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Making Virtual Sports More Like the Real Thing

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the athletes-with-brains dept.

93

The New York Times has an article today with an unexpected source of game criticism: Seattle Seahawks football player Sean Alexander. The athlete made the EA execs nervous at a press conference this week, where he offered up some insightful comments about the Madden series of games. From the article: "Madden has always been great, but it's always been one-on-one, just you and another person, and real football is a team game. You should be able to make a team and play together with your friends. Like if you have 10 friends, you could all play different positions and be in 10 different houses and play together over the Internet. Or maybe you just have like five people, and you control the skill positions and the program controls the other guys."

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Cool, so in the karate sims (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#15677786)

I'll finally be able to actually crush some kids ribs and tear his elbow ligaments before giving him concussion?

 

My kid's in karate (1)

ianscot (591483) | about 8 years ago | (#15678067)

They wear altogether too much padding and gear nowadays for you to break ribs. A good turtle pad and the only thing you'll be breaking is your metatarsals, you tough talker you. Maybe on sub-par pads you could knock the kid's wind out if you catch her right. (Bully.)

Ironically, the one thing the Web does seem to really be offering us is trash talk... Which is the one thing we can verify you actually like to do in real life. ;-)

Re:My kid's in karate (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | about 8 years ago | (#15678187)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but later on they take away the pads? A friend of mine has something like 4th level black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and when he was growing up it was all pads and gloves, then slowly as they matured (think age 18-20) they removed all the padding. It definitely made the matches more fun to watch. Where the fighters would have to consider what they were doing or risk hurting themselves or each other (unfortunately, no ear biting or neck breaking is allowed, Mike Tyson and Chuck Norris wouldn't be pleased)

Re:My kid's in karate (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#15678395)

I've been doing shao lin kung fu for the last 2 and a half years now, almost three. We started out without pads. Controlled sparring, light contact. You gotta be fast, but you also need a lot of control to keep from knocking out teeth or breaking arms. The more advanced sashes (no belts) start wearing pads so we can kick the crap out of each other without worrying so much about concusions. Control first, then power.

Ah, I was taking the piss about "realism". (0, Offtopic)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#15678337)

Oh no, my point is about realism. There is no realism in any games, never mind sports games. Until we get Star Trek holodecks in our homes talking about realism in computer games is bullshit. At best you are exercising a finger or two.

In terms of training in class, the idea there is to make it as realistic as is possible[1] without getting hurt, mainly because it bloody hurts to breathe, never mind laugh, sneeze or train while you wait 6 weeks for your ribs to heal.

[1] Actually this idea was abandoned decades ago by many sport based martial arts, so, don't expect your head height spinning reverse round house to connect with anything but thin air and land you on your arse when you actually get cornered in an unlit parking lot. Movies (and games) are fantasy and have no basis in reality.
 

Re:Ah, I was taking the piss about "realism". (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 8 years ago | (#15678832)

I don't see where you're coming from. This would be no different to grouping up in an MMORPG to raid a dungeon, just playing a sport rather than fighting a boss.

Some games *do* have realism. (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | about 8 years ago | (#15679652)

For example, when I'm playing PONG on my PC, the experience is almost exactly like the real PONG video game. Down to the pixel. I can see it right there on my screen! Blip, blip, blip...

Ars Technica article (3, Informative)

KerberosKing (801657) | about 8 years ago | (#15677838)

In case you are like me and hate the reg only articles at sites like the NYT, here's the same topic [arstechnica.com] from Ars Technica,

Re:Ars Technica article (1)

palswim (982779) | about 8 years ago | (#15678360)

Or, just use BugMeNot [bugmenot.com] for an NYT login (or get Firefox [getfirefox.com] and the BugMeNot Extension [roachfiend.com] ).

"lock" to player (2)

kisrael (134664) | about 8 years ago | (#15677862)

One of the things missing from Mario Strikers is the ability to "lock" to a specific player (it's probably an offspring of how there's one capain and a triplet of supporters).
In NHL Hitz and Sega Soccer Slam, if I'm playing on the same side as a human, I always like to lock my controller to a single player, because I can identify with the single person, rather than bouncing around (esepcially because sometimes there's contention for control of the player nearest the action.)

Player locking's a failing across all sports (1)

ianscot (591483) | about 8 years ago | (#15678143)

Basketball is a great example of this failing you point out. Depending on the game, you might find a scheme that you like okay -- but no game really gives you the flexibility you need to get things just right, and it's not like there are that many possibilities. (I always want to be in the guy with the ball. I always want to be the point guard. I always want to be X player.)

