iPhone Pixel Soccer - fun, pixel art, soccer game!

Discussion in 'Pre-Orders, Soft Launches, and Upcoming iOS Games' started by SuperRockGames, Aug 2, 2016.



  1. Player/Kit Editor - Currently the players and kits are created by hand, merged together using a script and then loaded in and used by the game. This is because the original scope for Pixel Soccer was quite small, just to get the basic player animations and match engine working with a few test teams first. Then to look to get funding to build the much bigger game that we had envisioned.

    As a result not much thought went into how to generate kits and players within the game itself. Work has now begun on a player and kit editor. This will allow designing a kit, creating a player and editing player attributes. Players can then be transferred between teams and appear with the kit of their new team. It will also mean a team/kit can be created in game instead of by hand in Photoshop.

    More Swerve/Curl - Can now apply a lot more swerve to the ball. Before you couldn’t really see that swerve had been applied. One side effect of this is now the goalkeeper can’t always save the ball! So there is a bug in the ball prediction code. Trying to track it this down at the moment.

    Mobile - Work on Pixel Soccer mobile has started…again. Previous development of the mobile version was using the same framework that the PC/Mac version is using. Unfortunately this framework is not the best fit to make a mobile game. So development has started again using cocos2dx, a framework that is custom built for mobile games. Still early days but watch this space.

    Internal Beta Testing - is still going well :). Catching and fixing bugs. Replaced the game-pad controller library to a more stable alternative. Match engine is getting more stable.

    Pixel Soccer has been in development for a while now but the aim has always been making a great game not a quick game. Learning by experience to only release a game when its ready. Releasing a game that is not playable properly and buggy will result in a bad experience for you, the games community, and us as the developers. The vision is for a great pixel art game so work will continue until that is reached.
     


  2. Been a quiet month. With Christmas and new years as well as taking some much needed time off from Pixel Soccer. It has helped to take a step back and see the project as a whole and reorganise and re-prioritise some things.

    So what has changed in Pixel Soccer this month?

    Most of the work has been on the player and kit editors. As i mentioned in last months blog post, Pixel Soccer’s player and kit art work was merged together for each player.
    So for a player like the one below, to allow him to play for his national team (Brazil) we would actually have to make another version of him in the Brazil kit.

    [​IMG]

    Below you can see the same player is duplicated, so in effect two versions of the player exist, one with a Barcelona shirt and another with a Brazil shirt. This causes all sorts of problems when trying to scale the game up.

    [​IMG]

    What happens when this player get transferred to another team?

    Yep, you guessed it, a third version of the player is made. This time with the new team’s ( that signed him) kit.
    Pixel Soccer would have to store a copy of this player for each team in the game to allow transfers to any team! And not just for this player either, for each unique player that’s in the game!
    This is clearly not workable. And shows the limited scope of the game early on in development. The focus then was on getting the match engine working with just a few teams.

    So how to fix this?

    Well lets think about what would happen in real life. A player would change his shirt, his shorts, his socks, his boots. So we need to separate out the different parts of the original player image like in the image below.

    [​IMG]

    Now we can simply combine a head (the player) with the kit of the team he is playing for. If that player transfers to another team or gets called up for his national team then we simply get the shirt, shorts and socks of that team and apply it to the player.

    The players boots can also be changed. Maybe he wants to play in white, blue or green boots for a few matches! :) Hairstyles and arm tattoos would be a great addition for the future :)
    This now means you can create your own kits. In the kit editor you simply select the shirt, shorts and socks you want and they will all be combined to create a new kit.

    Eventually you will be able to use the kit editor to design your own kits. Selecting from a set of kit designs to color in.

    Pixel Soccer has been in development for a while now but the aim has always been making a great game not a quick game. Learning by experience to only release a game when its ready. Releasing a game that is not playable properly and buggy will result in a bad experience for you, the games community, and us as the developers. The vision is for a great pixel art game so work will continue until that is reached.
     
  3. djstout

    djstout Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2011
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    Any updates?
     
  4. Coming! :)
     


  5. Kit Editor - Part 2

    More work on the kit editor this month. Specifically creating kit design templates that people can colour in to create new kits.

    Here is an example. In the image below the shirt on the left belongs to a well known team. What if you wanted to use that same design but in a different colour. Well, we first need to split the shirt design into parts. For the shirt in the image the parts would be the yellow collar, the stripes, and the sleeve ends.

