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Branching Out - Adding Greater Depth to R&D in F1® 2018

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Hi all! You can find a copy of this on the blog here as well.


Are you ready for more developer diaries? You are? We’ve got just the thing for you – today, we’re releasing the second part of our developer diaries for F1® 2018, the official videogame of the 2018 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. This diary details how even greater depth has been added to the career mode by expanding the Research and Development options available to you in game, though before we jump in and go further in-depth, check out the second of the four part series below, or on our YouTube channel here

https://youtu.be/_t6yZK_ED8s

 “We already had an extensive R&D system in last year’s game but wanted to expand this for F1 2018 based both on feedback from our community and where we want to take the Career experience too,” commented Lee Mather, Game Director, F1 2018. “We have made significant changes to the in-game pricing structure, added ERS upgrades, given each of the Formula 1 Teams their own unique R&D tree, and added a fog of war around the development.

“Probably the most significant addition is the introduction of rule changes, meaning that each season you don't know where the other teams are going to be performance wise. It makes every year unique and drives you to want to do season after season.” Lee continued. “The player will be notified by their engineer that a rule change could be taking place at the end of the year and they can choose to use R&D points to preserve upgraded items to protect areas that have already been developed. Doing so could see the player starting the following season in a stronger position. However, the other teams will also have to contend with the rules changes, meaning you take to the grid in Melbourne not knowing which teams are the fastest.”  




 We wanted to go more in-depth with F1 2018’s research and development, and asked Senior Games Designer Steven Embling to give us all the details:

 Research and Development was a huge part of F1 2017’s career mode – how has it changed for this year?

F1 2017 marked a huge expansion for Research and Development. We more than tripled the amount of upgrades available from the previous game and this allowed us to maintain lifespan much deeper into the career. Despite this, there was still so much more we could do to enhance the experience and I’m thrilled we are able to bring some considerable updates for F1 2018. First of all, every F1 team has its own unique upgrade tree with different quantities of upgrades specific to that particular team.
Another big addition we’ve brought in is regulation changes. When these happen in game, it can threaten the legality of a set of upgrades into future seasons, offering players the chance to adapt them to the future specifications, so that they can be kept going forward. This makes for some interesting prioritisation – do you adapt affected upgrades to protect for the future, or do you continue to push for additional upgrades right to the end of the season, in the knowledge next season’s car may not be as competitive straight away?

That’s not the only big addition though - something else new for F1 2018 is department morale. The way you interact with the press has a direct influence on the departments who develop your R&D upgrades. If you’re less than kind about a particular weakness with your car, you may end up finding the cost and failure rate of upgrades in these departments begin to increase. On the flip side, a silver tongued approach may really give your team’s departments the motivation they need to deliver upgrades more efficiently. However you decide to play it, your responses have real power and have a genuine influence on the team’s R&D capabilities.


What was the process of designing the new Research and Development system in F1 2018?

Because it’s so central to the structure of Career Mode, R&D is an area where there’s no shortage of fantastic ideas floating around, both internally, and externally. We closely monitor requests raised by the community and have actively sought such feedback on a number of occasions, particularly during our community testing sessions for previous games, to ensure our features are in line with what people want. Once we have identified the key objectives, a detailed design proposal is carefully considered and written up, ready for development to begin.

How will the team-specific Research and Development trees work?

It’s difficult to imagine teams having the same development paths throughout a number of seasons in real life, so we made it a priority to create that same level of diversity in the game. With every team featuring different upgrade paths, the quantity and impact of upgrades varies extensively. While one team may have a major drag upgrade being the initial entry point to the Aerodynamics department, another may begin with a choice between a minor front, or rear downforce improvement.


What happens when there’s a rule change?

Every so often one or more departments may become affected by a regulation change. What this means for the player (and all opposition teams) is upgrades fitted in such departments will become under threat. There will be a window of several race weekends for the player to consider if they would like perform the necessary adaptations in order to keep them for future seasons. Of course, there is nothing saying the player has to adapt their upgrades. Short term it may be a better tactic to continue spending Resource Points on entirely new upgrades for that current season, especially if valuable championship positions are going down to the wire. Taking such an approach will likely mean the team may have some development ground to make up the start of the new season when the regulation changes come into force.


The other choice, of course, is to spend the Resource Points adapting the affected upgrades, and this would result in really hitting the ground running at the start of the following season. It’s a fascinating trade-off between short term and long term benefit, one which is entirely in the player’s hands, as they can adapt as many or as few upgrades as they see fit, providing they have the Resource Points.


