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Introducing Sportsfriends, an indie multiplayer feast for PS3

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HELLOOO PLAYSTATION BLOG! I’m here to introduce Sportsfriends, Sony’s latest Pub Fund project, following The Unfinished Swan, Dyad and Papo & Yo.

Sportsfriends is a collection of four tense, competitive multiplayer games that, while still in development, have already been played by thousands of gamers around the world. I’m extremely proud to be involved in this exciting project and hope you’ll keep reading and check it out.

Sportsfriends includes the notorious no-graphics physical party game Johann Sebastian Joust, the bombastic four player sport Hokra, Super Pole Riders, from the creator of QWOP, and finally the sport/fighting game hybrid BaraBariBall. There’s plenty to say about all four games – and we’ll feature a separate blog post for each later – but let’s start with my game, BaraBariBall (BBB for short!).

BaraBariBall is a new fighting game for 2 to 4 players. Instead of just smacking your opponent around, players duel for control of the ball and score points by dunking it into the goals on either side of the screen… though, there is still a lot of smacking each other around, especially since spiking someone into the water will cause them to lose a point.

The other aspect of BaraBariBall that makes it especially fresh is the jump system. See those balls rotating around each character? Those are jump orbs and, each time a player jumps while in the air, one of them disappears. Jump orbs regenerate while the player is touching the ground. The number of jumps remaining also contributes to the knockback and hitstun dealt when attacks connect.

These are just the basics – the game features a variety of unique characters, arenas and moves – but if you want to learn more about how to play, check out the manual on the BBB homepage here. The team is still hard at work tuning and polishing the game but it already plays like a dream and has been shown around the world, including the

, Tokyo Game Show’s Sense of Wonder Night, IndieCade and many more. Apart from an awesome and talented playtesting group, I’m also working with the Terrell bros over at Critical Gaming blog. The blog speaks for itself but I’ll say it’s hard to find more thorough and articulate writers and designers.

As for myself, I’ve been making and playing games for most of my life, both by modding games like Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM, developing a bunch of small independent projects, and working professionally as a programmer and designer. I’m just about old enough to remember playing Street Fighter 2 back when America still had arcades. All this to say, this stuff is in my blood and, though BBB may have a retro look in screenshots, in motion it runs great at a smooth 60 FPS and we’re taking the balance and the feel of the game very seriously.


So what’s next? We’re still focused on delivering a tight, highly polished gameplay experience and, once that’s accomplished, there are a few things we hope to be able to add. I’m especially excited about including a special mode for three players, as well as some single player challenges and training modes. There’s also some top secret stuff that we’ll have to talk about later…

ANYWAY if you’ve read this far, think about supporting Sportsfriends on Kickstarter or telling your friends. We’re dying to bring you these games, but we need your help!


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