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  • New playable game - Rugby Champions

    Hi Guys, here is a first look at our new playable rugby game 'Rugby Champions' due for release on Steam in a couple of weeks,

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/9...gby_Champions/

    Its focus is on providing a great rugby gameplay experience. Initially includes the 1995 and 2019 World Cup formats, with all the other World Cups added over time.
    Last edited by gpred; 09-05-2019, 06:34 PM.

  • #2
    Brilliant! It looks exciting and I'm sure it will open up new and larger audiences than before. I'm really pleased that you guys could develop the game to its logical next phase - you deserve all the credits that you'll receive.

    Comment


    • VanHunks
      VanHunks commented
      Editing a comment
      Well done guys! I hope it does very well.

    • James
      James commented
      Editing a comment
      Well done guys! I believe you will do very well!

  • #3
    It's not a manager type game like NRM or GRM then?

    Comment


    • gpred
      gpred commented
      Editing a comment
      No, you directly control the players using a controller. It's you vs the AI.

    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Okay. Thanks.

  • #4
    With Rugby Champions coming out soon I have a couple of questions:

    How does the camera work for Rugby Champions? As in, is it like NRM and GRM where you can adjust the camera however you like, are there presets (like side view or "end to end") or is it something else?

    Does it work well with an xbox one controller? What type of controller do you say works best with the game?

    Thanks

    Comment


    • gpred
      gpred commented
      Editing a comment
      Xbox one controller is the way to go. The game is played from behind camera only at this stage but you can rewind and watch anything on any angle.

    • danielw
      danielw commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok, that's good news!

  • #5
    Hi guys, this game is out now on Steam,


    https://store.steampowered.com/app/9...gby_Champions/

    Comment


    • danielw
      danielw commented
      Editing a comment
      Good luck! I'm sure you'll receive mostly positive feedback - people tend to complain about game graphics, but it's all about price, it would be unfair to compare it with the pricey other rugby titles available on the market, where you typically need advanced systems and graphic cards anyway. What will be a game changer, i think, is the AI - once people realize what's in store and at what bargain prize the game is really for the quality AI, they'll change their opinions. Nonetheless, I'm sure a lot of new ideas and enhancements will come out of the discussions for future updates.

    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      +1 to what Daniel has said.

  • #6
    Just a simple question - is the game fully compatible with ps4 controllers?

    Comment


    • danielw
      danielw commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, I'll have a look - we've got like 4 xbox controllers available, but without the cable linking the controller to the usb port. So, I'll check how much such a cable will cost, or the alternatives you suggested.

    • danielw
      danielw commented
      Editing a comment
      Will multi-players options considered in the future, or co-op plays perhaps? I guess it depends on the success of the first launch, but from my limited experience thus far, I can tell this is something special in the making.

    • gpred
      gpred commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Dan, we would like to add two player co-op as that is a game mode that is a huge amount of fun when implemented well. Also be a pro mode where you control one player. Games against another player could be added too, but it's something I have never really considered too much as it eliminates the AI to a large degree which is something I love working on that. Having said that, it could be easy to do.

  • #7
    Just purchased my copy ... and a controller is also on its way! I am very much looking forward to giving the game my own take. I’ll let you know how I get on in due course.

    Comment


    • #8
      Got the game on the 5th and left a review today. I decided that before making a GRM online roster with my league, I'm going to go back to my offline GRM saves and make some of my players. I've played with Bath for 18 seasons on it and there are a bunch of players on my team and the other teams that I want to see play together

      Comment


      • gpred
        gpred commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the review greyhoodie Will be adding a GRM world cup roster for you to play with some time in the next couple of weeks (hopefully some of your players get selected!)

      • samuelrambo
        samuelrambo commented
        Editing a comment
        This would be awesome!

    • #9
      Thus far it seems most reviews were positive, especially about the AI which impressed/surprised most reviewers (for the die-hard GRM'rs it's no surprise really!). I have not yet found the time/opportunity to do some proper game play to give a fair assessment - maybe I'll wait for my son to do some proper testing when he is on student holiday break next week as he is an experienced gamer and played most popular rugby titles over the years gone by.

      Comment


      • #10
        Thanks for your support guys! Look forward to hearing how you get on.

        Comment


        • #11
          Hat tip to KiwiMace's YouTube review - the game looks truly awesome and I can't wait till my controller arrives to give this game a crack!

          One thing I noticed on the video which I wondered about - the circle that indicates that the ball is ready to be played - could that be colour-coded so it is clear which team actually has possession of the ball? I know the game graphics well enough to know who actually has the ball, but a new player might find it helpful if the player's circle is green and the opposition's is red, or coded by team colours, or something like that? Just a thought.

