SoccerProject

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SoccerProject
SoccerProject Logo.png
Platform(s) Any computer connected to the internet
Release date(s) April 5, 2004 (Beta)
Genre(s) MMOG
Mode(s) Multi player
Distribution http://www.soccerproject.com/

SoccerProject (alternatively known as SP) is a browser-based online, football management game (MMOG) developed in Belgium and first released in 2004.

Comprising teams from 238 different nations and available in 27 languages, the game is played by around 12,000 users.[1]

The game itself is free of charge, but users may purchase a SoccerProject Football Association membership to gain access to extra features.

Game overview[edit]

SoccerProject screenshot

As with any normal management game, users gain control over their team, both economically and tactically. Once a user registers for the game, s/he takes over a previously-vacated team (controlled by the AI), which then gets reset (a new set of players is generated, bearing the nationality the user chose to represent, budget and stadium size are reset to the basic default) and gets to name it, alongside the stadium. As the game progresses, and in order to achieve their goals, managers must learn to choose the ideal line-ups for matches, embark on the transfer market buying and selling players, improve their stadium and facilities, always keeping an eye on the finances and staff.[2]

Game structure[edit]

Historical Division A and SP Cup Winners[3]
Season Division A Winner[4] Sp Cup Winner[5]
1 Belgium Ketoak Belgium sparta kolmont
2 Belgium Heidebloem Belgium La Gantoise
3 Belgium Racing Brugge Belgium RacingFC
4 Belgium ReesingGenk Belgium fc Italia
5 Belgium fb2004 Belgium maluyaca
6 Belgium fb2004 Netherlands FC CRISIS
7 Belgium maluyaca Belgium maluyaca
8 Belgium fb2004 United Kingdom Beringen United
9 Belgium The Naked Chef Belgium Mado
10 Belgium Teefjes Vrolijke 11 Belgium FC Bruggenhof
11 Belgium Mado Belgium team#SoaD
12 Belgium Teefjes Vrolijke 11 Belgium Westel
13 Belgium FC Bruggenhof Belgium Westel
14 Netherlands Nop's Heroes Portugal SLB Carcavelos
15 Belgium kfc de pomp Belgium Verbroedering Robbeke
16 Netherlands AS Vlalex Portugal Nespereira
17 Israel Maccbi Natanya Israel Maccbi Natanya
18 Israel Maccbi Natanya Belgium Verbroedering Robbeke
19 Israel The Skunks Netherlands Nop's Heroes
20 Israel The Skunks Netherlands Nop's Heroes
21 Israel The Skunks Belgium S.A.T
22 Slovakia Frrfrrr Netherlands AS Bosman
23 Slovakia Frrfrrr Belgium S.A.T
24 Czech Republic FC Inter Milano Romania cartus
25 Belgium S.A.T Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
26 Belgium S.A.T Czech Republic .The Simpsons.
27 Belgium S.A.T Belgium De Zoeloe's
28 Romania Juvenardus FC Romania Bunicii
29 Romania Bunicii Burundi Lion Team
30 Belgium De Zoeloe's Slovakia FC Widlaks
31 Slovakia FC Widlaks Slovakia TJ Spartak Medzilaborce
32 Slovakia FC Widlaks Romania u utd
33 Slovakia FC Widlaks Czech Republic Sokol Čejč
34 Slovakia FC Widlaks Belgium fc bruges
35 Slovakia FC Widlaks Netherlands Fresh
36 Czech Republic FC Strakapůd Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
37 Czech Republic FC JEREMY Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
38 Czech Republic FC JEREMY Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
39 Romania fc mac Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
40 Czech Republic FC Inter Milano Romania Bombalaii Zalau
41 Czech Republic FC Inter Milano Czech Republic FC Inter Milano
42 Czech Republic FC Inter Milano Romania AB Craiova
43 Czech Republic FC Inter Milano Netherlands FC Remedy
44 Netherlands FC Remedy Romania Fc Adjud
45 Netherlands FC Remedy Belgium FC Raffin
46 Belgium FC Raffin Czech Republic Viastore
47 Belgium FC Raffin Belgium FC Raffin
48 Belgium FC Raffin Netherlands FC Meangreen
49 Netherlands FC Meangreen Romania FC Foresta
50 Netherlands FC Meangreen Romania me_dinamo
51 Czech Republic Mccgrady City Football team Netherlands FC Meangreen
52 Romania Damned United Romania Damned United
53 Romania Damned United Romania Damned United
54 Romania Damned United Poland Armia
55 Netherlands FC Remedy Sweden Noldor
56 Romania Damned United Netherlands FC Remedy
57 Sweden Noldor Ukraine Chelsea champion
58 Sweden Noldor Sweden Noldor
59  ???  ???

Divisional organization[edit]

Unlike other games of its genre, in SoccerProject teams are not assigned to leagues only with teams from their own nation. Rather, to accommodate nations with a small number of managers, and to avoid having the problem of having to refuse managers from one determinate nation due to lack of space, the leagues in SoccerProject are global. That is, teams from all nations compete directly with one another. As such, the game is based on one sole league pyramid, compressing divisions labelled by letters, from A to H, with A being the highest. With every step in the ladder, the number of leagues triples - i.e. there is one league in Division A, three in Division B, nine in Division C, and so forth. The winner of Division A is considered the 'winner' of that SoccerProject season. Leagues in SoccerProject are contested by 16 teams. After league play is concluded, the top two teams are promoted to the higher division and the six bottom teams are relegated to the lower division (except, of course, the ones in, respectively, Divisions A and H).

