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Tree-mendous progress! A look at F1 2017's R&D System

jennyannemjennyannem Member, Codemasters Community Manager

Last week, we showcased our Career Trailer and revealed F1 2017’s Research and Development. Missed it? Check it out below:


To find out more, we spoke to Experienced Games Designer, Steven Embling, about the games industry, F1 2017 and how in-depth Research and Development really is.

How long have you worked at Codemasters, and how did you get into the gaming industry?

I’ve been at Codemasters for a little over 5 years now. I had a background in competitive gaming, where I competed in racing games in various tournaments. I have been fortunate enough to win some fantastic prizes along the way, and for a while even had a fully professional salaried position for a Championship Gaming Series team back in the 2007/8 period. I also studied a Master’s degree in Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University so joining a racing studio in a design role seemed like the obvious destination. There were some short term temporary positions between university and entering my current role, including a short stint in our very own QA department.

As an Experienced Games Designer on F1 2017, what elements of the game are you responsible for?

As with all the F1 titles my role is roughly 50% vehicle handling and 50% game design. A primary focus for me this year is the massive expansion to the R&D system. I feel like this feature is almost tailor-made for my specific skill-set as it involves lots of car handling work to ensure the performance traits give the intended effect as the cars upgrade, but also plenty of balancing considerations including all the factors that translate to player progression rates.


So, tell us more about R&D. It was a big part of F1 2016, so what’s changing?

It’s a huge expansion on what we did for 2016 in pretty much every way. The first consideration was “how do we increase the lifespan of the feature but maintain the player’s interest and interaction?” Crucially, the key is LOTS more upgrades (approximately four times the amount of 2016), a non-linear progression structure, which encourages players to think carefully about their short and long term goals, and much more detailed information about your own team’s performance status and how that relates to the rest of the field.


And what will this mean for the player?

There’ll be a massive wow factor when the player is introduced to the R&D tree for the first time. They’ll also notice there are four distinct departments: Powertrain, Chassis, Aerodynamics and Durability – each with their own sets of upgrades. Depending on the team, the priority is likely to be different, but for those who don’t want to think about it too much there is a ‘recommend upgrade’ button to get a suggestion based on the team’s existing attributes.


There is an interesting strategic element also, as many of these departments have competencies that can be enhanced through use of the same pool of currency (Resource Points). A player can chose to enhance the Efficiency of a department’s facilities and all future upgrades from that department will cost less Resource Points to develop. Players can also choose to improve the Quality Control to lower the chance of upgrade failures, which when these occur would cost the player more Resource Points and time as the upgrade needs sending back for some final tweaks before it can be fitted to the car. The trade off being that upgrading these department competencies will set the team up well going forward, but may lose some ground in the development race during that season.


And finally, what are you most excited for the community to see in F1 2017?

Due to the scale of the new R&D system I’m very much looking forward to hearing people’s reactions, not just straight off, but when players are several seasons into their careers as well. I also think the classic content provides some additional variety, which is always exciting. We have some truly amazing and heavily requested cars in our line up!


We can’t wait to get stuck in to F1 2017’s Career Mode, and fortunately there isn’t too much longer to wait until you can get your hands on it as well!

Comments

  • sjsharp2010sjsharp2010 Member Champion
    Indeed this is what ultimately sold me on the game so I'm very much looking forward to it.

    In war victory, In peace vigilance, In death sacrifice -grey warden motto

  • BelgiumDudeBelgiumDude Member Petrol Head
    Thank you for providing screenshots of all four departments. Putting on my lab coat and some fake glasses and having a make believe R&D meeting with my team to plan the direction of my McLaren team for season 1. Would it be ungrateful of me to ask all the teams starting positions in the R&D departement as they differ per team?
  • Dboyking1Dboyking1 Member, Drivers Co-Driver

    'Tree-Mendous' - Codemasters 2017


    ..............................


    "I've always believed you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there's only a slightest chance." - Micheal Schumacher

    #KeepFightingMicheal

  • pijinpijin Member Petrol Head
    Just one question: when all teams’ cars are fully upgraded, will the pecking order revert to the original one or will the teams be more or less equal? I guess the fundamental question behind that’s is will teams like McLaren have more scope for engine improvement, than say, Force India, but at the same time have less scope for chassis development since they have a more competent chassis to begin with. 
  • sjsharp2010sjsharp2010 Member Champion
    edited August 11
    pijin said:
    Just one question: when all teams’ cars are fully upgraded, will the pecking order revert to the original one or will the teams be more or less equal? I guess the fundamental question behind that’s is will teams like McLaren have more scope for engine improvement, than say, Force India, but at the same time have less scope for chassis development since they have a more competent chassis to begin with. 

