Today I finished reading “Fundamentals of Sports Game Design” by Ernest Adams.
Adams has been prolific in his writings about game design and all the different niches that they cover, from the generic “game development” to role-playing games and even the more esoteric such the narrative skills required for game design. This was a nice roundup of the rules and design challenges of creating video games that concern, well… it’s in the title, sports games.”
Whilst the book doesn’t get in to the specifics of any particular sports game it has a definite slant to team vs team based sports. And team vs team based sports usually involve a ball or puck of some sort that the players hit around. The book deals with concepts such as physics, injuries and home-field advantages (the psychology of that specific topic at least) that teams may have. Each section doesn’t get bogged down too deeply on each topic, but I also felt that there was more that could have been written, but then, where do you draw that line?
In our modern IP (intellectual property) driven world there’s a brief section on licenses, trademarks and publicity rights. I didn’t feel these few pages were in-depth enough, but then, that said, if you are working on a sports title that is part of a larger ecosystem then your company lawyers are going to be more involved with that aspect of the business anyway.
Overall a fast read through, worth picking up, even (if like me who has sworn to never work on another sports title as long as I live) sports games are not on the horizon for your next few upcoming projects.
P.S. If you say “sports” too many times it no longer sounds like a real word.