Race Sim Studio Interview and Prize Draw

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We sat down with Ali, head director of Race Sim Studio, to talk about the past, present and future of the team.

"Race Sim Studio is a leading 3D modelling service specialising in the creation of vehicles for businesses, personal users, and driving simulators. The team combines the talents of some of the best 3D Modellers, Sound Designers and Physics Experts to create the finest examples of vehicle simulation projects currently available".

This small excerpt is what you can find written on the RSS website, in the 'About us' page. I tried to come up with an opening that could present this Studio and explain who they are in a concise yet eloquent way. I kept thinking and thinking, looking for an inspiration, lost for words because how do you synthesize the work that this team produces without inevitably missing some small but significant piece along the way? Then I found that passage, and with it the wording: the finest examples of vehicle simulation projects currently available.

Here lies what Race Sim Studio not only does, but is. A small group of like-minded and passionate people, eager to produce what is more than the simple result of a beautifully executed work, but an expression of art in its own way. We are not yet living in an age where modeling is considered a true art form, except for a few unique cases, but when you look at something like this, you wonder why it still isn't. Each curve, each joint, each line, perfected by the dedicated eye of those who have poured their intelligence, heart and soul into it. Given a "skin", a likeness, through high-quality texturing, and then suddenly a growl, a snap forward... it is alive.

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What is the philosophy behind Race Sim Studio? Which is the objective that you guys pursue?

In its simplest form: to bring a new high-quality standard to the world of sim racing and to really put it on the normalized global map for casual, simulator and eSports consumers.

Race Sim Studio (RSS) began as a group of people who had a passion for sim racing and motorsport who somehow found each other through Assetto Corsa (AC) in early 2014. As with most things in life, none of us began with the expectation of how things turned out today. It was just an organic process of people who had the expertise from various technical fields miraculously coming together without a plan. That’s what is really hard to replicate for anyone who wants to do this long-term: it must be real to be real.

What’s funny is we all quit the scene back in 2016 to varying extents; we just couldn’t put out such high standard content (for the standard at the time) and balance it with our normal life. Until one day our physics lead decided “we have all this expertise, all this know-how and connections, why let it go to waste?”

It’s important to remember we work exceptionally hard. It’s not a punch in and punch out timeclock. We’re always actively working and questioning our work and thinking of new or improved ways to do things, so we’ve always strived to produce beyond what was already available in sim racing.

Every product you see from us is the result of each person’s life experiences put into practice: this person’s engine sounds are that way because he picked up the guitar as a teenager and learned about sound design, or this person really understands his physics design process because his childhood upbringing made him a rational and deep thinker inspired by complex possibilities. Again, that’s what we’re conveying in our work that it should feel as real as possible beyond just the sim racing world.

During the years you have been focusing on GT and Formula type cars, producing exquisite, high-quality content. Will you delve in the future into different categories too or will you keep focusing and expanding on the aforementioned classes?

We love to look for new and emerging categories or try to fill in a gap elsewhere. Yet we always get asked to supplement categories that have already been done several times over. I suppose that’s the trust in our work at play.

I think we’re at that transition point where you may get renditions of your favourite cars from time to time given that this is the reality we’re familiar with, but we have further ambitions for other categories to work on including more of our own designs to fit into various tranches of motorsport. You’ve seen this already with Formula Hybrid and will see more of this in the future.

Beyond that, we do get requests from drivers and teams from varying motorsport disciplines to produce content for them to use in their simulators. Working with teams, manufacturers, as well as governing bodies behind the scenes for driver training tools and eSports has been a great experience we’ll continue to push.

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Has the pandemic affected your business or team workflow in any way?

We were lucky in the sense that the “stay at home” message meant the gaming industry itself was booming. This helped us stabilize throughout 2020, but it could have easily been the other way.

The events of the past year have been devastating for most of the world, and as individuals rather than the company, we’re contributing privately to causes that can support some of those most affected by the global pandemic. Regardless of circumstances and beliefs, nobody is “immune” from the lasting effects this can have on the behaviour of society.

Some of our contractors working alongside us were affected in such a way that it made us reassess the intensity of our projects. You know, as past industry professionals from the Finance sector, a couple of us know first-hand how the office life has transformed, yet the corporate objectives of large businesses remain the same. So, anything we could do to be the opposite of that, focusing back on the reality and backbone of our company which is the people has been the most important aspect to our activities from years before.

