Interviews

Ydreams speak about Cristiano Ronaldo Underworld Football

The flesh-eating monsters are on the pitch! They think it's all over...

Ydreams speak about Cristiano Ronaldo Underworld Football

Without doubt our most hotly-anticipated mobile game this year is Cristiano Ronaldo Underworld Football, which has been developed by Portugese firm YDreams.

Why? Because it's packed with monsters trying to tear the flying winger limb from limb. (Hopefully their aim is better than his was this weekend against Sheffield United.)

Anyway, the game officially launched last week in Portugal, at an event attended not only by Cristiano himself, but also Big Phil Scolari, Portugal's team manager. Sadly, we didn't get along to ask Phil why he's not managing England, but we did pose a few questions to YDreams about the game, which as you'd expect of any good football team were answered collectively by the squad.

How did the game come about, and why did you decide on the underworld theme?

While we were still negotiating for the Cristiano Ronaldo rights, we decided that we would not make another banal football game with him if we got the deal. We were intent upon creating something very different, which would showcase both Cristiano's skills and personality as well as our original game design.

After we closed the deal, we had a few brainstorm sessions and there was plenty of disagreement about what theme we should move ahead with. In the middle of one particularly heated session, someone said: "I would rather see monsters on the field than a normal team."

That phrase sparked the imagination of our lead game designer who also happens to be a D&D fan. He took the idea and ran with it. Within no time we had a fully developed game design accompanied by knockout concept art – and Underworld Football was born!

What are the most innovative features about the game in your view?

Many gamers will appreciate that with Underworld Football we've combined two game genres – football and fantasy – in a new and highly playable format. Using superpowers to enhance the play of both the Human team, which Cristiano Ronaldo leads, and the rest of the Underworld teams adds a fun dimension to the gameplay.

We believe gamers will also appreciate that the AI is finely tuned on the Human as well as on the opposing teams. The Trolls are tough competitors!

What have been the big challenges in making a game like this for mobile?

The biggest challenge by far was striking the right balance between our robust game design, rich art and the well-known limitations of the mobile's screen and processor.

We defined a simple and democratic process to facilitate the often agonising decisions we faced regarding trade-offs. The basic rule was always to stay true to the spirit of the game and to a superior gamer's experience. That focus helped us out of more than a few tough situations.

Will the game be coming out in the UK?

YDreams is currently negotiating with a global distributor and is planning to launch the game internationally in the first quarter of next year. Rest assured that the UK is on top of our priority list for international markets!

Finally, what else are you working on at the moment?

We will be producing a number of new games in 2007, using both licenses and original IP. We are pioneers in Location-Based Gaming [LBG] having developed Undercover and Undercover 2 Merc Wars – both of them having been cutting-edge MMOGs for mobile.

We're particularly excited about our newest LBG currently in development. This new game will be released in the first quarter of 2007, and is primarily aimed at the US market.

Thanks guys!