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The Rowling Magazine Issue #34 · October 2019

How should a Quidditch videogame be?

Simon H.

1453 words

We have all dreamed, at one point in our lives, of playing an awesome quidditch match with our friends, our family or even or enemies to show them who is the best Potterhead! Since it would take us a long time to figure out how to make ourselves a flying Nimbus 2000 or even a Nimbus 2001 if you’re a good friend of Lucius Malfoy, we have to find another way of playing our favorite wizarding sport. Therefore, is it impossible to play quidditch in the Twenty-First Century? Well, yes but actually no. There is a way to make that happen! These days, one of the best ways to recreate things that we don’t know how to make or that don’t really exist is by using video games. So, how should a full-on AAA quidditch video game, that could recreate the one and only feeling of seeking the golden snitch, look like, in 2019?

To start off, let’s take a look at some of the other quidditch video games that are out there on the market. As you can see, there aren’t a lot of them. The first quidditch games, if we can actually call them games, are the short quidditch levels in the Harry Potter games that were made by EA back in 2001. The levels were so short that they can’t even be some sort of model for our game. On the other hand, EA came up with another masterpiece that can actually be useful to us. That game is Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. EA’s title was released in October of 2003 on PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC. Back then, a lot of young or even not so young players really loved it, so we can definitely use some of the elements and gameplay features that this game uses.

Next up, let’s see what mechanics are being used in modern games and how we could use them in ours. One of the titles that could share a resemblance with our project is Rocket League. In Rocket League, you can use different cars to make points with a giant ball by sending it into a big net. In our game, the broom is the car, the quaffle is the giant ball and the three rings are the big net. Do you see it now? This game that was created by Psyonix in 2015 shares a lot with our hypothetical masterpiece, and we could use it as an inspiration. In contrast, there is a certain thing that shouldn’t be in our game and that currently is in today’s most played sports games. This thing is the amount of characters you can play during one single match in games like Fifa, NHL and Nba 2K. In these titles, you can switch to every character in your team during a meet and that’s something that shall not be in our game. In fact, the player should have to choose one character for the entire match, like in Rocket League. By playing only one character per match, the players will get to know different positions really well and that will enable the creation of great teams, just like in the Wizarding World. Look, Fred and George are beaters when the game starts and they still are when Harry catches the snitch!

It’s now time to talk about the actual video game. First of all, let’s talk game modes. Three game modes should be in this piece of art: solo, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer! In the solo mode, the player would be able to create his character and he or she would follow a storyline that would bring him or her from amateur to pro. They could create their team, play tons of matches and compete in tournaments as they progress in their quidditch career. Next on our list is the local multiplayer mode, a mode that is slowly disappearing today but that definitely has its place in this game, just like it had its place in Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. This mode would be perfect to play with or against friends and family in full-on matches, 2 vs 2 matches or even 1 vs 1 duels, where the first player to reach a set amount of points wins! Lastly, the most important mode is here: the online mode!

This mode would include two ways of playing the game. The first one is quickplay. In quickplay, the players could play a short game without worrying about their stats or anything else. They’re basically playing for fun! On the other hand, we have the ranked mode. This mode is the main course of this game. Galleons, fame, professional players, world cups, you got it! In this part of the game, the players could start off as an amateur player who practices in his or her backyard and end up playing for your national team. The ranks would be the following: amateur, second-year student, fifth-year student, captain, and pro. Each rank would grant you a new and exclusive broomstick and would unlock items in the store. To rank up, players would only need to play! When a certain amount of points is reached, the player should rank up, therefore getting access to more content.

Let’s cover that ranking system in more details. When a player ranks up, he gets more content, but what content are we talking about? Well, we’re talking maps, teams, appearances, and broomsticks. Firstly, as the player ranks up, he or she should gain more maps. These maps should not only change the look of the quidditch pitch, but they’d have their own features. For example, the Hogwarts map would feature high towers that players could use to their own advantage. Secondly, different teams should be presented to you as you go up a rank. You want to play for Slytherin? You just have to be a second-year student! That won’t be too complicated! You want to play for your national team? Well, that might take more time but you’ll get there! Thirdly, players will gain access to tons of robes, helmets, gloves, etc… The player would get these as he or she ranks up and he or she could buy other appearances in the store. ( These would be purely cosmetic and would not impair gameplay in any shape or form.) In the same vein, players would get new broomsticks as they play the game. This time, these objects would actually have an effect on gameplay as each broom would have different stats. The player would have to make the right choice to ensure his or her victory!

Let’s talk about the decision of not including cosmetics that could boost the player who would buy them. This choice is pretty easy to explain. Although a bunch of today’s most played games use boosting cosmetics and items, quidditch is a skill-based game and we would want that from a full-fledged quidditch video game. If a real quidditch player decided to use a purple robe instead of a red one, he’d still be the same player. Well, the same principle would apply to this game. The only thing that decides whether or not a quidditch player is good, is his or her talent, and that talent would be gained by playing again and again! However, there is only one thing that can affect a player’s chances of winning and it’s his or her broom! For instance, a Firebolt will always be faster than a Cleansweep, and that’s why the only item that can influence gameplay is the player’s broomstick.

To summarize, our utopic quidditch game would be based on Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup and Rocket League’s spirit. It would also feature three game modes. The first one being solo where you could play as a character that goes from amateur to professional player. The second one being local multiplayer where you could challenge your friends to a standard game of quidditch or even a duel. Lastly, the online mode would feature two sub-modes: quickplay, where you could play a fast-paced game with opponents who come from across the world, and the ranked mode, in which you could rank up from amateur to professional and could earn tons of prizes on the way (Robes, helmets, gloves, broomsticks and more…). In all of these modes, the player would be able to play only one character per match. This would lead to players knowing their positions very well and to precise team-building.

As of now, such a game doesn’t exist. However, if you’re interested in playing a quidditch-like game while we all wait for our ideal quidditch experience to come out, a game called: Broomstick League will come to steam in early 2020.

You are reading an article from The Rowling Library Magazine Issue 34 (October 2019).
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