Re: Sociable Soccer - Jon Hare's new football game is on KICKSTARTER!

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8 years 7 months ago #131280 by higgipoker
Shit I hope this guy does t come to these forums...

I have Sierra Soccer: World Challenge Edition. It was the best football game in the Amiga era - better than Sensible Soccer, which it totally ripped off, but improved on.

;)
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8 years 7 months ago #131281 by xflea

Imagine a new rock band, claiming to produce an album in AC/DC s Back in Black style... Go away... ;)


Bad example Phillip... :P Have you ever heard of Rhino Bucket? Maybe not Back in Black style but Bon Scott era style yes :)

To everything else I agree 100%
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8 years 7 months ago #131282 by tommyboo

Well, SWOS ball physics is really tight and coherent (have you ever seen strange and unpredictable reactions?) and it seems to have the *right weight*. Controls are tight and coherent, too.

The ball physics are simple and pretty decent indeed and while it obviously works in SWOS, I feel that it s far too simple by today s standards. Going with the old 8-direction movement in Sociable Soccer would be a huge mistake in my opinion, I d be very disappointed if they didn t take advantage of the whole 360-degree range (for both player and ball movement). In SWOS there are certain areas from which it s simply impossible to score, the ball never takes crazy deflections from other players and it always bounces back from the goalposts in the exact same ways, the goalkeepers always make the same saves, there s not much variation in the shots that you can make, etc...

A system like that worked in SWOS and it was probably a necessity back then (because of hardware limitations), but that was 20 years ago so I d expect to see something more advanced in a modern game. At least I d absolutely love to see a fast free-flowing football game like Sensible Soccer with full 360-degree movement. :) Of course it will bring some difficult problems on the table too, like the buggy goalkeepers in Sensi 2006 and its other bugs, but I have faith in the experienced team behind Sociable Soccer and believe that they can pull it off. And I think it ll be worth it: I ll probably get mugged for this or something, but despite of Sensi 2006 having many unforgivable flaws, I gotta say that I had a lot more fun scoring goals in it than I ever had in any other football game - and that s just about the most essential thing in a football game if you ask me.
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8 years 7 months ago #131283 by higgipoker

Going with the old 8-direction movement in Sociable Soccer would be a huge mistake in my opinion, I d be very disappointed if they didn t take advantage of the whole 360-degree range (for both player and ball movement).

Full 360 has indeed been confirmed!
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8 years 7 months ago #131286 by tommyboo
Oh cool, that s great news! :) That also makes the idea of releasing a new SWOS with updated visuals and online play impossible though - SWOS is all about the physics, so just converting from 8D to Full 360 would change the whole game. I don t think that it d be a good business idea either. Jon Hare mentioned the word franchise somewhere, so with that in mind I think it s better to start from the scratch and keep building on that. Who knows, this could turn out to be better than SWOS!
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8 years 7 months ago #131287 by atchoo

The ball physics are simple and pretty decent indeed and while it obviously works in SWOS, I feel that it s far too simple by today s standards.


It works because it s simple.

But don t misunderstand me, I think it s right Jon Hare and his team work on a *new* game.
If I want to play SWOS, I can. If Sociable Soccer will be a good game, I ll play it. :)
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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #131288 by higgipoker

Oh cool, that s great news! :) That also makes the idea of releasing a new SWOS with updated visuals and online play impossible though - SWOS is all about the physics, so just converting from 8D to Full 360 would change the whole game. I don t think that it d be a good business idea either. Jon Hare mentioned the word franchise somewhere, so with that in mind I think it s better to start from the scratch and keep building on that. Who knows, this could turn out to be better than SWOS!

Just making the game in 3D makes this essentially impossible anyway. The height aspect of the ball in Sensi it a total lie. It is merely emulated through the use of a shadow. In sensi, the ball doesn t even get any bigger. I know this is not *strictly* an aspect of the physics, but the total package does come together to shape your perception of the physics.

That s one mistake that I think a lot of developers make without even questioning it. It s just an axiom that realistic ball physics is better. But is it? For a game like this, more realistic does not equal more fun. And I don t mean it has to be whacky cartoonish movement, but you can play around with parameters to tweak the gameplay.

The players and pitch are not to scale. The speed of the players is not realistic. Why does the ball have to be? Another common feature of the retro games is that often the aspects that gamers fall in volve with is a compromise made by the developer due to the hardware limitation, and sometimes it s a downright bug. There is a LOT in Sensi that Jon would have done differently if he could have (for example they had to tweak the tactics to restrict the number of sprites on the screen), but the parts that weren t as good as he would have liked are the very things that people love about the game now.

Now he can fix these on modern hardware, die-hard fans may see his fixes as flaws, because the game won t feel the same.

A good example of a bug becoming a legendary feature is the original Street Fighter 2. The combo moves were a complete accident. Some moves were too difficult to pull off in Street Fighter 1 so the developers gave you some more frames of leeway to input the sequence - this resulted in a bug where moves could be chained together into combos. Not a design element, a total bug!

I think you hit the nail on the head with you last sentence. Jon wants a franchise, an IP that he owns and that will be profitable for years to come. Perhaps like he feels he deserved with Sensible Soccer.

Sorry for the rambling post, just find these things fascinating :)
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8 years 7 months ago #131289 by atchoo
Think about Super Mario World: it has own physics and it s perfect . When Nintendo did Mario 64 they changed physics (and the whole game, too) and they did another perfect .
So SWOS and its feeling in 3d is a chimaera, they tried to do it (Sensi 98 and Sensi 2006), but they missed.
Let s see if Sociable Soccer will be the third Jon s soccer-masterpiece.
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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #131292 by tommyboo
You two make some good points there, atchoo higgipoker.

It works because it s simple.

Exactly. But in my opinion there s no reason to stick with the old control scheme because most people would expect something more nowadays, and there are no hardware restrictions on the way either. Besides, why re-invent the wheel anyway? SWOS pretty much mastered the 2D football already, so it s time to move to a new dimension and something even more ambitious! :D And just like you said:

If I want to play SWOS, I can. If Sociable Soccer will be a good game, I ll play it. :)

It s just an axiom that realistic ball physics is better. But is it? For a game like this, more realistic does not equal more fun.

I absolutely agree with you! However, I don t want them to go too far in the arcade zone, it s important that they find a good balance between the realism and the fun stuff . A totally realistic football simulator would be boring, but something way over the top might be even worse. But I trust that they ll find the right balance.
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8 years 7 months ago #131306 by SPIR
This radiointerview with Jon Hare about his new project is worth a listen!! It is linked in the comments on the KS page.

radioyorkshire.co.uk/sociablesoccer

Jon Hare explains that the gameplay from Sensible WO Soccer is the root of the gameplay in SoSo.
He want s to make the best football game again and seems to have gathered a genuinly capable team to do it. I just hope they will be able to continue their work. Maybe they should scale it down and just release it on one platform, in say a years time, and grab everyone with the awesome playability of SoSo, before conquering the world/starting a revolution/providing free food and shelter for all in the coming years ..
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