Codemasters head back in time for latest edition of Formula 1 game
Innovation
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Aug 2013   |  1:48 pm GMT  |  85 comments

Codemasters have announced that the latest edition of their Formula 1 franchise – F1 2013 – will hit the shelves this autumn and feature a new twist – classic race drivers and cars. And we’ve spoken exclusively to the Creative Director behind the game franchise.

Alongside the latest cars and drivers from the 2013 season – with the likes of Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes and Sergio Perez now in a McLaren – gamers will also be able to race as their heroes such as Nigel Mansell in his 1980s and 1990s Williams cars.

Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mario Andretti, Eddie Irvine, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill also feature while gamers will also have access to iconic tracks such Imola, Brands Hatch and Jerez.

The game’s creative director Stephen Hood told the August edition of the JA on F1 Podcast : “People have been asking for classic teams and drivers. Every year we said we’re working on it. Now we have that classic content.

“The further back you go in time to find the rights owners of the various teams, the harder it gets so it’s been a struggle. It’s taken a long time, but it’s been worth it.

“You can race against Nigel Mansell – it’s great to say we’ve got people like that. We have tried to bring back drivers if they were able to compete in a Goodwood Festival of Speed type of event.

“A lot of the drivers in the game are still involved in F1 – like Damon Hill. Michael Schumacher remains in the game even though he has retired because he’s such a legend of the sport.”

What does the future hold for Formula 1 gaming? “A lot of people have asked if we’ll be on next generation machines potentially coming out next year,” said Hood. “Right now, it’s about squeezing the final bit of performance of this generation of technology.

“Next year will tie in nicely [with Formula 1 also changing its regulations] as everyone is turning a new page. We’re hoping to offer a different experience. We always want more each year. We’re still making out way up to making the best Formula 1 game ever.”

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1

I have F1 2012, well my 10yr old does, not a very impressive game. The physics engine and graphics are poor compared to the likes of Forza 4 and it offers serious gamers nothing as a game.

Surprising really as I really enjoy Dirt2 good graphics and physics.

Not excited about this release at all

2

It’s still the same bad antiquated engine. No matter how much they try they will never match Geoff Crammonds games. What a waste of the F1 license.

3

It seems a little incongruous to refer to it as “antiquated” compared to Crammond’s ancient games 😉

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVED those games. I started with his REVS F3 game on the BBC Micro and worked my way through all of the Grand Prix series. I still have fond memories of those as the driving games I most enjoyed playing. (Grand Prix Legends – which I don’t think was Crammond – was excellent too).

When I read this article it brought back all those old memories of shaving fractions of a second off my laptimes in at Silverstone (Woodcote flat out! At least in Revs), and Brands, and Oulton, and Snetterton. I’ve tried F1 2010 and F1 2012 on XBOX360 (with a wheel and pedals) but didn’t enjoy them half as much – and I just put that down to my advancing age, slower reactions, and lack of practice. But it is interesting to read your comment that the physics models in the F1 20xx games might be less sophisticated.

Can that really be true though?

Modern consoles and PCs have soooooo much more power than a BBC Micro and early PCs. Surely the physics models must be hugely more sophisticated? Codemasters have done some good PC racing games – like their BTCC series.

I was even thinking of building myself a new ‘modest’ gaming PC specifically to play F1 2013 – and maybe even growing a moustache so that I could relive those Mansell glory years that got me interested in F1 in the first place 🙂

Now you’ve rained on my parade ..

… or saved me from wasting my money and being disappointed.

4

GP games were made to be played with a wheel. Not a gamepad. Anyway, obv gp series seems outdated. They range from 11 to 20something years old. They are as old as those kids playing the codemasters console floating boat simulators today. I just hope one day someone will give GC a good budget to come back with a new GP game to bring the standards for a F1 back up where they should be!

