Druid Soccer

The new year is here and so is my fifth (I can’t believe it’s already fifth) done-in-a-week game. And it’s my first two player game, although there’s also a single player mode available. But the game is definitely meant to be played with your friend on the same keyboard.

Druid Soccer

Screenshot of Druid Soccer Screenshot of Druid Soccer Screenshot of Druid Soccer

Druid.zip (3.3Mb) (Release 1)

You take part in the ancient traditional game of Druid Soccer.

Rules: Try to push the big rock to your opponents goal and to defend your own goal. Who ever first gets 10 goals wins the match.

Player 1: WASD
Player 2: Arrow keys.

Esc – Will quit the game.
Alt + enter – Will toggle fullscreen.

Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) gmail.com )
Music: The Dongas Tribe (and friends) – Farewell to Erin. The song is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 -license.

Inspiration source: Experimental Gameplay Project.
Physics model is based on Markus Ilmola’s tutorials.
Druid Soccer uses: SDL, SDL_Image, SDL_Mixer and SDL_RotoZoom

33 Responses to “Druid Soccer”

  1. the2bears.com » Druid Soccer Says:

    […] Druid Soccer, the latest experimental game from Kloonigames, has just been released. This one is best as a two-player game, using ‘WASD‘ and the arrow keys, respectively, to push the stone into your opponents goal. Simple and fun, with lots of style. […]

  2. BigBossSNK Says:

    Just a quick comment as I play. The “click to continue” after the match is over is a flow stopper. Don’t be discouraged, though. The controls are fluid and the gameplay fun. I’ll comment more as I experiment.

  3. BigBossSNK Says:

    Ok, not a huge play time, but here’s likes and dislikes so far.
    Players interacting with each other: Pushing and jumping/ bumping on each other are viable strategies. Maybe you can include a faster, slide movement with the down button.
    “Ball” physics: Good implementation, though I was able to knock it out of the screen area once and had to restart.
    Lack of “juiciness”: This is your trademark! Pluto and Cacodemon were a greatly enhanced experience because of a direct, but multi sided action – reward mechanism. “I caused 5 collision with one comet. Wow, I get a bonus indicator. Look at all the pretty colors”. It’s really what sets your games apart and gives them a distinct feel. I’m sure you can come up with something cool for soccer too.
    Thanks for a great game, once more.

  4. Scott Says:

    I also managed to get the ball to shoot upward off the screen. It happened to me twice in about four or five single player games and twice in two multiplayer games. I’m not sure but it seemed to occur occasionally immediately after a score in the multiplayer game at least. Anyway it was a nice little diversion and seems to have good potential.

    A few comments:
    1) Having the boulder stay next to the goal can make for a bunch of cheap shots in a row. This can exacerbated by the losing player not being reset and having to run all the way back. There seems to a certain threshold the ball has to cross before it can score again. Maybe it should be reset to that point? Not sure whether the losing player should be reset or not too.

    2) If both players push on opposite sides of a flat ball, it appears to be a stalemate. It seemed to me that whichever player got bored first and released or jumped tended to lose. It would be nice to have a different outcome for this.

    3) Did the down button do something? If so, I didn’t figure it out. Perhaps it could give the ball a kick? Might break up the above stalemate situation.

    4) It was fun to jump on top of the boulder when the other player was pushing and mess them up. Perhaps there could be more of this? Maybe there could be slide tackles or Mario-ish jumping on the other player or, if there was kicking, you could give them a boot?

    5) I’d have to second BigBoss on the juiciness. Perhaps pop ups for long shots, long duration headers, getting the ball high in the air, scoring on yourself, three goals in a row, etc.?

  5. petri.purho Says:

    Wow, thanks for the quick responses and critique. I’m now eating my breakfast and I have to get to work soon, so I’ll just drop a quick note. When I get back home I’ll write an extended response.

    I have to say that I was a bit worried about the lack of juiciness, but as it’s a two player game it didn’t seem fair to put there a elaborate bonus system. But it also lack the other kind of juiciness that comes from sound effects and cute animations. That’s because I ran out of time and just got the game finished few hours before it was published.

  6. petri.purho Says:

    Big thanks to BigBossSNK and Scott for the critique.

    First of all the down -button doesn’t do anything πŸ™‚ The picture on the instructions is just to give the keyboard layout a more complete look.

    @BigBossSNK: If you want to play longer rounds, you can adjust the amount of goals required to win the match from data/levels/game_options.xml.
    Just tweak the goal_amounth=”10″ to what ever value you feel like.

    I also encountered the shooting boulder bug, but I haven’t really tracked it down. I think it’s because of the unstableness of physics model. I’ll try to fix it.


    1) Also the rules of what happens after a goal (which player warps the where) can also be tweaked from the game_options.xml. The variables aren’t named very articulately, but the goal_basketball_both=”1″ variable will warp both of the player to their goal areas. The goal_to_the_center=”1″ will warp the boulder to the center of the game area.

    2) There’s a technique that helps you win the boulder in the stalemate situation. Move back so that you’ll get under the boulder and then jump.

    4) The Mario-ish jumping on your opponents is not bad idea. But know that you mentioned the fun on jumping on the boulder fun, I came up with an alternative (untested) game play mode. The goal would be to get on top of the boulder and you would get a higher score for the longer time you managed to stay there. I think I’ll test that with a friend tomorrow. I could be fun.

  7. Scott Says:

    That’s handy having the variables in an xml file. I tried having the ball reset to center each time. That seemed nice but a little predictable. I noticed the orientation appears to be random. I wonder if it could also have a bit of random horizontal movement added to it. You mention that with “a two player game it didn’t seem fair to put there a elaborate bonus system”. That seems true but I wonder if you could just do the pop-ups like Pluto and Cacodemon without worrying about affecting scoring. Might give the players something to talk about as they were playing.

