Next F1 game is announced

vikiradTG2007

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I guess any gamer might be interested in this. After long long long contractual stupidities, Sony has lost the deal to create official F1 games, and Codemasters have received the license, with the first F1 game that they'll be producing expected to be out next year, based on next year's season.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/67228

New computer game deal for F1

By Jonathan Noble Friday, May 9th 2008, 06:55 GMT


Formula One is to have its first official computer game in more than two years next season following the capture of a new official licencing deal with British gaming company Codemasters, autosport.com can reveal.

With Sony having published the most recent official F1 game last summer, based on the 2006 season and available only on PlayStation consoles, Codemasters' deal will see F1 return to a multiformat platform for the first time in many years.

The game is set to be available on all major home consoles, as well as handheld and PC gaming formats.

After weeks of discussion between Codemasters and Formula One Administration, it is anticipated that the company will produce the first game next year, based on the 2009 F1 season. This will be the first game that Lewis Hamilton will appear in.

Rod Cousens, chief executive officers of Codemasters, said: "Formula One is ambitious in expanding its reach with more circuits planned beyond recent additions in the Middle East and China. It is also ambitious in expanding its reach via technology.

"The digital communities that computer and video gaming creates will play a key role in further growing the F1 audience and connecting them globally.

"As a world-leading creator of driving games, this alliance with F1 is the jewel in Codemasters' racing crown and creates an undisputed segment champion."

Chris Deering, chairman of Codemasters, added: "Codemasters' success and recent innovations in the racing game space makes the company more than appropriately tuned for the challenge.

"The combination of F1's new momentum of expansion and Codemasters' contemporary technology and past experience is the breaking of a new dawn for the sport, on the track and on the HD game screen."

Codemasters Studios has already begun preparations for the major task of creating the new game, by strengthening their team with personnel from the now defunct Sega Racing Studio.

There are 350 people working on the project, which will be based on the EGO Engine that Codemasters has put to good use on the Colin McRae: DIRT and soon-to-be-released Race Driver: GRID titles.
 

MadCow809

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Hm.. interesting, I just hope it won't be much of an arcade game, but more towards the sim racing route.
 

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Good riddance. I downloaded the demo for Sony's F1 game on my PS3 and it was utter crap!
 

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well i suspect that handling will not be anything like f1 because, personally i dont think codemasters are capable of making a car game with realistic handling. it'll be more acarde like.

however, their crash models will be amazing.
 

Viper007Bond

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well i suspect that handling will not be anything like f1 because, personally i dont think codemasters are capable of making a car game with realistic handling. it'll be more acarde like.

however, their crash models will be amazing.
Sims rarely sell well anyway. Something in the middle will probably be best.
 

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I am sure they will make a better F1 game than Sony ever managed to. If they make a better AI.... hell if they make an AI, the game will be better. I could never play F1 games because all the computer controlled drivers drove like Japanese drivers. Secondly, changing the setting of your land rocket did nothing. :|
 

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I've never really liked F1 driving games. They were either too arcade'ish or too difficult to play properly. What i loved was a 1998 GP Team Manager Game and i still have it now. IMO the whole world of F1 is not only driving, but the increadable technology, team effort, development etc. So i think Codemasters shud make a combined driving/team manager game.
 
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Red_Bull

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Good riddance. I downloaded the demo for Sony's F1 game on my PS3 and it was utter crap!

Serves you right for even considering a Sony F1 game! As a sim racer and veteran of the old F1 sims one used to get on the PC (Grand Prix 2, 3, 4) the Sony efforts were laughable at best, and embarrassing and insulting at worst. It was clear that once they had successfully bidded for the exclusive rights in 2003 that they couldn't have given a rats arse about developing a decent game. It was just a game designed to sell to the arcade inclined masses, ie, the typical console Gran Turismo fan.

