The next title update for Assetto Corsa has been a hot topic lately, and over the course of the week Kunos have delved into the finer details of what’s to be included in the anticipated update.
First up was the picturesque “Black Cat County” that was placed under the microscope in the first of three updates on the official blog. Following that the team discussed new graphics, an improved sound environment and the three vehicles included in the second bonus pack.
The third and final blog update is now available, and like the others before it, it’s dedicated to exploring the update in finer detail. The final entry jumps right into a significant change to the simulation, one that is likely to be considered one of the most prominent changes found in the 1.5 update: improved physics and tire model.
First up, the new build will finish what the previous version began by bringing the latest tire model and features to all the cars. Tires will now have a more realistic load sensitivity, a variable grip curve after peak, closer performance level between compounds, a brand-new surface and core heating model as well as more realistic heating operation range.
Finding the optimal tire for your track day adventures might not be as easy as it once was either, as you’ll now have to take into consideration circuit characteristics, ambient and asphalt temperatures as well as car behaviour and the operating ranges of the tires while vying for maximum performance. It isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, and if it is, fear not as Kunos are currently working on an improved “Tires” app that will relay temperatures, pressure, wear and provides basic graphical feedback of the tire’s grip level in real-time.
Next on the list are the improvements made to the aerodynamics of the game with new equations for yaw sensitivity, and new values for aero stalling depending on yaw for every angle. Simply put, you’ll now have the opportunity to experience what professional racers deal with when struggling to explain weird handling characteristics when the limits of the car are exceeded. While this may sound gimmicky in nature, it will allow players to see the contrasts between a car that’s wholly stable until its reached the limit, and a car that maintains itself, allowing the driver to push it beyond the limits.
Continuing, a single player feature first brought to attention late last year is finally being introduced to the game – pitstop strategies will open up the game to endurance racing. The option to refuel the car, change the tires using compounds available for the individual car are all going to be present. The pitstop menu will further allow the option of repairing crucial parts of the car that directly affect aerodynamic performance, the suspension or the engine. All of these options will be available on the multiplayer side of things as well, making things even more challenging and strategy-driven.
Speaking of multiplayer, that too has seen improvements alongside the game’s artificial intelligence. Starting with multiplayer, visible damage has been added to opponent cars, further adding to the immersion factor. Time progression has also been added, meaning the lighting conditions are no longer fixed and time will elapse in the same manner it does during single player sessions.
The team is never content with ‘what is’ and the AI have been on the receiving end of some improvements as well. AI combatants are now more skilled in navigating through traffic and handling race situations. When combined with the previous improvements, it will offer a more challenging racing environment for those of us that prefer the single player side of the game.
The 1.5 platform for the game is no doubt interesting, and the same could be said for the future of the game itself, perhaps even more so. With the console launch right around the corner, Kunos has news for said future of the game that’s sure to go over well: Mazda is coming to Assetto Corsa.
The brand will be represented by the first-generation Miata and the Le-Mans-winning 787B, both of which are popular options in the modding community at the moment. Both will be added to the game for free in an update later this year. The news doesn’t end there as the 2015 MX-5, MX-5 2015 Cup and the RX-7 will be part of the Japanese Car Pack, available by May 18th.
The pack will include a number of vehicles requested by the community, such as the 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo, Nissan GT-R 34, the Toyota Supra in three versions, and the Toyota AE-86 in two versions. Past that, when the console version of the game is released on June 3rd in Europe a new pack including the Ferrari 488 GTB, FXX K, Praga R1 and Audi A1 S1 will also be available on Steam.
There’s even more to the final developer diary covering 1.5 and the future of the game, including the planned release of the A1/Red Bull Ring coinciding with the Formula One event in July.
The first major update for Assetto Corsa goes live today so hop on over to our dedicated Assetto Corsa section for more in-depth discussion!