5

Wheel /controllers prrrf…. Like the best drivers that’s the sort of issue good gamers get around

6

I won’ be buying this version, until CM sort out the physics engine and stop dumming the game down to appeal to 8 yr olds I’m not interested. Kudos to them for the inclusion of a classic element, but it reads as a bit of a halfway job, and more a last chance tactic to keep hold of players.

F1 2010 – 2.05 Million

F1 2011 – 1.88 Million

F1 2012 – 0.76 Million

The problem the game fundamentally has is that the physics engine is terrible, it looks pretty but the underlying product isn’t that great. Considering most ‘racing’ gamers will likely own other racing games, it doesn’t take long for the ‘F1’ games to be found lacking. People are clearly not returning year on year to the game as the isn’t enough evolution between years. The bugs, the awful handling, the children online….people are clearly preferring to spend their money elesewhere. CM might have more success in the future spending two years per launch rather than rushing something out every year. With new versions of Forza, Grand Tourismo, and Project Cars on the way, console owners have far bigger fish to concentrate on, let alone sims such as iRacing, Rfactor etc.

Sorry CM, close but no cigar….

1 final point, they’re ommitted arguably the most requested and popular driver people want to drive. Prost without Senna is just not worth it.

7

To the “No Senna, no sale” movement, you are a bit odd.

8

I find the format of the F1 game series is not that interesting. Perhaps FIA restrict CM from doing some stuff, I’m not sure.

The bit I hate when I play the game is that I could only goto one low end team in the championship. That means I am given only the slowest path to glory. I know it is meant to mimic the real world but that just ruins the fun.

I love CM stuff like DiRT (not DiRT2 or DiRT3), Grid, and their TOCA series.

In a game, we all want to believe we can be heroes. In the face of adversity, we want to come out triumphant!

That should be one of the features in the game. So you didn’t qualify well because KERS is broken (like Mark Webber). So you have to start from the back but you get to choose tires and a strategy that out-smart others to end up in a podium. Then the virtual champagne celebration would feel so sweet…

Something like that.

That’s something straight to the action. Why do I want this? Well, I work full time and have commitments here and there, I have little time to play a game. I can buy the full version but it has to be worthy of my time to play it.

9

You can race as Prost but not against Senna, what is the point then?

Makes no sense at all.

10

Oh, wait! This is console only? Guess not. 🙂

11

It’s also for pc: Xbox 360, PS3 ánd pc.

12

It’s promising that CM has jumped on the Retro Racing bandwagon, and I hope the physics and on-line play turns out well. That said, I’ll stick to rFactor and rF2 until this game has been out and is proven.

13

I’d wish someone would deliver an F1 game where you’d get a ‘campaign’ mode which starts from decades ago, possibly all the way from Fangio’s time, ie. 1950s, and would continue all the way to this year.

60 seasons of F1 racing rolled into a single game with game modes like campaign (year-by-year racing), single season and dynasty (manage the team, driving, finances, marketing, R&D, switch teams if you do well/badly).

14

2 words. Geoff Crammond.

15

2 words. Move on.

16

Actually, both your posts have 3 words, a number and 2 full stops. 😉

17

Seriously James, with Lotus and Sauber having public financial problems, are we potentially at risk of a shrinking field for 2014? Costs aren’t going to drop with this major change. If these teams are having a hard time with an old nearly unchanged formula, how will they cope with a whole new car in 2014?

18

Definitely risk there

19

http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns26079.html

Not looking good.

But an another hand, what a great Daddy that 17 year old kid has!

20

Off topic, James, its very unsettling that we keep hearing rumours about Kimi to Ferrari for 2014.

With all you connections with Ferrari, surely you know more. Is there anything to it or just usual silly season stuff?

21

I’ll be giving this one a miss this year. It’s nice that they’ve added some classics but to then charge extra for them does take the biscuit imo.

I’ve had and enjoyed all of the Codemasters F1 games over the past 3 years but I cannot see why they need to charge for additional tracks. The tracks used in the normal season will be carried over from the previous game(Germany from the 2011 version) meaning they’ve not had to build any more and therefore saved a considerable amount on development by using the tracks from previous games. Plus the fact it is not coming to the next gen consoles is also a mistake.