Even in soccer, otherwise excellent games often have a "switch you into the defender when you're running the opposite way" bug. Argh.

Maybe online play would actually drive some thought about how this feature works for single player, too. It could only be a good thing. There's nothing like the dork in online play who would always switch into the star, you know?

Already exists....but not for sports games (4, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | about 8 years ago | (#15677889)

It's interesting that the concept of having more than two people in a game has not penetrated into sports games yet. Many other genres have long since adopted this kind of play, even on consoles, which were long constrained by lack of networking ability. First-person shooters? Yup. Role-playing games? Yup, to a dazzling extent. Real-time strategy? Not really, but the nature of the game inherently limits the number of players.

The one genre where teamwork should seem obvious lacks any sort of teamwork gameplay for more than two players. I wonder why it took an NFL player to bring it to the EA execs' minds.

Then again, when you have what amounts to a monopoly in sports games, there's little motivation to innovate. We certainly haven't seen EA do much in that area...

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

Wingfat (911988) | about 8 years ago | (#15677945)

Umm? Have you played Madden on the PS2 before? has this Seahawks guy? i dont think so, becasue i have a madden game i can have 8people playing at the same time, that is four on each team you can do, not the full controll of all then players on the field but enough to have a team effort. Even Ice Hockey games you can do this...

EA innovates by having new lapses in each edition (1)

ianscot (591483) | about 8 years ago | (#15678096)

there's little motivation to innovate. We certainly haven't seen EA do much in that area...

Are you kidding? Their franchise modes lack a new conspicuous feature every year!

On the other hand, their game play -- I mean, how many NBALives has it been now where rebounding is utterly and completely unrealistic and bizarre? There's some continuity there. If they were innovating per their usual style, some years you wouldn't be able to jump, and others your arms wouldn't reach for the ball...

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (2, Informative)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | about 8 years ago | (#15678211)

Then again, when you have what amounts to a monopoly in sports games, there's little motivation to innovate.
There is no monopoly in sports games, just a monopoly on licensed sports games. I don't understand why EA's competitors just folded after EA grabbed exclusive rights to the NFL license.

I typically avoid the sports games genre (I haven't played a video game sports title in years), but most of my favorite sports games didn't involve real life players or teams. For example, some of my favorite sports titles are Basewars on the NES and the Mutant League games on Genesis. Blitz is still around despite not using the NFL license, which actually gave the developers more creative freedom, as the NFL no longer had a say over game content. Contrast these creative offerings with the closest EA gets, their "Street" games which really aren't that much different from the more "realistic" offerings.

I'd love to see someone update Basewars or Mutant League.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

Tickenest (544722) | about 8 years ago | (#15678374)

Because now that people have been exposed to the experience of games with real players, teams, and stadiums, most don't want to go back. You may feel differently, but you are definitely in the minority.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | about 8 years ago | (#15678991)

you are definitely in the minority
I don't dispute this, but I think there's still a market for sports games that don't include real players, teams or stadiums. Blitz sold over 1 million units [ampednews.com] without any of those things. Now, granted 1 million units is probably nothing compared to what Madden sells in a single year. But most developers out there would be thrilled to sell 500,000 units, let alone 1 million. Although maybe 1 million units is the limit of the "fake" football market.

Visual Concepts could've done a Blitz like game. Or they could've done a realistic game where you're trying to start a new team in a new league. Visual Concepts had plenty of options they could've taken to produce an unlicensed football game, instead they simply quit, they didn't even try something different. You can say people don't want to go back to fake players, teams and stadiums, but aside from Blitz, no one even tried such a game to validate that idea.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 8 years ago | (#15679483)

Let me translate what you don't even realize you are saying between the lines:

It's because the branding and marketing works, especially on kids, and people have been brainwashed into desiring strong brand identification. Go stand in the video game section of WalMart or Target for a half hour. Really, the experience will be worth a half hour of your time. You will witness a child consider which game to purchase. The kid will probably have one where they think it looks cool, or one of their friends has told them it is good, or they have seen a good review in a magazine. The other will be a licensed sports, movie, comic book, or cartoon title... It will be a struggle for the kid to decide, and then almost every time they'll pick the crappy licensed title over the good game play/review.

