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Sunday Rivals Update Adds AI vs. AI Full Coaching Mode, Updated Playbooks & More

sunday rivals update

Sunday Rivals

Sunday Rivals Update Adds AI vs. AI Full Coaching Mode, Updated Playbooks & More

The latest Sunday Rivals update has arrived adding expanded playbooks, AI vs. AI modes and more to the action packed arcade football game. Check out the full details in the video below, along with the latest patch notes.

PLAYBOOKS
  • Added 9 offensive preset playbooks and assigned them to default SRFL league
  • Created a default defensive playbook and assigned it to all teams
  • Expanded in-game playcalling screen to support 5 categories and 25 plays
  • Reworked all 20 original offensive plays, added 55 new plays
  • Reworked all 20 original defensive plays, created new defensive categories, and added 5 new plays
  • Reworked existing special teams plays, created a new FG/XP kick defense play
  • Expanded offensive formations to 10 total
  • Consolidated defensive formations to 6 total
  • Updated play descriptions to fully support new playbooks
PLAYCALLING
  • Updated and adjusted all team strategies to support new playbooks and playcalling changes
  • Teams now have dedicated strategy settings for extra points, QB runs, and WR runs
  • Teams now have a dedicated strategy setting for determining how often and to what extent defenses will try and call what the offense is going to run
  • Improved AI’s playcalling use of strategies and game situation to call appropriate plays
  • Improved AI’s playcalling and clock management when leading in the 2nd half of a game
  • Updated sim engine to incorporate all changes to playbooks, strategies, and playcalling
GAME SETUP
  • Added ‘Coach’ and ‘Watch’ as control options on the setup game screen
  • Updated setup game screen to support new control options and additional information

PRESENTATION
  • Added new camera intro animation at the start of 3rd/4th down plays
  • Added new camera cuts to crowd and player reactions after non-highlight plays
  • Added presnap stat, drive, and milestone displays
  • Updated scoreboard messages
  • Updated player state box organization
  • Redesigned play recap UI element to display team name and colors
  • Improved post-play camera motion
  • Improved and added Defensive Coordinator’s reactions to game stats
  • Updated coach’s pregame opponent preview dialog
  • Added news popup to frontend main menu
GAMEPLAY
  • Added defensive ‘reads’ UI to defensive play previews
  • Updated AI running logic, ability to hit holes, and usage of power moves
  • Added pass ‘wobble’ on low quality passes and kicks
  • Significantly decreased amount of AI ‘balloon’ passes
  • Added animation for QB handoffs/pitches
  • Improved ball arc on very short passes and added QB shovel pass and animation
  • Updated AI running logic, ability to hit holes, and usage of power moves
  • Improved QB release point and throwing animation
  • Improved QB recognition of pressure and ability to transition into scramble without losing speed
  • Increased chance of deflections
  • Increased chance that receiver will drop a pass when a defender makes a play on the ball
  • Decreased dive distance by 40%
  • Improved AI pursuit angles
  • Increased the amount defenders will be affected by jukes and misjudge their pursuit angles as a result
  • Improved overhead catches and increased likelihood of proper animation to be used for it
  • Safeties no longer double team man-defended receivers by default, will pickup undefended receivers instead
  • Improved safety’s ability to match receiver depth on deep coverage playcalls
  • Decreased distance pass blocks drive defenders forward
  • Decreased ability to sustain pass blocks for long periods of time
  • Added ability for blockers to sustain blocks on specific playcalls
  • Improved blocker’s ability to not interfere with runners
  • Improved blocker’s ability to follow a path before engaging in a block
  • AI punters use more of the field when aiming their kicks
  • Increased AI kicking accuracy
  • Greatly increased AI’s ability to block FG/XP
BUGS
  • Fixed a critical issue where the game would soft lock when a punt hit the goal post
  • Fixed a critical issue where ‘sim cpu games’ button was visible on the schedules page when no cpu games were left to sim, causing a soft lock when pressed
  • Fixed an issue where a player would become invulnerable to tackles when they catch a pass inside the 1 yardline
  • Fixed an issue where player controlled kick returners would get stuck running backwards
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong kick returner would be displayed in the stat box during kickoffs
  • Fixed an issue where the incorrect record would be shown during the Player of the Week HYPE recap

