Game director Lee Mather speaks with GamingBolt about the pristine racing sim.
There are some franchises in this industry that have more or less perfected the art of making a racing simulation game, and Codemasters’ yearly F1 series is definitely one of them. Year on year, the developer makes improvements and refinements to polish an already polished game. F1 2019 is almost here, and it’s promising to do several things, with Codemasters even calling it the most ambitious F1 game they’ve ever made.
We recently had a chat with game director Lee Mather below. Check out our full interview below.
"We have the F1 2019 season, with Formula 2, as well. So we’re building that driver journey from the Formula 2 2018 series moving into Formula 1."
You’ve called F1 2019 the most ambitious game in the series- can you speak to us a bit about how the game will back that claim?
Essentially, we have the F1 2019 season, with Formula 2, as well. So we’re building that driver journey from the Formula 2 2018 series moving into Formula 1. So in content alone it’s the biggest game we’ve ever built. In terms of the Driver’s Journey, it’s the longest and widest reaching career that we’ve included in the game. There’s a league system that lets players create and join leagues. We’ve never done that before. We’ve also got customization in the game this year. Something we’ve never done before. We built an entire car to allow us to apply skins and create personalization and customization for the players.
Can you tell us about kind of improvements you have made to the game’s progression system?
The key thing in the start is that you do start at Formula 2. What you do in Formula 2 impacts how are you move into Formula 1. The three scenarios you do in Formula 2 will have outcomes. Those outcomes will determine how you proceed by the teams when you’re moving to Formula 1. They will look at your performance, then look at the contract based on what you did in Formula 2 and establishes you when you move into Formula 1. We still have the reputation system from ’18. So whether you’re seen as a sportsman or showman will have an impact on your personality. This will determine which teams want to employ you and how your contract works. We also worked on research and development systems in the game. Which has been re-factored since last year. So teams will have their own unique R&D skills again. And with the two rival characters that join you from Formula 2, they also take seats in Formula 1 teams. They come and go as well. So they may leave one of the teams, come back. We get a little movement with the drivers, as well.
"The Feeder series is the major addition. That’s something we’ve never had before."
Does F1 2019 make any major new additions to the career mode?
The Feeder series is the major addition. That’s something we’ve never had before. We’ve never had a way to establish what happens in your career before you join Formula 1. We still have the great research and development, we still have the interview system that’s been expanded.
Beyond additions, are there any features from previous iterations’ career modes that you’ve expanded on with F1 2019?
We’ve continued to build on all of the things that we did last year. You’re able to play a more in-depth journey into the sport.
Can you tell us about the improvements you have made in the game’s multiplayer offerings?
Multiplayer’s had a lot of work this year. We’ve added a full league. So you can’t only join leagues, you can create your own leagues now. For example, you may have a free evening in the week, so you can search for a league that suits you. The league system also has full system management. You and the league can vote in the league and reschedule races. We have new weekly events. Weekly events is a scenario-based event where you beat a certain driver, on a certain track, under certain conditions. We now have the weekly events that are Grand Prix and Classic Grand Prix. Over the course of the week you do practice at the beginning of the week, you do qualifying towards the end of the week and you’ll be a match-made against all players and race against them over the weekend. Then reward you with competition points that can then be spent on customization items for the multiplayer elements.
"We’ve expanded on the classics again. This is our 10th game, our 10th anniversary, so we’ve added two cars from 2010."
Can you talk about the game’s classic races?
So we’ve expanded on the classics again. This is our 10th game, our 10th anniversary, so we’ve added two cars from 2010. We’ve also got the Deluxe Edition of the game, which is the Legends Edition. If you purchased the Legends Edition, which comes out three days earlier, you can get cars that were raced in the 1990 season, multiplayer skins for the helmet, gloves and suits, and unique challenges.