Just so you know... I am not any kind of F1 fanatic or fully understanding of Formula 1. I am only going on as much as I know about Formula 1. I don't know what Polyphony Digital would call the game. So therefore, I won't even attempt to name this project.
--- What If: a Formula 1 Game by Polyphony Digital? ---
^ Would you buy and enjoy a Formula 1 racing game made by Polyphony Digital?
Why such a big deal about Formula 1? Simple- Formula 1 race cars are the most sophisticated and most capable racing machines ever to take the grid. The races themselves offer a great deal of drama and intrigue. Some of the world's finest race car drivers all contest a long season across several continents and many countries. Obviously, Formula 1 is a huge deal. And of course, who DOESN'T want to battle to become Formula 1 World Champion?
Early Hints?The first hint towards formula car racing in the Gran Turismo realm began with Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, where you could race F1 race cars later in the game. These F1 cars are all fictional but based on actual F1 cars. One such example is the F686/M, based on the Lotus 79. There were a few other F1 models that could be obtained in GT3. Gran Turismo 4 carried on the Formula 1 charm; but this time, offering their own model- the Formula Gran Turismo. It is a formula race car built to specifications of current (at its time) F1 cars. You need one to compete in the Formula GT championship in GT4. Beginning with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, history was made as the first real Formula 1 race car was featured in any Gran Turismo game as the Ferrari F2007 can be raced. It would be joined in Gran Turismo 5 with the Ferrari F10. You unfortunately can't race the Ferrari F2007 or F10 in any races. There used to be a Seasonal devoted to the Ferrari F1 cars.
Gran Turismo games have included a host of tracks Formula 1 has either raced on or used to race on. There was probably evidence PD would lovingly make a Formula 1 racing game because of the many F1 tracks GT5 has. Tracks like Monza, Suzuka, Nürburgring, Cote d'Azur and others comprise a stacked deck of current or former F1 tracks. You can even add Spa-Francorchamps to the mix. If not as a standalone game, even the number of tracks would suggest PD was probably hoping to make their own F1 game.
So with these things said, the ambition was surely there that PD would probably make a Formula 1 game if given the opportunity.
--- How Would This Game be Made? ---Such an F1 game would require a great deal of concentration in trying to make everything as authentic as possible. Of course, PD would put its own spin on things to make their own unique product. The latest cars, drivers, teams, tracks, and races would all have to be considered in developing such a game. Let us now look piece-by-piece on each item:
Cars.The current crop of F1 cars make up today's form of F1 racing. You have to take advantage of all the technologies and handling limits of all F1 cars to make the experience unique. Part of me says that PD would want to take the experience further. How do you do that? Imagine if you could race a history of F1 cars... even before today's Formula 1 was established. Imagine if you could race the Lotus 49 or the Mercedes-Benz W196 Streamliner. Imagine if you could drive the Williams FW14B to the limit on today's F1 courses. Providing that PD would actually secure the rights to use such cars and offer such an experience, it would be a great way to not only offer the deepest F1 experience, but also offer history lessons. What would make things interesting if PD included their own Formula Gran Turismo cars in case you want to make your own F1 team to take on the real F1 teams.
Various technologies are what make F1 racing unique. Today's F1 cars have features like regenerative braking (KERS) and drag reduction system (DRS). There are even other features like traction control and the ever-popular active-ride suspension. Part of featuring past and present cars is in advances in aerodynamics, technologies, and more. PD's ability to replicate these effects would make the cars completely authentic.
Oh, and have you forgotten about the Red Bull X2010 and X2011? Imagine an F1 experience with just THESE cars on the grid!
Drivers.To take the experience further, having actual drivers would make the game a touch more insatiable. You of course need the standard thoroughfare of current F1 drivers, but also imagine if you could race against past drivers. Here's one for you: could Aryton Senna in his prime beat Michael Schumacher back in his prime? Could Sebastian Vettel hang with the likes of Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg, and names like that? One can also try to cement his/her own legacy in Formula One racing with a robust Career Mode. Whatever the case, a solid lineup of drivers current and classic would be great for such a project.
Teams.All of the teams in Formula 1 are among some of the wealthiest and most experienced. Even the lesseer teams are still capable enough to take on the bigger and better teams. Teams still around and no longer around would be great in helping shape this game. Long-standing teams include the likes of Scuderia Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, and others. You have other teams in F1 like Red Bull, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Renault, and Force India among many others. There have been so many teams that have competed in Formula 1 with a host of different driver and engine combinations. While it may not be possible, imagine being any of these past teams: Sauber, Petronas, Simtek, Footwork, Larousse, Ligier, Toyota, Honda, Arrows, Minardi, Jordan, Stewart, Benetton, Tyrell, and countless other past teams. An interesting package for this game would bring together various teams past and present.
