Gaming Hype: A Conversation With F1 2011 Chief Game Designer Stephen Hood

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:

Safety Car

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!

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