Where do you see Race Sim Studio, 5 years from now?

Shall we make a game? Does RaceDepartment even want another game in their ever-growing list? We see a real demand for competitive (and realistic) eSports.

Currently, we’re investing in ourselves as (feels odd to say it now) gaming industry professionals, learning new skills in the industry that can take our team to further heights as time passes. An example, each of us specialize in multiple disciplines of sound design, coding, graphical design, 3D modelling. It’s that kind of weird mix of being a jack-of-all-trades that makes the ethos and work-ethic of RSS quite interesting to say the least.

While it still has some years to go, AC has been far too good for all of us in the sim racing community and we’re thankful it entered our lives. Although our artists have produced for many of these simulators already prior to RSS forming, we’re hoping our paths cross professionally again if Kunos chooses to do something after ACC and wants to work with us.

Otherwise, we’ll be a visual effects company and you can spot our work on Netflix’s Drive to Survive Season 8 with Max Verstappen battling for his third world championship.

Either way, whatever we do until then every single one of us (that’s you included) has an obligation to sim racing to uphold its standards so those that come after us can continue to do the same.

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What has been the highlight of the team all these years, a moment you guys will never forget?

It has to be three types of highlights all connected to the people since there’s a lot of reasons that make us get up out of bed and travel the long commute away from the fridge and to the computer table each day.

The first would be the number of real-world drivers and teams that use our cars. How crazy is it that drivers and brands from Formula 1 among others are using these cars in a professional or leisure capacity?

The second comes from the numerous stories we received about how our work provides people positivity. This is probably one of the biggest achievements you can get as a content developer. We’re real people behind the logo, ultra-protective of our work; we have our good and bad days too, so it means a lot for people to take the time in their day to talk to us about their experiences.

Finally, AC and sim racing gave us a platform to shine; one that we didn’t expect. These days we do the same for developing livery artists and 3D developers. Our cars have been a canvas for people to discover their passion in content creation. All the success stories from people who were just like us and used our content to grow and grow and then connect to companies in motorsport resonates closely with what the scene has done for us.

A special thank you to RaceDepartment for keeping us all connected in our ever-growing bubble of sim racing. ⦿

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Prize Draw​

While thanking Ali at the end of this interview, and Race Sim Studio for all the good fun they provided us with their content during the years, we were also lucky enough to be gifted with 3 coupons for their Formula Hybrid Ultimate Pack, an homage to the RaceDepartment community from RSS!

Yes, you got it right, all of the Formula Hybrid cars ever made by Race Sim Studio, from the 2017 to the 2022 one, can be yours!

How can you win a coupon?
Simply leave your comment, telling us which is your favourite RSS car and why! Random winners will be selected on Friday, 30th of April, at 19.00 CEST, so that you will be able to enjoy the F1 weekend at Portimao both on your couch and your simrig.

You already own the pack or the individual cars included, or you simply fancy something different from their selection? Not to worry, Race Sim Studio are currently running a sale lasting till Sunday, 2nd of May.
Do not miss it!
About author
Davide Nativo
Petrolhead and Simracer, passionate since the cradle about cars, motorsports and simracing. I read a lot, and I love to share what I've learned with others!


Another good and fun 'behind the developers scene' story.

Hyperion is something completely different and that brutal handling, sound is so much fun. That's my personal favorite for now. But surprise me/us with future content and who knows a new favorite shows up?

As also written to Fat-Alfie: Keep up the good work!
I really like the RSS 3 V6 because it has taught me how to drive a on formula car on the true edge of grip. I also like the RSS Formula Hybrid 2018, I used to only drive low powered stable cars but I love the really difficult to drive cars now thanks to RSS I have a new love for difficult to drive cars.
Hotlapping in the Formula Hybrid 2017 S1 , in the Brawn GP skin, at Kyalami. The car looks stunning and the track brings out the best in the car, really allowing the car to stretch its legs in the high speed sections. It's a shame the track is only FIA grade 2 because modern formula 1 cars would be epic there.
Currently doing my 2021 season in the Formula Hybrid 2020 cars with wonderful community skins. It was a blast to see the new liveries even before the TV - for me, RSS is the absolute of immersion. Struggling exactly like Vettel :)
EDIT: and I am doing an F3 season in RSS 3 V6, another favourite w the tyre management aspect.
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Easily the Formula RSS 3 V6. First mod that I ever downloaded and only mod that I've been able to enjoy for hours and hours. Ran an offline championship with it to try and learn how to drive open-wheelers, had so much fun that I stepped it up to the Hybrid 2017 (latest free car at that time). So much fun to be had with the RSS 3 V6, such a fun car to drive. At one point I had found a server only using it and I think that's the most amount of fun I've had in AC in a long time. Really good door-banging, minus the doors of course, to be had in such a small package.