These regulation changes can really shake up the team pecking order for future seasons and how each team is affected by the regulation change varies greatly on each occasion, meaning your main rivals in one season may not be your most direct competition in the following season. I’m really looking forward to hearing stories from the community about how the regulation changes affect them, and the teams around them, because the possibilities for different outcomes are endless.


What do you think players will enjoy the most in F1 2018?

The overall cohesiveness of the Career Mode is a huge draw for F1 2018. It’s an area that’s been built on every year recently and I can be confident in saying this is the best year yet. The number of new systems such as Face The Press Interviews, Contract Negotiations, Team Goals and the way they all work in unison with the updated R&D system means there is always something to keep players vested deep into the career.



F1 2018 features all the official teams, the drivers and all 21 circuits of the thrilling 2018 season. As well as the current season’s offerings the game includes 20 iconic cars from the history of the sport allowing you to drive the likes of James Hunt’s legendary 1976 championship winning McLaren M23D and Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312 T2 (both of which featured in the 2013 hit movie ‘Rush’). F1 2018 will release onto PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and Windows PC (DVD and via Steam) worldwide on Friday 24th August 2018. Want to pre-order F1 2018? You can here!
Keep it here on the Codies blog for all the F1 2018 news, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to get the scoop first.

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These sound like some great additions, looks like the unique R&D paths for each team paired with the possibility of rule changes could really create a lot of shake ups in the pecking order throughout the seasons this time. Looking forward to trying it out :)  

I do hope there'll be some more details shared about improvements for the actual on-track experience and multiplayer soon though (safety car, multiplayer stability and connectivity, physics & handling, AI etc. )

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Looking great so far! Very excited that Developer diaries are back this year!

Will there be manuell pit controls, an overtake button and improvements to the damage model this year?

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I read the whole thing and nobody mentioned McLaren Honda engine / teammate issues. With even more options for upgrades and teams having apparently different upgrade trees, would have been interesting to hear how they have ensure we won't have the same problem again. New rules is something they have in NBA 2K18 which can massively shake things up between seasons

Otherwise interesting read. 

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Nice video, though I wish you'd stop calling them developer diaries just so you can pretend you're doing developer diaries again. These are just "Lee talking about the game" videos.

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Mobcat94 said:
Looking great so far! Very excited that Developer diaries are back this year!

Will there be manuell pit controls, an overtake button and improvements to the damage model this year?
Overtake button has been more or less confirmed (or at least, manual ERS deployment has). I don't think I'll be holding my breath for the other two.

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Are we going to have any news about online? And no, not talking about the super license, that is worthless if online is filled with bugs.

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FRACTURED said:
I read the whole thing and nobody mentioned McLaren Honda engine / teammate issues. With even more options for upgrades and teams having apparently different upgrade trees, would have been interesting to hear how they have ensure we won't have the same problem again. New rules is something they have in NBA 2K18 which can massively shake things up between seasons

Otherwise interesting read. 
We can only hope sorting out issues like those have been a top priority.. Otherwise, I can already imagine the bug where the rule changes don't work for your teammate, making his car completely illegal & unbeatable for an entire career ;)  

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These sound like some great additions, looks like the unique R&D paths for each team paired with the possibility of rule changes could really create a lot of shake ups in the pecking order throughout the seasons this time. Looking forward to trying it out :)  

I do hope there'll be some more details shared about improvements for the actual on-track experience and multiplayer soon though (safety car, multiplayer stability and connectivity, physics & handling, AI etc. )

Yeah must admit I'm really looking forward to my careers on this game. It's going to be quite interesting.

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This is all really good stuff.

One thing I question is the improvement rate of each development part. 

In 2016 the pecking order of the grid order changed frequently when teams developed new parts where as in 2017 it barely made any change to the order. I know there is now the potential for rule changes creating random pecking orders but will new car parts change things up much, or will it be similar to 2017?

Ideally you would want a scenario where development improves cars somewhere in the middle of 2016 & 2017.

Thanks


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Nice video, though I wish you'd stop calling them developer diaries just so you can pretend you're doing developer diaries again. These are just "Lee talking about the game" videos.
Well the old games used the title the same way, didn't they? In 2010 they had Senior Producer, Chief Game Designer and Anthony Davidson.

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Imagine we have all that new improvements, but still punished by the teammate bug.
Then all of this is worthless.

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Worntoathread said: We can only hope sorting out issues like those have been a top priority...

How can we even hope that sorting out issues is a priority when it doesn't seem to have been a priority before, and when they refuse to answer repeated questions about what they've done (if anything) to prevent prior installments' issues from affecting the next installment?


