F1 2012 Is “Heavily focused on the single-player”
F1 2012 is set to make improvements over the already impressive previous games. Codemasters is moving away from a multiplayer focus for F1 2012, but is that smart?
Codemasters has done the sensible thing and re-branded itself ‘Codemasters Racing’, but we’ve always nicknamed them Codies to make the distinction.
It’s a move that does away with largely wasteful ventures such as last year’s Bodycount and refocuses the publisher’s efforts on what it does best – racing.
Codemasters has always understood motor sport better than any other genre and with DiRT: Showdown launching alongside its new RaceNet service, we’re witnessing the birth of a new golden era for race fans.
Codies is hoping with its skills and long history with racing games, RaceNet will provide the ultimate home for its games and players. With F1 2012 still a few months away, by the time it does arrive, everything should be up and running smoothly.
F1 2012 creative director, and all round petrol-head, Steve Hood talks us through 2012’s improvements…
X360: What changes have you made since last year’s game?
Steve Hood: It’s only since the past year or so that we’ve really been looking further into the future to what we might like to do in the next few years. This game is heavily focused on the single-player, so most of the features that are going in this time are geared around playing it on your own. You can play the long career of races if you want to or different sessions, which is great and we’ve always had that, but this time it’s about realising that people want to sit down for 20 or 30 minutes, play a bit of Formula 1 and then go and tend to something else that’s going on in their life.
X360: Why are you using the sport itself to fuel the game design?
Hood: People have often said to us ‘How can you come up with ideas for F1? It’s just F1…’ But if you spent as much time watching the races and practice sessions and listening to the commentary and putting yourself in that sport (which is why I only work on the F1 games); I’m thinking about it all the time. When you do that, you might watch a couple of hours of practice sessions and qualifying and you hear about things that sound like they could make for really cool gameplay. That’s where beating your team-mate comes from, because they’re always talking about who’s your number one rival.
X360: What dangers are there in producing games on a cyclical cycle?
Hood: I think 2012 will actually be quite a big leap over 11 than 11 was over 10. We changed a number of things in 2011, but perhaps they weren’t quite as apparent and there wasn’t quite the same level of polish we’d hoped for. I think there’re some really hardcore fans on the forums that might not agree on where we’re taking the game, and can be very vocal and critical, as people often are on the internet, but they really need to appreciate that we really are our own biggest critics.
While we might not publicly come out and say ‘We could have done this or that better’, we’re not in a position to do that, but we do kick ourselves and we’re determined to do better on every game. I think we’ve made good F1 games to date, but there’s so much more to do.
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