View Full Version : WipEout, perfect for eSports?

2nd November 2010, 06:46 AM
First off, I understand this is wishful thinking... and is probably not going to happen, but I can hope, right? =)

WipEout seems like the perfect type of game for televised tournaments. So what makes a good eSport? I don't claim to be an expert, I don't even watch eSports except the occasional SC2 match, but here's my general impression.

1. No real world counterpart (it's unique to watch)

A game prime for eSports shouldn't have a real world counterpart. So, no Football, Cricket, Rubgy, et cetera (I know that FIFA is somewhat prominent in Germany eSports, but in general people would prefer to watch the "real thing" when given a choice to watch something real compared to something virtual). While a game like Halo in a way has a real world counterpart, paint-balling, the amount of money it would take to make paint-balling as complex as Halo (all the different weapon types, grav lifts, vehicles, et cetera) makes a true real world counterpart impractical so for all intensive purpose, Halo has no real world counterpart. What other successful eSports are there? StarCraft. For obvious reasons, this can not be replicated in the real world, or, it could, but that would just be sadistic.

So does WipEout fit this requirement? Yes! We aren't going to have any kind of racing fall even close to the speeds at which WipEout takes place nor any kind of cash-efficient antigrav racing period in the near or even far future.

2. High skill potential (competitive)

Successful eSports have a high potential for skill. StarCraft strategies constantly evolve and demands the players to adapt at a moment's notice. Halo requires precision and timing as well as positional awareness.

Does WipEout fit this requirement? Yes! I don't think I really need to argue that WipEout takes skill, but I'll just point to the high learning curve as well as the constantly improving records being set. The top pilots are continuing to improve. I have no doubt that this is a competitive game.

3. Streamlined, simple, low luck/high skill (talent oriented)

Halo is a very 'clean' shooter. I don't really know how to describe it, but it's much less chaotic than games like CoD. Just watch some videos and you'll see what I mean. It takes more than one or two shots to kill people in most cases so it's not just a simple 'sneak up on opponent and hope he doesn't see you'. A player can still win a fight even if the opponent shoots first through good use of surroundings, better accuracy, and quicker reactions. StarCraft 2 is a very simple game compared to other RTS like Age of Empires and Supreme Commander so it is more viable to balance it for competitive play.

Does WipEout fit this requirement? For the most part, yes! It's a very streamlined game without unnecessary impedences on performance by over complex controls or sporadic events. The only thing which would have to be changed is the removal of the random factor introduced by items. So, either limit the items somehow to ensure the game is more balanced, no weapons, or competitive play in different modes (Zone).

Personally, I would like to see racing with limits on weapons be used in competitive play. I don't really know how this would be done, but some ideas are:

-Removing a lot of the items and keeping those that require the most 'skill'. So no quake for example, but we could have some combination of rockets, plasma, bombs, and mines? Shields, of course, could stay.

-No turbos or some way of guaranteeing turbos. For example, one item pad in each track always yields a turbo. Or, even better, a random item pad is set to give the turbo each lap. The item pad could be a different color so that players know to go for it if they want the turbo for that lap. The item pad would be independent for each player. What I mean is that it would be the SAME for every player for each respective lap. So, say the turbo pad for lap 2 is the last one and for lap 3 the turbo pad is the fifth item pad. The person in first goes to lap 3, for the second player, the turbo item pad is still the last one on lap 2 even if for the first player the turbo item pad is now the fifth one (since the fifth item pad is the turbo pad on lap 3 in this example). This way the item pad WOULD NOT just change to the fifth one when the first place person went to lap 3 thus rendering the second place person from the turbo given by the last item pad on the second lap.

-Doing the same thing as specified above for 'turbo item pads', but for all items. That way all players are guaranteed the same items, but the items are in different places each race and lap so players still need to react quickly to get certain items. Some kind of indication of what item the item pad gave would have to be implemented like a different color or symbol. Color would probably be the most visible.

However, as we aren't going to see WipEout modified in the aforementioned ways (Studio Liverpool is gone) the most viable option is unfortunately, no weapons.

2nd November 2010, 10:11 PM
I think the only reason it wouldn't be too interesting is that not all races are really a great spectacle. People especially don't usually seem to find weapons off races much fun to watch. However, if you take the top pilots and pit them against each other then it's usually pretty cool to watch. I think it would be even better if there were some kind of replay feature to WipEout. That would be awesome.

