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Building the Sports MMO Genre 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the +1-knuckleball-of-sneakiness dept.
Kheldon writes to point out an interview with David Chang of GamesCampus about the up-and-coming sports MMO genre. He also talks about their efforts to bring older demographics into gaming. Quoting: "One of the things about the baseball game in particular that's so great is that there is a leveling component, not just to the team, but also to players. So you're exactly right in terms of the persistence. We want people to not just play a baseball game, but ... to grow their team and their players over time. So, there are things where if you win a game, that's how you gain experience points. If you win against a higher level opponent, you get more experience points; if you bottom feed and you take advantage of lower-level players, you don't get as much, and so on. There are a lot of MMO-type concepts in the game. If you're talking about individual players, if you hit a lot of homeruns, or if you steal a lot of bases, your power or your stealing stat will increase over each season."
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Building the Sports MMO Genre

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  • by famebait (450028) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:03AM (#28937849)

    That might actually be fun to watch.

    Still holding out for massively multiplayer Calvinball, though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Benaiah (851593)

      MMO Baseball = Epic Fail

      Trying to imagine it?.
      Imagine if you are on the batters team, it would be like playing CS, waiting 20mins to get your turn to bat, only to strike out. It's like watching cricket.

      • by Bluesman (104513) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:46AM (#28938791) Homepage

        More accurately, it's like watching baseball.

      • I can think of no better way to kill the sports MMO genre than to start it off with baseball.

        One of the things about the baseball game in particular that's so great is that there is a leveling component, not just to the team, but also to players.

        OK, but that's only because people have been focused on stats in baseball games since, well, forever. Can't this be applied to any sport?

        So, there are things where if you win a game, that's how you gain experience points. If you win against a higher level opponent, you get more experience points; if you bottom feed and you take advantage of lower-level players, you don't get as much, and so on. There are a lot of MMO-type concepts in the game.

        Again, couldn't this be applied to any sport?

        I could see a sports component in an MMO, but not an MMO completely based on sports.

        • Well, "you" are an entire team, not one "player" who will sit around waiting for his turn at bat.

          Still, Motor City Online gave people cool ways to get and upgrade and show off cars. And race them, of course. And it flopped.

    • Actually, it kinda reminds me of Fargo's MMO chess [gamespy.com] idea :P

    • by sabre86 (730704)
      I think a baseball MMO would be pretty cool, if only to people who like baseball games. Basic game play would center around pickup games (and may be drills), with computer and player controlled teams/players. If you focus at the team level, you can trade/level your players, acquire resources, equipment, etc and participate in season. You can use mini games and/or skill checks for difficult plays and actions -- possibly even mixing the two. Players could maybe pick between having the option of playing the mi
    • by sqldr (838964)

      Well, having played 10-versus-10 FIFA 2009, the football version basically works like this..

      I'm in the middle, I'm in the middle, cross it!
      You're offside!
      I'm not!
      Ok, ready?
      shit..fuck..shit.. ok, cross it!
      incoming! ...
      OH YOU TWAT, that landed in row Z!
      sorry :(

      best laugh I've had in weeks.

      • by sqldr (838964)

        wouldn't normally reply to my own comment, but as I posted that, the "fortune" comment at the bottom of slashdot was "You now have Asian Flu."

        Great! I just spent the past 3 days in bed with swine flu :(

  • by bersl2 (689221) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @05:09AM (#28937879) Journal

    There is medicine here; use it? [ynq] (n) y
    This makes you feel strong. What would you like to call this medicine?

    also

    The pitcher throws; it is a curveball. You swing and miss! You are out.
    But wait... the ball hits the ground and takes a wind bounce away from the catcher!
    You run to first base. You are safe!

  • So, there are things where if you win a game, that's how you gain experience points. If you win against a higher level opponent, you get more experience points; if you bottom feed and you take advantage of lower-level players, you don't get as much, and so on.

    Isn't that a somewhat old and fairly standard team rating/ranking system? I'm fairly sure that various sports games already do that kind of system so that you can't do as well by just beating low teams.

    If not then half of Games Workshop's sideline tab

    • by Denjiro (55957)

      So, there are things where if you win a game, that's how you gain experience points. If you win against a higher level opponent, you get more experience points; if you bottom feed and you take advantage of lower-level players, you don't get as much, and so on.

      Isn't that a somewhat old and fairly standard team rating/ranking system? I'm fairly sure that various sports games already do that kind of system so that you can't do as well by just beating low teams.

      If not then half of Games Workshop's sideline table-top 'skirmish' games already do it, and Blood Bowl has already been made in to a game (once with license, and before that without a license).

