F1 2020’s New My Team Mode Is ‘Absolutely Enormous’

F1 series game director Lee Mather has explained balancing F1 2020’s new My Team mode has been a significant challenge, although finalising the game in the middle of the global COVID-19 crisis has been largely seamless.F1 2020’s My Team mode will cast players as a modern-day Jack Brabham – not just a team owner and manager, but key driver as well. Mather believes the nature of driving for your own team, plus seeing a teammate out on track that you hired personally, adds a brand new dynamic to F1 2020’s racing. You’re not fighting for glory for Austrian energy drink companies or Canadian investment consortiums; you’re doing it for your own team.My Team will let players become the 11th team on the grid and build a brand new organisation from the ground up. For the first time players will be able to create team colours and a unique badge, sign a power unit from the current engine suppliers, find a major sponsor, select and customise a livery, design race suits, and hire a second driver

“For us, the sheer challenge of balancing a game mode such as My Team – there’s so many moving pieces,” says Mather. “There’s so many things that the player’s going to manage.”

“Obviously, we want to make sure they’re all enjoyable to engage with, but also that the AI do them as well. We can’t just have a player who’s upgrading their team, developing their driver, upgrading their facilities – the team’s have to do that too.

“Formula One’s always been a big game and basically My Team is almost a game again; it’s absolutely enormous.”

Formula One’s always been a big game and basically My Team is almost a game again; it’s absolutely enormous.

Mather explains that F1 2020 has a fully-fledged driver market, an in-game economy where drivers have values, team budgets, and several other financial factors to consider.

“There’s a lot of moving pieces, a lot of things to balance, [but] with regard to how we’ve worked since the lockdown it’s actually been incredibly seamless,” says Mather. “I think, at the most, we probably lost one or two days while equipment was ferried between studios and to different locations but, aside from that, it’s actually gone really well.”

“I think probably the nicest thing is it’s shown – and I know this is an easy thing to say – just how insanely professional the team is and how versed they are in dealing with an annual franchise. I think without that experience, and also the skill of the newer members of the team, we would’ve been in a very different place. Not everybody who’s got games coming out in a similar window to us have maybe been able to mobilise quite as effectively.”

Cryptically, Mather concedes there was something else “incredibly challenging” about building F1 2020 but won’t reveal it for now.

“[U]nfortunately I can’t talk about it just yet; we’re holding it back for a couple of weeks,” he says. “There’s still something that was really interesting for us to work on and that will be discussed in detail very soon.”

Check out the video below for an overview of some of the new features for F1 2020, including My Team, casual mode, and local split-screen.

Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter sporadically @MrLukeReilly.

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