Reader Submission #112 – Hired Guns

sVfEIWk.jpg

Assetto Corsa fans had much to celebrate when Kunos Simulazioni announced a few short weeks ago that Porsche, the legendary German auto manufacturer once restricted to only titles by Electronic Arts and Turn 10 Studios, would be arriving as downloadable in the popular multi-platform racing simulator prior to the exclusive license expiring at the end of the 2016 calendar year. However, the inclusion of the popular sports car brand came at a price – Kunos drastically re-structured the third party modding community contained within the game’s official forums overnight, most likely to appease Porsche’s extremely specific demands, and as a result the content creation scene surrounding the title has taken a noticeable dive in activity with no proper “home” established as of yet. But the lack of activity compared to “how things used to be” appears to have an explanation beyond “we don’t have an established home yet.” According to today’s Reader Submission here at PRC.net, Kunos went through the modding community and snatched up as many talented individuals for contract work as they possibly could – something that has become increasingly evident as many work-in-progress Porsche mods previewed months ago have suddenly reappeared as premium pieces of DLC.


y5ke2bn.jpg

Good afternoon, PRC! Your anonymous physics modder is here for another reader submission, and this time I’d like to talk about the upcoming Porsche DLC packs for Assetto Corsa.

It seems everybody has gotten mighty excited about seeing Porsche inside Assetto Corsa. People claimed that it’s the first time we will see cars of the famous German brand given the “official” treatment from a big sim racing name… Or is it?  After some pictures already surfaced of ongoing work on cars, people were quick to point out that they are from mods that were already work in progress. It’s dulled a bit of the excitement and instead served as confirmation that Kunos just goes around and buys mods to release them as premium downloadable content. At first glance this seems like it isn’t a big deal, just Kunos outsourcing jobs to passionate fans of the game, and rewarding community members for their hard work, right?

mod 1.jpg

Not so fast. You see, its clear already that the 3D work is being handled by outsiders, and this has the obvious consequence that quality will vary from model to model. Some of it can be up to pa, while others won’t be so good – such as the Toyota Corolla AE86 in the Japanese pack. Now I know that people are more interested in the way they drive, but what proof do we have that the physics are not dealt in the exact same way? Aris can come out and say that he’s in possession of all the data in the world, but when you are getting ready to release a big batch of Porsche cars straight away, does he really have the time to slave over the physics of each and every individual car? You saw what happened with the Ferrari F1 cars and how people freaked when the 2015 Grand Prix entry was struggling with all sorts of inaccuracies on launch day. I’ve stopped believing that Kunos polishes them to the extent that’s advertised.

And there’s another, even bigger problem. It is very very possible that the closing of the official modding forums might be tied to this partnership in more ways than we imagine. Picture what Porsche personnel would think if they find out that their brand is being represented by a bunch of keyboard nerds who were already doing illegal representations of their cars in the first place? And now they are getting rewarded? What would some Porsche public relations guy think if he spent time on the Assetto Corsa forums, and saw a bunch of WIP Porsche cars laying around, just to see them released as official downloadable content a few mere weeks after? Would he believe that Kunos is handling their license with care and passion, and correctly representing the needs of their brand in a virtual environment?

sad.jpg

Lastly, there’s the giant elephant in the room: the end result of this is that the average sim racer will essentially be paying for mods – something that has been shunned for years and years in the community. Kunos, in my opinion, is acting like some big Mak Corp-like entity, and basically buying out all the mods of a passable quality in the landscape, to then sell them to you as “Official Content” – cars that you could have and would have been driving for free anyways, and probably couldn’t even tell the difference. Hell, have you ever wondered why so many modders are suddenly rushing to jump on the Assetto Corsa bandwagon? Well, this is your answer: They are hoping their mod is bought. I guess whoever was working on popular Porsche models prior to the announcement hit the jackpot! 

Kunos antics are not enticing modders to help turn PC sim racing into something magical. It’s actually killing it by turning modders into hired guns, and making you pay for mods you wouldn’t be paying for in the first place.


PbPgNWl.jpg

I’m going to suffer from a bit of cognitive dissonance here, so stay with me while I explore both sides of the coin.

If a buddy of mine made a fantastic 3D car model and a promising set of initial beta physics for Assetto Corsa, and Kunos gave him a nice chunk of change to have his car included in the next major DLC pack, you bet your ass we’d be celebrating on Teamspeak all through the night. Even if it was something trivial and bummy, like a Chevrolet Cavalier, it would be difficult to downplay how genuinely cool it is for a developer to recognize the talent within the community and reward them for it. So I’m not going to. I think that it’s really neat Kunos have chosen this approach when it comes to post-release content. They are an extremely small team, and with Assetto Corsa sitting in that quasi-finished state, impressive enough to woo the average sim racer, but lacking enough to piss off the diehards, they need all the time they can get to flesh out the product. If it means outsourcing content to the random dudes sitting on their message board, it’s a pretty damn smart move in my opinion.