    [​IMG]

    Now we have the parts, we can apply a different colour to each part. I have used grey, white and black for simplicity but its easy to see that any colour could be applied and you could get many new shirts just from this one shirt design.

    Off course its easier to explain than to code it. I had to create a tool to help divide a shirt into parts and record what pixels where in each part. For each of the 40 frames that makeup a player in the game!

    Then a colour palette to choose a colour for a shirt part and apply it each pixel. And finally to save this new shirt to an image file and update the games list of shirts so that it can be used in a match. Quite a bit of work!
    Also been researching FIFA to see how they designed the UI for their kit editor. See image from FIFA 17 below.

    [​IMG]

    Viewing the kit designs in a “picture list” is much better as you can view more than one kit at a time. The player standing at the side modelling the kit is also a helpful addition.

    GUI Editor

    This isn’t really game-play related but you might find it interesting.
    Up til now the games UI(User Interface, the screens of the game) has been built by editing/copying/pasting XML files. See image below.

    [​IMG]

    This is fine for a small game with only a few screens but for a game of Pixel Soccer’s size it is getting very tedious and time consuming.

    So it makes sense to build a tool to create the UI. Using the mouse to move/align UI elements and being able to add a UI element with a few clicks of the mouse will be way easier. I think it will be time well spent and produce a cleaner, more usable UI.

    Pixel Soccer has been in development for a while now but the aim has always been making a great game not a quick game. Learning by experience to only release a game when its ready. Releasing a game that is not playable properly and buggy will result in a bad experience for you, the games community, and us as the developers. The vision is for a great pixel art game so work will continue until that is reached.
     
  6. djstout

    djstout Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2011
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    Sportscaster & football (soccer) coach
    Taiwan & Japan
    Soon?
     
  7. I meant this month's blog post. I have posted it now. You can read it above.
     


  8. Another month, another update :)

    Drawing faster
    Working on improving the performance of the drawing code. Specifically using the GPU and shaders more as well as setting up a lot of the drawing data before hand, instead of every frame. This is needed so features like slide tackle marks, particle effects & weather effects can be added without the games frame rate being affected.

    Refactor
    Started on a 2 day refactor of the pixel soccer code, 13 days later, refactor finished. Moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the time it takes to refactor code midway through a games development. Worthwhile though, as it was getting harder and harder to add new features and existing features were harder to extend. Especially for implementing a scale-able UI across different platforms, which is the next big milestone in development. Code is now more organised, more modular and flexible.

    Kit Editor - Part 3
    Still working on the kit editor. A bit delayed due to the refactor. Definitely by the end of next month :)

    UI Editor
    Editor is progressing, UI elements can moved & resized. Still lots more to do. Eventually it will be able to build a scale-able UI for pixel soccer across multiple platforms. That’s the plan anyway :)

    Pixel Soccer has been in development for a while now but the aim has always been making a great game not a quick game. Learning by experience to only release a game when its ready. Releasing a game that is not playable properly and buggy will result in a bad experience for you, the games community, and us as the developers. The vision is for a great pixel art game so work will continue until that is reached.
     


  9. Shirt Editor is finished!

    Here are the two shirts made in the video up close. Couldn’t work out how to record the final shirt that is created in the editor. Eventually they will be “view-able” somewhere in the editor after they are made. Maybe see a player running around in the shirt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Have added options to have a badge, name, number or sponsor on the shirt as well as applying different colours to each.

    You wont be able to read the badge, name, number and sponsor, they will appear pixelated. There is simply not enough room on the shirt texture to write actual text unfortunately.

    At the moment there are two shirt templates that can be used to design shirts. Plain colour shirt like Chelsea or Man United and a two part shirt design like Galatasary or Blackburn Rovers.
    More templates will be added each month of development until most kit designs are covered.

    The editor is really simple to use. You select the template you want to use. Choose the part you want to colour in. Choose your colour and the editor will fill the part with that colour. You can then add detail like name, number, badge and sponsor. Click “Create” and the editor will generate the player shirt texture and load it into the game ready for use.

    Here is an example of the first two part shirt design the shirt editor created.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next step is to create a shorts editor, socks editor, kit editor, player editor and team editor.
    Shorts and socks editors are self explanatory, they will do just the same as the shirt editor and should not take too much time to make.

    The kit editor is where you will be able to combine any shirt, shorts and socks (including custom ones you made in the editor and preset ones that come with the game e.g Barcelona shorts, your custom shirt and Flamengo socks! ) together to create a full kit that a player can wear in a match.

