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Triple Threat Basketball

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Hello again...

 

Sometime in February or March I will start a development diary here on GameDev. It will provide a list of all 14 games of my Pirate Dawn Universe of games and a brief overview of each game. There will be a complete playable prototype of the new first game of the PDU (with, so far, 16 different factions available), a lot of information about the second game Territories, the complete 220-page “alpha state” design document for Pirate Dawn, and the entire first rough draft timeline from the formation of the Earth in 4.5bil BC up until the beginning of the fourth game in 2190. A vast amount of information, and additional timeline, will be available for all 14 games of the PDU too anyone with a serious interest in actually making it happen.

 

I have realized that I actually have “2 playable prototypes” to show, but this one is a little harder to... “set up”, let's say. I wanted the PDU to have a “futuristic sport” like many sci-fi universes have had in the past. Those writers always just dream up a name, and something that seems cool too them as the sport, which of course never makes any sense as a sport. I figured since I am a game designer telling a sci-fi story... my sci-fi sport should actually be a playable sport! And a good one, not some stupid sport that my story just insists is good. So the goal here has always been to create a sport that seems futuristic simply in the way that it works, not just because the story says that it is, and seems like it might actually be a good, fun sport to really play. This is just meaningless background story for depth in Game #5 (The Trade Wars), but is also a real, actual, playable sport. Someone could set this up in a parking lot with portable basketball hoops and some chalk lines and actually play it.

 

This post is relevant here because I genuinely need game design advice and opinions about this from people who play, or used to play, a lot of basketball. Of course, anyone's opinion is welcomed, but what I really need is advice from people who have experience playing basketball. There are some aspects too this that only someone who has actually played a decent amount of basketball, and knows how some of the more finer points of it work. I understand the rules for the “key”, but not really how it functions in practice among players, for example.

 

So this is both a little reminder that I exist and will have something to show the modern gaming world soon, and a serious and hopefully interesting game design discussion for those interested in game design. Anyone interested in helping me finish a futuristic version of basketball? These are the big questions I have had for a long time now that only basketball players can probably answer well...

 

Is the “Key” area relevant to this game with the “funnel shaped” 25tf end line? What should the rules of that be in this game, where it is always 2-on-2 at the basket.

 

Court size is my best guess, does it seem too big? Too small? The critical aspect of the size is that the

Center Zone is always a 3-on-4 situation where the 3-man offense has 2 different baskets they can choose to help them get around the 4 man defense. So the balance of that is all about the size of the center area.

 

Does 8 seconds sound about right for the Captain to get back on defense? Or is 6 more than enough?

 

Does 40 seconds sound about right for possession clock?

 

I'd like to hear from anyone who is interested, but would really like to hear from people who have experience actually playing basketball.

 

 

*** *** *** Triangulation (AKA Triple Threat) *** *** ***

The Colonial Triangulation League (CTL) was founded in 2162. Triangulation is the third most popular sport in the Confederation of Colonies. The sport started out slowly, barely drawing enough fans to keep the league alive throughout the first several decades, but has risen to become one of the few major professional organized sports played in the CoC. Soccer and basketball are the only other team sports played in most nations, each colony of course being a nation, and are the only sports that are more popular than Triangulation. Horse racing is the next most popular sport, it had a strong resurgence in the late 2100's and has steadily risen in popularity ever since. Baseball is still quite popular in many nations, but only in a small percentage of them. Baseball is among the most popular sports at an amateur and recreational level, much more so than even soccer. Football remains, as always, the most popular sport in America, but is played professionally nowhere else and has only a cult following among people outside of the United States. Anicetus Colony has a unique fascination with American football, and is the only place outside of the US where there are large numbers of fans of the sport.
 

Triangulation surpassed baseball in popularity in the late 23rd century and today nearly rivals basketball, the sport that had originally inspired it. It is known as “the sport of the colonies”. Triangulation was invented on Centauri Colony and today it is overwhelmingly the most popular sport on the colonies. Triangulation enjoyed an explosion of popularity during the 2240's coinciding with a marketing campaign calling it “Triple Threat Basketball”. This was soon shortened to “Triple Threat” and today the two names are used interchangeably in reference to the sport, with Triangulation still common only among a minority of people on Earth... which still translates to a majority overall. All twelve of the colonies have Triple Threat teams and no other sport has a professional team on every colony. Centauri has two teams who share the same arena, and the rivalry between the Pathfinders & Volcanoes is probably the most intense of any two teams in the CTL. There are 36 teams in the professional league and hundreds of Triple Threat courts throughout the CoC, most of them on Earth of course, where it is played for recreation. Only basketball and baseball are more popular as recreational team sports.

