F1 2011 chief game designer Steve Hood has answered a healthy serving of questions pitched by eager fans on the game's multiplayer, custom options, game modes and tons of other features.
The game hits shelves on September 23 in UK, and September 20 in US.
Questions came from readers of the official PlayStation Blog. The full Q&A is below:
the_ghost__NL: what can we do in the co-op mode?
Co-op Mode enables you to play through a single season alongside a friend. Imagine the single-player experience (minus the paddock) with your friend as team-mate. It brings an entirely new dimension to Practice, Qualifying and Race sessions... can you win the Constructor's together?
Tom_Sheldon: Is the co-op championship available online or just split-screen only?
Co-op is only available Online. Elements of it are too complex system for Split-Screen
mylandro_: Will the ability to save more than four or five car setups at a time be added - perhaps one dry/wet per track?
The save system is the same as 2010 but the Quick Car Setup allows Dry-Adaptable-Wet bias.
jamespurdy: Will F1 2011 include safety cars?
I'm never asked this question! What I can tell you is that it will never include a number of Safety Cars.
Scorpion760: Will engineers and pit crew change depending on which team you are driving for this time?
Yes, the team personnel now change when you switch teams.
mylandro_: How has KERS been implemented and how does it impact gameplay - specifically in local/online multiplayer games?
KERS does exactly what it says on the tin - it's true to real life. So what you see the drivers doing on TV you can do in-game. I tend to save KERS when being chased in a race so that I can try and counter the chasing driver's use of DRS.
mylandro_: Are there any other new modes added to this year's game, such as a Spectator Mode to sim races or saved replays?
Yes, we've new modes like Co-op Championship which enables you and a friend to play out a season as team-mates versus the AI. We've also new modes in Time Attack, Split-Screen, Spectator Mode... plenty of new things to enjoy!
Scorpion760: Can you please put in all the full rules for longer races, like safety cars? Or at least have the option to turn them on or off?
Safety Car? Never heard of it.
AndyDYoung: Will F1 2011 feature the podium?
We considered the podium but that's been done to death in Formula One games so, for this year, we've included Parc Ferme which is more immediate and personal.
JonHamley: Are we able to design our own helmets or are they preset?
You can't design your own helmets this year (might add this when it would be seen more often) but we have dropped the nationality helmet designers in favour of original creations.
BlaZeeexD: Can you find out just how the Career mode has been changed/reworked: interviews, contracts etc?
I can find out for you! Quite a lot of the fundamental systems have been reworked to eradicate some of the things people didn't like last year. It works far better now and is much more enjoyable.
justingt5: Is there going to be more comprehensive timing info than in F1 2010?
Yes, timing is key in Formula One and the 2011 game reflects this. Biggest change is the On-Screen Display; it's a million times better this year.
HurricaneHaines: Sirs, Will we get to view other cars when we have completed a race, rather than staring at a static leaderboard?
Yes, you can now view the cars as you wait via the all-new Spectator Mode!
FakeJensButton: Is the KERS battery red?
Once it was green, now it's red
Muerte75: What improvements have been made to the AI?
This year a new system has been put in place to enable the AI to consider and act upon several things at once. Last year we had difficulties making the AI competitive on the hardest difficulty but this year... well... they are fast!
mickeycarty: Could we have the Official FIA intro like here http://t.co/gDgV1hl in the game?
Unfortunately, that is not in this year's game but one for the future if they allow it!
AshWoody90: This time, is there going to be the facility to save the game midway through a race?
There is no mid-race saves in 2011 but with the all new handling you will go so much faster, you'll not want to save!
FakeJensButton: KERS malfunctions in the game?
Yes, KERS, DRS and other elements can malfunction.
JourneyTH: Will the co-op campaign be only a season long or will the amount of seasons be adjustable?
It's a single season, which can be quite a long time if you factor in Practice and Qualifying.
theFakeVettel: Will my pointy finger make an appearance on the game?
We're sending a free copy to Vettel so you'll be able to find out soon enough.
F1archives: Will there be retro F1 DLC?
This is something we desperately want to include but I'm sure you can imagine it's a bit of a licensing nightmare. We're working on it.
MattMarquard: Has the crash damage improved? And if it's not in this game, proper deforming tyre barriers would be cool. Almost like in Grid.
We're balancing the damage so the cars are more fragile but as for an overhaul of the damage system, we'd like to, but feel there are bigger things to tackle first.
Liffonmelsmork: Have the long waits in the pits been fixed?
Yes, fixed! Entirely new pit system was implemented after we reviewed last years work.
Stormcat13: In what detail has the dynamic weather been improved?
The visuals better match the actual track conditions. An amazing sky system has been included so you can see the weather coming in and changing conditions. It does often look beautiful!
harrytulloch: Apart from 24 cars online, what other new features will there be for online racing
The Race Engineer is now available online so you're not left in the dark like you were last year. Co-Op Championship enables you to play with a friend through a season as team-mates. Spectator Mode means you're not left staring at results waiting for others to finish.