I guess the problem is that it's just not big enough and popular enough. Still, there's hope for something more to come for WipEout in the future, based on the recent rumours, and if people are willing to organise events like kanar and the HD Cup then there's a possibility that it could gain enough popularity some day. But I won't hold my breath.

2nd November 2010, 10:29 PM
It would have to be a new game. WipEout HD unfortunately cannot be modified to fit because I'm 99% sure there will be a technical limitation at some point that will prevent it.
Starcraft II is great as a spectator because it's been designed for it. There's replays, observers, stats tracking in real time during the course of the game, etc.
WipEout HD's spectator mode is a half second thought implemented with no real regards to the quality of it. It's laggy, has very limited functions and it's not really fun to watch. Plus spectator mode is limited by the supported number of players (eight) whereas in Starcraft II there can be more observers if there are already six of them (Plus the two players.) Also there are no replays at all (A shame.)
I'm sure WipEout can be fun to watch if it's a race in real time, and it can be cool to have a team mode as well for clan battles (prevent weapon damage and lock ons) if it's designed for it and taken seriously as something important for the game. However considering how popular WipEout actually is (Compared to Halo or Starcraft II) it seems improbable that the next crew at Studio Liverpool will consider this probability for eSports.
It would be awesome though if they did. It seems that eSports is really taking off in the US right now with MLG (Even though they could do a much better job themselves IMO.) and in Europe with IEM.

Also the tracks would need to be longer so it's not all over in two minutes and thirty seconds :p

3rd November 2010, 01:04 AM
Link to a earlier thread that deals with the same things: http://www.wipeoutzone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7096

3rd November 2010, 03:34 PM
Single Race is fundamentally unfair, since weapons off is basically unheard of, and let's face it - weapons off feels like an aside anyway. If there were online Time Trials, maybe - but would they be interesting enough to attract spectators? I don't think so. WipEout in that gamemode is more or less just a polished, sci-fi twist on any standard racing game. It's more than that to us, who are very close to the game and enjoy playing multiple modes, but there is no existing mode in WO that offers both spectacle and fair play.

Some may beg to differ with the likes of Yeldar and Leungbok, but TBQH I don't think the crazy boosts and BR's are enough to pull enough interest. This would have a chance of being overlooked if it weren't for the biggest problem: not enough people play the game. Probably only around 100-200 people in the world have approached the top single race times, and even less for TT records. You'd be looking at a base of around that in some e-sports games per country, or even higher in some countries like the US. Starcraft/2 has thousands of pro-level players, for example.

4th November 2010, 03:06 AM
Another problem is the 'clutch' moments in wipeout really aren't as spectacular as they would be in some other games. A 1v4 clutch in cod or css is a lot more exciting than someone hitting mines and falling off the track. There are none of the unexpected strategies that can pop up in stuff like starcraft which makes it exciting to watch.

Also, any competitive game despises randomness since it removes skill from the game. Team Fortress 2, which needed damage spread removed, fixed shotgun/scattergun spreads and no critical hits is a key example of this. Since item pickups in wipeout are inherently random, they would never be able to be used in a competitive environment.

4th November 2010, 11:03 PM
Looking at Quake 3, randomness still exists in CPMA, the mod most commonly used for tournaments, overbounces and other physics glitches are gone (except strafejumping/rocketjumping/plasma strafing, those are intentional) however SG and MG shot spread exist as an inherent part of the game, and are still random.
I personally don't like the "fixed" shotgun/scattergun spreads in TF2, being able to predict where each shot goes takes out part of the risk of using a weapon designed for short range.

I think what I'm getting at is that random item pickups are what Wipeout has always been about, and being prepared for whatever your opponent is carrying, or has dropped is also part of becoming skilled at this game, it's all fine and dandy being able to dance around a track on your own, but combat will undoubtedly affect your racing line, and being able to compensate for any interference from opponents that is what makes some of the great players great.

5th November 2010, 05:10 AM
Wait; you think there's not much of a difference between minor shotgun spread and the possibility of one player getting 5 turbos in WOHD while their opponent gets 4 autopilots and 2 extra speed pads?

That's not even an extreme example. The weapon randomisation in WO is very, very unfair.

The fact that WO has always been about random weapon pickups is exactly the point that takes it out of contention for being an e-sport.

5th November 2010, 05:44 PM
Instead of weapon pads, Set it so at the beginning of each lap your given a weapon?

The total would be for example - 1 turbo, 1 rocket, 1 plasma, 1 missile & 1 shield.

