Then
There was
Football

01Introduction

Traditional football games have failed to provide smooth and latency-free gameplay suitable for competitive play, and users have put thousands of hours into these games grinding for assets with no real value. We do not believe that exhaustive gameplay and centralized ownership of assets should be the heading direction for future football games. As revolutionizing as traditional football games once were, it is time for a new era. Users deserve a free-to-play football game with enjoyable gameplay and full ownership of their assets.

GOALS is a triple-A free-to-play football game. With GOALS, flawless and competitive gameplay will always be the number one priority. All users will be the rightful owners of their assets, which are earned for free through gameplay. By introducing digital ownership in GOALS, users will at all times be able to sell their assets in an open marketplace for real-life money if desired. Hence, GOALS aims to attract players who want a good gameplay experience, compete in a proper esports football title, and truly own their digital assets.

We are humble in the way we work, embracing that skilled and passionate people are the heart and core of our studio. However, we will never be humble in our objective: creating the best football game in the world. By bridging the gap between the real world and the digital, we are building something more than a game. Our community is the most important voice, and we want to give every gamer a feeling of true ownership. You are included!

02Gameplay

GOALS will be a fast-paced game that stays true to the sport of football. We believe that this is the best way to achieve a large skill gap in a football game while keeping it fun for anybody to pick up and play. Nevertheless, fully realistic football games come with their challenges, such as poor input responsiveness due to advanced realistic animations. We are creating a proper football game, but where there is a need, the gameplay experience will be prioritized over realism. We will never use any catch-up mechanics, handicaps, or similar features but will instead focus on proper matchmaking to make games engaging. The best gamers should win due to their skills in gameplay and squad management—nothing else.

The mentality at GOALS is multiplayer first. We are going to put a lot of resources into creating a fluid experience online to minimize lag, latency, and button delay, which is a big problem in football games today. The Netcode will be built from scratch with the ambition of providing lag-free gameplay. We will also have a well-distributed infrastructure to enhance the experience in many different geographical areas. The game will run cross-platform, meaning that you will be able to play against opponents on different platforms.

GOALS will be a free-to-play title with full digital ownership. This means that the game is entirely free to enter, and the rewards earned for free in the game are fully owned by the users and can, at any point, be sold in a marketplace for real money if desired. We are not going for a microtransaction business model but will mainly rely on royalties from secondary sales. We believe this is a fair solution for both users and the development team, as users earn rewards for free that they can sell, while the development team can tap into the growth of the ecosystem through royalties. Part of the secondary sales will be distributed to a community treasury, which will be used for tournament/league prize pools and other community rewards.


Game Modes

At GOALS, we aim to find a good balance between fun, engaging, competitive, and rewarding gameplay. We do not see it as our job to decide for users what they should like. Instead, we aspire to have as few limitations as possible and let the community and game grow in the direction it wants to grow. We want to create an amazing platform with many opportunities for users to put their assets to use, hence providing high utility to them. A key component of such a setting is the development of a high variety of game modes. Therefore, game modes in GOALS will range from casual to competitive and solo to co-op. Although our plans are grand for game modes in the long term, including user-customized game modes, a number of core game modes will be developed for the initial launch of the game.


Esports

As beautiful as the world of esports is, one of the biggest criticisms against it is that it can be very hard to access since many esports are restricted to specific franchises only. With the ability to create or join your very own team, everybody will have the chance to enter our world of esports and see if their team will be able to climb up the rankings and become the best. We do not want to rush any decisions on how the esports format will look, as we want to take feedback from the community into account. Naturally, the official esports format should be the most popular, engaging, and competitive mode. It could potentially even be a mix of several different game formats. Our ambition is to utilize a division system in which all teams can be promoted or relegated depending on their performance. Closed league systems will never be an alternative.  If you are the best, you should play the best.

Our ambition is to create an engaging platform where fans can truly feel part of their favorite team or franchise, even if they are not playing for them.  Therefore, we want to enable users to follow their favorite franchise in the game and communicate with members of the team, as well as other fans. Being a fan of a franchise could, for example, earn users special prizes depending on how their franchise performs in leagues and tournaments. This will create that extra special meaning of rooting for your franchise whenever they are playing. After all, what is football without dedicated fans?


