Hey, Duders. With the announcement that the new F1 game for 2016 will have a revamped career mode that spans 10 seasons I've been thinking about what it really means to have a good career mode. I guess, for me, as someone who plays a lot of sports in his life, I want a career mode that puts that puts me in the thick of it. When I play sports games it's because I want to have a fractional experience of what it could be like to win a world cup, or come from behind to win the world series. But one thing that developers seem to miss is that being this pro athlete is more than just the act of doing your job. When I and anyone else thinks back on what made great sporting moments great, it's the situations and the times that the events occurred in.
There are a few examples that I can give that summarize what I mean. Micheal Jordan winning the NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1996 wouldn't have been the same if we didn't have the background noise of him not being fit, and the personnal tragedy of his father dying. Would you get the sense of enormity of the 1980 US hockey team beating the USSR if you didn't fully understand the internal strife of the American people, the team, and the geo-political ramifications of the two teams playing each other in that era? Would any of these moments matter if you didn't know the personal strife and adversity that these athletes face when they compete? I feel that a truly great career mode in a game needs to depict more than just the on field action.
I think there is something to be said for having more parameters for performance than just winning and losing when it comes to career modes in sports games. I think it would really nice for a game address moments as they arise. Like what if I was an aging veteran and this is my last shot to win the Super Bowl and I have things like my legacy and the respect of my family and friends riding on this game? If that situation comes up I would want the game to acknowledge that, like having broadcasters bring it up, or having my player perform differently than he or she normally would based on factors off the field and in his or her life. It's little moments like this that would keep me coming back to the game more often.
I would want to do things like answer questions at press conferences, managing my image, dealing with fans, trying to keep up with my family even though being a public figure and training takes up that time. I get that that stuff doesn't sound fun, it isn't supposed to be. But it makes the experience all the more richer, and puts you into the shoes, so to speak, of that person. Am I off base with this stuff? I get that having permutations like this is costly and that when games try to do things like this it can fall short. The last NBA 2K game fell flat on it's face but not for lack of concept so much as lack of execution and many glaring directing issues and performances that Alex Navarro and others covered extensively on the Giant Beastcast. So what's you're take? Is there a way to improve the way that sports games handle career modes?