I've seen this several times. One was just the other day when a kid was trying to decide between New Super Mario Brothers [gamespot.com] and X-Men 3 [gamespot.com] for the DS. He litterally had a conversation with himself and the sales guy about it... He couldn't have been more than 8 years old, but he said he saw good reviews of the Mario game online. He had just played it a bit on the DS lite and told his mom 'I want this. It's fun.', and that's the reason they got the guy to open the case in the first place... But he saw the X-Men game box when he got over there, and "X-Men are awesome". The truely excelent New SMB went back in the case, and Activision got his cash for their crap fest with good branding.

That is why nobody bothers writing Football games without an NFL license.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

Tickenest (544722) | about 8 years ago | (#15679630)

Or what I said. Either one.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15681617)

That *is* what you said. People prefer branding over gameplay.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 8 years ago | (#15684151)

I would be interested to hear what you think the difference between what you said and what I said are... Isn't "the experience of games with real players, teams, and stadiums" considered branding?

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

joystickgenie (913297) | about 8 years ago | (#15678668)

Because they didn't just get NFL, they got exclusive NFL, the players association, NCAA, and arena league licenses. Oh yeah, and Mutant league belongs to EA as well. EA really does have as close to a football monopoly as you can get.

But not all of the competitors jumped ship "The League" came out after the exclusive license shoe dropped.

CFL? Rugby? Aussie? Gaelic? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15680105)

But does EA have a long-term lock on the Canadian Football League or any of the rugby or Australian Rules or Gaelic football leagues?

Re:CFL? Rugby? Aussie? Gaelic? (1)

joystickgenie (913297) | about 8 years ago | (#15681378)

Hmmm.... No I haven't heard about exclusive licensing for any of those products. Although EA does make a Rugby game every year... a very bad one, that uses the Rugby World Cup to the European Domestic League teams licenses. I just don't know if it is exclusive or not.

In general though, at least for the American market, I think you would get less sales making a game using those licenses then you would making a game based off of no license at all. (and that's a shame, I love rugby)

Re:CFL? Rugby? Aussie? Gaelic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15681496)

They have AFL. Don't know about the others.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#15683743)

Last I looked, gridiron was just one sport of many, and there is nothing stopping anyone making unlicenced games. Just because they have rights to the most popular licences doesn't mean they have a monopoly.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

joystickgenie (913297) | about 8 years ago | (#15683760)

Hence why I said FOOTBALL monopoly. Sure there are plenty of other sports. We were specifically talking about American football.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#15684987)

Football is just one sport of many. You may as well moan that McDonald's has a monopoly on Big Macs.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#15678548)

Real-time strategy? Not really, but the nature of the game inherently limits the number of players.

Not really. First of all, you can play Total Annihilation (a quite old RTS) with up to 8 players. Second of all, there is room to have a game where there is a single commander per team, and people can jump into vehicles/units and control them, taking direction from the commander like any other unit, or ignoring them.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | about 8 years ago | (#15679727)

Not really. First of all, you can play Total Annihilation (a quite old RTS) with up to 8 players.

TA might be old, but it's still the best. Man, I can't wait until Supreme Commander [wikipedia.org] comes out!!!

Second of all, there is room to have a game where there is a single commander per team, and people can jump into vehicles/units and control them, taking direction from the commander like any other unit, or ignoring them.

Kinda like the original Starsiege:Tribes where each side can have a commander giving orders...

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

Bullet-Dodger (630107) | about 8 years ago | (#15681627)

Second of all, there is room to have a game where there is a single commander per team, and people can jump into vehicles/units and control them, taking direction from the commander like any other unit, or ignoring them.

Savage [s2games.com] is exactly what you describe.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15684360)

TA allowed ten players. Maybe you were thinking of Starcraft or C&C, those are limited to 8 IIRC.

Battlefield has commander+underlings gameplay, it focusses mostly on the underlings to make sure everyone's having fun, not just the commander.

By the way, the opensource TA remake [clan-sy.com] allows users to control units directly.

Already exists....AND in sports game (1)

cycinertia (644134) | about 8 years ago | (#15679547)

Actually, the concept already exists in sports game, and it is called "Ultimate Baseball Online" developed by Netamin. Its partnership with ESPN existed for a short while with its software in the early ESPN360 package. However, the game lacks concrete financial backing, and it is a horrible game with a great concept that has been in BETA since 2001/2002.

