The traditional multisports arcade title reinvented for the modern era. Then thrown away along with games that require more than two digital inputs and more than a single plane of movement. Imagine Hypersports, Track and Field or Daly Thompsons Decathlon taking place on a line and you've just imagined the future of multisport arcade titles.
Talking with David from Smudged Cat Games (Adventures of Shuggy, Gateways) earlier this week I was reminded I hadn't explained how similar events are made to be different enough in 1D Sports. This post will put things right.
Posted by sparkes on Jul 13th, 2012
When you start to think about 1D Sports the first thing that comes to mind is how it's possible to make dozens of events exactly the same with the only change being duration so I thought I'd explain briefly how I've avoided this in 1D Sports.
The obvious choices are the running events but pretty much anything with synchronous action could potentially end up exactly the same. 1D Sports (at least the version that will be made public at release) contains 4 events that fit in this category. They are the equivalents of the 100m, 400m, 1500m and the 110m hurdles in real life. At the moment the names they will go by in game is undecided.
The 100m is just how you imagine it's a straight button bash. In the alpha build only the A button increases the velocity. There is the option, after testing, to also include the B button or even to require an A press followed by a B press alternating but that third option is one I'd rather keep if 1D Sports expands past it's current 10 events.
The 400m has the addition of an energy bar. The faster you bash the faster you go but keep up a steady pace and it doesn't drop. The player that can manage this so they can bash like mad at the end and never hit the wall will win. Over 400m there isn't time to recuperate. The energy you have at the start is all you have and when you go into the red and start eating those reserves they are gone for ever. This event balances fast button presses with knowing when to hold back.
The 1500m also includes the power meter but when the player is running at a really steady slow pace power can be regenerated. In the 1500m you can use bursts of acceleration to outwit your opponents and get the jump on them and timing the sprint at the end can be crucial.
The 110m is slightly different in that it uses two buttons and requires me to jump the gun and announce how jumping works in the 1D world on a single plane. Well obviously it doesn't but just like it's easier to run in air and glide in a swimming pool the same is true along the line in our 1D world. Jumping is in fact sliding in a medium that allows a good slide but poor running locomotion. So the 110m requires the player to time a press on the B button to 'glide' over the points that are sticky. Don't press or press too late and your velocity is reduced. Press it too early and your velocity is reduced. The winner will be the player who bashes the A button quickest between the hurdles and times the B button presses to avoid the penalties. That's pretty much how hurdles worked in Track and Field.
I've also uploaded an example of the screen players see between events showing how the results of these synchronous events are presented. It's all pretty standard and at some point in the future I'll explain the scoring mechanisms in place in a little detail and explain the choices made designing them.