Only random part is what lap you get our specific item on.

6th November 2010, 02:31 AM
If the rumors about the new game in the making turns out to be true. We should really write the guys in Studio Liverpool a letter about what we would like to improve from the first game..

This should be a very formal letter, which is well written and thought out before sending, if we want to be taken seriously as a community. I'm sure the more mature of us, and fluently english writing/speaking people would help out in this case.

I'm sure there is alot of things we would like to see in an eventual upcoming WipEout game. But, again, if we want to make an impact on the game, we should come together and discuss what we want, and what would be best.

6th November 2010, 02:03 PM
If the rumors about the new game in the making turns out to be true. We should really write the guys in Studio Liverpool a letter about what we would like to improve from the first game..

This should be a very formal letter, which is well written and thought out before sending, if we want to be taken seriously as a community. I'm sure the more mature of us, and fluently english writing/speaking people would help out in this case.

I'm sure there is alot of things we would like to see in an eventual upcoming WipEout game. But, again, if we want to make an impact on the game, we should come together and discuss what we want, and what would be best.

Yea. We should definitely keep an eye out for the rumors and if it looks like a new game is being made we should see if we can influence the developers =)

Also, to everyone commenting about how the game as it is wouldn't work... well, I realized that halfway through my post which is why I ended with "we aren't going to see WipEout modified in the aforementioned ways (Studio Liverpool is gone)". It's a shame, but yes, you all are right.

Pretty much I know it can't be done in this WipEout for a few reasons. As one of you pointed out, SC, unlike WipEout, was designed to be a broadcasted competitive game. WipEout lacks basic replay features and online features. It's not geared towards large-scale competitive play. It also, as I mentioned in my original post, has that random element which wouldn't fly in a 'real' tournament. <-- this is probably the biggest problem.

Anyway, if we do get a confirmation that a new WipEout is in production, what would you guys propose is implemented to make for a truly competitive game? I know that many of you have posted regarding what could be done in a new WipEout. How could WipEout be improved? Has it essentially reached its potential? Some of you believe it has and that not much could be added to improve it, while some of you think that there's still plenty to be done. Either way, one thing which could be implemented is this focus on tournaments.

As some of you have mentioned, simply watching WipEout is often less exciting than shooters and RTSes because there is less room for variation, innovation. There aren't very many surprises in WipEout. Still, people watch racing in real life, right? F1? Nascar? (>.< I'll never understand why people enjoy watching cars going around an oval when they could be watching F1, maybe someone can enlighten me?). So, I would definitely prefer weapons to no-weapons if randomness can be eliminated as it gives WipEout some of that much needed excitement. Therefore, my suggestion to the developers would be the weapon system I mentioned in my topic post.

How about you guys? What features would you suggest for WipEout to become eSports viable?

NOTE: The most important thing is that WipEout needs to be popular... and it's not. So I know that it's very unlikely that WipEout will ever become a large-scale competitive game, but just for curiosity's sake, I'd still like to hear what you guys would want added to a new WipEout.

Oh, and thanks everyone for the responses and ONLock for the link. They were interesting to read. =)

*On an aside, I actually don't have WipEout HD (makes me sad every night when I go to sleep =,( haha, well not that dramatic, but I do wish I had it... no PS3), so besides WipEout Pulse, I watch a lot of WipEout HD videos that you guys upload (thanks!). I find them quite entertaining when the best pilots are pitted against each other. To be honest, I even enjoy watching people pull off crazy BRs and turbos in time trials. Maybe I'm just weird >.< I'm sure that less people would find WipEout entertaining to watch then SC or other currently successful eSports games (because of the lack of variation I mentioned earlier), but I feel that a significant number of people would be drawn in by its unique sense of speed and precision if word of this game could be spread more widely. No one really knows about this game so it's hard to say how many people would find it interesting to watch. Again, people watch racing in real life, why not WipEout? (and racing in real life is no-weapons =D) I've watched F1 from time-to-time and I know it is extremely demanding of the drivers. Racing is no trivial task, but in terms of spectators, I'm not sure why it would be THAT much more entertaining to watch than WipEout. Since F1 is real I know that that's a major advantage it has in terms of attracting viewers. I'm not saying that WipEout would be as popular as F1 if everyone knew about both of them, but that at the core they're the same type of thing to watch, they both have that same basic allure, vehicles competing at high speeds to get from point A to point B the quickest. Since racing attracts so many people in the real world, I'd imagine it has the potential to attract a substantial number of viewers in the virtual world too. Maybe I'm just wrong =P I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

6th November 2010, 11:04 PM
I agree to what you are saying Szei.

