F1 2011 by Codemasters will hit stores at the end of this month and earlier this morning we got to join in on a conference call with Chief Game Designer Stephen Hood for a few last minute questions courtesy of Forty Seven communications. Here is a quick break-down of what we talked about:
The first thing we asked about was the addition of the Safety Car. we wanted to know what were the hurdles, if any that the team had to jump over to get the car in the game. According to Stephen there were a few roads that needed to be crossed as far as licensing with Formula One and with Mercedes Benz. In fact the team was already certain on including the Saftey Car weeks before it was announced, but they had to wait for the green light from both Formula 1 and Mercedes before they could make the announcement at Gamescom last month. Besides that they also wanted to be positive that they could implement the Safety Car in such a way that it would genuinely add to the game play experience instead of adding it in just to say that it was in.
Online Multiplayer Events
With games such as Madden and Modern Warfare there are sometimes online tournaments and other events such as double XP weekends. We asked if there were plans to do anything similar with F1 2011. The short answer is “maybe”. Stephen definitely has interest in organizing things like that for the players and the Codemasters team is already putting their heads together on possible online mutliplayer events but it is likely that we probably won’t see anything like this until F1 2012. Provided that Formula One gives the ok, there might even be events where players can race against the “ghost” of the real drivers based on their result from an event. For example trying to beat the total race time of Sebastien Vettel after his victory at a given track.
Forza Motorsport 4 and F1 2012
Time was running short at this point so we asked a double whammy of two quick questions. First, we asked Stephen what his thoughts were on Forza Motorsport 4 (coming out next month) and if he saw that game as competition for F1 2011. After some good natured ribbing Stephen admitted that he does not see Forza as direct competition for F1 2011 because each game is offering its own unique experience. As Stephen explains it, F1 2011 is for F1 fans and anyone who wants to try their hand at racing an F1 car while Forza is more about the car ownership and modification experience and lifestyle. We would have to concur on that.
Finally we asked if development has already begun on F1 2012. At this point there has not been any hard coding or design work done but F1 2012 is already in the conceptual phase and the team is already talking about what they want to add to the next installment but it is way to early to get any confirmed details.
And there we have it! Our last minute prod to the Chief Game Designer on what we can expect for F1 2011 and future games. If you haven’t done so already we would suggest you hit up Best Buy, Gamestop, or Amazon to pre-order your copy of F1 2012 before the first batch gets sold out! If you still need more convincing then stay tuned for our review!
The guys at Codemasters Birmingham have just released the first official gameplay trailer for F1 2011! Despite the video showing “work in progress” shots you can still immediately see the increase in detail of the environments, cars, and people over F1 2010 just like we mentioned in our first report on the new F1 game. We can’t wait to get our hands on this game again. We are hearing that there may be a possible U.S. promotional tour for the F1 2011 next month and we are already bugging the Codemasters team for an invite. You will be sure that if we get in we will bring you as much new info as possible on F1 2011 but in the meantime scroll down and enjoy the new trailer and new screen shots!
In our new segment “Talkin’ Cars” we got to know the car guy inside Forza Motorsport 4 producer John Wendl. What does the guy behind one of the best racing games in the world like to drive? What was his first car? What does he drive when he is playing Forza? All of that gets answered here! Check it out.
Every year when we go to E3 we search the show floor for cool games and gadgets that gear heads would love. Last year we fell in love with the Forza Motorsport 3 edition Playseat, this year we paid a visit to Playseatagain and were happy to see that they are going to follow up with a new Forza Motorsport 4 edition seat, complete with a few changes. To help go over all the changes on the new seat we had Trevor from Playseat America walk us through it. Just scroll down for pics and Trevor’s walkthrough of the Forza Motorsport 4 edition Playseat.
To celebrate the E3 2011 reveal of Forza Motorsport 4 the guys at Turn 10 Studios took over the event deck at LA Live for a massive party. There were top notch cars every where you turn including the first Gumpert Apollo which took a short outing from the CEC West LA show room to come to the party. One of the highlights was the debut of the Top Gear test track in Forza 4. The Turn 10 Crew brought over a hydraulic motion rig, set up a lap time board, and party goers were challenged to post up their best lap time in a Kia Cee’d. Every 30 minutes the fastest lap holder would win a special Stig prize pack that included a messenger bag full of Top Gear DVDs, Stig Alpinestars racing gloves, a “I am The Stig” shirt, and a Meguiars car care kit. Once everyone posted up their lap times the crowd was treated by an impromptu appearance by The Stig himself! After The Stig had a riveting interview with MC Tommy Kendall party goers were treated to a live set by Mix Master Mike and Travis Barker!
While the party was going on I managed to pull John Wendl (content director for Turn 10 Studios) to talk about all the new feature we can expect in Forza Motorsport 4 when it comes out this fall. Just scroll down for a few party pics (more in our Facebook Gallery) and the interview.
