Available: August 2002

Who are you and what is your role in Pet Soccer development? What did you and your team do in the past?

My name is Jan Marek and I am a project manager at Techland Software. I was responsible for directing and supervising the work on Pet Soccer - from creating the design specification through production to marketing.
It's a bit hard to specify what my team did in the past as it changes from project to project. I mean, in our company there are no strict teams that always work together. Some people are reassigned to different projects according to the needs. However, I've been working with some people for quite some time now. We did together Survival: The Ultimate Challenge (for Activision Value), Pet Racer and Pet Soccer.

Please introduce something about Pet Soccer gameplay.

When designing the game we had 2 goals:

1. A soccer game for children (ideally 5-10 years), but also fun to play for adults.
2. Colorful graphics and funny cartoon-like characters.

I believe we managed to achieve this. There hasn't been a good soccer game for children on the market for a while. This year's world championship gave us a good "excuse" to fulfill our boyish dreams and create our own soccer game. It's a very nice game with a fast-paced action. The best measure of success is the fact, that even people working in our company on such games as Chrome (FPP shooter) as well as Fifa fans play Pet Soccer in the evenings, organizing little championships.

There is no demo about Pet Soccer out yet and few in game screenshots, what have we got here an arcade soccer, a simulation or a simplified titles for younger players?

As I mentioned before it is mainly a game for young players. It's a mixture of simulation and arcade. That however doesn't mean that there are no rules. We only simplified them a little bit to provide the players with more fun and pleasure from playing. That includes elements of violence like fouls.

Techland is publishing a Pet Racing too, is this "Pet" going to be Techland big franchise for the future?

We published Pet Racer a while ago. Though, in some countries it is being published now together with Pet Soccer as a "Pet" bundle. The answer to your question isn't simple. It all depends on how the two already released titles will sell. Personally, I'd love to continue the series. Games like this have simple, but extremely absorbing and fun gameplay. It's fun to work on them because allow you to be very creative and even more fun to play them later on.

How many teams will Pet Soccer feature and how will players be characterized, how many technical and graphical attributes has each player ( face, body, hair, ... / speed, strength, ...)?

There are 12 animal teams. Each of them very distinct and unique in its way. As for appearance - well, you certainly won't confuse them. They all look very different. All the team members have their names (I think they sound kind of familiar to me :-)). As for their abilities - each team is described by 3 parameters: strength, reflex and accuracy.

What about Pet Soccer Graphic Engine, is it self developed?

Oh, don't tell me you haven't heard about our Chrome Engine?! Techland has its own engine which has been developed for 1,5 years now. It's still growing and getting better and better. We make all our game using it. Doesn't it say something about its versatility? Games like Chrome (FPP shooter), Xpand Rally (rally racing), Pet Soccer - all on the SAME engine.

What about the camera, how will the user see Pet Soccer actions?

There are 4 camera modes available for the players. Everyone will find something he likes. And there is of course zoom, which also changes every view.

Which soccer title from other developers plays more like Pet Soccer? Did you get the best of all the titles out?

There aren't that many soccer games for children on the market. There was a nice Backyard sports series of games, but that was a couple of years ago. After that there wasn't too much we could take the best from. So, the only "ancestor" of our game would be Backyard Soccer.

Will Pet soccer have multiplayer features, local or in networking?

Yes, Pet Soccer has a multiplayer feature. However, we didn't implement a LAN or internet feature. I believe the work we would have to put into it is not worth it. This is a very console-like game. Think about it: with those games kids (friends, neighbors) like to get together and compete together against each other - not against someone form another continent. Therefore, the multiplayer mode allows up to 8 players to play on the same computers. A little championship is created for them and they play taking turns at the computer. It's much more exciting this way. I know, because we play it at work quite often this way. :-)

Is Pet Soccer going to be developed only for PC or will next-gen consoles see a port some day?

It was developed on PC and so far only for PC. However, we have some plans concerning porting it on consoles. I can't reveal; any other details at the moment, but hopefully in Q3 a console version will be available.

Which are the features you like more about your title?

The commentator. Pet Soccer features Mr. Parrot - the most popular animal sports commentator. He is very funny and has that great British Austin Powers-like accent and pronunciation. Totally awesome.

Any word about release dates yet? The title shipped in Poland this week, when will the rest of the world be able to playtest it?

Right, the Polish version is already in stores and doing well. We are in progress of signing deals with publishers and distributors in different territories. I believe Pet Soccer will be available in stores world-wide not later than in about 1,5 month. The demo version should be available any moment. Just wait patiently.

Closing, greeting you for time spent, is there anything you wish to add?

It was a real pleasure to answer all of your questions. Just one more question: how did your country do at the world championship? Maybe it's time for you show what you can do?

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