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What is Supraball?
Supraball is a mix of first person shooters and football. A genre which we call FPSG – First Person Sports Game.
There is no real violence involved, but the controls are like the ones of a shooter. The rules and tactics are similar to football.
The game feels like playing football without it actually being football. Every player on the field is a human being and has to play a role in the tactical concept of the team.
The gameplay is clearly focused on eSports. High precision controls without any random factors and a high dependency on your team mates.
The game’s basic goal is to fix the typical problems of all top down football games that you usually play with a gamepad and real football teams (you know which ones! not calling names here):
– The strategic movement of the vast majority of players of your team is done by the CPU.
– In order to have smooth animation transitions there is a delay for every input, and the little player on the screen doesn’t immediately do what you tell him to.
– Passes and shots are mostly done by the CPU and also highly random (based on the individual players skill settings) You just give a vague direction and power, but what actually happens is not in your hands. And even in fully manual modes it is almost impossible to do anything accurate with the little gamepad sticks.
– Special tricks or dribblings are not really done by yourself, you just activate them with a special combination and then they happen by themselves.
Supraball fixes all these problems and also puts you right into the action. Nothing is as immersive as a first person view.
On the other hand this accurate gameplay could not be done as a real football game. For example it would hardly be possible to properly control both your feet for a dribbling. With the gun mechanics however we can deliver an accurate gameplay that mimics the things you can do in football in some way.
On top of that you can do things that you could never do in football. Like kicking your teammates across half the pitch to get quicker to the ball or into an open space.
The rules are also vaguely different. There is no offside and there are no fouls. Instead the penalty box serves as the part of the field where you can knock out the opposing players with one hit.
In 2002 Supraball Project Leader David Münnich had the idea to create the Modification “Deathball” for Unreal Tournament 2003.
The basic idea was to remove the projectile weapons from the UT2003 game mode “Bombing run” and placing it in an empty sports field, instead of a deathmatch like arena.
That was tried with a simple small modification and everyone involved immediately got hooked to the never before seen gameplay. The first public release was on October 25 2002.
The Mod quickly became very popular with pretty much all gaming magazines covering it, it won plenty awards and had a huge league system running with thousands of players.
It was later ported to Unreal Tournament 2004 and also officially shipped with the UT2004-GameOfTheYear-Edition.
Not long after that, the game’s popularity started to fade out due to it only being a modification for a game that was vanishing itself.
David Münnich has since carried the wish with him to one day produce a standalone version of the game.
In late 2011 it was decided to make the reboot happen. The whole development team has since changed except for David.
Production of Supraball started in February 2012.
From August 2012 till February 2014 the team has been inactive because of business partner disputes. The team then shook off all the pay2win wishes of those previous partners, who had never played the game, and continued working independently.
The first public alpha version was released in May 2014. Overnight there have been tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of players.