Super Footbrawl is a physics-based soccer game that caught our attention while looking through the many awesome #madewithunity posts. Nothing stands out quite like a bunch of low-poly athletes kicking themselves on a soccer field more than the ball. We had the opportunity to reach out to its creator, Kevin Suckert, to learn a bit more about the game and the idea that inspired it.
MWU: Can you tell us a little about yourself Kevin, and where did the idea of Super Footbrawl come from?
KS: Hey, my Name is Kevin, indie developer at night, UI Artist for Free2Play games at daytime based in Hamburg Germany. I picked up Unity two or three years ago actually out of frustration. You know, it's hard to enforce your own ideas when you work in a big team - especially when you are a more introverted person. So I started learning how to do my own games, which brought me to Unity.
Its funny how you can get inspired by one little sentence. In my case it has been the words “Fifa is boring! Why can’t I beat up people?”. That's what some friends of mine were saying when we discussed what kind of games we would like to play.
MWU: What experiences helped bring that idea to life?
KS: My first gaming console was an NES with Nintendo Worldcup packaged with it. Looking back at it, I feel like this game had a much bigger impact on me than I had originally expected. Now here I am, 27 years old, and my buddies and I still talk about that game. The idea for something that we called “Drunken Soccer” or “Ragdoll Soccer” has been around for several years now and we were still talking about the idea and since nobody else managed to make a game like that, we decided to do this on our own and the idea of Super Footbrawl was born.
At this point, Footbrawl should have never happened since physics animation sounds like a great idea but is pretty complicated. If I hadn’t found Pärtel Lang in the Unity Forum we wouldn't be having this interview. He already released a Unity Asset called FinalIK and was also working on a physics animation plugin. He posted a video on YouTube with some ragdoll soldiers falling over each other and I thought “That's exactly what I was looking for”. I wrote him an email telling him about “Ragdoll Soccer”, showing him an old game I did called Jetpack Football and that I wanted to take this idea to the next level. He liked the idea as well as my portfolio and invited me to the closed beta testing group of “Puppetmaster”.
After some weeks of trial and error with ragdoll animations, I started to craft an art style around a glitchy prototype which had a ragdoll running behind a ball and trying to catch it. I was looking for a style which is abstract enough to somehow excuse the glitchy animations. I loved the low poly style of Astroneer at that time. So I decided to use this “Vertex Color Low Poly” look or whatever you want to call it. I felt it fit perfectly to what the game is all about. The fact that the Footbrawlers have no face is actually intended. I wanted to avoid any emotional binding to the characters since the gameplay itself is pretty violent and they should have no expression in their face to avoid any compassion for them when they get beaten up.
MWU: What sort of response have you received so far from your blog and Reddit?
KS: When I had the game in a presentable stage, I decided to put it on my blog and post it on Reddit and the feedback was overwhelming! My blog had sixty times more visitors than before. At this point I saw the true potential of the game and thought “Damn! I nailed it!”. That alone was so motivating that I dedicated all my spare time to this game. I improved the animations, added a basic combat system, designed some arenas and so on.
MWU: Where did you go from there?
KS: The progress was pretty good after two months but at some point I felt that it would be too much work for me to handle on my own. There was also this big topic of AI on the horizon which I had no experience with. I started reaching out in my blog about finding someone to team up with. The amount of responses were amazing and worthwhile because I found Dave. Dave is not only an awesome developer, I had a lot of devs to choose from, and it was really hard to tell every single one of them that i chose someone else. I almost felt like the Bachelor telling everyone that I didn’t have a rose for them. Not only was I looking for a good dev, I was looking for a cool person who understood where the game needs to be when it's finished, and Dave was just the perfect fit - talented, and an all around nice dude.
In the future I also want to have two of my buddies on board. They’re both super talented artists and were also largely involved in the game’s idea. I am sure they would bring Footbrawl to another level of quality. However, first we’d have to bring Footbrawl into a weird type of “fun to play stage” before we talked about graphical improvements, and that is what we’re doing right now!
MWU: What’s your focus for the next few months?
KS: Dave is currently working on improving the ball physics and I’m doing design stuff for the arenas and the interface. After that’s completed we’ll focus on the AI and multiplayer stuff. I hope we can release something solid by the summer but nonetheless we expect to ship an excellent game. We have to be careful not to let our timeframe dictate that. I don’t want Footbrawl to be just another physics beat em up type game. I want to create a game that has an impact on my generation of gamedevs just as Nintendo Worldcup had on me. I hope and think we are on a good way.
If you want to keep up with the Games Progress, visit the Footbrawl Website, Kevin’s Dev Blog, Made with Unity Profile, and/or Follow him on Twitter!