Applying old-school sports game design to a modern multiplayer game

OutOfTheBit is working on a different sort of football [aka soccer, yanks!] game. "FIFA is great, but I realize that there is probably space in the market for a fun and easy to pick up football game."

OutOfTheBit, makers of the well-received iOS game Planet Quest, recently released their next game Super Arcade Football in early access. We spoke to Ali Motisi of OutOfTheBit about the new game. 

Hello team OutOfThe Bit! Could you please introduce yourselves to the Gamasutra readership?

OutOfTheBit was founded in 2008 by  Ali Motisi, an Italian computer engineer who moved to London to follow his dream of making games. After developing several successful games for iPhone and iPad, Ali and his team decided to design a game specifically for PC and game consoles. Inspired by their beloved Amiga classics, the team started working on Super Arcade Football.

The Super Arcade Football team is made of three people: Ail, Arnaud and Simon.

We bring three nations together: Italy, France and England and are unreservedly loyal to our motherlands when it comes to SAF national tournaments!

Our office is based in Wimbledon, London.

Could you describe what Super Arcade Football is all about?

One day I went to see a friend of mine and we played FIFA on his new Xbox. We asked our partners to play with us and they got frustrated by the controls and by the pace of the game.

FIFA is a great game, but it made me realize that there is probably space in the market for a fun and easy to pick up football game. Something that could combine the simplicity of the Amiga classics with the intensity of great party games such as Towerfall and Bomberman.

We love football, arcade games, and playing together, and ultimately that is what we want SAF to be: a bloody great football game you'd play with your friends with some pizza, competitively against the CPU or with people around the world.

Why did you decide to launch the game in Early Access? Did you also consider other options?

Steam Early Access is the perfect platform for our Super Arcade Football. We can't wait to get feedback from people on what feature they'd like to see and what crazy game modifier they come up with (reduced gravity, meteorites, holes, etc...).

We know what we want the game to be, but we also know there are tons of people in the Steam community with great ideas, and we are hoping to tap into that and build the game openly. We did consider developing behind closed doors, but we think SAF will only benefit from the input and communal excitement of passionate gamers.

When should we expect the full game to be launched? Oh, and when will online multiplayer become available?

We plan to keep the game on Early Access for about 9 months, 1 year maximum.

We're not certain on when online will become available (we are looking forward to losing to people from all over the world). If enough people request online multiplayer that may come very early in the process.

What makes Super Arcade Football unique?

We think it's the perfect game to play together with your friends. With the additions of match modifiers people will be able to customize their tournament to an incredible degree, so you can play football like normal or like never before.

Plus we plan on adding online multiplayer and career mode, and, with the help of the Steam community, we'll make sure to have the best arcade football game of all time.

Were you actually inspired by other games?

Of course we played a lot of Kick Off and Sensible back in the day (I still have blisters on me fingers), so hats off to Dino Dini and Jon Hare for creating those amazing games. Super Arcade Football has its own soul in our opinion, and we like to think it's more of a modern take on those games with a mix of Towerfall, Bomberman and Hotline Miami.

How are you trying to improve and update the top-down formula?

You can already play in landscape and 5-a-side mode in Super Arcade Football, and there is a lot more in the works.

Care to you give us an idea of the development process so far?

We all collaborate together in the team and we have a list of planned features for the final game. We usually take a few and execute them weekly, then we iterate on them and we move to the next set of features.

The process is going to change now that we've started Steam Early Access. We'll share our basic roadmap with the community soon and then incorporate their feedback on a weekly/fortnightly basis. Sometime in the future, we plan to promote 'Modifier Mondays' where every Monday we ask and choose the best idea for a match modifier, and implement that within a week.

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