I’m gonna give you a short summary of what happened the last week at Gamescom.
Me and Jon met in Cologne Tuesday afternoon for some refreshments at an event for developers called Respawn. The event focuses on devs making presentations about their work and you can also get some good feedback on your game from a dev perspective. Here I tried the Samsung 7 VR experience with Sociable Soccer for the first time. The depth of how you see things is really cool. Imagine yourself being at an arena where you have the best seats and then you look left and right while you play the game. On the Oculus things are even better and sharper of course but the Samsung 7 does a really good job despite not having the same power as a Geforce 9 or 10 card.
After some wine, grapes and cheese we packed down our stuff, jumped into a taxi and went towards Gamescom. We spent a good full hour with that taxi driver because of access problems to our hall. We’ve seen the Gamescom buildings from more than one angle, let me tell you that.
After finally getting in we setup stuff. We had two phones with the Gear VR version, one laptop and one IOS version with bluetooth controllers with us. Also Jon had a cabinet of memorabilia. The cabinet was a really nice addition to the setup and we’re looking to do the same at other events. Besides Sociable Soccer the visitors could also play Jon’s classic game Wizzball on a Commodore 64. After setting everything up we had some late dinner at a latin restaurant.
I arrived in Cologne from Dusseldorf where I was staying at a hotel near the airport since we booked our trips really late. It was a calm day at the fair since it was only media and other exhibitors there that day. I went around a little on my spare time and watched some of the games. This was the day when we had most of our meetings with publishers. Jon brought a VR Gear version with him to the meetings and more than often he then came back with the representatives to play the other versions.
DAY 3 & 4
So at our booth what mostly impressed players was the VR version. A lot of people came walking by and saw the VR kit and wanted a go, despite maybe not even liking football. It was great for us since many people might have gotten their first VR experience through Sociable Soccer. We had more media coming around and hopefully you’ll get to see the fruit of their hands on’s soon. I’ll publish media links in the next post.
We got more than 1000 teams to choose from in our game, if you multiply that with about 20 players in each team we got a database of 20 000 players. All teams will have classic players that you can unlock and let be part of your team. Bigger clubs will have more of them.
More news to come during this very exciting Gamescom week.
Friday 1½ week ago we did a live broadcast at my place where I answered many of the fan questions. A bunch of mates of mine who had never played the game before got together and tried out the latest build. Nationalities represented were: Sweden, Argentina, Australia, Germany & Syria which gave interesting and different perspectives on the game. You can see it by clicking the two links below.
Yesterday we released this teaser trailer for the game. The meaning with this trailer is to show that football don’t need to be hard if you’re a novice, sure your opponent might score but you can always tackle him to the ground with a feeling of great satisfaction. And even if he scores a crucial goal games are over before you know it (3min). You don’t have to dwell about it, you can just challenge for another game.
We’ve also announced our VR mode which will work on systems which have VR support. We call it “Play as a God” mode. You’re this giant god walking through cities, stopping at stadions and controlling teams with your almighty powers. Sound fun? We hope so. It’s you who control the angle from which you see the game. No other advantages than that. Gameplay is not affected.
We got events coming up.
From now and two weeks on (22nd July – 7th August), the game, in its current Work In Progress form, will be available to play at the Science Museum in London. You’ll be able to play the two player mode and the VR mode. So stop by and try it out if you’re close. It’s £8 for adults.
We’re also heading to Gamescom between the 17th and 21st of August and then to Sensidays, but I’ll create a seperate post about that. Check out Sensidays here. http://sensidays2016.nl/
So I’ve just been to France for the European Championships. I was in Nice and I saw Sweden lose to Belgium and go out in the group stage. We (I’m Swedish) really sucked against Ireland, played okay defensively against Italy and showed how we can play against Belgium despite losing 0-1. But really the start of our campaign was so weak we got what we deserved.
Picture and Preview
Before I left for France we released a new picture and linked to a preview of the game from Glasgow.
Mark those words from previewer David Cameron (don’t let the name scare you off). We hope to have similar quotes to thrive on as we go to Gamescom between the 17-21 of August.
So what’s going on at the office in Helsinki?
Jon was there last week and work on the basic game functions continue. There’s gonna be a Player Avatar Career mode where you pick a team and try to get that team to the ranking top. On the way you’ll unlock different goodies that help you out. Besides that we are in a month of sending out builds to publishers. We got some pretty good response and also we got a new mode which is in line with how the current gaming arena is changing right now. Expect an announcement about that soon.
There’s also the final from Glasgow where Declan Mcshane took a fine win to become the youngest winner from our European tour so far.
Expect some new announcements about the game and future events to come soon.
And as always. Stay Sociable /Your CM Gustav
It’s been almost a month since I wrote on this blog, I apologize for that. The FB and Twitter have been the places I’ve been most active since it’s easier when you’re on a travelling foot. I didn’t continue to report from Day 2 and 3 at Nordic Game but we did have an exciting tournament on the last day. In general the event in Malmö was more of a business event where you build interesting relationships and check out the latest tech available and what could work with your product. That said it didn’t mean people were not interested in playing Sociable Soccer. They really were and when the tournament started we easily had 16 people taking part, most of them game programming students volunteering at the event as hosts. Here’s a clip…
And off course you need to see the finals.
Here’s a photo of me and the winner Alexander Rooth. You can also see Jon Hare trying to point himself into the picture.