Unfortunately Viper007bond, you do make a fair point, in that simulation games are just a niche in the racing games market, and the PC gaming industry is increasingly being marginalised by the developing console industry. Simbin will never sell as many copies of their simulation GTR2 as Microsoft will their arcadish Forza Motorsport. It doesn't appeal to people such as ViperVX, who demonstrated in his post that proper simulation (F1 games) were "too difficult to play properly". Clearly he doesnt have the time or inclination to learn the complex driving techniques required to play the game successfully, and this is very common and gives rise to why arcade games such as Gran Turismo are so popular.

By the same token though, he also says that he didn't want anything too arcadish as well, so hopefully Codemasters can provide something that can appeal to arcade gamers in order to sell the game, but also make it challenging and realistic enough to appeal to people like myself, who love the idea of softening the front anti roll bar half a turn in order to neutralise that last smidge of mid corner understeer and chase that elusive two tenths of a second, separating me from my position and first. Yes, I know that with that last sentence I'm now struck off anyone's dinner guest list for the foreseeable future, but thats fine, gives me more time to concentrate on wing settings, and bump rubbers and AAARGH!!!

ViperVX, I think you're referring to Grand Prix World. I also have a copy of that and yeah, it was good fun. That sort of game appeals to even fewer people than the simulation market. There's probably a grand total of five people who ever bought GPW, although that doesnt seem to explain the apparent success of those football manager games one tends to see fairly frequently.
 
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maateuszz89

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^ I've been playing football manager games since 8-9 years. :)

Usually F1 games are pathetic, it's impossible to make a good simulation that's still playable. I just don't want to spend whole days learning how to drive, but I don't like arcade games too. ....so that's not for me.
 

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Red_Bull

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Usually F1 games are pathetic, it's impossible to make a good simulation that's still playable.

I dont think so. Codemasters proved it could be done with Toca2 (we're going back almost 10 years with that one!)

I agree with what your're you saying, but with Forza, you know you can do the whole tweak the anti roll bars and tyre pressure thing right? sure, its not as realistic as some pc simulators, but I wouldn't call it an an arcade game.

Perhaps you're right. There's so much more to a good sim than just setup options though. Its the way the car interacts with the track and environment, the feel of the car through the corners, you want to know exactly where the limit is without overdoing it. It's difficult to explain coz I've never had the experience of driving a Formula One car, or any kind of racing car, but you want it to be as close to the real thing (as one would imagine) as possible.
 

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I guess it does require a slight learning curve, but heck I love the challenge :D

I started playing rFactor in December and I could not drive for my life, slowly I learned brake points, proper lines, and eventually I got into an F1 Mod and just tore it up. The cars in the mod seemed to suit my brute style of hacking away at times, and eventually I got the hang of things and could drive consistently..There will never be a popular main stream F1 game too many people to please so if your hardcore get a race sim and find a proper f1 mod, or if your just causal get an arcade like game.
 

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The future of F1 videogames - exclusive with Codemasters? Rod Cousens

Earlier this month Codemasters secured the exclusive rights to produce Formula One videogames in an agreement that will see the company develop a new generation of the multi-million selling franchise across multiple platforms. We caught up with Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens to discover a little of what the future holds for the millions of would-be Formula One drivers eager to take on the likes of Raikkonen and Hamilton?

Q: Congratulations on securing the Formula One rights. Why do you think Codemasters were successful?
Rod Cousens: Codemasters has a history in racing, particularly in the fields of rallying, with Colin McRae, and TOCA (touring cars), with Race Driver. As the company has grown up we?ve tried to broaden those franchises to have a more global appeal and started to reposition them - as DiRT?, where the last release got an unheard of 40 percent of sales from the US, and GRID?, which goes out at the end of this month. So with our roots in motorsport, we believe we are the home of racing and we felt that Formula One would make a marvellous fit. The best case we could make to Formula One was in the quality of our games - we may not be the biggest, but I do think we are the best.

Q: The first game will be released next year. Talk us briefly through the development process that will be taking place over the coming months?
RC: It depends partly on format - portables are a lot easier as they don?t have such a rich graphical experience - but on dedicated consoles and PCs the way we write stems from what we call an ?engine?, which for us is Codemasters? EGO Engine. This is what drives DiRT? and GRID?, so its pedigree on next-generation systems such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is already proven. The Formula One games will have the benefit of this. It typically takes us two years to develop such a game, but a lot of the assets have already been created - we have a number of the tracks because they already exist in GRID?, and we have the basics of the car dynamics and handling.

