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Developer interview: Cricket Revolution

icon_feature1With all the recent buzz around Ashes Cricket 2009 and The Ashes itself, not many may have noticed another promising cricket title quietly building up to its release. Cricket Revolution is a PC-only cricket game with a strong community and multi-player focus. It’s developed by Mindstorm, a Lahore-based independent studio, who will release the game on Steam sometime this year.

The amount of information on offer and details into the gameplay mechanics available at the game’s website will tell you that these guys know their cricket. The game has been in development since the studio was set up in 2006, and Mindstorm even have their own motion capture studio, which as you can see from the gameplay trailer, has been put to good use in Cricket Revolution.

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We were quite intrigued by this game and felt more people needed to know about it. So we got in touch with Hasan Muneeb at Mindstorm and he was kind enough to shed more light on the game and its various features.

Tell us a bit about the batting mechanic in Cricket Revolution. How much control does the batsman have over shot selection, power and placement?

We’ve modelled the mechanics of the game such that the players have full control over their shots and shot selection. CR offers up to 34 shots for the batsman to choose from. Which one he plays is up to his judgement and depending on where the ball is pitched, what the field setting is, and which type of bowler he’s facing. Shot power depends on the kind of shot being played. For instance, slog shots travel faster and cover greater distances than ground strokes. Additionally, more talented, aggressive batsmen will hit the ball with greater power than their lesser talented counterparts. Regarding placement, the root direction of the shot is defined by the shot itself. However, batsmen can further fine tune their placement by varying degrees in both directions around the root direction, making threading the ball through in the infield truly pleasurable.

What’s the ‘Bowling Gadget’ and how do mind games work?

The Bowling Gadget is used to set the seam/swing/spin on the ball along with its speed. The key difference in CR’s bowling mechanism compared to other games is that these variables are set before the bowler starts his run up. Naturally, this allows a lot more room for mind games, since players can focus on what they want to bowl rather than how they’re going to do so. The bowling marker, however, isn’t visible to the batsman till the very last moment. Additionally, the bowling gadget allows the bowler to fool the batsman by concealing the seam, for example, making the battle between ball and bat all the more exciting.

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In past games, fielding mechanics haven’t been very deep and there’s always been more focus on batting and bowling. How does fielding work in Cricket Revolution?

Fielding in CR is highly dynamic and plays a crucial role in the outcome of every delivery. There is no point in bowling outside the line of off-stump and seaming the ball to the off with a fast bowler when you have no slips in place. Players can place their fielders freely anywhere on the map (except for within the 15-yard circle where there are pre-defined spots), which can result in very interesting field setups. Couple that with the variation in a fielder’s skill, which is dependent on his talent points, and fielding becomes an equally important part of the game, where you must strategise in order to bowl according to your field and outwit the batsman.

You’ve probably played Ashes Cricket 2009. How would you compare Cricket Revolution to it in terms of gameplay, and what are the areas where you think your game excels?

Although both games revolve around the sport of cricket, the core concepts behind them vary greatly. Cricket Revolution is a new cricket engine written from the ground up and thus offers a completely different experience in every aspect. In fact, CR will sport the first totally new multiplayer cricket engine to hit the cricket games market for years. Our game’s feel is unique and is hardly akin to Ashes, especially with the introduction of several features completely new to cricket games. This is a very subjective matter though, so you’ll have to be your own judge here.

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There seems to be a lot of community integration in the game. Can you elaborate a bit on some of the community features? Also tell us about the multiplayer features?

Our in-game online portal ‘Revolution Online’, coupled with the game’s website, is going to be the primary spot for the community to evolve and strengthen. Not only will it allow users to play with others from all over the world, but it will also store stats from all ranked games in every user’s profile. This data is integrated with our Leaderboards, which contains a ranking system for top players, countries, batsmen, bowlers and clubs. This will drive the competitive side of the game, where every game you play will mean something since it will have an effect on your ranking, batting/bowling averages etc. We have a complete community guide that details all our features, leaderboards, rankings, and award systems on our site for fans to check out.

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