  8. druid Says:

    I agree with scott the bonus system doesn’t need to affect play. everyone i know checks their bonus titles on smash brothers after each round even though they have no real effect.

  9. petri.purho Says:

    @Scott: Your right there should be a small random in the velocity of the boulder when it is warped to the center, to give it a bit o’ liveliness.

    I thought that there’s no need for a bonus system if it doesn’t give effect the to game play directly, but on the other hand it would make the game a bit more juicy.

    @druid: I haven’t ever played Smash Brothers so I don’t know how the bonus system works there. But are the bonuses there more of an eye candy than a real game play feature?

  10. Decipher Says:

    First of all yet another great game of you :). Now there goes my critique.

    1) For the after-score issue I suggest re-dropping the boulder to the center of the court but in the meantime players should have been resettled in front of their goals too.

    2) I second Scott who already seconded BigBossSNK, where’ve your classic and yet exagerrated situation pop-ups gone? I felt very strange when i couldn’t see any of them while playing.

    3) After interestingly stupid positions πŸ™‚ boulder and gets out of view. Then this means end-of-game since it won’t return. I think this is the most serious bug and weakpoint of this small lovely game.

    4) After a while music gets very very annoying, erm, well yeah this is a very subjectif and personal idea. But I would prefer something more smooth and less loud.

    That’s all, I think after bug-fixing this will become yet another bite of enjoyment as any other game of yours πŸ™‚

  11. petri.purho Says:

    Thanks Decipher for your comments and critique.

    1) Luckily there is already an option for that. Just edit the data/levels/game_options.xml and change the goal_basketball_both=”0β€³ variable to goal_basketball_both=”1β€³. That way the game will warp both players to their goal areas after a goal.

    2) I didn’t know that so many people had played my previous games and that you had come to expect something from me πŸ™‚

    3) Yeah I really have to fix that boulder slinging bug. Even if it’s a hacky fix, but something has to be done for it.

    4) I should add a music toggle button for the engine, so that people who don’t like the music can turn it off during the game.

  12. andios Says:

    omg, you rock dude!

  13. petri.purho Says:

    Thanks πŸ˜€

  14. Simon Says:

    Love what you’re doing here. πŸ™‚

    I agree with the above comments (shooting boulder bug, juicyness, etc), but there is one thing in particular about this game that I really like.

    It’s HILARIOUS to play. There’s something just so inherently funny about two little guys running around like crazy, headbutting a giant boulder. I played a match with my sister (not a gamer), and after a couple of goals she was laughing so hard she could hardly breathe. Then towards the end, the infamous shooting boulder bug hit. At first it looked like one of the tiny druids had suddenly kicked the boulder so hard it went into orbit. We were nearly on the floor, from laughing so hard. Surrealist comedy, I suppose. πŸ™‚

    One thing I realised about this is that the music REALLY contributes to the humour. The fast paced Irish jig feel of it really compliments the madcap antics of the druids dashing around. It’s almost feels like a Celtic version of the Keystone Kops. If the music was slower-paced, it wouldn’t be nearly as funny. Similar to good (and juicy!) sound effects, it’s amazing how much effect good or bad music can have on the game experience.

    There was a similar thing with Slimy Pete; though the game itself was pretty dull, the atmosphere was really engaging, right from the old-timey title screen with the appropriate music playing.

  15. petri.purho Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to share the story.

    I picked that song mainly because I thought it would support the comedy of the game. I think I managed to choose the right song.

    I actually also had similar experiences with my friends when we tested the early prototype of the game. We had way too much fun playing the game.

  16. the2bears.com » Riders on the Storm Postmortem Says:

    […] Sound. The contest deadline was extended a month, which gave me time to finally learn the OpenAL sound API in LWJGL. It’s really hard to state just how much this added to the overall feeling of the game. I was reading about Druid Soccer and noticed that the music used there fell under a Creative Commons License. This was perfect for me, as this site and my games fall under the same type of license. I was then very luck to find Slipstream, the background music, by Darren Nelsen. I think the mood it creates while playing the game is near perfect for what I wanted. […]

  17. Kloonigames » Blog Archive » Postmortem: Druid Soccer Says:

    […] Druid Soccer was published 1st of January 2007, but I started working on it already in October 2006. The game started out as a Mario-esque platformer game. I had some random ideas I wanted to test out, so I cracked together a quick prototype where I could test these things out. While testing out my Mario physics I happened to discover that balancing and bouncing a huge box on top of the player character was actually really fun. So I thought to myself, that if this balancing a box thing is fun, it would be twice as fun if there where two players. And thus Druid Soccer was born. […]

  18. murcia Says:

    The play is never more variable that when the goals are no more.

  19. Will Says:

    just a question of what you use to create these games. They are excellent!!

  20. Exrod Says:

    Incredible Games. My children and I just spent 90 minutes laughing our heads off as they played Druid Soccer and the Amazing Flying Brothers. They loved the games, and I had a blast too. Thank you for all your effort and creativity. Huzzah Kloonigames!

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    […] still amazingly fun game. And luckily for Cacodemon, it actually found an audience for itself. Druid Soccer I always felt that Druid Soccer never got the attention that it deserved. For me it’s one my […]

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  25. druidsockerfan Says:

    that game is so great!

    is there any chance of getting an online version to play it with friends over a server or something? please tell me if anyone already had that idea or is thinking about πŸ™‚

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