As a s result of the extensive play-testing we conducted over several months with the International Legends cards, we’ve made a small change to the SOCCER BLAST Kick Action charts…
For on-target attacks, we’ve moved the SPEC SAVE result from dice roll “7” of the GOAL chart, to dice roll “7” of the SAVED chart. Thus, when the black die is at or below the SHOT + ASST stars, and the white die is above the keeper’s SAVE stars, it’s going to be a goal—unless the referee makes a late offsides call. SPEC SAVES will still happen at the same frequency, but some will now be products of a rebound shot rather than a shot already headed into the net.
We've found that this will add about a third to a half goal per game, something we felt was necessary to “center” the results better to the typical SOCCER BLAST player. While some gamers were getting the expected 2.5 to 3.0 goals per game, others were seeing totals in the 2.0 to 2.5 range. As we outlined in a newsletter article last year, it’s not uncommon to see different gamers get different results from the same game, especially in a sport like soccer where scoring is scarce. Choice of starting line-ups and keepers, usage of sub chips, and implementation of the optional “individual effort” and “long range shot” options, are a factors in scoring. However, our play test results combined with the volume of data coming in from the game’s first year of play suggested that this tweak will put the overall average of all gamers closer to where we want it to be.
If you’d like to physically update your game with this tweak, we’ve created an update label in the official SOCCER BLAST color scheme that can be downloaded here, printed onto any plain white label, trimmed and applied over the “saved” and “goal” section of your existing game chart. Note that you can trim the label to cover the entire corresponding sections, or just the single line of changed text, whichever you prefer. Of course, you can choose not to alter your game boards at all and just make a mental note of the change. Finally, there will be some who are happy with scoring as-is and will choose to not implement this change at all—that’s fine, too.
There were couple of other interesting findings from the play-test process, which we include here as side notes…
• A theme that’s commonly repeated on the PLAAY Games forum, and on most sports game forums for that matter, is an observation that after having played a few games, totals for a particular statistic are out-of-whack. Usually, a forum member will post something referencing the small sample size. This reasoning was reinforced in our play test, as we found that goal scoring varied significantly when viewed in ten-game segments of consecutive games played. The lowest ten-game segment averaged just 1.54 goals per game, while the highest ten-game segment averaged 3.18 goals per game—that’s a pretty wide variance! Overall, we recorded an average of 2.54 goals per game, with some adjustments made later in the play test period. We feel that moving the “Goal 7” result to “Saved 7” will serve as a solid adjustment to the game.
• Another idea that we also experimented with was a “matching green/black die” option. The way this works is, on any ATTACK dice roll, if the green and black die match, then the new “green die”player is considered to have made a spectacular offensive play, and the attack is rendered on-target, regardless of triangles and squares. Whereas the move of the “GOAL 7” result to “SAVE 7” boosts scoring by increasing the success rate of on-target attacks, the “matching green/black die” option boosts scoring by increasing the frequency of on-target attacks. In the end, we decided that the Goal 7/Saved 7 switch was “cleaner,” easier to explain, and maybe a bit more “fair,” in that better teams benefit more from it while poorer teams benefit less. However, I think the “matching green/black die” option could be helpful for gamers who would like to boost scoring even more, and also entirely appropriate as an option to be used in “friendly” or exhibition matches, for example. It, too, will add about a third to a half goal per game.
If you have any questions or comments about this, please let us know. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.