So, more specifically, there's been a lot of work on car handling - aerodynamics, tyre modelling, the engine - it doesn't work the same here as in the other racers. So we had to re-write. There are at least five or six systems in the car handling that have been re-written.
The Ego engine is all still there, but new layers have been built over the top. Stuff like the weather system, pit stops and other stuff is brand new. It's just given us a head-start on everything.
You said you have the "most advanced weather system of any racing game". Can you elaborate?
Jeal: Yeah, that's fundamentally down to the fact that it doesn't just look good. There is a lot of under-the-hood stuff that's going on. The track system on a big course like Spa knows how grippy or how wet it is for every 30cm square of the track. It knows not just that it's wet but how much water's there. It knows what tyres you've got - if you're on the full-wet tyres they disperse something like 300 litres of water per second [it's actually around 80 litres per second according to Internet research - Ed].
So they will physically drive that water from the track. If you go over the same piece of track on intermediates, you won't clear as much water, so you won't see as much of a drying line.
Depending on where the track is, how fast the cars are going and whether there's any overhanging trees, that all affects how quickly the track dries. Even things like how high the track is from sea level and ambient air temperature. It's proper sim stuff. I nicknamed it the National Geographic when I first read the game design docs. We've spared no expense on that.
Can you tell us in more detail what the multiplayer mode will entail?
Jeal: For a large part of last season we were going on the basis that there'll be 26 cars on the grid this season. We knew we could do more cars on track than that, but the problem is we want players to be able to pick their own car, and because a garage contains two cars, we didn't want people to join only to find they've been forced into a different model.
So we will probably limit it to the number of teams, so it'll probably be 12 players on course. But that's not locked down yet. And you'll be able to fill that with AI guys.
Why wouldn't you just give players the freedom to all be in Ferraris if they want?
Jeal: That's possible. But we don't want to lock it if that's the case. The idea is that if the players want to have 12 Ferraris that's possible. One thing we're trying to implement is taking the objective system from the single-player over into multiplayer. So you can race online and take something back to single-player.
What that means is rather than your best drivers using the best cars and disappearing off into the sunset, they might want to pick a slower car; they'll be slightly down on power and speed, but they'll get more kudos for their performance. The game might only expect them to come in eighth place from their rank and car, but if they over-achieve on that they'll get super XP to take back to single-player. So if you consider that, maybe the better players online will be in the worst cars.
What about actual multiplayer gameplay modes?
Jeal: There are essentially three main gameplay modes. There's a sort-of quick play match where you can jump in and have a few quick laps.
There's an endurance race mode that brings in more of the pit-stop strategy elements - eight laps, mandatory pit-stops. The strategy there is to avoid everyone going into the first corner and crashing, and then quitting out of the game because there'll be time to make up for lost positions. If you stop early you'll be behind but everyone else has to stop too, so it leads to some interesting scenarios.
And the third mode is custom, so whatever you want race wise, season wise, rain, laps, driving assists. You can do what you want so you're the host and you set it up as you want it to be.