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The Total Package

October 4, 2012

Every so often, I read something and then wonder why I even bother with writing this blog because of the extraordinary talent that’s on display elsewhere. Reading The Total Package by Chris Brown is one such occasion. Grantland sometimes plays a little too deep in the pop-culture pool for my tastes, but there are some really undeniably talented writers operating there. Chris Brown also runs Smart Football, which I’ve linked before, but which is also rather too smart for me to read. He gets into nitty gritty technical details, and throws around jargon which I, a relative novice, sometimes have trouble understanding.

But even if you get a little lost, I still recommend reading the piece I linked above. It breaks down the core “game loop” of a football game in clear terms that anybody can understand before stepping aside and explaining how that paradigm is being broken in the modern game. I like saying that football is essentially a turn-based strategy game, and he describes that with a simple eloquence.

Also, as a game designer, seeing what may be a sea change in the way the game is played is particularly exciting. Is this the emergence of a degenerate strategy, or simply another step in the arms race of offense schemes? What new strategies or even new rules might emerge to combat it?

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