Ultimate Baseball Online: www.ubo2006.com

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 8 years ago | (#15680190)

It's interesting that the concept of having more than two people in a game has not penetrated into sports games yet.

One problem: if you have a griefers on your team in the real world, you can fire them; it's a lot harder to ban a determined griefer in a virtual game.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

julesh (229690) | about 8 years ago | (#15682794)

The one genre where teamwork should seem obvious lacks any sort of teamwork gameplay for more than two players. I wonder why it took an NFL player to bring it to the EA execs' minds.

Why? Because I suspect that EA et al realise that the primary reason people play sports simulators rather than getting off their butts and playing *real* sport is that they don't have enough people around to form a team. Once you've got the team, playing real sport is much better than sitting staring at a screen, and EA know it.

Re:Already exists....but not for sports games (1)

SkyWalk423 (661752) | about 8 years ago | (#15708772)

Actually, the REAL primary reason people play sports simulators rather than getting off their butts and playing *real* sport is that they lack both the physical talent to play the game, and the necessary social skills to gather enough friends and organize a real game.

What about playing 'the real thing'? (4, Insightful)

darthservo (942083) | about 8 years ago | (#15677953)

"it's always been one-on-one, just you and another person, and real football is a team game. You should be able to make a team and play together with your friends. Like if you have 10 friends, you could all play different positions and be in 10 different houses and play together over the Internet."

If he's strictly talking about getting 10 of your personal friends together, why not just go to Target, pick up a cheap football, go to a park, and...play football? Compared to the price of getting 10 gaming systems, 10 copies of the game, 10 online subscriptions, and coordinating the same time to get all 10 of your friends together it's far too much effort.

Now, for online play in general (playing with people you don't know from the entire world), it seems like it may be feasable. The only problem I forsee is the same types of complaints with most other online games: more than half of one team disconnecting before they lose, n00bs bringing a team down, and 1337 players pwning everyone.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (2)

thefirelane (586885) | about 8 years ago | (#15677987)

pick up a cheap football, go to a park, and...play football?

I assume you play paintball instead of FPSs?

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

TheAngryMob (49125) | about 8 years ago | (#15678090)

Actually I'd much rather play Lazer Tag for hours on end than play any multiplayer FPS.

Admittedly Lazer Tag and Paintball can be cost prohibitive, whereas a football/basketball/soccer ball costs very little and you need only one for entire group of people. Frankly I find it disturbing to see these obese kids (and adults) sitting on their fat asses playing simulated sports when it wouldn't kill them (or even save their lives) to go outside and play the real thing.

As a parent I make damn sure the TV goes off after an hour or two (gaming or otherwise) and my kids go play outside.

I also cut off TV if they haven't read at least a 1/2 hour a day, but that's a different issue altogether.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

darthservo (942083) | about 8 years ago | (#15678186)

The difference between FPSs and sports games is the content. For those who enjoy sports games, they probably more than likely enjoy playing the game as well, which in the end is more rewarding.

The point I was making was not in reference to online gaming in general, just to the fact that it sounded like his suggestion was limited to your personal friends.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

Jester998 (156179) | about 8 years ago | (#15678240)

That's kind of a flawed analogy.

Continuing with the football example, the upfront costs are X consoles and X copies of the game. There are also X subscription fees (ISP/game service/etc), probably recurring monthly/yearly. To buy a football and go to a park to play has one cost: The price of the football. There are no recurring charges, and the initial capital investment is quite a bit lower.

Now consider your FPS example. The upfront and ongoing costs are similar to the football game on console. To physically go and play paintball, there is a significant initial capital investment (markers, masks, hoppers, ammo tubes, vests/gloves/etc). However, unlike physically playing football, there is also ongoing costs: CO2 refills and ammo. These costs are not negligible. :)

But, cost notwithstanding, paintball is WAY better than an FPS. :)

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 years ago | (#15678502)

Thats true until you get tackled and injured, or tear something diving for cover (in paintball). Then the costs go up astronomicly, to far more than the video game.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | about 8 years ago | (#15688874)

actually, Battlefield 2 lets me to a lot of things virutally that I couldn't do with paintball, such as sniping (paintball fields rarely have much visibility, and I've never heard of a paintball sniper rifle) drive tanks, and blow up said tanks with guided rockets. Fun Stuff!