Sunday Rivals is a fresh take on the hard hitting, action-packed football games of the past. On the field, gameplay is tuned to be snappy and fun, rewarding quick thinking and creative players with dazzling open field jukes and bone crushing hits. Simplified rules, familiar controls, and a streamlined playbook make it easy for players of all skill levels to immediately jump in and have fun, while quick, addictive game sessions will keep you coming back for more.

Make sure to check out Sunday Rivals on Steam Early Access for $14.99.

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  1. 26k
    Hey yall, wanted to put together a thread to start sharing all of the updates that have gone into Sunday Rivals since release in August. The game is currently available on Steam Early Access: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1297790/Sunday_Rivals/
    Today I put up the 5th update to the game, v.12.0, focused entirely on improving visuals and presentation. I've added a full crowd, new lighting and atmosphere, and started renovating the overall look of the stadium with endzone text, working scoreboards, and improved bench and sidelines.



    I've also started building out a fun player celebration system, leaning in a bit to some of my retro inspirations for making this game:

    In the previous update, I added a new game mode unique to Sunday Rivals called HeadHunter, which allows the player to compete in a 4 game tournament that utilizes a fantasy football type scoring system and tracks stats and records across the games. So far, players have been really digging this new mode, putting up some incredible scores!
    Going forward, I'm planning to focus back again improving gameplay and increasing the overall AI competition level through a mixture of difficulty settings and customizable gameplay sliders. More to come on that front!
    Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions about the game!

    I hit you up on twitter - looking for apple or ps/xbox support in the future so I can play! It really looks awesome, so good on you - are you doing this alone? it's very impressive.
    SR has the best gameplay of the indie football titles out there and it gets significantly better with each monthly update. Full customization and season mode are still coming!
    allBthere
    I hit you up on twitter - looking for apple or ps/xbox support in the future so I can play! It really looks awesome, so good on you - are you doing this alone? it's very impressive.

    Thanks, yup working on this by my lonesome!
    I'm focused on the Steam release right now, when Early Access is complete I'll start evaluating other platforms since there's definitely a demand for it so far. I have no idea when that will be, so if you're interested now Steam is the best (and cheapest) place to grab a hold of it!
    Excited about this one, but it needs a career/franchise mode (even if basic, something for multiple seasons) before I can get too excited.
    GlennN
    Excited about this one, but it needs a career/franchise mode (even if basic, something for multiple seasons) before I can get too excited.

    Tecmo super bowl only had a season and it is still widely played today.
    26k
    Thanks, yup working on this by my lonesome!
    I'm focused on the Steam release right now, when Early Access is complete I'll start evaluating other platforms since there's definitely a demand for it so far. I have no idea when that will be, so if you're interested now Steam is the best (and cheapest) place to grab a hold of it!

    cool, I look forward to it - I only have a mac's in this house so I'll have to wait. Are you a game developer or started this as a side project?
    I'm making a game in dreams on ps4 but some aspect are so much harder than others I'm finding - what platform do you use to create in - is it unreal?
    Elway7
    Tecmo super bowl only had a season and it is still widely played today.

    This is true!
    FWIW, there will definitely be a season mode with customizable teams, rosters, records, etc. I totally understand the desire for franchise, but to do it right it's basically like building another game on top of an existing football game. Right now I'm just focused on making that first football game as good as it can be :)
    allBthere
    cool, I look forward to it - I only have a mac's in this house so I'll have to wait. Are you a game developer or started this as a side project?
    I'm making a game in dreams on ps4 but some aspect are so much harder than others I'm finding - what platform do you use to create in - is it unreal?