 

 

*** *** Colonial Triangulation League Official Rules, 2286 Season *** ***

There have been no rule changes since the 2285 season. 2285 World Champion Beijing Swarm have relocated to their new Triangle of Victory Arena outside of Tianjin, China. The new arena is less than 50 miles from the location of the old facility, the team will remain Beijing Swarm. Milan Wave has renovated Skylight Arena in Milan, Italy (EU), which now complies with all current league regulations. Sudan Storm has replaced Alpha Arena in Khartoum, Sudan (AU) at the same location between seasons, the new Alpha Arena is in compliance with all CTL regulations and seats an additional 2,200 spectators. Arcas Colony has repaired the minor light refraction flaw in their outer dome, caused by a meteorite impact prior to the last season, that many players had complained about. Alexiares Colony has replaced the entire inner module in which their CTL arena resided and therefore has a new facility, which will retain the name Apollo Arena. In accordance with CTL Committee decision of 2282 the Los Angeles Spikes have relocated to Milwaukee, WI (USA) and are now the Milwaukee Spikes. Los Angeles, California (USA) is now in compliance with the two team per city or colony limit imposed by the 2282 ruling. There are no other team or arena changes for the 2286 season.

 

 

*** General Rules ***

All of the rules of basketball apply except as modified by these rules.

 

There are 3 five-man teams.

 

Winning The Game: Each team starts with 88 points. When a basket is scored, 2 points are subtracted from both of the opposing teams. When one team runs out of points the game is over and the team with the most points remaining wins. There is no game clock, there is a 4 minute halftime break when the first team reaches 44 points.

 

Tie Breaker: If the game ends in a tie, each team replaces the already defeated team's defensive player in their own Goal Zone with one of their own players. Then the two remaining teams continue to play until a winner is determined.

 

 

*** Triangulation Court ***

The court is shaped like a triangle with the tips cut off. The end of each tip is 25ft long and each of the three sidelines are 120ft long. There is a basketball basket at the center point of each “tip end” of the triangle.

 

Free Throw Line – 15 feet away from the basket.

 

3-Point Line – 25 feet from the basket. 3 points subtracted from both opposing teams.

 

Center Zone Boundary Line – There is 10ft between the 3-Point Line and the Center Zone Boundary Line. This leaves a 50ft wide area in the middle of the three Goal Zones that comprise the Center Zone.

 

Center Zone Timer – There is a 40-second possession clock in the Center Zone. A player must cross into a Basket Zone within 40 seconds. If the Center Zone Timer expires there is a Jump Ball at center court between the Runners of the other two teams. Any team may recover the ball from a tip, including the team that had just expired the clock.

 

Offside Timer – The Captain can only be in the Center Zone when his team possesses the ball. He has 8 seconds to return to his own Goal Zone when his team loses possession of the ball. If he fails to return in time the team with the ball gets a single free throw shot. Interfering with a Captain's ability to return to the Goal Zone is a penalty that gives the Captain a free throw shot.

 

 

*** Zones ***

The court is divided into 4 “Zones”. Each team has a Goal Zone, and there is a Center Zone between them. The opposing team's Goal Zones are termed “Basket Zones”.

 

Goal Zone – There is one player from each team in the Goal Zone. The Captain of each team is the player of that team that is assigned to this Zone. The Captain may leave this Zone to play in the Center, or even cross into either Basket Zone with the ball. The ball may be passed within the Goal Zone, or into the Center Zone from the Goal Zone.

 

Center Zone – There are two players from each team in this area of the court. The player with the ball may enter either of the opposing Basket Zones. The ball may be passed within this Zone, but not out of it into a Goal/Basket Zone.

If the Captain does not come forward into the Center Zone his team will have a hard time getting past the defense being outnumbered 4-2. Of course, an offense is still outnumbered 4-3... but the center area is large and the defense is trying to defend two goals.

 

Basket Zone – The Goal Zones of the opposing teams are termed Basket Zones. The player with the ball may enter a Basket Zone. The Captain may enter a Basket Zone, but normally returns to his own Goal Zone to play defense while a Runner plays offense in the Basket Zone. The ball may be passed within the Basket Zone, or into the Center Zone from the Basket Zone.

