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Sports RPG Interface Concepts

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Hello. I am a college student working on a course that focuses on game interface design. This concept I’m sharing with you is not a game I am creating, but rather a concept I am using to design an interface and control scheme for. I would appreciate feedback regarding my ideas and to hear any constructive criticisms you may have.


My game concept is an American football role-playing game on the Playstation 3 where the player assumes the role of a single player, in which the game is centrally focused on. The goal of the game is to play out a player’s career both on the field and off the field. For the purpose of this post, I am going to outline some control interface ideas I have for the “football portion” of the game.


The goal behind the control scheme is to create a scheme that fits the notion of only using one player. Because the game is focused on a single player (with other roles filled by A.I.), I wanted to design controls that offer the most control to a player’s actions.


  • Full Player Movement - Controlled by the left stick:

The idea behind “full player movement” is that not only does the left stick control where the player moves, but also how quickly. Pushing the stick in any direction creates a movement and a speed associated depending on how far in a direction the stick is pushed. No other button is needed to make a player move with an extra burst. This also allows the player to control the character’s momentum and change directions while managing movement speed.


  • Designated Left/Right Actions - Shoulder Buttons and Triggers

With this idea the concept is that the L1 and L2 buttons control certain actions for the left side of the body while the R1 and R2 buttons have actions for the right side. The shoulder buttons could control a quick juke to either side while the triggers could each control a stiff arm. Those controls cover offensive players, while with defensive players they control different techniques like rips or spins (block shedding moves) and attacking a specific side of a player to advance and meet the ball carrier. These actions could simply be mapped to a single button, but separating them in this way might function better.


  • Progress Meters/Role-Playing Elements – Sub-menus triggered by the directional “up” button

Most RPGs have experience points, abilities, and more information always present on the H.U.D. The idea with storing this info in a sub-menu is to keep the experience of the game focused on the game, where the player has the option to check this information if necessary. The player will have certain goals for the game and ways of improving certain skills (for example a quarterback could get points towards increasing his accuracy if he can complete 10 passes in a row). These menus would be accessible anytime a play is not in progress. That way the player can check the sub-menus when they want, and then they are put away to not clutter the screen.


What are your thoughts on these ideas? Let me know what you like and what could be improved.

Edited by TR2013

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