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Big Ant Studios set to unveil new cricket game; here’s everything we know so far

While 505 Games continues to delay Ashes Cricket 2013, Melbourne-based Big Ant Studios has been hard at work on a new cricket game of its own. Based on the community reactions, both here on IVG and the PlanetCricket forums, there’s some good news on the way for cricket fans.

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Big Ant Studios has been extremely involved with the community, and while it will officially announce the game tomorrow, a lot of information has already been revealed to the community.

So here’s an extensive round-up of everything we know about the game so far (tentatively called Big Ant Cricket 14 or BAC 14), thanks to a lot of digging by IVG member Angy:

A robust creation tool will let users accurately recreate their favourite players and teams.

  • BAC 14 is headed to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
  • Aside from the standard broadcast view, the game can also be played from first-person or third-person views. The PC version will also support Oculus VR.
  • On PC, BAC 14 will require a controller. It does not support keyboard/mouse.
  • The game will not feature many licenses, but will include a robust creation tool (Cricket Academy) to let users accurately recreate their favourite players (image below), teams, tournaments and more.
  • Created players and teams can be uploaded and downloaded off the game servers across all platforms.
  • The game will include unlicensed national sides out of the box. There will be a simple process to replace those with sides/players from the Cricket Academy (beta can be downloaded here).
  • Dynamic lighting: The sun moves incrementally as the day progresses and shadows change dynamically along with cloud effects. Weather and light change in real time.
  • Crowds will vary, as will crowd numbers and related sounds based on what is happening in the match.
  • Cheerleaders, ticker tape, celebrations, fireworks, etc. will be present where applicable.
  • Form, fatigue and injuries from previous innings can affect players. You are more likely to be injured if you are fatigued.
  • BAC 14 will include all cricket match types, including Test, ODI and T20.
  • Every game mode in BAC 14 will have an online option – head-to-head or co-operative. Game will feature online tournaments and Big Ant will host its own online tournaments as well.
  • You can save online matches. You will be able to play online matches beyond 10-20 overs.

bac-14-001User-created players via Cricket Academy: Kohli, Dhoni and Tendulkar

The type of pitch will influence the deliveries. Bowlers will be able to use cracks and rough patches to assist with movement.

  • Game includes 40+ hours of commentary.
  • Rain and bad light can be turned on/off.
  • Replay system: Allows you to place the camera at any player, rewind, forward, super slow mo, etc. You can also upload replays to Youtube/Facebook.
  • There are ‘nets’ to practice your skills.
  • AI will bat and bowl with regard to game type and game context (i.e. run rate required, deliveries and wickets remaining, etc).
  • Full physics system for bat/ball. Ball will change line when edged, but it might be really slight for small edges.
  • Manual appeal system. Appeal too much and the umpire would become unfavourable towards you.
  • Lots of different appeal animations depending on the likelihood of a wicket.
  • BigAnt Review System works similar to DRS. Can be turned off.
  • No menus or HUD for bowling.
  • The type of pitch will influence the deliveries (hard pitch equals more bounce). Bowlers will be able to use cracks and rough patches to assist with movement.
  • There will be ball wear and tear. You can shine the ball. This is important for getting reverse swing.
  • Pitch degradation plays a big part and the ball will be affected. There is an option to also accelerate pitch wear for shorter games.
  • Catching is not automatic, but it is not always difficult. You will be required to move the fielder’s hands in the direction of the ball. Wind also affects the ball in flight.
  • You can turn off manual fielding, but the game is based and balanced around manual fielding.
  • Lots of variables affect throws while fielding – direct to stumps vs keeper vs relay fielder; how much time you take to consider the throw; the attributes of the fielder; how the player is facing, etc.

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Career Mode

Your created player will be offered contracts by teams with performance-linked bonuses.

  • The game features a comprehensive career mode revolving around one player. You can customise his appearance, attributes, role (batsman/bowler/wicketkeeper) and nationality. Players start at age 16 and the career spans 20 years.
  • Your created player will be offered contracts by teams with performance-linked bonuses. You must climb through five ranks before reaching the ultimate goal of playing for the international team.
  • Skills increase or decrease based on performances; rank can also increase or decrease.
  • Match types and length of matches increase as your rank increases. Test matches are only available at Rank 5.
  • The game will simulate parts of matches where your player is not involved. You have the option to stop the simulation to field as yourself at any time.
  • Injuries play a bigger role in the games of greater length, especially in tournaments and Career mode.

Gameplay

You have the option to walk when you know you have edged it. If you don’t walk enough, the umpire may become unfavourable towards you.

  • Batting Controls: Left stick for foot placement. Right stick controls the bat. D-pad controls position in the crease. Use of triggers controls defensive and offensive play. Bumpers are for advancing down the wicket and unorthodox shots.
  • You don’t need all these controls to play the game. The more you use, the better you will play.
  • You have the option to walk when you know you have edged it. If you don’t walk enough, the umpire may become unfavourable towards you.
  • Confidence and pressure are important aspects, and momentum will play a part. A batsman on fire is hard to stop, as is a bowler.
  • The AI can reject the run. The AI could be fatigued and know they might get stranded, they make a risk assessment like a human would. If it is a close call, the AI would run, but if the AI would clearly have a great chance of being run out, then they won’t.
  • Controller vibrates if there is a nick (if you are playing as the batsman). Batsman will know when he edges the ball. He can then walk or wait for an appeal.
  • Pace bowling controls: LB/RB button to change between over and around the wicket; X to rub/shine ball; Y/B/A to determine choose between full/short/good length of delivery; RS up for bowler to jump when near stumps and down to deliver the ball; LS determines how the ball is held and affects spin/swing.
  • Spin bowling controls: LS up straight will be aiming at off stump, moving left or right will change the line across the crease. Holding LS and pressing Y/B/A will determine delivery length. Rotate LS in direction of spin during run-up. Flick RS to determine the type of delivery.
  • At lower difficulties – slower bowl speeds and less swing to making them easier to control.
  • No indication on the pitch of where the ball will land.

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 It all looks quite promising, and tomorrow’s reveal should bring with it more images, perhaps a gameplay video, maybe a release date, and of course, the official name of the game.

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