Q & A with Paul Goad from Funatic Games who is currently building a video game based on Subbuteo, the game will be called ‘Flickkick Table Soccer’
So what is Subbuteo?
Subbuteo is a physical simulation of association football, involving dexterity and skill in flicking the playing figures, which stand on weighted bases, across the tabletop pitch towards the ball.
What makes the game different from most other tabletop sports games are the hundreds of team kits and accessories. While most games feature only two teams (usually “red vs blue” or “white vs black”), Subbuteo has several hundred team designs, almost all representing real teams, with the notable exception of comic book legends Melchester Rovers. While there were many famous teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City, and Real Madrid, these were complemented by many unique sides, such as Boston Minutemen, Landskrona, Antwerp, Hartford Bicentennials, Admira Wacker, and even unpainted models. There are also many additional accessories, such as new balls and goals, special figures for free kicks and throw-ins, stands and crowd, linesmen, ball-boys, streakers and policemen, floodlights, TV cameras and even a mini-Her Majesty the Queen to present the FA Cup.
Subbuteo has more than one competitive circuit, one of which is known by the term sports table football governed by FISTF. In 1992 there was even an attempt to have Subbuteo made an Olympic sport.
I was completely taken in by the game of Subbuteo constantly researching until i discovered Funatic games. Which at the present time is creating a realistic recreation of the classic Table Football Game, Subbuteo. Link: https://www.facebook.com/funaticgames
So what would that look like?
(All photos captured from the in game build)
I have many passions in life, two of them being Football and Video Games, I have memories of playing International Superstar Soccer on the Nintendo 64 for hours on end and now as I’ve gotten older i’ve wasted countless hours (probably days) playing Fifa generations on xbox.
I needed to find out more, so i sent a over a few Questions to Paul Goad whose been not only working and building the game, he is the man that has created ‘Flickkick Table Soccer’ A realistic video game that allows players to verse each other online in Subbuteo.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Paul Goad and I am a 20+ year veteran of the video game industry. I was originally born in Northern England where my father played professional football for Hartlepool United (Alan Goad). The family moved to Canada in 1980 where my father finished his playing and coaching career with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the old NASL.
What is the name of the video game?
Currently the game is called Flickick Table Soccer. I would love to give it the “Subbuteo” name but Hasbro owns the license for “Subbuteo” and since I am bootstrapping the development of the game on my own I obviously cannot afford licensing. There is the potential that the name could change in the future depending on potential partnerships.
What inspired you to create a Subbuteo video game?
I grew up playing Subbuteo during the 1970’s in England before the popularity of Video Games. Subbuteo was best game that simulated the game of football at that time and was played by millions of people worldwide. My father used to play game against me and we would recreate entire seasons and track every game we played. I even remember the Coach at Hartlepool using a Subbuteo Game to show the players tactics in the dressing room. When we moved to Canada Subbuteo was one of the only toys I brought across when we immigrated. I still played it a lot with friends.
As Video Games became more popular in the mid 80’s, like every kid, I began to get my “Football Gaming Fix” by sitting in front of a TV playing early soccer games on the Coleco, Nintendo NES and Atari 2600. In the 90’s It seemed as if everyone I knew was playing the FIFA Soccer game from Electronic Arts. The Subbuteo Game just sat in the back of the closet for most of that time.
I decided to go to school to learn Classical and Computer Animation at Vancouver Film School and after I graduated I had many job opportunities but I decided to go to Electronic Arts Canada with the goal of eventually making it on the FIFA Soccer Development team. After a couple of years working on the Need For Speed franchise I was offered a position on the FIFA World Cup 2002 Game to design and make stadiums and I jumped at the chance.
I have been fortunate enough to work in the Game’s Industry for over 20 years now and with the advancement of 3rd party Game Engines like Unity and Unreal Engine it is getting easier and easier to make Independent Video Games with a small group of people. My goal is to take all of my knowledge that I have learned in my time in the industry and apply it to a game that I believe with carve its own niche in the market.