 

 

*** Positions ***

There are three positions and five players on a Triangulation team. The Captain, two Runners, and two Posts.

 

Captain – The Captain can play in all three zones, according to the rules of each Zone. The Captain may only enter the Center Zone when his team has the ball, and must return to his own Goal Zone within 8 seconds if his team loses possession of the ball. He is often the fastest player on the team.

Note that any time the Captain is not in the Goal Zone, his team will be at a 2-to-1 disadvantage if an opposing team brings the ball into the Goal Zone... and the only defender is not even on his team!

 

Runners – Runners are not allowed to leave the Center Zone unless they have the ball. The ball holder may enter the Basket Zones. Runners are often quick and agile players, and good at scoring goals. The best athletes are usually found at this position.

 

Posts – The Posts are both the offense and defense of the team. They must be good at both scoring and playing defense. One of these players is in each Basket Zone, along with a Post player from each of the other teams. These are the generally the skill positions of the team. Of course, different team philosophies can alter the types of players that are best at a given position.

 

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...Those same crickets from when I posted the ground combat system for Territories;-)

 

I had been thinking about Triangulation for a long time, but only wrote it down for the first time a few weeks ago.  I had done it in a very minimalist way, and it was a little incomplete.  I'd still like to know, is the Key Area relevant to 2-on-2 basketball or is it customary to ignore those rules as not relevant to 2v2?  I only know basketball from playing computer games, so my knowledge is pretty incomplete.

 

Here is a much easier to understand version after taking a second pass on it to make it more complete and easier to understand...

 

*** Triangulation General Rules ***

All of the rules of basketball apply except as modified by these rules. Note the concept of the “Enabling Rule” being turned around backwards by this first rule. This rule means that unless there is an Enabling Rule then all of the rules of basketball apply. So, for example, if it is a foul in basketball then it is a foul in Triangulation... but the free throw rules of Triangulation slightly alter the penalties depending on which Zone the foul happens in. Similarly, there is no mention of the Key Area in front of the basket, so it exists and all of those rules apply to Triangulation. There is no Enabling Rule that says it does not exist, so it does.

 

There are 3 five-man teams.

 

Beginning The Game – The game begins with a 3-way tip off at the center of the Center Zone between the three team Captains. There is also a 3-way tip off to begin the second half.

 

Winning The Game – Each team starts with 88 points. When a basket is scored, 2 points are subtracted from both of the opposing teams. When one team runs out of points the game is over and the team with the most points remaining wins. There is no game clock, there is a 4 minute halftime break when the first team reaches 44 points.

 

Tie Breaker – If the game ends in a tie, each team replaces the already defeated team's defensive player in their own Goal Zone with one of their own players. Then the two remaining teams continue to play until a winner is determined, ignoring the defeated team's Goal Zone for the remainder of the game.

 

 

*** Triangulation Court ***

The court is shaped like a triangle with the tips cut off. The end of each tip is 25ft long and each of the three sidelines are 120ft long. There is a basketball basket at the center point of each “tip end” of the triangle.

 

Free Throw Line – 15ft away from the basket. Penalties in the Goal Zone result in 2 free throw shots, penalties in the Center Zone result in 1 free throw shot.

 

3-Point Line – 25ft from the basket. 3 points subtracted from both opposing teams.

 

Goal Zone Boundary Line – There is 10ft between the 3-Point Line and the Goal Zone Boundary Line. This leaves a 50ft wide area in the middle of the three Goal Zones that comprise the Center Zone.

 

In-Bounding The Ball – After a basket the Captain of the team that was scored on brings the ball into the Center Zone. The Post players in the Goal Zone are not involved and cannot interfere. The Captain begins standing inside the Goal Zone at the Goal Zone Boundary Line.

 

Center Zone Timer – There is a 40-second possession clock in the Center Zone. A player must cross into a Basket Zone within 40 seconds. If the Center Zone Timer expires there is a Jump Ball at center court between the Runners of the other two teams. Any team may recover the ball from a tip, including the team that had just expired the clock.

 

24-Second Shot Clock – There is a 24-second clock in the Goal Zone that works identically to the shot clock in basketball. Technically the first rule already establishes this, but this is here for clarity.

 

Offside Timer – The Captain can only be in the Center Zone when his team possesses the ball. He has 8 seconds to return to his own Goal Zone when his team loses possession of the ball. If he fails to return in time the team with the ball gets a single free throw shot. Interfering with a Captain's ability to return to the Goal Zone is a penalty that gives the Captain a free throw shot.