    Player editor will allow you to create a custom player giving him a unique name, hair type, face type, boot colour and custom playing attribute values.

    Team editor will allow you create a custom team, giving it a home, away and third kit, add players to its squad, give it a unique name, and anything else people suggest and ask for. (maybe create a badge from a selection of templates, i have to see how much work this is)

    Both player and team editors will evolve based on peoples suggestions. Player editor will also be based on the final design for the playing attributes that will be integrated into the match engine. As new attributes are added to the match engine the player editor will be updated.

    Pixel Soccer has been in development for a while now but the aim has always been making a great game not a quick game. Learning by experience to only release a game when its ready. Releasing a game that is not playable properly and buggy will result in a bad experience for you, the games community, and us as the developers. The vision is for a great pixel art game so work will continue until that is reached.
     



  10. Shorts and socks editors are now completed. You can now make shorts and socks to go with your shirt design. Probably be 3 or 4 designs for each as there is very little space on the textures to have anymore variation in detail than that.

    Kit editor is also complete. You can combine any shirt, shorts or socks into a kit of your own.

    [​IMG]

    Most of the work this month has been on integrating the new kit system into the match engine. Kits use to be all part of one texture but they have been broken up now into individual parts(shirt,shorts,socks) so you can create your own. This has meant reworking some of the match engine and player rendering and animation code to handle this.

    More shirt designs added, horizontal and vertical stripes. So you can make anything from Milan to Celtic kit now. I will be posting kit designs made in the kit editor on twitter and Facebook from now on.

    [​IMG]

    Up next is building the games database and adding the career mode engine. This is the last major milestone for the single player mode and after its done the game will be feature complete.

    Although Pixel Soccer could release this summer, i have decided to delay the games release on Early Access until December 2017.

    There are 2 main reasons for this..

    1) The plan has always been for Pixel Soccer to launch on Early Access as a polished single player game with career mode and editors. A little more time of internal beta testing and more work on polish will help achieve that. That will then mean that Pixel Soccer’s time in Early Access is spent solely on the getting peoples feedback and working on the multiplayer mode.

    2) Christmas is the main period for selling games (or anything really). Makes sense to push back the game release until then. People are in buying mode and also have more time. Summer not so much. People are on holiday or spending more time outside playing actual sports :)
     


  11. Explaining below what you are seeing in the video as the UI stuff is terrible and going to be reworked before release.

    The first screen after the start screen is the mode selection screen. You can choose the mode :) and the country you want to play in. May add background leagues that you can select to include also. Similar to what Championship/Football Manager does.

    In the second screen you can edit teams. You can choose to add any team in the game database as well as any custom teams you have made. You can also remove teams but there must be a certain minimum for the game to proceed.

    In the third screen you pick which team you want to play with.

    Fourth screen allows you to add any players in the game database to your team. You can also remove players you dont want from your teams squad.

    There will be 5 game modes in Pixel Soccer. Career, League, Cup, Custom Competition, Friendly mode. You will be able to decide if you play a League/Cup once or repeat it a number of times. Difference between Career and League/Cup is that there will be transfers & relegation/promotion in career mode.
    With the release date for Pixel Soccer being pushed back til December, it has freed up time to work on some background tasks.
    One of those tasks was adding a messaging system for the various components in Pixel Soccer to communicate with each other. This is very important to allow more features to be added seamlessly and without breaking existing features.

    Game Loop
    The main game loop is now in and working. Fixtures are generated, the game progresses through each day in the fixture schedule, fixtures are displayed, matches played, stats generated, league table updated and displayed and team squad can be picked.

    Up Next…
    Integrating the match engine into the game loop so you can play your teams matches or view other teams matches.
    Add ability to manage more than one team and having more than one human player(same machine multiplayer)
     
  12. Dailon80

    Dailon80 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2014
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    Looks good can't wait to play it
     
  13. Jackaluk

    Jackaluk Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2015
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    Hi, looks great, I must have played 100's and 100's of hours of kick off 2 on my ST, So really looking forward to this! Just to note though and sorry if you have covered this, but I did not see. Please please include MFI Controller support!! With you holding back the release date, I assume you will have time. For me it's a deal breaker if it's not there. If it is, I can assure you me and my iPad will be very close friends for hopefully a long time!
     
  14. Thanks, making good progress so it should be long before you can.
     
  15. Understood. It really will improve the experience of playing Pixel Soccer, particularly on iPhone. Added to the feature list :)
     
  16. Jackaluk

    Jackaluk Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2015
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    Awesome, definite purchase here!! Thanks for listening!!
     



