Evolution of Gaming = Evolution of Apps ?

March 25, 2007

Before my two beloved daughters were unleashed on this planet, I used to be an avid gamer.   I still try and squeeze in a bit of “thumb action” once they’ve all gone to bed!

I was thinking that the evolution of gaming isn’t too far removed from the evolution of IT applications.  Okay, maybe I’m pushing it – but read it and hopefully you’ll see where I’m coming from.

One of my passions is soccer games.   I started off with a Vic 20, complete with a whopping 5KB of RAM, but as far as I remember I never had a soccer game for it.

Then I upgraded to a Commodore 64.  A brilliant little machine.  It had a decent soccer game in Emlyn Hughes international soccer.


Just like those other Commodore fanboys (as opposed to Sinclair spectrum fanboys), I upgraded to the Amiga.

This brought a plethora of quality soccer games, my favourite of which had to be Kick-Off.  But there were other notable mentions in Emlyn Hughes (Amiga Version), Sensible Soccer, and Kick-Off2&3.  The beauty of Kick-Off was that it encapsulated the very randomness and spontaneous nature of “the beautiful game”.  Not a single goal was the same.  You could pull off incredibly dirty tackles.  You could literally pull a goal off from anywhere.  Magic.  It was just breathtakingly simple.

KickOff  Sensi

Then the Playstation ushered in a changing of the guard.  The switch to 3D and TV style coverage.  Through the various iterations of the console we’ve seen the Actua Soccer series, a gazillion FIFA soccer titles, and we’re now up to episode 6 of the brilliant Pro Evolution Soccer.  You can even play online with players around the world and participate in remote tournaments (Soccer 2.0).

Fifa  ProEvo

Over the years, I have to say that my favourite was Kick-Off on the Amiga.  Simple graphics and simple sound, but spontaneous and unpredictable gameplay that really worked.  It was gameplay that gave users the next best experience to scoring a real life goal (not that I experience that very often).  It was simply magic.

The Lesson

It’s not about the graphics. It’s not about the full motion video.  It’s not about the teams that are licensed.  It’s all about the end user experience.  Concentrate on those parts that really touch a chord with your users.  And implement them very very well.   That’s why FIFA doesn’t do it for me.  Too slow.  Too much on the surface.  Nothing under it.  It’s just not true to the game of football. (non footy fans, at this point you’re thinking I’m crazy).

Another lesson – everyone has different tastes.   Some people want the glitz and glam.  Some people just don’t want deep gameplay – they just want a quick fix.  The sales prove it.  There’s plenty of niches to full.  When the next “EA Sports” of web apps comes along, don’t run off scared.

After all, if Burnley can beat Liverpool, then anything is possible!

[even if it was a long time ago]

One Response to “Evolution of Gaming = Evolution of Apps ?”

  1. mikeypiky Says:

    I’m addicted to fifa at the moment! Great post..

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