Goal Line Blitz: the best sports game you don't know about

You may not have heard of it yet (and if you haven’t you obviously haven’t talked to me in a good month), but Goal Line Blitz is going to be the next big thing in gaming. Combining the modern love of easy-to-access browser games with fantasy football, Goal Line Blitz is easily the best football simulation on the market–and it’s 100% free. But this article isn’t entirely about the game, or how it works; if you want to know that, you can read the article Chris wrote. Instead, I wanted to offer people a small look at the two creators of the game (who oddly enough live about 20 miles from me), and how it is GLB came to be.

The brainchild of Peter (Bort) and Jesse (DigitalDaggers), GLB is a rarity in this day and age: a game designed by fans of the sport and games in general, built for fans of the sport, with their satisfaction in mind. The two met at their job five years ago, and like many co-workers loved to talk football; especially fantasy football. Not satisfied with the current availability of football games on the Internet, Peter took things into his own hands.

"I’ve always thought football would lend itself to a big multi-player video game where everybody plays the different positions, and it just seemed like a good time to dive in," he said. "So, I talked to Jesse about it and he agreed to help me out with testing, planning, strategy, and the business aspects of running the game."

If early indications and the gut feeling of any who play the game are right, Peter was on to something. Combining traditional RPG aspects with the sport of football, Goal Line Blitz is a football fanatics dream, and something even a non-sports fan can get into if they love building their own characters over time. When you create your account you’re given 400 points to spend creating your player (300 for glory positions; 200 for defense, tight ends and fullbacks; 100 for the OL and kicker/punter), and as that player participates in games and trains each day, he’ll gain experience which will increase his level, thereby giving him stat points to distribute in both physical stats and football skills.

As any sports fan will agree, reading about sports just isn’t the same as watching the replays. Peter and Jesse realized that, and GLB features a play-by-play replay of every play in each game (except for kick replays, which Jesse promises is coming soon). Obviously the visuals won’t blow the next Madden game out of the water, but watching your key plays in a game is a blast, and trying to understand the coding behind it makes my head hurt. (Here’s a video someone put up on YouTube showing how the replays work.)

In fact, trying to understand the coding behind anything in Goal Line Blitz makes my head hurt. They began the game last September, and started coding what we see today in early October. During this time, the two put in many long hours making the game what it is now. According to Peter, "Running something like this requires a LOT of time and effort. We’ve been working on the game 7 days a week, burning the midnight oil after work, and I still feel like we’re behind in what we wanted to accomplish to this point."

The long days and restless nights certainly seem to be paying off, though, as the game is far exceeding any expectations the two had for it. "I know we we’ve been working hard to put out a good product, but we were expecting to maybe have 2 or 3 thousand people signed up at this point with maybe a few hundred active," admitted Peter. "Right now, we’ve had 50,000 signups. We’re glad about it, but it’s been surprising and somewhat daunting. When we went from having 75 alpha testers to having over 10,000 users within a week, we were pretty overwhelmed. We worked a bunch of 20 hour days in a row that week to keep up and we were both pretty ragged. Jesse has a brand new baby girl as well, so it’s been crazy at his house for sure."

Jesse agreed that his home life has been rather crazy in the recent weeks. "My baby launched out the womb on Friday, March 14th," a pi baby, as he’s quick to point out, "and GLB launched on Sunday, March 16th. I knew my life would be changing, and it has been an extremely busy time for me, but there is nothing in my life that makes me happier than seeing by daughter smiling and happy."

I have no doubt that their hard work will pay off and Jesse will continue to smile in the long run; just take one look at the active players on their forums and you’ll come to the same conclusion. Goal Line Blitz will be around for quite a while, and one day you may even play against one of the teams Chris and I run. (If you beat us, by all means feel free to brag.)

Like all successful games, I also have no doubt that Goal Line Blitz will inspire a rush of rip-offs when it finally breaks the barrier and becomes an Internet phenomenon. For those of you considering that, heed Peter’s advice. "If anybody out there is thinking about starting something like this, and they think it will be all fun and games, they need to realize that it’s a lot of work and you have to be very dedicated to not get discouraged or burned out. In the end, it’s all worth it, but be prepared for a lot of grueling nights. "


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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