It hasn’t been the usual eleven months between blog posts so I don’t have loads to tell you about at the moment, just that two of our games are currently being given a once over by Nintendo ahead of their Nintendo Switch release and that we are working on a new game. Actually that is quite a lot. That is some decent news. Yay for me!
NEWS#1 – Galactic Defence Squadron & Urban Jogging On Nintendo Switch
Galactic Defence Squadron and Urban Jogging have been slightly rebuilt and massively improved ahead of their debut on Nintendo Switch. Naturally, these improvements will all be coming to the PC versions very shortly.
These two games have always been much better in my head than they were on the screen but I think finally those two things are almost the same. Still loads of work to do and they will both be receiving regular updates over the coming months but the base games as they are now are great fun (I think anyway) and very much what I was hoping to achieve.
This is really all part of that whole dumb thing where I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING for quite a while and so these improvements are largely fixing the problems of the past. I never wanted to abandon them even though that would probably have been sensible but hey, I am not even remotely sensible.
I am hoping that they will both be out before the great September Game Rush but given I don’t expect either to sell that much anyway I am not going to be too upset if I get overshadowed by Call Of Duty or something. PC updates should be landing well before that! Just need some final QA then we are good to go.
NEWS#2 – We are working on a new game!
If you follow our Twitter (hi mum!) or my personal one then you might have seen that I started messing about with a football game a couple of weeks back. This all stemmed from a Wednesday night pub session in which myself and two friends (Chris and Mike) began discussing how it would be funny to make a football game but based on Sunday League, so basically everyone was a bit crap and some players were hungover and nobody was really fit. Then I remembered that I actually make games and so the day after I decided to knock something together.
The very early builds came about fairly quickly and I was booting a ball over a wall in next to no time. The most interesting thing about all this was that I sent out a few tweets about the game and got SO MANY LIKES (compared to my usual amount which is somewhere around 1 like. Thanks again mum). The more I developed, the more it seemed to go down well on Twitter and so it became fairly obvious that we needed to explore this game more. I say “we” and I actually mean it this time, usually it is just me, but Chris is very much on board in terms of helping set the tone and style of game while Mike has been great at helping me test it seeing as I live with him and he has to otherwise I won’t stop annoying him.
The past couple of weeks have seen me finishing up the updates to GDS and Urban Jogging. I so often fall foul of the temptation to abandon a project and start something else new but I resisted this and after the first solid week of development I returned to finish those games off. That is done and so I can now devote pretty much all my time and attention to our little Sunday League football game which we are currently calling – SUNDAY LEAGUE HEROES or SLH if you want.
So what makes this game different to FIFA or PES? Well for starters, everyone is a bit rubbish and this presents a whole new way to play the game. If you pull off a slick passing move then well done you, you are good at the game. All passing and shooting is manual and so if you do something you can sit back in the knowledge that it was not AI assisted in any way.
This has been very deliberate as the players are indeed all a bit rubbish and will have some random “Shinned It” value assigned to every action. This means your easy 6-yard pass could go out for a throw in. As someone who was a solid 4/10 at playing football I can confirm I have both smashed one into the top corner and miscontrolled a ball passed to me by a 5-year old and this is very much the vibe we are going for.
While building the early prototype was all about just getting the passing, shooting and tackling right it did get me thinking about all the other stuff that is going to have to be added to the game. Free kicks, goal kicks, throw ins, a referee, backpasses, red and yellow cards and honestly it is all a little daunting. But I have vague ideas of how to manage each of these and all the other stuff I have forgotten but it is going to take some time to nail down properly.
I think this is why I want to build this game as openly and transparently as possible. Feedback from everyone is going to be crucial and while I am not sure if I am going to do some kind of early access type thing just yet, there will absolutely have to be something in place because just releasing this to the world with only me and a handful of people having played it would be dumb.
The game we have at the moment has some weird bugs related to the goalie which is next on my list to fix but overall it is actually kind of fun? Getting 22-players onto the pitch didn’t take me anywhere near as long as I thought it would and having a proper 11v11 match with Mike was genuinely enjoyable. The tackling is of course a bit over the top but we don’t want to go too far into the territory of “comedy football game”. SLH will have its feet firmly planted in realism but perhaps accentuate some of the Sunday League Football most amusing traits. Leg breakers from 45 year old accountants. Rubbish referees. Damn near nobody watching and a pitch that looks like a tractor has been doing donuts on it.
This game will be nothing like FIFA or PES. There are no licensed teams or players. It is dirty, amateur football played by people who love the game but are perhaps not the best at it and I hope that we can do the amateur footballers up and down the country justice with a game that may poke a little fun but really is there as a love letter to the game.
Actually with the teams and players currently the plan is to have totally randomly generated names for both. We already have a massive old list of possible names and it will be fun to see what this throws out. This randomisation or I guess Procedural Generation will play a big part in the game. If you think back to the old PES Master League teams and randomly generated players we are going for something a bit like that.
Anyway, there will be a lot more updates to come now I am working on this full time and actually I have made a Devlog video thingy to round up the work so far so go and check that out.
Tom Gilchrist - Founder/Creative Director
Founder of 4MB Interactive and chief game maker person, Tom taught himself Unreal Engine 4 while working in a normal day job and somehow still found time to grow a crap beard and let his hair become an unkempt mess.