PROTOBALL - A Futuristic Sports Game

Hello Everyone! What a long and wonderful journey we’ve been on. I started here in 2014 knowing next to nothing. Here we are in 2018 about to kickstart something we’re very proud of: Protoball!

Protoball is a futuristic eSports game with FPS mechanics. We’re building Protoball from the ground up to be a competitive eSport, yet casual enough that every skill level can enjoy the gameplay. The game is essentially a futuristic blend of basketball or soccer/football with FPS mechanics, athletic movement, and intense competitive action.

Teams face off against each other in the arena trying to pass the Protoball through the goal in order to score the most points. The arena is split into 3, 2 and 1 point zones to add a reward for harder/longer shots.

Players can pull up an energy shield to block the ball, they can shoot the energy shield to destroy other players or deflect the ball away from, or into, the goal. Players can “dash” into opponents which will stun the hit player, if they possess the ball they’ll fumble/drop the ball.

We will have 3 base game modes; Sport mode, Dodgeball (Team and Free-For-All), and Laser Tag(Team and Free-For-All)!

Currently the core sport mode is working as intended and efficiently. You can download the alpha and come play with us! Dodgeball mode is being refined as you read this, once it is thoroughly tested and confirmed stable we’ll begin work on laser tag.

We intend to release Dodgeball during early access, however we’re probably saving Laser Tag for 1.0 official release.

We’re entering our Kickstarter on July 25th! You can come play with us right now, just get in the discord!

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Hi zlspradlin

I’m a fan futuristic sports games. Its a reason why I’m a big fan of FPS CTF. Its a underrated genre.The scoring mechanisms are ideal for Cash-driven Tournaments. What is your strategy for monetization?

Well, I’ve often thought of that. First and foremost is going to be cosmetic DLC. Different outfits and equipment, in a perfect scenario enough people would play the game that major brands would want to sponsor some of their own gear into the game. Also tournaments, I want to have in depth leagues, teams, stats and championships. I want to hold big events maybe each quarter (perhaps the winners of different leagues will compete for a championship). Hopefully it’s accessible enough to transcend the current e-sports demographic and start getting some more people into twitch and MLG etc… This is all still an idea at this stage though so don’t hold me to anything.

I also have tossed around the idea of other game modes. Like you I love capture the flag and control points in what would otherwise normally just be another first person shooter. The first thing that comes to mind is a dodge ball game mode, where you can explode (or implode?) the opponent with the protoball!

My idea is to keep developing and building on it. Keep making DLC/Cosmetic stuff, and other game modes to help keep it fresh and most importantly fun.

I would support the Project on Kickstarter/Steam. As a game concept it sounds very achievable (not overly ambitious) and most of all, FUN. Rocket League demonstrates that this genre has a lot to offer in FUN and simplicity. A Dodge ProtoBall game mode would be insane. In fact, I could easily visualize N-in-1 games, various derivatives of the base sport mechanic: shooting/tossing/lobbing/rolling/dropping Protoball through goals and hitting targets to score.

Optional Reading: My personal goal is to spawn many different games as possible re-using the same content for Dragon’$ Gold. Its also part of a marketing strategy, offering players a better deal with 3+ games for the price of one.

I’m not deeply familiar with ESports. However, I’m familiar with the skill-based cash-driven tournament monetizing model. This monetize model works by Players paying a ‘Fee’ to enter the tournament which is added to a prize pool, Winners are paid a percentage of the prize pool based on their final tournament standing. I developed the TournamentBlitz Event Management System (TBEMS) for this very purpose and its at the core of, A Cash-driven Skill-based Tournament Arcade featuring Next-Gen Tournament games (compared to games found here).

Optional Reading: started back in 2003 with the development of the Blitz Online Scoreboard System (BOSS) in the BlitzBasic forums. BOSS evolved into a TournamentBlitz Event Management System (TBEMS) designed to manage online cash-driven tournaments in which Players paid-to-enter, compete for best score to win cash jackpots.

Games with a straight forward Point Scoring System like Protoball are ideal for this monetize model. I’m scripting the UE4 client side TBEMS interface using either Online Subsystem or JSON Query Plugin. I mentione this model for your consideration as we game devs need more options for monetizing our games.

Hey that sounds pretty interesting! Send me a PM and let’s talk more about it.

We now have our first Protogun! Character models are now in the works!

This project is making me nostalgic for Deathrow on Xbox, played that a bunch when I was younger

Also a big fan of futuristic sports games, played a lot of Valve’s Ricochet too.

Inspiring project!

You know… I never got to play those games. Looking back now I wish I would have, but maybe it’s for the best. I’ve seen quite a few unique sports games coming out lately, and it’s pretty cool. Like the birth of a new genre really. I’m excited about it and I’m glad you guys can dig it! Hopefully by the end of this month I’ll have some character art to post up.

We should have a packaged demo this week to play, but still just placeholder graphics and arena. Hopefully in January I can start sharing the game with some strangers to play test and get some opinions from people that aren’t currently friends & family.

Very cool and happy that you’re progressing, count me in for testing out the demo!

Update : We’re still alive and so is the project!

We just recently completed our first online play tests and we learned a lot! There’s not much to show at this point as the graphics are generally the same and we’ve been focusing on the mechanics. However we’ve come up with some new features.

We’re going to implement the ability to use the force-field/guard as a projectile. Hopefully this will create some really cool dynamic plays, where a player could potentially pass the ball off of the wall and then “shoot” the ball with their force-field projectile knocking it into or towards the goal. A little bit like billiards in a way. Obviously this can be used in a defensive capacity as well. If you’re not near the goal to defend then you have a chance to shoot the ball off course.

