About this project
Our vision for Pixel Soccer is a top down, pixel art, soccer game for PC & Mac( to start with ) inspired by games like Sensible Soccer, Goal and Kick Off. For those not familiar with these games (they are almost 20 years old! ), think of a top down, 8-bit FIFA game.
Although soccer games nowadays are getting more and more realistic, the old pixelated soccer games still appeal to us in a way we find hard to describe. Its that feeling of nostalgia that takes you back to the days of your youth, where endless hours were spent guiding your favourite team through match after match, on your quest to secure the league title.
Don't get us wrong, we do appreciate what new technology has brought to soccer games such as FIFA and PES. Accurate player kits, player faces and in-depth player and tactical behaviours all enhance the game experience. But these games have also become too realistic and lack something that the older generation 8-bit soccer games had. A mix of character, fun and imagination.
What if we could create a game that had a similar 8bit "look and feel" to the golden soccer gaming era but at the same time took advantage of advances in technology. Like recreating individual player characteristics and offering more depth in player animations.
That's exactly what we want to achieve with Pixel Soccer. We are soccer fans like you. We are computer game fans like you. We want to build a game that feels like the soccer games of our childhood and for that we need your help.
The game is currently in early alpha. This means that some features have yet to be added while other features have been added but are not yet complete. The majority of the work we have done has focused on the match game-play. At the moment you can play against another human or against basic computer AI or watch two computer teams play out a match. Here is a list..
- Human vs Computer AI
- Human vs Human ( 2 player on same machine )
- Computer AI vs Computer AI
Basic Match Mechanics
- Goal Kicks
- 4-4-2 formation
- Defensive AI - close down man with ball plus zonal defending
Core Player Mechanics
- Slide Tackle
- Goalkeeper Dive
- Basic ball physics
- Pitch, goal nets, corner flags, dugouts and one stand
- Animated managers and substitutes
- Animated supporters
The match engine will be at the core of the Pixel Soccer experience. We want to build on what we have made so far to create a rich immersive match experience. Here is a list of features...
Game-Play / Tactics
- Different team mentality - attacking, defensive, all out attack, all out defence
- Playing style types - counter attack, long ball, direct, short passing, mixed
- Direction - central, left, right, mixed
- Formation editor to create and save custom formations.
- Through balls/Key passes
- Off the ball runs by team-mates
- Assisted defending - players you aren't controlling can be instructed to close down the ball.
- Improved collision detection and predictive player movement where players try to anticipate where the ball will end up instead moving to the position it is at.
- The ability to buy and sell players from other teams, including contracts and negotiations
- Support for "Limited Budget" scenario stretch goal. Assemble a team given £X budget to compete in a competition or friendly.
Player Attribute System
- Integrating an attribute system for players into the match engine and transfer system. Differentiates players based on abilities and affect performance e.g Shot Power=99, Accuracy=80, Flair=92 etc.
- Goal celebration with different variations.( slide, somersault, punch corner flag, Hands in the air ) - ( mock-ups below )
- Diving Header - ( mock-up below )
- Overhead Kick - ( mock-up below )
- Player arguing with referee - ( mock-up below )
- Player fouled reaction (player falling. player rolling around in agony if a really bad foul)
- Player reacting badly to being substituted( kicking water bottle, storming down tunnel).
- Physiotherapist running onto the pitch to treat a player.
- Player being stretchered off.(by a golf buggie type thing or by stewards)
- Managers facing each other in a heated "debate".
Crowds & Stadiums
- Different stadiums of varying standards ( Olympic stadium, run down stadium etc. ).
- Different crowd celebrations and chants such as Mexican Wave, Poznan ( back facing jumping up and down ), Italian league style smoke flares, crowd holding a card above their heads to create a picture, banner being passed over the heads of the crowd as well as generic crowd celebration, people jumping, waving.