Last night the guys at Turn 10 Studios threw a massive party to celebrate Forza Motorsport 4but before that the MC of the party Tommy Kendall stopped by the Xbox booth at E3 2011 to try his hand at the game himself. They say that those who are good at racing games would probably do well racing in real life, but judging by the video below I don’t think that works in reverse! In a display of bravado that could only come from a real race car driver Tommy turned off all the driving assists, however for a bit of insurance he kept his competitors on easy mode. Yet, that still couldn’t save him from finishing in last place!
After E3 came to a close that day Tommy headed over to the Forza 4 party where he played host. During the festivities party goers were joined via television by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson who introduced a very special guest, The Stig!. Master Of Ceremonies Tommy Kendall attempted to get an interview with Top Gears tame racing driver but it did not go so well.
Check out TK’s go at Forza 4 and his attempted interview with The Stig in the videos below!
To help bring attention to a playable demo of their game Driver: San Francisco, Ubisoft brought a honest to goodness Dodge challenger to E3 and parked it smack dab in the middle of their booth! Not only has this Challenger been beautifully restored it has also received a few modern updates like a full gaming center in the truck! We like!
As promised in the other post here is actual video of the new Fanatec elite Forza Motorsport 4 Wheel in action on the E3 2011 show floor. As you can see the elite version will accept attachments like an e-brake and H-pattern shifter. It also appears to come with the same metal pedal set as the standard version. Also notice the awesome carbon fiber steering hub! From what I was told the elite is still a prototype so it may look slightly different once it is released. I think it looks pretty damn cool already! I will try to get more info on this wheel from Fanatec ASAP! In the meantime enjoy the video below!
E3 2011 is underway in Los Angeles and I have made it my personal mission to get as much info on all the games and accessories relevant to gear heads as possible. So, of course I paid a visit once again to the Codemasters crew to get the scoop on F1 2011. Unfortunately, due to FIA stipulations I could not get any video of the game in action but I do have a lovely collection of screenshots that you can view below (just click to enlarge). I also have tons of info on F1 2011 and what you can expect. Let me just say, any notion that F1 2011 is just going to be F1 2010 but with the new cars and liveries should be nixed right now. The Codemasters Burmingham team made a whole host of upgrades and changes to improve the F1 experience and add even more authenticity to the new title. What changes did they make? I am glad that I pretended that you asked that..
New Looks The first thing you are going to notice is that there is a lot more visual details put into F1 2011 vs F1 2010. The racing environments are much more detailed with nuances like more realistic foliage around the tracks, current and accurate representation of each teams garage, faces of the mechanics and crew look more realistic, and they have even added the “Parc Ferme” celebrations after qualifying sessions and races. F1 2011 continues to use Codemasters’ patented EGO engine so expect more top notch and dynamic weather effects in addition to all of the other environmental detail.
Improved handling The Codemasters crew has taken all the feedback from F1 2010 players and made improvements to the car dynamics and handling to make driving the cars more true to life. If you see Vettel go over the curbs at turn 3 in Valencia then you will be able to go over the curbs there as well in the game without having to worry about your car unexpectedly spinning out. To further aid in making the handling more realistic Codemasters obtained data from Pirelli to make the tire dynamics as close to the real thing as possible. All the tires that the drivers are currently using will be available in F1 2011.
Current rules and innovations All the cars in the game will be as representative of the real cars as possible. Most of all KERS, and the new DRS (Drag Resistance System) will be included. However just like in real life players will only be able to use those features per FIA rules. No fantasy KERS boost for the entire race or using the DRS on the first lap!
Multi-player much improved The first major multi-player improvement for F1 2011 is the ability to do 2-player split screen mode. With most people owning decent sized HDTVs these days, going split screen is much more feasible now than it may have been before. Now you do not need to hop online for a quick race against your buddy. My favorite new Multi-player feature is Co-Op career mode. This is the icing on the cake of realism for F1 2011. In F1 2010′s career mode you went through the entire season as a driver competing against your teammate for the attention of your engineers. However in F1 2010 that teammate was the computer’s AI. In the new Co-Op mode your teammate can be a friend online and you go through the season together! In fact you can play it out exactly the way the FIA does. Join up with your buddy on Friday for practice, come back the next day for Saturday qualifying, and race on Sunday! You can share data and set up info as well, although you will probably be less likely to share your data once you get to the tail end of the season and realize that only one of you can be champion.
F1 2011 on the go A while back I gave you wind of the announcement that F1 2011 will be coming to the new PlaystationVita (formerly Sony NGP) handheld as well as the Nintendo 3DS. I spoke with the Codemasters team on that today and they informed me that the handheld versions are being worked on by another team and will be much more accessible versions of what you would expect on consoles or the PC. As suspected the 3DS version WILL be in 3D! While there is not an official release ETA for the PlaystationVita I was told that players can expect the 3DS version to be available in November 2011 which is a month after the console and PC version is released.
F1 2011™ is the sequel to the BAFTA winning FORMULA ONE™ videogame from Codemasters®, the developer and publisher of award-winning racing games. Developed under Codemasters’ exclusive worldwide agreement with Formula One World Championship Limited, F1 2011 will come complete with all the official drivers, teams and circuits featuring in the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE World Championship™.
