As excitement levels continue to grow with the impending release of AFL Evolution, another local developer has had a crack at an Aussie rules game – albeit with a very different approach.
Meet Kicking Behinds, the final product of developer Joel Cuming’s dream to build a fun and simple footy game for mobile devices.
But unlike AFL Evolution, don’t expect see lifelike graphics or realistic commentary in this game. Instead, the developer has gone back to the future, opting for a retro, top-down approach which gives the game a unique look and feel.
“The first game I made was a top-down view horse racing game called Shouting At Horses and it was while making this game that I thought an Australian rules football game with the same top-down aspect would be fun,” said Cuming.
A solo effort from start to finish, Kicking Behinds is the product of over 1000 hours of work during the last three and a half years. The game dramatically simplifies the sport, with just seven players per team and no handballs. The result is a fun arcade game which is easy to pick up but difficult to master.
Countless hours were spent meticulously perfecting the AI to ensure a challenging but rewarding experience for players.
“One of the biggest challenges was developing the unique AI so that the computer would in effect know how to play Australian Rules football,” he said.
“Throughout the whole development process the key was testing. I would test every little element over and over until it was perfect, sometimes I would spend days refining tiny little details or fixing any little bugs that would pop up.”
Nearly $3 billion a year was spent on gaming in Australia in 2015, with mobile games from developers like Cuming making up the largest percentage of sales.
After just a few weeks, the game has a four-and-a-half star rating on the Apple App Store plus plenty of positive feedback.
“The response has been great so far. As I am writing this it is currently number 15 on the App Store’s paid sports games charts which I am really proud of, the aim is to get to number one!” he said.