Hey everyone, it’s Richard here, everyone’s favourite football fanatic. I had a bit of an e-sit down with Simon Read, creator of New Star Manager, to chat about football, games and development. The Insatiable Gamer’s review of New Star Manager will follow in the coming weeks.
Here’s a photo of the man himself and if the photo doesn’t get your pumped then nothing will!
Let’s get into it:
Richard: As a developer of a soccer manager game, are you a fan of the sport yourself? (I ask this because I always find one way or another, the best games released are games that the developers themselves have a passion for).
Simon: Absolutely. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessive with football and I do have a yearning to make a non-sport title but yes, I’m a football fan.
Richard: What team do you support and do you play yourself or is the virtual world of soccer the preferred path for you?
Simon: I’m a Spurs fan and get to see them play a few times each season. I never really played much real football myself and I always felt I should have made more of an effort as a boy. That’s partly the reason why I made New Star Soccer, to fulfil the dream of being a great player.
Richard: Who is (in your opinion) the greatest footballer of all time?
Simon: I saw Messi play live for the first time recently and he was a pleasure to watch, but I think Maradonna edges it for me, simply because he has a World Cup winner’s medal.
Richard: What differentiates your game from other soccer / football manager titles and if you were to identify a main feature what would it be?
Simon: New Star Manager isn’t the first management game to let you control the players on the pitch but there aren’t many, and I think it does so in a unique way; freezing time, letting you set player runs and so on. So the match engine definitely sets it apart.
Richard: Does your game allow the downloading option of actual teams etc. or are all of the teams made up?
Simon: The players in the game are all fictional and are procedurally generated, so they aren’t actual entries in a database. For that reason we don’t offer downloading of player data, however we might include options for renaming teams and players in the future.
Richard: What has the feedback been like so far?
Simon: The response has been really good. It’s a very different offering to New Star Soccer and doesn’t have that same mass appeal, but the people playing it are passionate and appreciative of what we are trying to do. Currently rated as positive on Steam and holding a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on iOS.
Richard: From the videos I have seen, it looks like you also have a bit of a sim feel to the game where you can build your own stadium in the region etc. How far does this extend or is it just to the point of building the stadium?
Simon: There are six facilities aside from the stadium and they are all weaved into the overall fabric of the game in some way. For instance, the training ground creates skill cards to develop your players; the scout’s office lets you search for bargain transfers; the youth academy brings young stars through and so on.
Richard: How long have you been involved with sport game development and have you done anything prior to this project?
Simon: I started making my own games in 2002, generally football games that I released on PC. New Star Manager comes after a long line of New Star titles including 6 versions of New Star Soccer, New Star Tennis, New Star GP, and New Star Cricket among others!
Richard: Will there be continuous updates in the game? If so, how often do you plan to keep the updates going?
Simon: We hope to do several major updates every year for the foreseeable future, in much the same way that we supported and updated New Star Soccer on mobile.
Richard: Any plans on heading to other platforms?
Simon: New Star Manager is already out on mobile and PC, with plans underway for console versions early next year.