FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN, SECOND EDITION

Arcade Mode Versus Simulation Mode

Switching into arcade mode skews the play toward lots of action and relatively few slow-paced game states, such as strikeouts or walks. Arcade mode makes the game more exciting at the expense of realism; simulation mode makes it a more accurate simulation of the real sport at some expense in fun. In baseball, for example, an athlete does well to achieve a.333 batting average—that is, gets a hit only once for every three at bats. Some players may find that a little dull. Switching the game to arcade mode could let the player get a hit 50 percent of the time or even more. In American football, you can artificially increase the number of completed passes by
improving the quarterback's throwing accuracy and the receiver's catching skills. If you allow the player to switch between arcade mode and simulation mode, he can adjust the behavior of the game to suit his tastes.

To implement arcade mode, you have to decide what sort of changes to the real game would make it more exciting. If you want your game to have both arcade and simulation modes, start with the serious simulation first and then create the adjust­ments that make it arcadelike. Serious simulations are much more difficult to tune, and it's important to get them right first. If you start with an arcadelike design and then try to make it serious, you might never get it right.

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