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Sunday Rivals Update Improves Visuals & Presentation - Full Crowds, Working Scoreboards & Much More

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Sunday Rivals

Sunday Rivals Update Improves Visuals & Presentation - Full Crowds, Working Scoreboards & Much More

The updates for Sunday Rivals continue to flow in, after the all-new Headhunter game mode was added last month. If you haven’t been following along, here’s a brief description of the mode.

Lead your favorite team through a 4 game, single-elimination tournament while racking up points using a fantasy football-style scoring system. As you battle increasingly challenging opponents towards victory, your stats are tracked and saved, along with 8 additional scoring bonuses tuned for maximum performance! After the game, check to see if the fruits of your hard fought victory are good enough to be enshrined in the record books and celebrated for years to come.

With that said, developer 26k has recently released a new update, which adds full 3D crowds, endzone text for all of your favorite teams, player spotlight celebrations, more passing buttons and much more.

Check out the patch notes for the latest update below.

Presentation

  • Added full stadium crowd
  • Updated sideline art and player positions
  • Endzones show either the city or name of the home team (whichever is shorter)
  • Added a new player celebration sequence with custom cameras, animations, and player stats
  • All players on the field react to the celebrations
  • Updated ball art
  • Added in-stadium scoreboards
  • Improved lighting, material response, and post processing effects

HeadHunter

  • Whichever team has a higher OVR rank is the home team now
  • Gameplay
  • Player 1 can play as the away team in an exhibition game
  • Passes tipped by the defense are harder for receivers to catch
  • Decreased aiming error for AI kickers

UI

  • Pass previews show player names
  • Added option to switch between xbox, ps4, and keyboard on screen buttons
  • Stats screens list player uniform numbers
  • Added an information feed to the title screen

Stats

  • Punt yardage is tracked correctly now
  • Punts resulting in TD’s are tracked correctly now
  • Punts landing inside the 20 are tracked correctly now
  • Less conflicting stat reporting

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where scoring a touchdown on 4th down and then failing the 2pt conversion gave the scoring team the ball back on the ensuing kickoff
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong animation was being played during a block after an interception
  • Fixed an issue where any player who touched the ball during a kickoff/punt received credit for a kick return

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Just in case you missed it, we posted our Q&A with the Ryan Kamins, the creator behind Sunday Rivals here, it’s a fun read, so make sure to check it out.

Could we see a multi-season franchise mode later down the road?

Kamins: I hope so. I know that’s an incredibly desirable feature for a lot of players out there. I worry about saying yes when I’m not really sure what it would entail and whether or not I could build the type of experience people want. When I think about franchise mode, it feels like a separate simulation game built on top of an existing football game, so I imagine there’s a fair amount of work involved in making that both a reality and a compelling experience people actually want to invest time into. I’m not interested in building something for the sake of a bullet point — I don’t think that’s fair to players. When Early Access is complete, I’m going to spend some time planning where the game is going post-v1.0 and franchise will definitely be part of that discussion.

 

 

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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

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