Table Soccer has seen a bit of a resurgence in the market in the 2000’s and its popularity in Europe is growing and growing. It is a sport with international competitions and its own governing body. My goal is to tap into the popularity of this great game and create a product that truly recreates the skill and tactics of playing table soccer and hopefully introduce new players to the original Table Soccer Game. It is also the opportunity for me to combine three of my biggest passions; Soccer, Video Games and creating high quality 3D Content.
How long have you been developing the game?
For the past couple of years I have slowly been creating 3D Assets for the game with the eventual goal of bringing a programmer on board to begin development of the gameplay component. I believe I am now at the point where the content is now ready and I can switch to the 2nd phase of development and begin to stand up the gameplay in the Unreal Game Engine. I am currently talking to programmers and hopefully I will have a partner on board soon. Fortunately this is not an animation heavy game and if we can harness the physics component of the engine we can quickly stand up a working demo of the game.
The goal of the 1st phase of development was to prove that I could create content that would hit a visual benchmark that when potential customers see the images they are inspired to want to play the game. The feedback that I am currently getting on the images as been tremendous.
Do you have an approximate date or month for release?
It is difficult to put an official release date on an “Indie Game”. The goal is to have the game submitted to the “Greenlight” component of Steam by spring. This will enable people to pre-purchase the game and get early access to builds of the game and have playable demo’s of the game as development continues.
How much will the game cost?
The first release of the game will be on Steam and released on the PC. I am hoping to release the game for under $25. If the game sells well I will consider porting this game to the PS4 or XBox One in the future.
Have you created other video games?
Wow, yes. I have been fortunate to work with some of the biggest publishers in the world (Electronic Arts, Activision, Nintendo, Ubisoft , Sony, Sega, Marvel) on some of the biggest gaming franchises (FIFA Soccer, Need For Speed, Total Club Manager, James Bond, Spiderman, Transformers, Ghost Recon, Captain America, Punch Out, Luigi’s Mansion, + many more). In my time in the industry I have had the opportunity to take on many roles from the Lead Designer on Total Club Manager, Art Direction on FIFA Soccer, Technical Art Director on Captain America, Producer on Luigi’s Mansion and Production Art Manager on Spiderman. In addition to this I have always made the time to continue to build on my art skills and have continued to create 3D Content for the games I have worked on in addition to personal projects at home.
Can you play the video game online against other people?
The #1 goal for my Table Soccer Video Game is to create it as an online game where people can play a true recreation of traditional table soccer on a PC. I would love to hear that someone in Italy played a competitive game against someone in Australia and loved the experience. There will be two distinctive modes in the game. One mode will accurately recreate the game of table soccer and an arcade mode that will introduce a faster paced mode that will help to attract traditional video game players to the game.
Please also tell me any other additional information you want people to know.
One reason I believe that there is a place in the market for this game is that there are plenty of people in the world that have a passion for the game of football but are intimidated with the evolution of soccer video gaming. The FIFA franchise and Pro Evolution can often be overwhelming to the older generation of soccer fans. Those of us who grew up playing board games and Subbuteo do not want to learn button combinations and be blown out by a 12 year old playing online. This game will offer a turn based football experience that will benefit the tactically advanced player and reward the mastery of the simple control mechanism in the game.
I have received some feedback from the Subbuteo Community and some fans are worried that this game will replace the original table soccer game. My goal is not to replace the game of Subbuteo but rather introduce new players to the sport by accurately recreating the original game as well as offer an online experience allowing players to play against each other that normally would never have the chance of meeting or playing. I will also be including a section in the game that will promote actual Table Soccer.
I am seeking potential partners for the development of this game and if there is anyone interested in being a part of this project to post my email in the article.
if you’d like to know more or are interested in helping with the development please head over to Funatic games’ Facebook Page and message the team.
Link – https://www.facebook.com/funaticgames
Written by James Woodman