Is Rugby League Arcade my white whale?

I first created a little 2D demo for a rugby league game two years ago. I then started working on a 3D version about a year ago, before becoming fed-up with always battling against the physics engine and restarting the project 4 months ago. This has made me ask myself the following question:

Is Rugby League Arcade my white whale?

Ever since I restarted the game in October, my motivation disappeared and I’ve only worked on it a couple of mornings each month.  As I wrote in a post in April 2016, creating a sports game as an independent games developer working on their own, is difficult! And boy! Wasn’t I correct?!

The constant need to fix little problems, add to, change, remove bits of the code for the AI can really demotivate you.

I also, took a break this January, and used it to actually finish something. I released 4 mobile games and did a major overall of another one.

If you want to check my January mobile games out, they are:

Rugby League Runners: A little rugby league based mobile game.

Rugby Union Runners: A little rugby league based mobile game.

Zombie Rush: A little 2D zombie shoot-em-up for Android.

Netball Shots: A 3D netball shooting game for Android.

Train of Lost Souls: A game I made with my mother.

After finishing these little projects, I’m feeling more motivated to finish this game, even if it takes me another year and still has little bugs!  To be honest the actual core game seems quite fun to play.

Anyway, here is a list of almost everything I’ve done since the last update:


  • Now after a conversion, at half-time or if it’s a scrum, the players ‘fast-forward’ to get into position, no more waiting about.
  • Improved how the AI controlled defender targets the player with the ball, so they initially run ahead of him into his path.  The accuracy of this is affected by the ‘intelligence’ rating of the currently controlled defender.
  • The attackers pace is slowed down when he is colliding with a defender, this is my solution after starting the project again without the dodgy physics engine.
  • When a player catches the ball, there is a delay before he can pass it again, to simulate the reaction time and the handling of the ball.  Before, the player or computer could pass the ball between 4 or 5 players in seconds and it felt like pinball.
  • Diving tackles, if you press the tackle button and your player is near but not colliding with the attacking player with the ball, your player dives towards the attacker.  Of course, if you miss or the attacker breaks the tackle, it means your player will be left behind on the ground.
  • I’ve changed the defensive control layout, now there is a button to switch directly to your full-back, this has made it a little easier to defend. I still need to revisit the code that automatically selects which player to control when you press the change player buttons.

Major Updates

  • Worked on defenders, some defenders now cover the controlled defenders.  Every so often I keep tweaking this, still not happy, but I’m getting there with how the AI controls the rest of the defending team.
  • The defenders try to stay in-front or on the try-line, when the attacking team is close.
  • Half-time, full-time added.
  • Added  scrums, 20m restarts, drop-outs and forward passes.
  • I’ve re-added the ability to change the camera angle
  • I’ve worked on where the full-back positions himself when defending.

Minor Fixes.

  • AI doesn’t change player so-often when defending
  • Don’t slow attacker down if he collides with a defender on the floor.  Before this, it meant if a defender missed a tackle and was on the floor
  • Added a deadzone to the joystick control, as they were way too sensitive.
  • Can’t move players in the scrum.
  • Stopped being able to pass when the player with the ball is diving forwards.
  • A try is only registered when the ball touches the ground.
  • Increased collision areas, now easier to tackle.
  • If the opposition intercepted the ball, sometimes it would be registered as a forward pass.
  • If tackled while about to kick, cancel kick.
  • Many more tiny minor fixes..

Is Rugby League Arcade my white whale?


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