With a new focus on multiplayer gaming, including co-op Championships and split-screen mode, F1 2011 will invite players to ‘Be The Driver, Live the Life, Go Compete’ with a range of innovations, improvements and enhancements on and off the track. Set to be the most enthralling season yet, the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP features two new circuits in India and Germany, new drivers, rules, tyres as Sebastian Vettel seeks to defend his title.
Developed using Codemasters’ EGO Game Technology Platform F1 2011 will deliver an unrivalled FORMULA ONE experience that puts players into the heart of the world’s most exciting sport, powered by cutting edge graphics, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.
Go Compete! F1 2011 builds extensively on the multiplayer options from F1 2010. Split-screen racing is included for the first time in a high-definition FORMULA ONE title. Competitive online racing is extended with 16 players going head-to-head in GRAND PRIX™ with up to 8 AI drivers added to simulate the full grid of 24 drivers. An innovative new co-op Championship enables two players to lead their favourite FORMULA ONE team to Driver and Constructor glory across the course of a FORMULA ONE season. These enhancements are complimented by additional quick fire modes including Time Attack.
New Circuits for 2011. Two stunning new additions to the race calendar extend the number of circuits to feature in F1 2011 to 19. Players will be able to debut ahead of the drivers on the Buddh International Circuit, the home of the first FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF INDIA and players will be able to test themselves on the iconic Nürburging circuit for the first time in High Definition, as this legendary track returns for the 2011 season.
Be the driver, live the life. From the paddock to the track,F1 2011 takes players closer to the experience of being a FORMULA ONE driver than ever before. A new Parc Ferme area, an expanded and revamped Paddock, new Pit Lane, celebration and reaction cinematics and an enhanced media interaction system fully immerse players in the glamour, pressure and excitement of being a FORMULA ONE driver. Players progress from rookie to FIA FORMULA ONE DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPION in an extensive career mode where gamers fight to become priority driver and shape the development of the car by performing well in races and earning performance upgrades.
All the cars, all the stars. Fully licensed, F1 2011 features all the drivers set to contest the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. All 2011 teams are represented including Ferrari, Red Rull Racing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Lotus Renault GP in their iconic black and gold livery.
KERS, DRS and more! F1 2011 includes all the new rule changes set to make this year’s season the most exciting yet. F1 2011 debuts DRS (Drag Reduction System) – the new system which enables drivers to adjust the rear wing on the car to give a boost of up to 10km. KERS also returns, giving players an extra 80BHP for up to 6.67 seconds, enabling drivers to blast past rivals. Combined, these systems encourage close wheel-to-wheel racing with new options for both defence and attack. This season’s new Pirelli tyres are faithfully simulated in the game, and if players push their car too hard they may experience a range of authentic new damage failures.
Full Day / Night Racing. The 2011 FORMULA 1 ETHIAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX comes alive with a full day/ night transition which recreates the special atmosphere at this unique track. Every one of the existing circuits from the 2010 roster has been given a complete visual overhaul. New atmospheric effects, including dynamic clouds, compliment a weather system which features an advanced rain model that affects on-track grip. Powered by the EGO Game Technology Platforms, F1 2011 pushes forward the graphical standard of what can be achieved in a racing game.
The world’s greatest cars, the most exciting racing.Building on the heritage of producing award-winning racing games for over a decade, Codemasters is uniquely placed to realise the spectacle and exhilaration of racing 200MPH+ FORMULA ONE cars for all fans. F1 2011 can be tuned for players from a wide range of skill levels, from the casual gamer to the hardcore simulation enthusiast and those in between, with a range of differing skill levels. A huge range of vehicle variables can be tuned to suit each player’s unique driving style, or drivers can entrust their Race Engineer to set their car up and head straight onto the track. F1 2011 will support a comprehensive range of racing wheels for the ultimate racing experience.
Unprecedented authenticity. Codemasters has used its unprecedented access to the world of FORMULA ONE to connect the development team directly with FORMULA ONE teams and tyre manufacturers. Extensive consultancy has taken place with a range of FORMULA ONE professionals, including race engineers, mechanics and drivers. This has been combined with real world data including CAD and on-board telemetry to deliver a race experience complete with authentic handling, accurate circuits and precisely modelled racing cars.
EGO powered FORMULA ONE. F1 2011is being developed on the EGO Game Technology platform, evolved from the award winning EGO engine. Enabling Codemasters development talent to share tools and technology across Studios and Central Technology teams, the EGO Game Technology Platform empowers Codemasters game designers torealise their creative visions across multiple platforms featuring cutting edge graphics, powerful AI, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.
So I have a small update on the Fanatec Forza Motorsport 4 wheel. First off there will be two models available. A “standard” and “elite”. The standard looks to come with what any other wheel would however the wheel is much beefier than the offical Xbox wheel and features metal construction. It also appears to come with a metal pedal set. The elite has a more stout electric motor which I would venture to guess has more accuracy than the standard. It also comes in a different housing and features a carbon fiber center piece. What really sets the elite version apart is that it can take attachments such as a handbrake or H-pattern shifter. I will try to get more info from the Fanatec guys tomorrow. I will also have some video of the wheel in action. In the meantime check out the pictures I shot of the wheel at the Forza Motorsport 4 exhibit.