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BLIC Interview with Codemasters
25 Aug 2006
By: James Nixon


Cricket Web have conducted an interview with Codemasters asking their Senior Game Designer a series of questions on Brian Lara International Cricket 2007. We'd like to thank him for giving up his time.

NOT TO BE RE-PRODUCED WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF CRICKET WEB. PLEASE LINK TO THIS PAGE.

Is BLIC 2007 a complete re-build from 2005?

No, we're building on the 2005 engine and streamlining it. It'll be more efficient, have more gameplay features and be capable of rendering far better graphics and animations.

Which feature were Codemasters most disappointed with in BLIC 2005 and how is this being improved in BLIC 2007?

That's a tough one. Probably from a gameplay point of view I'd have to say the CPU players' AI. The batsmen in particular played mechanically and conservatively. We've introduced some new AI calculations that will have CPU teams batting more aggressively, chasing required run rates and making some human errors as well as taking some inspired risks (yes, you will be able to run them out).

What were you satisfied with in BLIC 2005 and won't be changing for the 2007 version?

The easy and accessible gameplay. 2005 had a certain fun factor, and wasn't too hardcore, but still played well as a cricket sim. We've added new gameplay features, but they retain this spirit.

Have Codemasters secured player licenses for matches outside of the World Cup and Champions Trophy, so we no longer have Chris Martin being called Chris Morton for example?

Afraid not, this will be as 2005.

With the addition of online play for BLIC 2005, will anyone be able to setup a gaming server and run matches off it? Will online play include online competitions, etc?

You'll be able to play LAN games, 360 Live games, and you can also play on Gamespy Arcade. There's no reason why players can't organise matches by connecting to a host IP across the Internet, but a game does need the host to kick off a match or tournament round. We've not made plans for official competitions yet, but may do so further down the line.

One the biggest complaints about BLIC 2005 was the Batting AI in that if you scored for example 280-6 off 50 overs, the computer player would be 15-0 after 10 overs. Is this sort of thing being addressed and what is generally being done to improve the computer AI overall?

To further elucidate from question two, confidence will have an effect on CPU AI. CPU bowlers will devise a line, length and ball strategy at the beginning of each over, which they can change to fox the batsman or in response to scoring, and CPU field settings have also been overhauled to take into account scoring, and the relative abilities of the batsman and bowler.

Will we see the inclusion of power-plays?

Afraid not. Due to the limited time we have for fixes, next-gen graphics and new features, we've left this out in favour of other content.

Will we see an official editing package included with the game?

No - there's no plans for an editing package.

Are we going to see a new commentary team, or will that part of the game remain the same as the 2005 version?

Same team, and some of the commentary from 2005 will remain in, simply because it's still relevant. But we have recorded some new commentary for the World Cup and Champions Trophy modes, as well as new crowd sounds, player shouts and effects such as the thwack of leather on willow.

Will there be an auto-play feature?

There will. We'll have a feature to allow players to skip innings and one to skip overs.

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