Interview with JoneH
1. Today we interview JoneH, developer and owner of World of Soccer. Talk to us a bit about yourself. Hi, my real name is João and I'm a Portuguese immigrant living in Israel. I am actually an architect and I am currently teaching architecture in a private university in Tel Aviv, but I have always tried to invest in other areas. I try to conciliate World of soccer with teaching and with family time, which is not always easy, but working on WoS has become my favorite occupation for the free time I have.
2. When did you start to play this type of game and how did you found World of Soccer? I found Netsoccer in 2006 through a good friend of mine liedson, and played it in all its versions until WoS came out. After WoS came out the first time I immediately fell in love with the game and tried to get in contact with QPRocky, the original developer of the game to help him in any way I could. Eventually I became sort of admin and PR of the game along with vul.
3. As a player, watching nowadays WoS and the old one, which are the main differences? In this new version of WoS, I believe we significantly improved gameplay with some important updates that involved, firstly reducing the slide area of influence as it was a bit overpowered and making the game to be much more flowing. The second step was to give to the small/fast player less advantages, giving medium and large players a bigger role in-game. The third important step was to balance the goalkeeper in a way we could allow goals to be scored from different positions. Initially goals had to be scored from the central area of the field making the game much less versatile. So, nowadays, WoS gameplay is much more fluid, fewer slides, fewer stops and fewer bugs.
4. Are there any WoS players that you have met in real life or are friends with? And any fun story about it you could share with us? Well, starting from the guy interviewing me, that has become one of my closest friends. In WoS I got to know people that are today very good friends of mine, such as Nasser and vul, just to name a few… but it's hard to name people as I got to know really amazing people from all over the world. For me, personally, the social part of this game is almost more fun than the actual challenges. To be honest the most interesting story I have is that I actually met my wife trough one of the players. She was a friend of El Gi and they came to visit Lisbon and decided to stay in my brother’s Manfias house, who they had never met on real life! My brother and her became friends and not long after I met her and we got married. I played many other games and in this game there is a social connection I got with people that is very different from the other mainstream games.
5. Which are the features and characteristics you like most in World of Soccer? And why? I like very much the fact that this game brings you the feeling close to being an actual football player with a career, where teams want you and try to invite you when you play well, or you can get “fired” if you don’t play well or don’t show up… Also, you can try to improve and try to impress other team’s players so maybe you get invited by them. There is such a thing as reputation in this game and sometimes it can get to be more important than the actual skill. I find this very immersive and motivating.
6. In your vision, as dev, how has the academy experience been going so far? And what are your thoughts about it? The academy is one of the hardest projects and challenges I have as a dev, as it seems to require full time attention to keep new players active or to be completed by more features for newcomers, which is what we are working on right now. Eventually we will find the perfect solution.
7. Now that the Official League has ended, how do you think it went? Any thoughts you want to share or things that will change for the next league? First, I am mostly thankful for the patience that all the teams had for some crashes and problems we encountered at first. The community was extremely understanding and we managed to solve all these issues, which makes me also really proud of the programming team, and specially Ciangi, that worked full nights trying to solve these situations. Overall, I am very pleased with how the League was played out. We surely learned a lot of how to improve the next season, concerning rules and other details. I believe one of the most important improvements we want on the next season is some kind of TIME OUT system where, if a player has a crash, his team can stop the game for a couple of minutes not risking losing the match over it.
8. The new feature "Quick Play" has just been introduced into the game and it seems huge. For how long were you working on it and how do you think it will change WoS? Talk to us a bit about it. It is something we have been preparing since we launched the game, and that it will be continuously improved, adding positioning, ranking, team balancing, etc. This is for me, the biggest and most important step for WoS, as until now players are using about 70% of their time waiting or looking for a match and only 30% of their time actually playing. We want to try to invert those values and bring to all the players the possibility to do something completely different: to log in and just play…
9. Which are the main updates or the updates asked by the community that you are working to implement on the next months? What can we expect? The major goals we are aiming at the moment are the improvement of the match making ranking system, some important changes in the VIP system, the development of the mobile version and some more surprises along the way. Goalkeepers also may have a few surprising changes …….
10. More on the fun side, when you are playing and your team suffers a "buggy" goal that should not go in, do you complain to yourself or think you will go fix that bug as soon as the game ends? Hehehe, yes It sometimes happens.. Usually I immediately get a couple of PM’s telling me “you need to fix this now!!!”, but I never had any bad experiences with that, just some awkward situations where my team suffers a strange goal and I feel like everyone is blaming me even though I’m not involved in the play. I don’t blame them to be honest, I probably would too. hehe Even though some “strange” goals still happen, I feel like overall people trust that we are working and improving the game. I believe the trust is earned, and we will keep working to earn it! 11. Which were the reasons that made you decide to acquire World of Soccer and develop it? Which are your expectations for World of Soccer for the future? I pretty much wanted it since the day I started playing it. When WoS closed down, I tried to make a project of my own with some friends but after hiring many programmers and months of developing it, I realized that I should probably try to acquire and improve WoS. WoS has a lot of potential but we need to slowly modernize and recode it. Our team also has the precious help of WoS original developer, making this process much smoother. We are starting to get the word out there, and I believe when more people will get to know the game, it can become very crowded and competitive.
12. Is your recent investment in social media apps and publicity, and now the whole social media's new look just a part of a bigger picture? How much do you think it helps the game to grow? To me Social Media is important for publicity as it is for the game experience. In a way, as long as the person is online on Facebook, Instagram, discord, etc, and new content is being posted or accessed, the person is still, somehow playing and involved in the “world” of WoS".
13. Do you have any message you would like to share with the rest of the community or someone in particular? I would like to take this opportunity to show some appreciation for team that we have working on this project, some of them volunteering (which we hope that can be changed in a close future). All these improvements were made and managed by me and a very dedicated and talented group of people. Ciangi, QPRocky, Pedro on programming… mad on Social Media… Mystic and Elias on design and graphics… Nasser on 3D modeling… Lasteon, Manfias and vul with the community in game… Thank you also to all the community for the positive feedback and suggestions, We will continue to work hard to earn your trust!