Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sports game design issues

Speaking of game design, I read a lot about designing RPGs and strategy games, but not so much about other genres. There's some book from Adobe Press, but that's pretty much it.

What brought this to mind? Power gauges. You know, that interface where you hold down a button, the gauge fills up, and you release the button, and how full the gauge is influences the power of your throw/hit/jump.

If you think about it, it doesn't make sense. When is the last time you actually threw something considerably harder or softer than you intended? Accuracy is the difficult part. (There are some games where high power makes accuracy more difficult; I think this is the way to go.)

Some other sports game-specific issues:
  • In a game based on real athletes, how much of the result should depend on the athlete's skills and how much should depend on the player's? Sim games (where it's all dependent on the athlete) are fun, but a game where Barry Bonds and Julio Lugo are equally capable hitters is just pointless.
  • What should the range of performance be? Should a great player be able to reliably outperform a sport's records?

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