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The case for an official Third Party Developer Program


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I've been working with telemetry data that the game sends for about 3 years now and love seeing what everyone is building and how it provides so much additional value for players. I started with a little DIY project with F1 2018 (if you want to read about it, you can find it here) all the way to the 2021 beta and to building a platform that now has over 1k users with over 50,000 laps submitted to the website for everyone to compare themselves to and learn from other drivers through telemetry data.

Every year, when a new version of the game is about to drop, I get anxious. Anxious about making it into the beta, will I be able to support the new version from day one? How much work will it be and so on, the life of a 3rd party developer, eh? As 3rd party developers we heavily rely on Codemasters (and now also EA) to give us proper documentation (which you do!), (early) access to betas and good bug reporting tools to make sure that we can build the best possible experience for our customers.

What I would love to see is an official developer program, a place where 3rd party developers can access all of the above mentioned as early as possible, not just a few days before the launch of a new major version. I would like bug reporting to be more structured than a single forum thread but also not as bloated as Jira & friends. I want a proper diff of the UDP docs without having to do that myself, I want sample code for newcomers, maybe even official SDKs so that people can turn their ideas into reality quickly.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the F1 2021 beta this year and was able to do some testing, but not nearly enough as I would have wanted, but at least it is better than nothing, some develpers may not have been that lucky. And trust me when I say, being a developer and having early access isn't about "getting to play it early", this is hard work for us, just as much as for the developers, artists and everyone else involved over at Codies who build the game.

So, how can we get this show on the road? I'm more than willing to help organise this in some way.

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