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | about 8 years ago | (#15690095)

I've never heard of a paintball sniper rifle

You have now [specialopspaintball.com] (okay, so it's not exactly the same caliber--pardon the pun--of sniper rifle; an interesting read nonetheless). You may have a point with the tanks and the rockets.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (2, Insightful)

eggsurplus (631231) | about 8 years ago | (#15678000)

Because you may all live spread out across the country or the world. I've been dreaming of a football game doing this since Madden '93.

Have you seen the amount of fat those guys carry? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#15678054)

Come on, they're never going to be able to make it to a park, never mind play an actual game of anything. And then, even if they did, they'd have to like actually talk to a real person, like in front of them. We're busy cultivating a generation of shut ins.

ok sure, it's flamebait, but true, nevertheless.

 

Pro players ALL play these games now (1)

ianscot (591483) | about 8 years ago | (#15678203)

why not just go to Target, pick up a cheap football, go to a park, and...play football? Compared to the price of getting 10 gaming systems, 10 copies of the game, 10 online subscriptions, and coordinating the same time to get all 10 of your friends together it's far too much effort.

It's ironic, but anyone who's seen a "life of the big star" thing about sports players knows that, nowadays, they all play these games. Kevin Garnett actually plays himself in NBALive. Yeah, he could go dunk it any time he wants, too, just like I could go to the park in Minneaoplis and play in the snow and the stiff wind chill with my friends.

Sean Alexander knows what he's talking about partly because he plays it too -- and he and his 10 friends do have the kind of money they need for a network setup.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15678424)

because sometimes you want a "real" game. can you get 18 guys to play baseball just whenever? with an online baseball game you could have a position and play it as a real game. it's no replacement, but it wouldn't be that hard to get going. as for noobs and people dropping out, that's what happens in every other online game. and counterstrike and co are still played.

Playing 'the real thing' with actual other humans? (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 8 years ago | (#15680091)

I used to work in a large glass box with 6000 other people. [google.com] We had four or five softball leagues (ranging from highly competitive to strongly beer-oriented), and during the summer each team would get in about 10 games. I miss it - virtual offices and commuter jobs don't give you the same opportunities. But if you live near a park somewhere, you'll probably find that there are people playing soccer on the weekends, either organized or not, and if you're in the burbs you'll probably find that _somebody_ is scheduling most of the local baseball fields every night during the season. You might have to go out and interact with real people to join in - there's this thing called "community" that used to exist before we all burned out during the 90s boom... Even small-medium startup companies can usually get pickup basketball going (not that I've ever had the speed to survive a game of basketball), or if nothing else you can play Frisbee with other people.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15678913)

If he's strictly talking about getting 10 of your personal friends together, why not just go to Target, pick up a cheap football, go to a park, and...play football?

Here's how to make video game sports more like real sports: don't let any video gamers play. :)

He DOES play 'the real thing' (2, Insightful)

Subacultcha (921910) | about 8 years ago | (#15679025)

If he's strictly talking about getting 10 of your personal friends together, why not just go to Target, pick up a cheap football, go to a park, and...play football? Compared to the price of getting 10 gaming systems, 10 copies of the game, 10 online subscriptions, and coordinating the same time to get all 10 of your friends together it's far too much effort.


Are you dense? He's a friggen football player. He plays the real thing all the time. You're acting like this is some fat kid sitting on a couch complaining about football games not being real enough.

Besides, there's other reasons to want to play a game on a gaming system: if you live in different areas and can't get together, if you're injured, if you're a 280lb football player and you want to play your 80lb nephew, if it's currently raining/snowing/too dark, or when you've already been playing professional football all day and you want to play something a little less tiring.

Pro Football vs. 'the real thing' (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 8 years ago | (#15680040)

Some famous coach, probably Vince Lombardi, described the sport as "Up in the stands you've got 50000 people who are desperately in need of exercise, watching 22 players who are desperately in need of rest".

If you're not out on the field running around, you're not playing anything resembling the real game. Back when I was in college, I played intramural football - if you're playing offensive line, the big difference between touch football and tackle football is that you don't get to wear pads in touch football :-) That was sort of like the real thing, and my fairly geeky house always ended up playing against jocks who could stomp us into the ground, but it was still fun. A video game that doesn't involve running around out of breath, physically throwing and catching the ball with your actual arms and back, and banging into people might still let you have fun with your buddies and talk about strategy, but it's no more like the real thing than playing fantasy football while drinking beer with your buddies.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

owlman17 (871857) | about 8 years ago | (#15681401)

Your nine other friends don't actually have to own a copy. This can be done to an extent the way StarCraft does it. Your copy can 'spawn' up to nine other games, then get together in a network. You can get together to play against other teams in a sports version of Battle.net. It can be done.