    Both actually. Full time gamedev and then for fun, um, more game dev...
    Rivals is made in Unity! And ya, there's definitely a learning curve to any engine/tool before you get to the point where you're able to make the thing you're thinking about without feeling like you're mainly fighting the tools. I always recommend that people start super simple, don't try and make your dream game the first time round and be accepting of failure, early and often. You'd be surprised how much more you'll learn making a knockoff Pong that people can actually play and give you feedback on. That's really not too far off from my approach to releasing this game as early as I did!
    Kayotick
    Appreciate the updates. One thing that really needs to get fixed is user extra point kicks. They never go in even if you hit max power.

    The mechanic is setup so maxing out the bar (bar turns red) is actually 'over-powering' the kick, which cuts the power significantly. You want to hit just under the 'max' line to get actual maximum power (bar stays white). Is that what you're experiencing?
    Sorry if that's confusing, I'm sure there's more work to be done on communicating that system better!
    26k
    The mechanic is setup so maxing out the bar (bar turns red) is actually 'over-powering' the kick, which cuts the power significantly. You want to hit just under the 'max' line to get actual maximum power (bar stays white). Is that what you're experiencing?
    Sorry if that's confusing, I'm sure there's more work to be done on communicating that system better!
    Will check it out once I fire up the game again and let you know
    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk
    26k
    This is true!
    FWIW, there will definitely be a season mode with customizable teams, rosters, records, etc. I totally understand the desire for franchise, but to do it right it's basically like building another game on top of an existing football game. Right now I'm just focused on making that first football game as good as it can be :)

    Even as simple as schedule making ability would suffice for a franchise experience, IMO, until the appropriate time to implement such a feature.
    Too many people nowadays focus on tattoos, shoe colors, etc etc etc. It's about having great/fun/smooth gameplay and fundamentally sound X's and O's.
    You're stadium atmosphere is already ahead of anything Madden has done, ever. Basic and clean.
    Looking forward for more updates.

    Update v.12.2 is available today, here's a full rundown of what's included:
    https://store.steampowered.com/newshub/app/1297790/view/2959388481797984162
    The big ticket items are 3 experimental player skill settings to try out, a revamped defensive playbook, defensive play previews, improved character collisions (no more phantom missed tackles), and a bunch of gameplay improvements to try and make the AI more competitive.
    The next update will feature fully customizable gameplay sliders, along with better balanced versions of the new skill settings. Really excited to see how folks respond to the experimental ones, 'expert' can be incredibly challenging!
    26k

    The next update will feature fully customizable gameplay sliders, along with better balanced versions of the new skill settings. Really excited to see how folks respond to the experimental ones, 'expert' can be incredibly challenging!

    The thing I worry about is the tension between making the skill of the gamer matter, and the game having the players play true to their ratings. In sports games, I always want the ratings of the player to be the primary driver of what happens on the field. Some games, of course, do this better than others. That's why (for me) Front Page Sports Football Pro and NFL 2K5 were the best gaming experiences for me - they didn't go the Madden route of aiming to attract and feature the skill of the gamer over the ratings of the players (like having the gamer use a "catch" button, rather than going off the "catch" ratings of the player, for one example). Can you speak to your thoughts on this topic, and how Sunday Rivals handles this? Thanks!
    I would argue that is is never truly "fair", never truly "realistic" and never truly "equal" when a person chooses to control a player with their controller. There is always differences in hand-eye coordination, reaction speed, a person's processing and identification ability, and even the individual controller devices (and indeed frame-rate too actually plays a role (and that varies depending on system)) -- and this can superceed or vastly mitigate by logical extension player ratings. It's why for any game mode that offers that, there ought to always be a ton of configuration abilities/adjustments to try and compensate to each individual player and their situation.
    -- but it is also, in part, why I tout "coach mode" in football games for a more realistic and equal/fair approach if one is truly going for simulation and more authentic representation of player ratings -- but I realize not everyone wants to play their games as a strategy simulation, as I do...
    So I think you have to allow a certain amount of forgiveness for player controlled modes/games -- but I hear you. A person either has to accept it is going to be more arcade (indeed that can be quite fun too!) - or as I suggested, have lots of ability to tweak various settings to attempt to account for their individual circumstances, I think, is really the only way.
    -- Ik it's a great dilemma with many games with this mode, and I am sorry for the rambling GlennN (I know you are looking for developer response), just these are things that immediately came to mind upon reading.
    GlennN
    The thing I worry about is the tension between making the skill of the gamer matter, and the game having the players play true to their ratings. In sports games, I always want the ratings of the player to be the primary driver of what happens on the field. Some games, of course, do this better than others. That's why (for me) Front Page Sports Football Pro and NFL 2K5 were the best gaming experiences for me - they didn't go the Madden route of aiming to attract and feature the skill of the gamer over the ratings of the players (like having the gamer use a "catch" button, rather than going off the "catch" ratings of the player, for one example). Can you speak to your thoughts on this topic, and how Sunday Rivals handles this? Thanks!

