Extreme App Makeover: The Evolution of Soctics

We originally debuted Soccer Tactics in 2009 on the App Store and a year later we introduced online multiplayer in it. Our users really liked the game but we felt there was so much more in the game we haven’t explored yet. Last year in November we started out to create a mega-update with a total app overhaul, here is what happened.

We gathered the numerous user feedback we received during the years and we discussed them about how we could incorporate the changes suggested by the users. Although we haven’t implemented everything, we used their feedback a lot during building our new features list. The original game was iPhone-only and we wanted to introduce an iPad version as well so we decided to create a separate binary for the iPad and keep the original for the iPhone. This is the historic reason behind not going universal.

We decided we lack on the following major fronts:

  • lack of customization of team colors
  • poor graphics
  • poor sounds
  • online mode is not deep enough
  • AI not challenging enough

The first two points got handled by our new graphics design team. Have a look at thebefore / after images below :)

Graphics aside, the sounds proved to be another big task as well. We implemented an AI for the crowd that would react to events during the match, like a big goal save, a nice pass, etc. This increases the ambience atmosphere tremendously but it is not a simple thing to implement properly!

The online mode got re-written from the ground up using Erlang. F3r3nc is supposed to write about his experience with this system soon. Right now we provide our own matchmaking for friendly matches and official, ‘league’ matches as well. Implementing our own solution has the multiplatform support advantage over simply just using Game Center, although we did integrate GC as well for achievements and for friendly challenges.

We also started experimenting with new gameplay changes:

  • kick-off mode
  • new player types
  • improved control mechanisms
  • ball prediction: show where the ball lands at the end of the turn

The final result is essentially such a changed game that we had to release it as a separate product because our original Soccer Tactics players wanted to keep the ‘classic’ version alive and intact as well.

Especially the new feature called Binocular which predicts ball movement seemed to be a game changer. The feature is great as it gives players more control over their attacks but we did not want to upset the balance in the game. We decided to limit the number of binoculars to be used during the matches. These binoculars are consumable items that players can receive when they are playing online and there is an option to purchase them as well. We put emphasis on the mechanics of receiving / spending binoculars so it is not mandatory to use the IAP options at all.

We now look at Soctics League as the evolution of Soccer Tactics, putting our experience and feedback into the successor and making a superior product in all sense. We are very proud of it and can’t wait to meet you all online! :)

You can check out our official website for Soctics for the trailer and the download links.

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