Thursday, October 30, 2008

He's on fire!

Because I feel like a teenager today, here's a link to an article with the lead designer and programmer of all-time, arcade favorite NBA Jam.

I find this part of the interview particularly fascinating:

Did Scottie Pippen's ratings in the game really drop when he played certain teams?

It's true, but only when the Bulls played the Pistons. If there was a close game and anyone on the Bulls took a last second shot, we wrote special code in the game so that they would average out to be bricks.

It makes me wonder about what other liberties programmers take in sports games. But I should mention that anyone who ever read "The Jordan Rules," knows there's some validity behind Turmell's partisan gaming code.

Anyway, I was lukewarm about NBA Jam as a kid because I was extremely finicky about games being as realistic as possible. Thus, 2-on-2 video hoops never appealed to me all that much. Also, my beloved Houston Rockets were saddled with Kenny Smith instead of Vernon Maxwell as the guard counterpart to Hakeem Olajuwon. It was quite a disadvantage.

UPDATE: For the record, my favorite arcade games as a kid were probably Tecmo Bowl, Cyberball, Paperboy, Double Dragon and Tekken.

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