Delivering a complete interactive experience for The Formula 1® Exhibition

A case study of successful collaboration with Sysco Productions to deliver an all-around unforgettable interactive experience.
OVERVIEW
— THE CLIENT

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, renowned for its exhilarating races and cutting-edge automotive technology. Recognised globally, the iconic F1 brand is synonymous with speed, innovation, and elite competition. Since 1950, Formula 1 has set the standard for excellence in racing and entertainment, attracting millions of fans worldwide. It’s legendary!

— THE PROJECT
Client
Project
Start Date
Delivered on
Services
Technologies
Components
Game controller application
API
Leaderboard Website
Venue controller web site
Credits
Creative Agency
Hardware
Software Development
Sysco Productions
Sysco Productions
Rightsoft
THE IMPLEMENTATION
— THE SCOPE

We were tasked with creating a suite of applications to manage the interactive experience at The Formula 1® exhibitions. These applications would enable the public to discover what it feels like to be in a F1 race by using gaming rigs.

Since this is a ticketed experience that would tour worldwide, we were tasked with creating a set of applications to allow the engineers to set up the venue and the rigs, the hosts to register users, control their race sessions, and also create a backend solution to store their best lap records and receive their real-time positions on the track.

Lastly, we developed a leaderboard app to visualise the best lap times of the day, week, and month, along with the real-time positions of the active players on a large screen.

— THE APPROACH

We started by understanding the physical restrictions and the intended use case of the venue. This foundational step allowed us to design the system and share it with our client before commencing any development.

Next, we focused on the user experience (UX) of the application. We determined which commands to send to the rigs and identified the necessary controls and troubleshooting capabilities the hosts would need to manage all potential issues.

Given that this is a multi-application project, we created the entire environment in our office. We analysed the F1 game to understand the telemetry data it provides and identified the minimum data required to detect users' positions on the track and their best lap times.

The venue was planned to have 10 rigs running simultaneously, a setup we could not replicate until the day of installation. To mitigate potential issues, we recorded an F1 game session and developed a separate application to simulate 10 rigs running simultaneously.

Knowing the exhibition would be installed in various locations, we ensured an easy setup process for new venues. We created batch files that allow the installation of every component with a single command.

We developed an application that runs on top of the F1 game, controlling it by sending key commands to the system. Since the game does not provide its state back, we designed a configuration format that allows us to change the commands sent to the game easily. It was crucial to make this file human-readable and easy to understand, so we avoided JSON or XML-based configurations.

To empower our client to understand and address problems and to facilitate the installation of the app suite at the venue, we created a 40-page documentation. This comprehensive guide details all the components, configurations, and troubleshooting strategies.

— ROADBLOCKS

Establishing real-time communication between all components was a significant challenge. We ensured continuous connectivity with fail/retry mechanisms and minimised data transfer to avoid straining the network.

One of the biggest challenges was managing the initial setup of the game. The F1 2023 game has many menus to navigate before reaching the actual gameplay. If something failed during this process, hosts would not be able to understand where the game got stuck because the game is visually covered by the overlay application. To mitigate this issue, we created automatic sequences that control the game, ensuring it is in the correct state before hosts can start any racing sessions.

Accurately tracking users live on the leaderboard web application using the data feed from the F1 23 game was a complex task. Rendering the race track and placing all users on the canvas in real-time required precise tracking and robust performance. After comprehensive testing, we successfully introduced this functionality to ensure smooth and accurate live tracking of all users on the leaderboard.

THE RESULTS

The application suite initially has been successfully installed at the Toronto Formula 1® Exhibition, currently supporting 10 gaming rigs that host hundreds of race lovers every day.

We are proud to bring this joy to Formula 1 fans, giving them a taste of this magical experience with innovative technology. Sysco Productions, our amazing partner, created outstanding racing rigs that have been a cornerstone of this project’s success.

— THE FUTURE

Due to the project’s success, we anticipate adding more features and new race tracks in the future. We are eager to provide even more solutions to this vibrant and enthusiastic community, continuing to elevate the Formula 1® Exhibition experience.

We had a great synergy with Sysco Productions on this project and expect to collaborate further and bring more innovative and captivating experiences to life.

Let’s build something
together.

Drop us a line about it.