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Team Meeting - Dnote's Notes

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Hi,

Yesterday I met up with the F1 development and publishing teams in Birmingham to get up to speed on where things are at and what is going on.

We talked at length about F1 2015, what happened, why we’re in the position we’re in, what they are doing about it and what comes next.

In addition to this we also spoke about F1 2016 and how we could ensure that development, communication and what we deliver at the end of the day are all significantly better than we’ve managed to do in the past.

I’ll cover off some of this here and more later as we finalise it.

Patches

Xbox One: This patch is still being worked on, we’ve said in the past we don’t like to give dates or specific time frames because they always change. Such has been the case with this patch, it is the largest list of fixes we’ve distributed in a patch and some of these fixes have taken longer to resolve than expected. I will get a preliminary list of these fixes for you early next week, then final patch notes once it actually goes live.

This has obviously taken longer than anyone wanted it to, but as it is logistically harder to patch on consoles, we want to make sure that we fix as much as we can in this one. Probably not the news you all wanted to hear, but it is coming.

PC: The PC version of the game, based on known bugs is currently in the best state out of the three, but we know it launched in the worst state. Once the Xbox One patch is live there will be a follow up patch on PC that rolls fixes from the Xbox version into the PC version, to bring parity between all versions.

PS4: As above with the PC version, once the Xbox One patch is live there will be another patch on PS4, which rolls in fixes seen in the other two versions.

Beyond those three patches, we will continue to fix issues. However, we will be looking for you help highlight and prioritise the outstanding issues, we need to guide the development team here, rather than just letting them work down the list of known issues (more on this next week).

Content

There have obviously been requests for various features in F1 2015, as well as feature we’ve previously had or never been able to do before. I’ll create a specific thread to discuss this in more detail, but we need to provide a little more information to you in general so that we can get a point where we’re able to fulfil your wishes as well as meet the requirements of the license, amongst other things (we definitely can’t do everything, but what we can do should align with what you want).

Communication

Beyond the bugs, this does seem to be perhaps the single biggest issue that needs fixing with our F1 games. Poor, or non-existent communication from Codemasters, (whether that is the community manager or developers), and a lack of a real conversation with you the fans of the sport (and hopefully our games).

Us posting information on the forums, or social channels, isn’t communication. It is dictation, a one sided message that may provide you with information, but ultimately fails at the goals of building and maintaining an active, constructive and vibrant community. We need to talk to you more, listen to what you say and respond directly to you through our various channels.

Now, developers are usually quite blunt, overly passionate and quick to offend, but we’ll work on that and I hope you will help ease them into this community as well.

We may be at fault for creating the massive rift that exists at the moment, but we need your help to mend it and hopefully this post shows willingness on our part to talk to you.

Involvement

This follows on from communication and will feed into the content section as well. We need to get you more involved in development, we’re not talking Early Access like DiRT Rally (that is unfortunately impossible on F1), but the second we have a playable build of the game (even before it has passed license approvals), we should be getting you to play it. Initial thoughts on what we would like to do are something like a beta test, hands-on at our offices, live streams and whatever else (we have no idea how we can do any of this though, it is scary new ground).

These however have never been done before on our F1 games. The thought of letting anyone outside the company see a non-approved version of the game is likely going to give our licensing team (and probably FOM), a heart attack. So there are definitely no promises that we can do any of this, but we’re going to try and get you more involved, somehow, somewhere and sufficiently early in development that your feedback will actually impact what ends up on store shelves.

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I'm worried for 2016. All this extra work is surly going to eat into 2016 working schedule.

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toshey said:
I'm worried for 2016. All this extra work is surly going to eat into 2016 working schedule.
Fixes that get created post release for '15 can be rolled into the new project, so it's not really wasted time :)

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Thank you @Dnote for this honest and informative post! Keep the good work up. Despite the bugs I greatly enjoy F1 2015, and I'm sure many others do. Looking forward to the improvements that are about to come. Thanks CM! 

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Dnote said:

Content

There have obviously been requests for various features in F1 2015, as well as feature we’ve previously had or never been able to do before. I’ll create a specific thread to discuss this in more detail, but we need to provide a little more information to you in general so that we can get a point where we’re able to fulfil your wishes as well as meet the requirements of the license, amongst other things (we definitely can’t do everything, but what we can do should align with what you want).

@Dnote  Does this mean new content will be added to F1 2015 e.g. safetycar

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Yisc said:
toshey said:
I'm worried for 2016. All this extra work is surly going to eat into 2016 working schedule.


Maybe this is the moment to decide to skip 2016 and get 2015 to a state it should have been in after all these years. With that knowlegde, they could move on to start on 2017.

I have to be honest here and haven't played F1 games for a long time.

After buying 2011 and seeing the state it was in, I skipped 2012, still bought 2013 but never played it (yes, it's still wrapped in foil on my desk).

But I do care about F1 as a sport and would love to have a great game to feel the expierence myself.

Its not able to match are high expectations. Yes get it to a place where everyone can play it properly and that's it. Otherwise we will be doing this all over again. 

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Another apologizes, still working, have patience and other things, CM had two years to do this game and did that shit, why they can fix this in two months ?!
i only hope f1 dont negociate a extended contract with you CM and the f1 2016 be the last f1 game by CM.




