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Big Ant Cricket - Fielding (How would you like to see it done?)
#1
Personally, from my own observation of cricket gaming going all the way back to Graham Gooch's Cricket back on the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64, I've always felt fielding has been the poor relation in terms of cricket gaming treatment and only in a few instances has it got close to being a fun and playable facet of the game.

It needs to be again. It's been automated the heck out of in past instances, due to the fact that batting and bowling need so much attention in the development process. No-one seems to know how to handle it.

Myself, I think Big Ant or whoever will one day focus some attention on fielding again needs to pay attention to the factors that have worked in the past from the various cricket games that we've already seen.

Some of the good ones were Shane Warne/Brian Lara Cricket '99, to a certain extent HB Studios Cricket 2002 and the current catching system in International Cricket 2010.

My own idea would play out something like this.

1) An outfield fielding example. A ball has been struck firmly into a gap and is heading quickly into the outfield and only somewhat slowing as it approaches the last 15 metres. A button (maybe L2 on PS3) could be pushed to change immediately to the nearest player (if the player felt this was not the suitable player they could immediately change to another by holding down L2 and pushing the analogue stick in the direction of the fielder they do wish to utilise. They move the player towards the ball with a circle around them (it's size is larger if your player is a more athletic fielder and has more diving/sliding range) holding down R2 (sprint for the run) and as they get closer they release R2 and press R1 when they feel they are close enough. Your player should slide/dive/pick up the ball and then the player must push Triangle to throw to the top end, or X to go to the bottom end.

How a player could do this less than perfectly causing a four or missing a potential run-out:

Making an error in thinking that the L2 button has chosen the wrong fielder and changing it themselves when they didn't need to.

Pressing R1 outside of the diving/sliding range of that player in relation to his sliding/diving stat.

Not releasing the Sprint R2 button whilst Pressing the R1 button. Or choosing the end (Triangle or X) prior to picking it up. This might be fine with a player who had good stats for sliding/diving fielding, or most other players early in a match, but later on it could mean they miss-time their effort and miss the ball, or knock it over the line.


2) An outfield catching example.

The ball that is hit into the air would have a circle similar to Shane Warne Cricket, that changes size as it goes into the air so you could approximate how high it was as it traveled. As it reduces in size, you know it's coming down and you need to be ready to catch.

The player uses the aforementioned L2 system to choose a player and moves to the circle with Sprint R2. As they get close they could dive with R1 towards it. Depending on the size of their own fielding circle and whether or not it touched or crossed into the ball landing indicator circle and finally most importantly if the ball indicator circle had reduced in size enough that you know the balls almost down, they could make a stunning catch. If they made it easily into the circle, then they simply have to wait a second so they can time the circle size reduction and take the catch.

3) An infield catching/fielding system example.

The ball will move fast and really a player could not be expected to co-ordinate a rapid enough response to take a catch with quite the same preceding system. So this is my suggestion.

The game automatically gives you the nearest player and you must hold down the R1 catching/pick up button whilst pushing the analogue stick in the direction the ball is. If it's towards the top of the screen, press and hold up, below them press and hold down. If it hasn't quite arrived, push towards the ball (left or right). If it has made it almost to or is at the player, push it away from the ball (towards outfield) and the player will attempt to dive back or up for it.

Player stats for catching and sliding/diving should come into effect in making these chances easier or harder.

If to make anything I've said more practical/playable the game would need to slow down by 5-10% (particularly the infield stuff) then no problem, those who don't like it and want auto-fielding with just a catching timer can have that instead.

These are just my initial thoughts on fielding, as you can see I care a bit about this being looked at someday as something do-able. Fielding the way it's been over the last while has been taking the third dimension out of cricket gaming. I hope Big Ant can give some of it back.

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#2
(10-17-2012, 01:09 AM)C A Iversen Wrote: Personally, from my own observation of cricket gaming going all the way back to Graham Gooch's Cricket back on the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64, I've always felt fielding has been the poor relation in terms of cricket gaming treatment and only in a few instances has it got close to being a fun and playable facet of the game.