We’re going to implement the ability to run on the walls, to make the game feel more agile. One major goal of mine is to not let input controls inhibit fun or the character’s ability. I really want agile dynamic play to be super fun and intuitive.

Aside from new features we’re going to change some of the ball/possession behavior to be more solid (and fun!). On my next update I should have something visual to share!

Anyway, check back for more updates soon!

On one hand I am excited to see others working on this type of game, but on the other I have been working on one as well. While I can see we share common interests on ball mechanics as well as another project I have stumbled upon called supraball, I wish you the best of luck on your project and I hope you nothing but the best for future development.

Fortunately, I think we separate our selves movement wise enough to give ourselves each diverse gameplay dynamics.

I have no intention of attempting to high jack your thread or anything like that. I simply wanted to tell you I like your progress so far.

Again keep up the great work!

Appreciate it! This is by far one of the least original ideas out there, the measure of success is going to be how FUN the game is to play. I mean ball-games have been played for longer than electricity has been used, it’s a natural progression. Like you I was a little bummed when Rocket League came out, because my knee-jerk reaction was that I shouldn’t even work on my game anymore. But then I realized how silly that was, and it actually motivated me to work harder because Rocket League was so much fun and proved that a unique sports game CAN be successful without John Madden’s name on it.

Supraball kind of set the stage for this as a genre, and that’s exactly what I think it is now. There’s not just one game that has a lock the niche, but the niche is now an entire genre and has plenty of room for other unique sports games. I believe it’ll be a successful genre too, especially as VR gets better and more casual people get into video games. You’re not going to get your average human who doesn’t consider themselves a “gamer” to play some competitive shooter with you, but you might get them to play PROTOBALL!

I’d be interested to talk more with you via PM if you’d like! Just drop me a line.

Sure! as for originality you are correct in that statement, and friendly competition only makes games that much better. Unless its a survival/PVP game it seems. Those are hit or miss looking at their current track record :P. But I think with the release of Rocket League myself it only gave me more fuel to the fire personally, showing the well regarded player reception of a small scale twitch based sports game. I’ve always liked the idea of them looking back at games like Ricochet, or even Griffball in Halo 3. They can be super fun, and a great way to break up the monotony of the current generation of Shooters, RPGs and MMOs as well as a quick way to hop into a few rounds with friends.

I saw a video regarding Rocket League’s season 2, where they basically said they didn’t know if this was going to be a niche game or actually blow up, so they didn’t know if they could actually make DLC or not. Now, in season 2, they’re implementing a lot of great ideas that I’m sure most people were thinking should’ve been in the game from day 1. So it’s awesome to see some legitimacy given to the sports game e-sports genre.

I never ended up playing any of those old games like Ricochet or Deathball or Griffball. I only ever learned of them through people hearing about my game then saying to check it out. I often wonder why I never heard of those games, and would like to be able to pinpoint the reason and learn from it when it’s time to start marketing Protoball. I think most of them came out when I was in college and had a terrible internet connection and learned about some new recreational activities… so I took a hiatus from the industry and the social circles thereof, but I think getting games into the mainstream so you DON’T have to be a hardcore nerd lurking game nerd websites would be beneficial.

I think they best part about these games is that they’re competitive but not a huge time sink. Get sick of CS:GO? Hop into some rocket league with some buddies for 15-30 minutes before doing whatever you go off to do that night. It’s like casual competition in a way.

Hi. I just read about this game. I really like the idea. I wrote a short story about a similar game I came up with called “Boomball.” I drew some basic concept art for it using Google tiltbrush. I wanted to work out some game levels to create a machine type movie for the story. I’d be very interested in learning more about your game. I’m an architect, and I’m doing a lot of research on VR/gaming in te field of architecture.

In my story/game concept players can play on all surfaces of the game zone. I want to expand the game design even further, but just haven’t gotten to write it yet.

Link to my story:

We’re very excited to revive this thread! After a short hiatus in development last year we’ve been back and hitting it harder than ever!

First up are some arena screenshots:

The arena is amazing! It is so much fun to play in!

The above gif shows the “Pass” function working out for a goal!

After stealing the ball I make a shot from downtown worth 3 points!

Red steals the ball from Blue and schools us! Nice play!

And I’ll leave everyone with a teaser of the character’s that are coming very soon - (concept art and not final-game-ready models)!

Stay Tuned!

If you’re interested in helping us play-test please sign up on The Protoball Website, we’re going to expand testing outside of the dev team this summer!

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Protoball on IndieDB

Great project (: Glad to be part of it!

Go Protoball! So very much enjoyed working on the arena restyling! :slight_smile:

Claudio & eXi have been instrumental in taking Protoball to the next level. We’re so fortunate to have them on the team, I have nothing but praise for them!

I’m going to steal Claudio’s thunder real fast and point you to his artstation, where he just posted his work on the Protoball arena;

Truly epic! Playing in his arena has been wonderful, and truly advanced the state of the game by light years!

If you missed Luos’ live stream you can catch a replay of it here :

Luos has been bringing some great ideas in for the VFX! We’re very stoked to have him on the team and bringing his talent to the game. I’m really proud of all of the teams contributions and investment in the game, it’s been an uplifting experience! Characters are soon to follow… Just need to wrap up the textures!

We’re planning on hosting some closed play tests beginning in July, if you’re interested please sign up for the newsletter on

there once was a mod for ut99 that was similar, i loved it