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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

Got it right with part in bold. I think most people sharing this opinion confuse information with exaggerated chattiness. ACC FFB can be more muted but more nuanced and higher res with the information it carries in the signal.
That's speaking from DD wheel owner perspective, can't tell if low end wheels are capable of communicating all these minute details that clearly.
Well I do have DD and ACC ffb is dead. And I bet I can dig out a photo from Kunos studio where they test or even develop the FFB on a Logitech G27 or another kind of pretty low end wheel. Or I can bet about 95% of players who drive this sim does not have DD. I wouldn't say the FFB is developed towards 5% of users on the market and not towards the 95%.
 
Well I do have DD and ACC ffb is dead. And I bet I can dig out a photo from Kunos studio where they test or even develop the FFB on a Logitech G27 or another kind of pretty low end wheel. Or I can bet about 95% of players who drive this sim does not have DD. I wouldn't say the FFB is developed towards 5% of users on the market and not towards the 95%.
Which DD?
 
Well I do have DD and ACC ffb is dead. And I bet I can dig out a photo from Kunos studio where they test or even develop the FFB on a Logitech G27 or another kind of pretty low end wheel. Or I can bet about 95% of players who drive this sim does not have DD. I wouldn't say the FFB is developed towards 5% of users on the market and not towards the 95%.
I didn't say it's designed for DD, just can't speak from the perspective of lower wheel users as don't have one. Could be settings or most likely matter of what you are accustomed to, if you are on SC2, some settings to try are here.
IMO ACC FFB is true next gen, perhaps just not as spiky and exciting as some other titles.
 
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Which DD?
DD1
I didn't say it's designed for DD, just can't speak from the perspective of lower wheel users as don't have one. Could be settings or most likely matter of what you are accustomed to, if you are on SC2, some settings to try are here.
IMO ACC FFB is true next gen, perhaps just not as spiky and exciting as some other titles.
I tried it a few different wheels just to make sure it's not about the wheel. Belt wheels feel bit more similar between AC and ACC, but at the end of the day AC feels much more detailed. And as far as I know, this was by choice in ACC. Some even argued it was because of UE4 but I don't think that is the reason.

Edit: After some research it might actually be about UE4, but I also don't know how to write a single line of code so can't comment.
 
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DD1

I tried it a few different wheels just to make sure it's not about the wheel. Belt wheels feel bit more similar between AC and ACC, but at the end of the day AC feels much more detailed. And as far as I know, this was by choice in ACC. Some even argued it was because of UE4 but I don't think that is the reason.
Kunos used own in-house physics engine, not the one from UE4.
 
I have an SC2P, apparently they're very similar, I'm sure you must be able to get more out of ACC. Is your firmware up-to-date? I heard it used to be quite vague before a certain update. Make sure you're not hard or soft clipping.
 
Nice interview. I think between the lines of not just this interview, but several others over the last year, you can roughly see what their plan is for the next game. In-house engine with added external technologies implemented, road cars back on the menu, refined physics and overall modding friendly.

If my rough assumptions are correct, then consider me excited. That would be a true Assetto Corsa 2. And with more money in their hands, they could take the original concept of AC to the next level. I bet machine learning could play a big role in the future of racing sims, especially when it comes to racing AI for example.

Whatever it is they're working on, all the best to them. I love AC.
 
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Kunos used own in-house physics engine, not the one from UE4.

I am aware of that. UE4 is the graphics engine. But graphics engine isn't just a lens that you put over your eyes, it needs to be integrated into physics.

Below is probably what I am feeling when I am driving in ACC. Interesting thing is, this is from like 3 years ago and you already have a like on that. So you must be aware at least. :confused:

1621111127251.png


I have an SC2P, apparently they're very similar, I'm sure you must be able to get more out of ACC. Is your firmware up-to-date? I heard it used to be quite vague before a certain update. Make sure you're not hard or soft clipping.
I have tried anything and everything and came to the conclusion that you just can't get what the game isn't giving you, by getting a better wheel. I am comparing ACC to AC btw. Compared to others it's not terrible.
 

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Maybe we will see 'Motocorsa Competizione' The official game of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship.


Classes:

  • WorldSBK
  • WorldSSP
  • WorldSSP 300

2021-World-Superbike-Schedule-WSBK-calendar-jonathan-rea.jpg


 
I am aware of that. UE4 is the graphics engine.
It's not just graphics engine, it has own physics engine as well which some driving titles leverage, I believe this is what Gravel uses.
But Kunos from the get go decided to stay with their own true and tested one.
Gross oversimplification but it's essentially improved version from AC.
From another interview with Marco

Massarutto: UE4 allowed us to achieve an impressive graphics quality, allowing top quality lighting effects, and rain/wet terrain simulation. It also paired very well with our proprietary physics engine. Although UE4 wasn’t designed specifically for racing games, we were able to push it to the limit to deliver the racing simulator we had in mind.

And I am pretty sure that 111 Hz FFB tick rate was changed since that post (see below), and even if not, lower tick rate can make signal more coarse (less smooth), (e.g. IRacing 60hz) but not less detailed
1621131779566.png
 
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I have tried anything and everything and came to the conclusion that you just can't get what the game isn't giving you, by getting a better wheel. I am comparing ACC to AC btw. Compared to others it's not terrible.
Well, I have to admit I didn't like it on an AccuForce, but with the SC2P, and even though it's an empirical tyre model, I have to put it up there as just shy of rF2 and AMS2. It beats out iRacing's physical tyre model but that's just iR being iR. Point being, I guess, I swear the information is there in the telemetry. I guess it must come down to their tuning for each wheel.
 
Damage implementation interest by sim racers was questioned here not so long ago, and my
opinion was that it would be kind of useless because you end up restarting races or sessions.
This guy agrees on this, so I don't forsee much damage implementation in the near future
on our Sims.

No talk about a AC 2 project in the works yet... too bad. AC 2 would become more attractive
than an elongated ACC with maybe more similar cars which are basically the same single
series.
 
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.
Tell that to Escape from Tarkov players.

Personally driving on BeamNG is so much exciting for me than in other sims (rf2 being pretty much my main sim) just because of the damage model and the consequences if u make a mistake, it really makes u approach driving with a different mentality and keeps u on ur toes, which is what I personally love.
 
Got it right with part in bold. I think most people sharing this opinion confuse information with exaggerated chattiness. ACC FFB can be more muted but more nuanced and higher res with the information it carries in the signal.
That's speaking from DD wheel owner perspective, can't tell if low end wheels are capable of communicating all these minute details that clearly.
Speaking as a G27 user. I love how ACC feels
 
No talk about a AC 2 project in the works yet... too bad. AC 2 would become more attractive
than an elongated ACC with maybe more similar cars which are basically the same single
series.
I cannot say I agree with you. The level of detail in ACC is unprecedented and something like AC2 wouldn't come close to it. Each car feels very unique. This is because they focus on a single series(which imo is underrated).
 
I cannot say I agree with you. The level of detail in ACC is unprecedented and something like AC2 wouldn't come close to it. Each car feels very unique. This is because they focus on a single series(which imo is underrated).
Couldn't agree more. Ac was good but the depth of acc just blows ac away imo. And a friggin' amount of mods can't change that feeling
 
If we don't see AC 2 for a while. Can we have updates and NEW DLC's for Assetto Corsa?

1. Upgraded Tyre Model (Tyre Model 11, from Tech from ACC)
2. Fix's for Ai
2. 50+ Tracks (Tracks from ACC, All F1 Tracks from 1988, Sliverstone 1993, 1988, etc like what Reiza has done
 
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.
But the other 20% could be delivering the next big racing talent.
 

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