I shall wait for a next gen version until I consider purchasing again. Until then DriveClub will be satisfying my racing game needs.

22

Will the game feature randomly exploding tyres?

23

2010 and 2011 included randomly exploding tyres as part of their extensive repetoire of game-crippling bugs, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

And all of the ‘no Senna no sale’ people are [mod] going to have the last laugh because if this game is anything like the previous editions it will an unfinished bug-ridden mess.

24

I’ll be too wrapped up in GTA V for this. Codies need to get their F1 games out earlier in the season.

25

On another note James: the biggest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports Kimi has signed a deal with Ferrari for 3 years.

What you say?

26

Will at least McLaren MP4/4 be in it? I understand why they will not include Senna but it would be nice to have all cars from those eras, even the lower teams.

27

been a long time fan of GPL.

it has all the old circuits like spa, nurburgring

and rouen plus you get to race clark, hill, surtees, brabham etc.

gpl looks naf but the physics engine is pretty good considering it was written in the ’90’s.

28

I think its a big shame no Senna. Sorry but just as he cannot attend Goodwood?! Poor excuse. As some one had already said NO SENNA NO SALE

30

Haha that guy drives almost as bad as I do.

I must say picking this game up over the Christmas break (2012 version) really was the final straw that tipped me into really understanding the sport enough to follow it.

Can’t wait to play 2013

31

Villeneuve, Hill, Irvine, Berger? Imola, Jerez?

This reminds how cool Formula 1 97 was when it came out!

32

Does anyone remember Monaco GP Racing Simulation 2? Came free with Windows 98 SE (at least it did in France for me!). They had a “1950s version” where you could play as an Alfa Romeo, Ferrari or Talbot on the old Nordschleife – called Green Hell, after Sir Jackie Stewart’s description of it. Problem was, they couldn’t get the rights to the names so all the names were made up. The same was true for the modern day version, which was set in 1997. Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher were J Vouelette and M Schmidtke; that said, in both game versions, at least you could (usually) make out the original competitor from the made-up name.

33

Still the best F1 game.

34

GP4 by Geoff Crammond – best by FAR.

35

I remember those patches! GP2 1994 by Geoff Crammond. Those were the days…! I agree with an earlier statement, we need a career progression through the decades…

Can you imagine

36

But only if you could ahve a perfect set up for and afford to spend a lot of hours getting used to the ultra realistic sim. Not a game for everybody. F1 97 got the balance perfect.

37

And you could easily mod it to have cars/drivers from any season, only limiting factor was 11 team maximum. I used to run the 1991 mod.

38

Will the game successfully replicate the Pirelli issues of late?

40

Certain things are pretty much set in stone early in the process. The cars look like they did in Melbourne, things like tyre selection and DRS zones are locked in as soon as possible (and doesn’t always end up being entirely accurate if plans change IRL), etc. Most likely they’ll be based on the first tyre spec, or what they knew of it, and there won’t be a mid-season explosion-fest, an interim tyre for a weekend, and then a change of spec for the rest of the year.

Thing is, if Pirelli have struggled to get testing time until just recently, what chance to Codemasters really have at getting the tyres right? Doesn’t matter what they’ve based it on anyway, they’ll only be able to do so much. I very much doubt anyone’s gonna be playing it with their G27, able to pick out, “No, these are more like the interim spec. This is technically inaccurate!” And it’s not like they’ve really had it right before either, along with many other things.

Pretty sure I’ll be giving this one a miss like last year’s, as I imagine it’ll essentially be the same thing with a few tweaks, new skins, and a few different/more bugs. Hopefully when they move to the next generation of consoles they’ll basically start from scratch with a new engine.

