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

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

    Nathan play Rfactor….

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sush said on 17th May 2008, 9:42

    if its on the Wii they will no doubt make a spanking minigame as is the tradition with the Wii and minigames.

  7. Oliver said on 17th May 2008, 10:20

    I think too much imagination is already killing it.

  8. qazuhb said on 17th May 2008, 15:43

    IF (and only if) the physics modelling was well achieved from the start, and the IA drivers’ ability and aggressiveness levels correctly implemented too, THEN a “Max Mosley substitute” mode could be added, in which you could, let’s say, forbid wings, enable wider or slick tyres, etc. at the start of a hypothetical session, with cars and drivers reacting accordingly…
    Only a dream, of course.

  9. Sav722 said on 17th May 2008, 21:42

    Well, don’t make it too realistic, or the racing will be dull like F1!

    Codemasters are very good and experienced at making driving games. I trust them to do a good job.

  10. TommyBellingham said on 17th May 2008, 22:34

    “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.”

    Make Kimi down the Champagne!

  11. Nathan said on 18th May 2008, 3:35

    agree with oliver!
    all they have to do is make it same as GP series with current cars/drivers etc
    BTW they r apprently modelling the engine around that of the game GRID.
    i played the demo for it and it’s completely shithouse!
    graphics n damage seems ok (didnt play for long) but physics are a joke!

  12. SoLiD said on 18th May 2008, 20:13

    most things are out there, like in rfactor or ea’s old f1 games, wich are great with all those mods! like the turbo mods

  13. Keith could you send theese ideas codemasters? Otherwise they’ll probably go nowhere.

  14. John said on 6th June 2008, 13:11

    I think the most important thing for codemasters is to sort out the handling of the cars. Games like GRID give the player no feel of whats going on. Games like forza 2 are so much better at this, as you get a feel for when the car is on the limit.

    On the subject of handling they have got to understand that whilst the cars are similar they have completly different characteristics. You should be able to tell what car you are driving by the handling alone. For instance Ferrari has better high speed grip and traction than the Mclarens, at least this year!

  15. I think a career mode that starts you off fighting to get a Formula 3 seat and then if you do well you move on to a GP2 ride, then you finally get to F1 and yet again have to fight your way to spot with a top team would be great fun!

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