  17. A nice new shiny UI will be designed for Pixel Soccer’s release. Current UI looks like a pair of old boots :) Works fine but does not look great.

    NEW
    - Simpler game setup options. Career Mode or Choose a Competition. Friendly Match will be available outside of the game setup.
    - Match engine is now integrated with the fixture engine. Can now play your matches.
    - Can now simulate a match, watch it or play it. Very useful to be able to fast forward through a match, season, up to an event etc during development to check stuff works.
    - Can now manage more than one team and have more than one human player(on the same machine multiplayer).
    - Player stats now generated by the match engine for human matches and computer matches.
    - Players match stats now integrated with fixture engine so you can see how a player did in each match during a season(once the player screen is done :))
    - Single competition game setup is now working. Can choose a custom or existing competition to play by itself. Like World Cup, FA cup, UEFA cup etc. add/remove the teams you want. Play once or a number of times.
    - First pass of the save game system added
    - Computer teams now picking their own squads for matches. Teams will use availability(injuries/suspensions), form, positions and attributes to choose best team.. Will expand on this once injuries/suspensions/attributes are fully in and working
    - Team squad is now checked to see if its valid before progressing to a match, to catch invalid squads like players who have injuries/suspensions etc
    - Animated background code added, still need to design some nice animated backgrounds, just using a placeholder for now.

    Other notes
    - Underestimated the work involved in allowing people to edit teams and players before they start a game. Plan was to allow you to move teams and players around in a setup process before the career/league/cup starts. Then you can fill your squad with all the best players and add your lower league favourite team to the premier league! But basically had to copy the games starting database, build a tool to edit it, then copy it back across to the starting database. Works for now but will probably find better way of doing it.

    Boring coding stuff added :)
    - A backup script to save all the Pixel Soccer code. Very Important!
    - Signed distance text to have resizable text that does not lose quality.
    - New internal audio code replacing the external library the game was using. This reduces the number of links to external libs and makes matinence easier in the future.

    A lot of progress made when you look back over it. Just as well there is a blog to record it all or you would forget the work done :)

    Up next
    - Player screen to view player stats, contract info, injury/suspensions, personal info, players attributes, rating, value.
    - Prematch screen, showing opposition, formations lineups etc.
     


  18. Whats new this month in Pixel Soccer development!

    Control Panel - added a control panel where all the important actions will live. Things like saving the game, holiday settings, calendar, and the continue button for progressing through the game. The game now feels more like a proper game with very clear progression.

    Multi-player mode(same machine) - Can now have multiple humans(this what i call someone who plays the game :)) and each of them can control multiple teams. One of the things that has come out of adding same-machine multi-player is that the structure is very similar to online multiplayer. At least the way I am doing it. When someone finishes their turn a message is sent to the turn controller telling it to progress the game, either by switching to the next human player or progressing to the next important event. I think this is very similar to a client-server approach using message passing. Should be a lot of help when adding online multiplayer at least for the career part. Making the match engine physics work across online multiplayer will be very different!

    Save game - added saving game feature to the career mode, can select from existing save games to overwrite or type in a new save game filename.

    Holiday - added holiday to date feature, really useful when you need to test or debug the game a few matches, months or seasons in. Now that you can manage multiple teams(use to do this in Championship Manager), you can set one or all of them to holiday through the game, so you dont have to manage/play their games them when you dont want to.

    Browser - added a back, forward and home button to the control panel. This will allow people to browse the game world, looking for players to sign, view competition tables, team squads.

    Calendar - added a calendar but not sure this will be in the final game. It is useful for debugging/testing during development to see what tasks/events have been scheduled and to jump to that event. Will come in really useful when balancing things like suspensions, injuries, transfers, retirements, etc.
     
  19. Jackaluk

    Jackaluk Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2015
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    Looking good, how are you getting on with MFI support? I noticed a a button symbol in the video, though I guess that could of course represent the on screen a button!!
     
  20. Hi!

    The game already supports wired/wireless controllers(PC/Mac) for the match engine and GUI.

    MFI controllers, from what i have researched so far, are no different to wired/wireless controllers in terms of game-play. Most of the work will be in getting the game to recognise the hardware and mapping the buttons to game actions. Plus lots of testing :)

    The button you see is actually a bug :) Its from the old version of the controller GUI code. I am due to rewrite it to a much improved version.

    TLDR: I am getting on with MFI support :)
     

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