Keep up the mod work, really enjoying your work so far. Cheers!
As this is the third interview in this new series of interview on who is behind the mods we enjoy, I would like to congratulate @Davide Nativo for a great initiative and the professionalism of the questions.

What a contrast though between the 2 first interview and this one. The 2 previous sharing their passion and talent, with interviews full of warms and personal touch.
This one very corporate and politically correct, a different approach, dare I say a different world.
Not taking away from the high standard of quality delivered by RSS, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy their products and grateful for the additional content to Assetto Corsa.

Out of personal interest, since the Formula Hybrid are my favorite among the present offering, any chance to have full grid F1 season, beyond the one or two generic model with team livery.
Call the different cars what ever you want, but a complete grid, instead of one or 2 generic model, would raise the interest to me of the F1 mod offered.

Anyone other than Ali or RSS, Please spare me the licensing issue comments post.
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My favorite has to be the F3 V6. Sooooo much fun to drive!! I bought the 2020 Indycar (the most beautiful race car in the world right now) and it's also a lot of fun (and quite a handful to drive!) I own quite a few of their cars and each one is simply great.
There was always some magic in each of Formula Hybrid mods, but the Hybrid X 2022 gave me something truly special and since then I've became your fan forever.

Never have I ever seen such quality car based on just the basic concepts of new regulations. I don't know if the next year's cars will look this amazing but your project surely belongs on posters and I fell in love with capturing it on screenshots just as much as I enjoy to drive it. The fact that alongside the great audio-visual designs there are also one of the best driving model interpretations of a modern Formula 1 car, you bring extreme, competetive enjoyment to simracing and I always wait for more.

Kunos, please bring RSS officially to AC2! With such talents, you could create amazing Formula 1 simulation outside Codemasters.
Easy choice. Like many of us here, got it for free long time ago and still very fun to drive - Formula RSS 3 V6.
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Out of personal interest, since the Formula Hybrid are my favorite among the present offering, any chance to have full grid F1 season, beyond the one or two generic model with team livery.
Would be cool though it'll probably take about 24 months to produce given one takes at minimum 3 months which would not be feasible. The "one or two" generic models are hugely complex to make; check out the interior of the FH21 if not already enjoyed yet, there's no real-world car like it
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Being a skin painter myself, I like all well made car mods. RSS have some of the best car mods available.
Recently being involved in a league running a Nascar season using the RSS Hyperion 2020 mod, as a skin painter/race steward, not a driver, I have had the pleasure of seeing some of my skin creations being raced and enjoyed by a community of sim racers that have come together to form a friendly group of participants from many different countries around the world. It has been a great experience and I hope it continues to be so.
Without RSS this community would not exist.
So a big thank you to Race Sim Studio for all the time and hard work that has gone in to creating these exceptional car mods.
Keep up the great work. And thanks again for your part in giving fun and excitement to an ever growing sim racing community.
I really enjoy hotlapping in the Formula Hybrid 2020, particularly when F1 goes to a track that I don't know well. I like to do some hotlapping to learn the track and get a sense of what I'm seeing when I watch the race weekend.
For me its the Ferrucio 36 V8.

The 360 Modena and Challenge Stradale are my favourite cars and this is the only Ferrari 360 available in a modern simulator...would love to see road versions of their GT racers....no current sims have Ferrari 360s in them (only the current Forza games)
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It's got to be Formula RSS 2 V6 as the F1 feeder is not too techy to drive and yet provides great racing without requirement to have ultra-fast reflexes :) And if I wouldn't know it was made by RSS I'd easily think it's a DLC or other official content.
It's. So. Good.

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Davide Nativo
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What is the reason for your passion for sim racing?

  • Watching real motorsport

    Votes: 266 67.9%
  • Physics and mechanics

    Votes: 178 45.4%
  • Competition and adrenaline

    Votes: 190 48.5%
  • Practice for real racing

    Votes: 82 20.9%
  • Community and simracers

    Votes: 106 27.0%