Even with this organization model, some large enough communities will hold their own 'national championships'. A significant number of users will arrange friendly matches between their teams and the results, after being tallied, will return the unofficial 'national champion'.

The season[edit]

SoccerProject presents itself as a heavy-paced game, when compared to others. A full season (or, within the game, a year) lasts only nine weeks.[6] All leagues within the game consist of sixteen teams, all playing each other twice during the course of the season, rendering a total of 30 league games per season for every team. League games are played on every weekday, except Wednesdays, which means a league season is finished after eight weeks. Additionally, a SoccerProject Cup is played. In it, all human-controlled teams take part, and works as a single-elimination tournament. Cup rounds take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, until the final week of every season, where the last five rounds take place.

As the game was originally started by Belgian users, it is not unnatural that, at the beginning, most of the top teams have come from there. In fact, Belgian teams dominated the Division A and the SP Cup during its early years (see box on the left). However, with the surge of new managers from a wider array of nations, this has become less and less so.

League and Cup games are played at 04:00 (CET and server time). It is not possible for users to log in while the games are being played. During the course of the day, there are four other time slots, during which teams may, if they choose so, play friendly matches or tournaments.

Alongside these competitions, the community organizes other, unofficial, tournaments. The two best-known and most sought-after are the SoccerProject Champions League (SPCL) and the SoccerProject UEFA Cup (SPUC) (despite the name, teams from nations not affiliated with UEFA are also permitted to take part). The national coordinators of every interested nation nominate a number of teams (which varies depending on past results) to represent their nation in the competition. Teams in Divisions A, B and C take part in the SPCL; teams from other divisions take part in the SPUC.[7][8] These competitions are sponsored by the Lithuanian SoccerProject community, which pays for a SPFA subscription for the winning managers.

Roles within the game[edit]

It is possible to encounter several roles within the game, on various levels. Users in these positions are, like other users, in control of their own team.

  • Sheriffs – these deal with cheating accusations, and will decide on which punishments to give to users who violate the game rules.
  • Beta Testers[9] – these assist the programmers, providing feedback on possible new features before they are implemented in the proper game
  • Translators – vowing to attract people from a greater amount of nations, users may voluntary as translators, translating the game into their own language. Currently it is available in 24 different languages, with almost as many others in phase of translating.
  • Moderators – who are in control of their national forums, and make sure all communications within them adhere to the forum rules.
  • National Coordinators[10] – are in charge of selecting which teams from their nations enter the SoccerProject Champions League and the SoccerProject UEFA Cup

SoccerProject Football Association[edit]

In order to counter server costs and other expenses, SoccerProject allows its users to support the game financially, and become virtual members of the SoccerProject Football Association. Such will not improve the quality of the team or make it perform better, but it will make the gaming experience more enjoyable. Those features include getting rid of publicitary ads, assigning nicknames and choosing squad numbers for players, issuing press announcements, getting a trophy cabinet, and more.

The community[edit]

Being first released in Belgium, the game's initial user base came from there. For a long time, this had been the largest nation in terms of registered managers, until being surpassed by the Czech Republic, which now boasts 11000+ users.[11] Other nations with a considerable amount of users within the game, and with a heavy presence within the SP community, include Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania[12] and The Netherlands. Occasionally (often once every year) users from those nations will organize national meetings and reunite.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WorldOnlineGames. "SoccerProject". WorldOlineGames. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  2. ^ Passe-Partout (2006). "Virtuele voetbalhelden op echte grasmat". Passe-Partout (in Dutch). 
  3. ^ Flags refer to the nations to which users have registered their teams. These may or may not correspond to the actual nationality/place of residence of such users.
  4. ^ Huypens, Steven (2007-12-06). "20 seasons Division A". SoccerProject Behind the scenes. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  5. ^ Huypens, Steven (2007-10-11). "SoccerProject Cup S19". SoccerProject Behind the scenes. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  6. ^ Gones, Les (2007-10-03). "V-Bal Special: Soccerproject" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  7. ^ Van Der Maele, Stijn. "Sp Champions League - Rules". SoccerProject FIFA. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  8. ^ Van Der Maele, Stijn. "Sp Uefa - Rules". SoccerProject FIFA. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  9. ^ Huypens, Steven (2007-10-15). "Beta-tester: Job Description". SoccerProject Behind the scenes. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  10. ^ Van Der Maele, Stijn. "Soccerproject Uefa". SoccerProject FIFA. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  11. ^ Velghe, Frederik (2007-07-30). "Online voetballers komen samen in Gent". Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  12. ^ Giedrius, Aivaronis (September 2007). "Kur Ieškoti Internete". Computer Bild Lietuva (in Lithuanian): 36. 
  13. ^ Van Der Elsken, Sarah (2007-08-13). "Voetbalspel verovert Oost-Europa". Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). 

External links[edit]