 

 

*** Zones ***

The court is divided into 4 “Zones”. Each team has a Goal Zone, and there is a Center Zone between them. The opposing team's Goal Zones are termed “Basket Zones”.

 

Goal Zone – There is one player from each team in the Goal Zone. The Captain of each team is the player of that team that is assigned to this Zone. The Captain may leave this Zone to play in the Center, or even cross into either Basket Zone with the ball. The ball may be passed within the Goal Zone, or into the Center Zone from the Goal Zone.

The Post players in this zone, the two players other than the Captain, play either offense or defense depending on which team's Runner has entered the Goal Zone. Sometimes a Post player is defense, sometimes they are offense.

 

Center Zone – There are two players from each team in this area of the court. The player with the ball may enter either of the opposing Basket Zones. The ball may be passed within this Zone, but not out of it into a Goal/Basket Zone.

If the Captain does not come forward into the Center Zone his team will have a hard time getting past the defense being outnumbered 4-2. Of course, an offense is still outnumbered 4-3... but the center area is large and the defense is trying to defend two goals.

 

Basket Zone – The Goal Zones of the opposing teams are termed Basket Zones. The player with the ball may enter a Basket Zone. The Captain may enter a Basket Zone, but normally returns to his own Goal Zone to play defense while a Runner plays offense in the Basket Zone. The ball may be passed within the Basket Zone, or into the Center Zone from the Basket Zone.

The team that in-bounds the ball after a basket has been scored is the team that is most likely to score next, so which basket a team wants to score in can be a strategic decision later in a game. The team that in-bounds the ball can just give it to the other team in the Center Zone, of course, but that doesn't help them to win at all. They lose points no matter which of the other teams score.

 

 

*** Positions ***

There are three positions and five players on a Triangulation team. The Captain, two Runners, and two Posts. While different team strategies and philosophies would obviously result in different team make-up, this also lists the types of players envisioned as the Base Positions of Triangulation during its original design. An exceptionally talented C might play in the Goal Zone, or an exceptionally talented PG might play in the Center Zone... but it seems too me that the extreme ends of player types from traditional basketball have disadvantages in Triple Threat.

 

Captain (PF/SF) – The Captain can play in all three zones, according to the rules of each Zone. He is often the fastest player on the team. The Captain may only enter the Center Zone when his team has the ball, and must return to his own Goal Zone within 8 seconds if his team loses possession of the ball. If the Captain crosses into the Center Zone from his Goal Zone when his team does not have the ball it is a Center Zone penalty (1 free throw by the player currently holding the ball).

Note that any time the Captain is not in the Goal Zone, his team will be at a 2-to-1 disadvantage if an opposing team brings the ball into the Goal Zone... and the only defender is not even on his team!

 

Runners (SG/SF) – Two words... Alan Iverson. He would have made quite a Triple Threat Runner! Runners are not allowed to leave the Center Zone unless they have the ball. The ball holder may enter the Basket Zones. Runners are often quick and agile players, and good at scoring goals. The best athletes are usually found at this position. If a Runner crosses into a Goal Zone without the ball it is a Center Zone penalty. A single free throw by the player currently holding the ball, a Jump Ball between the other two teams if the offending player's team has the ball.

Players can't pass the ball into the Goal Zones from the Center Zone, so ultimately someone has to make a move on somebody. It's 3-4, but that still means not everyone can be double teamed... so getting past the defense is not particularly difficult for the right types of players. The ultimate goal of the defense in the Center Zone is, obviously, to steal the ball.

 

Posts (PF/SF) – The Posts are both the offense and defense of the team. They must be good at both scoring and playing defense. One of these players is in each Basket Zone, along with a Post player and Captain from each of the other teams. If a Post player crosses into the Center Zone at any time it is a Center Zone penalty. A single free throw by the player currently holding the ball, a Jump Ball between the other two teams if the offending player's team has the ball.

You are probably best off with all around Small Forward types here in general... but a star player always makes the difference, and exceptional players of every position except PG seem potentially feasible here depending on their talents.

 

Referee – There are 3 Referees. One stands at each of the 3 Goal Zone Boundary Lines and is focused on the Goal Zone and Captain of his assigned Goal Zone. All three Referees are equally responsible for Center Zone. Referees normally stay outside the edge of the court near their assigned Goal Zone Boundary Line and never enter the Goal Zone during play. They will commonly move forward a little into the Center Zone to follow the action, but generally stay in their area.

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