This article is basically my summary of cricket games in general. In
building this site I have obviously played a lot of cricket games and have developed some
strong opinions about what features should be included in a cricket game.
Most cricket games tend to fall in to one of 2 camps
|Cricket Simulations e.g. International Cricket Captain and International Test Cricket |
|Cricket Arcade Games e.g. EA Cricket 96/97 and Brian Lara Cricket |
Cricket Simulations tend to use real life ratings to generate results.
There may be some user input on the tactics front normally selecting batting and bowling
aggression levels. The overall aim is normally to produce a result that looks
realistic and over several matches players and teams perform as well as their real life
Cricket Games still normally use ratings but are more arcade based. You
normally are in charge of every single delivery and based on how well you control the
joystick has a factor of the outcome of the delivery. Typically results are rarely
realistic. You start off not very well so end up getting bowled out for low scores
and getting smacked all around the park when bowling. As you become more familiar
with the game you work out tactics and can end up scoring massive totals and dismissing
the opposition for nominal scores.
Whilst the presentation and style of game can vary massively there are some
elements I feel should be in every cricket game.
Note these are general elements and do not cover things like graphics or
sound. I do not consider these as important as gameplay and it is all based upon the
development team. You would hope an EA Cricket game would have professional graphics
but a shareware cricket simulation often does not have the facilities to create graphics
and so concentrates on other areas.
|Averages - Cricket is a statisticians dream and a computer game
should be an ideal vehicle to store all the virtual stats produced whilst playing a game.
It is therefore amazing how few games offer the ability to display player averages
and save them from session to session. A lot of games claim to be statistical
simulations of cricket but if you can not play lots of matches and see how the averages
work out over time it is very hard to see how accurate a simulation the game is. At
a minimum then a game should calculate and store player averages. |
|Records - Whilst averages are a minimum it would be much better
if records like highest innings score, best bowling in an innings, etc were also saved.
These could then easily be compared to real life performances and the general
accuracy of the game could again be evaluated. |
|Names - A cricket program should always use real life
names. It is very hard to get motivated for an Ashes clash if the names of the
players are fictitious. |
|Ratings - Players should be rated according to their real life
averages. These ratings should be visible in some way so you can judge who are good
and bad players. Ideally you should be able to adjust ratings and add/delete
players. This is more important for the simulation games so you can prolong the life
of the game and also set up what if scenarios. Could the Aussies of the 1930s beat
the West Indies of the 1980s. |
The above elements apply equally to simulations and arcade games. The
elements listed below are more specific to the one genre.
|Tactics - Ideally there should be some way of selecting tactics
for the match. These should be general ones like selecting batting aggression,
bowling aggression, next batsman, next bowler, when to declare, etc. |
|Playing - Ideally there should be an intelligent computer so you
don't have to play both sides. This also stops potential natural bias for one side
effecting the accuracy. |
|Instant Results - To accurately test a simulation you need to
play a lot of results so it would be nice if you could generate a quick result and build
up the averages and records. |
|Batting - There ideally should be more than one control system.
Some games use a mouse control but most use a variant of showing where the ball
will pitch and allow you to move the batsman and pressing a button plays a specific shot.
The mouse ones can take time to master but are more realistic and allow more
variation as to the result. |
|Bowling A.I. - Often it becomes a matter of practice at
repeating a few shots and running up a huge score. Computer bowling A.I. needs to be
improved to stop this by varying the bowling a bit more and moving fielders to stop the
common scoring shots. Also player ratings need to be used more. Often it is as
easy to score a century with a No. 10 as with the openers. |
|Bowling - Control methods where the amount of swing/pace/spin is
dependent on the speed you waggle your joystick are not that effective and not realistic.
A control system needs to allow variety of delivery without having to break your
|Batting A.I. - In nearly all cases of arcade games once you have
worked out a formula to dismiss a batsman it can be repeated all the time. Computer
batsman should adjust to this. If you are always pitching it in the same place it
should start to expect it and counter it. This would force you when bowling to vary
your attack a bit more. |
These are just my ideas, if you have your own opinions or feel I have missed
some elements out please send feedback.