- Nov 29, 2014
When Reiza announced that June would have been a great month for Game Stock Car Extreme, we figured it was the right time to have a chat with the Brazilian dev team. We got in touch with studio boss Renato Simioni, and it seems like our timing was perfect indeed...
RaceDepartment: Let's start with something more general. I think the last couple of years have seen some kind of mainstream resurgence of the racing sim - after being relegated to a niche for several years, blockbusters like Project Cars and Assetto Corsa brought back the genre to the forefront. What do you think of the current simracing panorama, and how can things evolve from here?
Renato Simioni: Interest in realistic racers does seem to be increasing - most importantly it seems there's been some osmosis from the console userbase to the PC. Up until very recently there used to be this dichotomy where console racers (which at least marketed themselves for realism) were extremely popular and sold by the millions, while PC sims were this ultra-small hardcore niche. These days, due to a variety of factors, the gap between these markets seem to have been bridged somewhat, which is a very good thing. As technology continues to evolve and the scope for game development becomes greater, so do the costs involved, so it's very important that the simracing market grows to sustain these developments and push us to the next level.
RD: Steam is clearly the leading digital distribution platform for games, so it's an important gateway to a whole new audience. How did the GSCE Steam launch go?
Reiza: It went very well, and is still going remarkably well considering we're working with titles initially released almost 2 year ago. In hindsight we clearly underestimated how much of a role Steam has in the PC gaming market place, otherwise we'd have pushed to make the move sooner. Fortunately it does not seem like we made the move too late.
RD: GSCE is fairly unique because of its stock content - it's based on a relatively obscure racing series, with an unusual but fantastic selection of cars and tracks, yet it has managed to find a global audience. Are you going to include more Brazilian content, or perhaps focus on some other racing series in the future?
Reiza: As GSC evolved, it has become less about giving the content a proper context, and more about delivering great driving & racing experiences, which is really what simracing is mostly about. At the core though it still has Stock Car Brasil, or the brazilian racing scene in general as its main theme, so while context may no longer be required for adittional content, we still feel it is valuable to have at least some complete real-life series in the package.
RD: After PCars (and now PCars 2) using the WMD platform and Assetto Corsa using Early Access, would you consider using any kind of crowdfunding or Early Access?
Reiza: Crowdfunding is certainly a valuable path, and actually something we are just about to experiment to try raise additional funds to continue developing GSCE further. Personally I'm not big on the idea of giving people access to alpha builds and such. While I can see how having that insight and the option (even if merely illusory) of helping develop the game is an appealing novelty to some, as an user myself I prefer my initial contact with a creative project to be with something that at least resembles the finished article. Some of my most memorable gaming experiences derived from trying a game or a sim for the first time, so I feel lifting the curtains too early can spoil that magic somewhat. Thus as a developer it's unlikely we'd elect to go in that direction ourselves. Open betas at a later stage of development on the other hand are very possible, given the nature of most sims these days where development is always ongoing and that initial platform is built on for years, whatever the initial release is it's bound to evolve substantially anyway so you might as well release it and get a revenue stream to boost that development. So long as the core features are in place and functioning properly.
RD: Any news or details on that rumored Senna game?
Reiza: Can't share much yet, but there will be a lot more info about it before the end of the year. One thing I could advance is that while Ayrton Senna will certainly be part of our next project, its scope has probably become too broad now to call it "the Senna game".
RD: You've said that June is going to be a great month for GSCE. Can we get some kind of sneak peek at what's cooking in the Reiza kitchen?
Reiza: The base of the announcement is that we have licensed the ISI Motor source code, and while that's especially relevant to development of our next title, it can also have some impact into the current titles and that is what has driven us to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Our goal with the campaign, which starts tomorrow, will basically be to raise the funds to further develop GSCE (and also FTruck), making it a bigger & better simracing platform, before we wrap it up for good and shift focus to the development of our next title.
RD: Something more personal: what's your favorite car\track combo in simracing, and why?
Reiza: All our cars and all our tracks really. Bit of an obvious reply I guess but if you consider how much time we look into various cars & tracks before we elect to develop them - precisely because we figure these will provide great experiences - and then how much time we spend developing & polishing them, picking favorites becomes almost like choosing one of your own children.. Naturally the ones coming up the pipeline at any given time have the focus so right now I'm very fond of tossing the SuperV8 around Montreal, hah.
RD: Thank you for your time.
Reiza's Crowdfunding campaign is now live on Indiegogo, while the update for Game Stock Car Extreme will be released on June 26.