EA has revealed just how big a part the EA Playtesting period played in the development of F1 23. From highlighting needed features to providing feedback on the balance and story of the game, EA Playtesting was vital when developing this year’s F1 title.
So just how did EA Playtesting help when it came to developing F1 23?
EA reveals how Playtesting helped develop F1 23
In an interview with EA Playtesting, Creative Director for the Codemasters F1 Team, Gavin Cooper, disclosed just how much EA Playtesting assisted with the development of F1 23. The first F1 title to use Playtesting, players were invited to special events at EA’s HQ where they could try out F1 23. After their play session, these players were encouraged to leave feedback, most of which was used to refine the game before release.
The most important parts of the feedback gained were related to F1 World and Braking Point 2. New to F1 23, F1 World is the hub for all things Time Trial, Grand Prix and multiplayer. In the interview, Gavin Cooper explained how Playtesting called attention to an issue with F1 World.
“One of the bigger issues with F1 World was simply that it's a big, complicated area of the game, with lots of new navigational challenges and concepts for players to wrap their heads around. One of the tests showed that players were getting sidetracked and not finding their way to certain screens in the early hours with the game, which led us to add a "shortcut element" to the Activities screen.”
“After we made those changes, we saw that players engaged much more with those gameplay areas.”
F1 World is one of our favourite features in F1 23. Without vital player feedback during Playtesting, the new game mode may have struggled to win players over with its vast menu screens and other game modes tucked away within F1 World.
Playtesting may return for F1 24
Although not confirming this outright, it is heavily implied during the interview that Playtesting will return for the development of F1 24 next year. With players able to test F1 23 in both the UK and the USA, Playtesting allows fans all over the world to assist with developing future F1 titles.
Playtesting on F1 23 should be considered a success. The handling feels a lot more balanced compared to F1 22, F1 World is an excellent addition to the series, and, for the most part, the game feels well-optimised. There are still some issues that need fixing, but without Playtesting there could have been even more that made it to release.
We here hope that Playtesting returns for F1 24, as well as being used for other EA racing titles. With WRC 23 just around the corner, recruiting rally fans to help finetune the game will be vital to its success. Likewise, using Playtesting for future Need for Speed titles may help avoid some of the issues Need for Speed Unbound had when launching last year.
Playtesting was used for Need for Speed Unbound, but quite late in the development process. Further sessions earlier in development for future releases will still be valuable for the series to recover and progress.
You can read the full interview with Gavin Cooper and Senior User Experience Researcher at Electronic Arts Playtesting, Alistair Wood, here.
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