Video of me creating a custom livery in Assetto Corsa Competizione!
Sim Racing comes in many different packages with a wide range of experiences available at your fingertips, while also ranging in the level of difficulty. Over the last year, with lockdown knocking at our door, I searched out for different game genres that I could hold my attention for a long period of time, in which I returned back to Sim Racing, where my first interaction with this genre was back in 2006 with TOCA Race Driver 3. With my return to Sim Racing, two aspects have been really important for how I go about engaging with this genre being both a casual and competitive experience, Because of this I will be discussing two of the main games I’ve gravitated towards each allow me to have both types of gaming experiences depending on how I’m feeling throughout the week!
My Experience with the Sim Racing Genre
As previously mentioned Sim Racing games all have a focus on a different aspect of play, may it be an arcade, semi-realistic, and realistic. I have gravitated towards the semi to realistic games in particular Assetto Corsa, and Assetto Corsa Competizione.
Released in 2014, and developed by KUNOS-Simulazioni, which has a heavy focus on simulation and support for game modification. Over the 8 years since the launch, Assetto Corsa has remained of the most popular sim racing experiences due to the dedicated community of modders that create a wide range of free tools, vehicles, tracks, scripts to provide a wide range of unique experiences for the player base.
Assetto Corsa Competizione:
Released in 2018, and developed by KUNOS-Simulazioni, ACC is the officially licensed simulation of the GT Series of endurance and sprint racers and has a large competitive scene with its establishment of communities and eSports. While ACC lacks modding support (most likely due to the licensing issues), it does continue to have larger developer support from Kunos, as they add new circuits and liveries, and updates to the driving balance and overall experience.
My experience with Assetto Corsa, which has been relatively new as ACC, was my original game of interest however, after being exposed to the modding capability for the Assetto Corsa community it has introduced me to an all-new experience. The Shutoko Revival Project is a mod created by a small team, which is attempting to recreate The Shutoko Expressway in Tokyo, which was in many regards to birth place of illegal street racing, This mod is an open-world experience meaning you are able to jump on the server and drive around with many different popular cars in the JDM scene like R32s, Civics, 944s, Rx7 with up to 32 other real players. This ability to join and just drive on the highways especially during the lockdown was an extremely relaxing experience. When you load into the server you will often find yourself leaving Tatsumi no.1 parking area (a well-known car meet location in Tokyo) with multiple other players who are looking to just drive around as a group. Experiencing a night drive, in the light rain, with the added traffic mod, is one of the most enjoyable experiences, I have had in recent years and is a must-try experience for anybody looking to get into Sim Racing.
Assetto Corsa Competizione on the other hand by nature is a more competitive game, in which you take part in either short one-hour sprint races or longer endurance racers in which consistency is key to victory. This aspect of consistency is the primary reason that I prefer these type of sim racing games over different experiences provided by titles like F1 2021, WRC, or Dirt Rally 2.0 where reaction time is often key. Being able to complete laps of the same circuit for multiple hours always pushing yourself to hit the maximum limit on every corner is an extremely satisfying experience. ACC Provides a good balance between casual and competitive, with the range of experience you can find when racing. This means that I can find race lobbies that suit the level of commitment that I can make on the day. With ACC focusing on the GT series, rather than multiple different classes of motorsports it means that they only have to focus on this series and consistently update and balance the experience which allows for a much closer and realistic race.
Overall, The Sim Racing media niche of games is extremely addicting and with so many different options the opportunities are pretty much endless. Sim Racing spans across many different platforms along with equipment, from keyboards, controllers, steering wheels, and full racing rigs, there is a level of experience for anybody looking to get involved in the genre.
Next Week: Communities
In next week’s episode of my blog series looking at the Sim Racing media niche, I will be exploring the experience of being in a community within this niche. Through my research into Sim Racing, and Veloce Esports, I have discovered that community building across multiple platforms like Discord and Reddit are extremely important to encouraging growth outside of the game, or social media channel whereby you post your content. So over the last month I have been engaging with these communities to research the experience within them, so look forward to that post next week! I really hope that you enjoyed this episode of my blog series, as I document my experience within this media niche, if you have any feedback in regards to my blog or accompanying videos please feel free to leave them below or on the video! and Please have a wonderful day!