It needs to be again. It's been automated the heck out of in past instances, due to the fact that batting and bowling need so much attention in the development process. No-one seems to know how to handle it.

Myself, I think Big Ant or whoever will one day focus some attention on fielding again needs to pay attention to the factors that have worked in the past from the various cricket games that we've already seen.

Some of the good ones were Shane Warne/Brian Lara Cricket '99, to a certain extent HB Studios Cricket 2002 and the current catching system in International Cricket 2010.

My own idea would play out something like this.

1) An outfield fielding example. A ball has been struck firmly into a gap and is heading quickly into the outfield and only somewhat slowing as it approaches the last 15 metres. A button (maybe L2 on PS3) could be pushed to change immediately to the nearest player (if the player felt this was not the suitable player they could immediately change to another by holding down L2 and pushing the analogue stick in the direction of the fielder they do wish to utilise. They move the player towards the ball with a circle around them (it's size is larger if your player is a more athletic fielder and has more diving/sliding range) holding down R2 (sprint for the run) and as they get closer they release R2 and press R1 when they feel they are close enough. Your player should slide/dive/pick up the ball and then the player must push Triangle to throw to the top end, or X to go to the bottom end.

How a player could do this less than perfectly causing a four or missing a potential run-out:

Making an error in thinking that the L2 button has chosen the wrong fielder and changing it themselves when they didn't need to.

Pressing R1 outside of the diving/sliding range of that player in relation to his sliding/diving stat.

Not releasing the Sprint R2 button whilst Pressing the R1 button. Or choosing the end (Triangle or X) prior to picking it up. This might be fine with a player who had good stats for sliding/diving fielding, or most other players early in a match, but later on it could mean they miss-time their effort and miss the ball, or knock it over the line.


2) An outfield catching example.

The ball that is hit into the air would have a circle similar to Shane Warne Cricket, that changes size as it goes into the air so you could approximate how high it was as it traveled. As it reduces in size, you know it's coming down and you need to be ready to catch.

The player uses the aforementioned L2 system to choose a player and moves to the circle with Sprint R2. As they get close they could dive with R1 towards it. Depending on the size of their own fielding circle and whether or not it touched or crossed into the ball landing indicator circle and finally most importantly if the ball indicator circle had reduced in size enough that you know the balls almost down, they could make a stunning catch. If they made it easily into the circle, then they simply have to wait a second so they can time the circle size reduction and take the catch.

3) An infield catching/fielding system example.

The ball will move fast and really a player could not be expected to co-ordinate a rapid enough response to take a catch with quite the same preceding system. So this is my suggestion.

The game automatically gives you the nearest player and you must hold down the R1 catching/pick up button whilst pushing the analogue stick in the direction the ball is. If it's towards the top of the screen, press and hold up, below them press and hold down. If it hasn't quite arrived, push towards the ball (left or right). If it has made it almost to or is at the player, push it away from the ball (towards outfield) and the player will attempt to dive back or up for it.

Player stats for catching and sliding/diving should come into effect in making these chances easier or harder.

If to make anything I've said more practical/playable the game would need to slow down by 5-10% (particularly the infield stuff) then no problem, those who don't like it and want auto-fielding with just a catching timer can have that instead.

These are just my initial thoughts on fielding, as you can see I care a bit about this being looked at someday as something do-able. Fielding the way it's been over the last while has been taking the third dimension out of cricket gaming. I hope Big Ant can give some of it back.

Thanks for all of your ideas - really appreciate them and are definitely taking them on board. Might have to organise a free copy for you soon! Smile

Big Ant Studios store at www.BigAnt.com
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#3
(10-17-2012, 01:09 AM)C A Iversen Wrote: Fielding the way it's been over the last while has been taking the third dimension out of cricket gaming.

Agree with basically everything you wrote. Excellent post.

