Codemasters 2009 F1 game wish list

Formula 1 World Championship Edition, Playstation 3

We learned last week that Codemasters had snatched the rights to produce the official Formula 1 game from Sony, and the first installment in the series will arrive next year.

Codemasters have a clear choice in how to approach this. They can cynically exploit the F1 brand and just stick the official drivers and team colours on a bog-standard racing engine.

Or they can create something truly original that will court both young newcomers to the sport and long-term fans; those looking for a quick race, and those hankering for an immersive, long-term challenge. Here’s what I think they should do with the new F1 game.

Cater for both crowds. Racing game fans are generally split between those who want pick-up-and-play arcade fun, and those who are happy to while away hours with a realistic simulator refining setups and chasing lap times.

Geoff Crammond’s excellent Grand Prix series proved you can create a game that caters for both crowds. Turn all the driving aids on, and you can ricochet off the Monte-Carlo walls to your heart’s content. Turn them off, and try tackling the same event with full race distance and the weather changing as you drive, and it suddenly becomes exponentially more demanding.

Proper career mode. Inevitably the game will have to be based around the current season. But why not throw in a few of the last years’ teams, drivers and tracks as well?

If the new game covered the seasons from 2001 to today then fans of Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could re-create their heroes paths from the likes of Sauber and Minardi to to Ferrari and Renault.

Why not take the idea a step further and offer expansion packs bundling different seasons together? A ‘Michael Schumacher years’ kit would go down a storm in Germany and I’d love to have a go on a ‘turbo era’ version.

Challenge mode. While we’re nicking ideas from the past, let’s merge F1 history with Gran Turismo’s ‘Challenge mode’. A sub-game could re-create famous moments from F1’s past – you could be Nigel Mansell chasing down Nelson Piquet at Silverstone in 1987, or Kimi Raikkonen racing from 17th to first at Suzuka in 2005, or Juan Manuel Fangio reeling in the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins at the Nurburgring in 1957. Complete the challenges to unlock bonus tracks or cars.

Evolving cars. We all know that a Ferrari at Monza looks totally different to one at Monte-Carlo. The graphics should reflect that, with tea tray wings on the super-fast tracks, and aerofoils bolted onto every available surface at the street races.

Checklist. No official F1 game should go to market in the 21st century without the following: race control modelling including safety car periods, car damage and reliability modelling, online play, changeable weather and convincing computer driver intelligence.

What do you want from the new Codemasters F1 game? What other racing games should it borrow ideas from? And what should it avoid?

Read more: Good news, bad news: Codemasters to make 2009 F1 video game

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312 comments on Codemasters 2009 F1 game wish list

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  1. TommyBellingham said on 16th May 2008, 12:48

    F1 97 was great as it had a fun Arcade but yet real Grand Prix mode too. F1 world grand prix (also from 1997) had challenge modes from real situations from that year. One being trying to get Damon Hill to the finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix without losing too many places.

    I only have a wii and a PC, I doubt it will come to wii and also rfactor is the only racing game you need now really

    • Paul said on 19th April 2009, 4:09

      i would agree with the rfactor comment but when i download new cars/tracks only about 1/4 of the tracks will work and like 1/20 of the cars do, they need to be in a zipped file when i download them for it ot work on my computer…. how can i get it to work if the download isnt a zipped file??

    • Nick Gee said on 17th July 2009, 20:31

      It is coming out on wii on 30 september 2009. Pre-order it on amazon for £24.95.

  2. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr said on 16th May 2008, 13:08

    id like to see a driver & team rating system which actually affected the outcome of races.

    eg for drivers you could have 10 different categories with mark out of 10. for instance you could have for drivers..speed,qualifying, starts, wet weather, overtaking etc

    and also something similar for the teams such as reliability, straight line speed.

    basically id liike it to be as realistic as possible, so eg at monaco mclaren are stronger than ferrari, massa being stong at turkey.

    what i dont want is what happens with the last game. masssa always seems to outpace shcumacher, alonso never wins and honda are always up there even though they wernt that strong in 06.

    so this game wont be out until next year then???

  3. There’s some nice ideas here Keith – especially challenge mode. This reminds me of the challenge mode in the old ISS (an alteration of Pro Evo) football games, where you’d be 2-0 down and have to win 3-2 in the last 20 minutes, for example.

    Codemasters really need to add as much detail as possible into this new game, and make it both fun and realistic at the same time, and as you said Keith, make it appeal to both casual and more hardcore gamers.

    I think they should focus primarily on you as the driver, and allow you to change teams and get fined for causing accidents.

    Why don’t they let you control the celebration scenes, where you could spray champagne over the drivers/cameraman at your will? Players will probably like this kind of fun freedom.

  4. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr said on 16th May 2008, 13:13

    oh an also better AI. on the last game when the computer cars tried to oivertake yo they just stayed slightly offline and didnt really move or anything. needs to be better.

    the thing is with the next gen consoles ps3 and xbox so many things are possible. iv just bought the new grand theft auto on ps3 and some of the things they have done on there are incredible. i just hope codemasters have the same ambition.

  5. Keith, I stand by you for your idea of “Evolving Cars”. That’s what I dearly miss in the F1 games I play and it’s quite disappointing when you see a Monaco spec wing in Monza–which is exaclty what I see while I play F1 ’07. The “Safety Car” idea is valid too. I would like to have the following: ‘varying degree of damages’–for example, a slow punture and associated vibrations from the tyre when the car hits a shard of carbon fibre; sidepod and radiator damage during a first lap incident and the consequent gradual loss of cooling efficiency; wind direction and speed affecting the handling; cars getting coated with brake dust as the race progresses on; visible blisters and chunkings; occassional pit-stop fumbles by the pit-crew; the driver’s hands visibly fiddling with the steering wheel controls when the gamer changes the brake balance etc. from the controller; engine dyno; a replay that has the option of showing a ‘translucent car’ to show how the gamer used the brake and gas pedals and heel and toe-ing… I’ve much more to add but I’m running out of time!