    Ya for sure! Rivals is heavily ratings driven, there's very few scenarios currently where I'm bending those values to create any sort of specific imbalance for gameplay reasons. A lot of the ratings intertwine, so for instance a receiver with great hands might be in the right place at the right time, but a low skill QB might deliver him a hard to catch ball.
    I think so far that's worked pretty well, but it definitely makes the game fairly difficult for new players who start out playing as a bad team and get whooped by the AI until they play as a good one. The goal with the skill modes is to allow new and seasoned players to tailor the gameplay to their ability level. I'm trying to find a good balance of gameplay that is fun to newcomers but still engaging to veterans in their 100th game.
    Sliders, which I'm working on right now, will let players really dial in a custom skill level to tune their gameplay experience. Like the preset skill modes, those values directly scale the impact of player ratings and the effects they have on the gameplay. To be clear tho, Sunday Rivals is inherently not a sim, so there's probably not going to be a combination of values that plays out into consistent 7-6 tactical victories.
    redwo1f
    I would argue that is is never truly "fair", never truly "realistic" and never truly "equal" when a person chooses to control a player with their controller. There is always differences in hand-eye coordination, reaction speed, a person's processing and identification ability, and even the individual controller devices (and indeed frame-rate too actually plays a role (and that varies depending on system)) -- and this can superceed or vastly mitigate by logical extension player ratings. It's why for any game mode that offers that, there ought to always be a ton of configuration abilities/adjustments to try and compensate to each individual player and their situation.
    -- but it is also, in part, why I tout "coach mode" in football games for a more realistic and equal/fair approach if one is truly going for simulation and more authentic representation of player ratings -- but I realize not everyone wants to play their games as a strategy simulation, as I do...
    So I think you have to allow a certain amount of forgiveness for player controlled modes/games -- but I hear you. A person either has to accept it is going to be more arcade (indeed that can be quite fun too!) - or as I suggested, have lots of ability to tweak various settings to attempt to account for their individual circumstances, I think, is really the only way.
    -- Ik it's a great dilemma with many games with this mode, and I am sorry for the rambling GlennN (I know you are looking for developer response), just these are things that immediately came to mind upon reading.

    Oh, I totally agree, Redwolf. I don't expect the skill of the gamer to not matter at all, I just want there to feel a real difference when you are using a low accuracy QB as opposed to a high accuracy one. Or a low rated WR in hands or route running, etc. As long as I can feel a difference, then I can get immersed in my universe. But I totally agree with your point - there will certainly be a difference in what happens on the field varying by the skill of the gamer no matter what a developer does. Though I was asking 26k directly, I really do appreciate your input on this! A game will be at its best when the developer can consider all sides.
    26k
    Ya for sure! Rivals is heavily ratings driven, there's very few scenarios currently where I'm bending those values to create any sort of specific imbalance for gameplay reasons. A lot of the ratings intertwine, so for instance a receiver with great hands might be in the right place at the right time, but a low skill QB might deliver him a hard to catch ball.
    I think so far that's worked pretty well, but it definitely makes the game fairly difficult for new players who start out playing as a bad team and get whooped by the AI until they play as a good one. The goal with the skill modes is to allow new and seasoned players to tailor the gameplay to their ability level. I'm trying to find a good balance of gameplay that is fun to newcomers but still engaging to veterans in their 100th game.
    Sliders, which I'm working on right now, will let players really dial in a custom skill level to tune their gameplay experience. Like the preset skill modes, those values directly scale the impact of player ratings and the effects they have on the gameplay. To be clear tho, Sunday Rivals is inherently not a sim, so there's probably not going to be a combination of values that plays out into consistent 7-6 tactical victories.

