Features / Roadmap
WCS is not a simulation but an arcade “easy to learn, hard to master” approach to playing soccer on a computer. When designing WCS, it was crucial to me that controls always feel utmost responsive, and that you would never have to wait for any animation/script to finish before your desired action commences.
All your beautiful dribblings, passes and goals should be a direct result of you controlling the game, pressing the right buttons at the right time and for the correct duration, rather than random effects or pre-scripted events.
“Easy to learn, hard to master”
Simulating the complex player movements, feints, tricks, dribblings and kicks, which are part of real-life soccer, leads to very complex controller layouts with lots of buttons to use and dozens of combinations which are hard to master, requiring a lot of practice and making soccer simulations quite hard to pick up.
WCS is different. I won’t even try to simulate the complexity of the Beautiful Game. Rather, I concentrate on the bare essentials: dribbling, passing and kicking. That’s why WCS only uses about 3 buttons and one stick/dpad.
Realistic ball physics
The ball being the central piece of the game, it actually was the very first thing I started to implement years ago. It’s essential to me to have authentic, plausible and smooth ball physics, as a backbone of exiting, controllable and fun gameplay.
A powerful and challenging AI is crucible for single player matches or co-op matches against a CPU-controlled team. As the goalies (for now) are always CPU-controlled, their AI code is especially important to me: Not only have I been a keeper myself in my youth, a strong and plausible goalie behavior is crucial in matches of human players against each other: It’s very frustrating if one’s goalie concedes a goal in a buggy, implausible way — so that’s something I try to avoid.
Playing WCS over the net is a core part of its design. (Actually, online play was the reason for me to rewrite huge parts of Natural Soccer, which lead to the base code of WCS). While, in the beginning, WCS will just offer online play of two players against each other, my goal is to add various additional modes, such as playing with up to 8 players in any vs/co-op combinations, or join a match as a spectator only.
Playing either any player or at fixed positions
Usually, when choosing to control a team you control any player on the pitch and switch control to the closest to the ball. My goal is to offer the option to rather play in a fixed position or “line”. So, for example, you could choose to only control your team’s center striker, without switching - a control scheme (AFAIK) introduced with “Kick Off Player Manager” and today known as “Become a legend”. Another idea is to build on this idea and offer a “semi-fixed” control scheme: Rather than fixing control to one single position, you may choose to control only the DEF, MID or ATT line of your team. This is especially useful when playing with another player cooperatively in the same team: One may choose to play the attacking line while the other is responsible for the defense - much like a foosball table. Mixing and matching all those modes with online play should make for some exciting matches!
Accompanying the online play, I plan to create an online community website to find players to play against, create and schedule online leagues/tournaments or cooperatively create and edit team/player databases. I am also toying with the idea to (live) stream online matches to spectators all around the world.