41

In a stunning display of precognition, Codemasters managed this in 2010 – until it was patched sometime after launch, F1 2010’s tyre failure code was so bad that you could suffer a puncture whilst driving out of the pit lane, still under AI control!

42

Would you really want it to?

43

No excuses for not having Senna… And I don’t understand why these games always get released in the second half of the season. It means you can’t follow the championship along, and in 6 months the game is obsolete – especially true this time as the cars will change completely for next year.

James have you seen the game? Have they watered down the cigarette liveries on the cars? That would be a shame as they were some of the best liveries – Rothmans Williams, Marlboro Honda, JP Lotus… Also do the old cars sound like the real V12s and V10s?

44

I personally would like to see them do something similar to what they have in fifa where teams or players that performed well in their matches at the weekend get a boost to the team/players stats. While I realise it is hard to model the performance precisely it would be good to reflect how a team’s performance improves/gets worse over the season and especially to the very important development race. So if vettel gets pole and wins the race (i know it’s not a realistic example 😉 ) this is reflected in the performance of the red bull and especially vettels car for that week or 2 until the next race.

45

That would be very cool indeed. I hope CM takes note.

46

Re: Mid-season release

Because they have to rebuild the car performance and art assets every year. With rule changes, tyre changes, team changes, new drivers coming in, etc., there’s a lot of work to be done which can’t easily be done in advance.

F1 cars aren’t like football teams, you can’t just give ratings based on last year’s performances and then swap drivers around as required otherwise 2013 Mercedes would be as poor as 2012 Mercedes.

47

Yep, understand the game needs to be updated significantly, but driver moves are known in advance, and really putting Raikkonen’s name next to a Red bull as opposed to a Lotus is no big deal. Even if last minute driver changes are made, it’s just another helmet skin and we’re on our way. Same with rule changes – they are all known in advance – has to be so that the teams can prepare in time for them.

Liveries can be kept secret through confidentiality clauses in the Codemasters contract. Get the new liveries into the game then release it once all the teams have launched their cars just before the beginning of the season.

I take your point on the performance characteristics of each team needing to be right, but this is nothing that can’t be patched later on with an update – like GT5 does with extra cars, colour schemes for your helmet/suit, etc. An update and you’re sweet. in fact this could be a way of keeping the cars relevant – for example a fast ferrari at the beginning of the season which becomes slower as the season progresses, lol.

48

Not necessarily true. Confidentiality causes in contracts would allow Codemasters access to liveries that have not been seen yet. Also I take your point on cars needing to be performance correct, but this is nothing that can’t be fixed with game updates as the season goes on. GT5 updates itself constantly on my Playstation – new cars, tracks, bug fixes etc, without having to buy another disc.

49

There are good excuses for not including Senna. The ASF are very protective when it comes to licencing Senna’s name for commercial use.

There are restrictions on tobacco advertising the world over. They have never been a part of ANY game released for general sale.

If you’ve ever seen a tobacco livery used in a game it will have been amended by an end user, not the original game developer.

50

True but Stephen Hood explains that it’s also because they took a decision not to have racers who aren’t alive any more

51

I had a quick look when I met Stephen

To answer your questions – No and yes

52

That’s a positive.

Oh and please relay to Stephen to avoid releasing a game next August. Instead they should wait until late Feb 2015 and release a 2015 season game. No excuses about not having access to cars/liveries that early, if Gran Turismo can do it so can Code Masters. Imagine the buzz around being able to play the new season with new cars and drivers just before the new season begins, and then follow along as the season transpires!

53
Spinodontosaurus

Unless they do something about the slot car physics then the games simply do not interest me. Gran Turismo is where it’s at on consoles.

54

Hope this is better than the previous entires. F1 2012 was unplayable competitively online and filled with bugs (at launch at least). I hope they listen to fans who play these games and fix the issues instead of just trying to get the headlines and good reviews from reviewers who have no idea what to say other than ‘it looks great and plays good’.

For now I’m sticking to Forza but my wallet is waiting if codemasters want it!

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