSports competitions if we let them compete on different fields and in different "contexts" without sacrificing the simulation value. It's still quite early to go in that direction, but we're working on it.

Q: The FIA GT World Challenge, whose virtual part is handled through ACC, combines real and virtual racing for the first time. Do you think this exciting model in scoring will become more common in the future?

A: As SRO CEO Stephane Rathel said, 50% of the teams agreed to this possibility beforehand, and frankly I was pleasantly surprised. After the first race, I read a lot of enthusiastic comments. So I think that after we break through the wall of skepticism, many other legitimate virtual competitions will see the light.

Q: What is the significance of what appears to be a hissing cat making a hump in your company logo?

A: Well, at Kunos we love cats, and "Kunos" was the name of the first cat Stefano had when he was a kid, so we thought that including a cat in the logo would have been representative of our team. A sleeping cat would not have worked well enough, an "aggressive" one would have been much better. We asked the same guy who eventually designed the AC logo to do some mockups, and we liked it at first sight.

Q: How big are the problems in team communication and development in times of pandemic? After all, it's hardly possible to scan routes or record audio for vehicles, etc.?

A: We have been working in smart working since 2005, from that point of view the pandemic has not affected our habits so much, except for the few of us who also work in our studio near Rome. For me, business travel has been an important part of my job, and logistics have also suffered a bit, but we've been lucky because a lot of the data we need for production has been obtained well in advance.

However, like everyone else, we are waiting to get back on track for planned future activities.

Q: Would you like to develop something other than a racing simulation? If so, what kind of game would that be?

A: I would like to simulate myself to have more free time! :D Jokes aside, we didn't create Kunos to produce driving sims, Kunos is a "consequence" of our will to produce driving sims, so I don't see that changing in the future.

Q: Away from racing sims: What other games have you enjoyed the most lately?

A: Recently I tried Circuit Superstars, which is now in Early Access on Steam, and TrackDayR, a new motorcycle racing simulator produced by an Italian studio, but the game I've played the most in the last year is Flight Simulator 2020, I think it's great.

We want to thank SimRacing Unlimited, the developers of Kunos Simulazioni and their publisher 505 Games for the opportunity to conduct the interview.

Image Credits: gamesvillage.it
About author
Bram Hengeveld
I started my sim racing career already back in 1987 at the age of 12 on the legendary MSX home computer, quickly advancing to MSX 2, Commodore Amiga and then found my happy place at DOS and Windows based PC systems.

Founded RaceDepartment.com back in 2006. Organized the world's first esports racing series called the Virtual World Touring Car Championship for Simbin Studios & Eurosport in 2008. Assisted in creating groundbreaking real-time racing GPS technology for iOpener Media in 2009. Official partner to the SRO Esports GT Series in 2019 and 2020. Co-founded Simracing.GP in 2020.

My most played racing games: Konami's F1 Spirit, GP, GP2, GP3, GP4, GTR, DTM Race Driver Series, Live for Speed, GTR 2, rFactor, RACE Series, Assetto Corsa (Competizione), Automobilista (2).

Comments

"On the other hand, there are some aspects that still have a greater room for improvement, such as realistic damage: but this is something that requires a lot of work and calculations to be processed, and if you think about it, as soon as you hit a wall, even at 20kmh (that would mean zero feeling in a virtual environment), you should stop the car and the racing or driving experience would end there. Very few people would really appreciate that level of realism."

I so would appreciate this, one of the reasons I loved GTR2 so much! I used to set up a long race with 200% Damage in that and it felt so amazing to finish a race knowing id avoided what could have been race ending damage at any point, I think this would also make for much more realistic racing online and folks would not make some of the unrealistic high risk moves that sims cureently allow for. The ranking system in ACC plus a highley realistic damage model would just make for more realistic racing all round, and folks would learn to be more careful to avoid damage, just like they have learned to drive more carefully to avoid collisions that are detrimental to their safety rating. I notice how folks drive differently in ACC online compared to sims without a rating system, I like it!
 
