In the second half of our interview with Paul Jeal, senior producer on F1 2010, he reveals details on head tracking features, his thoughts on motion control and 3D, and why downloadable content is NOT a good idea.
The first half of our lengthy interview, with heaps more gameplay details, can be found here.
How do the Press conference sections work in actual gameplay terms?
Jeal: The questions are asked to you, the driver, based on actual events that happened on track - it's not just random, it's all tied into the race. So if you had an incident or you got knocked out of qualifying you'll be specifically questioned on that.
Then you'll get a series of optional answers including 'no comment' to pick. Each one of your answers affects your relationships with various things. So you don't always want to slam your team mate - you might want to lift him to help him if he's a rookie driver. You can praise or criticise your team to get upgrades faster. You can use the media to announce that'd, for example, you'd love to drive for McLaren one day and start a relationship with them, although that'll annoy your current team.
Have you considered incorporating head-tracking tech - like Gran Turismo 5's expected to have?
Jeal: We've got some basic stuff in there with infra-red tracking. We're just looking into that now - we're currently going through controller support. Fundamentally our main aim for controllers is to support all the wheels and to make sure that players with the pad aren't disadvantaged. I found that, with Gran Turismo, if you're not on a wheel you don't stand a chance of winning. That's a shame, so we haved focused on balancing that.
We're also looking at head tracking. At the moment we've got a couple of eye-type devices that, if you turn your head slightly left and right you can turn the camera.
When you say 'eye-type devices' you mean you're toying with Natal and PlayStation Eye...
Jeal: Natal, not at this stage. We did look at it at one stage, but I think if we were going to do it we'd like to do it properly. But for 2010 there were too many ideas in the pool, and I don't think we could have done the tech justice. And tech like Natal, I think you can do some subtle things like head tracking but there's bigger wins to be had with that.
PS Eye we've not really looked at so, at them moment we've got what works in Dirt 2 - we've got a device on PC called the IR Tracker. It's actually quite difficult to look left and right whilst racing - it's counter-intuitive to turn your head away from the thing you want to look at so I'm reserving judgement on those things at the moment.
So, head tracking is only possible for the PC version?
Jeal: I think so, yes. But we don't want 2011 to be just an update of drivers and teams, we want to go back to the pot, ask what didn't make it this time around and how we can get it in there. There's lots of stuff I'd love to get into this game, but you've got to nail each idea - this is our first chance to impress and we didn't want to spread ourselves too thin.
So Natal and PS Move could be on the list for the next game in 2011?
Jeal: Could be, absolutely, yeah. To be honest there's nothing discounted from the game design at all at the moment. We wanted to do the 'Be the Driver, Live the Life' objective, and it's about choosing the features that'd suit that best.