Jul 24

Foosball 2012 Interview with Jakub Mikyska of Grip Games

With Foosball 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita now available in the US and on the 25th in the UK and Europe, it is a great time to speak with someone closely involved with the game, Grip Games CEO Jakub Mikyska.

Travis: Foosball 2012 is now available for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. Congratulations on the release of the game!

Jakub Mikyska: Thank you, Travis. Foosball 2012 is our first PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita game, we have previously only released PSP minis games and mobile games. So, it is extremely exciting. We all here were really passionate about the game and I hope that we were able to pass on most of this passion into the game.

Travis: How did the idea come about to bring foosball, also known as table football, to the PS3 and Vita?

Jakub: It was not completely our idea. The guys at 3Division, the co-developer of Foosball 2012, actually came up first with a foosball game idea and had a working prototype. We have then taken over the development and transformed the idea into what Foosball 2012 is now. I think the basic source of the idea was an ambition to bring something new. A kind of game that when you hear about it for the first time, you say “Wow, I didn’t see that one coming”. We knew that a lot of people would actually hate the idea, but we believe there is a lot of open-minded gamers out there, who will welcome something new.

Travis: Who is the primary audience for Foosball 2012?

Jakub: First, it is the foosball enthusiasts. It may not seem like it, but foosball is actually one of the world’s biggest sports. It is played everywhere – Asia, Europe, Americas. There are millions and millions of people who love the sport and we believe they will love Foosball 2012 as well. But there are also millions of people who don’t care about foosball that much and we made sure that they will enjoy Foosball 2012 too. The game captures what makes foosball fun – a quick-paced, easy to handle, but difficult to master game, where skill truly beats everything else. A game that can be enjoyed by just one person, who wants to practice some cool tricks and take out the online competition, as well as a group of people who are having fun at some crazy party. And when you think about it, there isn’t really that many games like that out there.

Travis: Was the decision to use Move controllers something you knew you wanted to do all along? What was it like implementing the controllers to act as handles?

Jakub: We knew from the day one that we must have Move controllers and that the Move controls must be great. Move is an excellent piece of hardware and it is a shame that only a few games support it. What took us a lot of time was calibrating the controls, so that they feel right. We have spent countless hours on this, even taking care of details like vibrations of the Move controllers, to make sure that the players can “feel” the ball correctly when they have the ball under control. I am really satisfied with what we have done with Move.

We actually had a few really really good foosball players to come to our office to test the Move controls and after just a few minutes of getting used to it, they were able to perform some crazy foosball tricks that we didn’t even know the game was capable of :-)

Travis: The game is also available for the Vita, and what’s more, you’ve incorporated functions that work between the two games. What is different between the two versions, and what features do they share?

Jakub: We wanted to achieve the feeling that Foosball 2012 is one game that runs on both PS3 and PS Vita, rather than just a PS3 and PS Vita versions of the same game that can “talk to each other”. You get both versions for a single price, your saves are automatically synchronized between PS3 and PS Vita and PS3 and PS Vita players can meet freely and play together in the online multiplayer. All of that requires both versions to be the same. There is exactly the same content, trophies, controls, etc. The only notable differences are that the PS3 version runs at FullHD resolution, while the Vita runs at Vita’s native resolution (both games run at 60fps) and some other minor graphical differences to better suit the game for different display sizes. PS3 version has Move controls and PS Vita has touch controls, as an alternative to play the game using the dual analog sticks.

Travis: You have released YouTube videos about the game which we will link to here. Is there anything else you would like to say about Foosball 2012? Anything else you are working on that you would like to mention?

Jakub: I would like to thank every single individual at Grip Games. Incorporating features like Move controls and cross play, that even major multi-million studios are struggling with, was a tough job for a small self-publishing indie studio like us, and I still can’t believe we actually made it :-)

And also a big thank to all the great people at Sony, especially Julio, Kamel and George, who supported us throughout the development.

We now have a few more games in various stages of development right and we are looking forward to telling you about them sometime in the future!

Travis: Thanks again for speaking with me! Any chance players will encounter layers some of the developers behind the game in an online match?

Jakub: Oh yeah. We are definitely putting our 6-months skillset head start to a good use in the online multiplayer as soon as the game is released 😉 Thanks for the interview and we all here at Grip Games are looking forward to meeting some of you soon in the Foosball 2012’s online lobbies! 😉

Foosball 2012 is available now in the US for $7.99, and $5.99 for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Foosball 2012 will be available in the UK and Europe on the 25th July costing £5.99/€6.99 which will also get you both the PS3 and PS Vita versions.

Above image credit: PlayStation