Ben ‘Rwaggy’ McConnell had the greatest pleasure of visiting the Codemasters HQ to meet the team behind the creation of the new F1 2019 game and even got to experience the stunning new instalment in the F1 gaming franchise.
Whilst on the visit, Ben managed to get an amazing opportunity to interview the Game Director of the Formula 1 Game Series, Lee Mather.
Ben: First of all I want to thank you for this opportunity to come down and try the game, I experienced some major changes immediately between F1 2018 and F1 2019 in terms of graphical changes. What sort of conversations were being had within the organisation to capture the audience?
Lee: We always wanted to expand on building the F1 season but also building the world around F1, building the driver journey. That was always important to us, drivers don’t just turn up in Formula 1, they’ve got the history, they’ve got the racing they’ve done before and they’ve got the rivalries that they’ve built throughout their careers and that’s why we wanted to expand the content with the Formula 2 and use that to create that journey that the drivers gone on from Formula 2 into Formula 1 and what’s why we also included the two extra characters in there that you race against so you’ve got that personal attachment so when you get to Formula 1 so you feel as though you have to beat that person as they followed you through to Formula 1 and it’s a connection that we didn’t have before I don’t think.
Ben: Brilliant, that’s very much Single Player focussed, lots of campaign changes, F1 & F2 and of course the Legends Edition, from a multiplayer aspect, how many changes have been made towards the multiplayer to captivate the league racing audiences?
Lee: The biggest change we’ve done towards the multiplayer, especially towards the league races, we have actually put into the game the ability to create leagues and run leagues from within the game so you don’t need to run them from outside of the title, so, for example, I might want to engage in some league racing but I don’t know where to go or I feel intimidated by the big successful leagues, so I can log into the game and search for a league that runs at the same times I’m available, in a region that I live in so I’m racing with people who speak the same language who are available at the same times on the sorts of tracks and difficulty level that I want and either apply to join it if it’s a closed league or join an open league but that’s down to the admins to decide and they can set the leagues up however they like and anybody can create a league so I might choose to create one that suits my schedule and now players can create leagues, run leagues, join league, enjoy great clean racing amongst people of likeminded interests without ever needing to come out of the game to do so.
Ben: Just thinking about the leagues and from a stewards perspective, does the admin have the ability to penalise someone if they made a rookie mistake or something along those lines?
Lee: Yes, there are additional things you can do after the race so you can apply those penalties. A vote can also be put to the drivers to vote someone out of the league if required. Also if I’m running on a Monday evening and I can’t make it I can put a vote to the league to amend the date and time, we’ve tried to provide as much versatility to the league as possible into the game to allow players to set leagues up that suits how their life is run.
Ben: As a commentator myself I spectate a lot in league races, have there been many changes made to the spectating in multiplayer?
Lee: For the most part it’s very much as it was in F1 2018, we’ve tried to refine some of the camera positionings and tweak the controls a little bit but essentially it’s in the presentation of it with the Formula 1 graphics that we’ve taken on board this year so we’ve taken a larger number of the display that’s used in the sport so you’ll see the penalty warnings, the font that’s used is more so when you’re spectating it looks more authentic.
Ben: Now I know if I don’t ask this question the community will mob me, has the RPM glitch been fixed for spectators?
Lee: Which one is the RPM glitch? Is it the one where you’re spectating and it’s constantly over revving?
Ben: That’s the one!
Lee: As far as I’m aware, I can’t definitively say it has but it’s highly likely that it has.
Ben: I can assure you we are very grateful for that. So we’re a month away from release, are Codemasters looking to have any major tournaments?
Lee: We are only focussing on the official F1 esports series, that’s what’s important to us and that’s what’s important to Formula 1, it’s obviously bigger and better this year, more rounds for qualifying and we’re pulling from a much larger pool of drivers with a huge prize pool and running over a longer period of time. It’s all growth and expansion for the esports.
Ben: Well Lee thank you so much for your time and this opportunity, take care.
Lee: No worries, thank you!