Patrick Giranthon sat down with Reiza Studios' Renato Simioni for an interview including some exclusive pictures and news about what is coming up next for the popular PC racing simulator.
After three major updates of Game Stock Car, GSC2013 changes his name for "GSCExtreme".
Can you tell us more about this new name and describe why did you decide to extend your support to GSC?
Once we decided somewhere early on 2014 that we´d build on GSC2013, adding new features and content, it made sense to lose the "2013" tag. The "Extreme" comes from our long time partners Extreme Racing, who produce sim racing gear and with whom we have stablished a close relationship.
Simulation world is more and more competitive and business oriented. How do you position Reiza among all these new games coming on the market? Are you "afraid" of the new titles proposed?
It´s a great time for PC simracing with all the strong new titles that have come out in the past couple of years, and the continuing support of others that were already out there. It´s a return to the glorious early days of the mid to late 90s, when you had Papyrus, Microprose and ISI all delivering great sims, and a big jump from the relative drought of mid-to-late 00s. I think it benefits the genre as a whole because if you look at the console market, realistic racers have a very large appeal there with the GT and Forza series being one of the main titles in their respective platforms. PC sims have a tiny fraction of that market for various reasons, but I believe that with the influx of these new gen PC sims, more console racers are becoming aware of the PC sim racing scene as a whole and some of them are making the move as they become more serious about their simracing. The graphics in some of the new PC games are truly great, just as good if not better than the top console racers, they have several big licenses which is a big pull and unlike the old days, the driving experience is not that much harder, on the contrary - new PC sims address the fallacy that simulators have to be frustratingly difficult by nature. As they evolve, the physics in PC racing sims are becoming not only more advanced, but more intuitive and engaging because of that extra sophistication, relative to the console racers.
While it´s unlikely that PC games will ever come close to the figures of console racers, there is more awareness for the PC sims these days, and these big new titles end up bringing attention to the smaller ones as well. There might not be a market for all the PC racing sim developers on the long run, but I believe the good ones will thrive.
As for being "afraid", it´s a funny thought because I´m a simracer first and foremost, so whenever I go try one of the new titles or big updates, I go in at the same time excited for it but dreading that will make such a big leap that it will make everything else and our own stuff redundant. It has been like that for years now, yet I always end up happy to go back to our stuff and still nothing satifies me more - if anything, as we evolve ourselves I have a harder time driving anything other than our sims for more than a few laps. While that remains being the case I believe we will have our space.
You have promised a lot of new content for GSC in the future. Few weeks ago you announced the new features coming : endurance car, superkart, dynamic weather, new transmission model, etc., as if the possibilties for GSCE were nearly without limits. How far will you push these limits and can you give us some details about the crowd funding system you will use to work on them?
We pulled out of launching a crowdfunding campaign in 2014 because of the uncertainties we still had about how far we could and were willing to go in the current platform, and also because moving to Steam and a couple of other new ventures ended up getting priority, it wouldnt have been wise to take money from the community under those circunstances. It´s likely we´ll do something with the community to boost funding in the near future though. We still have some new content to come out and some new features to add over the next couple of months which will boost GSC & FTruck considerably. While the graphics engine is no doubt showing its age, I believe it still does the job and with all the new stuff coming up, GSC will retain and hopefully expand its reputation as one of the main sims out there.
A litlle idea of your roadmap for the coming weeks?
Formula Truck 2013 is coming 1st on Steam within the next week, it will feature some graphics updates plus the adittion of two new tracks from GSC (Spielberg and Buenos Aires). In subsequent weeks Formula Truck will receive more updates, porting some new developments over from GSC, plus some specific features of its own.
GSCExtreme is coming next on Steam as v1.25, hopefully also before the end of the month. This version however will not include some of the planned features just yet (like tyre damage, bodywork flex, drivetrain & turbo modelling), as work is still ongoing on those fronts. It will include Johannesburg Historic, Ortona (4 layouts), plus two new specs of karts - 4-stroke rental karts plus a race prepped version. Metalmoro MR18 is possible but not certain yet. The next version (v1.30) will include all the planned features, plus Bologna Historic, Londrina Kart track and the MR18 (if not already included in v1.25), possibly the 250cc Superkart. Beyond that we still have at least 2 more cars and tracks so people should expect continuous development well into april.
These developments should flow at a much quicker rate than the previous two - I know some people might suggest we´ve said that before, which incidentally is why we shy away from responding to all the "WHEN??" bombarding we get on the forums, it´s never so easy to predict and you don´t want to be pressured to deliver something half-baked. Having said that, save for any force majeure it should be smoother sailing for the next couple of months. Most of the planned features and content are already far into development as you´ll be able to see from some of the supplied screenshots, and unlike the last semester we don´t expect to have our focus taken away by other tasks.
