The first time you play Bainisteoir – Hurling©, it will obviously be with a degree of unfamiliarity. After all, its ‘world’ will be new and salient and it will pose both challenges and mystery. But once you adapt to the game’s conventions, it is pretty likely that you will lose yourself in its environment.
As is indicated in your opening News story, the panel of players you have inherited will not be in prime condition i.e. they are in pre-season mode. Because of such, it is advisable that you devise a training strategy that will develop your hurlers in the areas they need to improve in.
Each team in Bainisteoir – Hurling’s database has a history and a complex set of motivations, so you and your team’s desire to succeed must be considerably strong to defeat opposition sides of similar or greater ability!
As will be truly exemplified in the Media and News game sections, the different in-game hurlers possess different personality traits. These personality traits should be taken into account when you are decision-making. For example, a hurler of timid character may back down from a challenge, while an impulsive character’s mood will often change.
Each hurler in the game will also act in his own way, often depending upon his audience – for example, some are big day players, whereas others may not necessarily be. It is your job as the team’s manager to get to know the unique personalities that exist on your panel and strategise thereafter.
If a hurler has a ‘plan’ to execute (e.g. a point to prove/something to say), he will move to the ‘stage’ that will most likely permit him to carry out his plan, taking into account such factors as the presence or absence of other characters, and so forth.
E.g. In the Media section, the majority of the interviewed hurlers will take into account the likely emotional reaction of the listener (i.e. team’s manager, team’s fans, team’s sponsor, County Board, opposition stakeholders) before making known their feelings.
In other management simulations (particularly soccer ones), gamers often tend to view the match-day event in a fast-forwarded, highlights package mode. But as a Hurling manager must constantly make a large number of tactical alterations and be able to read the game’s ‘play’, it is highly recommended that you closely analyse every puck of the ball. Remember that every match in a Hurling season is a crucial one and that players often lose/find form in a five minute spell!
No two gamers will ever play Bainisteoir – Hurling© the same way, but it is worth mentioning that the most successful of the game’s play-testers spent between 50 and 100 hours before they won the Modern Season Competition mode.
In everyday life, we all repeat the same actions over and over again in an attempt to gain mastery. Because of such, Bainisteoir – Hurling© was designed to provide you with what is known as an ‘aesthetic of repetition’. In other words, one should learn and control by ‘repetitive rehearsal’ to overcome the overall challenge the game presents.
As a new gaming experience, it was essential that Bainisteoir – Hurling’s ‘world’ is of a size that can be fully explored. It cannot be stressed enough that the game was created to embrace every imaginable aspect of the GAA; it’s just that it was very important for the game to present its content to all first-time players in a logical, understandable format.
Bainisteoir – Hurling© offers a very high level of ‘social realism’ as the majority of elements in its ‘world’ conform identically to what a manager does in the real world of inter-county Hurling.
It is worth remembering that an alteration of the environment caused by you WILL be clearly perceived by the game’s other participants.
Bainisteoir – Hurling© would have sold the GAA-loving public short if Tailteann Games were to have taken the easy option and focussed on ‘perceptual immersion’ as opposed to ‘psychological immersion’. After all, a prop can only ever facilitate a story. It’s just that hotshot digital cinematography can never make a story immersive. What will make it immersive is a world where no territory is off-limits, where anything you see is fair game, and where all your actions have consequences. This is what Bainisteoir – Hurling© offers its players.
In addition, pioneering computer game academics such as Vassar College’s Alison McMahan maintain that the majority of computer game-players value games at a non-diegetic level i.e. at the level of devising a winning (or at least a spectacular) strategy. Once again, Bainisteoir – Hurling© provides all of its players with the tools to achieve this.
On a side issue, it may be worth remembering that lies and mistruths are often just as an important a component of drama as the truth is!
In conclusion, remember that the smallest, most insignificant looking thing is often the most important…and the closer you get to winning, the more you have to lose!