          Comment


          • gpred
            gpred commented
            Editing a comment
            That's a good idea Rambo.

            I was pleased KiwiMace said he had a lot of fin playing, even though he hadn't learned the controls (in some shots you can see the player he is controlling on defense running around by himself at the other end of the field!). Be great if he does another video once he has mastered the controls

          • samuelrambo
            samuelrambo commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah - that was pretty funny. I appreciated the insight into the game and liked his first impressions. He did learn the sidestep during the game and did a couple of pretty cool runs with his ball runners. I agree that another video with a little bit of experience in the controls (and some kicking for territory) would probably see a big difference.
            For me the big thing was that it wasn't a complete annihilation to either team on rookie mode (some games are either ridiculously easy or ridiculously hard on the most basic mode - so it will be a challenge), and the moves from the Springboks looked very realistic and true to the GRM experience. I can tell it is a next-level game with some of the customisation options on show.
            It looks very polished and the game flows really well.

        • #12
          Hey cornflake, I see your video is up! I'll be watching it as soon as I get home!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HUBN_RhRvE

          Comment


          • gpred
            gpred commented
            Editing a comment
            Just finished watching this Cornflake. Thanks for making such an amazing video. As always, I really enjoyed your great commentary as you played. Takes some real talent to do that!

            Glad you had some genuine fun too!

            Also loved your comments on graphics hitting a roof and now we need to go back to gameplay. That's exactly our philosophy! Graphics can be dropped in when budget allows. Making a game look really good isn't a massive technical challenge, it's just time consuming and expensive.

          • VanHunks
            VanHunks commented
            Editing a comment
            I also had a look this morning. Must say I'm very impressed with what I saw!

          • samuelrambo
            samuelrambo commented
            Editing a comment
            Great vid, Cornflake! I watched it all yesterday and was really impressed. Great to see Jonah back, too - and scoring a brilliant try as well!

        • #13
          I've played quite a lot of games and wanted to have a fairly good grasp of the controls before giving feedback, to ensure that feedback is fair as I often find that early feedback gives an incorrect perception, either overly positive as once you have a full grasp you tend to identify the weaknesses or overly negative as areas that does not seem to function as well are actually due to the player not fully utilising all options available. Any case, here is my view:

          Graphics (7/10):
          The graphics are adequate given the price of the game, it is good enough to allow the user at all times to be aware of the action, but it is not at the level of high budget 2019 games.

          Sound (5/10):
          This is an area that I felt is a bit lacking, while there are music in the main menu, in the games there are only limited sound effects, and it reduces the atmosphere of the game. For the price of this game, commentary cannot be expected, however some music or more crowd noise, cheering after breaks etc would add a lot to the game.

          Gameplay (9/10):
          Rucks (9/10):

          The rucking system is very good, one needs to gain momentum in the tackle, i.e getting hit behind the advantage line is likely to lead to a turnover. Getting attackers isolated is also likely to result in turnovers. You can control the number of players entering the ruck, and players quickly join the ruck, it is not overly complicated like a lot of games tend to be, and requires smart play to win turnovers or retain possession for multiple phases, rather than button smashing. This is by far the best system I have seen in any rugby game.

          There are two things I would like to see.
          1. Ability to preset the number of players to join the ruck, rather than pressing to increase by one, if you want to play a high ruck number game, be able to set it high and then press to increase or decrease from there.
          2. Once you have increased the number of players to join a ruck, if you realise it is no longer worth it, i.e ball already lost, be able to cancel the order so more players don't join the ruck late.

          Setpieces (7/10):
          The setpieces are always a very difficult aspect the model, most other games uses in my opinion very annoying mini games where player skills become irrelevant and it is all down to master this one mini game, it also then tends to ruin gameplay as once you master it you can pretty much starve the opposition of possession. In Rugby Champions setpieces are automated and rely only on player skills, this is a decent compromise to avoid that situation and until someone invest a truly fun and accurate way to simulate setpieces this is a good option. I would however like some control over it as follows:

          Scrums:
          Option to wheel scrum,
          Option to pick up at the base of the scrum

          Lineouts:
          Decision where to jump or compete, i.e front, middle, centre.
          Option to keep possession in the lineout and form a mini maul or ruck, rather than passing to the halfback.

          Kickoffs, penalties: (8/10)
          Kickoffs are done well with control over the kicks and pretty much any option. The aspect that is lacking is upon receiving a kickoff players are always playing individually and this can either lead to an immediate linebreak for the receiving team or disjointed defense that the kicking team can exploit. Here I would like to see support players joining to lift the receiver, take the ball cleanly and a mini maul forming. It is something that I would like to see in GRM as well, but it is more frustrating in Rugby Champions as due to direct control over the kickoffs one can exploit this with every kickoff.

