Quarterbacking is Madden at its core.

A Jedi traverses the world as one with their ever-changing environment. Their energy flows with the fluidity of water, adapting to the world.

To flow with the energy of the universe is to be in a meditative state. This is what it means to be ‘in the zone;’ something I am calling: ‘Jedi Flow.’

The best athletes, and the best quarterbacks, negotiate with their world from moment to moment, without thought. This level of comfort is achieved through their study, repetitions, and their ability to find meditation. …


Jet Set Radio energizes gamers and reverberates culture back out into the community from which it originated. In this personal essay, I will use Jet Set Radio to connect our past to our present.

Replaying JSR in 2021 has allowed me to view the game through my lived experiences over the last 20 years. As a “lawyer,” student of blockchain, and gamer, I naturally view this title from a legal and cultural perspective.

First, this essay posits JSR, created in 1999, as a foreshadow to the digital landscape we currently find ourselves in. I will connect the vibrantly energized cyberpunk…


Major League Baseball needs to grow its sport with the digital generation. Diamond Dynasty is one way it can.

The NFT world is exploding with popularity. MLB The Show Diamond Dynasty is positioned perfectly to take its digital marketplace global. By moving its marketplace to the blockchain, Sony San Diego Studio can open up its trading desk to the world to trade Diamond Dynasty cards for real coin.

Buying and selling Diamond Dynasty cards already exists in MLB The Show, but with a couple of caveats. First, the marketplace is designed and maintained by Sony San Diego Studio. Therefore, it…


It is MLB The Show season. Below is a guide to hitting with the various game mechanics offered by Sony San Diego Studios.

Hitting in MLB The Show

Avoid dropping the PCI. All sports gamers drop the plate coverage indicator in The Show. It is a right of passage. Welcome to the game. As we track the pitch, we naturally follow where the ball is going instead of aiming to where it will finish. Be mindful of this fact early on, and you will not develop the habit. The hitting feedback windows provide actionable data, grading your PCI placement and…


In baseball, like chess, for every move, there is a counter. Data scientists at Driveline are researching pitch break. It follows then that batters must also hit the labs to understand what weapons their opponents are arming with.

Similarly, by studying the greats, Sony San Diego Studio (SDS) and Konami have borrowed game design elements from the best baseball games of the past. Both studios seek to refine and perfect their hitting engines and the logic that drives their gameplay mechanics.

MLB The Show and Pro Yakyuu Spirits Baseball offer technical interpretations of hitting a baseball by employing deep player…


A 99-mph fastball rips through the fabric of space and time without bias. The ball is a blur; its red-stitched seams hum, putting the hitter on full notice of the incoming threat heading towards them. Pitching, then, is not only an act of athleticism but also a medium to negotiate who has more power, skill, and precision — the pitcher or the hitter.

This article will focus on the design of the pitching engines for both MLB The Show and Pro Yakyuu Spirits Baseball. Let’s get into what makes both games accomplished baseball pitching simulators.

Motion Blur. Starting with the…


How Konami succeeds in sports gaming with fundamentally sound gameplay engines and business strategy.

When I was an independent sports agent, I learned that the athlete management business favored the big agencies. Developing amateur athletes through training programs is capital intensive, and the big agencies can afford it. Independent agents must be creative to survive.

Indie sports studios, and third-party studios alike, face similar market challenges. Developing a AAA title is capital heavy, and if the profit outlook is weak, new game projects never launch. Many studios fear entering the market without a major league license.

Third-party studios can compete in the sports gaming space by developing promising technology and deploying countermeasures to overcome…


FIFA VOLTA by EA Sports

Simulation sports gaming, in its current form, is the natural result of studios and publishers investing substantially in league licenses. As a result, gamers do not have variety in their selection of sport titles — the majority of games attempt to simulate real-life.

VOLTA is a fictional, global street league in EA Sports FIFA 20 and FIFA 21. VOLTA is the blueprint for studios to break the simulation trend and compete with the major sports gaming publishing houses with fantasy gaming.

Firstly, sport is about freedom of movement, self-expression, culture, and community. These characteristics translate well in a digital format…


NBA2K21 just dropped. The emphasis on MyPlayer, ratings, and badges is overdone.

Be smarter. Let the competition get lost in the ratings madness — instead, let’s focus on improving your basketball IQ to be competitive in any setting.

Basketball IQ is an afterthought in such a ratings driven title.

Where there is a lack of emphasis on user basketball IQ, there is opportunity in running efficient plays, and selecting the best shots. The opportunities reside in mastering these aspects of the game that are not ratings driven. In doing so, your game will be on-point, irrespective of player builds.

The…


A quick dive into a.i. powered animation technology.

The best of competitive gamers (herein referred to as “players”) optimize in-game tools from developers and test them to their limits. Control limitations are often realized shortly after each new sports title release.

Organic controls and animation technology has lagged as the pro-gaming landscape becomes increasingly performance based. Responsive control must keep up.

Applying neural network a.i. technology to game-engine locomotion supports next-level, organic control.

Neural networks engineered from TensorFlow and Python programing languages support a.i. driven animation technology. Deep learning animation technology is capable of predicting and executing a chain of micro auto-adjustments for each movement a player executes.

Think about this. Data-driven frameworks are being built to power a.i. for self-driving cars. Companies such as Tesla, NVidia, and IBM have demonstrated how neural networks can analyze environments and local motion in real-time. The same holds true for characters rigs (herein referred to as “characters”) in sports gaming.

A predictive motion engine will produce limitless amounts of movement combinations, supported by animation libraries or…

MontaniJD

Writer, Gamer, and “Technologist.”

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