Powersoccer is a game with great potential, just like Lionel Messi is a player with great potential. He is a genius now and he will be a wise/smart genius in the years to come. Powersoccer is no different.
On Friday, I defended the thesis that “standing still” is “going backwards”. Powersoccer has moved on and has proven that change is a good thing. Not only is the fully refurbished website a pleasure for the eye, gameplay is so smooth now that without doubt the number of games will triple. I got so impressed by the “career mode” that I for the first time in my life – and for the last too – played an official game (and lost). It is a dream and all the minor errors will without doubt be removed within days/weeks. But, “standing still is going backwards.” The update is old news now, we look towards the future. What could we hope for? Experienced as I am, I give some hints.
1) Expand tactics from two to three
All players have two tactical options of their choice. Gameplay is strongly dependent on this. You have your basic pre-set tactic you normally play with. It defines who you are and how you see attack, midfield and defence. Some prefer a strong defence and line up 5 players. Others are living on the wild side and pick three defenders and a strong midfield.
Next to that, you have a second option and here is the tricky part: what to pick? Do you pick a defensive tactic to secure your lead? Do you select an offensive tactic to win or draw? Do you go “all in” to force errors on your opponent by pressure play (424 for instance). A tough and hard choice and also one that may lead to frustration. Actually impossible to make. The solution is simple: you should have the option to have both.
2) Save everything
In the current version, highlights are limited to goals and some goal chances. Moreover, even if you have made the perfect goal, the way you save that goal is pre-set. Annoyingly the screen changes in the second part of your reply… which means that you miss out the perfection more than once. Moreover, you cannot include for instance the brilliant pass that preceded the brilliant goal you want to save. It however gets “worse”. Sometimes it is really frustrating that you are watching (and laughing/crying or just typing) a specific replay in which your player did something hilarious or you missed a chance in such a funny way that you just have to have it. You are set on saving it after the game… but you come to the conclusion that this specific replay isn’t in the highlight list. Frustration… if only…
Again the solution is simple: include all replays in the highlights (and skip those you skip during the game). It will for sure lead to even more attractive highlights and even more possibilities to impress your friends and the wider community.
3) Training field
It is said that Cristiano Ronaldo regularly, after a normal training, stays on the pitch to practice his free kicks. He practices from every corner, distance and with both a goalkeeper as without one. Apart from his talent as a football player, this is partially the explanation why he is so fabulous at scoring them. The wider picture is equally true: every team practices on corner kicks and on free kicks. Every player is giving a specific task. You train routine, you train goal chances. Powersoccer should include a training field in which you have the option to train specific elements of your gameplay, ranging from corners (pre-set situation) to free kicks from specific places. It will most certainly increase the quality of both free kicks and corners and, as a result, give a slight advantage to those willing to train by themselves to get better. Every powersoccer user should be given the same option Cristiano Ronaldo has: shall I stay on the pitch and work on my free kicks or shall I go and take a shower and head home (to play powersoccer).
4) Turn Cup challenges off
Users have the possibility to turn friendly/league challenges off. All users challenging them know they are unavailable at that time for any given reason. That however is not the case with cup challenges. Even if you are not in the ability to play – let alone have done a version check – you still get challenged. For high ranked users – or admins – that can be very annoying. To give an example: at work I am not always able to play. I do however get (and this is just a figure based on a review of one day of Powersoccer) 250 challenges for cup games. Although every challenge opens in the same window, it is mostly annoying if you are typing a forum thread or just browsing around in search for something. The explanation probably is that the system – in a clan or fan zone challenge – just lists the people only rather than those ready to play a game. It should be upgraded to list only those willing to play a cup game at that given time.
This problem works both ways. Some users see a clan has enough members online to participate in a clan cup. They invite the clan in the hoping of getting a cup started. They do however not know that, for instance, 4 out of 5 clan members have not done a version check. It can lead to frustration, to a repetitive movement – inviting the same clan over and over again – and in the end perhaps to quitting the cup altogether.
Thus the solution (in theory) is simple: create a button where you can turn of cup challenges. Like that all of the community members are able to see who can play and who can not. It will lead to more cups and more happy people.
5) Have designated players
Every team in real life has designated players: one is selected as captain because he stands out on the pitch and can drive his teammates to rise above their level – by shouting or guiding them. One is selected as free kick taker because he excels in taking the perfect free kick – whether it is aimed at the goal or at the foot/head of a team mate. One is selected to take the corner kicks as he has shown great skills in curving the ball neatly on the head of his team mate. Powersoccer needs to have that option too. Every user can spread skills amongst his players: he or she selects the best skills for a player on a specific position. A defender has to have good stamina and a perfect tackle; midfielders need to have a strong and precise pass and need to run like a hare. Attackers need to be cold-blooded and have high shooting skills to back that up. In a game however a tackle often leads to a disruption. Your sole attacker for instance – if you play in a 451 – is taking place behind the ball to give a free kick. If that happens at midfield, that ultimately means it is a lost ball. Nobody is standing in front of him and he cannot turn back to pass to a team mate. In corner kicks the same problem occurs. Your best shooter runs towards the corner flag to take the corner. At best, your mediocre midfielders take place in the penalty box. The quality of your striker however is reduced to zero.
Players should be able to control who does what in a game. Club members should have the option to select captains, free kick takers and corner kick takers. It can bring the game to a whole new level.
6) Build your own stadium
We can personalize our team if we devote tokens to buy cleats, tattoos, hairstyles and goal gestures. We should have the same option with the stadium itself. Perhaps I want to make a “hard side”, where die-hard fans of my team are holding banners – by me designed – to shout my team to victory. Or even make a small and cosy stadium where not that many people can enter. And, in the long term, a stadium of my own making: my personal arena just like Barcelona or Amsterdam has it. Labelled with a name of my choice and with colours of my choice.
This list could have been twice as long… The potential is so extensive that I had to limit myself to these 6 elements. Prepare for an update in some time!