Building a Better Baseball Game: Part II


posted 7/13/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
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In my last article I brought up something I called a confidence meter which gauged how well players would play based on their performance. 989 Sports tried to include this in their MLB franchise but the incorporation was a little weaker than I would have liked. I feel that more should be done to exploit this since it’s such a huge part of the game of baseball. If a pitcher is getting shelled out there you can’t realistically expect him to retain his pinpoint precision. Rattle him a little bit; make the pitching cursor shake as the player’s trying to aim. It’ll help to recreate the nervousness and fatigue that the pitcher is currently going through.

Major League Baseball’s marketing pros absolutely love rivalries. It gets the fans going, and most importantly, it puts more people in the seats. That’s the reason why the interleague play was started and it’s the reason that video games need to take advantage of this. Again, MVP Baseball 2004 tried to incorporate this facet but the feature never was fully fleshed out. Things need to change when huge rivals go at it. Fans need to become more ferocious and tempers need to start flaring between the teams. Being at Dodger stadium while the Reds are in town is one thing, but being there when Barry Bonds and the hated Giants are there is another. Fans get more energized and excitable during these outings. I once lost my voice because I was doing so much heckling at Barry Bonds.

Marketers also like a good player rivalry. In fact this year’s All-Star buzz seems to be built around the Piazza-Clemens rivalry from a few years back. EA’s already done something like this with its NASCAR Thunder franchise, there’s no reason why it can’t keep track of something like this in a baseball game. Let’s say you bean a player repeatedly, maybe next game he’ll be more prone to charge the mound. Or maybe if you anger him his ability to hit the ball will go up. These are plenty of options that the developers can play with. Incorporating something like an aggression meter might be pertinent to the situation.

There are plenty of other things that we’d like to see in next year’s baseball games, but we’ll leave those suggestions up to you. Email us your suggestions and we’ll include them in a separate feature. Afterwards we’ll pass them along to all of the major developers.

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