Archive for May, 2008

Realistic Gameplay
May 30, 2008

When the Wii was first announced back in 2005, I claimed that it was going to be the triumph of interactive design over brute-force processing for realistic graphics. Sales of the console during the last 2 years prove this point. But something unexpected happened: Even though the Wii wasn’t made for realistic graphics, the revolutionary controller enables such rich potential on interactive design that has permitted for the first time what I would like to call Realistic Gameplay.

The very first example of this approach is the game Winning Eleven for Wii. Unlike any other soccer game that I had played before, this game feels real. Very real on its interactive design. When I see a real soccer match on TV, my mind goes on saying “You two fuckers go an take the ball out of him”, “Everybody must go to attack now!” or “Hey asshole run so you can receive the pass” (yes, I can be quite an animal when watching sports, that’s part of the fun, right?). Those kind of interactions where I want to control not only the guy having the ball but also all the other ones out there so they can collectively perform a tactical play, wasn’t possible to reproduce on a game until Winning Eleven for Wii.

The sensation of controlling the collective interactions of my team rather than the single guy who has the ball, leads the gameplay to an overall tactical and strategical experience that makes me truly feel as the coach behind my team. Even when I design the tactical formation of my team, I really feel the impact of my choices on the field. And the in-match situations are so real and precise that off-sides, faults and other realistic soccer interactions now happen more often (unlike other soccer games).

It’s not the mission of this blog to make reviews about games.. but to explore the intricacies of interactive design. The realistic gameplay I found on the Wii was a profound experience, it felt as the discovery of perspective during the renaissance: it felt real. And that’s the way to go with games as an art form.

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