10 years. Where has the time gone? Lee Mather, game director on F1 2019, talks with STACK about a couple of new features in this year’s game.
Codemasters has been developing the annual iteration of its popular Formula One video game for a decade, this year. Keeping any annual franchise fresh is no mean feat. However, the F1 series has continued to build on the success of its predecessor, learning from ill-judged forays into barriers and keeping abreast of the proliferation of changes within the sport itself.
F1 2019 is no exception, with a host of new features being added to the game, including bringing F2 in to the mix.
“Adding the F2 content is like creating a second game, to a degree,” says Mather. “Not only are we including the entire 2018 season, which includes the teams and scanned drivers, but we’ve also included the official rule sets, including the unique Monaco qualifying.
“We’re also going to add the F2 2019 season content, as well as adding F2 to the multiplayer element in a free post-launch update. The inclusion of the F2 has allowed us to create a very cool F2 feeder intro to the career, with two new characters and cinematics, which build the player journey in to F1.
“The increased dev cycle presented us with a great opportunity to expand the multiplayer element of the game with a fully integrated leagues system, where all of the intricacies of running and scheduling league racing can be done entirely within the game.”
Mather explains that another priority for this year’s entry is personalisation – not just for the car, but for the driver too.
“The most obvious addition is the ability to apply skins to the new F1 multiplayer car.”
“The most obvious addition is the ability to apply skins to the new F1 2019 multiplayer car,” says Mather. “Having designed the car in collaboration with Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds [F1 luminaries], we have a blank canvas on which we can give the player something new and exciting.
“By participating in multiplayer events, the player will earn Competition Points. It’s these points which the player will be able to spend on varying levels of car skin, which vary in terms of detail and complexity. The player will also be able to spend Competition Points on helmet designs, gloves and race suits as well as profile badges. Some items will also have player customisable colour schemes.”
With the series celebrating its tenth year, what does Mather consider to be the most significant advances made to the game in that time period?
“At the core of the title there are the obvious areas such as the visuals and the physics engine, and both have changed enormously since 2010,” he says. “Another major advancement, for me, has been in how we represent the sport of F1 – not just in the on-track and rules side of things, but in the cool things we allow the player to do away from the track, recreating the entire F1 driver experience.”
Importantly, will Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault work better in-game than in real life?
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a Renault fan, so it pains me to see how they’re doing at the moment. The reliability of the car in-game will come from how the player manages their upgrades, but the performance will definitely reflect that of the real team. That’s where the real fun comes – I’d happily start my Career in the Renault, and work on upgrading the team to put them back on top.”
F1 2019 launches for PS4 and Xbox One on June 25.