Thursday, June 26, 2014

Post-mortem: Soccer Breakthrough

I decided to write some kind of a post-mortem analysis for "Soccer Breakthrough" flash game we released around 21st of June to Newgrounds (and Kongregate).

Overall rating for the game has been 3+ stars at Newgrounds and 2+ stars at Kongregate. But there has been huge variation in ratings from different players: Some players have liked game a lot because of it's simplified gameplay and medal system. They even have encouraged us to continue same way with future games. But then there have been several comments concerning the lack of realism, the fact that game gets boring quick, most of the sounds are irritating (in fact, they are), and so on. I have even received direct requirements to change literally everything in the game. Yippee.


Soccer Breakthrough was originally intended to be a HTML5 game with very simple gameplay and simplified graphics. However, we had very tight schedule because of my holiday trip, and we decided to make this release with Stencyl because it was more familiar for me (=faster to finish a game). We never thought to be doing a realistic football game, but rather a small game where player has to dodge other objects in the screen. And for some reason we selected soccer theme, and the rest is history. :)

It seems that this game attracted mixed feelings and aroused deep feelings. I believe the reason was that there are strong emotions associated to the soccer, and some people are in the game so seriously that our version may seen even sacrilegious to them. But my opinion is that game that evokes wide range of feelings has achieved it's goal.

In fact, I had several improvement ideas for this game just before it was published, but I had no clue how to implement them smoothly to the existing frame. So I agree that in it's current form game is not as good as it could be. Anyways, I think at this point I am not going to change anything to the game. I will rather make the sequel (or two) for the game and take comments into account, if applicable.

In general, any feedback is good, so please keep on rating games you are playing! It helps a lot when drafting new game ideas.

And remember: if you do a football or soccer game, then do it properly! :)

-Jussi


Edit 2.7.2014: some minor fixes to the text. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Soccer Breakthrough

Alhough I've been creating game prototypes with Construct 2 for last couple of months, I decided to do yet one more flash game with Stencyl. I am not too sure what was the original reasoning behind that decision, but anyways the game was published today.

"Soccer Breakthrough!" is currently available on Newgrounds. Game has leaderboard and also medals (or achievements, whatever). Now I just sit and watch how our little game will please gamers. I am also planning to create HTML5 and mobile versions of this game, but before that I will carefully analyze how flash version will do on portals. 

My vacation period started yesterday, and for next three weeks I don't have to think about System-On-Chip design at all. So I might have some more time for game development. But now I am having at least one week without any work or game related activities, and try to recover from the stressful last days at work...

-Jussi

Monday, June 2, 2014

Jam entry

As mentioned in previous blog article, my target was to attend FGL's "week long game jam" with one idea. However, after four days of work I realized that I am not able to make the game as playable as I wanted to. So I decided to freeze development work, and quickly drafted a new concept that was possible to get to up and running in less than one day. 

In practice it was ~7 hours before deadline when I started creating the game. But the development work went quite smoothly without any problems, and in the end I got the game ready in 5 hours. So there were still some margin left. :)

Here is the direct link to the game:

It works best with some touch-screen device supporting HTML5, but you can try it also with computer+mouse combination. You can find game also from FGL, if you have account there. 

Next step would be to polish the graphics and make some improvements to the gameplay.

Edit 7.6.2014: No special success in jam, but got some valuable feedback how game could be improved. The most important thing for me was to get game into such a condition that I dared to enter the jam. Thanks for all participants, you did great work! :) 

-Jussi