Somehow, we have a new topic in the AC community: AC2. Somehow, there are little-to-no surprises. We don’t have any real news, but this isn’t even required. Most contributions express the subjective fantasy and priorities, which makes them a boring read. Most? Yes, there is one I must not lose in the depths of the official forum.
Let’s have a short rewind of the latest events: Next to a preview on the new fantasy track eurogamer.it has an italian interview with Marco, where he is pretty good not really answering the obvious questions about Kunos and DB – but he also gives a short comment about AC2:
We say that we are defining what must be Assetto Corsa 2, in terms of “theme” and feature. Talk about real development is still premature
This is quite historical for AC2, as it is the first official word about it that doesn’t contain “no, or not yet”. This is also some kind of developer-customer translation; defining a product is part of real development without a doubt (but sandbagging community expectations is wise).
My problem is that this was some kind of green light for exactly the type of discussion we currently see all over the place: “I hope they do this and that for AC2” which is just another framing for “AC needs X and Y”. Given usual development cycles this may go on for years now, until the first facts hit – and then things are becoming ugly again. My personal bet is: Night, but no rain. Oh I can already feel the despair. But almost any fantasy is subject to turn out as disappointment. (Speaking of disappointments: Brace yourself, not to do it is a valid outcome of the feature definition step)
Even if I’m wrong and there is rain, just let me place the allegedly leaked Project Cars 2 trailer:
Yep. Kunos can lose with “wait you didn’t plan rain for AC2 although we told you for years now?”. Or they can implement rain, just to earn “AC2 desperately needs snow and ice! It is 2019, I can’t understand how blabla”.
Let’s move on. Actually I didn’t intend to rant about the endless wishlist behaviour. On the contrary, I want to join for once. This is the single high quality thought on my list so far:
Now we are talking. Good Chinese saying? Check. Pointing out a weakness across all of the modern race sims? Check. Suggestion that (most probably) isn’t his own gameplay advantage? Check. Thinking about incentives and long range impact? Check. Possibly a succesful business model? Likely. Bonus points for high information density, grammar and actually something that hasn’t been suggested over and over again.
The more I think about it, the better this gets. Kunos is traditionally very good in doing their thing in their way. That’s where Netkart and Assetto Corsa really shine. They know what they can’t do well, and try to avoid it. The usual community suggestion is either in the “avoid” category; or doesn’t make sense from either an engineer’s point of view, or financially. This is one is neither. It may feel strange for Kunos in the first place, like “this is not our core business”. If so, please review the issue again.
Imagine how many people (especially but not limited to the console market) will gladly work their way through tiny tasks, learning the basics to become serious and respected simracers. We can start with an ABS-capable car, driving 100kp/h towards a corner. A small video of Instructor Aristotelis shows up, explaining with his fabulous accent: “This is a corner. We need to slow down so we can make it safely. Start braking at the red mark as hard as you can”. Control moves to the clueless guy, he fails for the first time. Instant restart, he succeeds. Friendly Aristotelis congratulates and offers the next lesson (or another try) while a first steam achievement pops up. Then turn in. Cornering. Lines. Exit. Car behaviour. Load shifts. Theory. Consistency. Racing rules. Car control. Predictability. Tactics. Drifting. One step at a time.
Sorry, I can’t imagine THIS is NOT a core business, or anything Kunos couldn’t easily deliver and have lots of fun and passion. It became rare, but Aris sometimes visits the forum to drop some seriously good and enthusiastic advice. A platform where he (and the other guys, like Luca – or even professional drivers, guest instructors and maybe modders?) can teach his audience while really explaining what (sim)racing is about and how the physics work… this is a lovely thought.
The whole simracing community could substantially grow, just because there is finally some accessibility and guidance. Currently we aren’t really sitting in a niche because nobody likes a super realistic racing game. It is because we lost the teachers, and only a few newcomers will stay despite the wall you hit first.
Let the others do their damage models, career modes, upgrades, money, selectable multiplayer livery, rating systems, rain, snow, expensive series, endurance races, whatever. The features will bring some sales, but a real driving school will effectively remove the frustration part without turning a hardcore simulator into a game.
I really don’t like to dream. But this time you got me. My feeling is that if this could become reality, a bit of my reality would become a better place. And Kunos could write another chapter of simracing history.
And I also see a huge mistake in my own thoughts. Some (safety) rating system was high on my happy-to-see-list, but honestly: How crazy is it to dump and exclude people without telling them what to do in the first place?