Sorry, Lost Track of Time. Here’s The Blog Post I Was Supposed To Write Yesterday

This article is about game design and “knowing better than others”.

I got PS3 + NHL ’10 couple of days ago. I read some reviews and heard that NHL provides a “be a pro mode” where you can create your own custom player and gain experience during your ice hockey career. After I heard about this (please keep in mind that my NHL experience stopped to ’95 since all those ’97, ’01 were crappy) I thought that “it’s a stupid idea, people want to control their favorite NHL stars, not create their own guy there”. I knew that EA got this thing wrong.

Well, I knew it totally wrong. I got suck down in the game and got that “just one more game” feeling and forgot to write a blog post.

To break down the situation, here’s some facts:

  • NHL ’10 comes with “be a pro mode” where you create your own custom player.
  • EA thinks this is a good idea: EA’s group of designers obviously think this is a good idea and they probably have some years of experience in doing ice hockey games and improving the game.
  • Jesse Schell (author of Art of Game Design) suggest that this might be a good idea: in his book he mentions how “boys want to be superstars/heroes”. Don’t remember exactly how he put it, but basically I can draw a conclusion that book favors this idea.
  • Then there’s this guy who plays NHL ’10 using nickname “cheeseinmyhat” who had already decided that “be a pro is a sucky” idea before testing the game. That would be me.

EA thinks it a good idea.

Designer work suggest the same.

Yet I come “knowing” how “that won’t work”.

Boy was I wrong.

I tested the game once and immediately fell in love with the idea. I tested the game online and in the very beginning it was cool to see “HIETALAHTI” in the back of the jersey (hockey shirt? whadda heck is that called?). I was in the game now. It wasn’t just playing as Koivu or Selänne. I got in the game. And after some matches, when I saw “HIETALAHTI” appearing as 2nd star in the game – it was a great feeling.

And all because I could put my name somewhere.

Couple of notes to self:
– Saying “no” to something before checking/testing/evaluating the idea is not leading anywhere.
– Need to get more points in NHL ’10. I wanna see my name more on those 3 game star selections.

P.S. If anyone wishes to play against – or with – me NHL ’10 with PS3, you can find me using nick cheeseinmyhat.

Juuso Hietalahti

One Comment

  1. A player’s opinion about a feature may be wrong even if he/she tested the feature himelft/herself. As long as it is a subjective view it may blackguard aspects which other players like. That should not be a problem for players but for game designers. Objective decisions are really tough.

    Forming a view without testing it a no no. Everybody makes mistakes. Admitting them is the cure.

    I like the honesty in this post!

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