Limited view, handicap or asset?

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dnielsen
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Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby dnielsen » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:39 am

When thinking about what makes Kick Off 2 such a great game, I always note the high level of detail in the interaction between the players and the ball:

When you are running up with the ball, and the ball is slightly to the left, it is possible to turn left, but not right. Once you turn, the ball will have another placement relative to the player, and the options change.

When you start dribbling with a trapped ball, your first few turns affect the ball's placement relative to the player "cylinder", and yet again certain follow up moves are possible, but others not.

When chasing a loose ball, the placement of the ball relative to the player when the player hits the ball likewise dictate which options are possible.

When you dribble, the ball is kicked ahead of the player over and over, and timing of movements become crucial. And when you want to trap the ball, you delicately choose the moments when the ball is "free" of the player to push the button. Sometimes, you can predict that, due to the ball's placement relative to the player, a dribble-turn left will free up the ball more relative to the player, and a trap will be immediately possible.

In all this, small adjustments in the player path can improve the options available to you, and the timing of your movements is crucial with regard to accomplishing what you desire. You can be truly creative in your dribbling, and the dribbler as well as the defender have to assess the situation carefully and continuously. Even the ball speed and height is crucial to your ball control at any moment.

To compare with this, I did not like the ball control of Sensible Soccer. It seemed like it was only a matter of hitting the ball or not. It didn't feel like there were 10-20 different "states" the ball could be in relative to the player, and it didn't feel like you could do much to manipulate your options.

Maybe one can understand it as a consequence of resolution. Every pixel counts in Kick Off 2, and there are a lot of pixels across a player in Kick Off 2 due to the relative high zoom (compared to Sensible Soccer).

On the other hand, the high zoom means that not so much of the pitch is visible at once in Kick Off 2.

I have played Kick Off 2 on WinUAE, and in the start, I just played in a small window with the native resolution embedded in my larger screen area (only later did I "fix" this so that I played in full screen mode with the native resolution).

I am wondering what would happen if we could play Kick Off 2 in a much higher resolution. Everything about the game would be the same, except we could see much more of the pitch at once.

Do you think that part of what makes Kick Off 2 such an entertaining game is the fact that we can NOT see what is just out of our view?

I don't know myself.

What I think is that Kick Off 2 is mentally quite challenging:

You can't SEE the players right out of view. So you have to react to them once they get into view, and, in addition to that, you will try to keep their placement in your "geometrical memory". When you make a cross, you have developed an idea about where your striker is waiting. When you make a shot-pass up the line, you have an idea about where your wing will be to receive it (and thus, when you should deliver the pass).

So there's a lot of approximated judgment calls made from your "geometrical memory" (and maybe the radar), and a ton of follow up instant reactions in order to adjust and achieve full precision.

So maybe this is an asset to Kick Off 2? You never have clear knowledge about whether your wing is just up the line, but rather, the only reality is the one in the limited view, and that reality changes fast and violently, thus constantly keeping players guessing and assessing, reacting, confirming and learning?

Maybe it is an asset that we can't "SEE" that a cross is obviously wrongly or rightly timed, but that we have to develop an acute situational awareness (since we don't have free vision as a crutch)?

It's clear that with more screen real estate and thus more of the pitch in view at any point, it should be possible to play Kick Off 2 at a higher level. But would it be as entertaining?

PS. I know that at least the player control mechanism partly depends on whether players are in the screen or not, and that the view boundaries are thus linked to gameplay mechanics. For arguments sake, we can image that a "full screen KO2" version in high resolution would just have a one pixel blue rectangle indicating the "true" limited boundaries so that players can perform the same player control manipulations as they are used to.
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby gdh82 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:41 pm

Really interesting, thoughtful post again, Dagh. :) Completely agree with you comments about the interaction between player and ball - excellently described too.

Like you, I'm unsure if having a wider view would be an improvement. It might detract from the game's arcade feel and speed in the sense that gameplay might not 'unfold' as the screen scrolls - you might see the destination of the pass on screen beforehand? On the other hand it would be a useful training tool for learning more about off screen player positions etc in a more detailed way than the scanner provides.
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Torchiador » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:31 pm

Thanks indeed for this post, Dagh, really interesting!
Probably Dino can answer to your question:

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Of course this is Goal! (kick off 3 for parents :wink: )