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Thanks DNote... hopefully you are right and we will get necessary fixes and significant game improvements finally...

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Britpoint said:
toshey said:
I'm worried for 2016. All this extra work is surly going to eat into 2016 working schedule.
Fixes that get created post release for '15 can be rolled into the new project, so it's not really wasted time :)

I think I've said before Britpoint, if we (CM and the community) as a team can get F1 2015 in to a healthy state regards bug fixes and playability, I feel a lot of fans would be happy with a 2016 game that is an evolution of 2015, rather than a whole new game. We are on the right track. You guys will have to fix these issues at some point, and where before you would fix to a point and then focus on the next game, now we should be looking at fixing F1 2015 completely, so that 16 requires little more than an season update. As I say, we are on the right track, this game has so much potential.


This communication is promising. You clearly have come to terms with where you have gone wrong in the past (and fair play to you for that), and I think you will find the community very responsive to this.


On a side note, I would love to help anyway I can :)

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thanks for all those informations bevan , hope you keep the good job.

do you know if the online hoppers problem since monza update will be fixed next week with the singapore feature ?
http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/22262/multiplayer-hoppers#latest

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@Dnote, thank you for the write-up. It's good to read that Codemasters are recognizing issues and fixing them (even if it's not at the speed we would like, but then the community usually want stuff yesterday :D).

I think offline (on PC at least) the greatest bug remaining is the AI behavior under blue flags in the race (and on in and outlaps during practice and qualy). Just fixing that would improve gameplay massively. So far this is the greatest game I have played of CM (in terms of gameplay and AI, not in terms of content).

I look forward to seeing sticky threads on future features and priority for fixes that remain. For sure we've lost a lot of features over the years while others highly requested have never made an appearance. I understand F1 2015 is a reboot of sorts for the new generation consoles, so hopefully we'll see those features re-introduced (presumably for F1 2016 for most of them. Career of course being the top priority offline).

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In terms of us testing a development / pre  release version, could this be achieved by wiping sponsors and driver names etc from the game, so we are playing the basics of it without stuff that would upset any licences etc? 

Thanks for the update 

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Codemasters are supposed to be professional games studio, yet this release makes you look like amateurs.
So when a game gets released in this state, you have to put it down to pure laziness and lack of talent!


Just on this, we're obviously not amateurs, whilst the company has been going for 29 years, there has, and always will be, staff that come and go, but there are plenty of experienced people at every level of the company. However a lot has changed in the last few years, not just with a new generation of consoles, Early Access, crowd funding, etc, but also internally at Codemasters.

As mentioned elsewhere, DiRT Rally and it's Early Access was a massive step into the modern world of gaming, even just two years ago, the thought of letting the community meaningfully contribute to a game was quite alien to us, especially on a franchise where our own efforts have consistently met with success without that contribution. This, may seem like common sense to you all, but inside a corporation change is difficult, and I won't elaborate on anything else that went on, but that also made it harder.

And at the end of the day, we are still very much a development dinosaur, that isn't going to change until we get all of our studios fully engaged with you and we also think we can take it further than what DiRT has done so far. But it takes time to do this, along with careful planning and a willingness from all sides to make it work.

As for what others have said before.. actions speak louder than words, judge me on what I deliver, not on what others have failed to deliver.

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Matt1981 said:
In terms of us testing a development / pre  release version, could this be achieved by wiping sponsors and driver names etc from the game, so we are playing the basics of it without stuff that would upset any licences etc? 

Thanks for the update 
The simple answer is, we're not sure, that particular part of the equation comes after a lot of other things which we haven't even begun to look at yet.

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cooldude7 said:
Dnote said:

Content

There have obviously been requests for various features in F1 2015, as well as feature we’ve previously had or never been able to do before. I’ll create a specific thread to discuss this in more detail, but we need to provide a little more information to you in general so that we can get a point where we’re able to fulfil your wishes as well as meet the requirements of the license, amongst other things (we definitely can’t do everything, but what we can do should align with what you want).

@Dnote  Does this mean new content will be added to F1 2015 e.g. safetycar
Please do I'd love the safety car to be added into the game it would give immersion to a game with next to no features. some would disagree but if it's possible why not ask for it.

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It looks like it will be a long wait to see if they maybe sort out the problems with Logitech G29 on he PS4. Maybe to long to be honest :(

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Dnote said:

...Us posting information on the forums, or social channels, isn’t communication. It is dictation, a one sided message that may provide you with information, but ultimately fails at the goals of building and maintaining an active, constructive and vibrant community. We need to talk to you more, listen to what you say and respond directly to you through our various channels...




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@Dnote - thanks for the thread.  It's refreshing to finally get some communication from CM.

I must disagree with one of your points though.  You state that the PC is currently in the best state out of the three formats.  While it is true that the PC has had the most patches due to the ease of deployment, it (and XB1) still have unplayable multiplayer, whereas PS4  multiplayer works.  This is an entire gamemode we're talking about!

On that note, it was disappointing that there was no update on the fixes for the online experience on XB1 and PC.  Was this discussed at the CM meeting, and if so, can you give us an update.

Thanks

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Well, heard a lot of this sort of stuff before - that said - it sounds a bit different this time.

@Dnote there are lots of people out here who want to help with the game, they just need to be given the opportunity. 

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