          Penalties are done well, with it being a challenge to take the kicks, but not an annoying timing mini games as most other games. Generally for kicking an improvement would be to have wind affect the games.

          General gameplay (9/10)
          This is the best aspect of Rugby Champions. The ai is truly great with option taking and you need to play the situation with the ai running lines that gives you options. A really cool situation that I had was after a few rucks the blindside was open, so I made a break with the halfback and then the cover defense would have caught us, but instead of staying on the outside the wing moved across as an inside option giving the option to beat the cover defense on the inside.

          A lot of these options depend on your own decisions, straighten the line and you can create an overlap with good passing, run across the field and you can do switch moves with other players, it is all about reading the situation and using your support players well.

          Options such as breaking tackles, fending, chip kicks, side steps etc are also crucial to beat the defense, i.e can't just pass for overlaps or run and attract multiple defenders etc that is possible in most other games.

          Defense is also straight forward, the ai, generally maintains a good defensive line and smart play can trap the opposition behind the gainline by rushing up, however mistime it or if the ai reads it and they will exploit the gap. The option to run a cover defensive line after a linebreak is also great.

          Kicking is done well, but I'm not a huge fan of the slowmo mode, it enables pinpoint kicking, but I would prefer it at normal speed with controls enabling you to get kicks away within the time.

          All in all the gameplay is the best that I have seen in any rugby game.

          Game modes (5/10):
          There is only a rugby world cup mode, which makes the games get a bit repetitive, and this is where the game is lacking the most. Given the price of the game once cannot be too harsh but adding a world league and Be a pro mode would take this game a long way.

          Overall (9/10):
          Given the quality of this game, very much bug free where every other rugby game released in the past 5 years pretty much needed a patch to make it playable, great gameplay and ridiculously inexpensive price (I'd guess that rugby 20 will cost at least 5 times more), this game deserves a rating of 9/10 and improvement on a few areas, most notably game modes and this game will set the bar for rugby games going forward.

          PS Another small thing that could add to the game, is showing the most crucial controls in a specific situation on the screen, for example in slow mo mode showing the different kicking options, I sometimes get confused and then end up with a chip where it should be a grubber etc.

          EDIT
          Forgot to mention, I would suggest adding a higher ranked team biased option for quick sim. I often get that NZ doesn't make it out of the pool because I would beat them and then they lose to both Italy and Canada, it would be nice to have an option where the higher ranked team always wins these games to ensure you will play against the best in the play offs.
          Last edited by zagrijs; 09-14-2019, 01:11 PM.

          Comment


          • zagrijs
            zagrijs commented
            Editing a comment
            I've added the review onto steam

          • danielw
            danielw commented
            Editing a comment
            Zagrijs, a quick glance at the reviews, and it shows you've played more than 12 hours - probably topping everybody else that wrote a review, and hence making your assessment of the game most trustworthy. I'm struggling to understand why some people will give the game a "thumbs down" after playing only 1-2 hours, maybe they are not aesthetically pleased by the graphics and other minor issues (which can be fixed), but missing the most important aspects, namely the game engine. No second guess how those guys will pick their women, but with a lot of nasty and unpleasant surprises down the road!

          • gpred
            gpred commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for adding it to Steam Zagrijs

        • #14
          Rugby Champions has now been updated to give more realistic AI v AI quick sim results. So you can expect the knockout games to more often than not be against tougher opponents.

          Comment


          • danielw
            danielw commented
            Editing a comment
            Great, if not essential, enhancement to the game to give it a more credible/realistic outcome.

          • zagrijs
            zagrijs commented
            Editing a comment
            Great, looking forward to it

        • #15
          Hi all, put together a compilation of some of the cool tries we have score so far. These were on pro difficulty.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHY6OoOiGus

          Thankyou for all the feedback and interest guys. Zagrijs, thanks for putting in the time and giving it a through review. Thanks to cornflake too, for another great video

          Comment


          • danielw
            danielw commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, great work. It shows that while it is one thing for a player to possess a skill, it is another knowing when to execute it, i.e. the timing of a pass, sidestep, dummy, etc. In my opinion that differentiate top players from the ordinary.

            While we are at videos, would it be sensible to make a couple of demo video clips showing the basic and advanced controls of the game, or talking through the steps. - I'm asking this because this is how a lot of people grasp how something is done by means of visualization, as opposed to only reading a guide - it might be time consuming doing it, but perhaps worth the investment?

          • gpred
            gpred commented
            Editing a comment
            For sure dan, we are looking at making some tutorial videos that can be watched in the game.
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