If you are not familiar with 8bit-football.com its a website where famous footballers are recreated in 8-bit art style. We would like to do the same in Pixel Soccer. We believe this will be a key part of Pixel Soccer's appeal, creating an immersive 8-bit football world for people to play and compete with each other in.
Here are all the players we have in the game currently. Star indicates Pixel Soccer famous player.
Here are the player animations we have so far...
We would like to increase our range to include different player face shapes, hairstyle, hair colour, facial hair and height.
Although we will be using generic player types for most players in the game, for famous players that have a distinctive appearance we will be able to recreate them with custom art.
Creating a famous player takes time and effort. The distinctive characteristics of each player must be manually added to each frame of the animation, taking into account the angle at which the game is viewed in.
This is one of the main reasons we are looking for you to fund our Kickstarter.
Here is an example of how two frames ( there will eventually be over 60 frames per player ) of a famous player are created...
These are the different game modes in our game...
- Custom Cup
- Custom League
- Custom Tournaments
We have plans to add the following modes, but that depends if we reach our stretch goals.
- Local Multi-player, vs and co-op (2 – 4 players)
- On-line Multi-player, vs and co-op (2 – 4 players)
There will also be three difficulty levels that will affect the computer team AI. Amateur, Semi-Pro and Pro
We will be including competitions from the following countries -
Each of these countries will have two leagues, one domestic cup and one national team. Each continent will have one continental cup. There will also be a world club cup.
National teams will have a continental cup and a world cup as well as qualifying competitions for both.
NOTE: In addition we will have an editor that will allow people to add a league themselves and share the league file with others.
NOTE: We also have a competitions stretch goal ( more about this in the stretch goal section below ) that will add these teams...
Weather is an important part of soccer in real life and just as important in the Pixel Soccer world we are creating.
We want to create various weather systems (Snow, Rain, Wind, Muddy no rain, Sunny) with game-play that reacts accordingly.
Here is how the weather affects the game-play...
- Muddy pitch causes ball to stick in mud patches.
- Wet pitch creates a slick surface where the ball slides of the top.
- Much longer player slide tackle in wet weather.
- Worsens pitch surface e.g. cause ball to bobble and bounce.
- Wind affects trajectory of the ball when it’s in the air.
- Increased chance of injury to player.
We are also working on an in-game editor that will allow you to create a custom competition, team or player.
The team editor will enable creating or editing a team's name, kit and badge as well as creating a playing squad. Once created you can use your team in a custom competition or add it to a league in place of another team.
The player editor will be able to create a new player or change an existing player. All of the players characteristics including hair colour, hair style, skin tone and playing attributes will be editable. The new player can then be added to any team within the game.
- Release dates: We have planned to release the PC/Mac version of Pixel Soccer by end of January 2015. Should we reach our Mobile and Console stretch goals we are scheduling these versions to be released in April 2015 and July 2015 respectively. This will allow us to focus solely on each platform and produce a version of Pixel Soccer that is tailored to fit that platform.
- Player Names: Unfortunately we do not have the rights to use real player names. We will be using false player names that fit that player’s league, nationality or region. This is instead of using misspelled names.
- Controls: At the moment we are using keyboard controls. You will be able to change to your preferred keys. We will also support game-pad controllers that can be used on PC & Mac. Should we reach our mobile stretch goal we will provide a virtual joy-pad control overlay as well as develop a touch control scheme. e.g swipe to pass, run or shoot.
- Ball Control: At the moment the ball sticks to the players feet but we do plan to have a game mode where the ball will roll away from the player if a sharp turn is made or the player is standing still. We also plan to have after-touch that can be applied to the ball for a short period after it has been kicked.
- Platforms: We will be releasing on PC & Mac. If we get enough votes to be on Steam a Steam key will be included in any tier that includes a copy/copies of the game. If we reach our stretch goals we will release on iOS/Android/Linux/PS4/Wii/XBOX.