Kandol20: When loading a race, could the chain (Fleetwood Mac) be heard as opposed to a generic tune?
We've looked into this but there are issues around it. I'd like to see it included... one day!
Stormcat13: Did you fix the 3rd sector time on the display when in the garage? All other drivers came up but not the player. Major problem!
Yes, this was fixed
Scorpion760: Will there be a system similar to 'Autolog' that will let you challenge friends to lap times etc, to enhance Multiplayer?
There is something similar, built around challenging friends.
clarkbatfan: Have you got a new penalty system?
Yes! And a new designer to look after this system! It's very complex but an improvement over '10.
adrianhui: Will drivers get control of the car in the pit lane or is it still fixed path.
You can opt to have more control or leave it on automatic.
MickyFer: In the game will there be the audible 'beep' that an F1 driver gets through their headset when a gear-shift is required?
No, as this isn't needed in the game as you can easily hear the engine and see the on-screen indicators. Besides, it'd become annoying and interfere with the beep we use for DRS availability in races.
Damocool: Will the game focus on maintaining tyre and brake temperatures?
Yes, temperature management is more of a concern for players running simulation options this year.
Damocool: Will cars on an out-lap move when I'm on a hot-lap?
Yes, they get out of your way and generally lap slower when cruising.
chuckcb: Will we be able to use all parameter changes F1 drivers use? Brake Balance/KERS/DRS/Revs/Diff on track? Tyre PSIs?
You can use some of the elements we deem to be useful to the current game and in the media spotlight.
Woodsy921: Have the mirrors been fixed, can you see anything behind you?
The mirrors are so small I don't think they will ever be amazingly helpful - we have new on-screen indicators to help you locate chasing drivers.
RedBullRacer: Can I toggle the ghost on and off in Time Trial mode?
Yes! You can finally do this
JB59HD: Will the cars have different engine sounds for each team? And will the pop and crackle of the off throttle exhausts be simulated?
Each engine manufacturer has its own engine sound. Off-throttle audio is not included.
MrTaffyMann: Will we be able upload clips to Youtube like in Dirt 3? Also, can they be longer than 30 seconds and be a montage of select clips?
No, this system does not feature in 2011 but I'd like to include it in the future.
MattyyyNewman: Team orders in Career mode & (or) Co-Op mode?
No, it's a complex field that and one we want to get right if we are to include it.
JB59HD: Will you be able to see damage on your tyres when you flatspot them? And more so than in 2010, will slicks be useless in wet conditions?
Flatspotting is not in 2011 but the tyre compounds and their optimum conditions have been completely altered. You cannot get around a soaking wet track on slicks!
JB59HD: Any future plans to have more customisation of your Career Mode character? Such as fitness, personality and driving style?
No, because you're driving the car, not a character you've created.
JB59HD: have you fixed the AI in qualifying so that the cars on track are not just for show but actually do real lap times?
Yes, all the AI cars set proper times in all sessions now.
EricZehnder: Has pit release been made more realistic (i.e. don't need gigantic gaps between cars to be considered safe)?
Yes, with an entirely new system you can forget getting stuck in the pits like last year. The pit-crew won't let you out in dangerous conditions though!
NeoBazza87: Will you include a Spectator Option Online after u crash out or finish the race early like the DiRT series? Badly needed IMHO.
Yes, Spectator Mode is included this year.
JB59HD: In Career mode will Kobayashi eventually get into a better team and win the championship? If not, why not?! He is awesome!
The terms of the license prevent driver moves.
DJrocks569: Has the penalty system for online MP races been refined to stop those using the car in front as a brake in corners?
Yes, the penalty system has been completely overhauled and it's much better than the one found in 2010.
F1archives: One more! Why can't we view the car in the pits from any camera (trackside included)?
For technical reasons
TorethSOE: Are there be plans for a full career mode including driver transfers and new drivers? Possibly a team management mode for 2012?
Driver transfers are not allowed by the license but I am interested in team management... in fact we've loads of ideas for that...
Frazzledrew: Will DRS be automatic or manually controlled?
Manually controlled of course! You can't really make it automatic in Qualifying - we might spin you out!
Blairy20: Are we able to attack the kerbs this time around? F1 2010 spun you around way too much!
The kerbs will now be your best friend... yes; you can attack them in 2011 now the all new suspension system is in place.
Agamer2006: Are there any plans for cross play between the PS3 and PS Vita versions in the future?
In the future everything is possible.
f1vgfan: Will breaking assist be in the game?
Yes, braking assist is available.
3l3CTRONICA: Will you be able to put Lewis Hamilton in a Red Bull?
No, driver transfers are prohibited by the license (unfortunately)
top_shell: Do you plan to have visibility options for players with red-green colour blindness?
The Dynamic Racing Line has a 3D option to overcome this issue. In time we'll look to do even more - it's important to us.