    Great answer, 26k! I think sliders could certainly be used to help in this area. But, I remember, with Front Page Sports, if the game was too hard, you had to get better players (or a better team). I love that concept. Looking forward to seeing where this game goes!!
    Hey yall, v.13.0 update is now released, adding custom skill level (aka sliders) to the game:

    Full details available here:
    https://store.steampowered.com/newshub/app/1297790/view/2961640916981641068
    Along with the new skill level, HeadHunter records have been reset and separated out into all 4 skill levels, which should make for some interesting record books!
    Another piece of good news, I'm starting work now on custom rosters! Still in the early stages, but I'm really excited about opening up this part of the game to players.
    26k
    Hey yall, v.13.0 update is now released, adding custom skill level (aka sliders) to the game:

    Full details available here:
    https://store.steampowered.com/newshub/app/1297790/view/2961640916981641068
    Along with the new skill level, HeadHunter records have been reset and separated out into all 4 skill levels, which should make for some interesting record books!
    Another piece of good news, I'm starting work now on custom rosters! Still in the early stages, but I'm really excited about opening up this part of the game to players.

    Looks great, but I think if it to be really successfully, it needs to have a franchise mode. I think a lot of us, play football games that gives us that. I think that's why apf2k8 wasn't as popular and 2k5 is still popular.
    timisone
    Looks great, but I think if it to be really successfully, it needs to have a franchise mode. I think a lot of us, play football games that gives us that. I think that's why apf2k8 wasn't as popular and 2k5 is still popular.

    Ya for sure, it's definitely not ruled out. I think the biggest thing for me is making a mode that feels unique to Sunday Rivals, the same way HeadHunter is (for the most part). Longevity has always been a priority for this game, so if I can find something that fits that bill, I'll pursue it!
    Either way, order of operations is ultimately custom rosters > season mode > franchise mode and I'm still on step 1 :D
    Hey yall, wanted to share a video I made showing off some in-progress work on custom teams:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvq3Zqiz44o
    Still a lot to do, but it's starting to come together. Most of the team and player portions are complete, I'm working now on overall league customization. The video shows some empty sections too, which will come in later updates!
    The customization looks awesome! I love the look and functionality of the UI.
    Apologies if this has been asked before, but is there any chance we might see team logos in the game?
    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk
    ElectricAggie
    The customization looks awesome! I love the look and functionality of the UI.
    Apologies if this has been asked before, but is there any chance we might see team logos in the game?
    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk

    Thanks!
    I'm still a bit on the fence with logos for a variety of reasons, but not completely ruling them out. If it happens, it would probably be a post-launch feature I add into the game!
    26k
    Thanks, yup working on this by my lonesome!
    I'm focused on the Steam release right now, when Early Access is complete I'll start evaluating other platforms since there's definitely a demand for it so far. I have no idea when that will be, so if you're interested now Steam is the best (and cheapest) place to grab a hold of it!

    If i could like that reply more than once i would
    It ever hits a console im on it man
    Meantime Im lurkin and watchin.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Bull_Dozer
    Does this have a coach mode? If not, will it in the future?

