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Interview : With the developer of the cricket game - Cricket Heroes

An exclusive interview with Kurtkz, developer of the cgame Cricket Heroes.

Cricket Heroes – story of a cricketing game developer who worked tirelessly to convert his dream of developing a cricket game into a reality

Q. Hi Kurtkz, thanks for giving your valuable time for this interview. To start off, please brief our readers a little about Cricket Heroes and some of its key features.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my story, Aditya.

I started working on Cricket Heroes almost 4 years ago, now. It started off as a playground for me to test my ideas, but after sharing my work with the forumites of various sporting websites, it quickly evolved into an actual game. Before, DBC 2014 arrived Cricket Heroes was the first game to have:

- career mode

- a ball that gets scuffed & damaged, dynamic weather and pitch conditions

Q. You’ve single handedly developed this cricket game and it’s been the cricket fan inside you that has made you work this hard – how has the response from the users been? I

I wouldn’t say I developed this single handedly. I’ve had a lot of help from the people over at sports forums. They did the dirty work of testing for me, so that I could focus on actually getting it done.

The response has been mixed. Most people like the depth and the features, but almost everyone complains about the poor graphics & sound…and I can’t blame them. I’m not an artist and I can’t afford a proper one either. I tried to run an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to improve these two aspects but it failed. If there are any 3D modelers willing to contribute to the project, I’d be happy to take them onboard. Perhaps we could work out some sort of profit sharing.

Q. With the success of CricketHeroes on PC, what are the possibilities of you developing cricket games for other platforms too?

I’d hesitate to say it was a success – but there’s a slight possibility I may port it to the Unity engine. If I do, it’ll be available for most platforms, but this is really dependent on whether or not I can find someone to redo the graphics for me.

Q. What do you think is the reason behind the ‘lack’ of good cricket games for PC and console, what do you reckon as a cricket game developer – is the right way forward?

Cricket is a difficult game to emulate correctly. There are simply too many variables to take into account. DBC 2014 has probably gotten the closest so far, but it isn’t without its faults either. I think players were spoiled by the many iterations of EA/Codemasters cricket games where you could smash sixes at will. You’ll find that most people complaining about DBC and CH can’t get to grips with the increased difficulty and are unwilling to spend enough time to learn the ropes.

I definitely think future cricket games need to be more immersive. Something like Occulus Rift would greatly enhance the experience.

Q. You’ve been continuously working towards the betterment of CricketHeroes – what is the driving force behind this sheer determination?

A sense of pride and the fact that people have actually paid for it. I refuse to leave them with a half-finished game. They paid good money for it and I intend to deliver on all my promises.

Q. Do you think commercialization of cricket games has resulted in the lack of good quality cricket games on the PC and console platform?  You’ve individually been able to add certain features to CricketHeroes which in fact even the large game developing ‘giants’ have overlooked. Please name few such features of the game for the knowledge of our readers.

That’s definitely part of the problem. EA/Codemasters pumped out clones of the same game with minor graphics updates every year without focusing on the core mechanics and features.

I think what separates Cricket Heroes from these is the following:

- dynamic weather & pitch conditions
- ball deterioration
- reactive AI
- career mode
- tons of stats tracking & dynamic commentary generation
- realistic simulation

Q. On a lighter note – on the viewpoint of cricket as sports, what are your views? To name County Cricket for instance, gaming developers often don’t give it the importance it deserves. Your view?

There’s been an over-reliance on T20 and big hits and this has filtered down into cricket games too. Players want a quick hit and giggle. They don’t want to be bogged down with tactics and playing the waiting game. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s diluted the essence of the game and that saddens me.

Q. Lastly, please tell our readers about your future projects, I’m sure they’d be keen to follow a cricket game developer who has put his best efforts into developing a cricket game – with the positive intent of providing the cricket fans with the best and with the best of dedication.

I’m working on a horror puzzle game in my spare time – taking a complete departure from sports. That being said, I’m still focusing on Cricket Heroes as much as possible. I think the core mechanics are pretty much finalised now, so I can finally focus on polish. Again, if there’s any artists out there willing to lend a helping hand, give me a shout at kurtkz2@gmail.com.

Official site of Cricket Heroes: http://www.cricketheroes.co.za/

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