    • deano said on 30th June 2009, 13:32

      i think the game should have a like manager mode where you can be a team principle like martin whitmarsh for example and be able to recruit drivers and run a team and develope the cars. it should also be more relistic

      • Mike said on 11th March 2010, 2:40

        ATM, there aren’t are whole lot of opportunities there, but if you are interested in that sorta thing, check out GPM2world,

  6. Nathan said on 16th May 2008, 13:49

    simple really!
    good/realistic physics, a challenging AI (that takes risk overtaking moves and aggressively blocks you!) and online play!
    challenge/career mode etc is good but all i want is similar to the old “grand prix” series!
    those games, to me, are still the best f1 games for the above reasons!
    they are simple, challenging and realistic! u could even re-release those with todays graphic ability and cars/tracks etc and there you go, perfect!

  7. Chas said on 16th May 2008, 14:57

    unfortunately i’ve never had the opportunity to play any of these games yet. does anyone know what todays F1 drivers think of the games and how realistic do they find them?

  8. Sush said on 16th May 2008, 15:50

    sudden groudhogs at montreal and dogs at istanbul map pack.

  9. Chalky said on 16th May 2008, 15:53

    Decent multiplayer options \ with quality netcode.
    So you can set plenty of rules options on the race server.

    and release a free mod editor to allow the race sim community to edit and add their own content.

  10. TommyB said on 16th May 2008, 15:55

    Haha Sush!

    Chas your not missing much, every game has been poor since F1 97. I dont no about the official games but i read in F1 racing that Karthikeyan and Chandok play GP4 together :D

  11. Dan M said on 16th May 2008, 16:30

    I would like to see a career mode that allowed you to develop different aspects of the car… Give a set budget and allow it to be spent on areo, engine reliability/ power, driver development, etc….

  12. TommyB said on 16th May 2008, 16:56

    Isnt Lewis having his own racing game with EA sports? Does this meen we could see the driver name as ‘McLaren Number One’ similar to ‘Williams Number One’ that was used on the games when Villenueve had his own game

  13. Nathan said on 16th May 2008, 17:00

    yer add ur own content etc with NO MISMATCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Include a “coaching” segment to actually tell people how to do it right (who wouldn’t want the in car voice of Jackie Stewart telling you what to do as you enter Loews telling you to trail brake and to go as deep as you can before spinning the wheel left to full lock). You have to follow him in the 6 wheeler as he shows you the circuits maybe too.

    Always have full video available of every session (games that don’t do this drive me nuts).

    Have a pit crew challenge mini game, same for “team boss” mini game (who doesn’t want to wear the red sweater in Thailand?!)

    Aero Editor where you can talk to the designer at the beginning of the season and “help develop the car” You can be Ralf, or Michael (ie hurting or helping the car) for the whole season.

    I love the idea of the turbo years, also I’d love to roll in the 1993 fully active stuff too. (oh and the opportunity to generate the rainbow explosion of Jos Verstappen would be, horrifying/awesome.

    Most of all, coaching though. I know I’m slow (that’s why I’m not a professional driver). Help me to get faster. I know it’s a game, I want to get better. That’s how you can help everyone.

  15. Basically the F1 games need to be more involved with the people who are playing them. I also agree totally with the idea of coaching – on the last F1 game I managed to stick it in the wall for 2 weeks until I got the hang of it.
    Any car alterations would have to be an option, though, as you could risk alienating people who just want a normal game if you overload it with high-tech stuff.

  16. Dan M said on 16th May 2008, 18:25

    Nathan play Rfactor….

  17. M Smith said on 16th May 2008, 19:04

    “Why don’t they let you control the celebration scenes, where you could spray champagne over the drivers/cameraman at your will? Players will probably like this kind of fun freedom.”

    That is a fantastic idea. And actually making the celebration sequences look good, and not just limiting them to the podium either would be great. It’s all about making it feel more realistic…

    I can’t think of any ideas, all of the ideas that Keith put forward are solid gold. Please pay attention, Codemasters, don’t screw this up.

  18. John Beamer said on 16th May 2008, 19:08

    One thing to avoid is model the current F1 aero regs. You won’t be able to pass and it will be a snoozefest

  19. mute said on 17th May 2008, 0:34

    For a proper career mode they could include the junior racing categories that f1 drivers go through – karts, formula ford, formula BMW, formula renault , formula 3, gp2 etc.

    And then having to go through a best-of-three shootout in an f1 car to hopefully land a drive. Your win ratio in the junior categories can determine which team will make an offer to sign you up.

    I think this will be brilliant being as you’ll have to work all on the way up to being a fully fledged Grand Prix dirver.

    Another addition which i think will be neat is including classic f1 cars from the past as well as circuits that f1 has raced on but doesn’t anymore – Brands Hatch, Nordschleife etc.

    Also i reckon they should poach the team that worked on the brilliant physics engine for the otherwise completely rubbish Gran Turismo series.

  20. db said on 17th May 2008, 3:43

    amen to all of the above. a lengthy preseason development session with options for development over a number of user-determined areas (front/rear wing/sidepods/nosecone/monocoque/engine cover/rear diffusers/etc >:)) would provide limitless replay value. i suppose a lot of these items could be classified as being past the “point of diminishing returns” since it appears we all would buy this game anyway. but we won’t harp on that.

    since hd to regular tv is like color to black/white i just can’t complain as even 720p is a blast. advancing f1 vidgames to 1080i will be quite an achievement. can’t wait.

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