- Minimum Hardware: PC: Intel i5 Core 2GHZ, 1 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics Mac: OS X v10.7 or later,1GB of memory. The minimum requirements may change.
We've come very far without funding, but finishing the game will cost money. Here is our budget...
Kickstarter/Amazon fees: This is the fees we have to pay kickstarter if we are successfully funded.
Art+Sound: We will need to hire another pixel artist and a sound composer in-order to have the game finished to the quality that we want. Things like creating customized player animations, drawing home and away kits for all the team, creating the games soundtrack, in game music and sound effects.
Coding: Building the remaining features of the game will take time and we will need money to cover our programming costs.
Marketing+PR: Once we have the game finished we will need to pay for press releases and submission services in-order to tell as many people as possible about our game.
Tools+Licences: We will need to pay licence fees to release on certain platforms such as the Mac App Store Developer Licence as well as pay for debugging and test tools that will ensure a high build quality to the game.
We believe that a community is the single most important part of a successful game.
Kickstarter provides a fantastic community platform where we can engage with you, the backer, right from the start.
We are passionate about this project and want to make Pixel Soccer a quality game that everyone will remember. But we cannot make this happen without your help.
We need your support to get Pixel Soccer finished.
Here are the rewards that we have for backers of Pixel Soccer..
Pixel Soccer Team
Design a team to feature in Pixel Soccer. It could be a worlds best XI, a famous legends team or even your local Sunday/Saturday league team!!! You decide.
You will be able to choose its name, kit design, badge, player names, appearances and attributes. Your team will play in the Pixel Soccer league. You can also add this team to any other league in place of another team. It will also be available for friendlies.
* Includes t-shirt and framed art-print/art-print of your team.
* Includes game, soundtrack, wallpaper and credit.
* Pixel Soccer will come with a team editor BUT the editor will only allow you to create teams from a fixed number of kit and badge templates. Any team created using the team editor will only exist locally in your copy of Pixel Soccer, NOT in everyone else's copy.
* Each player's appearance will be chosen from the player editor's fixed number of templates. If you would like each player to have a likeness based on a photo it will increase the level of backing needed for this reward tier in line with the Pixel Soccer Player reward.
Pixel Soccer Player
You get to be a Pixel Soccer player and play for Pixel Soccer FC in the Pixel Soccer League! We will recreate your likeness ( from a photo ) and you will feature in every copy of Pixel Soccer forever! You choose your players name, position and attributes. Your player will be capable of all the animations/movements any other player in Pixel Soccer is.
* Includes t-shirt and framed art-print/art-print of your player.
* Includes game, soundtrack, wallpaper and credit.
* Pixel Soccer will come with a player editor BUT the editor will only allow you to create players from a fixed number of templates. Which may or may not be close to your likeness. Any player created using the player editor will only exist locally in your copy of Pixel Soccer, NOT in everyone else's copy.
We will design a particular moment in world football, of your choice, in either 8-bit football or Pixel Soccer art style. You will get this match moment as digital wallpaper AND framed art print or art print.
* Includes game, soundtrack, wallpaper and credit
Pixel Soccer Supporter
You get to be a supporter in Pixel Soccer. We will recreate your likeness ( from a photo ) and your supporter will be visible in the crowd during the pre-match build-up, when the ball comes close to the goals and certain crowd reactions to match events like goal celebrations. You will be able to choose what your supporter wears!
* Includes game, soundtrack, wallpaper and credit
The Pixel Soccer wallpaper featuring as many players and teams as we can fit into it! Will be available in standard resolutions for desktop and mobile.
T-Shirts / Art Print
You will be able to choose one of these designs...
- Custom Team ( Pick 11 players )
- League Selection
- An existing 8bit-football design found in these shops. Shop 1, Shop 2, Shop 3, Brazil Shop.
Below are examples of how the Pixel Soccer designs will look.