      Bloodbowl has actually been made with license twice. There's licensed games from 1995 and 2009 as well as the unlicensed 2004 Chaos League.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Bowl_(1995_video_game) [wikipedia.org]

  • by digitalderbs (718388) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @06:58AM (#28938445)
    I know sports games are popular, but MMOs require a lot of time and devotion. If you care enough about a sport to play it with others online and devote months or years of your life playing it, why not pick up a ball a play the real thing outside, with friends?
    • by Skraut (545247)
      Playing the Hockey MMO that is the NHL 09 inspired me to do just that. I quit playing the video game, and now am in an adult league playing 2 games a week. Have lost 40 lbs too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by azaris (699901)

      I know sports games are popular, but MMOs require a lot of time and devotion. If you care enough about a sport to play it with others online and devote months or years of your life playing it, why not pick up a ball a play the real thing outside, with friends?

      Because playing a sports game is not the same as playing the sport. Many people like sports that in reality they have no physical ability or coordination for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EvilIdler (21087)

      Same reason as with anything: Because you can't. 4'6" and dreaming of pro football? Forget it :)
      Hulk-sized and want to be a jockey? Hah! Wheelchair-bound? Steeplechase is not for you.

      An online world where you can pick from a number of sports are excellent then. Plus, it might even be A NICE DIVERSION, WHICH IS THE BLOODY REASON PEOPLE PLAY ANY , computer or not!

    • Because that requires having a body that isn't broken.

    • Why do people keep using this argument? It is so empty and shallow that it is getting tired.

      Silly man(or woman), playing an sport video game is different than playing the same sport. Completely. And one may be good on one of those without been good on the other. And some have fun playing one of those and not the other.

      How is this so hard to understand?

    • Because the graphics aren't as good.
    • by Alternity (16492)

      For the same reason some real musicians spend lots of time playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band and like it.

      A video game of an activity is NOT the same as the activity it's based on.

    • That's just a variation of the Rock Band/Guitar Hero argument. As others have said, a game is not the same thing as a sport.

      I don't mean to fall into the Slashdot pattern, but XKCD says it pretty well. [xkcd.com]

    • That's what many people said about about a little game called Guitar Hero, and look how that turned out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I know sports games are popular, but MMOs require a lot of time and devotion. If you care enough about a sport to play it with others online and devote months or years of your life playing it, why not pick up a ball a play the real thing outside, with friends?

      • The offseason.
      • The climate where you are might not allow you to play when you want to (eg rain/snow/etc.).
      • The available facilities might be far away, busy all the time, managed by assholes, or cost too much.
      • Can't find enough people to play with locally, or they all suck or they are all disagreeable.
      • Sufficiently good virtual reality gaming might be good training for the real thing.

      Besides, no one said you couldn't do both. When I was a kid, the videogame sports I liked most were the games I actually played

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @09:47AM (#28940215)
    Here is a Youtube of 2K Sports NBA 2009. Played online, 5v5:

    http://nba-tube.com/nba-2k9-online-5v5-teamup-lakers-vs-rockets-4th-quarter/ [nba-tube.com]

    I think you can see, it looks and feels like a real game on tv. I think if you made Football 11 v 11 - people would sign on and play OG. I really do. I would play Madden online 11 v 11 and just work on being the best pass rusher in the game. I think online sports, where all the players are played by real people is the "next big thing" in gaming. In Football, there could even be a slot for coach, and that person gets to pick the play called. Then you could have 12 v 12. Real flamewars between Coach and QB's who go off script. I think it would be extremely popular, although some selfish people would refuse to play unless they could QB, that's how it is in real life too. It's whatever works.
  • Gabe on Tiger (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:55AM (#28942307)

    Gabe at Penny Arcade complained about [penny-arcade.com] the latest Tiger Woods game, because of the idea of leveling. Leveling causes the game to be more about time spent than it is about skill.

    I don't know why I keep buying Tiger Woods games every year. I suppose because it's the only golf game available. I am always instantly frustrated by it and I end up putting it aside after just a couple days. The main problem I have with the game I think is the way your skills work. Tiger is essentially an RPG. That is to say as you play, your skills improve and you get better equipment. That's just not what I want from a golf game. Starting Tiger Woods is like walking on to the golf course wearing vendor trash and everyone else is in their tier 8 gear. You can not compete unless you put the time in. What I want is a golf game that's more like Halo or any other shooter. What I mean is that everyone has essentially the same character and what determines the winner is the players skill.

    I want to see everyone start with a character that has the same basic skills. Then give everyone the same number of points that they can invest in their character to improve things like driving or putting. Then that's it, no more points no more stat upgrades. Now you're talking about creating a custom build for your character and then matching your skills with that build up against everyone else. Imagine if every time you tackled a guy in Madden your players got stronger. Then imagine you could buy footballs that flew further or were easier to catch. Sure some people might like it but most fans would say "this isn't football". Well that is essentially how Tiger Woods works and I guess I'm just tired of it.

  • Greetings rookie! We'll get to playing shortly, however there's a lot of preparation we need to do. There are uncollected balls all over the field and someone needs to pick them up. Come back with 10 of them and we should be ready to start pre-season training. Be careful though, there are some hostile umpires out there who don't like players on the field before the game starts. Accept quest?

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