Then there?s the issue of which format when - clearly we?ll be targeting formats where there?s been no Formula One experience for a number of years, and the Nintendo Wii, the fastest-selling hardware console in the world today, where the plan is to use the controller like a steering wheel. We?ll go through a parallel development process on that, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The artwork involved will be intense and a lot of that will be done overseas to make sure we?re up to speed.

Q: What lessons have you learnt from developing previous driving games and how will they help you with the Formula One project?
RC: The real context of racing is to make it an absolute adrenalin rush for the consumer when they are playing, a real fix. The way we look at it now is akin to a TV broadcast. For example, if you look at the way rallying was traditionally broadcast on television and compare it to the way extreme sports are now televised in the US, with the use of the amazing camera angles, the overhead shots, the commentators - similarly, we want to make Formula One gaming incredibly exciting. We want that top-down, wheel-to-wheel racing experience that nothing else can give - we?ve got to get that to the consumer and we believe we can do it

Q: Presumably you will be working closely not just with Formula One Management, but also with the Formula One teams, the circuits etc?
RC: What we want to do is forge a very close relationship with the teams and to be what the Americans would describe as ?joined at the hip?. If this game is to be authentic we will want to get very close to the teams in all sorts of areas, recognise the integrity of what they have and hopefully replicate that in the game - we won?t let them down.

Q: What new features can we expect to see on the game?
RC: What we?re trying to achieve here is to take Formula One gaming around the world and in terms of the technological aspect, that?s largely related to online developments. Another thing is car damage, or as we call it, deformation. This is a real racing experience and we all know what people want (and expect) - if there is a collision and that car spins off the track, through the gravel, into the tyres, they want to see that actually happening. It?s a big consumer buzz and so we?ll put things in like that and give it a different perspective.

Q: Some F1 games of the past have been rather hard for the beginner to get to grips with - perhaps understandable, given how hard it is to drive a Formula One car. How will you cater for both ends of the spectrum - the novice player at one end and the hardened petrol-head at the other?
RC: Yes, simulation versus arcade. Codemasters? history in TOCA Race Driver has been very heavily weighted towards simulation, appealing to the real hardcore fan - be they V8 supporters in Australia, DTM fans in Germany etc, we have always recognised international traits. But if you want to take the game to an even wider audience, particularly the United States (for us the largest gaming market in the world), then you have to appeal to a mass audience and so we blend the simulation with an awful lot of arcade elements too.

The issue people have today is time. This is time-based entertainment and the one thing we all know is that time is constrained. People want to be able to pick up a game, do whatever you do very quickly, post their times up on a leader board and then go off and misbehave elsewhere. We want to be able to offer both things within the game - simulation for the hardcore gamers, but also an arcade experience that you can truly pick up and play. I believe we?ve balanced that in GRID? and I believe we?re going to balance it in Formula One.

Q: So the online element will be an increasingly important part of the game, helping in effect to reinforce the global Formula One community?
RC: Today, if it?s interactive entertainment then it goes online. It may take five years around the world because of broadband penetration, but ultimately online is it and hopefully we can be an integral part of Formula One as they branch out and open up new markets. In theory the game could almost become quasi-TV. For example, you could speak to drivers during practice and ask them, ?how are the tyres, how is the suspension?? They may not give much away, as they have to race, but it?s all part of the compelling experience that you could replicate in the game - and with every extra piece of information the player can adjust his or her racing experience accordingly. Virtual F1!

Q: An increasing number of gamers are playing on High Definition displays - what challenges and opportunities does that give you as game developers?
RC: We are in the HD era and visualisation - particularly with identifiable aspects such as drivers, teams etc - is one of the challenges facing in broadcast media today, in that it also creates a lot of flaws. It?s down to minute particles. We can even differentiate different types of paint that are used on the car, so it?s that defined and obviously visual flaws are very evident if you don?t get it right. Those are the challenges - it?s very art intensive and what we want to do is make sure it?s faithfully replicated and it appears almost as a glass-like vision before you. That?s what we?re trying to do.