    No it doesn't, I'm still on the fence about whether or not it's going to happen and it would probably be after the game is out of Early Access if so.
    The game wasn't built with that kind of mode in mind (it's an arcade football game, didn't imagine people wanted it) so there would be a fair amount of work to get that functionality.
    its nice man, you have developed a game, i wish i could even develop one but not on steam like not on windows or mac version, i am more towards android games and stuff
    keep up the good work
    Hey yall, just released the v.15.0 Catching Update to Sunday Rivals!

    What started out as a simple plan to improve a few older animations, turned into a full scale update with a completely rebuilt catching system, a bunch of new contextual catch animations, and a series of major improvements to the overall passing game!
    A couple highlights worth mentioning are, catches now take into account ball location, direction, and player height for both offense and defensive players. This creates some great moments where a DB will jump to intercept a pass, flub the catch and have it fly off their hands and get snagged by the receiver, something that couldn't happen in previous versions of the game!
    I've also decreased the overall speed of the game so it's a bit less hectic and made some tweaks that allow for more run after catch opportunities.
    Full update notes are here:
    https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1297790/view/3065233854055387601
    If you get a chance to play it, let me know what you think!
    NY State of Mind
    Awesome. Will there be more customization added in the future like alternate team uniforms?

    Ya, potentially! There's a bit of work to make that happen but it's come up enough that I know people would want to see it. Maybe after Early Access is complete...
    Hey yall, really excited to announce that Season Mode has been added to Sunday Rivals! This video below gives a deep dive of everything offered in the current version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn0qjqZGJnU

    Pregame matchups for your team show per-position ratings breakdown and stat leaders at each spot

    Every stat in the game is tracked and fully sortable per-team or in top-10 league leader lists

    League wide rankings (perfect for custom college leagues) go along with regular standings

    Play or sim every game on the schedule. It sims every snap, takes a minute or so to run through an entire week

    Still a lot of work left to do, but future updates will integrate directly into the mode so it will continue to improve and grow as I get closer to releasing v1.0. Love to hear your thoughts on how it's going if you get a chance to play!
    Looking great! Love the direction the game is taking. Really hoping career/franchise/dynasty mode will come at some point. Great work!!
    This game would be my go to if it had a GM/Coach and franchise mode!
    Excellent work and i will be lurking, if any future version adds a cpu/cpu mode along with franchise features this will be a must buy.
    I still cannot believe that the "BEST" I can do in 2021 for an American Football Franchise Sim is Madden 07 PS/2.
    Best of luck to you, I truly hope that game catches on and advances!
    chargerrich
    This game would be my go to if it had a GM/Coach and franchise mode!
    Excellent work and i will be lurking, if any future version adds a cpu/cpu mode along with franchise features this will be a must buy.
    I still cannot believe that the "BEST" I can do in 2021 for an American Football Franchise Sim is Madden 07 PS/2.
    Best of luck to you, I truly hope that game catches on and advances!

    Thanks! I'm releasing a major update in the next few weeks that will add, among other things, both cpu vs cpu and coach vs cpu as gameplay options. It's probably not anywhere near the depth you're talking about since this is still an arcade game at heart, but I'm hoping it helps bridge the experience for folks like yourself.
    More info to come!
    26k
    Thanks! I'm releasing a major update in the next few weeks that will add, among other things, both cpu vs cpu and coach vs cpu as gameplay options. It's probably not anywhere near the depth you're talking about since this is still an arcade game at heart, but I'm hoping it helps bridge the experience for folks like yourself.
    More info to come!

    Thanks for the quick reply. I watched a couple of gameplay videos and really dig the style. I would love to find a game that found a nice blend of franchise/GM and gameplay/visuals.
    I am so tired of Madden's "presentation and MUT" first philosophy that I simply refuse to buy their products this generation.
    If the game ever comes with even a modicum of franchise features such as multiple seasons, stats history, draft/FA (completely OK with a lack of financials as I know that is a beast to code) with what looks like already exceptionally fun gameplay I will definitely buy.
    Heck, I may buy this just to support your work!
    In any event, I truly wish you all the success, the more options out there for the growing legion of players that have been disenfranchised from EA the better.

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