INS Legacy

Going for Gold

Posted in anecdote, commentary, designtalk, essentials, insurgency by Argyll on March 15, 2010

My red-eye flight to New York’s JFK was cancelled, so I spent the night at SFO waiting for a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth, then connect to Toronto… somewhere in between playing Insurgency on the airport Wifi, sleeping on the plane, and reading Schell’s Art of Game Design, I thought of this analogy to describe the situation with Insurgency:

If you followed the Winter Olympics, then you might have watched Canada reinstate itself as the best hockey nation in the world. There is good reason why we won the Gold, and it comes down to who was on the ice, at what time, their individual talent, and especially their collective talent in putting it all together. If you have not seen the goal, watch or read about it here.

Fleury, Canada’s goaltender, made a save from a shot on net. Neidermeyer picked up the puck and cleared it from their zone, passing up to Crosby.

At the point that the puck went from Canada’s zone, passed the defenders, and up to Crosby is like the point where Jeremy and I controlled the puck, back and forth through all obstacles up to the other team’s zone. As Jeremy had the most experience, having initiated and going through a first release of Red Orchestra, I passed it up to him; as he went on a break-away from his momentum, I skated off the ice exhausted. Jeremy seized his momentum to get a solid shot on goal.

Then he and Pongles (and the rest of the developers) quickly picked up the rebound. They shot on net some more. As Jeremy skated off the ice, and many of the other players left the game, new players came on the ice. Steppenwolf picked up a rebound and passed to Spielmann, who has continually put shots on net and picked up his rebounds.

I have skated once again on the ice, and positioned myself behind the net from the goaltender’s perspective. I have studied how the goaltender has been making his saves (the fans’ perspective), and have skated back around to a position that views an open net. I am shouting “Pass!” but the puck is still being directed on the goaltender.

There is a rebound for me to pick up on. But Spielmann still has control of the puck. I have watched several rebound opportunities and shots taken on net. I have seen what it takes to score the goal, and have positioned myself to make a solid attempt.

All of this has taken a matter of years, when in a game of hockey a sequence like this is seconds. It was the final seconds of the Gold Medal game when Crosby had control, fought through defenders to the net and again along the boards, before passing it down to Jarome Iginla. But Iginla didn’t try to take a shot, he viewed the opportunity to pass, seizing Crosby’s momentum for a shot on net. That shot, and subsequent goal, made millions roar and united a nation.

Every play to get a shot on net is different, and in order for Insurgency to reach scoring opportunities, we continually passed the mod amongst each other to reach the net to score several goals. We all get shots on net, and I haven’t yet taken a shot. I helped to position the play to get the opportunity to take a shot. It was the Defenceman who set the play up, and typically hangs by the blue line to hammer a shot on goal. I have studied, from each perspective, on how to score a goal. Now I feel I should take a shot, after I set up the play.


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