    The fact that there is so many upgrades this year might mean it probably won't all be levelling at the same speed. Also chances are you'll likely be offered chances to move to different teams as the career progresses as well who will be at different stages before you can get them all because there is just so many. But if that did happen then yes it probably would refer to the starting pecking order.


    I think the fact that there is more to it this year that will shake things up a bit. Also the fact that some of the upgrades you and others get can end up FAILING will also shake the order up as well. Because there is a reliability probability added this year which means things can break. That might depend on what difficulty your playing on too though but there are elements like that this year in the game. We didn't have that last year which was why things got static last year I think after the 3rd/4th season that and the not very many upgrades is why career mode falls a bit flat after that as it had a career mode system that only lasted for half the career length looking at this I don't think this one will. Especially given there are 4 times as many to get and purchase that and the failure possibility will probably will mean that career mode will likely be different every time you play it much like the earlier games 2010-12 were

    In war victory, In peace vigilance, In death sacrifice -grey warden motto

  • coolieboycoolieboy Member, Drivers Petrol Head
    pijin said:
    Just one question: when all teams’ cars are fully upgraded, will the pecking order revert to the original one or will the teams be more or less equal? I guess the fundamental question behind that’s is will teams like McLaren have more scope for engine improvement, than say, Force India, but at the same time have less scope for chassis development since they have a more competent chassis to begin with. 
    I'll take a stab in the dark and say that it reverts back to the original order.  It just takes much longer now. 
  • LightningFast90LightningFast90 Member Wheel Nut
    This looks fantastic, proof will be in the pudding whether it actually works or not. But looks very promising for a more depth career experience.
    Gratia infinitum sub metum, victroriam ad celeritas et potentia per aspera.

    Likes:
    Tall Blondes 
    Crisp Whites 
    Fossils
    Fast Cars

    Dislikes:
    Undergrads
    Soft Cheese
    Flies, Spiders and Snakes
    Double Negatives

  • sjsharp2010sjsharp2010 Member Champion
    This looks fantastic, proof will be in the pudding whether it actually works or not. But looks very promising for a more depth career experience.
    Indeed I can't wait to get started.

    In war victory, In peace vigilance, In death sacrifice -grey warden motto

  • Dboyking1Dboyking1 Member, Drivers Co-Driver
    Whoevers willing to get a Sauber to the top of the table. R.I.P their social life xD

    "I've always believed you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there's only a slightest chance." - Micheal Schumacher

    #KeepFightingMicheal

  • sjsharp2010sjsharp2010 Member Champion
    Dboyking1 said:
    Whoevers willing to get a Sauber to the top of the table. R.I.P their social life xD
    I may try it in one of my careers but not in the first one I don't think.

    In war victory, In peace vigilance, In death sacrifice -grey warden motto

  • scottishwildcatscottishwildcat Member, Drivers Champion
    This looks fantastic, proof will be in the pudding
    In the eating. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Gah.
    Braked: the past tense of brake.
    Broke, brokenanything within reach when I hear racing gamers say 'broke' instead of 'braked'.
  • LightningFast90LightningFast90 Member Wheel Nut
    edited August 13
    This looks fantastic, proof will be in the pudding
    In the eating. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Gah.
    Not in the part of the world I come from, in fact around here we sometimes shorten this one even more, so I could have said 'proof is in the pud' and still have been correct. Thanks anyway for incorrectly, correcting me. Always appreciate internet forum posts endeavouring to correct idiomatic phrases with absolutely no knowledge of how those phrases change throughout the world.


    Post edited by LightningFast90 on
    Gratia infinitum sub metum, victroriam ad celeritas et potentia per aspera.

    Likes:
    Tall Blondes 
    Crisp Whites 
    Fossils
    Fast Cars

    Dislikes:
    Undergrads
    Soft Cheese
    Flies, Spiders and Snakes
    Double Negatives

  • scottishwildcatscottishwildcat Member, Drivers Champion
    edited August 16
    Then your part of the world is weird :) "The proof is in the pudding" makes no literal or figurative sense: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/proof-of-the-pudding.html
    Braked: the past tense of brake.
    Broke, brokenanything within reach when I hear racing gamers say 'broke' instead of 'braked'.
  • kraM1tkraM1t Member Co-Driver
    It's proof is in the pudding here too, England. Also the same in America
  • LightningFast90LightningFast90 Member Wheel Nut
    edited August 17
    Then your part of the world is weird :) "The proof is in the pudding" makes no literal or figurative sense: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/proof-of-the-pudding.html
    Australia mate :) and a lot of our idioms make no sense. 
    Post edited by LightningFast90 on
    Gratia infinitum sub metum, victroriam ad celeritas et potentia per aspera.

    Likes:
    Tall Blondes 
    Crisp Whites 
    Fossils
    Fast Cars

    Dislikes:
    Undergrads
    Soft Cheese
    Flies, Spiders and Snakes
    Double Negatives

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