With the launch of New Star Manager on PC which also recently won a BAFTA Games Award for Sports, we thought we should reach out and do an interview with the developer behind the game, about the game and his thoughts on the gaming industry.
So to get started, please can you introduce yourself?
I’m Simon Read, creator of the New Star Soccer series and a few other bits and bobs.
Before we delve in New Star Manager, we want to know about you so tell us about yourself, where does your passion come from when to come to creating games?
I started out on the 8-bit machines. A couple of friends had Spectrums, another had a C-64 and I had an Amstrad CPC with the green screen. That was probably the best birthday present I ever received, and I really wanted to make my own games right from the off.
Please tell us what games and genres do you enjoy playing and have these had some influences in your game?
My mate and I used to play football games religiously. The highlights were MatchDay II, Emlyn Hughes, Kick Off 2… It was all about the rivalry and bragging rights.
Now let’s move on to your game, could you describe what is “New Star Soccer” all about and how does it stand apart from games of a similar genre?
With New Star Soccer I tried to do something unique where you managed the life and career of a single player rather than control the entire team. Essentially, it’s an RPG with mini-games. I think the only thing remotely similar was “Footballer of the Year” from Gremlin back in 8-bit days.
New Star Manager is the latest iteration in BAFTA-winning New Star Series, what can fans expect to see in this new game?
I wanted to develop the match action from New Star Soccer further, giving the player more control over the whole team, which meant the game felt better as a “manager” game as opposed to a player career game. However, I wanted it to be light on simulation and be more about banging in the goals and dealing with player transfers and tantrums.
For those who’ve just started their first season and never played New Star Manager – what advice would you give them?
Don’t invest in youth! In the lower ranks you don’t really need youngsters with great potential, you need wily old heads with plenty of experience. As you move up the divisions you can focus more on bringing through young starlets. Also, make sure you have a decent sized squad as you will need to rotate your team early on.
What is it like working on New Star Manager, day in day out?
It’s very different now. I made the early versions and the original mobile game on my own. Now I work with an excellent team up in Wakefield who do all the heavy lifting which leaves me to focus on the game design.
So how many people were involved in the development? There must have been more than just you?
For New Star Manager around 15 or so people have been involved at various stages.
Also how much time have you spent on the development process?
The game has been in gestation for quite a long time. I started working on a basic prototype back in 2014 and it went through various phases until we had a definite style and essence. Only in the last year or so have we ramped development up to full speed.
We all know that it takes some time to create a game and many developers and friends to help out most of the time, so how have you adapted yourself?
I guess you need to find the right people. I met Martyn Brown who was able to build a team around New Star Soccer and take it to another level. Personally, I like designing the game and getting sprites running around a football pitch, but I’m not good at technical coding or running a development team. Having the right people around you is essential.
So what advice would you give to young game developers who want to break into the gaming industry?
Start with simple projects that inspire you and make sure you finish them! It’s amazing how much you progress you make simply by finishing projects and learning from your mistakes.
The game is out on iOS, Android and has recently launched on PC. Do you have plans to bring New Star Manager to any additional platforms?
We have just completed a Mac version, which is also available on Steam now and we would love to do console versions of New Star Manager at some point.
If any of our viewers want to follow New Star Soccer franchise just head on over to either
- Twitter https://twitter.com/newstargames
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/newstarsoccerofficial/
- Website – http://www.newstargames.com/