Battle Gear 4: A Casual and Hardcore Game?

Posted on 01/14/2012

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I made this post years ago on my old Design Blog and I think that its holds up still so I’m making it my first “The Designer Inside” post. Enjoy!

Battle Gear4 takes it’s mold from your standard “Professional Racing Game” titles such as the Grand Turismo or Initial D series. This game is very interesting though in that where most racing titles allow you to pick either Automatic or Manual, this game allows for 4 variations on this classic division.

The First two are a variation on the Automatic control scheme. The lowest one allows you to play the game with only the gas and the steering wheel and the other is the standard gas and brakes scheme. I believe that this control scheme allows this game to be played by all audiences (well at least the ones that can see the screen). One doesn’t have to have much prior knowledge to driving to enjoy this game. Also it’s technically a one button mechanic (something that is common among casual games) and it a medium that is highly recognizable. All these things together I believe this creates the formula for a great casual game.

Now some players want more depth to there game than just pressing on the gas and go, they really want to feel the experience of driving a real car and in the case of Battle Gear 4 Drifting is a huge part of this. So on the hardcore side of things the control scheme for the Manual side is either if you want to switch gears all you have to do is move the gear box when its time (the standard manual controls if you will) and the other being you have to press the clutch in time with your switching to get to the next gear. I believe this offers the whole of what the Hardcore players are looking for in the true emulation of the real life activity they are taking part in. The last thing that makes this a Hardcore game (because it’s an Arcade title) is the fact you can buy a key and with this key you can save all your data to it. So when you come back to the place you’ve gone before or find a new place that has the same game, you start where you left off. So my main reason for blogging this is because a hot topic in game development is “how do we get people from outside the hardcore market to play our game?”.

Battle Gear 4 has taken a step at this by allowing people to either have a quick experience without having to learn much or giving people the “full” experience one might want to have while playing this particular game. Now I know that not all games are going to be capable of this and that some games just will not be marketed that way. But for those Triple A titles out there that want to broaden their audience a bit, this could be a way to go.

Well that’s it for now, till next post

Chaz Bazz

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