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Post feature RSS A Year in Early Access - Football game development process

Kopanito Soccer is now more than 2 years in constant development and 1 year in Steam Early Access. This article is a summary of the whole EA period and more.

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Kopanito is now more than 2 years in constant development. Everything started back in July 2014. For the first year the game was developed internally and then we decided to hit Steam Greenlight. This is also our first game!

This post is a short summary of the whole Early Access period, which is now ending (and we like summaries). Leaving Early Access is a big milestone for us too.

If you've monitored the game's progress for some time, then this post may give you a better picture of the whole development process overall. Hopefully you will find this lecture interesting.

⚽️ The Idea behind Kopanito

So why to make an arcade 2D football game in 2016? We've started working on the game in 2014. From our research it appeared that there weren't many popular arcade football games available on Steam. And having a choice is a good thing.

Clear inspirations for the game were classics such as Nintendo World Cup (graphics, crazy super-moves), Sensible Soccer and Kick Off (skill-based gameplay). We've spent countless hours on these games 20 years ago ;) So why not to make something similar today?

What does skill-based mean? It means, that you need to learn the game's mechanic over time (like in real life football). You need to work out your precision and reflexes to be a better player. Luck means little in Kopanito. The better player just wins and there aren't footballer stats that can help you. You are the stats. Super-moves also are skill-based, the better you play, the more of them you gain during a match. Some super-moves can neutralize opponent's super-moves.

Kopanito is also a game that we wanted to play. To bring back fun to football games. We've made it with love, working sometimes on weekends or in overtime, being vocal on the forums and responding to the issues reported.

⚽️ Greenlit in 2015

17-26 August 2015

Kopanito is on Steam thanks to the Steam Greenlight process and votes by the community. The 9 voting days were very stressful for us (as probably for most indie devs). You can still see the original Kopanito's Greenlight page and how the game looked like in 2015:

⚽️ Early Access

17 September 2015 - v0.2

Kopanito has been released initially on Windows and OS X (Linux support came later).

At start there were 104 national teams in the game, 7 stadiums, 4 super-moves, practice mode, friendly matches, 7 tournaments and local multi-player. The graphics were a little simpler. There was no higher AI levels, only the beginner AI.

⚽️ Pixel Heaven and Poznań Game Arena 2015

September & October 2015

These are two gaming events organized in Poland. Pixel Heaven takes place in Warsaw and PGA takes place in Poznań (our home town).

It was great time and first occasion to observe how a greater audience react to the game. There were guys playing, kids playing and even girls playing the game and had great fun!

Kopanito got 5 awards during these events: Best Gameplay, Big Bang!, Retro Roots, Revelation and Grand Prix. The last one awarded by the audience votes, the rest awarded by the jury.

► Pixel Heaven 2015: preparations, first day, second day, awards

► Poznań Game Arena 2015: preparations, first day, second day, tournament, third day, award

⚽️ Difficulty levels, more tournaments and teams

25 November 2015 - v0.3

Previously only the beginner AI was available, but now there are 3 more, giving a total of four of them: beginner, amateur, professional and legend (the last one must be unlocked).

This was first time when the game was available on Linux and Steam OS.

Kopanito got translated back then to several languages, but later we've decided to remove translations until game's features will 'settle'. Localization support will return soon.

Other stuff added:

9 more competitions to complete: Pacific League, Microstates Cup, Central American and Caribbean League, Pan Arab League, Commonwealth Cup, Pan American League, Mediterranean League, Continental League and World League,

10 new teams: Angola, Bulgaria, India, Israel, Luxembourg, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland and Thailand.

► The "How to play" guide in the game.

⚽️ Leaderboards and match challenges

21 December 2015 - v0.4

The leaderboards in Kopanito were organized into 4 leagues: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Playing matches (alone or in co-op or online) gives you fame points. Completing match challenges (see the image below) will give you even more fame. The more fame you have, the higher you will be in the global ranking. Advancing to a higher league requires to accumulate given amount of fame shown on the leaderboards screen, different for each league. Each league is also limited in capacity.

Match challenges are additional objectives that can be completed during a tournament match (against AI). There are 31 different challenges in the game as of v0.9. Some examples:

  • "Do not concede a single goal in a match"
  • "Score a goal by dribbling past the goal line with the ball"
  • "Score a goal using the teleport super-move"
  • "Cancel a super-shot using the ball magnet"
  • and more...

⚽️ Steam Trading Cards

29 December 2015

Trading Cards, badges, emoticons and profile backgrounds landed on Steam for You to collect ;) Each trading card is a fragment of a greater illustration from a match situation. It took several weeks to paint them by our illustrator.