Re:What about playing 'the real thing'? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15684385)

Spawn installs require passing the CD around, a better analogy would be the later handhelds that allow you to copy the game (well, a limited multiplayer client version thereof) over the network interface (link cable for the GBA, wireless for the DS and presumably PSP). Nintendo claims the Wii will be able to do the same.

CRAP!!!... (1)

rmjohnso (891555) | about 8 years ago | (#15677955)

The collective thought of all of the EA game coders realizing that, if EA listens to Sean Alexander, there will be lots more unpaid overtime and sleepless nights.

Making Virtual Sports More Like the Real Thing (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 8 years ago | (#15677979)

Making Virtual Sports More Like the Real Thing

Ship steroids with the game discs.

Yeah... (1)

JMZero (449047) | about 8 years ago | (#15679170)

And why limit people to the players on the field? You could let people play benchwarmers too. You could cheer for your teammates, drink a variety of licensed products, ogle cheerleaders, take your jacket off (and/or put it on), or ask the coach to be put in (but why would you want to be).

Re:Yeah... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 8 years ago | (#15680373)

And why limit people to the players on the field?

How about players fighting fans in the stands?

Re:Yeah... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15684393)

There once was an RTS called Hooligans. I think the name says everything.

Re:Yeah... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 8 years ago | (#15688919)

Why indeed. Dibs on 3rd string kicker.

Uh oh... (3, Funny)

Quadrature (524139) | about 8 years ago | (#15678015)

Did Alexander just make a dig at his offensive line by implying they aren't "skilled" positions? Let's see how many touchdowns he gets this season... :)

Re:Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15678352)

I would say the line is made of 'unskiller laborers'
You need to know the plan, and how to use your muscle, but you usually don't need the fine touch of a quarter back or receiver.

Re:Uh oh... (1)

wibs (696528) | about 8 years ago | (#15679587)

I thought it sounded a little funny too, but it's actually standard football terminology to degrade your linemen.

Definition of skill (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15680294)

Making food at McDonald's takes skill, but in standard labor terminology, fast food cook is not a "skilled" position.

Virtual Virtual Skeeball (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | about 8 years ago | (#15678040)

It's just as if I were playing Virtual Skeeball!

Drawing in new players (1)

Cocoa Radix (983980) | about 8 years ago | (#15678209)

I think that implementing such a thing could really help to draw new gamers to the sports video games realm. I, personally, have never played sports video games, and mainly for the reasons given by Sean Alexander. If I could play on a team of ten humans, and talk to them and strategize with them as I did it, I think I might enjoy a football video game a lot more than any of the mind-numbing Madden games out right now.

All they'd need to do then is replace John Madden's current lines with new ones that won't make my ears bleed.

A good thought... (1)

racazip (829595) | about 8 years ago | (#15678329)

But then you realize how boring it is to play an offensive lineman in a video game.

Re:A good thought... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 8 years ago | (#15678933)

But combine it with Tekken, and then...!

Offensive lineman comes up, bodyslam, punch, helicopter kick, then HADOKEN!

"Sean"? (3, Insightful)

Primis (71749) | about 8 years ago | (#15678331)

Who's "Sean" Alexander?

The all-pro Seahawks RB is named "Shaun" Alexander.

If you're going to post a front-page story on sports, at least get the first name of one of the top players currently in the game right. This is the equivalent of writing a story on MS and referencing "Steve Bullmer". It's kinda' sad...

Re:"Sean"? (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 8 years ago | (#15678440)

Yes.. but on the other hand, this is Slashdot. News for nerds. Getting a piece of sports trivia wrong actually increases your nerd cred.

Re:"Sean"? (1)

JAYOYAYOYAYO (700885) | about 8 years ago | (#15679199)

tell that to baseball fans.

Re:"Sean"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15680160)

Fuck the spelling, american football is boring.

Bleh. (1)

keyne9 (567528) | about 8 years ago | (#15678365)

If I wanted to play sports, I would be outside!

