As you tour the 30 ballparks of Major League Baseball 2K11, you’ll see games there from a centre field camera view unique to each stadium. I can vouch for this feature’s authenticity – because I did the work behind it.
MLB 2K11 will feature a new broadcast-style presentation in which the angles of the centre field camera view will change for all 30 major league ballparks, mimicking real-life broadcasts. Visual Concepts and 2K Sports credited the feature to this column I wrote last April, in which I used the camera settings of MLB 2K10 to recreate, as close as possible, what you saw in the centre field shot from each baseball stadium.
My point in doing so was that the uniform dimensions of a basketball or hockey arena, or football-only stadium, usually mean a uniform camera view in those sports. But in baseball, with the outfields’ irregular measurements and ballparks’ increasingly deliberate quirks and features, camera placement varies stadium to stadium.
“We’ve said it before, but we really do pay attention to message boards, comments, and the good and bad criticism from journalists as ways to better our product and please our fans,” said Chris Snyder, 2K Sports’ director of marketing. “The fact that we have now put every home broadcast angle in Major League Baseball 2K11 is further evidence of that, and Kotaku and Owen deserve a big thank you for giving us the idea.”
Lest you think this was deliberately collaborated, it wasn’t. I got the idea about two weeks into last year’s baseball season, while driving back from a Halo: Reach multiplayer preview in Seattle. About 30 minutes into my project I realised it was going to take forever, but I was still obsessed with finishing it out. I wrote the column, Snyder sent me a two-line email saying he thought it was a neat idea, and that was it, until I got a preview of the game this week. (We’ll have more from that preview this weekend.)
I queued up a game between the Tigers and Twins from Minnesota’s Target Field, and as it prepared for the first pitch from Kevin Slowey, the broadcast camera cut to what I termed Pitcher 1-1-10 Right, for the view’s settings in 2K10. It’s a new dead-center field look that provides a truer perspective on how a curveball breaks. The Twins were one of a few teams to switch to it last year.
The zoom-out also reduces the size of the apparent strike zone, if you’re pitching from this setting. 2K Sports figured that, if you were the visiting team in this park (or any other) and you were accustomed to a different pitching angle, the gamer’s unfamiliarity would approximate the unfamiliarity baseball players feel playing in a different ballpark.
If the view is too problematic, or if you prefer to pitch from the catcher’s perspective (facing the incoming pitch), you can lock the default camera angle to a single setting, or make your home park’s camera setting uniform across every game you play.
But out of the box, the default will be the new broadcast presentation, and it incorporates the variable angles, which had to be re-set, game to game, in MLB 2K10.
For those wondering, no, I don’t get a credit in the game for this, nor would I ask for one. This is a series of settings I published that used the existing game’s capabilities, not a mod or original code. 2K Sports’ acknowledgement of its source is credit enough for me.