⚽️ Achievements and custom tournaments

29 January 2016 - v0.5

The Trophies screen got added to Kopanito with 225 achievements to complete (later reduced to 224). Most of the achievements are quadruple (bronze, silver, gold and platinum), so for example winning Oceania Cup on the Legend difficulty level gives you 4 achievements (one per difficulty level). There are 70 unique achievements.

Custom Tournament is a perfect thing for parties with friends. Each friend controls one national team and you organize a cup for them, eg. World Cup, European Cup or Champions League. This is basic, but you can also do more crazy stuff, as there may be more than one human per team.

Custom Tournament can be started in one of the three formats:

  • League (round-robin) with 4-16 teams,
  • Knock-out stage only with 4, 8 or 16 teams,
  • Group stage with knock-out stage with 12-32 teams.

You can specify number of human and AI teams participating and decide how well AI will play. Progress of the competition will be saved, so you can also make longer session or more parties!

⚽️ Freeze super-move, replays and GIF generator

1 April 2016 - v0.6

The new (back then) Freeze super-move allows you to embed nearby players in an ice-block (except goalkeepers). Note that you may also freeze your teammates too. Frozen players wont participate in the game for some time. You can slide tackle a frozen teammate to defrost him faster.

The ball can also be frozen or, actually stopped, even in mid-air. It's a good method to cancel opponent's shots, including super-shot. Try it for yourself :)

Also action replays got added, activated automatically after goals. It's a side-product of online multi-player which was then in development. Up to last 8 seconds are recorded and can be replayed back.

An action replay also can be processed into a GIF animation. This feature was inspired by the first GIF animation uploaded by one of the community members. Greater collection of player-generated GIFs can be seen on the Artworks section of the Community Hub.

⚽️ Headers, bicycle kicks and manual passes introduced

10 June 2016 - v0.7

This update introduced important gameplay improvements. We've added headers and bicycle kicks to the game and modified the ground passes to work similarly to lob passes.

The game got more challenging too by adding manual passes (previously these were assisted). Manual passes require more precision, but also introduced more diversity in pitch situations. Kopanito got even more skill-based. The more you play, the better you are.

⚽️ Online multi-player introduced

17 August 2016 - v0.8

The big day has come. It took us a few long months to implement the online modes on an already working game (which is harder to do than doing in it from the start).

You can play with other players around the world in quick match modes: Duel (1 vs 1), Doubles (2 vs 2), Chaos (3 vs 3), Complete (5 vs 5).

The Create Party mode allows to customize an online match by choosing teams, stadium, decide of the match duration and invite friends to play against.

Neat feature is that local friends can participate in online modes too.

⚽️ Indoor stadium

1 September 2016

The new Indoor Stadium has walls around. It means that there are no throw-ins, corner kicks and goal kicks during a match, the game is faster this way. A tournament taking place in this stadium is present in the game too.

Adding this stadium to the game is a direct result of the poll organized in the game's Community Hub on Steam. Thanks everyone for voting!

⚽️ Halloween teams, improved corners, automatic passes

28 October 2016 - v0.9

4 new teams have been added to the game related to Halloween: Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves and Pumpkins.

Corner kicks now allow for more options. You can make a ground pass, a lob pass or a precise shot at the goal.

The automatic (assisted) passes are back in this update but along with the manual passes. Two passing systems give best result and improves depth of the game.

⚽️ Summary

2 years of development in numbers:

  • 10 000+ hours of work
  • 5 400+ code commits
  • 100+ fixed issues reported by you
  • 20 updates on Steam
  • 800 000 000+ fame points achieved by you

The people involved in the development of the game:

  • Adam Śledzikowski - CEO
  • Maciej Fedorów - Public Relations
  • Ted Wennerström - Music & Sound Effects
  • Paweł Stepanow - Graphics
  • Paweł Dzierzbicki - Development
  • Tomasz Grajewski - Development

We would like to thank all the community here on Steam for testing Kopanito and reporting issues, so we could make fixes and improvements to the game over the past year.

Thank You very much!

⚽️ What's next?

Kopanito is leaving Early Access. There are plans for further development and many new ideas, but it depends on the reception of the game and interest of players. Stay with us and spread the word!

Currently in development are:

  • Teslacopter - the 6th super-move.
  • Action replays in online matches.
  • Playing against AI in online matches (co-op).
  • Translations to following languages: German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

So, if you've reached so far reading this post it means you are interested! ;) Follow us here on Steam and on social media portals (links below) to be up to date. Have fun!

Practice makes perfect.

⚽️ Don't own the game yet?

If you don't own the game yet, or you want to recommend it to your friends, then there is a good occasion now.

  • There will be a launch discount here on Steam for a week.
  • There will be a giveaway on IndieDB soon.

⚽️ Kopanito on: IndieDBSteamYouTubeFacebookTwitterKopanitoSoccer.com

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