Professional players' association

Since we aim for GOALS to become a successful esport, we value the opinions of competitive players highly. Therefore, a professional players’ association will be created to look after the interests of competing players. The professional players’ association will have a say in issues such as tournament/league structures, rules, schedules, events, prize money distribution, and other topics of interest. Since we mainly want the professional players’ association to be made up of experienced players with insight into the competitive scene, our solution is to introduce a specific trophy granting membership and voting rights in the association. The trophy can only be achieved by reaching a specific rank. No user will be able to own more than one of these trophies, giving all users in the association an equal influence over the competitive scene. The trophy will be personal and cannot be traded. Requirements for membership in the association are subject to change.

03Game Structure

GOALS Club

When a user logs in to GOALS for the first time, they will be invited to create their very own club. Users will be walked through the fundamentals of managing the club when it is being created. All clubs will be unique and have different players, cosmetics, stadiums, celebrations, and more. Once the club has been created, it is time to start building your GOALS legacy. By playing different types of game modes, ranging from casual to competitive and individual to co-op, users will earn rewards to help them improve their club. Managing and developing a club will challenge users with regard to player transfers, Player Exchange Tasks (PETs), squad management, roles and tactics, facilities, game performance, and more. Some of the assets a club can own are:

Players

Unique one-of-a-kind players that are exclusive for your club (will be discussed separately in the next chapter).

Cosmetics

The purpose of cosmetic items is to make players’ visual appearances even more unique and tailored to the user. This will include shirts, shorts, shoes, socks, and more.

Stadiums

Users have been playing in the same-looking stadiums for decades. We want to offer some unique-looking backgrounds that differ from typical-looking stadiums in order to further enhance the visual user experience and offer variety within each game in which users participate. The possibility of playing in classic stadiums will be maintained, while providing the opportunity to play in amazing backgrounds, not necessarily associated with football pitches. We aspire to always provide good lighting in all stadiums and pitches, and the visual backgrounds will not affect gameplay in any way.

Highlights

Every single moment that happens on the pitch matters. Whether it is a beautiful goal, a last-ditch goal-saving tackle, a fantastic save, or even a funny in-game moment. Our aim is to give the users in GOALS a possibility to save their most memorable moments in the game as highlights, fully tradeable in the marketplace.

Celebrations

Users should always have the possibility to express their feelings through an abundance of different celebrations in game, some more unique than others. However, we believe that celebrations should not be too long or too toxic.

Trophies

Trophies in GOALS are provided to users who have successfully won a league or tournament. Trophies can be used purely as a show-off of your success in the game but will also be used to grant access to certain leagues, tournaments, and organizations. For example, a specific trophy will be required to participate in the professional players’ association, where experienced players will have a say in how the esports scene is developed.


Joining a team

Apart from running their own club, users can also join and represent a team. Teams are made up of a number of users, and users’ individual assets can be combined to participate in team-based game modes. Any user can create their own team or join an already existing one. A user can be part of only one team at the same time. We expect teams to be made up of everything from small groups of friends to big franchises and esports organizations. By enabling users to join a team, we hope to further enhance the social experience in the game and add an exciting element to the esports scene, in which any team can try to reach the top and compete for grand prizes.

Successful teams with a big following in our game can become verified franchises, which will have access to additional features with regard to fan engagement, team structure, rewards distribution, etc. To our knowledge, having verified teams within the game is something that has never been done before in any other game. Fans have always wanted to be a part of their favorite team but have never had the ability to do so in a video game until now. However, users need to choose wisely which franchise to follow, as they can only be a fan of one franchise at a time, due to our plans to reward fans based on franchise performance.

National teams

Down the line, we are looking at having national federations in our game. Each verified national federation in GOALS will have its own national team. The national federation will select among the best users available from their country to represent them in international competitions. A national team does not need to buy any players but will have access to all players in the game from their country. Users having their player(s) featured on the national team will receive a monetary reward, in addition to great advertising for their player. Nations will have their own separate tournaments to determine which is the best national team in GOALS!


Rewards

There will be many types of rewards in GOALS, including players, cosmetics, celebrations, stadiums, and more. Users earn Reward Points (RPs), which can be exchanged for the specific rewards a user desires. RPs can be earned from gameplay, challenges, and other completed tasks both on your PC/console and on the companion app. We believe that the introduction of RPs will contribute to better customization and higher freedom for users to choose the rewards that best suit them. How many RPs users can accumulate depends on how much they play, which game modes they play, how successful they are, and how many challenges or tasks they complete.


