AC, Social, Video

Hacking cats (update)

It looks like Stefano Casillo will pick up his pretty popular live stream about coding in Assetto Corsa again:

The stream has been delayed, but I’m still excited and maybe it’s a good thing to summarize what his stream is about and what to expect from Season 03 of “Look What The Cat Hacked In”.

#1 History

Starting with a pretty mediocre Pilot in July 2015, Stefano streamed 16 live coding sessions with quite sensational insights and statements. Technique and presentation became excellent pretty fast, so don’t be deterred by the first one. The videos have between 3000 and 8000 views, although very few might really be interested in the coding part – they are most likely lurking for sensations and spoilers (yes, happens frequently).

So far the streams have been delivered within Seasons that applied to major patches like 1.3 or 1.4 – but I wouldn’t bet this will continue this way.

#2 Motivation

Well, I don’t really know. Having up to 8500 viewers might indicates many interested people. Personally I think he enjoys the possibility to talk, contrary to Tweets or Forum posts. Humor can be delivered much better there, and it is easier to give a longer and complex answer.

Maybe we should just ask him during the next Q&A?

Update: Stefano already answered

#3 Stefano – community; Community – Stefano

Before we have a look at some highlights and examples, there are a few things you need to know. Stefano is Co-Founder, lead developer and one of the faces of Kunos – he couldn’t be more “official” and you might expect expert-level-PR-blablabla: Nope.

(source: xkcd, Disclaimer: I’m aiming at the “too honest” part, not “I have no idea”)

Brace yourself and get ready for a very different experience. Stefano is extremely honest, up to a hurtful point where some people favored plain marketing speech. But you’ll get over it, and actually you are a moron if you prefer it the other way round (just a little example, consider it as preparation). After all, this gives the best possible insight into his developer life and also produces more reliable and interesting information. A good example of non-marketing-blabla: The question is if we will see Helicopter cameras next to TV ones.

On top of that he is a living Italian stereotype, when it comes to passion. There is a chance that you jump in the livestream, ask him one of the most obvious questions  -and end up with plain disappointment or Armageddon, without any idea what actually happened.

Unfortunately Stefano & Community have quite some story about several topics that you – as clueless newcomer – can not know. There is also no place where you can read about it, at least if you don’t want to spend months of investigations before dropping a single question in the livestream, on twitter or the forums. Be careful with

  • Rain: Often discussed, especially until version 1.0. Kunos won’t implement rain, unfortunately I didn’t find a single, appropriate source for the explanation. In short: It’s a lot of work, but people don’t really use it (according to data from netKar Pro). This would be the best answer you can expect.
  • Night: Impossible due to early design decisions inside the graphics engine, which on the other hand give great graphics per hardware. Await similar reactions here – except you give a really good question like fake lightning.
  • Why-word: When you have a question like “Why does AC not have …”, you need to ask yourself if there is actually a question behind (like what are the technical details), or if it is another wording for “In my opinion, AC should have…”. One of both will probably get a cool answer, the other one not.
  • You must: Stefano (and Kunos as a whole) seem to hate it when people who want to tell them what they have to do. Statistically it’s very very unlikely that you have the experience and knowledge to actually teach them anything

#4 Structure & Samples

Most of the streams contain three different parts. Initially the core theme was coding, that is you see and hear Stefano while he is solving an actual problem by programming and testing. This might be more interesting for programmers, but it is still fascinating to watch and listen him doing so. Some examples:

Secondly he more and more used the stream as communication platform, and offers Questions & Answers with the participants of the livestream. This is probably the most interesting part, as it contains sensational statements, but also allows to learn about Stefano and his personality. You will notice he is different to most “official” persons you ever faced, more about that later.

In the Q&A we learnt about Stefano’s favorite guitarist, his real life race car experiences, how to become a tester or get banned and that he sometimes has no idea about the outside world. Sometimes he seems frustrated, sometimes he makes fun of everybody and anything including himself. Aside from the entertaining factor we also witnessed serious stuff, like that the track Zandvoort is not laserscanned – this one-sentence-answer started a huge discussion (official answer). In my opinion most interesting are the longer answers with background information like

Thirdly he willingly leaks new and new features and unrevealed content – usually with a test drive on a new track, car or both.

#7 Post Processing

You can expect a discussion thread for each livestream in the official forum. People will even post transcripts of the Q&A and try some CSI: Cat County magic to reveal new sensations.

As you can see, I’m getting pretty excited about a new season of livestreams, and I hope you are now as well!

2 thoughts on “Hacking cats (update)

  1. Kunos Live streams are really a must watch, not only for the fans but for simracers in general, I really enjoy them and i’ve watched every stream at least twice (yeah, really in the fanboy area here) Let’s see what he’s allowed to show us in the future streams


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