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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

Realistic damage is just what a simulator needs to differentiate it from driving games, so there's no excuse for the next title.

I expect Kunos put the last gear up and run a simulator, the others SH will just create te more of the same driving games as well
 
Whatever you do with AC2 just for gods sake leave the modding capability as is or maybe extend further.
 
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

5 point tyre model is plausible. It will break all the mods, but mod community surely will catch up to the upgrade. After all I am very sure creating a whole car is much harder than upgrading it to a new tyre model.

The rest will not ever be done. Adding a track requires new licenses. You already have TONS of amazing tracks with mods. AI? Noone wants to waste time on developing an AI. What is fun in racing against something that is made slow in purpose, so that you can keep up? Those AI can be made to do almost perfect laps and leave the greatest "alien" driver in the dust.
 
5 point tyre model is plausible. It will break all the mods, but mod community surely will catch up to the upgrade. After all I am very sure creating a whole car is much harder than upgrading it to a new tyre model.

The rest will not ever be done. Adding a track requires new licenses. You already have TONS of amazing tracks with mods. AI? Noone wants to waste time on developing an AI. What is fun in racing against something that is made slow in purpose, so that you can keep up? Those AI can be made to do almost perfect laps and leave the greatest "alien" driver in the dust.
Actually in assetto Corsa AI uses same physics as player and in my experience they aren't very consistent at least with rss formula hybrid 2021
 
5 point tyre model is plausible. It will break all the mods, but mod community surely will catch up to the upgrade. After all I am very sure creating a whole car is much harder than upgrading it to a new tyre model.

The rest will not ever be done. Adding a track requires new licenses. You already have TONS of amazing tracks with mods. AI? Noone wants to waste time on developing an AI. What is fun in racing against something that is made slow in purpose, so that you can keep up? Those AI can be made to do almost perfect laps and leave the greatest "alien" driver in the dust.

It will not break it, because the number will be 11, all the others point to 10 or below
It will need license's that's fine, the DLC buyers will pay for it. (AC has millions of user's with wallets, and who are hungry for content)
We do have many track mod's, but they are not at a realistic professional level, that a studio could do it.

This in reality is about finished off AC, completing it, giving it another 5 - 10 year's of life until AC 2 is released.

It's a suggestion, Kunos can do what it wants.
 
It will not break it, because the number will be 11, all the others point to 10 or below
It will need license's that's fine, the DLC buyers will pay for it. (AC has millions of user's with wallets, and who are hungry for content)
We do have many track mod's, but they are not at a realistic professional level, that a studio could do it.

This in reality is about finished off AC, completing it, giving it another 5 - 10 year's of life until AC 2 is released.

It's a suggestion, Kunos can do what it wants.
so you expect an update to a game that ended its life cycle in 2016?
yeah.
 
It's a quite wall text that doesn't explain why you can drive like it was dry in a wet ACC track. All variables you said should cancel each other in average. A wet track is a wet track and you never be able to use the same brake points you did when dry. It's bad physics modelling.

Wait, don't by sly try to subtly deviate the topic now just because after what I arged it suits better to your narrative to throw a smoke screen to the original discussion claims and start a whole different new topic to later try to use a logical falacy to arge that the original topic premise was right all along.

The original premise of the discussion was about the wet laptimes not matching a particular lap in a particular race. Now that it is reasonably clear that comparing wet laptimes is a not reasonable you have moved the goal posts talking about a different issue, all while launching a very subtle ad hominem that and trying to gaslight all who reads that message.

I refuse to waste time dealing with manipulative sophistry.
 
speaking of "simracers don't want to deal with real damages", this is what endurance racing is about, and what is sadly missing from acc or any other sim for that matter :
 
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