But, as you pointed out, it’s also risky. I’d rather have a uniform set of eyes looking over each car in the game, and have them all built to the same quality by a person who knows the content inside and out, than a hodgepodge of random contributors equivalent to a rock band hiring session musicians to finish an album (Stefano will like that analogy). Let’s be real here, even the best mods for Assetto Corsa – and other titles for that matter – still have their quirks, inaccuracies, and flaws. With no guarantee that these mods can match the fidelity of the vanilla content, and no guarantee that Kunos themselves can put out an accurate car – as we saw with the Ferrari F1 stuff – it’s kind of shitty to make people pay for random community mods by labeling them as official downloadable content.

I think the most disappointing part of this issue, is that Kunos isn’t upfront with how these cars are being created. For people like myself, as well as other PC-based sim racers who are aware that mod quality differs from one author to another, this matters. A fair amount of of Assetto Corsa mods, even the ones that visually are quite appealing, have a tendency to be utter shit when you hit the track. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable paying for official downloadable content crafted by an author who’s prior freeware projects were met with a swift stroke of the Delete key, and it’s a shame there’s no effort to distinguish what pieces of content haven’t been graced by the magic hands of Kunos.

So I don’t think Kunos should stop outsourcing to random community members altogether – I’ll defend them and say this is actually something they need to do given the size of the company, but we should at least be told who’s behind what. Kunos won’t lose sales by doing so, and it’ll be much less of a shock when we purchase something and it’s not up to par. I mean, this is pretty new territory for PC gaming. You don’t see Bethesda purchasing Skyrim mods and then bundling them into the High Definition Remake of Skyrim, right? So let’s set a really simple precedent before it gets out of hand.

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Reader Submission #112 – Hired Guns

  1. Did you pay for Zandvoort, for Shelby Cobra 427s/c, audi sport quattro, miura sv? And for other free content that were made by modding individuals or teams, like URD (corvette c7, toyota gt86)? Will you pay for the updated mods of mazda 787b and mazda miata? The answer to all this is obviously no.

    So what’s the problem of having cars like nissan gtr r34, and certain Porsche classic cars being made by modders and sold in dlc? Is not like Kunos is receiving them for free; they pay money for people’s work and will maintain these mods updated and available for many people, even if through paid dlc.

    Look, there are several great mods that were downloaded by many, used by some, and raced by few. Now they are basically forgotten and not used, at least what it comes to online. These mods not getting updated by the modders will also make them not used much offline by the players.

    At least they are honored to be in the game officially and potentially used by more people and at the same time maintained by the developers.

    Better have these great cars in AC officially, no matter how they came into existence, than having other sims with few official cars and many mods around.

    Even if an official car doesn’t come accurate at release or something was developed incorrectly, Kunos has proved so far that they will update the car, and they have done with certain cars that needed, including the sf15-t.

    Like

      1. Technically they were never talked in those cars coming as mods, so maybe was a job requested by Kunos for urd to build the c7 and gt86 (along with the c7.r race car, this one for dlc) just for the game, I think the upcoming toyota lmp1 3d model as well.

        Like

    1. GG Allin = Austin
      Floor = Sim Racing Community
      Shit being Taken = pretendracecars.net
      Smearing of shit all over = each article
      Small cock = proof of how insecure james is
      Eating Shit = what you should do

      Like

  2. Kunos only buys out the 3d models from mods, they always remake the physics and sounds from scratch. Plus every studio outsources their 3d art to some degree. The difference between the outsourced Glassegg models that virtually every AAA studio uses and the stuff you see in good AC mods, whether by beginners or professionals like Patrik Marek and A3DR is negligible. There is no story here, aside from the fact that you went two and a half weeks without an article shitting on AC’s physics.

    “no guarantee that Kunos themselves can put out an accurate car – as we saw with the Ferrari F1 stuff”

    As you saw other people say with the Ferrari F1 stuff. Both cars are fantastic.

    Like

    1. except for exploding shocks and fucked up great ratios…

      and wheres the evidence that they redo physics, and why would we care, when they’re likely to just copy them from something similar and change a couple of values

      Like

      1. I’m sure they copy pasted the mercedes gt3 to the ferrari sf15-t.

        They didn’t redo any physics because there wasn’t anything to redo. It was simply adjustments to gear ratios-revs, and some details to the ers system.

        The actual physics of the f1 car aren’t difficult, but the difficulty comes from configuring all these modern systems for the recent f1 cars.

        Like

  3. More excuses from AC fanboys when Kunos has been exposed for including mods as part of their official content, and making people pay for them. The Ferrari F1 in AC is a huge joke, as it is highly inaccurate from the real life car. All of this just confirms again that AC is a simcade racing game.

