New Star Soccer creator reveals ideas for sequel

And other sports games beyond that.

New Star Soccer is brilliant and was a brilliant success for Simon Read at long last (his full story coming soon).

But he's not stopping there. New Star Soccer will be updated in the coming months to version 1.5, welcoming features like headers, attacking and defending styles, extra save slots and female players. And there's more to announce as the patch gets closer to release.

But what I want to talk about are Simon Read's ideas for a New New Star Soccer - a New Star Soccer 2 or New Star Soccer 6, if you count the PC versions. "I guess I'd have to go for New Star Soccer 2014 or something like that," reckoned Simon Read, speaking to me in Bicester, near Oxford, tother day.

"I'd stick with the basic core," he said. "With the match engine I've got ideas of making it a lot more fluid, so once you make the pass, you're not then excluded from the outcome - you may receive the ball back from a teammate. I'd want to have the entire pitch viewable, so a bit of pinch-and-zoom to zoom out and see where your teammates are, so you can play entire 50-yard passes." You could play an entire move from goalkeeper to goalscorer.

The feeling the accompanies this image is satisfaction.

"This is all ideas bubbling at the moment," he added, "because one of the great things about New Star Soccer is it's just short sharp sessions: you make a shot, you score a goal, on to the next one. If you tinker with that and you make it too convoluted and it doesn't have that snappy feel about it then you may lose something about what makes New Star Soccer good."

He's happy to lose the outdated buttons and icons that date back to New Star Soccer 3 on PC, though. And while the top-down Sensible Soccer-style view would remain, the animations could certainly improve. "In my mind I can see these little sprites celebrating and doing gestures for celebrating a goal and stuff like that," he said. "Trapping the ball, chesting the ball - a much more rich 2D experience." All-in-all "a much more professional and exciting look".

The look-after-your-personal-life side of the game could improve as well. "At the moment you've got these relationship meters and they just go up or down based on who you favour at that point," he said. "Some of the older versions on PC, you'd have incidents come up where the boss would ask you a question and you'd have to respond, and that would have more knock-on effects than just saying 'I'll go to training' or 'I'll go out with my girlfriend'.

"I'd like to make that whole experience deeper and have relationships which actually aren't just a meter - they build a much more detailed picture in your mind about who you're dealing with and what the effects are going to be of that decision. So rather than A/B choices it would be much more complex than that."

Multiplayer could find its way in, too. "Asynchronous I think is the way forward if you did New Star Soccer," he said.

"Any sport could potentially be New Starified."

Simon Read

New Star Soccer was just Simon Read but today, owing to his success, he's got more people working with him. As New Star Soccer spreads, fingers crossed, in other territories, the scope to grow New Star Games increases even more.

Much further down the line he may even be in a position to build New Star Soccer for consoles, or PC.

"Ideally you'd make a version that could be a console game, could be a PC game, and that is kind of the idea," he said. "We haven't got as far as getting details down on paper yet so that all remains to be seen.

"I would love to see the game on Xbox, maybe a Kinect-style version; PS4, Vita and this kind of stuff. I would love to make console versions of it, but it would all essentially be the same game just with different control mechanisms."

Headers! They're new in 1.5!

Simon read also has plans to branch out to other sports besides football, probably after New Star Soccer 2014, and New Starify them.

"Well I'd love to do golf," he said. "I've never done a golf game so I'd like to give that a go. I'd like to redo my tennis game.

"I mean my favourite sports are tennis, golf, boxing and obviously football, so those are the kind of games I'd love to make, but whether there's a huge market out there for them I'm not sure. I guess I'm trying to do things that I like to do, which is what I've always done, and it hasn't failed me - yet.

"I'd definitely like to make a boxing game one day but probably not yet," he added, telling me had great ideas for "out of the ring stuff", although the in the ring stuff he couldn't envisage on a touch-screen device yet.

"American football would be potentially a huge success," he went on. "I do love ice hockey; I'm not a huge fan because I don't watch it very often but when I do I enjoy it, and it does translate very well to the ideas we've got in New Star Soccer."

Darts: not so much, although there's a darts mini-game in NSS4 (PC) that he's thought about bringing to the mobile version. "People ask for every sport you can imagine," he told me. "I've been asked for Aussie-rules football; cricket was asked recently; cycling - people want a cycling game and it's like, 'How does that work?' Any sport could potentially be New Starified."

There's even an idea for a football game that isn't New Star Soccer bubbling around Simon Read's head. "Yeah, I've got an idea for a more chairman-style kind of football game," he nodded.

"One of the ideas in New Star Soccer is that when you get to the peak of your career and you've got all this money, you should be able to buy a club, so I've thought about bringing that into New Star Soccer; once you've got more money than you know what to do with you can buy Man United or whatever.

"People are going to want to be able to do whatever they want: they want to be able to set ticket prices and manage the staff and stuff like that. And I thought that would actually be a great spin-off game, where you start off with a crap club and work your way up trying to get into the Champions League or whatever."

Before you run away with yourself, however, remember that these are all just ideas floating around his face. Beyond New Star Soccer 1.5, nothing is set in stone. New Star Soccer is, though, on iTunes and Google Play and on Kongregate.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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