Tracks.A racing game, no matter how complex or deep, means nothing without tracks to race on. A modern F1 racing game obviously needs to have the latest F1 tracks. This would mean that Polyphony Digital would have to go out and model all of the tracks of the Formula 1 World Championship. The many contemporary courses of today's F1 would be great to see feature. Something else PD could do is perhaps feature past F1 venues. Put current F1 cars on classic circuits. Put classic F1 cars on modern circuits. How would a current F1 car take on tracks like Kyalami in South Africa? What about if you could push a powerful turbo F1 car around Sepang or Buddh International Circuit? Imagine being Niki Lauda or Sir Jackie Stewart taking on today's Nürburgring Nordschleife in their classic F1 cars. Or here's something I know a lot of people will agree with- what if you could race today's F1 cars around the old high-speed Hockenheim (before Hermann Tilke screwed up the track severely)?
Part of me says that since this is a Polyphony Digital product, it would HAVE to include Grand Valley Speedway. And why not? This track is the signature race track of Gran Turismo and VERY much a Grand Prix-type race track with its length and complexity. What I think would be interesting is if the game also included Tokyo Route 246 and Special Stage Route 5 (or even Special Stage Route 11). PD may even add Cape Ring (full course) or even the Ricardo Tormo Circuit from Tourist Trophy. Can you imagine racing Singapore or the Yas Marina Circuit in a PD-made racing game? Loads of possibilities!
Races.The Formula 1 World Championship is campaigned across a massive schedule spanning several continents and many countries. The drama and unpredictable nature of F1 lends itself to the crazy nature of F1 racing. Getting pit stops and various technologies working will make the racing fun. Racing in the rain has to be an importance since F1 racing
--- What Might Critics Say About This Game? ---The following are key points to me in how this game is reviewed:
• I think one thing people will say about such a game is that PD would be very Japanese-biased. Yet, no one would complain of British bias with Codemasters. I've always believed some people have an "Always Hate Japan" mentality about things. Because of Japanese bias, I don't think this game would be too much appreciated by some gamers.
• Another thing that COULD be a factor is the artificial intelligence. People have complained consistently about bad AI from Gran Turismo games. But really, "bad AI" is a vague point. AI involves things like aggression, intelligence, and things like that. AI is too vague to describe just as good or bad. You have to define what makes the AI good or bad if you're going to use such adjectives.
• I also wonder if the game's driving model could impact whether or not this game is successful. You will need a hardcore driving model to truly please even the most discriminating racing game fan. This driving model has to be as good of a model to accurately represent F1 cars.
• Sound is also important. Can the sounds be as accurate and as precise as possible?
• The only other thing I can think of is of any online multiplayer. Can the online element be as satisfying as the non-online elements? Could there be some downloadable content (DLC) to enhance the experience?
These are just some of many different aspects of such a game. Many more aspects could have been discussed here, but most of these are among some of the real key areas.
How Would Reviewers Take This Game?I am going to pretend the game is out and give some mock reviews of this game. This is only a demonstration.
(Sample Magazine Review)
"Polyphony Digital's attempt at making an F1 game is not bad, but it's not very good either. The game could have been much better rather than be Gran Turismo 5 with F1 cars."
(Sample Online Review)
"While this game offers its great points, this game falls flat in really appealing to the Formula 1 fan. Polyphony Digital must think the average F1 car handles as easily as a Super GT car."
Of course, this would be the first game. So if this were to continue into a series of games, it could be a chance for PD to try to make it a better game than what the initial title may provide. Or it may be a one-hit wonder like Tourist Trophy (at present) or Gran Turismo Concept. If it does just become one game devoted to Formula One, Polyphony Digital will probably do it their own way and put their own unique spin on the game.
Do you think Polyphony Digital would have themselves a great game if PD created the next F1 game rather than Codemasters (or anybody else)? It was recently reported that Codemasters will be making more F1 games in the near future, as Codemasters and Formula 1 have inked a deal to keep making F1 games. This "What if?" was about if PD made an F1 game as they had initially hoped. So what do you think? Also, what do you think the game would be called? Remember that you can comment on anything you see here. Don't just come in and leave- get involved!
Thank you for reading!
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