Multiplayer Sports (1)

sysadmintech (704387) | about 8 years ago | (#15678366)

I 1st played multi-player sports with the 3DO, FIFA and 6 controllers (daisy chained). Later the DC with it's built in modem, Madden 2K and a CS class tournament. Madden allows you to creats players now and you can create a player that is your size and ability. Then play the AI (not very good) with your team (family, friends ...) on the same team.

Not practical (5, Insightful)

aendeuryu (844048) | about 8 years ago | (#15678409)

Executing a football play is a complex thing. The play has to be decided upon, the players have to huddle up, each player needs to know their role. The offensive line needs to know who to block, each receiver needs to know their route exactly, tight ends and running backs need to know if they're blocking or receiving. Running plays might be a bit more controlled, but think about possible reverses, options, trick plays, etc. Now, you're actually going to the line of scrimmage, and the defense shows you an alignment you don't like. Now you've got to audible. It's really quite a miracle that with all of this chaos, football players can still go out and execute.

The reason why football plays succeed in real life is because those 11 men on the field practice together like crazy before football comes up every Sunday. Who out there is going to want to try to get 11 buddies out there to practice there this much? Never mind conflicting schedules from real life that could make this impossible, or trying to audible using only your gamepad... it just doesn't make it as much fun. If you're the quarterback, you're involved in every passing play. If you're the running back, you're involved in every running play. If you only get to be a receiver, though, the ball might get passed to you a half-dozen to a dozen times per game. If you're a fullback, you're basically limited to running into people and trying to knock them down. Who's going to want that skill position? And it is a skill position, because of the possibility of getting to do a short-yardage running play or catching the odd pass out of the pocket, etc.

The only way to make sure that everybody holding a gamepad gets to be involved in every play is to make sure that the guy with the gamepad is the one with the ball. That's 1 guy out of 11.

I'm not passionate about this or anything, just not sure how this could work and be both practical and fun. Even in baseball, for instance, where coordinated execution isn't as important as football, it still means a whole bunch of bored guys sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Re:Not practical (1)

richdun (672214) | about 8 years ago | (#15678561)

You better get modded Insightful. This is why FPS tend to be the best online multiplayer games - the game works much better if everyone is working together, laying down cover fire, etc., but if that fails, you can still be the one guy who lets all the noobs be fodder, grabs an AK, and picks off the opposing team from well-covered positions.

Re:Not practical (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 8 years ago | (#15678935)

I'm not sure about American football but soccer would be ok with this, you need to work as a team but a bit of individual brilliance can turn a game.

Re:Not practical (1)

irablum (914844) | about 8 years ago | (#15680155)

or, if you're french, all you need to do is convince a ref you got fouled in the box. Once.

Ira

Re:Not practical (1)

JFMulder (59706) | about 8 years ago | (#15679230)

How about hockey? I mean, in a hockey game, there's a lot of passing around, so all players get to handle the puck. Everyone gets a chance to do something worthwile and exciting. After all, there are some defensemen who scored more goals in the NHL then some centers or wings in some teams. While having a specific role (defensemen, goaler, wing or center), everyone can have a meaningfull involvement in the game.

Playing the goaler sounds pretty boring tough. Unless you make it some sort of behind the shoulder thing and different stick directions mean blocking at different places.

Heck, make the whole game first person. That would be pretty cool, no? Or at least 3rd person with the camera just above the shoulder like RE4.

I think that would be pretty cool. Anyone from EA or 2K Sports reading this?

Not practical-First Person Sports. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15681160)

Or you could mod a FPS game engine into a sports game yourself.

Re:Not practical (2, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about 8 years ago | (#15679468)

you're kidding right? Guilds spend hours and hours and hours and hours perfecting strategies to beat the latest and greatest encounters in MMPORG (currently naxxramas in wow, say), I wouldn't be surprised if groups of dedicated people spent hours and hours and hours practicing football plays in order to be on top of the ladder leaderboard...

Re:Not practical (1)

MotherInferior (698543) | about 8 years ago | (#15693984)

Yes, but in those raids, you're always doing something, be that healing, DPSing, tanking, decursing, etc. It's very rare when your job is to just move to spot A and do nothing. The OP of this thread makes a good point, though I do agree that an additional coop mode on a sports game would be attractive to some.

It's practical, but the games will be pickup-level (1)

Animats (122034) | about 8 years ago | (#15686018)

There's no technical obstacle, but with live players in control, the play will look like a game of pickup football, not the NFL.

Only one way to make it more like the real thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15678632)

Lock it on first person view.

