Making Of: F1 2016

The Official Formula One Game

30 December 2016

Making Of: F1 2016 – The Official Formula One™ Game

Guest post by Codemasters – maker of the official Formula OneTM game. All images courtesy of Codemasters.

With the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ over, and the off-season in full swing until March, we here at Codemasters thought we would help to ease the pain of annual FORMULA ONE™ withdrawal symptoms.

In order to create the award-winning franchise that is the FORMULA 1TM series each year, Codemasters has to do a lot of work behind the scenes with all of the FORMULA ONE teams. We wouldn’t be able to create FORMULA 1 videogames without working together with the FORMULA ONE teams, so we’re going to give you a peek behind the curtain to show you how stuff really works.

The Race Cars

The most important bit of a FORMULA 1 videogame is, unarguably, the car itself. The work for Codemasters really begins when teams launch their cars before, or around, pre-season testing. Once teams have shown the world their challenger for the season, we receive all the relevant information, this usually takes the form of CAD data and supporting photography as reference, and the team here at Codemasters build the car to each specification – this includes the shape, livery, sponsors logos and the like. From getting the angle of the Sauber F1 Team’s front wing right, to each of the sponsors on the car – all of it has to be taken into account.

Submission of Sauber C35-Ferrari

To get an idea of this process, we spoke to Senior Artist Matthew Jones: “As the new cars are launched, each race team send us high resolution CAD models of their car along with sponsor graphics and reference material to define the exact placement of the logos. With this high quality reference material we are able to perfectly represent each car in game.  Once each model is complete the teams get the chance to see the completed car and approve it for use in the game.   Even after the game is launched we continue to work with the teams and update the cars with the latest aero package or new sponsors to keep the game as up to date as we can.”

Screenshot - F1 2016 - Sauber C35-Ferrari

The Race Driver

The other part of Formula 1 videogames, outside of the car itself, is the drivers, and other personalities surrounding the sport. Before the creation process starts, however, Codemasters needs reference material. This means taking a team of photographers, sitting each driver down, and taking photos of their face from every conceivable angle. As you can imagine, this requires a lot of sitting still from the person who’s being photographed, but, of course, both Sauber F1 Team drivers are always very patient!

Submission of Marcus Ericsson's face

One of the new features in F1TM 2016 is being able to spot team principals hanging out in your team’s hospitality area. Of course, for this to happen we needed reference material, and so, during the final races of the previous season and during pre-season testing, Codemasters sent a team of photographers to photograph every team principal in the same way as we do the drivers. After receiving the photographs and materials, the developers then get to work getting the drivers and team principals into the game.

Submission of Monisha Kaltenborn's face

Team Kit

It’s not just the cars that receive this treatment, of course. This is the same for all the team kit – gloves, helmets, overalls, and everything like that featured in the game.

Lead Artist Mark Hancock explains how this all works: “We work directly with the teams to replicate all of the team wear, branding and accessories for the game. The branding is incredibly important for team recognition, so we make sure that everything is authentic down to logos, clothing liveries, face likenesses, accessories etc. The team works with us to provide us full reference and access to be able to recreate their team liveries as closely as possible. The liveries and logos change throughout the season and so our reference is regularly updated. Having good contact with the team allows us to make sure that we are as up-to-date as possible.

Work-in-progress - draft of the Sauber F1 Team garage

In a rather nice twist on this process, it was down to these approvals that the Sauber F1 Team saw our plans for their hospitality area, and got a fantastic idea for their own range of pillows. We think this is a fantastic example of life imitating art, or, in this case, life imitating game!

Submission of the Sauber F1 Team on-track hospitality

Countdown

It doesn’t stop there, though. Our work with the teams continues in the lead-up to game launch and beyond. From screenshots to go on Facebook and Twitter, gameplay videos with drivers, or updates to the car post-launch, communication with the teams is a must to make sure you guys get most accurate game we can make.

This year was a little different than usual, as we launched F1 2016 for mobile, which you can grab here for iOS and here for Android. Of course, this meant further collaboration with Markus Höpperger, Digital Media & Branding Manager at Sauber F1 Team, not just on the development side, but preparing and sending over exclusive promotional material such as  screenshots, and codes, in order to give away to a few lucky Sauber F1 Team fans.

Screenshot F1 2016 Mobile Game - Sauber C35-Ferrari

In essence, making our games the best they can be, requires continual collaboration with the teams. What we love to make, and what you love to play, just wouldn’t be possible without this continual partnership.


How Do You Like The Game?

Comment below to let us know how you like the F1 2016 game and its new features! Are you racing the Sauber C35-Ferrari? Then show us a screenshot!


Promotional Codes For Free iOS And Android Downloads

If you read this far, you’re REALLY interested in the game, aren’t you? 🙂 Guess what…?! Codemasters provided us with a few more codes for free downloads of the F1 2016 mobile game! Follow us on Instagram for your chance to get the game for free! We’ll publish the codes – 3 for iOS and 3 for Android – on Saturday 31st December 2016 between 15h00 and 16h00 CET, so stay tuned and watch out for our Instagram Story! It’ll be first come, first served, so whoever is quickest to enter the respective code in the Apple Store or Google Play Store will be able to download the game for free 🙂

UPDATE: All Codes have been published! Congratulations to the fastest followers who were able to redeem the codes!


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