The circle idea for out fielding is great. It is pretty often coached into cricketers from a young age the if a ball is skied then the key to actually catching it is being still when you are about to take the catch. If you are in the outfield it makes life a whole lot easier catching the ball if you are in the right spot early on as your head is still and you can focus on taking the catch. This is where the circle system would be great. If the ball is hit towards the outfield, the player should have to try and make the ground towards the circle as quickly as possible to get in the right position and then the timing mechanics of the catch could kick in(even on the harder difficulties there could maybe be no circle and the player must judge where it will land?). If they are in the right position and a reasonable fielder than the catch can be taken fairly easily, however if they do not make the ground quite in time, the catch will be harder to take as the player will have to dive etc.

Also with the ground fielding option, it would be great to be able to flick the ball away from the ropes to either be picked up and thrown back in once the user has come back over the ropes or to another fielder who ran out the the boundary with you.

Slips catching is another area that has never been nailed. This is an exciting part of the game and a great slips catch is always great to see. In past cricket games, the game has been slowed down and then a timing animation is introduced to take a slips catch. The problem with slips fielding in games is that again slips fielding is a reflex. Most slips catches are taken on impulse and the player doesn't really get time to think about the catch. Implementing this facet of cricket into a game is difficult (I'm sure Ross would have had a few headaches with this one!). The key to this is trying to find a system that is in 'real time' but is still not too difficult. This allows the user to still feel like they are in the middle of a real game. Perhaps one method is to implement a relatively simple reflex type system. Often the ball reaches the slipper at awkward heights and they are left to either try and take the ball as a standard palms up catch or go the fingers up option (Eg: when they take a catch in front of their face they have their fingers facing up) Perhaps for the higher difficulties of the game if a ball is knicked into the slips cordon, the catching player could be automatically selected by the AI and all the user would have to do is either flick the analogue stick up or down to take the ball fingers up or down. The timing would have to be right and it could be relatively difficult to take a good catch (it is in real life!)This means the game would never have to slow down for the animation and the user would feel a part of the catch and get enormous satisfaction from reacting quickly.
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#4
Agree that fielding has to be more hands-on.

I like some of the scenarios you've mentioned, but I believe the choice of buttons could be improved (a minor thing). i.e I don't like L2 to change player, or R1 to dive. As I said.... that's a minor thing when thinking about the entire system.

The catching system seems similar to what was in International Cricket 2010, but with added complexity....which I like.
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#5
Hopefully there is an option for manual fielding. Makes the game a but more enjoyable.
Up the mighty Eels Exclamation Cool
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#6
Have the option of Auto an Manual.

I think auto could be better as its more realistic and you could make the catches extremely real. The biggest thing is SLIPS CATCHING. In previous games, it popped up to slips and keeper and I could take a sip of water before i pressed a button to catch it. This is where auto would be fun.

Don't do that slow motion stuff as its just weird and frustrating.

Cheers! Smile
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#7
While we're on the issue of slips catching, I'd just like to see realistic edges. Edging a ball at perfect catchable height and at regular speed to the slips cordon from a full toss is just outrageous. It needs proper physics.
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#8
I've been avoiding these speculation / wishlist threads as I believe Big Ant have already got what they've got. But the main thing i would like to see is the fielding "given" of being able to choose which end to throw the ball... with a modifier that enabled you to have a "shy at the stumps" (which can lead to overthrows or an impressive runout.)
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#9
(11-16-2012, 09:32 AM)RuckNHell Wrote: I've been avoiding these speculation / wishlist threads as I believe Big Ant have already got what they've got. But the main thing i would like to see is the fielding "given" of being able to choose which end to throw the ball... with a modifier that enabled you to have a "shy at the stumps" (which can lead to overthrows or an impressive runout.)

+1
My priorities for Big Ant Studios Cricket games
1- Play real
2- Feel real
3- Look real

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#10
Not sure if it's been said. But howabout, when going for a direct hit, a little crosshairs appears like in a fps and you have to aim it onto the stumps or maybe at the keeper/fielder backing up?

Just an idea being thrown out there.
Up the mighty Eels Exclamation Cool
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