04Players

Unique Players

In GOALS, we have the ambition to make every single player in the game unique, since we believe that player diversification is an important part of keeping the game exciting. However, we also acknowledge the appeal of being able to relate to real-world players when playing a football game. Therefore, we will implement a DNA system to enable the best of both worlds—fully unique players with a real-world connection. No player will look or perform exactly like another, and there will only be one player that is the best in GOALS. Will it be yours?

Player Attributes

Player attributes are different skill sets that every player in GOALS will have. There will be six main attributes in GOALS: pace, shooting, passing, dribbling, defending, and physicality. Goalkeepers will have their own separate player cards and attributes. Each attribute will also have underlying “in-game attributes” to further diversify between different players. Each attribute has a stat value of 1–99, determining how skillful a player is in that attribute. The stats affect how a player performs in the game, and an increase in stats is exponential, meaning there is a bigger difference in performance between 89 and 90 than there is between 59 and 60.


The DNA System

DNA is an essential part of what makes each human being unique, and the same logic will apply in GOALS. A player’s DNA will affect their stats and looks, but more importantly, it cannot be replicated. Therefore, every player in GOALS will be one-of-a-kind and exclusive to the owner. The DNA that a specific player receives is completely randomized by the engine and consists of two different types of genes:

Performance Genes

Every player in GOALS will have six different performance genes, one for each attribute. Performance genes determine players' stats in each attribute, where the performance genes are influenced by real-life players. This means that the stats a player receives in a specific attribute are influenced by how good the real-life player is/was in that area. Sub-attributes to the main attribute are also based on the real-life player, which means that two players with for example 90 dribbling can have very different underlying stats depending on which real-life player their stats are based on. This gives each attribute similar characteristics to the real-life player that their performance gene is based on. Good performance genes will be weighted down, meaning they will be harder to get than lower-tier performance genes. Performance genes will be based on both past and present real-life players.


Visual Genes

Visual genes will determine the unique visual appearance and looks of a player. This includes visual attributes, such as tattoos, hairstyle, and facial traits of the player. Visual genes are used to create the in-game 3D character, as well as the artwork for player cards. A 2D version will also be created as a unique profile picture (PFP) version that can be used on social media. Besides the visual genes that are set and cannot be changed, users can customize the visual appearance of their players by using different cosmetics. Cosmetics can be earned from rewards and are fully tradeable in the marketplace.

The height and weight will not be determined by visual genes, but rather by the performance gene for physicality. This is necessary to keep the real-life connection, but also for stats like jumping-reach and strength to make sense since those are based on that real-life player’s body type. The strong foot of a player will be based on the performance gene for shooting, to keep the real-life relatability intact.


Aging System

If a user can keep all players forever and just work on developing them each day, eventually, they are going to build a super team and have a low incentive to keep improving their squad. In a scenario like this, the market would be flooded with good players after a while, leading to a very low value for the majority of players. From our experience, the most exciting time in other football games is usually in the early stages of the yearly cycle, when squad-building incentives are high and there are constant opportunities for upgrades. Therefore, we will implement an aging system that will strive to keep the game’s balance and longevity intact while also challenging the user to make good decisions during a player’s career.

We believe that the aging system, aside from securing the game’s longevity, forces users to build new teams and go through different cycles, which is very similar to what every real football club has to go through. How fast aging will happen in terms of real-life time is yet to be decided.


Retired Players

To counteract that any efforts go to waste and that players lose all their value when they retire, all retired players are stored in the club. Retired players can be used forever, but there is one caveat: only a limited amount of retired players can be used in a squad for the official game modes. Special tournaments with customized rules might allow more or fewer retired players in a squad. The reason why we choose to implement a limitation for the number of retired players allowed in the official game modes is twofold:

  1. Keeping a constant demand for new players to allow earning and maintain the game's longevity. If we would allow squads full of retired players, the demand for new players would be severely compromised and would lessen every year. By requiring a majority of active players for all squads, we ensure that new players entering the game are always relevant.

  2. Allowing the best players in the game to maintain their value after retirement. If no retired players were allowed to be used, the problem would instead be the opposite, where all players would lose their value over time when they close in on retirement. This would discourage people from buying good players on the market due to value loss over time. With the current structure, desirable players can be used forever and will therefore maintain their value. For less desirable retired players, there will be specific player exchange tasks (PETs) with retired player requirements to ensure a base value for all retired players. We anticipate that a minority of all players entering the game will reach their retirement since many will be submitted into desirable PETs during their active careers.

