The last F1 game on PC was F1 Challenge 99-02 by EA Sports in 2003. It has been 6 long years. Sony had exclusive license to develop F1 games between 2003-2007 for which it paid $15 million. Thus while the PlayStation saw release of Formula 1 games, all other gaming devices were left wanting for a Formula 1 games all these years. At the end of 2007 Formula 1 demanded more money to renew its license, Sony said no. Enter Codemasters who picked up this license to add to their wide collection of racing games. After their recent successes with DIRT and GRID, and their long running and successful Colin McRae Rally series, Codemasters may just be the right people for the job.
- The new F1 game will be using the EGOTech engine which was originally used in DIRT, enhanced for GRID and now will be enhanced for the new F1 game. So expect some brilliant visuals with great damage model.
- Weather will be an important part of the game. Its not something Codemasters have paid serious attention to in the previous games, but it will be interesting to see what they can come up with.
- The track surface module will provide unprecedented realism in the game. Expect to see over every inch of the track, e.g. rubber from the tires, occasional stones, marbles, water (all the way from standing water through to a drying track) and all the associated properties of grip and heat, so for example running off the drying line in the wet will give you less grip and cool your tires.
- Surface system is able to support any type of material over any distance. Expect to see effects such as car tires spread the oil over the track as they drive around. Sections of the track that are being driven on drying out.
- The game will be heavy on the sim elements for those who want it, along with all the structure and appeal that a more casual ‘arcade’ fan would expect. Codemasters realises that both camps are important to the success of game and both will get equal respect from them. Codeamsters realizes that the majority of sales are not in the sim area so the game will have plenty of options, modes, scaling and design cleverness for everyone else as well. More sales = more budget = better game for everyone.
- The game code is NOT being optimized for Multi-GPU’s. Codemasters believes that the overheads of syncing the two cards [GPUs] and code tech together is very high and not worth it. But they seem confident in the fact that the game will be very well optimized, so it may not need multi-GPU setups to run properly.
- Includes support for the Xbox controller. With this, the PC version plays exactly like the 360 version.
- Optimized for Multi-Core CPU’s.
- PC version will be scalable on the graphics, while Codemasters are not sure if they will be able to run the game on consoles at 1080p 60fps, Performance and Memory reasons being the culprits.
- Now some good news for PC gamers battered with recent lazy console ports. All platforms have specialist groups working on them within the dev team pushing the hardware to its limits.
- Starforce copy protection system will not be used but the game will be running an on-line authentication system that most probably runs sections of non-time critical game code on our server. Not sure if this is better than the current copy protection nuisances like Securom, Rockstar Social Club App, time will tell.
- There are plans to have full length races right down to very short races for those that want it. Tyre wear and pit stops etc will be scaled accordingly so that they all still make sense.
- The game will not be moddable. The data structures used are very complex to make the most of current hardware and Codemasters would have to release a whole range of editors, exporters and converters plus the modder would have to buy a range of expensive art tools to work with them. They expect to release a F1 game every year so the gamers get all the latest data needed at the highest possible quality.
- Tracks from GRID are not being recycled. They are all being built from scratch with the new, updated EGOtech in mind (which is much better than you’ve seen in DiRT and GRID) and will be fully researched, photographed, scanned, videoed etc. to ensure accuracy.
The release date on the game is not confirmed yet but it is expected in late 2009 or 2010, but we will certainly be watching this game as it develops.
All information courtesy of Codemasters Forum, who is an executive producer on the game.on
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