But FYI, I believe there is already a thread about what the community would like to see in an upcoming WipEout game. Ill, try to look it up for you.

But when and if a new WipEout comes along, we should gather all the best ideas, and truly go into depth in the arguments why, and what it will improve. And really, really try to be serious about what we write. If we aren't careful, the guys at SL won't take us seriously, and that's a dangerous pitfall.

On the other hand, some developers openly take suggestions as to what their game should be like, i.e. Valve. And they have had great success with that formula. Now, SL as far as i know haven't had that of an open game production, but let's hope those guys are just as cool, and try to listen to the opinions of this great community, if and when it happens.

Oryx Crake
7th November 2010, 07:07 PM
You know aside from all the technical stuff, I think that a big problem with wipeout, in this case, would be filling, say an hour of programming mainly for 2 reasons.

1. There is simply not enough content, that is: there are not enough courses, after a few weeks the viewers will think they've seen it all. As most of the viewers have to be amateursor beginers since there aren't enough real fans around the world willing to watch for it to be a viable show.

Or to put it another way, the subtelties of really tight races will be lost on most people (I'm basing this on how my friends who dont play WO a whole hell of a lot see it) and most people will get bored and the WZ community cant fill that void.

2. the races are too short. if you compare wipeout to real track racing, there are a couple of problems. The amount of laps per race for example. a single race in wipeout is seldom more than 6 laps which is enough when your playing but amounts to about 2 minutes of race time which really isn't enough to hook the viewer, unless you do a tournament with say at least 6 heats.

Which I suppose would technically work but could become hard to understand, or too chaotic for the avarage viewer, and also boring after a few weeks as pretty much all matchups would look roughly the same.

also there is of course the problem of distinguishing marks, since there is no capability in WOHD (I am assuming that HD is the only incarnation with good enough graphics to be of interest here but that is of course my own opinion) to create your own "team colors" that is to say you cant alter the paintwork on your craft to give it any distinguishing features, and hence the pilots become very anonymous.

thats my analysis anyways, though I'd love to see a show dedicated to wipeout... these are, among other things, problems to solve before such a thing can really take off.

7th November 2010, 08:50 PM
If you want WipEout to be watchable you need some sort of global observer player slot, with stats on each player (weapon they are carrying, top speed, average speed, shield energy, lap times, etc.) as well as the ability to switch between player views and have a global overview of the race track.
Also because of that the lag online would have to be worked on, it is not acceptable to have laggy ships going through walls if you want this to be watched live streamed or something.
Right now you can watch only the point of view of one player and while it's interesting for us as players, it is not I do think for a viewer. I think that's the difference between F1, Nascar and WipEout. In F1 when you are a spectator, you have a global overview of the race and that's interesting. Just think with me for a second and imagine having the point of view of only one F1 car for the whole race. Boring yes?

So decent observer possibilities are a must.

Ok so that is established, what else? Well I think it was patch 1.30 that added the many options like number of laps editing and such, and that was great. But you need more options.
Options like editing weapon placement, randomization, etc, but also options for team battle racing. I mean sure, cheering for a player is cool. How about cheering for your country? It's fine I've already seen players adapt to the fact that there was friendly fire in WipEout HD, but doesn't it suck a little that you can't use mines on the three opponents behind you because a team member is also behind you? So something that facilitates team racing is good.
Also maybe in the next WipEout we will have tracks with multiple courses available and we will need options to tweak that as well. I do not think in Fusion you had A TRACK for EACH COMBINATION of courses, it would be great if even we don't have named tracks (Like Florion Heights ##) available in Racebox or Campaign that we could create those combinations (And perhaps even save them to the profile on the PS3 hard drive) and then race on them.
And finally for now when speaking about observers and such, these should be extra slots so that they don't take up actual player spaces, and they would have options like global pause on the race, kick players, assign penalties etc. Or you can create another referee position for that.

More options equals more possibilities for more fun.

wipeout rocks
2nd February 2011, 03:54 PM
to get us closer to wipeout being real check out this

3rd February 2011, 12:02 AM
:clapthought you might like this link,,,

,,,the 'play along with rocket racing' part looks pretty 'cool'.

some of those flight sims are pretty sweet ala "x-plane" (search in Google)

I hope a new wipeout game comes out someday!