We believe that this structure provides utility both to active players, as well as retired players, whilst still maintaining the ability to grind the main game modes without having to face super teams full of retired players. Even if only a limited amount of retired players can be used in official game modes, there is no limit to how many retired players a user can store in their club.

Player Exchange Tasks (PETs)

PETs in GOALS are tasks for which users can submit a number of players after meeting a set of specific squad requirements and receive a reward in return. PETs will be a viable tool for keeping player inflation in check while simultaneously providing fresh and engaging content for users on a regular basis. PETs can also be used to give a specific set of players base value. For example, since only a limited number of retired players can be used in a squad for official game modes, poor retired players not filling those spots are likely to have a very low value post-retirement. Hence, lucrative PETs with retired player requirements can be implemented to increase the base value of retired players and smoothen the value loss of non-elite players post-retirement.

1. PETs could be a potential loophole to get better first-owner players by submitting players that have been bought on the market, hence introducing an indirect pay-to-win aspect to the first-owner teams. To avoid this, there will be specific PETs that can only be completed with first-owner players to ensure that no pay-to-win aspect is introduced for first-owner players. PETs that can be completed with traded players will have players classified as “market players” as rewards and cannot be used in first-owner squads.


05Economic Structure

True Digital Ownership

Gamers have been trading in-game virtual currencies, items, skins, and accounts for real money for a long time. The real-money trading market for gaming is so large that there are even companies providing dedicated escrow services to help facilitate these peer-to-peer transactions. Using these services presents a big risk for users, as they could end up losing all of their assets. In most games, these activities are also prohibited, violating end-user license agreements. Users caught engaging in these activities are likely to be banned and deprived of their assets.

At GOALS, we take the opposite approach and instead acknowledge our users’ rights and demand for a secondary market for in-game assets. We believe the timing is right and the technology is mature enough to create a game in which we promote peer-to-peer trading of in-game assets. Assets will be fully owned by users, not by us.

Our strong belief is that a long-term sustainable economic structure should benefit all involved parties: gamers, developers, and other actors in the ecosystem. Therefore, GOALS will be a free-to-play title in which in-game assets are also earned for free. We will not rely on microtransactions like many other free-to-play games but instead allow users to trade the assets they earned for free and receive royalties from the secondary marketplace. We want to be transparent with our business model, as we believe it is fair and built on sound principles that do not put users at any risk. Buying any assets from other users in the marketplace is completely optional, and contrary to many other games, when you buy something, you know exactly what you are paying for and can even resell it in the future. Part of the royalties collected from the marketplace will be distributed to a community treasury (read more below), which will be fully distributed back to the community through different types of rewards.



Community Treasury

The community treasury is a treasury holding different assets that are used to reward users in GOALS and create different types of incentives in the GOALS ecosystem. There will be an initial allocation of funds to the community treasury prior to launch by the development team, and over time, the community treasury will grow from the transaction royalties that are collected. The final split in transaction fees between the development team and the community treasury has yet to be decided. Note that even if the GOALS development team were to manage the distribution of treasury funds, we would have no holding in the community treasury. Instead, all assets in the treasury would be distributed to the community over time. As of now, we are looking at using community treasury funds for the following purposes:

  • Prize pools for the esports/league system;

  • Prize pools for major tournaments hosted by GOALS;

  • Community competition prizes;

  • The community could vote to allocate treasury funds to specific game-development projects;

  • Other incentives to contribute to the GOALS ecosystem.


User-Generated Content

At GOALS, we always want to include our community in the development of our game. Hence, it feels natural that users should be able to participate in creating the content included on our platform. Therefore, users in GOALS will be able to design their own stadiums/backgrounds, kits, and cosmetics. They can send these concepts to the development team as art proposals. If deemed desirable, these art proposals will be included as items that can be earned as rewards in game. If any art developed by a user is included in the game, the original creator will receive royalties on the future sales of those items. We believe that this is a perfect combination of allowing a way to earn for users in GOALS while, at the same time, involving the community in the development. The GOALS team will also benefit from getting support in the creation of innovative and powerful visual experiences. How users are going to be able to submit art proposals has not yet been determined, but we hope to be able to provide a builder tool for stadiums/backgrounds, kits, and other cosmetics. This is a long-term vision of ours and might not be in place in the early stages of the game.

06Join Our Community

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