Interviews

Cricket Life 1 – Exclusive Interview with James Carlton

CricketGaming.net conducted an Interview with the Lead Programmer of Cricket Life 1, James Carlton. After a long time, Finally we can see some new exciting features and big improvements in the game.

CricketGaming.net conducted an Interview with the Lead Programmer of Cricket Life 1, James Carlton. After a long time, Finally we can see some new exciting features and big improvements in the game.

CricketGaming.net: Have you included any non-test playing nations and tournaments? For example : the ability to start off as an Argentinian cricketer and help your nation qualify for the world cup?If yes, what countries are available?

Gamebience: We have included most of the non-test playing nations that we foresee in the near-future as having chances of playing competitive international cricket. The emergence of countries like Afghanistan has already triggered its entry into the game. However, not all countries are Human controllable. Some of those countries are only AI-Controllable, in the best interests of the game.

Moreover, it isn’t for us to include countries like Argentina as there isn’t enough data available about them in order to mathematically model them. But thanks to the development that was under progress early this year, the good news is, any AI-nation or team can now be converted into a Human-Controllable nation or team, by feeding data in order to populate the data models of those teams. It is also possible for some advanced users to create new teams and nations using the Team Creation mode.

CricketGaming.net: As there are many old cricket games which are already popular, what you think is different in Cricket Life as compared to those cricket games?

Gamebience: Initially Cricket Life was only focussed on the career-aspect of the game, and there’s was little focus on the action/3D aspect. However, since then, it has been transformed into a full-fledged product. In fact, you get the best of both worlds in a single game.

While you control an entire team in other games, in Cricket Life, you only
control your own player’s life – both off and on the field. However, there’s a new hidden mode we have added recently that will allow you to control the entire team, but it is up to the gamers to decide whether this can be considered a fair play or not.

CricketGaming.net: Will you release this game via digital distribution services like steam?

Gamebience: I am sure the publishing team would use all the necessary means to make it reach the intended market.

CricketGaming.net: The game is being developed from last 3 years and every time there is a change in the title without a single game being released. What is the reason for the delay of this breakthrough game?

Gamebience: Its always difficult for any new setup to enter the full-efficiency phase immediately. Considering the fact that we have fused two different aspects/elements – career management and 3D game-play into one game, it must not be surprising if it takes over 2 years to develop. Especially when you consider that other projects of similar magnitude have over 100 people assigned while on the other hand we don’t enjoy the same privilege, it is only fair to expect a development time of at least 2 years (which would still be a challenge for a start-from-scratch development). It is
very important to prepare the framework as flexible as possible so that future editions can be built over it efficiently and get rolled-out smoothly in a normal development course of up to 8-12 months.

Furthermore, it has been our policy to extend development or incorporate
future features into the product whenever we anticipate a significant delay, so that the gamers get features that’s proportional to the time spent in the overall project.

Although the actual development time was just under 2 years, we have
delayed it over 8 months since last August for reasons other than
development issues. We also need to analyze the market, predict the entry
of other market players and then strategically time our release. When
other market players play around with the dates, we have no option but to
do the same, so that we enter the market in the right time. As a result,
we were hoping of a summer or a pre-X-mas release this year, but it all
depends on some of the above mentioned factors. As per the strategic info
I currently have, I wouldn’t say the release is around the corner.
While this may certainly not be the news we would like to hear, the good
news for the gamers is this would push in more features into the game,
possibly including a full-fledged Online/Multi-player mode (if you see the
official feature list of Cricket Life 1, only a partial online playing
mode was included) among other features.

CricketGaming.net: Are you planning to release this game for next generation consoles like XBox 360 and Playstation 3?

Gamebience: Those options are open. That’s why we had to re-write the game last year using a multi-platform engine so that we could do a multi-platform release in the near future, which, if we had rewritten later on, would have taken a significant amount of time. I believe the engine also supports the Linux platform, but I am not sure of such a release though.

CricketGaming.net: Is there going to be any demo version of this game?

Gamebience: Some form of a demo release is certainly a possibility.

CricketGaming.net: Is the game easily editable? Are you planning to provide any stats editor or info editor?

Gamebience: One of the prime focus while development of the game is to include the gamer in the development process of the game. The game is very flexible and there is a possibility of either bundling some of those tools with the game, or provide it in an add-on pack.

CricketGaming.net: Is the game officially licensed by ICC?

Gamebience: Some of the distribution partners too want this to happen. They try to compare Cricket Life 1 with other games and get it some kind of licensing. Not too long ago, our Aussie channel partner negotiated with the authorities to get the Aussie & NZ teams licensed initially. But there were a lot of restrictions imposed by them which would have taken away the essence of the game. For instance, there are many endorsement/sponsorship companies featured in the game(some are real-life while some are fictional) to simulate the real-life market dynamics. If we don’t get the game licensed, we have the luxury to include all such companies, and also let the users to add/modify more. If we get licensed teams, we are
supposed to restrict the endorsement of the players to that of their real-life counter-parts. Moreover, we are obliged not to let the gamers (at least in theory) add or modify the endorsement deals, sponsorships and such. This will definitely take away the freedom to depict the game as real as possible. While this is only just one instance of the potential restrictions that would be imposed on the game, there are some more, which would cumulatively paralyze the game.

That is why, for a game like Cricket Life, it is certainly not a great option to get the teams licensed as it imposes unwanted creative restrictions. I am sure this isn’t such a big problem, as the gamers and the gaming community can modify and/or create a replica of the real-world teams within few days of the game release.

As you can notice that Gamebience has finally answered your questions asked in this forum, you can still post your questions if you want that can be reserved for next Interview with Gamebience.

CricketGaming.net will be bringing more exclusive news and announcements about Cricket Life this week. So stay here and don’t forget to check it.