game:Football Superstars  

An MMOG game for the PC, Football Superstars will allow players to meet within a utopian soccer-styled virtual world and take part in 3, 5, 7 and 11-a-side football matches. Players will take control of a single footballer avatar and will interact on and off the pitch living the football superstar lifestyle whilst pursuing fame, glory and success, striving to join the best clubs, compete at the highest level and progress within the game through skill and sporting prowess. The player will exist in a persistent football-themed world and be able to join or form and manage their own teams and careers whilst engaging in various leagues, competitions, events and tournaments.

In bringing the most realistic football gaming experience to life, Football Superstars has had to break a few of the old molds and introduce new innovation previously unseen in football games. A new dynamic control system has been implemented that will allow the player to move around the pitch, easily know where his team mates are and intuitively pass, log and strike the ball while pulling off his skills. Also, several ranking systems have been tailor made for the game that will measure the success of the team during a match as well as the individual performance. Therefore, even if your team-mates have a bad day on the pitch, you'll still be rewarded for your own good play.

The lifestyle area of the game will be a first for the genre too. Success on the pitch will bring the player the additional bonuses of experience and fame as well as monetary assets that can all be utilised in the lifestyle world. But while many extra skills and material assets can be gained in the towns within this area it is the non-player-characters (game controlled characters also know as NPCs) that will arguably bring the best rewards, tracking you down as your abilities improve and head hunting you for better and higher profile teams.

Football Superstars is scheduled for launch in the summer of 2008.


The control system used within Football Superstars has always been an area of significant interest for our registered fan base and one of the questions most asked of us. The unique approach to online sports that Football Superstars brings requires an equally unique control system.

We approached the development of the control system by studying the systems used in other titles. Certainly this included other football titles in the marketplace, however we also looked at as many different control systems as possible seeing where they successfully offered methods of control and where they fail to give the levels of control we intended to deliver.

Once that research was complete we went back to base principals and considered what we wanted to bring to the player. There were 4 simple aims.

1. Allow players to travel anywhere they wish to on the pitch. 2. Allow the player to see anywhere on the pitch. 3. Allow a player to place the ball anywhere on the pitch. 4. Passing needs to be easy to perform but does not necessarily guarantee success.

We had always believed that Football Superstars was meant to begin life as a PC game, and it seemed obvious that the mouse would give us the fidelity of control we needed to deliver those 4 basic requirements. The question of course was how?

If you consider a First Person Shooter (FPS), games such as Counter Strike the most important factor for them is to allow you as a player to move anywhere easily whilst being able to look around your environment fully while doing so. This is accomplished by using W,A,S,D keys (or similar configuration) for moving forward (W), Backward (S) and either turning or strafing (moving in a sideways movement whilst retaining your current point of view) with the A and D keys. The viewpoint is subsequently handled by the mouse acting as your head. Moving the mouse from left to right will change your field of vision accordingly. Finally a crosshair is used for the fun stuff.

An FPS generally involves shooting things. The objective for the player is to get the target in their crosshairs and hit the trigger. This could be a small target in the distance using a sniper sight, or possibly a less accurate shotgun. Either way, the movement and targeting are intricately linked.

Football Superstars uses almost all of these principals in a 3rd person viewpoint that as an individual you can tailor to your individual play style. If you enjoy the finer aspects of being able to dodge an incoming tackle, turning and crossing the ball to the midfield, then the best approach is to play in a zoomed in mode. However if you wish to have a more tactical view as a defender and see what is going on all over the pitch, then zoom out. The downside is that you pay by not having that precise control that playing up close affords you. The amount you get to see is completely configurable with the zoom functionality.

Achieving the 4 key objectives is then done in the following way.

By using the mouse as a means of changing your directional heading, the player need simply make small changes to the left or right and move forward (using W) to traverse anywhere on the pitch. Additional controls are given by allowing the player to strafe left or right, perform 180 degree turns and more by either using the A, S and D keys or making more dramatic mouse movements.

Players can use the zoom feature to get a greater viewpoint or use the right button on their mouse to put them into "free look" to maintain the original directional heading of the player. This allows a player to look across from the wing to forwards moving into striking distance and to provide that perfect cross. Alternatively this could allow a defender to watch approaching forwards and cut off their opportunities to receive a pass.

Targeting ball placement uses the "Inteli Cursor" developed for Football Superstars. This Intelligent cursor allows the player to choose where they place the ball, picking out the top right corner of the net for a shot, or lobbing defense with a through ball that will be run on to by your strikers. This gives the player all the control that they could ever wish for and much more. The Inteli Cursor also reacts to your current situation, changing to reflect your current options. If your team is on the ball, then it will allow you to make preloaded shots or one touch passes. If your team is off the ball, then it will show you the optimum time to perform a slide, or give you the trajectory of an inbound pass.

To pass the ball, all that is required is the controlling player target a team mate, (the Inteli cursor will automatically select the nearest visible team mate in view) and press the pass button. The pass receiver will be alerted that they are the intended recipient of the pass and will also know when the ball has been released to them. However, it is up to this intended recipient to make sure they get on the end of that perfect cross and head it into the back of the net...

All of this is backed up by a significant amount of head up display (The HUD). Although the controls give you a huge amount of visibility we fill in some remaining gaps with a little more detail. There is a ball tracker that shows you, by distance and possession, where you are in relation to the ball. Pass receive indicators show you when you are a pass target for a team mate and many other subtle details that make the game more intuitive to play.

Whilst all of this may sound complicated, when in front of the controls it becomes instantly accessible to anyone, regardless of previous gaming experience. It is possible to perform every key action in the game by simply using the mouse to steer your way and run forward, a mouse click will kick the ball to your intended targeted point, be that further up field, or just out of reach of the keeper.

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This page last modified 2008-05-01 03:11:37.