Last week we brought you news on two new Virtual Sports games that have been released by Inspired, the company that offers Virtual Sports to a large number of online sports books in the UK, including the likes of Betway and bet365. The overall feeling was that Rush Cricket and Rush Darts would be very welcome additions to the range of Virtual Sports that Inspired are offering to customers around the world today.
However, the company is not resting on its laurels and fresh from publishing its quarterly report for the final three months of 2018, the company has also announced that it is almost ready to release another Virtual Sports offering. That game will be Virtual Basketball, or as it has become known, Rush Basketball and like the forthcoming Rush Horse Racing 2 and Rush Greyhounds 2, it will be released later this year.
While the details of Rush Basketball remain a secret in terms of what the game actually looks like, the different betting markets available on the game and indeed, which of Inspired’s partner sports books will be offering the game to customers, the company has released a video which details exactly how they have put together their Rush Basketball game and it is an engaging watch.
What can we expect from Rush Basketball?
While the video doesn’t show you any examples of the completed Virtual Sport, what you do get is an insight into how the game is produced and this is somewhat enlightening.
Once the company had decided to press on creating Rush Basketball, they quickly decided that rather than a computer-generated version of the sport, as we have currently with Virtual Football or Virtual Tennis for example, Neil Brookes, the product manager of Virtuals at Inspired, revealed that the company wanted to capture real-life action as the backdrop to the game.
This has already been used in Rush Darts and the quality of that product is quite startling compared to the more digitised versions of the game. It certainly adds a whole new depth of realism to the Virtual game and indeed makes it feel like you are watching a real sporting event, not a computer-generated version of the game.
Brookes revealed that once they had decided to use real life filming as the key element in Rush Basketball, the next problem they faced was where they could shoot the action they needed to put into the game.
The opportunity for that arose in Las Vegas where a basketball court and arena was hired for a week. A total of 49 basketball players were hired and split into eight teams of five players. Each team was given a generic kit and a colour to provide obvious contrasts between the team.
What was very interesting though was how Inspired designed the court and it gives you a clear idea of the preparation required and the level of technological expertise necessary, in order to realise a produce as complicated as Rush Basketball.
First off, the court was decorated with Inspired logos to help with the branding and then alongside one entire back side of the court, the entire area was ‘green screened’. By using this as they film, the company can then add certain features to the court, such as the names of the betting site which the game is operating, crowd or coaches, or indeed anything they so desire.
By adding these green screen features at various points in the filming, from different camera angles and the like, it allows companies to easily personalise their Rush Basketball game to their own site, however the level of planning and detail in order to bring this to fruition is considerable and that is before we even get down to how the action was filmed.
In terms of filming the action, Inspired opted for a brand new approach. Not only did the company use a number of static camera’s, placed at various positions around the court to capture the action, but they also used drone technology to film the court from above to give players an entirely new perspective on the game. This is a great example of how companies like Inspires are integrating new technology to make existing products even more inventive and to give the end user an even more fulfilling experience.
Having booked the arena in Las Vegas for a week, the company then faced a hectic schedule to film all the action that they would need for their virtual products. Assuming that Rush Basketball will follow a similar idea to Virtual Football, it is likely that the company will have needed to capture a number of different scenarios in each game, such as 2 point baskets being scored, 3 point baskets being scored, free throws being scored and the same again for each of these but with the outcome of the shot being missed. The footage may also show fouls as well as spectacular gaming action, such as slam dunks or other popular basketball moves.
They would also have wanted to have each of the eight teams play the other seven teams at least once to capture footage for every possible game which means a total of 28 games to play across the five days. That is a lot to film and would generate masses of footage, only which a small proportion of would likely be used.
Having already completed this, Inspired’s team are now hard at work putting the finishing touches to the game which not only means integrating the footage into a workable game engine that produces different results each time, but also it needs to integrate the betting system that sits in parallel with the footage to create the full Rush Basketball experience.
As yet there is no official release date for Rush Basketball, as there is no official date as yet for the companies new horse racing and greyhound virtual updates, both of which will have the new Rush prefix, however all three new releases are expected to go live on partner sports betting sites at some point in 2019.