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Operator1 said:

Worntoathread said: We can only hope sorting out issues like those have been a top priority...

How can we even hope that sorting out issues is a priority when it doesn't seem to have been a priority before, and when they refuse to answer repeated questions about what they've done (if anything) to prevent prior installments' issues from affecting the next installment?


Hence the use of ' We can only hope', a phrase normally used only in the gloomiest of gloomy situations ;) 

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Great news, but one point i'm a bit concerned. The use of speaking with "silver tongue". Is there any advantage if you don't use it? Otherwise there is no need to be honest or rude and everbody will use his "silver tongue" to satisfy the team.

Nevertheless it sounds like a big improvement for 2018. Especially the different R&D trees for different teams sounds great.

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The silver tongue has to have a negative effect too. Too much of it brings complacency perhaps.

The career sounds much more interesting but I think rule changes should be annonced in the 2nd half of a season rather than an end of season gamble. Imagine thinking your developing your 2019 and the FIA say in Devember actually the rules are changing so you have til march to develop the new rule regulations. Of course theres no in game off season so its just scrap all that part of your car.

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UP100 said:
Nice video, though I wish you'd stop calling them developer diaries just so you can pretend you're doing developer diaries again. These are just "Lee talking about the game" videos.
Well the old games used the title the same way, didn't they? In 2010 they had Senior Producer, Chief Game Designer and Anthony Davidson.
True, but even if we accept that Lee is a "developer", there's precisely zero "diary" aspect to the videos either...

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Promising stuff, hope they can balance the grid shakeup to be somewhat realistic i.e. no Ferrari going from WCC to back of the grid or Sauber competing with Toro Rosso for the CC.

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Akkan74 said:
Great news, but one point i'm a bit concerned. The use of speaking with "silver tongue". Is there any advantage if you don't use it? Otherwise there is no need to be honest or rude and everbody will use his "silver tongue" to satisfy the team.

Nevertheless it sounds like a big improvement for 2018. Especially the different R&D trees for different teams sounds great.

I think it's more do you want to encourage a move to a big team like Ferrari or Mercedes? Or do you play nice with your current team in the hopes they'll get you your upgrades a little quicker? And by doing so hopefully close the gap on the big guns to the point where hopefully you can eventually compete with them. You can only choose one or the other though but that choice will influence how the next little spell of your career will play out and what contracts are made available to you. I'm not saying this is how it works but based on what we've seen that's what it sounds like. Also this will also be influenced by whatever results you've been getting across the season too.

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The silver tongue has to have a negative effect too. Too much of it brings complacency perhaps.

The career sounds much more interesting but I think rule changes should be annonced in the 2nd half of a season rather than an end of season gamble. Imagine thinking your developing your 2019 and the FIA say in Devember actually the rules are changing so you have til march to develop the new rule regulations. Of course theres no in game off season so its just scrap all that part of your car.
Yeah career does sound interesting this year and I can't wait to get on my first one but I will wait till all the patching is done first. I think the  rule changes will be announced probably around the closing races probably around the time we go to Singapore or something because by then you should know or at least have an idea whether you're willing to sacrifice the teams standing at the start of the next season when the change comes in. For example if you're in a championship fight or something you might think it's worth sacrificing the start of next season if we can win the championship this year so therefore continue upgrades as normal to stay on top  rather than using the resource points to protect the upgrades that are going to get wiped out due to the regulation changes.

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Id also like to see resource points allocated at end of deason depending on constructor position

I believe they are don' t you get a message after completing Abu Dhabi allocating a few points for the start of the next season. At least I remember seeing it in 2017.

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I wouldnt know 2017 was so bugged I barely did half a seasonm
I'm pretty sure I did as I managed to finish 3 seasons on my first time around before CM's patching system forced me to abandon it as it made the game preform all weird. I plan on starting a second career soon but I'm finishing a career I've got on the go on 2016 first. But I plan on doing more seasons on 2017 this time if not all 10 seasons and seeing what I can achieve as I'd like to have a proper go and see if I can beat Schumacher's record of 7 WDC titles on it. I can't see myself doing it on 2016 given that you can effectively get all the upgrades by the time you hit season 3 so I was kind of glad when I realised that not only were there more to earn in 2017 but it makes you have to really work for them as well for me made 2017 really worth playing. Plus having a few classic car events/challenges dotted throughout career mode as well was a nice distraction too.

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Well being at sauber with a 2016 ferrari engine and thecteam mate bug killed it for me on top of the safety car being bugged as hel

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