Monday, 15 Apr 2024

The Future of Football Gaming: An In-Depth Look at APBA Computer Football

Are you a football enthusiast looking for an immersive and realistic football gaming experience? Look no further than APBA Computer Football! In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of APBA Computer Football and explore its potential for the future.

A Glimpse into the Past

A few years ago, when Marc Rinaldi was at the helm, there was talk of creating an updated version of the Windows game. Excitingly, I had the opportunity to take a look at the source code. Although some parts of the code showed promise, a complete overhaul would be necessary for a new game. The question of backward compatibility with previous disks also loomed large, as it would greatly impact customer satisfaction.

Assessing the Current Situation

The APBA Football Game for Windows version 2.0 boasts approximately 38,000 lines of code across a multitude of files. However, the code has its limitations. Originally written in Pascal, it was later converted to C++. While this automated conversion brought about efficiency issues, it also revealed that certain aspects of the code were outdated. Screen display, windowing, and file access methods designed for machines of the ’90s seemed antiquated compared to modern development platforms.

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Moreover, the existing code lacked proper documentation and contained numerous “kludges” or workarounds. Although the code shed light on the business rules surrounding the APBA Football game, it became clear that new development would be the only viable option for the future.

The Next Step: Viability

The crucial question that the APBA Game Company must answer is whether a computer football game based on APBA’s board game would be viable in today’s market. Several factors need to be considered when contemplating this question:

Development Cost

Developing a new game can be an expensive endeavor. The scope of game functionality, development approach, and chosen platform all play a significant role in determining costs. As the development landscape offers offshore and open source options, containing expenses becomes a possibility.

Functionality Scope

The scope of game functionality encompasses various aspects, such as rolling the dice, inputting results, and allowing the game to handle stats. Other potential features include internet face-to-face play, online leagues, and the ability for players to add their own play-by-play descriptions. While these options come at an increased cost, they have become standard requirements in today’s gaming landscape.

Presentation Platform

Choosing the right presentation platform is crucial. Options range from browser-based platforms, where the browser handles game presentation (although internet face-to-face play may not be available), to Windows forms that take advantage of newer technologies.

Operating System

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Considering the dominant market share of the Windows operating system, it is a given that any game should be compatible with it. Developing a game for the Mac operating system is possible but can be expensive.

Gaining Market Share

Regaining market share is a priority for APBA Computer Football. One potential avenue is creating a tool similar to the Bill James Encyclopedia, allowing fans to easily generate their own season disks. Contrary to assumptions, this would not necessarily undermine sales for future seasons. An APBA-generated disk would always be more accurate than a computer-generated one. Some players would prefer to create their own season disks, while others would opt for the “official” disk from APBA, thus keeping the game engine and future upgrades in demand.

Another exciting possibility involves partnering with a football statistics website like ProfootballReference.com, enabling users to download statistics for generating season disks at a nominal price. Additionally, if the new computer game uses the same card numbers as the printed APBA football cards, the development cost for disks would be minimal or non-existent.

FAQs

Q: Are there any plans for a new version of APBA Computer Football?
A: While there were discussions in the past, ownership changes have led to the idea being put on hold.

Q: Can I create my own season disks for APBA Computer Football?
A: Currently, this feature does not exist, but it is a possibility worth exploring for future versions.

Conclusion

APBA Computer Football holds tremendous potential for the future. With the right development approach, platform choice, and a focus on customer needs, it can become a leading force in the football gaming industry. Whether you are a seasoned APBA fan or new to the game, the future looks bright for APBA Computer Football!

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Click here to learn more about APBA Computer Football.