A new social feature for F1 2011 is yet to be revealed, chief game designer Stephen Hood has told VideoGamer.com. While Hood didn't want to reveal too much information, the new functionality will be revealed soon.
"What we've been building is a particular feature that I can't talk too much about at the moment - though I will do shortly," said Hood. "Time Trial last year was very much about competing against random people. You could see what your friends were doing, but... For example, sometimes I might want to play online, and I'm not interested in setting my car up, but I want to know that I'm the best driver with a particular car.
"So we've got a mode built that's built around that this time around. Everything is equal in those particular scenarios, and it's built around your friends' times. You can see where they are on this little leaderboard, you can cycle through these different cars and say, 'Ah, my friend's beaten me on that!', and it's got total times at the end. You grind your way through these things in order to improve your score, whereas Time Trial is almost as if you're a lone driver in a practice session, working on your car to shave off fractions of a second. Some players don't want to do that, so we've got this new feature that we'll talk about soon."
Hood also shared his views on EA's Autolog, which the designer says has got him into trouble in the past. According to Hood the feature doesn't particularly excite him.
"I always get into trouble for saying that, but I think it got great PR. It isn't included in 2011 because we thought we'd rather focus on other features," said Hood. "That for me is almost... when you're happy with some of the other features, you'll try to include that as well. There's no good in including something like Autolog if it's rubbish to drive the cars, or there isn't an interesting challenge, or your friends aren't going to pick up the game as well. You've got to get the other features into the race, and then you can add stuff like Autolog. But we've got some other cool features, so undoubtedly people will look at our games as well.
"The thing that really excites me is the ability to drive the car. Does it look good? Can I make adjustments to my car? If it's Formula 1, can I turn my engine performance up or down? And then later on I think, 'Oh, Autolog.'"
Want more news on F1 2011? Elsewhere on the site we detail how the dev team was surprised by the success of F1 2010. We also reveal how YouTube functionality might be coming to F1 2012 and that 60fps isn't likely in an F1 game until the next generation. We've also got an F1 2011 preview covering the game's split-screen multiplayer.
F1 2011 will be released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on September 23.