Rugby League Arcade is a fun 3D sports game based on Rugby League, that draws inspiration from classic sports games such as Sensible Soccer and ARL 96. Rugby League Arcade features easy to use controls, 3D environments, physics and a built-in editor. Passing, tackling and kicking have never been so fun!
Rugby League has severely been under-represented in the games market, with a lack of games based on the greatest sport, and the games that do exist lack some of the fun that classic games from the early and mid 90’s had. With Rugby League Arcade, I hope to create a game for Rugby League fans (including myself) that is primarily fun to play, while giving the feeling of competing in a Rugby League match.
I hope to create this game, by starting and focusing on the core-mechanics of the game, such as running, passing and tackling, so you won’t see any fancy menus or graphics, that is, until the core-mechanics of Rugby League Arcade have been programmed and are to my personal satisfaction. I believe that this is the best way, as I feel passionate about this game, and want to create a game that not just other people, but also myself, will have fun playing.
Currently, I’m hoping to have Rugby League Arcade ready for early autumn 2016. Hopefully, I’ll have some development demos ready before then to play and test. If anyone is interested in testing the game game as it’s being developed please contact me on Twitter, or Facebook.
Again, I’m a one-man indie development team, trying to develop a big project, so dates are bound to change. I also accept tips, advice, questions, ideas and help, which you can contact me about through the above means.
For more information, or if you want to sign-up to the newsletter visit: sionco.com/RugbyLeagueArcade.
For development news visit my blog here.
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As mentioned quite a lot in my development blog (probably too often) the most difficult part of Rugby League Arcade is programming the AI. Even though it's an arcade sports game, such things as trying to make it more realistic and make sure the AI makes the right decision based on different situations as well as making the AI difficult enough to play against.
Let’s take an example, such as, the AI for a first-person shooter such as Doom. In theory, you could get away with really basic AI, such as keep the enemy behind the corner and soon as the player is in sight start shooting and move towards him. Obviously, it’s possible and usual to add something better than this, but you get the picture.
But, in a sports game the AI players are always visible and need to be able to react to a lot of situations and the different rules and periods within a match, especially the complex rules of a rugby match. For example; Is there a scrum? What should the AI do if the computer is defending? What if it’s attacking? What if it’s attacking and the player is also carrying the ball? What if it’s attacking and another player is trying to tackle him? Should he pass? Is there anyone to pass to? These are only a few of the AI decisions that I have to create in Rugby League Arcade, and each one has more than one out-come in real-life, so trying to add the endless possibilities is a challenge.
The complexity of some ball sports like football, and especially rugby, has meant that it’s difficult to find smaller indie games in this genre.
Also, regarding difficulty. I could have added a difficulty option to the game settings, which is quite common in most games. However, I've decided to only have one difficulty level in the game. Like Sensible Soccer, which is one of my inspirations for the game, the difficulty will depend on the stats of the teams and players. So if you are playing with an amateur team against a top team like Wigan, you will have to be a very good player to win.
The AI’s skill will depend on their stats, such as a player with a poor passing rating will be more likely to miss their team-mate with a pass, or a player with high skill and speed ratings will be more likely to break a tackle and get pass the defending players. I've chosen this way because of development time, as an individual I know this is a big project to get finished, especially with the AI.
That’s only the AI, then there is a lot of testing and fine-tuning values, such as does the AI pass too often or not enough, is the AI too god-like or just plain stupid.
During the development of Rugby League Arcade, Ive come to realize that while the difficulty of developing sports game AI will probably be the biggest factor in whether the game is received successfully or not, it’s not the only crucial part. The other part being the controls. If the controls feel sloppy, sluggish or difficult, people will turn away quickly, no-matter how good the AI is. This is one reason I haven’t released a demo yet. While the attacking controls feel good, passing is slick, kicking is there, the defensive controls don’t feel up to that standard and aren0t ‘fun’ enough yet.
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