Packaging (1)

sharkey (16670) | about 8 years ago | (#15678641)

So the box for Madden '08 will be big enough to be 90% empty and still hold 2 CDs, a dire warning about piracy, a 50 page book of "errata that doesn't work like it says on the outside of the box" and a dirty jockstrap worn by Sean Alexander, Peyton Manning or Troy Polamalu?

Easy (1)

linvir (970218) | about 8 years ago | (#15678865)

I can remember as far back as Fifa '99 having support for at least four players at once. It was pretty fun.

All you need in order to have this kind of thing online is game join system similar to CounterStrike. You find a game with space on a team, and join. Obviously, unlike CS, you'd be taking partial control over existing players, instead of creating one new one, but the base concept is the same.

Add in a grouping system like Halo 2, and you can get a group of friends together and either create your own new game or go and fill out an existing team.

This article seems to be saying that that's not already possible. Isn't it? I've only ever played sports games offline, so I really know.

Cool...not practical for football (1)

Icepole4 (978286) | about 8 years ago | (#15678987)

It sounds pretty cool but honestly who wants to be the left tackle or the blocking fullback? Most people want to control the glamour positions, QB, WR, LB, CB....so I think his idea is impractical for football. But his idea would make a basketball game awesome!

Re:Cool...not practical for football (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15683583)

Way to read the fucking article, you shit-whore fucktard. "...you just have like five people, and you control the skill positions and the program controls the other guys."

Good Idea until you think about it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15679052)

This seems like a brilliant idea. Upon first hearing it, the instinct generally is to shout 'yes! he get's it - EA should do that! That would be so cool, etc...)....except that it really wouldn't be that fun. You can already play with up to 4 (at least). How many people pit all 4 humans against the machine? Not many I bet. Why? Because who wants to be the fat offensive lineman blocking every play. Whoop'd de do! Call me when something interesting happens. All the intricacies that make a football play, like the poster above, just don't lend themselves very well to one to one human correlations. Hey, SeanAlexander, while you're at it, why can't I play as the ref? I would love to affect the outcome of the game like they get to. How cool would that be. "Holding - 10 yd penalty..what? you're arguing? Your kicked out. Please enter your credit card number to deposit your fine to my PayPal account."

The Big Issue (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 8 years ago | (#15679122)

Is that 90% of the people will want to be either the QB or RB. Granted you can make the line be computer controlled (you'd likely need to to have any type of cohesive blocking scheme) but who wants to play receiver if every other play is a hand-off?

There was FIFA Soccer on the 3DO... (1)

NeuroMatrix (947558) | about 8 years ago | (#15680174)

This makes me think about one of my favorite game experiences... One that I would love to recreate again, but haven't had the time to look into what's available nowadays. Back in the 92-94 timeframe, I used to visit friends at a little game design company in Knoxville, TN. Apart from way cool digs and what all of us CS guys in college thought was a dream job, they had the best gaming setup around -- a 3DO (I think) hooked up to a projection system and six controllers. Me and my buddies who worked there would gather after classes and play FIFA Soccer. It really was cooperative play and it ROCKED! I haven't had a chance to play a game with six friends that was that immersive and cooperative since then. With screens (projection and otherwise) and game technology that much further along, surely there's something out there that can match that excitement, isn't there?

Also (not to fork too much, but...) I'm hoping folks creating games for the Wii are angling for that kind of cooperative experience and will support lots of controllers. The promo pictures capture the feel of what those FIFA Soccer bouts were like. I'd be very happy with that kind of system and wouldn't care much if the graphics aren't high-def.

Here's an idea! (1)

AriaStar (964558) | about 8 years ago | (#15680479)

Get those firnds together and go play football. You know, outside, moving around! That's the best way to get the real experience of playing. Sad, sad thing that playing a sport more often means sitting in front of a console rather than going out and moving around. And we wonder why people are so obese?

Only two? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 8 years ago | (#15692094)

Am I caught in a time warp? I could SWEAR I've played Madden on PS2 with more than two players. After double checking the website it supports four with multi-tap. XBox and 360 do as well. PS2 even has online play which I believe would allow four players per console, total of eight. I could be wrong.

Furthermore, there are games like Fifa World Cup that support up to EIGHT players on a single console using two multi-tap units. Additionally I've seen more than one video hockey series that supported more than two players per console. Hell, even Virtua Tennis on Dreamcast supported four players.

Am I missing something?
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