Blog

Unveiling a new video!

With some help from a few friends, my new video masterpiece has finally been published! This video is a little longer than all of my others, coming in just under three minutes. I wanted to make something a little more in-depth than those that have come before it simply because there is a lot to say!

Please have a watch and let me know what you think 🙂

Striving for pass-marks

Prototype feedback has revealed the need to introduce a new attribute to the current range of player abilities: passing. Passing is obviously a key skill in football, so why was it missing until now?

Well, early tests of the game revealed that misplaced passes were simply frustrating – possession changed hands too freely, which led to managers attempting to dribble the ball in every scenario. As a result, 100% passing accuracy was introduced (although defenders can still make interceptions).

But then a new situation arose – the rise of the long ball. It was too easy to slip into 1980s long ball tactics – knock the ball up to a Mark Hateley or Jan Koller type, then flick it on for a speedy sidekick. Realistic up to a point, but too simplistic a representation of how football actually gets played at a professional level when this becomes the primary strategy. So in comes the passing attribute, which gets applied to high passes only. Like with most moves in Counter Attack, the ability is combined with a dice roll to determine the success of the manoeuvre. So, high balls are still possible and still fruitful, just not all of the time.

Here’s how the player cards may end up looking as a result of this change. What do you make of them?

first-picks

What’s in the kit bag

Right, a big decision has been made in the Counter Attack world: the wee wooden counters have had their day. They will be replaced by cards that can be printed to look like team strips! These natty little numbers will be held in plastic stands, so they will stand tall and proud on the Counter Attack surface.

strips in 3d

I’ve had a bit of fun playing around with potential kits, as you can see above! Pretty much any kit can be replicated and recognised, which I think adds to the authenticity of the game experience. Check out these fellas from the top leagues in Scotland (can you name all the teams?):

The best teams in Scotland?

I don’t yet know what I’ll settle on for the final version of the game, but the potential is there to make replicas of, well, any kit…

English PL teamsIt's the Euro giants

Time for some Design

As the game edges closer to being manufactured, I’ve been working on the artwork of various elements, including the all-important box. After all, we all totally judge a book by its cover. The game needs to stand out from others on the shelves and be instantly recognisable for what it is. So how close have I come to achieving that?

I’ve been testing out four designs this weekend:

The one with the rays is maybe a little crazy. No-one likes it.

I’ve also been working on a new player card design. Here’s the new idea (with the green border) alongside the original design:

I like the splash of colour but I don’t want too much. After all, it’s important that [human] players can quickly read the info on these cards in the midst of a game. The cards are smaller than the average playing card, coming in at 44 x 67 mm, so there isn’t much room for fancypants artwork.

What are your thoughts on these designs? Wide of the mark or on target? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me at @ctrattackgame.

A standup idea?

As I move into the final stages of producing the look of the game, one opportunity recently presented itself: should I design the players as standup cards or as typical game counters?

Dead of Winter characters (image sourced from here)

I was lucky enough to get Dead of Winter from Santa this year, a game that features stand-up player cards. That’s what really got me thinking about the potential of using such cards in Counter Attack. On the one hand, they would give so much life to game – the players would have a character that simply isn’t possible with the counter approach.

It's Dortmund versus...er...Hearts away (c.1989)
My beautiful counters!

But…the game is called ‘Counter Attack’, so surely counters must play a part!? What’s more, the typical stand base is slightly larger than the hexagons I use in the current board design, and redesigning that beast is no straightforward job! Perhaps most importantly, what the counters have over the cards more than anything is else is the superior visibility of the player number – knowing who’s who at a glance is vital in this game.

I haven’t yet made a final decision, but I suspect I’ll experiment with the stand-up player cards at the very least. Watch this space to see what happens next!

2018: year zero

Will 2019 be the year of Counter Attack? Here’s hoping so! 2018 was Counter Attack’s year of birth. After the development of the original idea, the design of the game components, and many play testing moments, I’m optimistic that 2019 will see the game launch.

failed pitches
Some pitch designs that just didn’t make it.

Truth be told, the original idea for the game is much older than 2018: it was in my head and eventually on paper several years earlier. But the first prototype was so dull that I stopped the project dead in its tracks! However, it came back with a vengeance and in a new, improved format after some discussions with pals.

I’m currently working on a slight modification to the pitch and I’m reconsidering the game pieces (perhaps they will be stand-up card figures rather than actual ‘counters’…?), but the real development in 2019 will come about when I approach football clubs and funders with this idea. That’s when we’ll see if this can sink or swim.

img_3718
I managed to somehow lose my final game of 2018…

So…thanks for following the blog and thanks for following me on Twitter in 2018. Let’s make 2019 the year it all comes to life!