Source

Worrying.
 

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It's gonna be shit. Dirt had terrible handling, GRID has unrealistic handling and terrible controls. I refuse to purchase anything from Codemasters and will not get this one..

F1 2002 was a fantastic game, especially with the old GTR mod (if anyone remembers that).
 

vikiradTG2007

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So far I didn't play any games from Codemasters; I prefered to stick to the good ol' F12K2-F1C-rF-GTR game engine. And it's doing the job absolutely fine; the only criticism I have of EA's F1 game is weird force feedback effects. The weird effects turn up mostly in the PTC mod and they're rather annoying.

More mods for rFactor, thank you very much. And I believe that the modders are gonna do a much better job of it. They should all get together and make their own game:D.
 

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the only criticism I have of EA's F1 game is weird force feedback effects.

I could write a book...but I'll stick to the most concerning aspect of the only EA attempt I tried, F1C 99-02; Disasterous AI. Imola for example, where if the car ahead wanted to pit, the car behind would just cream straight into the back. Monaco was a joke. Graphics were a bit...sterile, and it lacked the single most important ingredient in any game; immersion. Thats why, after six years, I still go back to GP4.

Quicky said:
It's gonna be shit. Dirt had terrible handling, GRID has unrealistic handling and terrible controls. I refuse to purchase anything from Codemasters and will not get this one..

F1 2002 was a fantastic game, especially with the old GTR mod (if anyone remembers that).

The bloke mentions TOCA Race driver series as appealing to sim racers. If that's Codemaster's idea of a simulation experience, then the game is already stalling. I've yet to try GRID, but from browsing the GRID thread, it's hardly exciting.
 

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I do hope they use a new game engine and new physics simulation because if the cars end up behaving like the ones in GRiD and DiRT, then....:sad:

Not that I am a big F1 fan but I really think the new codemasters engine is way too filled with filters and strange car behaviours. Not a bad one neither a good one.
 

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So far I didn't play any games from Codemasters; I prefered to stick to the good ol' F12K2-F1C-rF-GTR game engine. And it's doing the job absolutely fine; the only criticism I have of EA's F1 game is weird force feedback effects. The weird effects turn up mostly in the PTC mod and they're rather annoying.

More mods for rFactor, thank you very much. And I believe that the modders are gonna do a much better job of it. They should all get together and make their own game:D.

WE have F1 MMG2007 right now probably one of the best mods out there just amazing.They have a few kinks to solve, but I love that mod sooo much. Now if they add KERS to the next mod ohhhh it's gonna be sweet :cool:
 

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Real racing in the virtual world

Felipe Massa drives ahead of McLaren Mercedes" British driver Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco racetrack on May 25, 2008

Sat on the start grid, foot poised over the accelerator, you wait for the row of red lights to extinguish.

Alongside you are top names like Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. The cars' engines are screaming and everyone is poised to go. For any Formula One fan the chance to race against their heroes would be a dream come true.

Sadly, the closest most of us have ever got is watching the Grand Prix on television. But that could soon change if a company from the Netherlands has its way.

"It's clear that the next trend in gaming is going to be bringing real objects into the virtual world; playing not against other gamers but people doing the real thing," said Andy Lurling, founder of iOpener Media.

The patented system his company is developing sucks in real-time GPS data from racing events and pumps it out to compatible games consoles and PCs.

The idea is that you could pit yourself against the top drivers in the world, as it happens, from the comfort of your living room.

"You can compete against the best of the best," he told BBC News.

'Hardcore appeal'

And if all of this sounds far fetched, think again.

The European Space Agency (Esa) was so impressed with his proposal, it gave Mr Lurling's company a grant to develop a proof of concept. A German venture capitalist has stumped up cash to develop it further.

Project Gotham Racing

Driving the boundaries of realism

He has already tested it with an F1 car and plans to have the first games on the market as early as September this year.

"At this point we have lots of interest and we are looking for the right partner to launch," he said.