    Like

    1. Meanwhile rf2 distributes mods through their official downloader so everyone gets them as if they were the content they paid isi to include in the game.

      Like

      1. True, give ISI your $90 and they will make modders give you their work for free. You basically pay double the game price for their online ‘service’ to play in other peoples servers with other peoples content.

        Like

      2. The quality of these mods are much higher than the mods in AC. Kunos takes work from amateur modders that are low quality and are full of physics inaccuracies, while the mods in rF2 are of the highest quality. I can’t wait to hear that Kunos was using mods that ripped content from Forza 4 for their Porsche DLC.

        Like

        1. FUCK OFF BACK TO THE ISI FORUMS ALREADY YOU RF2 COCKSUCKER!

          Every fucking time in the article’s comments you are always trashing AC because your sim fucking sucks. It is not our fault that rF2 is ancient outdated garbage that is hardly supported by the developers. FUCK RF2 AND FUCK YOU! NOW FUCK OFF TO THE ISI FORUMS AND SUCK ASSOCIATOR’S COCK!

          Like

        2. High quality? You mean rehashed rf1 mods which aren`t even updated?. Dude, stop being thick. There are hardly any good mods for rf2, like there are hardly any players. Noone cares about that game anymore, i`m sure ISI themselfs are just letting it die silently ( i would if i was them, with such retarded shills as a fanbase) Get over it, the sooner you`ll realise this, the better.

          Like

    2. At least with AC we get more than 1 update per 3 months and more than 5 cars added officially in a years time. 😉

      Still waiting on that new transmission model ISI….

      Like

  4. They don’t just “buy” mods. They pay for the 3D model. That’s standard contract work – these just happen to benefit community members occasionally. Everything they put out is finished and polished by Kunos – they’re not DLC cars with physics by random forum poster’s uncle’s best friend who exchanged several emails with a guy who knew a team owner. They’re at the Porsche museum for fuck’s sake, shaking down some of the most rare and valuable specimens in existence.

    It’s genuinely difficult to see any kind of negative angle to this – but I always leave that up to PRC.

    Like

  5. My thought on it, and I can look at this objectively since I’ve never played AC, if the dev team is snatching up the talent from the message boards along with their content to release as official dlc, I would think the developer would also ensure content is tested in some sort of QA process before it’s officially released, so whatever the content may have been lacking from before the acquisition, it would be “given the treatment” before it was officially released to the public.

    Like

  6. many of the modded content available for free is really great, dont relativize the good work of modders. There are really many amazing free mods out there some are surely of very good quality => tracks and cars… so i dont mind kunos supporting the guys with money and implement the 3d model. Where is Rfactor 3?

    Like

  7. Who cares, as soon as the dlc is released, we’re gonna rip the models and re-release them for free and/or convert them to other games. I already have them all, but it’ll be good to have better models for the 917/20 (The beautiful pink pig) and the 917/30 (The Can Am monster) available for conversion.

    I love how Ks didn’t notice that 962C is a rip from FM4 before buying it, though. Lol.

    Like

    1. Yes, because I have converted the 962C to rF1 myself 2 or 3 years ago and it’s a 1:1 carbon copy of that model that will most likely end up in the next AC dlc.

      lol

      I mean, to be fair he may have created it by scratch. But in case you didn’t know, with softwares such as 3DStudioMax you can use an existing 3D model as template and create your own model on top of it (Think of it as a tailor that uses your own body to make you a suit). I crosschecked the two things and everything matches. The only thing that differs that he may have actually created are few fluff stuff inside the cockpit (That you can’t really see anyway because they’re hidden behind the seat) and higher res textures for the dashboard, the steering wheel, the gauges, etc.

      Like

  8. LOL, like the firstly forza based r34 that was redone for a bit, snatched and bought without the teams notice for 400$. By pankykapus being a total dick with his kunos team,keeping the rest in the dark while making deals with someone that didn’t even own all of the work done to it and was firstly not available for communication. The mod r34 is 95% the same as the kunos release. They couldn’t even bother to rewrite stuff, reshader it and fix the bugs (it was still a beta)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “You don’t see Bethesda purchasing Skyrim mods and then bundling them into the High Definition Remake of Skyrim, right?”

    lol you clearly don’t know the topic very well, Bethesda’s treatment of their modding community is pretty appalling, a lot worse than racing sim developers relative to the massive sale numbers and revenue their games generate…

    Like

  10. GOD NO don’t tell me the credits at the end of that crappy, shit licking game are going to be even longer FFS … At least Mel the tranny one eyed ball licker will be able to jack what ever it is between its legs a little longer before the game shuts down.

    Like

Ratio of vowels to consonants will be monitored. Post at your own discretion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s