Monday, November 06, 2006

New Star Games' Simon Read (New Star Soccer 3)

Continuing Gamasutra’s ‘Road to the IGF’ feature, which profiles and interviews Independent Games Festival 2007 entrants, today’s interview is with Simon Read of New Star Games, developer of New Star Soccer 3.

Read developed the game, which won GameTunnel's 2005 Sports Game of the Year, on his own over a period of 18 months, making additions to the engine he had used with previous games in the series. He describes New Star Soccer 3 as a “football career game that lets you be the star”, allowing players to choose the position they wish to play, and giving them the chance to train and rise up through the ranks.

Along the way, players can also choose to pick up drug and alcohol habits, enter into relationships with money-hungry women, and alienate their family and fans. “There will be difficult situations to deal with and every decision made will affect the game and the relationships within it,” says Read.

We spoke to Read about the game, its entry into the IGF, and where the series is heading in the future.

What is your background in the games industry?

New Star Soccer 3 allowed me to go full time as an independent but prior to that programming was just a hobby whilst I went from one mind-numbing job to another.

When was New Star Games formed, and what previous titles have you released?

I completed New Star Soccer 1 back in 2003 I decided to set up New Star Games. Before that I had released World Cup Manager.

What inspired the game, and why did you decide to make it?

As a kid I used to program football manager games in BASIC, which is why my first game was a straight forward management sim. I wanted New Star Soccer to be something totally different, a kind of “David Beckham Simulator”. It was meant to be a really simple game where you try to get a pop-star wife, have arguments with your manager and basically try to maintain a footballer's lifestyle. I guess the inspiration came from Footballer Of The Year, an old Gremlin game that I played to death on the Spectrum.

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