Deathball Lives: Supraball Is A First-Person Sports Game

By Graham Smith on May 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

A shame they're using a Wayne Rooney model for every character.

With all this talk of Unreal Tournament 2014, it may be that you’re recalling fond memories of the myriad mods available for previous UT games. One of those was Deathball, a sports game in which you fired a ball not bullets and attempted to pass and shoot and score your way to team-based victory.

Well, Deathball begat Supreball, a standalone game made by the same team. It has an alpha which is freely downloadable, it’s looking for votes on Steam Greenlight, and there’s a trailer below.

I like that they pitch the game in this trailer not at former Deathball players, but at people frustrated by the ambiguous controls of games like FIFA. It’s like… it’s like they’re talking directly to me.

There’s a second trailer, which is straight in-game footage:

There’s lots of little details I like here, such as the slight targeting mechanic which makes passing easier and the “Catch” notifier that make receiving passes easier. I remember playing an early version of Deathball way back when (and the UT2k4 ball-based mode, Bombing Run), and there would be a lot of woolly time spent chasing after spilled balls. This looks a lot slicker.

You can download version 0.2.5 of Supraball now over at the official site.

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25 Comments »

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  1. Tom Walker says:

    Never played Deathball, but Bombing Run in the baselessly maligned, best-movement-physics-of-the-lot UT2003 was joyous.

    Let’s have that back in UT2014. In fact, I’m off to sign up to their forum just to suggest it. So there.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    A bit of a bold claim to say that they have created a new genre, considering that it was done in 1984 with Ballblazer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballblazer
    and vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9P_5fNkoe4

    And there were numerous Quake 3 sports mods.

    But anyhoo, gripe aside, this looks fun. :)

  3. Premium User Badge

    theodacourt says:

    I loved the bombing run mode in UT, and this looks awesome! They really need to add some sort of goalkeeping function though. The person nominally in goal in these videos seems basically useless, but an empty net wouldn’t be much good either.

    • Premium User Badge

      Norskov says:

      There already is an goalkeeping function. The first player to enter the goal area becomes the goalkeeper and becomes invulnerable while holding the ball. Furthermore the keeper is able to dash by double tapping a direction key, this combined with two jumps enables him to travel long distances fast.

  4. Rincewind says:

    I’ve been playing Supraball since downloading it on a lark a few weeks ago, and I give it my heartiest endorsement. It’s genuinely fun, especially when the teams are well-matched and you have a real back and forth between goals. Plus, there’s something really fun about literally taking a shot at the goal.

    Highly recommend that other RPS readers check it out. If you like team/co-op games, you’ll like this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Norskov says:

      I’ve played a few pugs and the game is so much better when it’s a little organised.

      • Rincewind says:

        Totally agree. The games filled with brand new players who don’t yet know to pass the ball rather than shoot the ball, tend to be less fun. But I still enjoy it, especially since at 20:00, by the time the game makes it to the halfway point, most players are now familiar enough with the basics to work together.

  5. Mellifico says:

    I’m on W7 64bits and it crashes on launch. I’m very sad, any ideas ?

  6. Mellifico says:

    @Lord Custard Smingleigh: Done. Now I’m wet and injured. What next ?

    • Ross Angus says:

      You have unlocked the achievement “The Great Outdoors: not all it’s cracked up to be”.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        Have you tried turning your Outdoors™ off, and then back on again?

        • Mellifico says:

          I’m just gonna throw my PC itself by the Outdoors® if it can’t run that game ! Hope that will help. Thx guys !

  7. Premium User Badge

    OctoStepdad says:

    Going to vote this one up and download it when I get home from work today.

    Never played UT but it sure does remind me of Grifball from the Halo MP.

  8. HilariousCow says:

    My favourite was “Kick” for Quake 2. You just ran at the ball to knock it forward. Your aim pitch affected the kick, so you’d aim high for a shot and low to dribble. No “ball catching weapon”. It was super simple and worked great.

    I think it even had aftertouch if you turned after the collision? but I may just have dreamt that.

  9. derbefrier says:

    Looks cool I will give it a shot when I get home

  10. Chuckleluck says:

    YES. I’ve never heard of/played Deathball (I never really got into UT), but I absolutely loathe the way sports games are now. A game where each player is a real person and a first person perspective sounds lovely :)

  11. Mittens89 says:

    Reminds me of the football mod for CS:S, where stabbing the ball with the knife would make it fly in the direction you were looking.

    Ill try this for sure

  12. Premium User Badge

    HKEY_LOVECRAFT says:

    I played Deathball for years, and when I stumbled upon the Greenlight page for Supraball I actually found myself getting angry that the videos were claiming that a game of this type had never been done previously. It was only after some gameplay footage that I noticed the player scoring tons of goals was DavidM, the original creator of Deathball (and one of UT’s most skilled and infamous amateur level designers).

    The fact that Supraball plays exactly like original mod (minus the gibs, plus the inclusion of some nifty rule changes and overall graphical polish) is a cyber-dream come true. I was crestfallen when the original mod was abandoned, though not terribly surprised as it never earned the acclaim it was due (much like Action Half-Life).

    I’ve had the game installed since late last week and it’s a lovely, lovely thing. I will happily pay for a full version if they go that route, though I suspect they’ll choose F2P with cosmetic microtransactions in order to reach a larger demographic selection and maximize their MP base. Of course, if I spent less time playing and more time reading the info on the game’s site, I’d probably already know their plans. Lazy speculation, ho!

    I wonder if the name sounds cooler in German?

  13. norfolk says:

    This looks cool. But they really need to re-think the sounds – that light laser sound is just the worst.