New Star Soccer dev's tips for indie success

New Star Soccer dev's tips for indie success
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

April 2nd 2013 at 12:45PM

'We are seeing incredible creativity and a new level of appreciation for niche games and different experiences,' says Simon Read

Passion and a willingness to accept inevitable failures in a positive light are key to achieving long-term success in the game industry, says New Star Soccer creator Simon Read.


Speaking to Develop, Read, who recently beat the likes of FIFA to win a BAFTA for best Sports/Fitness game, offered an array of tips for indie developers looking to make it big in the industry.

Read encouraged devs to take up cross-platform development, citing the Flash version of New Star Soccer as a major factor in consumers now playing the mobile version.

"There are no guarantees to success but I believe you need to be passionate about what you are working on," said Read.

"I guess working alone or within a small team makes that more feasible as everyone is much closer to the project as a whole. On a practical level I would encourage cross-platform development. Using tools like Unity or Monkey will make that process much easier and increase your chances of success.

"A large part of New Star Soccer's success on mobile is down to the people who tried the free flash version and clicked through to the mobile app stores. The other thing is to keep in mind is that you will inevitably suffer failure and it is how you respond to that which will determine your long term success."

Following a "whirlwind" couple of weeks for Read since his BAFTA win, he stated that the accolade proved "just how exciting the industry is right now".

"We are seeing incredible creativity and a new level of appreciation for niche games and different experiences," he said.

"It is still very difficult to break through for new indies but for now at least mobile devices have levelled the playing field for everyone."

New Star Soccer for iOS has now been downloaded more than two million times on iOS, said Read, and he stressed that without a doubt that this had been the most lucrative version of the title.

The paid version on Android having been downloaded a further 75,000 times, while the Flash version of New Star Soccer has been played more than 40 million times.

And after initially having trouble bringing the title to Steam, Read said that while sales had not been anywhere near the iOS version, it had definitely been worth the wait to release it on the digital distribution platform.

Given his huge success with the series, Read said he may look to outsource development of New Star Soccer in future to work on new titles.

"I am working on an update for the current version of NSS but I'm also designing a completely new version of NSS," he said.

"I may in fact outsource the actual development of the game to allow me to take on a more of a design role whilst freeing up some time to work on new titles."

He added: "I hope the new version of NSS will appear this year but that may be a tad optimistic. When it does appear it will certainly be on iOS and Android, and most likely a few more platforms. I want to retain the feel of the current game but bring in a lot of new features and a new look, but it's still very early days yet."