As sports gaming becomes more and more realistic, we as the target audience, want our games to play out like the what we see on the ice, field, diamond or whatever your favorite game is played on or in. Developers slave for countless hours trying to figure out the fairest representation of our favorite game while still making it as fun as possible for us gamers.
Nevertheless, it's not until they decided to include sliders into did games become an unstoppable mess of countless testing to find the right combination of settings to achieve perfection in our minds.
Many people spend a whole gaming cycle trying to tweak sliders to death to achieve the level of realism they want, but never really enjoy the game. Some fail to realize that no amount of slider tweaking can make a game perfect - all games have imperfections, bugs and glitches.
With the advent of internet gaming, more developers are beginning to see the potential of more sales and are therefore diverting some energies (and money) towards the development of its web-based offerings. This, in turn, takes away from the tweaking of the offline game to the displeasure of many here at Operation Sports. However, the online component will keep sports gaming going for many years to come (Tell that NCAA Basketball!!)
That is not to say that tweaking sliders is a bad thing. Too many times have communities such as our beloved OS have made many a game better by simply tweaking sliders.
So called "slider gurus" including members like Playmakers (NCAA Football & Madden series), coreyhartsdaughter (MLB: The Show series), and TNKNGM (NHL series) come back year after year to make the games we buy and love better because they obsess (I like to think of them in lab coats with crazy hair sitting in front of their TVs, ignoring loved ones and bodily functions) over the most minute details.
However, no matter how good they are, they still rely on data from other people in the community. No matter how many posts you have or if you are an OS supporter or not, slider gurus love data from other people. I will draw from a scientific analogy, that you hypothesize, test, compare results, test, compare to the control group, test, and conclude on similar results until it becomes so widely accepted it becomes fact. Their initial input is vital to gain followers who will then test their hypothesis, tweak and then test again...rinse and repeat all cycle long.
Many people, including myself when I first started coming to this site, would just sit back and let everyone else do the work and then would try them after all the testing was finished. Now, I want to help out because it helps the community and also it helps with learning the details these slider gurus see. An added bonus, you learn the game you love so much better that way. For instance, I did not know much about hockey until I started diving into the development of sliders, now I have a intermediate understanding of the game and can appreciate watching it on TV.
We need sliders, plain and simple. Millions of people can come up with a more realistic rendition of our favorite sport better than a select few sitting in a studio busy making new features, updating rosters (right NHL?), and tweaking for the online crowd.
As much as it might sound like I'm ragging on those who work on this game, rest assured, I'm not. I want to thank the developers and the slider gurus for being so awesome and hardworking. These games would get old too fast if it were not for you guys!