Whew! Ok here we go this is going to take a while:
0. Make it without the wretched bugs that plagued 10 and 11. Right, that done. Next.
1. Head movement tracking. I’ve seen this done using IR sensors for the PC version (Andrew Bortz recent youtube videos). I’d like to see something done similar for console versions, particularly the xbox 360. Forza 4 allows you to do it using the Kinect system. I think it’s a really good idea… if it can be executed properly. The point of it is that the HUD camera follows your head movements so that when you turn your head a bit, the camera turns with it, so you can “look through” the corner like you would in a real car. I would love this because I hate crashing because I can’t see where the exit of the corner is due to the limited field of view. It’d also be good for checking where the other cars are around you.
2. I’d also like to see certain voice commands become available. For example, in F1 2011, you just ram it into the pits whenever you feel like it, and your team is ready. How about voice commands using a headset so you can give specific commands like “Box this lap” so the team gets ready for you. Or for other things as well. Like if you’re chasing Vettel and you want to know what his average lap time is, ask your race engineer “What is Vettel’s pace?” and they give you the average lap time over 5 laps. Or “What tyre is Vettel on?” and be told, option prime etc. I’d like more meaningful information from the engineer that way.
3. I’ve seen some criticism of the young-driver test mode, and I understand where that comes from. However, I also think it’s a good idea so that people who’ve never raced a game like this can be taught how to play it properly. These games have quite a steep learning curve, even compared to other racing games (first time I played 2010, the SPEED of the thing was difficult to deal with). It’s also important that people learn how to properly set up a car for a track, because learning by complete experimentation can be extremely difficult and off putting if you don’t understand how the various parameters work. This puts these players at a disadvantage, because car set up can be work many seconds per lap. A car setup tutorial as part of the young driver program would be an excellent idea. If people get put off, people will stop buying it (cept the dedicated players). People stop buying it, Codies stop making money on it. Codies stops making money on it, Codies stops producing it. no more F1 games. That’d be a shame.
4. Proper crash damage and mechanical failures. From what I understand, a lot of why the crash damage in F1 2011 was so weak was because FOM didn’t want to let them show the sport as dangerous, or possibly show damage to sponsor logos etc. Bah.
I’m pretty sure at least PART of the reason why if I stop in the middle of the track, I ghost out when other cars SHOULD have hit me at high speed is because Codies wasn’t allowed to show catastrophic car-to-car crashes because of FOM, and because they didn’t have the time/technical ability to implement it. The crashing needs to be improved. I want to be able to experience Mark Webber’s Valencia flip, or Villeneuve’s Spa shunt, or Kubica’s Canadian Catastrophe. Sure, by all means show that the survival cell is 100% in tact (maybe have a little animation after the crash of the driver getting out and walking away, waving to the crowd), but there’s no reason why after a massive shunt that the front of the car can’t be 100 yards away from the back of it.
I also say the cars should be more frail in the first place. A previous poster noted how you could bash wheels side by side without consequence, when we know that’s rubbish (ask Romain Grosjean about Melbourne this year). By the same token, I never have had a mechanical failure in f12011 that I didn’t cause myself by downshifting too fast. I think blowing up the engine constantly without user abuse would be annoying (and unfair because it affects how many engines you can use in the season), but there are plenty of other things that can blow up; gearboxes, hydraulics, brakes, radiators etc. Give us a “simulation mode” where these parts realistically die from time to time. And make them burst into flame. It happens sometimes (Heidfeld and Kovalienen for e.g.) Also, what about the occasional stuffed up pitstop where they struggle to get the tire on or off?
5. Pre season testing and development. I’d like to see pre season testing in the form of some limited driving sessions at Catalunya just like in real F1. I’m more interested in setting the ‘tone’ of the car in pre-season as a ‘base-line’ for the season. You might have a conversation with your race engineer/development team about how you want the basic car to be, and then throughout the season upgrade packages come in like in the previous games. I think that this pre season setup could be done using a series of sliders where you select how you want the car to behave. E.g.
a. Understeer bias —————– Oversteer bias
b. Topspeed (traction) ———– Cornering
c. Low Speed Cornering ——— Highspeed cornering
d. Engine map aggressive ——– Engine map conservative
e. Wet weather strong ———– Dry weather strong
f. Aggressive package ———— Conservative package
and other things as well. The basic idea is that your car when you first get it is limited by the team and season you’re in. For example, Williams in it’s first year might have a major understeer bias, low top speed and be a Conservative package. During pre-season testing you can move the slider towards being less understeery, have a higher top speed, and a more aggressive overall package. How far you can move the sliders would be dependent on what “Tier” your team was in that year of racing. For example, A first season Williams car would be quite understeery, and you wouldn’t be able to move it towards FULL oversteer bias right away. But a 5th year Williams or a MacLaren etc, would have a greater range of movement on the various sliders, so your baseline car can be basically whatever you want. As for what the various catagories mean for the car baseline overall;
a. obviously about whether the car is inclined to oversteer or understeer.
b. gives you the choice between favoring high top speeds or cornering grip (overall).
c. Allows you to choose whether your car is naturally better at high speed or low speed corners.
d. Allows you to set whether your engine mapping is ‘aggressive’ i.e. all the power at the top end, making gear choices important, and also more likely to strain the engine and cause damage, but also quicker. Or ‘linear’ which has a nicer torque curve making it easier to drive, easier to choose gears, less engine wear/chance of engine failure which means your 1 lap pace might not be quite as quick, but makes it easier to be consistant and saves the engine.
e. allows you to choose whether your car is better at wet weather conditions or dry. Again, tradeoffs.
f. an Aggressive overall package would be one that can be quite fast, but is much more likely to fail for some reason, resulting in a DNF. A conservative package might be slightly slower, but less likely to fail due to mechanical problems meaning that over the season, you might have more overall points than those with an agressive package that DNF’d.
By extension, your in-season upgrade packages should improve the car so as to reduce the weakenesses that you’ve put on the car or capitalise on the strengths (e.g. gradually making an “aggressive frail car” less frail, or one with a weak top speed faster by the end of the season etc).
You should still be able to customise your race setup as you could in F1 2010 and 2011. It’s just that pre season setup would allow you to set the ‘baseline’ for the car. It should also be skippable if you don’t want to do it, giving you default settings for a Tier 1 Tier 2 etc car, like in F1 2010 and 2011.
6. A proper replay mode please. I want to save and re-watch replays. Especially online or Co-op replays. I hate it when there’s a collision between drivers and you don’t know who’s at fault because you can’t go back and watch the replay in slow motion. Many an argument started because of this.
I’d also like to see a race “highlights” mode that shows various overtakes that you’ve made during a career race, as well as other interesting points. For example, sometimes in the game you might successfully do a pitlane undercut without even realising it. Showing it in the highlights with appropriate verbal commentary would be excellent.
I’ve also had instances where other cars in my career races have DNF’d for some reason, without there being any explanation of WHY. A commentary as to what happened to Massa (crashed into Hamilton for e.g) in the highlights, while showing it, would be good.
7. Telemetry data post practice and race.
I want to see my lap times graphed against that of my teammate (especially in Co-op mode), and against the other driver’s in the race. I want to be able to compare inlap and outlap times for strategy purposes. That sort of thing.
I’m sure there’s other things I’d like as well, but I’ve run out of ideas… for now.
… don’t want MUCH do I? :P