So this morning I packed down some gear and took the train to Malmö from my hometown Helsingborg. I met up with Jon at the event in Malmö and we unpacked everything and got great help from the staff at Nordic Game. They were fantastic, big shout out for them. Also big thanks to the event organizers and Jakob Riis who saved our asses for this event!
Anyhow, we got everything running and people started playing the game and then giving their opinions. Some had never played a football game, others had played a lot of FIFA, and some were retro fans of Sensible Soccer. People generally love the game, which our survey shows and will show you when we publish it here. You can see a gameplay video from day one here with Jon finishing off one guy with a 3-0 win. Another victory for the dev team against the public! *haha*
Also you have to see this and read the comments on reddit.
Blackpool lies on the north west coast of England. A 1h10m ride from Manchester. The city is known as a tourist resort in the summer when brits from all over the country travel there to get some sunny time. End of April isn’t exactly summer time but the weather was still surprisingly nice the two first days of the trip.
Anyhow, I was in Blackpool to show our game for the first time ever to the public. I was a bit nervous of how it would be received, mainly because I had never played the game with working goalkeepers before. As it turned out the goalkeepers did their job pretty well. They’re still not 100% ready but I think people already at this level appreciated how things were looking.
Our tagline “Sport has never been so much fun” is what this game is all about. It’s what we are aiming for. Compared to PES and FIFA, which I see as more or less detailed simulation of football, our game aims to be an arcade game that captures all the beautiful moments in football with a wink.
The first day of the event was mainly introducing players to the game. People got it pretty quickly but there was some trouble in understanding how to select 2 players on the select teams screen. You have to mark the team, press the button to select that team, and then player two select his team and presses the button. Then you go down to the 2p option and press the button to start. In FIFA/PES you just have to select the team and then it forces you to wait for the 2nd player to select his team and then you’re both confirmed to start with another press on the button. Anyhow this is just a detail, and there was a bug when side scrolling with L1 and R1 to other team screens also. These will be fixed, or may have been already.
Then it was time to play the game. You feel it pretty quickly, the ball control, the passing, tackling, it’s the same as before. Shooting is a bit changed because of the 360 degrees, and so is movement. Actually this part should not be described by me, rather by someone who has played the game and can give a more neutral comment on it. Here comes a few.
“I had an absolute blast playing this with a mate and also being in the tournament Sunday. Game is excellent. It just feels ‘right’ in a similar way to how Sensi/SWOS do. Only minor drawback was the odd glitchy goal, but for a game that’s not out for 6+ months that can be forgiven. Oh yeah, and Jon was as friendly, charming and entertaining as ever. :-D”
“Had a go at the Blackpool play expo yesterday. Not into soccer games as a rule but me and the lad had a great time playing this (I think it was his favourite part of the day). Had a real old school feel to me”
“The game is incredible. Takes me back to my Amiga days. It was only 50% done too.”
So this was some of the reactions to the gameplay, and also one visitor made a video preview. Check this out 1:29!
After games I also asked people if they wanted to take our survey about the game. It has 6 questions in it and is very fast and you have the chance of winning a price. The price will be that you get to be a player in the game. So if you get the chance to be part of a survey in the future. TAKE IT!
After the event had shut down on Saturday we played a few more games between the crew and I even got a new update late at night for the game from our lead programmer to fix some of the swearing on splash screens and some more tweaks in gameplay. Really cool to be able to have an update coming through like that over night. Would be impossible at for example Gamescom where everything has to be verified weeks before it goes on display.
Sunday was Tournament Day, and also Jon arrived at 3:30 to have a speech about his career in game development. Very appreciated, and after that we asked everyone to join us for the final 16. We had some problem with the organization at that point and the call for contestants in the big hall didn’t reach out at the right time. 16 players joined though and two even missed out which I really regret informing them about.
After a draw which included pen, paper and scissor we had a playoff. Classic. The tournament started. We have yet to introduce extra time and penalties and a few games went to a 2nd game. What’s great about Sociable Soccer and Jon’s other games is that they are only 3 min long. You really have to perform from the start, and it’s over quick if you don’t concentrate. Two contestants were really at top of their game and made the final, Darren Browne and Pete Sutcliffe. Darren who I had been talking to before (great lad) then won that final 2-0 and became the first player ever to win an official tournament in Sociable Soccer. Big congratulations! Congratulate him and ask him about the game on Twitter @kingmonkey25.
Thanks to all participants.
Our next stop will be Malmö between the 18th and 20th of May.
We got a great week ahead and we want you all to follow us and discover the game. The people visiting Play EXPO Blackpool 30th of April – 1st of May, will be hands on with the game and will hopefully give you an insight into what it really feels like by sharing videos and commenting online. Me and Jon will be collecting the players feedback right there which will prove invaluable for the coming months of development. For you guys who are not able to join us at Blackpool (the unlucky majority), we really want your opinions on the videos coming from the show. There will also be a promotional video coming (no time estimate) which will introduce the goalkeepers and a few other additions.
Goalkeepers were our fans biggest concern game play wise since the latest video and so we’re happy to say they now react like they should. Lead programmer Jouni describes how they have now become better between the posts, “Slow rolling balls and kicks from midfield are no longer ways to score.” that’s reassuring because we saw goals where the keeper did absolutely nothing in some situations, Jouni goes on, “Once we show a few goalpost hits and a crab walking, jumping goalie in the next video, I think we’re going to make some people happy.”
So to sum up, our European Tour begins Saturday and besides the high probability of fan uploaded videos we are going to release a video featuring goalkeepers soon.
Stay Sociable People!
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