NOTE: You will ONLY be able to choose from teams and players that will be in Pixel Soccer. A full list of players and teams will be available after the Kickstarter ends. If we reach our "Pixel Soccer Legends" stretch goal then those new teams and players will also be available. If we reach our "More Leagues" stretch goal then those teams will also be available. If you want a league, team or player design that does not make it into the game, contact us, and we will add a new reward tier if there is enough demand ( BUT at a higher cost to cover the extra work involved in creating a league/team/player design that will not actually feature in Pixel Soccer ).
NOTE: Art prints will be 8" x 9" or 13" x 16". Please contact us if you would like a bigger size or a framed art print before pledging. We may add a new reward tier that includes these options ( BUT at a higher price to cover the extra cost ) if there is enough demand.
NOTE: All designs will use direct-digital printing on premium t-shirts via spreadshirt.co.uk.
NOTE: A shipping fee may apply based on your location. Please view this page to find more info on spreadshirt.co.uk fees.
Every great football game should have a soundtrack. The talented BeatScribe will be creating the sound track for us. Here are three of the tracks that will be on the final 8 song soundtrack.
Should we reach our funding goal we have these stretch goals...
Pixel Soccer Legends
Mobile( iOS/Android + Linux )
Console( Vita/PlayStation/Xbox )Read more here...
Matheus Toscano - the animator, pixel artist and creative mind behind Pixel Soccer. He is also owner/illustrator of the popular 8bit-football website. A site dedicated to illustrating the good, the bad and the ugly from the world of football in glorious 8bit. You can read more about the inspiration behind his art-style here.( in Portuguese ) or check out his illustrations in the links below.
Ammaniel Araia - the programmer on Pixel Soccer. Indie game developer behind the games The Football Playbook on PC, The Football Playbook: Tactical Puzzles on iOS. Many years of games industry programming experience including working on Microsoft's Kinect Nat Geo and being part of the Sports Interactive programming team on two versions of Championship Manager ( CM4 and CM 03/04 ) and two versions of Football Manager ( FM 2005 and FM 2006 ).
Risks and challenges
This is an exciting project for us but as with all software projects there are risks.
Our toughest challenge with the development of Pixel Soccer will be producing all the famous player animations, building the league system and adding the depth in game-play we want.
But we feel that with our previous experience in having already successfully developed and released a soccer game (The Football Playbook) that we are in a good position to use this experience to successfully complete Pixel Soccer.
In addition to this we have already started work on Pixel Soccer and know now exactly what needs to be done to finish it. We have already begun building the match engine and have added ball physics, player animations and core player mechanics needed to play a match.
So while there is some way to go yet before Pixel Soccer is complete, we feel what we have done up to this point stands us in good stead.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
YES! Definitely. The game-play will be speeded up. The speed of the game now is just what we have been using internally up until now for development. We have planned to get things working properly first then have beta testing to help us tune the game speed to what creates the best game-play experience. So yes it will be as fast as people want. If people disagree about exactly how fast we could have a few different settings i.e Pro Mode = fast. Amateur = slow etc
This will be a setting that you can change within the game. Ranging from not sticky at all to ball always sticks to the players feet. That way people can choose the setting that suits them.
No. Its important there is some skill involved in passing the ball. Pass accuracy and pass receiving will be directly linked to a players attributes(passing attributes,tiredness), weather effects (wind) and state of the pitch( patches of water or mud. Uneven pitch surface ). Also
Yes. This will also be a setting that can be adjusted within the game. People who back us will want the freedom to choose the maximum amount of after-touch that can be applied to the ball to create the game-play experience they are after.
At the moment the goalkeeper does not predict where the ball might end up when someone shoots at him. As a result he seems to always be too far away from the ball and dives to late too be able to make a save. Once this "Predictive AI" is completed and added to the game engine the keeper will position himself correctly and save shots properly. We will also adjust this to take into account the goalkeepers attributes such as "positioning" or "shot stopping". We will also increase the range of dive and save animations.
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