The firm is currently in talks with six developers about using the technology.

Gareth Wilson, design manager at Bizarre Creations, makers of the Project Gotham Racing series, says he thinks games with the real-time feature would "excite a hardcore minority of gamers".

"Formula 1 and similar complex simulation games are getting less mass market nowadays, compared to their more arcade-style heyday in the late 90s," he told BBC News.

"This sort of feature would probably appeal to the hardcore gamer or F1 fan more than a mass market gamer.

"Having said that, the hardcore would totally love it."

Bizarre Creations is not currently one of the firms evaluating the system.

Precision position

At the core of iOpener's technology is an enhanced GPS system known as differential GPS (DGPS).

This uses a network of fixed base stations to correct the GPS signal, which on its own may only be accurate to within 10m. DGPS is commonly used for air navigation or shipping where precision is key.

Real Time Games infographic
1. Car position located with Global Navigation Satellite Systems
2. Location data and car telemetry is beamed to a track side server
3. Data is tagged with unique ID of the car and sent over the internet
4. Information stored on servers and "mediacast" to gamers.
Whole process from car to gamer takes less than five seconds

"With that we know the location and the velocity of the car," explained Mr Lurling.

As further precision is needed, iOpener can use information from the European EGNOS network, which augments GPS satellite signals to provide positional data accurate to within 2m.

Other tweaks include fitting cars with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), commonly used in guided missile systems, which measure acceleration, angle and yaw of the object.

"IMUs give accuracy on a short range," Mr Lurling told BBC News.

"Combined with DGPS, we know the location of the car to within less than 30 centimetres."

In addition, the system collects telemetry data from the car, which is fitted with a small computer, transmitter and the GPS receiver.

"That is already good enough data for a game," he said.

Telemetry is commonly collected by track-side engineers to monitor the vehicles' performance and can include information such as acceleration and what gear the car is in.

It has already used by games developers to build more realistic simulations.

Designers at Bizarre Creations used the telemetry to generate accurate track models for early F1 games, before detailed circuit maps existed, for example.

From the track side, the data is sent over the net to a server farm, where it is saved before being pumped out - or "mediacast" - to eager gamers.

The delay between collecting the data and the gamer being immersed in it is up to five seconds, similar to the lag on a TV broadcast.

"We also store the data, so not only can you play the game in real time, but you can replay races at a later date," said Mr Lurling.

Intelligent gaming

The company does not intend to develop its own games; rather it will provide the backbone for games developers to build on to.

But it will provide some software; specifically an artificial intelligence (AI) program to make sure that the virtual and real worlds blend seamlessly.
Giancarlo Fisichella (top) of Italy and Force India and Kazuki Nakajima (bottom) of Japan and Williams collide
Artificial intelligence handles collisions between real and virtual drivers

"If Hamilton is driving behind you he can't see you [in the game], so he would drive right through you," explained Mr Lurling.

"So the AI takes over at that point and you see a very realistic overtaking."

The system also handles the results of in-game collisions between real and virtual drivers.

In this case, the real car always drives away. The gamer's fate is less certain.

"We go for optimal realism but the game experience has to be right," he said.

Mr Wilson agrees with this approach.

"There is a huge difference between what happens in the real world and what happens in video games - even the most 'realistic' simulator has to bend real world physics to make the game more fun," he said.

However, even with the AI, he thinks gamers may encounter a more fundamental frustration with the system.

"I know I wouldn't even get close to the lap times that Lewis Hamilton could run, unless my car in the virtual world had a load of extra grip and power - which might defeat the point," he said.

At the moment, iOpener is concentrating firmly on racing games, but believes that there is a huge market for the system in other sports.

"You can think of biking, rowing, skiing and snowboarding," said Mr Lurling.

"In the next three to five years, we believe that games will not be 'triple A' games unless they have our feature in," he said.

Mr Lurling was the 2006 Dutch regional winner of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (Galileo Masters) which aims to find novel uses for location data. The 2008 competition is now open to entries, until 31 July.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7440658.stm

Interesting stuff...will watch with interest, although I think this has been proposed before.
 
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