You have worked hard to bring GSC on Steam platform. What are you expectations about this new step for GSC and what about the process for poeple who already own GSC?
We had some complications recently which made the move a bit harder than we hoped and delayed things for a bit but we have it sorted out now, and both titles should be up there very soon. I believe it will be very good. Steam has become such a monolith for PC gaming that you can´t really go very far if your titles are not in it. Beyond the exposure, it also has some great features and it will make using our games a lot easier for users, so all in all I have high hopes it will be a good boost for our sims.
Concerning the keys, before the release of the games, their respective websites will have a system where owners will be able to retrieve Steam keys for their games. Upon retrieving the Steam Key, their original Gameshield Serial Number will be deleted from the database, so once they make the move they can´t go back unless they purchase again. For Formula Truck owners, we recommend they do make the move as future updates will only be deployed on Steam from the next release onwards. For Game Stock Car Extreme we still plan delivering updates via GSC Sync, so it´s up to the user´s personal preference. Save for this update policy and specific Steam features we eventually add, both games will function exactly the same as they do now.
The first GSC version has been released in summer 2011. After more than 3 years of hard work on GSC, can you do your own assessment of this first big adventure for Reiza? What were the main difficulties for you and your team spread all over the world? What was the most rewarding?
Main difficulty has always been the limited funding, and remains so. We set some very high standards and goals for ourselves, though we don´t have a big team the people we hire are usually extremely capable, we also take our time developing things to our best level and naturally that comes with a cost. It´s tough for a small developer coming from Brazil where things are extra difficult, but we´ve become fairly specialized in doing more with less, which is a good thing - saying that I´d certainly not turn down a bigger budget. I think 2015 will be a turning point for us in that regard, which should open up our scope considerably.
Reiza has been very rewarding experience in general, working with a small but very talented group of people, getting to think up some cool car-track combo, and then get to put it together and bring it to life is really thrilling, and then seeing the community respond very positively and appreciate what we´re going for is great. We´re hardcore simracers first and foremost, so the fact that our output is satisfying both for ourselves as well as for other hardcore simmers is very rewarding. We have also developed relationships with real racing people who appreciate our sims, which is also very cool.
Formula trucks has also been a main part of the "Tupi project" and the last release "Formula truck 2013" has made of big graphical improvement. You will release soon a new update of the game. Can you explain why did you want to bring this kind of vehicles to poeple?
Being from Brazil it made sense for us to try strike a deal for the most popular series here, and both Stock Car V8 as well as Formula Truck are it. They obviously share many tracks which from a production standpoint also made sense, and a good truck racing game hadnt really been made, at least not for a while. Doing something different from what everybody else is doing is something we try to do as I believe it makes us and our products unique, and Formula Truck certainly is unique.
In our last interview you gave us some details about your next project "Senna game". Can you be more precise about it now? With such a title, do you have a higher pressure on shoulders than with GSC?
The project has evolved considerably from our initial concept. Production is ongoing, slowly but surely. It´s a big thing and a big responsibility, but it´s a very complicated project from both a technical and licensing point of view, so we´re really going to take our time with it until we have lined up all the required elements and resources. It has taken a long time already but this year I believe we´ll have what we need to really focus on it and hopefully have it out by early 2016.
I know that you have a limited time and a limited budget. But let's dream 5 secondes : unlimited time and unlimited budget. Which cars or which feature would you like to add to GSC?
I think we already did that, and what we´ll have in GSC by the time we´re done with it as a package in terms of cars, tracks and features will be very much the sim I dream of, with very diverse content and a wide range of driving experiences. If we are talking one single series it would have to be WEC, but any single series is a bit too limited for the licensing costs involved. If we could go further in the same path I´d probably add a couple more historical F1-type cars, a couple of GT cars and an Australian V8 Supercar, certainly some new graphics resources are in order but that will probably have to wait for the next GSC.
In our first interview you were talking about your wish to have new developpent tools in the future. There are some new 3D motors avalaible now (RF2 Isi motor, Kunos motor, SMS motor...). I can Imagine that Niels and you think about this for the future of Reiza. Is your choice made?
Nothing final yet, but we´re fairly well set in continuing in the path we´re currently in. All things considered in my opinion the ISI engine still delivers the best overall racing experience, it will do that even better with the stuff we have in development for it, and once we have some extra cash the sky is pretty much the limit.
Thank you Renato. If you want to conclude or add something...
Just thank you and the community for your ongoing support. We don´t always get to engage with the community as much as we´d like, but we´re still very much part of it and tuned in to your feedback and ideas. 2015 looks very promising for simracing as a whole and we look foward to contributing towards making it a great year.
Previous Reiza Studios Interviews
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