"On the other hand, there are some aspects that still have a greater room for improvement, such as realistic damage: but this is something that requires a lot of work and calculations to be processed, and if you think about it, as soon as you hit a wall, even at 20kmh (that would mean zero feeling in a virtual environment), you should stop the car and the racing or driving experience would end there. Very few people would really appreciate that level of realism."

ah yes, the typical "we know better than you what you want" from a developer
 
Regarding damage, we've been putting up with this level of realism on iRacing forever. It might not be 20km/h but it's slow enough that you for sure take barriers seriously, even other cars. They had that before real damage modeling so even if it's hard to do soft body modeling you can still do realistic damage and it can be fun. This is simulation after all.
 
Q: Many people, YouTuber, pro drivers, amateurs like me, think that driving ACC always feels like "driving on the edge" even if you're not going top speed. Other sims don't have this feeling. What can be done in ACC to alleviate this so that we can drive hard?
 
Q: Simracing and eSports have finally arrived at the car manufacturers. There are so many different series and events that it's hard to keep track of them all. Still, many players are put off because they think they're not good enough in comparison. Do you have a solution to get more players interested in eSports and take away this fear?

A: That's a good point and a good question: we think we can get more people interested in eSports competitions if we let them compete on different fields and in different "contexts" without sacrificing the simulation value. It's still quite early to go in that direction, but we're working on it.

Simple solution: Do what iRacing does for their top tier events (ie. 24h of Nurburgring or 12h of Sebring). You have splits that allow everyone to participate no matter your skill level. This is just another facet that makes iRacing multiplayer infrastructure the killer feature in sims right now.
 
Esports: i bet that 80% of the gamers will puke when they sit in a real gtr3 car racing a circuit. And racing it themselves will tire them so extensively that they have to give up after 5 laps.
Probably, at least the tired part, as Jimmy Broadbent has proved lately.
 
The frustration would easily overpower the realism.
Seems they already went far with giving up realism. James Baldwin's best laptime in the wet around Snatterton was a 2:06, while the average lap-time within the current ACC Special Event (89) in very similar wet condition is a 1:53. I did this as well (1:56 average) and curious I could take the same braking-points than in the dry. That's not even trying to make it authentic in my book.

Probably, at least the tired part, as Jimmy Broadbent has proved lately.
To be fair, the Praga can carry up to 3G through corners with it's half weight of a GT3-car that can do about 1.9 G, so less than karts. Part of the trick reducing weight is the lack of power-steering. GT3-cars also come with TC, ABS, air-condition and probably one the best bump-eating dampers in racing on tarmac. Jimmy is riding a different animal.
 
Seems they already went far with giving up realism. James Baldwin's best laptime in the wet around Snatterton was a 2:06, while the average lap-time within the current ACC Special Event (89) in very similar wet condition is a 1:53. I did this as well (1:56 average) and curious I could take the same braking-points than in the dry. That's not even trying to make it authentic in my book.


To be fair, the Praga can carry up to 3G through corners with it's half weight of a GT3-car that can do about 1.9 G, so less than karts. Part of the trick reducing weight is the lack of power-steering. GT3-cars also come with TC, ABS, air-condition and probably one the best bump-eating dampers in racing on tarmac. Jimmy is riding a different animal.
so you are comparing a real life situation, on a real car, real wet track with limited time and zero chance to crash, to your lap times, done on your simrig, in your house, with a restart button, with no g forces and a much better visibilty, and you blame the sim for not being realistic enough?
wow. just wow.
 
so you are comparing a real life situation, on a real car, real wet track with limited time and zero chance to crash, to your lap times, done on your simrig, in your house, with a restart button, with no g forces and a much better visibilty, and you blame the sim for not being realistic enough?
wow. just wow.
It's not about 2,3 or 5 seconds, it's about over 10 sec. difference and the view was fine in the real onboard. In ACC it's a 30 minute stint and you can't risk so much if you don't want to mess up within 16 laps. I was watching enough onboards during rain-conditions and the braking in ACC is just a joke. The real cars even have to brake more early in the dry. And what's the major difference between sim and simcade: braking is easier with the latter ;) :whistling:
 
I love how when asked about what other games he’s into he responds with two other racing games and a flight simulator.
 

Article information

Author
Bram Hengeveld
Views
12,901
Comments
68
Last update

Share this article

Top