As you can see, the one pixel blue rectangle wasn't needed.
I played a lot with goal!, with zoomed view, horizontal view, zoomed horizontal view.
I always liked to have a wider view to see what happened all around the pitch, when I play with Pro Evolution Soccer, I always use wide angle view.
the main problem is the poor resolution of real amiga.
Anyway, the handicap of a narrow view can become a asset for the contest between players. I mean that with a narrow view, we don't need only to be good with our joystick but we need to have a good corner of eye view to see the radar but, above all, we need good reflexes to react quickly when necessary.
What can't be cured must be endured. :)
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Bounty Bob » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:03 am

dnielsen wrote:Maybe it is an asset that we can't "SEE" that a cross is obviously wrongly or rightly timed, but that we have to develop an acute situational awareness (since we don't have free vision as a crutch)?
At the risk of making you even more indestructible, have you considered ever looking at the scanner? :)
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby dnielsen » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:52 am

Bounty Bob wrote:
dnielsen wrote:Maybe it is an asset that we can't "SEE" that a cross is obviously wrongly or rightly timed, but that we have to develop an acute situational awareness (since we don't have free vision as a crutch)?
At the risk of making you even more indestructible, have you considered ever looking at the scanner? :)


So that's how Gianni did it?

Joking aside, it's interesting to try and figure out when and how often to look at the radar. Personally, I have always been used to using the radar a lot, especially more so as back in the days we were using the biggest radar which is arguably superior to the default radar.

But it's possible to look too often at the radar. Your speed of perception of the actual events can suffer. Ideally, it would seem like you would only want to use the radar when it can give you information that it would be impossible or impractical to keep track of just by memory. But it's not so simple, perhaps. Strong chess players can easily play blindfolded chess and calculate variations etc. without seeing the board. But, nevertheless, they play stronger chess when they have free vision of the board and pieces to aide their mental calculations. So it's probably also a good idea to look at the radar and get quickly reminded of the exact placement of your wing, even if you could recall that placement from memory. But don't look at the radar every time possession of the ball changes, or your speed of perception will begin to slow down. In other words, some focus on the ball and players is still required!

Which leads to another thing to wonder about: If we had more vision of the pitch, could a consequence be that we spent more of our focus on "big lines" in the play, and less focus on detailed player/ball interaction? So that we would spend more mental energy on weaving a possible net of passes, but less energy on making a perfectly timed turn in our run with the ball? I suspect that this is so from my little play with Throw In, but I don't know what would happen once you had a lot of practice with the big-view version of the game. Maybe you would learn to control both the small details and the big picture all at once?
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Torchiador » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:12 am

dnielsen wrote:it would seem like you would only want to use the radar when it can give you information that it would be impossible or impractical to keep track of just by memory. But it's not so simple, perhaps. Strong chess players can easily play blindfolded chess and calculate variations etc. without seeing the board.

The big difference between chess and KO2 is that in chess there aren't auto-things.
if you kick a goal kick, sometimes happens to find out your Cox in midfield, find yourself out of defence.
autoheaders, autoslides collisions between players out of view give us the need to check the radar.
About me, I check the very often. Of course I know where my players and opponent players would be on the pitch but KO2 is not e perfect science so it is always good for me to have a look on the radar as often as possible
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby alkis21 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:18 am

Not to mention that often players fall down, and knowing the exact moment they stand back up can make the crucial difference that will help you score or save a goal.

I often hear people exclaim, usually with eyes that glow with pride, "I never look at the scanner, I know exactly where my players are". They're the ones who complain out loud during the game "Where's my defense?" or "Where did Nicholls go?". Keeping an eye on the scanner at times is essential in my opinion.
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Robert Swift » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:44 pm

Limited view is part of the magic of KO2.

With full view, it would be boring and repetitive.
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby dnielsen » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:32 am

I read in another thread that the dimensions of the pitch are something like 1392 x 914 pixels.

Come on!!!

This means that we can fit the entire pitch into any modern LCD screen. Either horizontally, or even better, your screen may be able to be tilted 90 degrees.

I want to play KO2 in this way (also)!!!

It's about time we port KO2 to the PC with the "KO2 on Kaillera kernel method" and spread the game to the masses! Click and play! Automatic online p2p connections! Player lobby! Thousands and thousands of new players who want to try the hardest and most entertaining footy game ever!
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Steve Camber » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:51 pm

That sounds just like KO2PC !!

http://ko-gathering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13333

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I've done the proof of concept, but I'm sure we can put together a development team. Anyone with programming/art skills could contribute.

Would a project leader (WC2009 finalist) like to step forward and organise this?
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Torchiador » Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:00 am

:yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:

Come on, Steve!!!!! go for it!
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby Logos » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:32 pm

Steve Camber wrote:I've done the proof of concept, but I'm sure we can put together a development team. Anyone with programming/art skills could contribute.


If you need anyone for the art aspect of this project, i.e. Adobe Photoshop, 3DS Max, etc.. count me in.
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Re: Limited view, handicap or asset?

Postby gdh82 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:45 pm

One (but I'm sure not the only) beta tester standing by! 8) 8) 8)
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